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Why Your Labrador Is Such A Messy Drinker!

With the labrador retriever being the most popular dog breed in the USA, it is easy to see why we see so many different questions about keeping a pet labrador.

One question that we are seeing people asking more and more is why their labrador is such a messy drinker and although this may sound like a strange question, labs do tend to spill a large amount of their water when drinking so we wanted to publish this article going over the topic.

Labradors tend to be messy drinkers in general but the fact that they like to play games with their water bowl that usually results in them spilling their water just makes things worse.

On top of that, some labs will drink in a way that can let a large amount of water slip out of the side of their mouth resulting in water being spilled all over the floor.

As you can probably imagine, this can present a slip hazard on many common surfaces used to coat the floors of our homes.

We have even seen some people say that they have accidentally slipped on the spilled water from their labrador drinking bowl and actually fell on the floor.

Just keep in mind that dogs don’t see a problem with their water spilling over the floor but with correct and consistent training, you are able to teach your labrador to drink without spilling water.

Why Your Labrador Is Such A Messy Drinker!

All dogs tend to be messy drinkers but Labradors and other retrievers can be particularly messy when drinking with it being common for some of their water to end up on your floor.

The games that some labradors tend to play with their water bowl ranging from blowing bubbles with their nose in their water to outright flipping their water bowl can make even more mess.

It is surprising how much of a difference that a cheap silicone water bowl mat can actually make to how much of a mess your labrador will be able to make with its water.

The mat will essentially catch any spilled water be the spillage due to your lab playing with its drinking water, trying to flip its water bowl or if your lab is just generally a messy drinker.

Keeping multiple labradors or just your labrador with other dog breeds then having multiple dogs drinking from the same water bowl at the same time can make the mess even worse.

We have seen some people share photographs on social media of their labrador drinking from a full water bowl and the dogs being so messy that more water ends up on the floor than in the dog’s water bowl or stomach when they are done drinking.

How To Stop Your Labrador Being Such A Messy Drinker!

The two main ways to stop your labrador being such a messy drinker is via consistent training not to play with their drinking water and to pick up a cheap silicone water bowl mat to put around your labrador drinking bowl.

Implementing either strategy can work well but implementing both can result in a rapid decrease in the mess left over after your labrador drinks its water.

Although we are big believers in being able to teach an old dog new tricks, it can be difficult to discourage messy drinking in an older labrador due to the habits of drinking in a messy way being so set in.

Still, if you have a young labrador or have the time and patients to train an older labrador then consistent training may be able to prevent your labrador from being such a messy drinker.

In our opinion though, the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to minimize the mess leftover from your labrador drinking is to just pick up a cheap silicone water bowl mat to put around your labrador water bowl.

It will usually catch the vast majority of the water that your labrador will spill and save you on a ton of clean up considering their low price tags.

There are also a number of specialist dog water bowls on the market designed to help reduce the mess left over when your dog drinks but they do tend to be overpriced.

Is It Normal For Labradors To Be Messy Drinkers?

It is normal for labradors and most other dog breeds to be messy drinkers and it is usually not an indication of any health issue or problem in your dog.

In most situations, you are able to minimize the amount of mess that your dog creates when drinking without issue but some people simply choose to change where they keep their dog’s water bowl to reduce the slip hazards.

If you have an older labrador that may be having problems with its jaw then it will be even messier than a younger, healthier lab but this can be a common problem with older dogs.

As we touched on earlier in the article, a cheap silicone water bowl mat is probably going to be the best option for the majority of our readers due to it being cheap, easy to use, and doing a great job of preventing the mess that your labrador is able to make when drinking.

If your labrador does have problems with its jaw due to an injury or old age then you really can’t do much when it comes to training your labrador not to create mess when drinking.

This is due to the messy drinking often being due to health problems rather than bad habits or your labrador playing with its water bowl pushing the silicone water bowl mat to the top of the available solutions.


That brings our article going over why your labrador is a messy drinker and how to fix the issue to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods people use to reduce the mess of their labdradors when drinking. Although training can be an option, the majority of people will be much better off with a silicone mat due to how much quicker and easier it is.