If you just got your first puppy, then you’re probably trying to learn everything you need to know. Some things you’re learning seem logical and obvious. While others like ‘how much water should a puppy drink in a day’, are things that never crossed your mind. Puppies don’t know how much water they need. Should puppies always have access to fresh water?
The simple answer is – no. You need to take care of what and how much your puppy eats and drinks to maintain his health and well-being. Keep reading for everything you need to know about water intake for puppies or if you should leave water out for your puppy all day.
A General Guideline of Hydration and Water Intake
It’s good to follow a general guideline loosely. It all depends on your dog’s specific breed, size, diet, daily activity level, and so on. A good guideline is that your dog should drink between 0.5 ( and one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. This applies to a healthy dog with no specific health problems.
If you have a 65-pound Labrador Retriever (see these lab toys), you can let your puppy drink around 33 to 65 ounces of water daily.
Puppy Water Schedule
Here is an example of a rough water schedule you can follow. Remember, it does differ depending on your pup’s size, breed, age and more. Take this schedule with a pinch of salt and adjust it for your dog.
7am: It’s time to let pup out to do a wee! Immediately after, give it its breakfast (food) and water.
8am: Take pup outside again.
9am: Give your pup some water. We recommend taking them outside immediately.
10:30am: Time for some water again!
12:30pm: Let pup out to do its business.
1:30pm: Feed pup and give it some water before letting it out.
3pm: Time to go out to relieve itself. Give pup some water again!
5pm: Take pup out to relieve itself before offering some dinner and water. Take it outside about half an hour after this again.
6pm: Give your pup some water just before bedtime.
8:30pm: Spend some time just chilling and getting ready for bed. Make sure your puppy is relaxed.
9:30pm: Let pup out to do its business.
10:30pm: A final potty break before bedtime. If your pup is younger than 3 months old, prepare yourself to have to take it out to relieve itself through the night as it can’t hold it in as well yet.
Puppy Dehydration: How to tell if your puppy is dehydrated? (Vomiting and Diarrhea Common Causes)
Check the skin elasticity over your puppies shoulders
Check your puppies capillary refill time
You can do this by gently pressing your finger onto the puppy’s gums. This way, you will block the puppy’s blood flow. Once you release your finger, the area of the gums you pressed should turn from white back to pink within 2 seconds.
But if turning back to a healthy pink color takes 4-5 seconds, your puppy might be dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include tacky gums or dry gums. So if your pet is not having any of these symptoms, it means your puppy is drinking enough water.
Drinking Too Much Water is Also Not Good
Just like drinking too little water, drinking a lot of water every day can lead to health problems. It’s usually during the hot months of summer that puppies would be drinking too much water. Especially after an extremely active hang-out or a long walk in the park.
Some causes for excessive drinking can be a change in food or a change in atmosphere. Sometimes, it can be even bigger underlying problem.
If your puppy is drinking eight ounce water bowl four times a day, you might need to check if it’s overhydration or water intoxication and visit your veterinarian. If your puppy is an over-drinker, and the visit to the vet concluded that it is not a sign of some health issue, you can try to limit your pet’s fluid intake by:
- Letting your pup lick bottles, like the ones used for horses. This way, you can limit your puppy’s fluid intake.
- Don’t fill up your puppy’s drinking bowl with water. Instead, ration it during the day by dividing it into several refills instead of one big one.
- For nighttime, try a rabbit water feeder that you will place on your puppy’s bed.
- Drop a few ice cubes into your puppy’s bowl of water before filling it up with the exact amount of water. Licking and chewing the ice will help your puppy cool down after an activity and result in him drinking less water.
How Much Water Should a Puppy Drink in a Day?
The most basic rule of thumb is that on days with low activity, your puppy should drink 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. For young puppies, water is an essential part of growth.
This means if your puppy weighs 9 pounds, it should take 9 ounces to drink enough water. But keep in mind that on active and hot days, a healthy puppy might need double the normal amount of water.
How much water a dog should drink daily depends on several factors:
- The size of the dog – As we discussed, normally, a pup may drink an ounce of water per pound of body weight
- The food the dog eats – Dogs that eat only dry food will need more water than those that eat canned food.
- The dog’s age: Puppies need time to learn how much water they need to drink, especially around 3 to 4 weeks of age, so you have to monitor them. Half a cup of water consumption every two hours is good.
- Exercise and weather: After being active or during hot summer days, your dog will need to drink more fluid. Those days, try the trick with putting ice cubes in their bowl of water.
- Medications: If your vet out your dog on some new medications, don’t forget to ask them if it will make your dog drink more fluid or less than usual.