Even when you’re in the middle of housetraining your puppy, have you ever found yourself wondering, “Should I leave water out all day for my puppy?”
You should always make sure that your puppy has easy, all-day access to water! This is especially important if you will be leaving it unattended for parts of the day. Without enough water, puppies can become dangerously dehydrated in certain situations.
Unlike with food, most puppies will self-regulate when it comes to water and will only drink when they are thirsty. Therefore, you don’t usually need to worry that they are drinking too much water- only that they are not drinking enough.
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As a general rule, puppies should be drinking anywhere from half an ounce up to one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. So, if your puppy is currently weighing in at a fluffy 8 pounds, then it should be drinking around ½-1 full cup (8 ounces) of water per day to stay hydrated!
However, the exact amount of water will vary from puppy to puppy. This is due to factors such as:
- Size- as mentioned above, the bigger the dog the more water they will need to drink.
- Activity level- puppies that play a lot during the day will need more water.
- Diet- A puppy that is fed dry food will need to drink more than one who eats wet food.
- How hot the weather is where you live- The hotter the climate is, the more water your puppy will need!
As you can see, there isn’t one single number that will cover every puppy’s needs. It is important to keep an eye on your pup’s water intake to make sure they are drinking a suitable amount.
There is one simple way to make sure your puppy drinks enough water to stay healthy and happy:
I can’t think of one good reason not to make sure your puppy has access to clean, fresh water all throughout the day.
- Your puppy will get to drink as much water as it needs to grow up strong and healthy.
- It will learn to self-regulate its water intake- rather than bingeing on water a few times a day, the puppy will learn that it can have small amounts at any time.
- Free access to water will prevent unwanted habits such as resource guarding.
- If your puppy is drinking too much water, it could point to underlying health issues such as kidney disease or diabetes. This will alert you to a potential problem quickly.
As long as you place the water dish in a safe place, there really are no downsides to leaving water out all day long. Just be sure to clean the bowl regularly to remove any foreign objects and renew often with fresh water!
Yes, you may have to take your puppy outside more frequently for potty training if he’s a big drinker- but that’s all part of being a good, responsible owner.
Water prevents dehydration- it’s as simple as that.
Puppies can become dehydrated very quickly, and this can cause damage to their heart and kidneys. Extreme dehydration can be fatal, and your puppy should never go over 3-4 hours without water.
Some common signs of dehydration include:
- Weakness and lethargy
- Dry mouth and pale gums
- Vomiting and loss of appetite
- Heavy panting
- Dry nose and wide eyes
- Sticky saliva
In prolonged periods of dehydration, your dog may develop crusty scabs around the mouth.
A quick and easy way to test whether your puppy is properly hydrated is by pulling gently on the scruff of skin around its neck and shoulders. Ideally, the skin should ‘snap’ back into place instantly. This indicates that there is enough moisture and elasticity in the skin.
If your puppy’s skin instead slowly returns to the original form, do an additional test by running your fingers against its gums to check if they are dry. If they are, then it is a clear confirmation that you puppy needs more water- ASAP!
Even if you leave a freshly-filled water bowl out all day, some puppies are just not very interested in drinking plain water.
Here are some tips and tricks that you can use to up water intake:
- Add some chicken/bone broth to the water- make sure that it is unsalted, however.
- See if the puppy is interested in ice cubes- some puppies love them and this is an easy way to increase hydration levels.
- Switch from dry food to wet food.
- Praise your puppy loudly whenever he drinks water and reward him with his favourite treat.
- Encourage and remind your puppy to drink water by leading it to the bowl frequently- or bring the bowl to him.
Remember, thirst is on your side, so get a little creative and your puppy will be lapping up the H2O in no time!
If there is ever a good time to empty the water bowl, it would be at night. This will make potty training a lot easier, especially when all you want is to get a good night’s sleep.
Make sure that you establish a consistent routine with your puppy when it comes to final eating and drinking times for the day. This way, it will know what to expect, and you will have a chance to take it outside for a final toilet break before bed. It is a good idea to remove all food and water about 3 hours before bedtime to get your puppy settled down.
Removing the water bowl at night will also prevent unnecessary mess, especially if your puppy sleeps in a crate. This will ensure that you wake up to a well-rested pooch and not a soaked one who splashed and spilled away while you were sleeping.
If you are worried that your puppy might be thirsty at night, there are some accident-proof ways that you can still provide access to water.
There are bowls such as this one which clips to the side of a crate that will stop it from being tipped over. Just fill it with a small layer of water and you are good to go! Another good option is to use a rabbit-style drip feeder, which also has the benefit of making sure your puppy doesn’t drink too much when it should be sleeping.
Though not as common as dehydration, over-drinking water is possible and can also be dangerous.
If you notice your puppy constantly drinking a lot more than their recommended amount of water, take them to the vet for a checkup. It could be a sign that there is an underlying illness waiting to be diagnosed.
However, sometimes puppies are just too young to know how much water they should be drinking. If it drinks so much water that it begins to vomit, becomes bloated, or becomes lethargic- reduce the amount of water available to the puppy at any time. Slowly reintroduce more water once it starts to learn to regulate its intake.
In most cases, it is a very good idea to leave a water bowl out for your puppy all day long. By doing so, you can ensure that it stays properly hydrated during the time it is being the most active. Maintaining good hydration is essential for a puppy’s healthy growth and development.
Sometimes it may be necessary to restrict your puppy’s water intake. This includes during the night, when you want to minimize toilet accidents as well as water bowl spillage. For puppies that drink too much water at once, it is important that you help them to control their intake until they are older and know how to do it themselves.
Heather Abraham is a professional blogger who owns two dogs, a cat, a parrot, and a leopard gecko. She has a connection with animals since she was a child. She shares her love for all pet breeds and provides information on pet food, toys, medications, beds, and everything else.
She is committed to learning about the internal workings of animals. Her work permits her to work closely with knowledgeable vets and obtain practical expertise in animal care. When she is not working, her love of animals continues in her writing. Her goal is to educate and uplift readers who also have a passion for animals through her writing.