10 Ways How to Stop A Dog From Spilling A Water Bowl

Filed in Dog Training by on June 23, 2021

How to Stop A Dog From Spilling A Water Bowl

If you’re reading this article, you may be wondering how to stop a dog from spilling a water bowl.

You may be sick of cleaning up the mess and are looking for a solution.

There are various reasons why your dog does this activity. Luckily, there are many methods you can try to stop your dog from spilling regardless of the type of dog bowl.

In this article, I’ll give you my top 10 ways how to stop a dog from spilling a water bowl.

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How to Stop a Dog From Spilling a Water Bowl

1. Move the Water Bowl

The first thing you can do when your dog tips over the water bowl is to move it. Some dogs tip their water bowl if they don’t like where it’s located in your home.

For example, if you keep the water bowl next to the kitchen table, try placing it next to the fridge. Just make sure your dog knows where the water bowl is.

Sometimes dogs spill the water bowl if it’s difficult to access. You can try moving the water bowl to an area that’s easier for your dog to get to.

2. Get a Spill Proof Water Bowl

Non-spillable dog water bowls come in many designs. They usually have some sort of suction or adhesive to the bottom of the bowl to prevent your pet from knocking it over.

If your dog has a habit of using its nose or paw to knock the bowl over, it won’t be able to. I wrote a whole article on the best spill-proof dog bowls.

3. Get a Large Pet Water Bottle

Water feeder bottle for dog

You may have seen water bottles for rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. But you can also use water bottles for large and small dogs. Water bottles are easy to hook up to a crate, and your dog can’t splash around in a water bottle.

If you decide to train your dog to use the water bottle, keep a water bowl until they learn to use it. It may take a while for them to learn. Keep in mind you may need two water bottles if you have a large dog.

4. Keep the Bowl Clean

Many dogs are very food-motivated. If your dog’s water bowl has bits of kibble at the bottom, your dog may knock the bowl over to get to the food. Keep your dog’s water bowl clean so food isn’t a temptation.

Your dog may also be turning the water bowl over simply because it’s dirty. Dirty dog bowls grow bacteria pretty quickly, which isn’t healthy for your dog.

Wash your dog’s bowl with mild soap and water every day. Keep the water in their bowl clean so they always have access to clean water.

5. Don’t React

Your dog may be knocking their bowl over because they like getting a reaction out of you. Your playful puppy might think spilling the water in their bowl is just a game.

Anything you do to stop them can be taken as encouragement. Don’t record a video on your phone, yank the bowl away, or talk to your dog while they’re misbehaving.

Walk away for a moment before you clean up the mess. Don’t react and confuse them. Whenever your dog doesn’t spill the water bowl, give them a treat. Encourage good behavior.

6. Use a Heavy Bowl

If your dog enjoys tipping the bowl, a new heavy bowl should take care of the problem. You can find a bowl that’s too heavy for your dog to tip over with their nose or paw. This should ensure there’s also no accidental tripping over the bowl.

7. Use a Doggie Feeding Tray

A doggie feeding tray prevents any spills from getting to your floors. If cleanup is necessary, it’s only within the confines of the bowl. These are best if your dog is slobbery or a messy drinker.

Doggie feeding trays go by many names. They’re sometimes called pet trays, pet mats, or dinner mats. You can also find dog bowls that come with trays.

8. Elevate the Bowl

Elevated stand for dog bowls

Like a heavy bowl, elevated stands make it difficult for your dog to knock the bowl over. You can find an elevated stand at the pet store or make one at home.

The stands come with holes designed for dog food and water bowls, and you can place the bowls inside it to prevent tipping.

You’ll need to get the right-sized stand for your pet since large dogs can still knock small stands over. Larger dogs need a heavier stand so it won’t fall if they press up against it.

Some larger breeds are also at risk for bloating while drinking from elevated stands. Talk to your veterinarian to determine if this is a safe option for your dog.

9. Fill with Less Water

A full water bowl provides just enough momentum for your dog to turn the water bowl over. If you find your dog still manages to flip the bowl over, try filling the bowl up only halfway.

The only downside is that your dog will drink through the water quicker. Since dogs always need access to water, you’ll need to refill it when it’s empty.

You can also use a self-filling water bowl to ensure your dog always has a small amount of clean water. These water bowls use gravity to fill your dog’s bowl to the appropriate level. Since the water refills itself, you can go longer between refills.

10. Keep Your Dog Cool

Your dog may not be knocking over the water bowl to misbehave. If your dog is overheated, they might dip their paws in the water or lay in the water to cool down.

Your dog may be trying to absorb some of the coolness from the water if they’re knocking over their water bowl.

To prevent this, make sure your dog isn’t too hot. Give them a nice shaded spot in the backyard.

Get a kiddie pool for your dog to play in so they aren’t tempted by the water bowl. You may also consider a cooling bed to keep them cool when it’s hot.


Well, I hope I have given you some things to try to stop your dog from spilling their water bowl.

Some recommendations may work better than others depending on the reason why your dog is spilling their water below.

Please leave me your comments below and let me know what works for you.

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