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Dogs Drinking While Driving

20140820_182845-300x168My dogs and I travel a lot and they spend hours in the car, making it their own den away from home.  You may also be one of the many people who loves to have their dogs with them as much as possible, and of course, most dogs love being in the car.

Unfortunately,  a lot of dogs don’t get to drink water while they’re in the car, even as their owners are sipping a caramel machiatto or sweet iced tea.  But remember, everyone needs to hydrate.  Your dogs don’t sweat the same way as humans; they cool their bodies mainly by panting, which dries out their mouths, just as it does ours (though we look pretty funny panting), causing dogs to need hydration even more than we do.
Your dogs should have an accessible source of water at all times, even in the car. If you don’t want to keep an open bowl sloshing around in your backseat, then find a plastic cup that fits in your car’s back seat cup holder and fill it 2/3 full with fresh water every time your dog gets in your car.  Use a smaller cup for a small dog (16 oz), a larger cup (32 or 44 oz) for a large dog.

You can help yourself remember to fill your dog’s water cup  if you fill it every time you bring your own drink into the car.  To teach her to drink from the cup, show it to her every time you take a drink from your own cup and say, “drink.”  She’ll get the idea pretty quickly that the water is okay for her to drink.  If you suddenly find yourself with a dog who wants to drink your uncovered coffee, simply redirect her to her water and keep your coffee inaccessible for a while.  She will learn the difference.


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  1. Love this post! Great info! Taking my dogs in the car always leads to spill drinks and one all out calamity!!

  2. I never thought about this for just running errands during the day. Should I do this even on short trips? The cup in the holder is a good idea.

    1. Ideally, dogs should have access to clean drinking water all the time. Short trips sometimes turn into all-afternoon events for me sometimes, so I like to keep a sealed container of drinking water stored in the car, just in case. Generally, though, if you’re thinking of bringing your own drink, or you get thirsty while you’re out, chances are your dog will want/need a drink too.

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