Some puppies and dogs see their water bowl as a toy – a container full of water to dig in and splash around. Of course, all this fun includes tipping over the water bowl because who wants to drink water when you can play with it?
There are many ways to stop your dog from tipping over the water bowl, such as putting a heavy stone in the bowl, getting a heavy bowl, using a raised dish, or giving your dog a water bottle instead.
These are only some of the ways to stop your dog from tipping over the water bowl, and there are many things you can try to fix this. Trying different bowls, addressing the cause of the behavior, and a few nifty little tricks could resolve this problem altogether.
Let’s look at 18 ways to stop your dog from tipping over the water bowl…
Fix the water bowl you already have:
1. Put a silicone mat under the bowl
Try putting a silicone mat under your dog’s water bowl, to keep the water bowl in place.
There are some great non-slip, water-proof floor mats for pets that are designed to keep bowls in place, make cleaning up easier, and to stop water and food from getting on your floors.
Here’s a pet silicone mat from Amazon that’s dishwasher-safe and textured, for added grip – plus it comes in many colors.
2. Weigh down the water bowl
You could try putting a rock in your dog’s water bowl, to weigh it down and make it more difficult to move the water bowl.
Remember that the rock takes up space, so you may need a bigger water bowl or to fill it more often.
Another option is a product called Dog Rocks (Amazon link), which weigh down the bowl and break down nitrates in your dog’s drinking water at the same time. If your dog has less nitrates in his/her urine, your dog’s urine won’t damage or yellow the grass.
3. Place Velcro under the bowl
Many dog owners have had luck with putting Velcro under their dog’s water bowl. These VELCRO strips from Amazon are affordable, can be used indoors or outdoors, and can hold up to 15lbs so they’re pretty strong.
Stick one side of the strip under the water bowl and the other side of the strip on the floor. To keep the water bowl in place, simply put the water bowl strip on the floor strip so they stick together. You will be able to pull the bowl off when you need to wash or refill it.
4. Put the bowl in another bowl
Try putting your dog’s water bowl in another bigger bowl. Be sure to keep both bowls clean and mold-free by following the 3 simple steps in this article.
Putting a bowl inside another bowl makes it much harder for your dog to pick up or tip over the water bowl.
Change your dog’s bowl to stop water bowl tipping:
Sometimes it’s better to change your dog’s water bowl altogether, at least until they grow out of or break the habit of tipping over the water bowl.
Here are some water bowls that are harder or even impossible to tip over:
5. Try a heavy water bowl
If you don’t want to use a rock in your dog’s water bowl for weight, you could get a very heavy water bowl that your dog won’t easily flip over.
These are more expensive than plastic and stainless steel bowls and will be heavier for you to pick up for cleaning, but they should solve the problem of tipping.
There are 3 heavy water bowl options:
- A ceramic bowl, like this heavyweight dish from Amazon, or use a cookie crock
- A stoneware bowl that’s heavy and splash proof, like this one from Amazon or a cheaper option like this one
- A concrete bowl (I couldn’t find a suitable one on Amazon – don’t buy a planter because it will have holes in the bottom to let water out for plants)
Your dog, even a big guy/gal, will struggle to pick up or tip over such a heavy water bowl.
Just be sure to put a towel or silicone mat under the bowl to catch any water spills around the bowl.
6. Try a non-slip water bowl
These bowls have a rubber or silicone layer underneath or around the bottom edge that sits on the floor.
If your dog likes to move and push the water bowl around when drinking, then the rubber will stop the bowl from moving. But this bowl won’t help if your dog likes picking up the water bowl (rather try the Velcro strips in point 3).
You could always get a non-slip water bowl and put it on a silicone mat for added ‘stickiness’ (see point 1).
7. Try a raised water bowl
A raised water bowl is a bowl that sits in a stand to make it higher off the floor.
Take note that raised bowls increase the risk of bloat, especially if your dog drinks too much too quickly before or after a walk, so only raise the water bowl or use a slow feeder bowl for food.
These bowls can make it easier for your dog to drink water because of the height in relation to the dog’s head. These bowls can also stop some dogs from tipping over their water bowl because it’s more difficult and the water isn’t on the floor, so it takes some of the ‘fun’ away from the game.
If you do get a raised water bowl for dogs that tip, dog owners recommend that you get a stand that’s solid. A stand with four little legs might not be sturdy enough for a dog that plays with the water bowl.
And here’s another raised water bowl that’s weighted and adjustable, so you can change it as your dog grows up.
8. Try a water bottle
Another option is to give your dog a water bottle and just use a water bowl at feeding times or when you’re home, so you can keep an eye on things.
Fill a large water bottle like this one (Amazon link) with water, and hang it somewhere your dog can easily reach. You could leave several bottles around the house and in the yard. Be sure to show your dog where the water bottles are and how to use them.
9. Try a no-tip bowl
You can try a no-tip water bowl. These bowls limit the amount of water your dog can access with any one lick, so there’s less reason to dig and play and flip the water in the water bowl.
I found 2 popular no-tip bowl options on Amazon, and they really aren’t that expensive (less than $20 each):
- Dog Water Bowl: No Spill, Slow Water Feeder, Non-slip
- Lotus Dog Water Bowl With Floating Disk, Anti-overturn
One thing to be aware of with these ‘fancy’ dog bowls is that they take more work to clean. There are several parts that need to be taken apart, cleaned, and put back together. So only get a bowl like this if you have the time and patience to do that 😊
10. Try a bowl with a wider base
A bowl with a base that’s wider than the top will be harder for your dog to flip over. This is because a wider base lets it stand ‘stronger’ on the ground.
There are many of these kinds of bowls available and most of them are very affordable.
You can get plastic or stainless steel bowls, and many of them have silicone or rubber around the base so they don’t move around on the floor.
11. Try a slow feed bowl
Slow feed bowls have a block/piece in the middle of the bowl, so your dog can’t gulp down their food. But this could help stop your dog from tipping over the water bowl.
The slow feed piece in the bowl will stop your dog from gulping down the water and getting too excited, which is one of the reasons why dogs play with their water bowls.
The piece in the bowl may also make it more difficult for your dog to pick up the water bowl in his/her mouth.
Here’s a slow feed bowl that’s affordable, has a wide base, and has a rubber ring base to prevent tipping (Amazon link).
12. Try a pail
Some dog owners have had success with a pail that has one flat side, like this one (Amazon link).
You’ll need to secure the pail to something, like a gate or a crate, and the sturdier you can make it the better.
The depth and height of a pail makes it harder for a dog to knock it over, and the fact that they have to stick a nose deep in to get water makes them less likely to spill water everywhere.
More tips to help stop your dog tipping over the water bowl
Most of the time, tipping over the water bowl is just a phase that your dog will grow out of (even though it can be frustrating for you and messy on your floors).
The good news is that there are some things you can do to help your dog change or minimize this behavior, or to help you cope while the bowl tipping is a thing.
Don’t ever punish your dog for tipping over the water bowl – your dog won’t know why he/she is being punished and could become scared to use the water bowl. We definitely don’t want that.
Let’s take a look at some positive things you can do to help your dog…
13. Move the bowl to a quieter area
Try moving the water bowl to a quieter part of your home.
Busy and loud areas can lead to more water bowl tipping, especially if you have a goofy or boisterous dog.
It can go something like this: Your dog is happily drinking water, your kids start playing and running around, the dog gets very excited and joins in the fun by playing with the water bowl… Water everywhere!
14. Put the bowl where you don’t mind the mess
Life may be a lot easier and calmer if you can accept that this is a phase you and your dog are going through, so you need to work together.
Some dog owners simply put their dog’s water bowl in the bath or walk-in shower. If their puppy or dog tips over the water bowl, there’s no issue about the ‘mess’.
Always make sure that your dog has access to water, even if he/she knocks over one of the water bowls.
15. Give clean water daily
Be sure to give your dog fresh water in a clean water bowl every day.
Some dogs tip the water out of their bowl if the water isn’t fresh. Your best bud is asking you in his/her way to refill the bowl with clean water.
16. Keep your dog cool enough
If your dog is getting too hot, he/she may try to use the water in the bowl to cool down.
Make sure your dog is cool enough in the house. Keep the aircon at a good temperature and provide a cooling mat for your dog to lie on. Click here to get all my tips and tricks on how to keep the water in your dogs water bowl.
17. Give your dog a place to play with water
Some dogs just wanna splash around. They’re the water babies of the doggy world.
If you’re lucky enough to have one of these water babies, and he/she tries to swim in the water bowl, then you might want to give them another water source to play.
My water baby swims in his kiddie pool every chance he gets, no matter the time of day or the weather.
Having a kiddie pool or tub to play in may stop your dog from tipping over and playing with the water bowl.
Don’t give your dog free access to a swimming pool because this can be dangerous. If your dog does use the pool, there are ramps that you can put in your pool that your dog can use to climb out of the water if needed.
One of these ramps is this FrogLog Escape Ramp from Amazon.
18. Give your dog toys to play with
Some dogs tip their water bowl and play with their drinking water because they’re bored or want attention (even if it isn’t the good kind of attention).
Make sure your dog has things to keep him/her busy. You can give your dog a Kong or a puzzle toy to play with. Try different toys to see which ones your dog likes best.
To teach your dog not to tip over the water bowl, wait until things are calm and quiet at home. Put the bowl down for your dog and let him/her drink water. If your dog starts trying to tip the bowl, quietly take the bowl away and wait for a few minutes. Then start again with putting the bowl in front of your dog.
Your dog will soon learn that tipping the bowl means the bowl is taken away.