Are you tired of coming home from work and stepping on a floor covered in water?
The last thing you want to do is clean up a mess but once again your dog has tipped over their water bowl and you feel like it won’t be the last time it happens.
If you’re frustrated with constantly cleaning up spilled water or fearing your dog will get dehydrated, then fret no more. We’ve got you covered!
In this blog post, we will detail all the reasons as to why do dogs tip over their water bowl and offer 27 foolproof ways to prevent this behavior.
Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no extra cost to you.
Why Do Dogs Tip Over Their Water Bowl?
Dogs tip over their water bowls for many reasons. It might be your dog’s way of telling you they’re thirsty and need more water.
They can also tip over their water bowl to play, to get your attention, to indicate that the water is too warm or dirty, or out of sheer boredom.
27 Foolproof Ways to Stop Dogs From Tipping Over Their Water Bowl
Let’s take a look at how to stop your dog from spilling their water bowl.
If you’re having trouble with your dog tipping over his water bowl, these foolproof solutions will help you stop the problem.
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Different Types of Bowls
A slow water feeder is a great way to help your dog drink more water and the best part is they won’t be able to tip it over!
It features a floating disk that sinks down with the pressure from your dog’s tongue. As he licks, it releases water.
This prevents your dog from drinking too fast and will keep your dog’s snout dry.
If your dog is tipping her water bowl because she sees her reflection in it, try getting a non-reflective bowl like ceramic or plastic.
That way she won’t be able to see herself and she’ll be less likely to start pawing at the bowl.
This weighted ceramic bowl is heavier than stainless steel or plastic so it’s harder to tip over.
If your dog likes moving water, this water fountain would be perfect.
It’s 84 oz and comes with a mat and replacement filters.
Your dog will have fresh, constantly moving so he can drink to his heart’s content.
If your dog keeps flipping their water bowl, a no-tip dog bowl is a great solution.
It has a larger base so it can’t be tipped.
It also has a rubber ring on the bottom to prevent it from sliding around.
5. Different Type & Size of Bowl
If you’re having trouble with your dog tipping his bowl, try a different type or size of bowl. They might not like the bowl you are using.
Some dogs prefer glass or ceramic bowls while others like stainless steel.
If the bowl is too small and their whiskers touch the sides, that could be why they’re tipping it over.
Their whiskers are sensitive so try getting a bigger bowl so their whiskers have some room.
6. DIY Concrete Water Bowl Stand
If you are the type of person who prefers the DIY route, you can make your own concrete water bowl.
The benefit of concrete is that it’s really heavy so your dog won’t be able to tip over.
You’ll need supplies such as a plastic mold, a bag of concrete mix, a stainless steel bowl, rocks, a dust mask, a sander, and sealer.
There are lots of YouTube videos that document the process.
If you are done dealing with tipped-over water bowls, you can try using a dog water bottle.
That way there is no way they can tip it since you’ll be holding it.
This will require more participation on your end since you’ll have to offer them water multiple times a day, but it’s a mess-free solution.
It’s also great to bring with you on walks for water on the go.
8. Heavy Bowl
Try using a heavier bowl to deter your dog from tipping it over.
Some good options are heavyweight ceramic, stoneware, and Yeti dog bowls.
These bowls are hard to pick up and move so your dog won’t be able to tip them over as easily.
A slanted dog bowl is tilted 15 degrees and has non-slip feet.
This design prevents your dog from being able to tip it over.
It also helps reduce neck strain for dogs who have to bend down to drink from a bowl on the ground.
Secure the Bowl
10. Elevated Stand
Purchase an elevated stand to set the water bowl in.
This will put the bowl at a comfortable height for your dog and it will be secured so it can’t be tipped over.
A bonus is your dog won’t strain their neck anymore and their long ears won’t get wet while they’re drinking or eating.
One stipulation is that elevated food and water bowls have been shown to increase bloating in some large and giant breed dogs so they may not be the best solution for big dogs.
11. Latchable Bowl
A surefire way to ensure your dog can’t tip his bowl over is to get a latchable bowl.
You can attach their bowl to their crate or to a fence when they’re outside.
That way they can’t move it around and they’ll be less likely to spill their water.
12. Put a Rock or Metal Ball in the Bowl
If you don’t want to buy a new bowl, you can put a heavy rock or a metal ball in your dog’s current bowl.
This will weigh it down and make it harder for your dog to tip over.
Make sure you clean the rock thoroughly before putting it in the bowl and periodically.
13. Put a Bowl Inside Another Bowl
By putting your dog’s water bowl inside a larger bowl, you can prevent water from spilling everywhere.
If your dog tips their bowl, the bigger bowl will catch the water.
This is a good temporary solution until you can figure out why your dog is tipping their bowl over.
Taste, Temperature, Amount
14. Fresh and Cool Water
Fill your dog’s bowl with fresh water more often.
This will make sure the water is clean and cool.
Old water sitting out all day will get warm and your dog might turn their nose up to it.
Keep an eye out for any floating pieces.
Some dogs won’t drink water that has bits of food or dirt floating around.
Or they might try to get the food bits out and spill water in the process.
15. Add Ice Cubes
If the water is too warm, your dog might flip the water bowl to tell you they don’t like it.
Try adding some ice cubes to the bowl.
According to this study, most dogs prefer cool water (59 degrees Fahrenheit) so this should make them more likely to drink it instead of tip it over.
16. Clean Water Bowl
Make sure you’re washing your dog’s water bowl every day.
This will remove any buildup of dirt or bacteria that could make your dog not want to drink from it.
A clean bowl will keep the water tasting fresh.
17. Filtered Water
Some dogs are picky and they don’t like the taste of tap water.
Try using filtered water instead because it tastes fresher.
18. Make Sure Water Dog Doesn’t Run Out of Water
Some dogs will knock over their water bowl because it’s empty and they want more water.
They might even stand in their bowl or carry it around in their mouth.
If this is the case, you should make sure their bowl is always filled with fresh water.
Otherwise, your dog might throw a tantrum like the dramatic Husky in the video.
19. Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summertime
Use a cooling mat or cooling vest to keep your dog cool in the summertime.
Dogs love to sunbathe, but they should always have access to shady areas and fresh water.
This will help prevent him from getting overheated and will make him less likely to tip his bowl to cool himself in the water.
20. Only Fill Half Full
When the water bowl is totally full, it’s easier for your dog to spill it.
Try filling the bowl only half full instead. That way there will be less water to spill.
Also, some dogs don’t like to get their snout wet so if there’s too much water in the bowl, they will tip it over to let some water out.
Filling halfway solves both these problems.
The downside is that the bowl will need to be refilled more frequently throughout the day.
21. Different Location
If your dog’s water bowl is too close to another pet’s bowl, try moving it to a different location.
That way they won’t feel like they need to protect their territory and they’ll be less likely to tip their bowl over.
Or if your dog’s bowl was moved to a different spot and they’re tipping it to tell you they don’t like this new area, try moving it back to its original location.
22. Keep Water Bowl Outside
If you have a doggy door and are tired of your nice floor getting wet, you can keep your dog’s water bowl outside.
This way if they do tip it over, at least you won’t have to clean anything up.
This auto-fill water bowl hooks right up to your hose spigot so you won’t have to worry about your dog running out of water outside.
Just make sure the bowl is in a shady spot so the water doesn’t get too hot.
They make a faucet attachment for dogs that screws onto your spigot outside and provides a self-watering option for your dog.
Just unscrew your hose and switch it out for the adapter.
Water will only come out when your dog licks the lever.
This will provide your dog with constant access to water and they won’t be able to do any tipping.
This is great if your dog lives outside or spends a lot of time out there and you worry about them running out of water.
24. Play with Water Outside
If your dog likes to play with water, try playing with water outside instead of inside.
That way they can get all their energy out without making a mess in your home.
Try filling up a kiddie pool or spraying them with a hose.
If your dog loves water and you have space in the yard, they would have a blast playing in a dog splash pad.
25. Give Your Dog More Attention
If your dog is tipping over his water bowl because he’s bored or lonely, try giving him more attention.
Mental stimulation is also important so try out a new puzzle, a snuffle mat or teach them a new trick.
26. Ignore the Tipping Behavior
If your dog thinks spilling water is fun and gets attention from you, he’s going to keep doing it. He might start thinking it’s a game.
The best thing you can do is ignore the behavior and clean up the mess without giving him any attention.
Once he realizes that tipping his bowl doesn’t get him anything, he’ll stop doing it.
27. Vet Visit to Check for Compulsiveness
If your dog is compulsively tipping over his water bowl, it might be a sign of a bigger problem.
He could have separation anxiety or a medical condition.
If this is the case, you should take him to the vet to get checked out.
They will be able to help you ascertain the real issue and offer solutions to fix it.
14 Reasons Why Dogs Tip Over Their Water Bowls
Now that we’ve gone over how to stop or prevent this behavior, let’s learn more about why dogs tip over their water bowls.
1. As a Reminder to Fill Water Bowl
If your dog runs out of water, he may try to get your attention by tipping over his water bowl.
Dogs need around 1 oz of water for every 1 lb they weigh so it’s important to make sure they always have access to fresh water.
If you’ve been neglecting to fill your dog’s water bowl, they may start tipping it over as a way to remind you to add more water.
2. To Get Your Attention
Dogs are smart creatures and they know that we pay attention to them when they do something out of the ordinary, like a drama queen tipping over their water bowl.
If this got our attention in the past, your dog may think that it’s a surefire way to get your attention now.
3. They’re Playing
Puppies and young dogs often tip over their water bowl because they think it’s a toy.
Playing with water is fun and dogs love splashing water around.
As they grow older, they may outgrow this phase but some dogs continue to do it because it’s enjoyable.
4. They’re Bored
If your dog is bored, he may start tipping over his water bowl as a way to entertain himself.
This is especially common in puppies and young dogs who haven’t learned that this isn’t a desirable behavior.
Dogs need proper mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, so if your dog is not getting that, undesirable behaviors like this may start to surface.
Here are 24 fun games you can play with your dog to reduce boredom!
5. Reflective Bowl
If your dog’s water bowl is reflective (like stainless steel), he may be able to see their own reflection and think it’s another dog.
This can cause your dog to start pawing at the water bowl to get to the reflection.
They might also see the light reflecting off the water and try to paw at it.
6. They’re Too Hot
Why does my dog tip over her water bowl on a hot day?
Well, if your dog gets too hot, she may try to cool off by tipping over her water bowl and lying in the water.
Dogs have sweat glands on the bottom of their paws, so getting their paws wet is another way to cool down.
Make sure your dog has access to shade and fresh water on hot days.
7. They Don’t Like Their Bowl
If your dog keeps tipping their water bowl it could be because they don’t like the shape or size of their water bowl.
The bowl could be too big or too small for them. It could also be too low to the ground and be straining their neck.
8. The Water Is Too Warm
Most dogs prefer cool water so if it’s been sitting outside in the sun or it’s warm inside the house, your dog may not want to drink it.
They will tip the bowl in protest or try to cool the water down by splashing it onto the cool tile.
9. The Water Is Dirty
If the water in your dog’s bowl is dirty and there are floating objects in it like bits of food or grass, your dog might paw at the bowl to try to get rid of the debris.
Tipping over the water bowl is their way of saying it needs to be cleaned.
10. Too Much Water in the Bowl
If your dog keeps dumping their water bowl and they have a hairy snout, it could be because some dogs don’t like to drink from a bowl that is too full.
The hair around their snout will get too wet and they don’t like that feeling.
Tipping the bowl over will let some of the water out and make it more comfortable for them to drink.
11. The Water Bowl Was Moved
Dogs are creatures of habit and they like their things to stay in the same place.
If you move your dog’s water bowl, he may start tipping it over as a way to tell you that he doesn’t like the new location.
12. They Want Moving Water
If your dog keeps knocking over their water bowl, they could be indicating they prefer to drink from a moving water source.
They might start pawing at the water to make it move.
A water fountain is a good solution for this because it will give your dog fresh, moving water to drink.
13. Compulsive Behavior
Tipping over water bowls can sometimes be a sign of compulsive behavior in dogs.
If your dog is showing other signs of compulsiveness, like excessive licking or chewing, you should take him to the vet to get checked out.
Teething puppies try to chew on everything, water bowls included especially if they’re plastic.
This will result in him tipping the bowl over and making a mess.
Give your puppy something else to chew on like teething toys or bones.
Hopefully, this article has helped answer why do dogs tip over their water bowl and how to stop them from doing it.
With a little bit of trial and error, you should be able to use our solutions to figure out what works best for your dog.
If the problem persists, you may want to talk to your vet or a behaviorist for more help.
Do you have a dog that tips over his water bowl? Tell us about them in the comments!
How do I keep my puppy from playing in the water bowl?
Puppies can’t get enough of playing with water. They will eventually grow out of this habit, but in the meantime here are some tips.
- Try filling the bowl with less water so that there’s not much to play with
- If your puppy does start playing with the water, lead him away from the bowl and redirect the behavior by getting him to play with a toy
- Use an elevated bowl so it’s harder for them to reach their paws into
Why does my dog put his paw in his water bowl?
There could be a few reasons why dogs dig in their water bowls. They might be trying to cool off on a hot day or they might be pawing at their reflection in the bowl.
Another reason is they might see something floating in the bowl like kibble or bugs and try to paw at it.
Trying to make the water move with their paw can also be a form of entertainment for your dog.
Some dogs will stand with their front paws in their water bowl to tell you their bowl is empty.
How to stop my puppy from knocking over water bowl in their crate?
Puppies are always exploring and trying to figure out their environment. If your puppy is knocking over their water bowl in their crate, there are a couple things you can do.
A water bowl that screws onto the crate is the best option. Your puppy will not be able to knock his water bowl over since it will be securely fastened.
You can also use a slow water feeder bowl which will release water slowly as your puppy drinks from it, making it spillproof.
Another alternative is to fill a water bowl (metal or plastic) and freeze it ahead of time so your puppy can lick it as it melts.