A dog who drinks from a stagnant puddle, a lake, or a pond is exposed to more potentially hazardous germs than one who drinks from a toilet.
This doesn’t mean that dogs can’t get sick from drinking toilet water. A toilet that’s stopped up or hasn’t been cleaned in a long time will contain enough germs to trigger a day or two of diarrhea or vomiting. More worrisome than germs are chemicals.
In our perpetual battle to keep bathrooms clean, we pour all sorts of chemicals into toilet bowls and tanks. Some of these products taste perfectly fine to dogs, but can make them ill if they drink enough.
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Even though toilets are sanitary enough for quenching canine thirst, most people prefer to keep the lids closed. Mainly, it’s about etiquette. No one wants to listen to their dog noisily lapping up a toilet-water cocktail. And no one wants to clean up the trail of spittle and water that invariably follows.
Get A New Water Bowl
Some dogs drink out of the toilet because they like the taste. Others do it because they dislike the water in their regular dishes. It’s not the water itself that’s usually the problem, but what the water is served in. Plastic dishes, for example, absorb odors and may give water an off taste. Switching to a metal or ceramic dish – and washing it regularly – can make your dog’s usual water supply a little more palatable – and make him less interested in finding alternatives.
Try Placing The Water Bowl Where It Will Be Cooler
Dogs definitely like their water cool. Water that sits in a sunny kitchen may be 10°F warmer than water that’s kept in a cool, tiled bathroom. If you don’t have a different place to keep the bowl, put in a few ice cubes every time you change the water. Dogs will appreciate the extra coolness as well as the crunchy ice.
Final Toilet Avoidance Tip
The easiest way to keep dogs out of the toilet is to lower the lid. Unless, that is, you happen to live with a very smart and determined dog who learns to uncap the toilet on his own. If that happens – and some dogs like toilet water so much that wedging their noses under the lid is hardly an insurmountable obstacle – you’ll either have to keep the bathroom door closed or secure the toilet lid by putting something heavy on top.