How Can I Help My Dog Overcome Fear of a New Water Dispenser?

Hey everyone,

I recently got a 1.5 gallon water dispenser for my pets because keeping up with water bowls for my two dogs and two cats was getting really tough. Everyone else has adjusted to it except my little MJ, who seems to be frightened by it. Since Saturday, she hasn’t been drinking much water from it, she’s been eating a lot of snow whenever she goes outside. A few times, we’ve given in and put a regular water bowl out for her. Any tips on how I can help her get used to drinking from this new dispenser?

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First, avoid limiting MJ’s access to water. She’s just feeling uneasy and needs time to adjust to the new water dispenser. The goal is to help her see it as a place to quench her thirst rather than something intimidating. Initially, you can place her familiar water bowl next to the new dispenser. If she avoids drinking from the familiar bowl because it’s near the new “scary” one, position it farther away where she feels comfortable drinking, and then gradually move it closer to the new dispenser over time. Take it slow—moving it a few inches at a time should help her acclimate gradually.

Another approach is to associate positive experiences with the new water dispenser. You can offer MJ treats near the dispenser to show her it’s a safe and friendly spot. If she’s food motivated, try soaking a bit of her kibble in the water from the new dispenser to pique her interest and help her make positive associations. Best of luck!