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How Much Water Do Puppies Need: A Sip-by-Sip Guide for Paw-rents! - PawSafe

How Much Water Do Puppies Need: A Sip-by-Sip Guide for Paw-rents!

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

how much water do puppies need

When it comes to raising a happy and healthy puppy, you must have wondered how much water puppies need. Just like us, puppies need to hydrate to keep their little bodies functioning. However, because they’re still growing and have different energy levels and dietary requirements, the amount they need can differ from that of an adult dog.  So it’s critical that dog owners know the answer to how much water should a puppy drink?

Wondering how much H20 your furry friend needs to stay hydrated isn’t just a question for the exceptionally thirsty summer days. It’s a daily consideration for any responsible pup parent. Dehydration and overhydration (a lot rarer but still possible) are the biggest risks when it comes to hydrating pups.

Not only does it help in preventing dehydration, but it also aids in spotting any unusual changes in their drinking habits that may indicate a health issue. We have consulted the works of Sabelle Jeusette, DVM, Ph.D., and Victor Romano, DVM, in their extensive works for a full puppy hydration guide. 

But don’t be surprised if your energetic furball needs more H20 after a round of fetch or during particularly hot weather. Our article on when puppies can start drinking water and eating food notes the age at which they start taking the aqua is three weeks. So before that, let Mama Dog take the wheel. 

Remember, this 1-ounce per pound recommendation doesn’t mean you force-feed the puppy water. You simply need to always keep fresh, warm water available, and if you’re ever in doubt about their hydration, it doesn’t hurt to check with your vet. Keep those tails wagging and the bowls full, folks!

Key Takeaways

  • Puppies need consistent access to clean water to maintain good health.
  • Their hydration needs depend on size, diet, activity, and environment.
  • Observing drinking habits and consulting a vet ensures proper hydration.

Puppy Hydration Basics

black puppy drinking water on grass

Maintaining proper hydration is as crucial for your playful pup as it is for you after a mini-marathon of yard fetch with them.

Importance of Water for Puppies

Aqua is the ultimate thirst-quencher for your furry little pal. It is the invincible nutrient with the following vital functions and more:

  • It helps regulate body temperature, which is why dehydrated pups pant all the time;
  • Aids in digestion;
  • Ensures that all body tissues are well-moistened;
  • Lubricates those growing joints;
  • Flashes out toxins;
  • Transports nutrients throughout the body;
  • Helps improve their brain function; 
  • Maintains skin and coat health; 
  • Helps regulate weight and maintain appetite; and 
  • Supports cellular activity.

Without enough water, your puppy could dehydrate, leading to more than just a dry mouth – think serious health issues! We get into signs your dog is dehydrated shortly.

How Much Water Puppies Generally Need

So, how much should your little Rover lap up? A general rule is that puppies need about an ounce per body weight. Simply put, keep an eye on their bowl and top it up whenever it gets low. You’ll want to adjust this amount as they grow and based on their activity level and the weather. 

Here is a brief guide:

Puppy SizeDaily Requirement
Small (under 10 lbs)10 oz
Medium (10-25 lbs)10 to 25 oz
Large (25-40 lbs)25 to 40 oz
Note: These are estimated amounts. Always have fresh water available.

However, note that research shows that dogs and cats are known to regulate water intake to maintain balance regardless of the water present. So, even if we’ve given you estimates, your dog will probably know when to start and stop drinking if they have a healthy drive.

Factors Influencing Water Needs

Havanese puppy drinking water from plastic bowl on grass how much water do puppies need

When it comes to your puppy’s hydration, a few key factors determine how much they need to lap up.

Age and Growth

Your little furball isn’t just cute; their growing bodies require more hydration to support all that puffing up they’re doing. As puppies grow, their weight increases. And as weight increases, H2O demands shoot up. Remember, with great growth comes greater hydrating needs!

Activity Level

The more your pup zooms around the house, the thirstier they get. Think of water as their natural recharging station — after a good play session, they’ll need to gulp down more. However, don’t let them get too greedy to the point of coughing after drinking.

Diet and Nutrition

If you’re feeding your puppy dry kibble, that’s kind of like eating salty popcorn—you’ll need more water. Kibble is less than 10% moisture, so you might see your pup drinking more. In contrast, wet food can be up to 80% water, so they may not hover around the bowl as much.

Potty training

The only time you might want to limit your pup’s access to water is when they are potty training and only at night. To reduce the number of times you need to get up to take your puppy out at night to pee, you can cut off their water about two hours before bedtime. Make sure they potty before they go to sleep and give water again first thing in the morning.

Environmental Temperature

Hot weather makes anyone thirsty, especially your pup in a fur coat! During warmer days, they’ll need extra H20 to stay cool. Increase their usual intake if it’s getting hot out there.

Health Status

If your puppy isn’t feeling their tail-wagging best, their drinking needs can change. Things like vomiting or diarrhea can lead to dehydration quickly, so you might need to up their water allowance.

Additionally, conditions like diabetes, kidney issues, Cushing’s disease, and more could cause polydipsia (excessive thirst). Always check with your vet if you’re unsure. They’re like detectives for puppy health!


Stress can influence a dog’s intake by triggering physiological responses associated with the “fight or flight” mechanism, leading to increased thirst. Stress and anxiety can also reduce a pup’s urge to drink. 

Recognizing Dehydration

Beagle puppy in yellow coat with black stripes drinking water from blue water bowl

When your pup’s bowl sits untouched longer than usual, it’s time to keep a watchful eye. Your canine pal might be telling you something without making a peep.

Signs of Dehydration

  • Dry Gums: Slide your finger over your pup’s gums. If they feel dry and hot, your pup could be dehydrated.
  • Sunken Eyes: Peek into those puppy dog eyes. If they look like they’re sinking into a game of hide and seek, it’s a red flag.
  • Loss of Skin Elasticity: Pinching a dog’s skin and observing how quickly it returns to its normal position. 
  • Lethargy: If your usually zippy puppy is now impersonating a sloth, it might not be laziness – it could be a cry for water.
  • Restlessness.
  • Panting as the dog tries to regulate their temperature. 
  • Elevated Heart Rate: Dehydration may lead to an increased heart rate as the body attempts to compensate for decreased fluid levels.
  • Reduced Urination: Dehydrated dogs may urinate less frequently, and their urine may appear darker than usual.

Prevention Tips

  • Fresh Supply: Ensure you always have a full bowl of clean water. It’s like a 24/7 all-you-can-drink buffet for your pooch.
  • Regular Drink Breaks: On walks or playdates, bring water for sip-and-splash breaks. 
  • Watch the Weather: Hot days can turn your pup into a panting furball. More water breaks are a must to keep them from drying out.

Dangers of water intoxication or drinking too much water (over hydration)

Did you know puppies can get sick from drinking too much water? It’s called water intoxication, and it’s pretty serious. When puppies play hard and then drink lots of water really fast, their bodies can’t handle it. 

This can make their brains swell, causing trouble walking, being sleepy, or even having seizures. It’s rare, but it’s good to know about. So, when your puppy is having a lot of fun and needs a drink, just make sure they take little breaks and don’t gulp down too much water at once. 

Proper Water Intake Management

Managing your puppy’s drinking is vital to their health. Puppies need a surprising amount of H20 each day to stay hydrated – like little furry athletes running their own marathons.

1. Setting a Daily Schedule

You’ll want to map out a daily schedule and goal for your pup. You can stick to the ounce-for-pound rule as their hydration goal. For example:

  • Puppy Weight: 5 lb | per Day: 2.5-5 oz
  • Puppy Weight: 10 lb | per Day: 5-10 oz
  • Puppy Weight: 20 lb | per Day: 10-20 oz

This will change as they grow and get bigger than your shoe.

2. Choosing the Right Bowl

Go for shallow bowls to prevent accidental drowning. Heavy bowls are great, so they don’t tip over during the excitement of a drinking spree. Stainless steel or ceramic are your best bets – they’re easy to clean and keep the water cool. Plus, they’re less likely to harbor bacteria that can throw a party in your puppy’s bowl.

3. Monitoring Intake

Keep a close eye on how much your fluff nugget is drinking. It’s not enough to simply leave the water out; you need to watch for any dehydration signs. Too little water, and you may have a parched pooch; too much could be a sign of other issues. If you notice your puppy isn’t drinking enough, or is slurping up more than usual, it might be time for a chat with the vet.

4. Encouraging Hydration

Be a hydration hero! Make sure fresh water is always available, and toss in an ice cube for a bit of chilly excitement( for pups above six months). You can also jazz up their moisture intake with wet food or make a puppy popsicle as a hydrating treat on a hot day. Just don’t forget to adjust their water if their diet is already quite wet.

Special tip: Keep the water lukewarm for young puppies. Although dogs have been shown to prefer cold water, puppies lack adequate mechanisms to regulate body temperature.  When puppies drink a lot cold water on a hot day after exercising, it can cause coughing and even vomiting.

Remember, managing your canine’s hydration doesn’t have to be a bore. It’s just another way to make sure they’re healthy, happy, and ready for their next adventure or nap—a puppy’s schedule is always packed tight!

Hydration Safety Tips

Keeping your puppy properly hydrated is like hitting the sweet spot in a game of fetch – it’s all about aim and timing. Make sure you’re up to speed on where Fido should be getting his water and when it’s time to put the bowl on a brief pause.

1. Safe Sources

First things first, your puppy isn’t a fish – not all water is created equal. So listen up:

  • Tap: Usually A-OK, but keep an ear out for local water advisories.
  • Filtered: If you’re feeling fancy and your pup is your prince/ss, go ahead.
  • Bottled: In a pinch, it works, but let’s not make your puppy a plastic consumer, right?

Avoid letting your thirsty furball drink from:

  • Puddles: Mystery soup. Just say no.
  • Pools: That’s a cocktail of chemicals. Hard pass.
  • Toilets: Toilet bowl cocktails? Gross, and a big nope!

2. When to Limit Drinking

Just like us, puppies can overdo it with the bowl. Keep an eye out during these times:

  • Post-Playtime: Slow their roll if they’re trying to guzzle too much H20.
  • Pre-Bedtime: Unless you love midnight strolls to the backyard, wind down the H20 an hour before bedtime.
  • After Eating: Some pups play swell-ball with their bellies after meals. Give it a minute, literally 10-15, before refilling that bowl.
  • Health Conditions: If your puppy has a specific health condition, such as kidney issues, your veterinarian may provide guidance on managing intake. Also, if your puppy drinks and drinks on, it’s probably time to get them checked out by the vet. 

Consulting Your Vet

When it comes to your puppy’s hydration needs, your vet is your go-to resource. They can provide tailored guidance based on your furry pal’s age, size, and health.

These checkups are crucial because your vet keeps tabs on your puppy’s growth and overall health, which includes their hydration. At each visit, ask about how much hydration is right for your growing pup.

Keep an eye on how much your puppy drinks daily. Sudden increases or decreases can be a red flag. If you spot any changes, jot them down and share them with your vet for advice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Puppies and H20: It’s kind of like figuring out how many treats fit in a pocket. Let’s dive into the drink dish dilemmas for your canine kiddo.

What’s the daily Water quota for Puppies?

You’ve probably noticed your pup is a thirsty little critter. They need about one-half ounce to one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. So, for a 10-pound fluff monster, that’s 5 to 10 ounces daily.

How Much Water Should Puppies Drink At Night?

Puppies, like adult dogs, require access to water throughout the day to stay adequately hydrated. However, to prevent overnight accidents during the house training phase, it’s advisable to limit access to water 2-3 hours before bedtime.

How Much Water Should a 12-week Old Pup Drink?

For a 12-week-old, you’re still looking at that half-ounce of water to one-ounce of body weight per pound rule. Adjust as they grow, and always make a bowl available of fresh water at all times. Although, you can cut of water at night to help potty training.

How much water should an 8-week-old puppy get?

Eight-week-old puppies are like sponges, both for learning and drinking. Ensure they have constant access to clean water as they’ll need frequent small amounts throughout the day. Stick to the oz-per-pound rule.

My Puppy Is Drinking Too Much Water, Should I Stop Him?

Despite their admirable camel impersonation, puppies should not have their intake restricted unless told so by a vet. However, if the thirst symptom persists, contact your vet, as it could be an underlying condition that causes excessive thirst, like diabetes or psychogenic polydipsia. Always observe and keep those levels topped off to avoid overdehydration or water poisoning.

Leave the water bowl out, or nah? Do puppies need 24-hour access to Water?

In general, puppies need constant access to fresh, clean water. However, when you start potty training, you might need to cut off water in the evening so help them need less potty breaks through night and have fewer accidents. However, make sure they get fresh water again in the morning.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to keeping your puppy hydrated, think of yourself as a water detective. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to ensure your canine gets the right amount of H2O. Remember, every pup is unique. Factors like age, size, and activity level will determine intake. 

So, keep your eyes peeled, their bowl filled, and your puppy will thank you with wags, licks, and epic zoomies. Stay hydrated, pup parents!


Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.