A dog’s water drinking habits aren’t something the average owner thinks too much about.
Stuff like – how much water should a puppy drink?
Is my dog not drinking enough water to stay healthy?
Usually healthy dogs – all animals pretty much – look after their own thirst well enough to stay fit.
That’s provided there’s enough water around.
But first, a question that puzzles owners worrying about their puppies’ water intake is:
How much water should my dog drink in a day?
How do I know that my dog is drinking a lot of water?
Or that my puppy should be drinking more water than she is…
How Much Water Should a Puppy Drink Every Day?
A dog should be drinking somewhere around ½ to even 2 ounces of water per pound of his or her weight.
About an ounce per pound of body weight is considered normal for a healthy dog.
But then, of course, it will always vary among different dogs.
Think about it…
A playful and energetic puppy would most likely drink more water per day than his quieter sibling.
And larger breeds would obviously drink much more than smaller ones, as would outdoorsy types compared to ones who like to chill at home.
But there may be a few other things that could be influencing a puppy’s thirst, like:
- Dehydration – could be due to diarrhea, the weather or an infection/illness
- Medication – certain medications could dial up thirst as a side effect
- Illnesses – a number of diseases can cause excessive thirst and urination, including diabetes, liver disease and others.
- A dry diet – if you’re feeding your puppy mostly dry kibble, or something with too much sodium in it, she would have to compensate by drinking more water
Knowing your puppy’s normal, “baseline” thirst goes a long way towards judging the situation.
So owners who keep a fairly regular record of their dogs’ diet and schedule have an advantage here.
In any case, looking at the possibilities above, you know the first thing you should do if your puppy’s drinking habits have changed significantly…
Make an appointment with the vet!
Some of the possibilities can be really dire for your dog – particularly dehydration – which unfortunately isn’t uncommon.
But hang on…
It’s opposite, in a manner of speaking – water intoxication – can be equally dangerous.
Both conditions can quickly become life-threatening unless handled properly.
So don’t take chances.
Simple Tips to Develop Healthy Drinking Habits in Your Pup
Now that we’ve answered the question how much water should a puppy drink, on to the solutions!
If your dog is not drinking water as much as you’d like, there are several things you can try to better the situation…
1. Consistent Schedules for Exercise, Meals and Potty Breaks
A healthy diet – including thirst – naturally follows from having a healthy and consistent lifestyle.
Can’t have one without the other.
So regular walks, meals and potty breaks whenever your pup needs them are essential.
2. Don’t Just Stick to Dry Kibble
If you have trouble getting your puppy to drink enough water, include some wet food in her meals every day.
In any case, eating the same dry, crunchy pellets day-in-day-out can be phenomenally boring.
Also, as an aside, if your dog is in the habit of gulping down water right after eating – don’t allow that.
It can cause bloating, which can be a really uncomfortable condition for your dog and requiring veterinary attention.
3. Hygiene, Hygiene, Hygiene!!
A lot of owners neglect this part of their duties…
Changing the water several times a day
Washing both the food AND the water bowls every day
Remember dogs are super sensitive to smells and tastes.
You wouldn’t want to drink your water if it smells or tastes weird, would you?
And while you do these, occasionally do check for too much salt in the water in case you’re draw your water up from underground sources.
Salt water causes dehydration.
4. Get Inventive to Encourage Regular Drinking
Sometimes your puppy just needs a little push to get him to his drinking bowl.
If you live in a warm region, drinking water can be a bit off-putting if it gets warm in the heat.
Including some ice chips in them can turn the whole thing into a refreshing experience.
Simple, isn’t it?
Similarly, trying other things like adding a bit of flavour to the water with bits of tasty treats or other food can get your puppy interested too!
And pet fountains can be a really fun option for those pooches who prefer running water.
5. Things to Try When Your Dog is Drinking Too Much Water
Excessive drinking in dogs can be a tricky problem.
Particularly if you’re not around to monitor your puppy through the day.
Limiting the amount of water you leave in the bowl is one way to control your pup’s drinking.
But you can also try automatic dispensers to limit your puppy’s drinking if it’s possible.
For those dogs who tend to swallow too much water and/or too quickly, limiting their time playing in water-bodies like pools or streams is important.
You can also try distracting them with chew toys or treats to distract them from drinking or force a break.
Even if you know the answer to the question how much water should a puppy drink, being vigilant is a whole different matter…
Significant, noticeable changes in your puppy’s drinking and peeing habits can be a major red flag.
So be it polydipsia (abnormally high thirst), polyuria (abnormally frequent/heavy urinating) – or their opposites…
Do NOT ignore it.
Even a seemingly simple condition like dehydration from a bout of vomiting can become quite dangerous.
An easy way to watch out for dehydration is to check for symptoms like:
- Loss of appetite
- Change in color or amount of urine
- Another test is to pinch the back of your dog’s neck – if the skin doesn’t fall back into place immediately, it might indicate dehydration
- Similarly, if your puppy’s gums don’t return to pick on pressing on them immediately – be worried
Often the underlying conditions require careful, intense professional care.
So don’t take chances, and consult your vet asap.
Does this post answer your question on how much water should a puppy drink?
We hope so!
If you have some other insights on the matter, or any tips or suggestions of your own, do mention them in the comments section below!
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