Can Dogs Drink Rain Water?

Taking a walk with your furry friend after a rainstorm is one of the best bonding experiences.

The air smells fresher, the grass is greener, and there’s nothing like watching your pup frolic in a rain puddle.

While this may all seem harmless fun, you may wonder what’s contained in that rainwater and if it’s safe for your pup to drink.

So, can dogs drink rain water?

Dogs can drink rainwater safely.

However, be aware of the potential contaminants present in rainwater, such as bacteria, pesticides, and heavy metals.

These contaminants cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and even vomiting in dogs.

Thus, it’s best to stick to your pup’s fresh, clean water sources.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about rainwater and your dog, including the potential risks and benefits of drinking rainwater.

Can Dogs Drink Rain Water

Why Does My Dog Love to Drink Rainwater?

Dogs like the taste of rainwater because it’s pure and has a higher oxygen concentration than regular tap water.

When dogs go outside to drink from puddles, they’re just after a nice, refreshing drink.

The following are possible reasons your dog loves rainwater:

Interesting Taste of Rainwater to Dogs

The rainwater’s interesting taste may have something to do with its high oxygen content.

Dogs have a keen sense of smell, so they can probably tell that rainwater is different from the water in their bowl.

Another possibility is that the rainwater’s unique flavor comes from the things it picks up on its way down.

For example, if you live in an urban area, rainwater may taste different from rural areas.

This is because rainwater in urban areas picks up more pollutants from the air and ground than rainwater in rural areas.

Unavailable Tap Water

The sun is hot, your dog is thirsty, and its water bowl is empty.

If this is the case, your dog may turn to rainwater as an alternative source of hydration.

Thus, provide plenty and freshwater for your dog, especially during hot weather.

Dogs that live in areas with high humidity may also be more likely to drink rainwater.

The air contains more water, making it harder for dogs to get the hydration they need from their food and water.

Natural Curiosity of Dogs

Curiosity is another possible reason your dog is attracted to rainwater.

Dogs are naturally curious creatures; hence it’s not surprising that they want to investigate this new substance.

If you think your dog is drinking rainwater out of curiosity, try offering them a treat or toy as a distraction.

Dislike for Tap Water

Tap water contains fluoride or chlorine, which makes it taste unpleasant.

If your dog doesn’t like the taste of tap water, they may be more likely to drink rainwater.

There are a few things you can do to make tap water more palatable for your dog, such as:

  • Installing a water filter
  • Letting the water sit for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate
  • Adding ice cubes or frozen water to the bowl
  • Using a pet water fountain 
Rain water

Can my Dog Get Sick From (Drinking) Rain Water?

Although your dog is attracted to rainwater, it’s not necessarily the best choice for them.

Below are reasons why you may want to discourage your dog from drinking rainwater:

Risk of Pneumonia

Your dog risks getting pneumonia if they drink water that’s been sitting out in the rain.

This is because the water can pick up bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants from the ground.

Moreover, cold weather weakens your dog’s immune system, making them more susceptible to illness.

If your dog does get sick after drinking rainwater, take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Contaminated Rainwater

Rainwater isn’t as clean as you may think.

It picks up pollutants from the air and ground, which cause infection in dogs.

For instance, rainwater contains harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause gastrointestinal problems.

The following are the additional contaminants found in rainwater:

  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Fertilizers
  • Inorganic compounds: Chlorine and fluoride
  • Oils
  • Heavy metals
  • Microorganisms

My Dog Drank Dirty Rainwater: What to Do?

If your dog drinks dirty rainwater, there are a few things you can do to help them:

  • Give them plenty of freshwater to drink.
  • Take them to the vet as soon as possible.
  • Monitor their stool for changes in color or consistency.
  • Check for signs of dehydration, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, dry nose or gums, panting, and sunken eyes.

If you think your dog has ingested contaminated rainwater, call your vet.

Is It Safe for Dogs to Drink Rain Water?

Rainwater is generally safe for dogs to drink but train your dog not to drink rainwater that has algae.

Your dog stands to gain these benefits from rainwater:

  • Rainwater is an excellent source of hydration for your pup.
  • It’s packed with essential minerals and nutrients that are good for your dog’s health, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sulfur.
  • Rainwater also contains electrolytes, which are beneficial for your dog’s health. Electrolytes help regulate your dog’s body functions, such as muscle function, heartbeat, and fluid balance.
  • Rainwater helps flush out toxins from your dog’s system.

Can Dogs Drink Rain Water FAQs

Can my dogs get worms from drinking rainwater?

Your dog can get worms from drinking rainwater, especially contaminated rainwater.

However, the risk is low if your dog is healthy and updated on their vaccinations.

Is it safe for my puppy to drink rainwater?

Puppies are more susceptible to getting sick than adult dogs, so it’s best to avoid giving them rainwater.

If your puppy must drink rainwater, ensure it’s clean and fresh.

How can I prevent my dog from getting sick from drinking rainwater?

The best way to prevent your dog from getting sick is to ensure they only drink clean, fresh water.

If you’re not sure if the rainwater is clean, bring a sample to your vet for testing.


Although it’s generally safe for dogs to drink rainwater, you can do a few things to help them if they happen to get sick after drinking it.

For instance, ensure your dog always has plenty of freshwater to drink, and take them to the vet as soon as possible if you notice any changes in their behavior or health.

Rainwater is an excellent source of hydration for your pup and can even help flush out toxins from their system.

However, if the rainwater is contaminated, it can cause serious illness in dogs.

When in doubt, bring a sample of the rainwater to your vet for testing.

Megan Turner

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