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Water is the most important component of healthy, living cells of the body. Without water, your dog will die. But either too little or too much water puts your dog in danger. So how much water to give a puppy? Keep reading to find out the exact answer!

Why is water so important for puppies?

A newborn puppy’s body contains up to 85 percent water, which drops to 60 percent as the puppy grows older. 

The mother dog’s milk supplies them with the necessary hydration, but water becomes critical when they are weaned and begin eating solid food.

Water is essential for your dog’s development and growth. It plays a vital role in the metabolic process, including blood flow, brain activity, digestion, breathing, as well as kidney and liver function.

How much water to give a puppy?

How much water to give a puppy

In general, puppies need about 1/2 cup of water every two hours. The weaned older puppies need between 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.

For instance, if your dog weighs 20 pounds, she’ll require between 10 and 20 ounces of water every day. She may need even more water on active days.

However, you have to consider other factors when calculating how much water your puppy needs. How much water to give a puppy a day is influenced by these factors:

Size – Because water consumption is calculated per kilogram, a little chihuahua may drink very little. An Akita, on the other hand, needs much more water per day.

Age – Puppies and old dogs require special attention. You may need to keep a closer eye on their water intake.

Food – Your dog will need to drink much more water if she only eats dry food rather than wet food.

Exercise– Just like humans, a puppy who runs and plays a lot requires more water.

Weather – Your dog will definitely need more water, especially when walking in hot weather. Remember to bring water with you on summer walks and give them often.

Medication – Some medications can make your dog thirstier. Consult with a veterinarian every time your dog gets a new medication.

Most dogs learn to drink enough water by themselves. But when they’re first learning, it’s critical to keep an eye on them. Not drinking enough water can cause dehydration, while drinking too much water can cause overhydration. Both are dangerous to your dog.

How to get a dog to drink water?

How to get a dog to drink water

Here’re some handy tips to encourage your pup to drink more water:

  • Every time they drink water, compliment them, and if you think it’s worthwhile, reward them with a treat.
  • Keep fresh water near your dog.
  • Use ice cubes, tuna, or broth to flavor the water.
  • Give them wet food or soak up the dry food with a cup of water – they’ll drink a bit more while eating.
  • Give them wet food or use a cup of water to soak up the dry food. They’ll drink more while eating.
  • Exchange water regularly and keep it cool.
  • Exercise your dog. After a run or a long walk, it is natural for a dog to get thirsty. Due to this thirst, the dog is more likely to drink water.
  • Bring water along on walks and offer it to your dog often, especially on hot and sunny days.

Dog dehydration

Dehydration, a dangerous condition that can be life-threatening, can occur in puppies who do not receive adequate water.

Puppies are at risk of dehydration due to overheating and diseases, particularly those involving vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Or your dog may be dehydrated if they eat mostly dry food.

These are the common symptoms when your dog is dehydrated:

  • Dry, pale, or sticky gums. 
  • Sunken eyes.
  • Loss of skin turgidity 
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Excessive panting.

If your puppy doesn’t seem to be drinking enough water, make the following changes to encourage your dog to drink:

  • Clean his water bowl and refill it with fresh water.
  • Reward them a treat and compliment when they take a drink.
  • Place their water bowl near their food, bed, or any other spot in the house where they enjoy spending time.
  • Make their water more appealing by adding bone broth or chicken broth.
  • Give them some ice cubes. Chewing on ice cubes is another approach to get your dog to drink more water.

Dog overhydration 

How much water to give a puppy

Believe it or not, dogs can become overhydrated too. Overhydration, known as “water intoxication,” is just as dangerous as dehydration.

It can be caused by excessive drinking or water inadvertently consumed while swimming or playing in the water.

Excessive drinking can indicate a fever, infection, or more dangerous problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, or liver disease.

If you doubt that your dog is overhydrated or exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian:

  • Bloating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive salivation
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Pale gums
  • Staggering
  • Vomiting

What can dogs drink besides water?

What can dogs drink besides water

Some liquids are occasionally tasty treats for your furry friend and can help your dog hydrated and replenish electrolytes. But you should not replace water with any other drink. All dogs need fresh water to survive. 

There are also some canine drinks that you can give your dog besides water:

  • Unsalted Broth: Bone broth, chicken broth, beef broth, etc.
  • A small amount of pure fruit juice: Your dog can drink a small amount of pure fruit juice as long as there is no added sugar and the fruit is healthy for them.
  • Vegetable Juice: Pure juice made from dog-friendly veggies such as carrots, cucumber, or broccoli can be shared with your canine as a nutritious and tasty treat.

Keep in mind that dogs are unable to consume alcohol. Milk, tea, and coffee are also not recommended.

How long can dogs go without water?

Dogs can go without water for three to four days. But this does not imply that your dog should be deprived of water for that long. Dehydration can cause lethargy, loss of consciousness, and weakness even after just one day.

How often should you clean your dog’s water bowl?

How long can dogs go without water

You should clean your dog’s water bowl every day. These bowls tend to be good places for bacteria to develop because these bowls are in contact with food and dog saliva.

Bowls should be smooth and easy to clean, with no nooks or scratches where bacteria can hide and thrive.


How much water to give a puppy is influenced by these factors: size, age, food, exercise, weather, and medication. In general, puppies need about 1/2 cup of water every two hours. The weaned older puppies need between 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.

As you can see, proper hydration contributes to your puppy’s overall health and well-being. Remember to supply your dog with adequate fresh water every day and take notice of their health frequently. 

Whatever your dog’s breed is, training is a must if you want to eliminate bad behavior and create the obedient, well-behaved dog of your dreams. You can choose suitable online classes from these 20 reputable SpiritDog Training courses to learn how to “successfully” train your canine using science-based positive methods, or grab the free guide below.

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