Why dogs sometimes dig in their water bowls and spill

 Dog water bowls

One of the most common problems and tricks that dogs do is spill their water bowls by digging. My dogs sometimes do the same and I have always wondered why. Writing this article gave me insight on something that I personally deal with and know that most of you do. When we try to understand why dogs do certain behaviors we are often confused because what may seem logical to us, will not seem logical to our dogs. Dogs spill their water due to many reasons and it differs from one dog to another thus we will present different reasons why my dog and yours are intentionally spilling their water out of their bowls.

  1. Your dog is bored

Boredom is the number one reason for almost all bad behaviors that dogs might show. Dogs are packed with so much energy that they just have to let off by doing just about anything. Find out more on the importance of walking your dog everyday.

  1. Attention seeker

If your dog knows that you will react in a certain way when she/he spills the water, she will try to do so any time she wants to get your attention. The correct reaction is to stop this is by ignoring your dog when she/he does so. Read also why dogs are sloppy drinkers.

  1. Your dog is hot

Yes, we know how lovely your dog is but that not what we mean. When the weather is awfully hot the heat is getting to your dog, so they are cooling themselves by playing with the water. Read also on how to protect your dog from a heatstroke.

  1. Reflections

If you happen to have a stainless steel bowl, your dog may be seeing a kind of reflection in it and chasing it. This reflection maybe his own, or the sun or whatever is moving around him.


How can you stop this kind of behavior?

Most dogs grow out of this behavior after puppyhood, however if your dog doesn’t, then read the solutions below that might help you out the consequences of the water spilling.

  1. Heavy bowls

Replace your dog’s water bowl with a heavier one this way it is harder to spill.


  1. Containment trays

I am sure you are not happy about mopping the floor every few hours, so what you can do is place a containment tray under the bowl. This way the water spilled will be contained and not spilled. Check out the importance of cleaning your dog’s food and and water bowls.

  1. Move the bowl

Move the bowl to another place where the floor won’t be damaged.

  1. Engage your dog

It is very basic to understand that the more you engage your dog in more activities the more your dog will be well behaved.

  1. Distraction

Call your dog away or clap your hands once your dog has stopped drinking.


Written by Farah Khaled
Sources: The Daily Puppy , The Nest , Vet Street

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