Help! My Chihuahua doesn’t drink water (5+ reasons)

In this article, we will explain why a Chihuahua doesn’t drink water, discussing both pathological and non-pathological causes. We will also give you some tips to get your Chihuahua to drink more water. 

Reasons why your Chihuahua doesn’t drink water

There can be many explanations for why your Chihuahua doesn’t drink water. Among the most frequent, some are pathological (involving a disease), or non-pathological. It is important to know how to differentiate between one and the other to be able to solve the problem. Visit your vet if you have any questions.

Pathological causes why your Chihuahua doesn’t drink water

Dental disease: A problem in the region of the mouth can cause a lot of pain and with it, the animal does not want to drink. The condition can be at the level of the teeth, in the gums, sensitization in a dental nerve, and even at the level of the masseter muscles. 

You can check the state of the mouth yourself and see if it performs the correct opening and closing movements, go to the vet if you have doubts, be able to do a more exhaustive examination.

Viral disease: Some diseases such as distemper (canine distemper) or rabies eliminate the sensation of thirst in the animal. In addition to stopping drinking, other symptoms will be observed that added to the previous one, will cause an exaggerated weakening of the dog. This is an urgent reason that requires veterinary attention.

Stress: Under a stressful situation for your dog, you can change its priorities. There may be a basic behavioral problem, such as separation anxiety, that causes a lot of distress in the animal and, therefore, it loses interest in drinking since its only concern is that you return home. Also, routine changes such as moving, new members of the family, noise, etc., can trigger it.

NON-pathological causes of why your  Chihuahua doesn’t drink water

Age. Perhaps this is one of the most frequent reasons. Older dogs tend to drink less than when they were young, what’s more, sometimes they only drink if we tell them to. 

This is associated with their inactivity, they are sedentary and do not exercise so they do not need to go drink. Although they may feel it that way, it is not reality and every dog, regardless of age, needs to drink enough water for the proper functioning of the body.

Cold. The cold can reduce the feeling of thirst in the dog, quite the opposite to when they feel hot, they are crazy to hydrate.

He does not walk enough. Dogs have a great capacity for the association, in addition to perfectly remembering the routine. This means that if he knows it will take a long time to go out for a walk, he will avoid drinking to avoid having to hold his urine. This factor affects us directly since it depends on us, so if you ask yourself “why doesn’t my dog ​​drink water?” check the frequency of walks.

My Chihuahua ​​does not eat or drink water

If your dog ​​does not drink water and also does not want to eat, you must act fast since dogs can decompensate very quickly and dehydration, added to an empty stomach and lack of nutrients, will lower the defenses and make the dog very weak.

The causes of not eating and not drinking water are similar to those mentioned above. The presence of any disease (viral, dental, general malaise, etc.) will make you feel bad and refuse food. Also, stress, anxiety, and/or nervousness will directly affect appetite.

Another reason is that you don’t like your food or have gotten bored with it. This is easy to differentiate since, if a dog does not have an appetite, he will refuse any food that we offer him. Whereas if he is bored with his feed when we offer something different that is delicious, he will fill us with licks. 

We recommend that you look for another type of diet that stimulates you more since if you stop eating, you will have less need to drink and the situation can become serious.

How to know if my dog ​​is hydrated?

The main thing, before getting scared, is knowing how to recognize if our dog is hydrated. He may be drinking without us seeing him. These are some tricks to find out:

Mucosa color and capillary filling time (CRT). It is very simple, in terms of color, it should be pink and if they are very red the animal is dehydrated. And with regard to CRT, just press a finger on the gum of our dog, it should return to its original color in less than 2 seconds.

Skinfold. Hydration can also be assessed based on the elasticity of the skin. We will make a pinch along the back, the skin should return to its place quickly. This test is less objective as some dogs have more excess skin (fur) and the result can be confusing.

Dry Skin. If we see flaking at the base of the hair, even in the area of ​​the nose, it may be that it is dehydrated.

How to get my Chihuahua ​​to drink water

Again you must remember that if your dog does not drink water, it may be secondary to a bigger problem. Here are some tricks to stimulate thirst that may help:

  • The drinker must always have clean and freshwater.
  • Place the drinker in an area with easy access.
  • Place several drinkers around the house, so that he can choose the place.
  • During walks take breaks and offer water.

If he continues to reject water but is hungry, moisten the food with unsalted broth or water to provide some hydration. It would also be a good idea to feed wet food (cans) during the period you do not want to drink.

Dehydration can play a trick on your dog’s well-being so, if he doesn’t drink water, don’t wait too long to go to the vet as it can lead to a much bigger problem.

My Chihuahua doesn’t eat food and drink any water

There are many diseases that can cause a lack of appetite in your dog, such as parvovirus, distemper, leptospirosis, parasite problems, etc. It is important that you go to your vet to rule out these causes. Normally, the lack of appetite is usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as sadness, apathy, diarrhea, … etc.

Some medications and vaccines also cause a decrease in appetite. If your dog still doesn’t eat after finishing treatment or for too long after being vaccinated, take him to the vet.

Besides, dogs are social animals and can be sad or downcast due to various causes, such as:

Loss of a loved one. When there is the loss of a loved one, be it a person or an animal, your dog can go through a depression that causes a loss of appetite, as well as a downcast mood. He might even stop drinking water. 

Try to give him water even in small amounts, because if he does not drink, he will quickly dehydrate. If you can’t, go to your vet immediately. If more than three days go by without him eating, take him to the vet as well.

He fought with other dogs. Fighting can cause insecurity in your dog, causing a depressive state that can be accompanied by a lack of appetite. Try to restore her confidence and take her out for a walk, trying to socialize her again. Positive reinforcement is very helpful in these cases.

Important changes. A change of home, a new baby in the family, a newly arrived animal, the departure of a loved one … are situations that can lead to a depressive state in your dog. Try to stick with the starting routines and play with her more. Keep him feeling like an important part of your family.


As we already said, the dehydration caused by the refusal to drink water will affect your dog’s health quickly if you do not do something on time. Therefore, we point out some recommendations to help you in these cases:

  1. Keep your dog’s bowl with fresh, clean water at all times. Remember to change the water at least twice a day, watch that there are no food remains, or other waste, and wash the container every time you renew its contents.
  2. Never leave the water bowl in the sun, prefer room temperature.
  3. Place several bowls in different parts of the home but always in the same places, so the dog will know where to look for them and can drink water at any time she wants.
  4. Some dogs are not motivated by the way the water looks in the bowl. If this is the case with yours, consider purchasing a dog water fountain. Before doing so, take good advice on the operation and maintenance of the model to choose.
  5. Try moistening your dry dog ​​food with water, or even a broth made from beef or chicken, without salt or seasonings.
  6. If she refuses to drink, try offering her ice cubes, many like to lick them.
  7. When you take him out for a walk, always carry a bottle of water and a container for the dog with you; remember to take breaks during the walk to hydrate it.

If after putting all these tips into practice the dog still does not want to drink water, go to the vet immediately.

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FAQ on My Chihuahua doesn’t drink water

Why is my dog not drinking water?

There are several reasons why your dog is not drinking water including kidney disease, diabetes, or some types of cancer. If you do not manage to help rehydrate your dog, please visit a vet as soon as possible. 

Why does my dog eat but not drink water?

If your dog eats but is not drinking water, it may mean that he has a bladder or urinary tract infection that’s causing them to lose their desire for liquids. Talk with a vet as soon as possible. 

When should I worry about my dog not eating?

You should worry about your dog not eating if this behavior is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea. A dog may refuse to eat for various reasons, either health issues or psychological issues (eg. a stressful environment). 

Will a Chihuahua starve itself?

A Chihuahua would not starve itself, but it would eat less if it is stressed, ill, or doesn’t like the food! It is your responsibility as the owner to make sure that your pet is well-fed and hydrated. 

What does it mean when a Chihuahua doesn’t eat?

When a Chihuahua doesn’t eat it means that they are nervous or stressed about something. They can also have a health issue, so it is better to consult a vet as soon as possible. 


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