How to Stop a Dog from Playing in Water Bowl

How to Stop a Dog from Playing in Water Bowl

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Do you need to stop a dog from playing in water bowl? This publication is for you. The main reason a dog plays with his water bowl is that he is feeling hot and want some cool.

Other reasons might be that he wants your attention, or there is something in the water he is trying to take out, or he’s playing with his shadow, or maybe he is just being a sweet little puppy.

The problem with playing in his water bowl is that he contaminates the water with dirt, which is not good for his health. Also, he ends up reducing the quantity of water available for drinking, getting himself wet, and generally messing up the whole place with puddles.

to stop a dog from playing in water bowl

To him, he’s just having fun, not aware of the consequences there might be. That is where you come in; ensuring he doesn’t put dirt in his water or mess up the environment.

How to stop a dog from playing in water bowl

So, are you a dog owner and you are looking for how to make your furry friend stop playing in his water bowl? Check out these suggestions below.

1. Place Bowl on a Newspaper

Spread out a large newspaper and place his bowl on it. Even though this might not completely stop your puppy from playing with his water or solve the problem of messing the place up, it’ll prevent a puddle. This might not be the best option but it can help you in some ways.

It buys you some time to clean up before the paper gets soaked and in turn, wet the floor. In all, you don’t have to deal with an annoying puddle he may have caused, without the newspaper. 

2. Replace the Bowl

If your dog keeps playing in his water bowl and tipping it over to cause a puddle. Consider replacing his bowl with a heavy ceramic, which is a lot heavier and harder to tip over. The dog is discouraged from playing with water and tipping his water over due to the seemingly immovable nature of his new water bowl.

This solves the problem of the bowl being knocked over by your little friend and causing a mess. Dogs like to play with their shadows in the water so, preferably, get a heavy BPA-free bowl. This will limit how much they play with their water bowl

3. Get Enough Outdoor Play

When your dog keeps splashing water and messing the place up, it could be a sign that he is bored and wants to play. You should find time to play with him outdoors. You can run around on the lawn, or play catch with him.

Moreover, active play helps keep your dog’s heart healthy, keeps the joints lubricated, and improves his overall balance and coordination—Pedigree.

Their playtime seems to be their best time, so make the best use of it. Just be careful so both of you don’t get hurt, and make sure he has as much fun as possible. When he goes back in, he will be so active and would not see any reason to put his paws in his water bowl anymore because it doesn’t make much sense to him anymore after all that play.

Engage in this outdoor play at intervals, and your little friend will forget about making a mess with his water bowl. You can also get him toys to play with indoors as an alternative. 

4. Distract Him

When your little friend is at it again, playing with his water bowl, or about to tip it over, clap your hands loudly to distract him. This sends a message to him that you won’t accept what he’s about to do.

You can even go as far as putting him in his crate for a timeout. This also sends a message that whenever he plays with his water bowl, it’s usually game over for him. So next time you clap your hands, he knows what’s next.

After a while, you may not need to put him away anymore; just a clap of the hands will do the trick.

5. Change the Water

This sweet little friend of yours knows when the water is not clean for him to drink anymore.

So perhaps the only way to let you know that he needs a new and clean one is to make a mess of the old.

Sometimes you may not understand his behavior and misunderstand him to be silly or just being plain naughty, but you know what? He needs clean water. Do well to provide it and see him stop giving you an extra house chore to do.

6. Use a Dog Bowl Stand

A dog bowl stands usually consist of a sort of elevated platform with one or more bowl that the dog can drink or eat from. Get a dog water bowl stand that he can drink from any time he wants water.

Get one that is just about his height, one he can drink from but can’t spill or play with due to its height. Splashing is more fun when the water bowl is down for him to make a mess with.

As time goes on, he’ll understand that he only needs to visit his bowl stand when he’s thirsty. However, you can’t fully predict the behavior of a puppy as he can be as messy as a little human baby.

Therefore, you should always watch him to ensure that he does not jeopardize the new water bowl structure.

7. Get Him a Fountain

As an alternative to changing the water, you can get your dog a fountain. As mentioned earlier, the reason for his constant playing and spilling of the water may be that he finds it dirty. A flowing water encourages him to drink and not make a mess.

A water fountain that is just about his height or a little below his height that he can drink comfortably from is advised. Some fountains are very sturdy, and so can not be tipped by him.

Asides from the fountain putting an end to the playing of your furry friend, it also relieves you of the burden of having to fill up his water bowl every time, giving you time to do other things around the house.

8. Do Not Fill Up His Bowl

Your puppy does not need a reason to play. At every given opportunity, dogs play until you scold them. While scolding him, make sure you don’t yell too loudly though, otherwise, you’ll unleash a rebellious side of him, or create a sense of being unloved at best.

A filled-up bowl encourages your dog to play with his water. Therefore, ensure you do not fill his bowl up. When he can’t reach for the water easily (because it’s low in his bowl and not much), he’ll look for other things to play with.

And even if he spills it eventually, you wouldn’t have much cleaning to do due to the volume of water. Just fill in as much water as enough for him to drink. When it gets finished, pour in some more.

9. Put His Bowl Outdoors

These little furry pets can be nasty and silly sometimes, but isn’t that what makes them cute though? Go easy on them and don’t make the mistake of always yelling at them lest you get them cold and uninterested in a lot of things. So your dog won’t stop playing with his water bowl after all these? Consider putting his water bowl on the front porch, or at the patio, or just about anywhere he can make all the mess in the world that won’t get you bothered. Instead, makes you just laugh and endears him to you more.


Stay near your dog when he’s drinking to ensure he doesn’t put his paws in the bowl. Praise him when he’s on his best behavior and not playing with his water. But the moment he puts his paws in his water, cease giving him attention for a few moments, he’ll know better than to make a mess of his water and bowl next time.

If after trying out all these remedies, your friend still wouldn’t stop tipping his water bowl over, call the attention of a veterinarian.

You could be dealing with the issue of compulsion the whole time and never know. But in all you do, never withhold water from your dog as it is very essential to his health.

Dr. Rebecca Black

Dr. Rebecca Black is an absolute gem of a Veterinarian. She brings decades of experience to Handy Pets Guide and has overflowing talent and passion for breeding and caring for pets, their people, and the team around her. Dr. Sophia was born and raised in Columbiana, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After earning her DVM from The Ohio State University in 1980. She has experience of over 3 decades and is very happy to share them. Her goal is to give pets all over the world a better life and to recommend the best tips, advice, and also recommend the best product for every pet owner.

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