Here’s How Much Water Your Puppy Should Drink, According To A Vet

Can your dog have too much water? 💧

puppy with a glass of water

Puppies are still growing, so they eat and drink a lot. Plus, your puppy’s probably constantly running around and playing, and all the exercise can make him thirsty.

But how can you know if your puppy’s drinking too much or not enough water?

The Dodo spoke to Dr. Michelle Bourjaily, a managing veterinarian at Small Door Veterinary, to find out how much water your puppy should drink and how to know if he’s drinking too much (or not enough).

JUMP TO: How much should my puppy drink? | How much during potty training? | Puppy dehydration | Can a puppy drink too much water? | Is my puppy drinking too much water?

How much should my puppy drink?

According to Dr. Bourjaily, there’s no exact amount of water that every puppy should drink because each puppy’s different.

“The amount their body needs to stay healthy will vary depending on their size, the temperature, the amount of exercise they’re doing, how much liquid they’re taking in via other means (e.g., eating wet food instead of kibble or treats with high water content, such as chunks of cucumber or watermelon), and any medical conditions, amongst other things,” Dr. Bourjaily told The Dodo.

A good rule of thumb, though, is to give your puppy approximately 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. So if you have a 10-pound puppy, for example, he should drink a little more than 1 cup of water each day.

“Instead of focusing on the exact amount of water your puppy is taking in, watch out for any signs of dehydration and any significant changes to their drinking habits,” Dr. Bourjaily said. “You should also always make sure they have plenty of fresh water available, and wash their drinking bowl with soap and hot water daily to avoid bacteria growth.”

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How much water should a puppy drink during potty training?

You can let your puppy drink throughout the day, but take his water away before he goes to bed so he won’t have to go to the bathroom as much at night.

“You should allow your puppy to drink freely during the day, but you may wish to remove their drinking bowl around two to three hours before bedtime to help reduce their need for bathroom breaks overnight,” Dr. Bourjaily said.

Try to remove his water around the same time each night to create a routine, just like you feed him at around the same times each day.

Also keep in mind that until your puppy’s old enough to control his bladder (around 9 months), he’ll probably have to go to the bathroom within 10–30 minutes after drinking water, so if he’s drinking all day long, you’ll be taking him out a lot.

How to tell if your puppy’s dehydrated

If your puppy’s not drinking enough water, he could get dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration in dogs include:

  • Panting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry nose
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Pale gums or bright red gums
  • Thick saliva
  • Loss of skin elasticity

A good way to tell if your pup is dehydrated is to check for skin elasticity, which you can do by using the “skin tent” test.

“Gently grasp a pinch of your pet’s skin between their shoulder blades, and pull it up slightly and then let it go,” Dr. Bourjaily said. “If your pet is well hydrated, the skin should quickly return to its normal position. In dehydrated animals, however, this response will be delayed, and the skin will stay in the 'tented' position for longer.”

If you think your puppy’s dehydrated, try giving him small sips of water or ice cubes and call your vet. They might need to give him an IV to replenish his fluids.

Can a puppy drink too much water?

While your pup should stay hydrated, there’s such a thing as too much water. It’s called water intoxication.

“Most healthy dogs won’t drink too much water of their own accord,” Dr. Bourjaily said. “The biggest danger for water intoxication comes while dogs are swimming, particularly if they’re swimming after a ball, and they accidentally swallow large amounts of water.”

Signs of water intoxication include:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Drooling
  • Pale gums
  • Vomiting
  • Glazed eyes

If you notice these signs in your pup, take him to the vet ASAP.

Is my puppy drinking too much water?

It’s time to contact a vet if your puppy’s drinking more than usual (or drinking and going to the bathroom a lot), since he could have an underlying condition that’s causing him to be super thirsty.

According to Dr. Bourjaily, here are some medical causes for excessive thirst in puppies:

  • Diarrhea
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney or bladder infections
  • Certain medications, such as corticosteroids

Some non-medical causes include high temperatures or a change in temperature, exercise, and changing his food. So if your puppy suddenly starts drinking a lot of water after running around a lot, he’s probably just hot and should stop drinking so much once he cools down a bit.

But if he seems to start guzzling water out of nowhere or you notice other abnormal symptoms, contact your vet.

As long as you’re giving your puppy plenty of fresh water every day, he should stay healthy and hydrated. But if you notice your puppy’s drinking more than usual or any signs of dehydration, call your vet.

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