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We all get thirsty especially when we’re out running around. But how much water should a puppy drink?
We’ll go over the water requirements for your puppy, when to be concerned, as well as many other questions you may have about your puppy and their water habits.
Let’s jump right in with what affects your puppy’s water requirements.
There are many different factors that affect how much water a puppy should drink.
- Age: Depending on how old your puppy is, they may drink more or less water. Puppies tend to need more water than adult dogs.
They use it for growing and controlling their body temperature hence it is very important you don’t allow your puppy to get dehydrated.
- Size and breed: Some dog breeds are used to either warm or cold climates. For example, a husky living in Florida is likely going to drink a lot more water than a husky living in Canada. In the same way, a larger dog is likely to drink more water than a small dog as it has a larger stomach.
- Activity level: A more active puppy or dog is going to need more water, both for hydration and controlling body temperature.
- Weather conditions: On a hot day, your puppy will need more water to regulate their temperature.
But how do you know how much water to give your puppy?
There are always going to be variables on how much a puppy should drink. But most older puppies need ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water per pound they weigh.
For example, a 10lb puppy will need 5-10 ounces of water daily.
You can also use this calculator to know the exact amount of water that your puppy needs to drink daily.
So how much should your puppy drink? Younger puppies need about a cup of water every four hours.
Older puppies depend much more on their size. The other factors start to come into play here too, like age, size, breed, activity level, and heat, all play a part.
It’s important to pay attention to what is normal for your puppy, that way if they are ever drinking less or more, you’ll be able to recognize potential problems.
Your puppy is likely to drink extra at certain times. But what may cause that?
How Much Water Should a Puppy Drink During Exercise
Puppy Hydration Before, During, and After Physical Activities
Exercise and activity are likely to make your puppy thirstier. You should make sure that your puppy is well-hydrated before, during, and after exercising.
Also, make sure that it isn’t super hot outside. If you live in a hot climate, try, and play with your dog during the cooler mornings or evenings, so they don’t dehydrate.
Always have fresh water available for your puppy throughout their exercise or if you are going on a walk and that isn’t possible, bring a travel water bowl and water to fill it. Make sure you offer them water throughout their walk.
Tips to Encourage Water Intake During Exercise
If your puppy isn’t interested in drinking, here are a few tips:
- Splash in their water
- Add an ice cube to promote interest
- Use running water from a hose
- Give them some canned food
- Add beef or chicken broth to their water
- Add water to their dried food
- Make sure the water is fresh
Your puppy should also have access to their water after exercise. Make sure that it isn’t too cold as that may cause your puppy to vomit after intense exercise.
Normally your puppy will drink the right amount of water automatically. But what if they are drinking too much? Is that possible?
Your Puppy can drink too much water, while it’s not very common, it can be a sign of a potential health issue.
Some causes for your puppy to drink excess water:
- Kidney or bladder problems
- Certain medications
If your puppy isn’t on medication but is drinking a lot of water, it may be time to call the vet. Just make sure you rule out the weather and their activity level first.
Next, let’s look at some tips for traveling with puppies to avoid dehydration.
Traveling and Water Intake: Tips for Pet Owners
Hydration During Car Rides and Flights
Traveling with puppies can be stressful, there is already a lot going on. But your puppy’s well-being is obviously a top priority so making sure they stay hydrated is very important.
If you’re traveling by car, it’s easier to stay on top of hydration. Bring a water bowl with you and a gallon jug of water.
Make sure you stop periodically and offer them water. Get your puppy out of the car, let them go potty and stretch their legs, then offer them water.
This can give them time to relax and make them more likely to drink.
Portable Water Containers and Solutions
When you are flying, it can be harder to keep your puppy hydrated, but it is still so important. They make collapsible water bowls that you can bring with you.
Then buy a couple of fancy bottles of airport water and offer your dog a drink every hour or two.
I don’t recommend flying your puppy cargo as it can be really stressful, and they can get dehydrated. But if you have no other choice, look into hamster and rabbit water drip bottles, this is likely your only option.
You’ve tried your hardest to keep your puppy hydrated but you have a feeling that they might be a bit dehydrated – how can you tell?
There are many signs that your puppy may not be hydrated:
- Gums are pale and dry, or blue-tinged
- Eyeballs are sunken
- Their nose and mouth are dry or flaky
- You perform a skin tent test between their shoulder blades. But when you release the skin it takes a while to go back down
- Frequent small amounts of urination
Dehydration is a severe problem; it can be a symptom of a life-threatening condition, or it can become a life-threatening condition.
But how do you know if they aren’t drinking enough?
A great way to monitor your puppy’s water intake is to fill their water bowls with the same amount of water each day.
This is so important because you will easily be able to tell if they are drinking more or less than normal.
Then you can adjust based on whether it is a hot or cold day, whether they have exercised a lot, or whether they are on any medications.
You can either use a normal water bowl or a water dispenser, but you should always make sure that the bowls are clean, and the water is fresh every day.
If your puppy is not drinking enough water, there may be a few reasons why they aren’t.
First, choose the right water bowl for you and your puppy. There are just simple bowls or there are water fountains and water dispensers. Depending on your budget, you have lots of options.
Keeping the water fresh and washing the bowls daily is very important though. Wash bowls with soap and water, and run them through the dishwasher to get rid of any bacteria.
Bacteria can be bad for your puppy, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bleach the bowls occasionally. But make sure the bowl completely air dries before you refill it for your puppy.
If you use a water fountain, make sure you clean and replace the filtration system frequently, this can be another place that harbors bacteria.
What about dinner? Should Puppies eat and drink at the same time?
This can be a personal preference and there are a lot of different options. Some people like to put water on their puppy’s dry food.
Some people like to feed wet food that has water in it already. You can give your puppy water next to their food as well to drink while they eat.
All these different methods of feeding are okay, and it is important to find what works for your puppy. But water is good for your dog when they eat as it can help with a lot of things:
- Preventing bloat
- Breaking down food for easier digestion
- Easier waste removal from the body
Recommended practices depend on your specific puppy and their eating habits. If they are overweight, you could cut their calories but add water to their food bowl.
If they eat too fast, you could add water to their food to slow them down and prevent bloat or potential choking.
If they are a picky eater, wet food may be your best option as it smells appetizing.
What if your puppy is really young and isn’t weaned yet?
You can start introducing a young puppy to water when they are around 3-4 weeks old. When you are starting to introduce foods other than their mama’s milk you can also add water.
This is a gradual process, and it is okay if it doesn’t happen immediately.
Put the food and water outside the puppy’s sleeping area, they will gradually start to explore and find it.
Once a puppy is weaned from their mom, they need about a cup of water every four hours. This can be dependent on their breed.
Should I leave water out for my puppy all day?
Your puppy should have access to water all day and you should be monitoring their intake.
My puppy is not drinking enough water; should I be concerned?
You should be concerned if your puppy isn’t drinking enough, and you should begin implementing strategies to increase their water intake.
Do puppies need water overnight?
If your puppy is well hydrated throughout the day, it should be okay to not have water at night.
Should I limit water intake before bedtime to avoid accidents?
Limit their water intake after their last meal to avoid accidents. You will still need to wake them up and let them out throughout the night for the first months of their life.
Water is essential for your puppy’s health. There are a lot of different factors that affect how much water your puppy needs.
There are also a lot of different ways to make sure your puppy gets the required amount. Make sure you track how much water your puppy is drinking to make sure that they are healthy and hydrated.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.