Question: How much water should a puppy drink?
Generally speaking, a puppy will need about half a cup of water every two hours.
Bringing your puppy home can be an exciting yet anxious experience for both parent and pup, there are limitless do’s and don’ts online and it can be exhausting wading through article after article trying to find the ‘right’ answer.
But you can end your search right here. We cut the jargon and only give you concrete facts.
Let’s jump right in.
Why is Water so Important for Puppies?
Like humans, dogs need water to stay hydrated. Water is vital because:
- It transfers nutrients in and out of your body’s cells;
- helps with digestion and absorption; and,
- maintains body temperature.
And it works just the same for our pooches. Without proper hydration, your pup’s vital organs such as the kidney and liver can become compromised which can lead to serious damage and long-term illness. As a pet owner, it is up to you to ensure your puppy consumes the right amount of water daily and remains happy and healthy.
Why is Your Puppy Always Thirsty?
Many conditions can lead to a thirsty puppy and it’s hard to pinpoint it down to one exact reason. Excessive thirst or dehydration could mean they just haven’t consumed enough water for the day or could allude to something more problematic, including:
- Cushing’s disease
- Kidney and liver disease
- A low-protein diet
- Certain medications
Of course, this is a long (and scary) list but before you make a rash diagnosis ensure you continue to monitor your pooch for any other symptoms and if necessary, take a trip to your local vet for their expert opinion.
Overhydration in Puppies
Most pet owners are aware of dehydration, but have you heard of overhydration?
Overhydration can be just as dangerous. A body that is overwhelmed with water may experience swelling on the brain which can lead to breathing difficulties, seizures, or, in the most serious cases, slip into a coma. Symptoms to look out for include, lethargy, bloating, vomiting, drooling, pale gums, and glazed eyes.
In mild cases, your pup may return to normal over time. However, in more serious cases, the damage caused to the brain can become so severe that they will need to be euthanized. So if you think your puppy has had too much water, take them to your local vet clinic or emergency vet clinic immediately.
How to Prevent Dehydration
There are some easy and simple ways to ensure your dog has enough water throughout the day, including:
- Plenty of clean, fresh accessible water.
- Check the bowl every few hours or so, especially in the warmer months.
- Clean your dog’s bowl regularly to avoid bacterial growth.
- Bring water when out and about – don’t assume water will be available.
- Avoid exercising your pooch in extreme weather.
- Never leave your dog in the car alone.
Tips on How to Monitor Water Intake
Monitoring your puppy’s water intake is important and should be part of a pet owner’s routine daily ‘Pup Care’. Here are some tips to get you started:
- In the morning measure how much water you add to your pup’s bowl.
- Once they empty it, refill it and measure how much water you added.
- Repeat this all day.
- At the end of the day, measure how much water remains in the bowl and take note.
- Continue over the course of a week and obtain a rough estimate of how much water they are drinking.
- Make adjustments where necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
People who ask ‘How much water should a puppy drink?’ also ask;
How do I hydrate my puppy at home?
Ensure his or her water bowl is clean before filling it up with cold, fresh water. Place his water bowl near his food bowl, bed, or an area of the home he frequents regularly. When you notice him take a sip of water, remember to praise him with a treat.
Do dogs drink less water on wet food?
Yes, sometimes. If you feed your pooch canned wet food or a homemade diet, remember these contain about 65-85 percent water. If you notice your dog not drinking as much water, it is more than likely due to them getting enough moisture through their food.
Can you give a puppy too much water?
Yes. As the saying goes: there can be too much of a good thing. It works the same for our pups. Although most owners are aware of dehydration, they fail to realise overhydration can be just as dangerous. A body that is overwhelmed with water may experience, in the most extreme cases, swelling on the brain which can lead to breathing difficulties, seizures, or they may slip into a coma.
Should I leave water out for my puppy all day?
Yes. At some point or another, there comes a time where we have to leave our puppies and ensuring they have enough water is vital so they can remain hydrated. If your puppy is left inside during the day, they will still require water, however, you should expect an accident or two depending on how long you are out.
How can I tell if my puppy is dehydrated?
Our pups are particularly susceptible to dehydration and it’s important to know what to watch out for. The most obvious being, dry gums, nose and tongue. Another way to check is by grasping your pup’s skin over their neck and shoulders and gently lifting the skin. If hydrated, the skin should bounce back easily like a rubber band. If not, you may have a dehydrated puppy on your hands.
What can dogs drink besides water?
It’s best not to allow your dog to drink anything other than water. Unless, of course, they are a puppy and drink their mother’s milk or a formulated milk. However, bone-based broths are generally a safe addition to your dog’s diet if you feel they need a change.
Can you put water in dry dog food?
Yes. If your pooch is growing tired of hard kibble, adding water can help moisten his food which will be easier to chew and may create a more enjoyable eating experience, especially if they have had dental issues in the past. Just remember not to let the moistened food sit out for more than an hour.