Do You Know How Your Dog Stays Hydrated?


What if I tell you right now, that everything you think you know about how your dog hydrates are false, would you want to learn more?

When pet owners think about their canine companions “drink” water, they most often imagine the pet lapping – that is, using their tongues to scoop water into their mouth.

I know this makes you want to squeeze this pup with love!!


Well, recent research has proven that this notion of lap drinking is quite far from the reality. So, if dogs don’t scoop water with their tongue, how in the world do they get hydrated? Now that’s the question we intend to answer with this post.

First, dogs get hydrated using the same gravity-defying technique as their canine cousins – cats.

Why dogs lap water

Let’s kick off the discussion by examining why our furry friends – dogs, cats, and other predatory animals lap water instead of suck them in like the rest of us?

Well, the answer is in the cheeks. Yes, their cheek.

Look at this smile! Those Cheeks!


You’re already aware that your pet has a wide mouth that reaches way into the sides of their face right?

Now, that’s a good thing on the one hand and not so good on another. On the positive side, their wide mouth allows the predatory animals to hunt and bite down hard on their prey. It literally enables them to track, kill and feed. But, on the contrary, the wide mouth or in technical terms incomplete cheeks is why dogs find it extremely difficult to suck in and retain water in their mouth while drinking.

The thing is, even when they close their mouth the water still leaks out. Hence, to compensate for this, the furry friends developed the ability to take in a liquid by lapping.

A dog’s drinking history

For a long time, it was believed that dogs simply drink water by lapping it up and that was it. Pretty basic, and straight to the point, right? Well, researchers discovered the physical mechanism involved in transporting water from dog’s tongue to the throat. The discovery is both fascinating and breathtaking at the same time.


What science discovered about the dog drinking

At the forefront of this study is Sunghwan Jung, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech, in his report, he wrote that “dogs curl their tongue backward forming a ladle to scoop water into their mouth when drinking.”

He went on to say that, “due to the rapid in and out movement of the tongue, it forms a gravity-defying water column they bite down on, drinking some of the water while others fall back to the bath, creating a splash and the well-known mess.”

From this study, one can deduce that dogs can’t help making a mess while drinking just as Cheetah can’t help having spots. It is also worthy to note that even though all dog breeds use the same mechanism when drinking, how messy they are is directed related to their anatomy.

So, as it turns out, there’s nothing much a pet owner can do to stop messy drink. However, one can manage it by getting a larger mat and a no-spill water bath for their pets.

Bulldogs seem to have very wide cheeks

If you have any questions or comments please let us know. And if you’d like to speak with me directly, my email is

Previous Post Next Post

Comments 0
Leave a comment
Your Name:*
Email Address:*
Message: *

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.

* Required Fields