Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Our Drinking Problem

Now that we have two dogs, I found it was impossible to keep the water bowl full. Every time I turned around it was empty and there, beside it, stood two thirsty animals gazing up at me with puppy dog eyes. Enter what should have been the perfect solution: a dog bubbler

It holds three gallons of water and refills the drinking area automatically though the amazing power of gravity, and at only $20 off the shelf at PetSense, seemed like a steal. (As you can see in the photo, we have elevated the bubbler. I read once that it's better for big dogs when they don't have to bend down to eat and drink.)

Seamus has always had a bit of a drinking problem and years ago we got him a bubbler. We didn't realize that the gurgling sound it makes while a dog is drinking from it would scare Seamus and it took us three days to realize he hadn't touched it once. We ended up returning the bubbler and going back to the water bowl, much to Seamus' relief. This time, though, I convinced myself that things would be different. Seamus is older and braver, and Calvin isn't afraid of anything (a blessing and a curse).

We brought the bubbler home. We set the bubbler up. After some coaxing Calvin drank from it, got scared of the gurgling, then overcame his fear and drank some more. It took about three tries for him to adapt and now he drinks out of it like a champ. Good dog!

Seamus, on the other hand, is still terrified. He will stand as far away from it as possible, sipping gingerly with the very tip of his tongue, until it gurgles. Then he's out of the kitchen and on the couch, snorting in indignation. If I stand next to the bubble and put my fingers in the water, he'll drink for a few second longer. I guess this is progress. Kind of. 

We're going to give it a few more days and see if he can get on board with the bubbler. If not, then I guess we'll have to just get a big bucket and fill it with water. Not as cute or classy as the bubbler, but the important thing is making sure Seamus is hydrated. If that means I have to put a bucket in my kitchen, then so be it.

Does your pet have any weird quirks or preferences? Any advice on how to make a scared dog more brave? I thought seeing Calvin safely drink from the bubbler would ease Seamus' fears, but it hasn't made much of a difference.