I heard that. You just said ‘ew’, because you think taking a drink after your dog is gross.
It’s not ‘ew’, okay?
Some of the best flavors I’ve ever tasted just so happened to come from my human’s cup. She doesn’t always know when I sneak a lap. Hopefully she won’t read this one.
So, let’s get straight to the point.
Can You Drink After Your Dog or Not?
As a general rule, it is safe for you to drink after your dog. The average human mouth has over 700 different types of bacteria living in it, while the average dog only has 140 different types of bacteria in their mouths. I think the better question here is, ‘can my dog drink after me?’
Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.
What’s the Worst That Could Happen From Drinking After Your Dog?
Mastoidous lip fungus, comprehensive throat lymphatitis, tongue eating algea, and mandibular dermatitus.
I made all of those up.
There’s only a handful of bacterial or viral zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted from a dog to a human.
According to the Journal of Medicine and Life, “Viral infections such as rabies and norovirus and bacterial infections including Pasteurella, Salmonella, Brucella, Yersinia enterocolitica, Campylobacter, Capnocytophaga, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Coxiella burnetii, Leptospira, Staphylococcus intermedius and Methicillin resistance staphylococcus aureus are the most common viral and bacterial zoonotic infections transmitted to humans by dogs.”
I’m sure after reading that list you’re thinking, but can I get any of these from sharing a drink of water with my dog?
Short answer – not really.
Most of these bacterial and viral infections are transmitted from dog to human by way of dog bite. The one disease mentioned above that could potentially spread via the swapping of bodily fluids including saliva and water is Leptospira, with an incubation period of up to 10 days.
The silver lining here? Your dog will be showing signs and symptoms of Leptospira which gives you a chance to take proper precautions and get them to the vet for an antibiotic.
Symptoms of Leptospira in your dog include:
- No Appetite
- Musculoskeletal Stiffness
Rule of thumb: When your dog is sick – refrain from sharing food or drinks.
What If Your Dog Takes a Sip Out of Your Water Bottle?
Sharing water with your dog is normal – assuming your dog is completely healthy.
Scientific data aside, how many times have you been hiking and bore witness to a dog sucking down half of a liter of water directly from their human’s bottle?
Show of hands?
Both my paws are up.
This is a regular occurrence for me. I quite literally see this on a daily basis.
Or how many of you feed your dog directly from your spoon or fork? Same concept right?
Let’s break this down a bit further and get a little personal for some folks out there.
I’ve seen some pretty gross looking kids with boogers in their nose and dirt on their lips come up and grab their mom’s cup and go to pound town on that drink, only to leave particles of half chewed animal crackers floating in the bottom when they’re done.
Now that warrants an ‘ew’ in my book!
I literally NEVER leave food particles in my mom’s glass when I get a sip.
Then if we take the reference from above into consideration, having your little booger filled toddler chug from your cup is actually nastier, “bacteria-erly” speaking, that is.
I’m a dog. I’m allowed to make up words like ‘bacteria-erly’.
Also, did you know that your dog’s saliva contains a healthy amount of lysozyme, a tissue enzyme known to attack infectious bacteria cells? Read more about that, if you feel inclined, right here.
But Will You Die If You Drink After Your Dog?
Have you ever read an article or heard tell of a news headline declaring, “Human Died After Sharing Bottle of Water with Dog”???
I haven’t been reading long, but I’ve never heard such. Now I will admit, I have heard of stories where humans have gotten extremely sick and even dying after being licked by their dog.
Advantageous Disclaimer: This is VERY VERY VERY VERY EXTREMELY rare. A minuscule amount of people out of the current 7 billion have the genetic predisposition to react negatively or have any type of adverse reaction to dogs saliva.
As a matter of fact, I think there has been two cases in total as I am writing this post.
Out of seven billion.
The odds are definitely in your favor.
Sip Back, Relax and Pass Your Dog Your Water Glass
In conclusion, share your water with your dog, they don’t have cooties. And if they do, they’ll most likely be showing signs and symptoms.
Your water tastes good to your dog and they see this as a sign of admiration and affection.
When you share your things freely with us, it increases our natural bond and mutual trust. Things just get better all the way around. You’re not only sharing your water, you’re sharing your love.
Your dog doesn’t understand why you would freak out if you happen to find them nose deep in a fresh glass of ice water.
We would one hundred percent share ours with you. Seriously. Anytime you humans feel like getting down here and lapping some fresh aqua out of our bowls, have at it!
Pro Tip for Your Next Hiking Trip:
If you happen to be a germ freak, and you find yourself in the woods with only one water bottle, cup your hands together to make your dog a little hand bowl and pour a splash of water in there.
This is equally fun for us too.
If any of you completely disagree with me, I’d be happy to read up on your peer reviewed articles detailing mass exoduses occurring from drinking after your pup.
Until you can provide that literature for me, then I will continue stealing gulps from my human’s glass.
And as always, continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often.
Love you guys,
P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.
What Do I Do If My Dog Drinks Alcohol?
Your dog has a response to alcohol much like humans do. As a matter of fact, it is very easy to make a dog an alcoholic so do your best to keep alcohol of any kind away from your dog.
However, if your dog does end up drinking alcohol just be sure to monitor them. If they begin to act strange or get sick, contact the pet poison hotline or your vet immediately.
From here you will know whether or not a treatment is needed for your dog post alcohol consumption.
How Long is it Okay for a Dog Not to Drink Any Water?
Technically speaking, a dog can survive without water for 2-3 days.
Note that this is specifically in the case of survival and should not be a regular occurrence at your house when they have a fresh bowl of water at their disposal at all times.
If you notice your dog has stopped drinking water this may be a cause for pause. Oftentimes, when a dog changes normal eating, consumption, or typical habitual behavior this is because they aren’t feeling well.
Contact your vet immediately if your dog has stopped drinking water and you can’t get them to drink any after you’ve noticed.
This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.