Why Does My Dog Bark at His Water Bowl?

Has your dog ever done something as strange as bark at their water or food bowl? They can often be curious animals, but equally as confusing, especially when you try to approach them on the subject. All you get back is a cute look! So, does your dog bark at his water bowl? Continue reading our helpful guide as we try to get to the bottom of why they may be doing it.

Reasons why your dog is barking at their water bowl

In truth, there could be a number of reasons why your pup is barking at their dog bowl. It could be a message to you that they don’t like what they’re being fed or there could be a fear factor associated with it. Here’s a list of possible reasons why your dog is barking at their water bowl.

  • Their bowl is scary

  • A reflection

  • Sound

  • Bowl location is scary

Their bowl is scary

This is a common reason for dogs barking at their bowl. For whatever reason, they could be scared of it. It may have spilled on them at some point in the past, they hated it and now the bowl is associated with that one moment. If it persists, try your pup with another bowl to see if their behaviour changes. 

A reflection

Has your dog ever barked at their reflection in the mirror or a window as they passed by? This may be exactly why they’re barking at their water bowl, funnily enough, but this is just a dog’s instincts kicking in. When they bark at the reflection, they just see another dog. When that dog doesn’t respond to their initial barking, your pup will get extremely frustrated.


Dogs are extremely sensitive to noise, which is why they seem to bark at every possible sound that occurs outside - a closing door, another dog barking, children playing! If your pup has a metal water bowl, then it’s possible that the sound from your television or speakers is making the bowl vibrate. Also, their collar could be clanging against the outside of the bowl, making a noise. Obviously, you know what the noise is but your dog might not, which can be frustrating.

Bowl location is scary

The actual position of your dog’s bowl might be scaring them too. Is it near a sliding glass door where they can see their reflection? Or is it out in the hall where they can hear all kinds of noises passing by? Your best bet is to bring it into the living room or kitchen in a quiet, calm place.

Possible health problems

Unfortunately, another reason for your pup woofing at their water bowl could be because of health problems. Just like us, dogs can suffer from dementia and, the longer your dog lives, the more chance they have of experiencing canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD).

Symptoms of CCD include disorientation and barking, which means your pup may be barking at their bowl out of sheer confusion. If you have an older dog at home, here is a list of conditions you should keep an eye out for if you’ve noticed strange behaviour recently.

  • Anxiety

  • Pacing or other repeated behaviours

  • Staring at walls

  • Getting lost

  • Howling and whining

  • Sleep troubles

Another possible reason for barking at their bowl could be their vision. If you notice that your dog’s eyes are cloudy or appear to have a film over them, you should consult your vet. They may be struggling to actually see the water bowl and are confused by the object.

There’s a possibility that your pup has a condition called nuclear sclerosis. This is where fibres cloud their lens. It isn’t painful and it doesn’t result in severe vision loss, but it can affect depth perception. Cataracts are another eye condition to potentially worry about. It occurs when water or protein balances in the lens change, which causes a milky cloudiness. Cataracts can ultimately cause blindness.

Dog bowls and more at Yappy

Stock up for your pup and get them a new water bowl and food bowl from Yappy. We have a range of personalised, colourful options that are paw-fect for your pup!

Set aside a proper place for their food bowls with their very own feeding mats, and keep them on their toes all day long with a selection of delicious dog treats. You can even keep their treats hidden away in a paw-some treat tin!

If you’d like to know more about what Yappy offers, don’t hesitate to contact us on help@yappy.com.

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