If you have recently brought home a new puppy, you will likely have a lot of questions regarding their water intake and needs. Should you leave water out for your puppy all day? How much do they need to drink? How should you give your puppy water? Well, we are going to explore each and every one of these questions and provide the answers here today.
So, should you leave water out for your puppy all day? When a puppy is loose in your house or yard, it is best that they always have access to clean, fresh water and that multiple bowls are left out. Times you may want to control water access, however, are when a puppy is in a crate or an enclosed area where they cannot go freely to the toilet.
Puppies are good at regulating their own water needs, but when presented with water only occasionally, they may choose to quickly drink large amounts. This can lead to bathroom mishaps and even an upset stomach.
So, there are certainly times you want to limit access to water.
That being said, by and large, leaving water out for your puppy all day is generally a good idea.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at your puppy’s water needs and how you can make sure they are met without any of the potential downsides free access can have!
How Many Times A Day Should I Give My Puppy Water?
When you are home with your puppy, it is in their best interest to have clean water available at all times. Most dogs will drink water when they need it and leave the water alone when they don’t.
At times a puppy may choose to play in their water, but this behavior can usually be stopped by distracting them with a treat, toy, or other fun activity.
One reason to allow your puppy to choose when it drinks water is so that it takes in water naturally throughout the day.
If your puppy only receives water occasionally, you increase the chance that your puppy will try to rapidly drink a large amount of water at once.
Just like a human who drinks or eats too quickly, your puppy could get an upset stomach from water overload.
Not only will this lead to a mess for you to clean up, but it also means your puppy could end up more dehydrated than they were before they got their drink.
Providing your puppy water during the day isn’t always as simple as pouring it in the bowl and leaving it to sit.
In order to help your puppy stay healthy, you will want to make sure that both the water and the bowl it is offered in are clean.
You will also want to replace the water once or twice during the day if possible.
Fresh water is more appealing to pets and will encourage your puppy to stay hydrated.
Times You May Want To Control Water Access
There are several times that you may want to control your puppy’s access to water for health, cleanliness, or training purposes.
Let’s take a quick look at those times now.
Potty training a puppy is a careful balance of teaching your dog where to use the restroom and when to use it while also learning your puppy’s cues for needing to go outside.
During the day, you will want to give your puppy access to water and keep a close eye on its activities.
Puppies do not have large bladders, which means they usually need to use the restroom not too long after a good drink.
At night both pets and people need to learn to sleep soundly and without a ton of interruptions.
While a young puppy will need nighttime bathroom breaks, it is safe to lower the amount of water your puppy has during the evening and overnight hours to encourage good sleep habits.
Consider the time that you typically go to sleep, and then remove water for the night 1-2 hours before this time.
This means if you go to bed at 10:00 pm, it would be acceptable to pick up your dog’s water dish around 8:30 pm, as long as they have it back by 8:00 the next morning.
Patiently teaching your puppy to go several hours overnight without water and bathroom breaks will lead to better sleep for the entire family.
When A Puppy Is In A Crate Or Carrier
Sometimes it is necessary to put a puppy in a crate, kennel, or carrier for a short period of time while we are away from home.
To help the crate area stay clean and comfortable, it is often a good idea not to give your puppy water inside their crate.
Young puppies will still need frequent breaks from their crate for using the bathroom and to get some exercise. This is a good time to offer a drink to your puppy as well.
While water is safe to give a puppy in a crate, it is very easy for a puppy to spill drinks in such a confined space.
Once the water is spilled, it cannot be drunk, and your puppy will find itself trying to snuggle up with wet bedding.
Also, water in a crate is easily contaminated with fur, dirt, and waste from puppy accidents.
Most puppies will be just fine in their crate for a period of time without water if it is available to them whenever they are free.
When A Puppy Is Having A Medical Procedure
Sometimes puppies need medical procedures such as spaying or neutering.
If your puppy is going to be having surgery or other medical procedure performed, check with your veterinarian about water access leading up to the visit.
Many veterinarians need to work with animals who have empty stomachs and bladders, so water may need to be taken away for a few hours leading up to the procedure.
How Long Can A Puppy Go Without Water During The Day?
Most puppies can go without water for 6-10 hours at a time before they start to become noticeably dehydrated. While a healthy puppy can go this long, an active pup is best to get water at least once every four hours. The longer water-free period should be saved for the overnight hours when we want to encourage a puppy to sleep and rest.
There are some factors that may influence how long your puppy can go without water.
These factors include temperature, environment, activity level, and overall health.
A puppy who is in a location that is very hot and dry or running around spending a lot of energy is going to need water more frequently than one resting in a cool, calm environment.
A puppy who is unwell may need more water than normal. They may not want to drink and might need encouragement to stay hydrated.
If your puppy has been unwell and is going long periods without drinking when water is available, please call your veterinarian for assistance and advice.
How Much Water Should My Puppy Drink During The Day
The exact amount of water your puppy needs each day depends mostly on your puppy’s size measured by its weight. A safe rule to follow is to plan for your puppy daily to drink ½ to 1 ounce of water for every pound they weigh. This means that if you have a 10-pound puppy, it will usually drink between 5-10 oz of water each day.
While you will want to keep an eye on your puppy’s water intake, you do not need to stress about measuring the exact amount of water out for your puppy each day.
Instead, provide several ounces of water consistently throughout the day and make sure your puppy is taking trips to the water bowl at least every couple of hours when you are home.
A puppy may drink more than the normal amount if they have been using lots of energy to run and play or if the weather is hot.
On the same note, they may have days where they drink a bit less than normal.
The best indicator of your puppy’s hydration is their behavior – are they active and happy? – and their need to use the bathroom.
If you notice your puppy is not urinating or is going much less than normal over the course of 24-48 hours, you may need to make sure they have access to clean water and are regularly drinking.
Best Ways To Offer Water To Your Puppy
When offering your puppy water, there are a few useful things to keep in mind. You should offer your puppy water in a consistent place, water should be offered in a bowl large enough for the puppy to drink but not deep enough for a small puppy to drown, and the water should be kept as clean and fresh as possible by refilling during the day.
Having water available to your puppy in a consistent and reliable place means your puppy will always know where to go when they feel thirsty.
You can offer water in more than one location, such as outdoors and indoors, but the most important thing is that your puppy is able to easily find it when they need it.
If your puppy’s water bowl is constantly on the move, it can be hard for them to find the bowl and stay hydrated.
Sufficiently Large Bowl
You want your bowl to be large enough to allow your puppy a good drink. Puppies, like young humans, are not always the most graceful of creatures.
They may spill and splash water as they drink.
This means they need a bit more water in their bowls than what you intend for them to swallow.
Also, a bowl that is heavy enough to not be tipped over if your puppy bumps or steps on it is useful to prevent you from having to fill the bowl after every drink your dog takes.
Consider Puppy Size
Please keep in mind your puppy’s size when selecting a bowl.
Most dogs do just fine with standard size bowls.
However, some breeds such as Chihuahuas and Miniature Poodles have extremely small puppies.
Make sure that your bowl holds water but isn’t so deep that a stumbling puppy could drown or have other difficulties drinking.
Fresh, Clean Water
While a very thirsty dog will drink any water it can find, a puppy is more likely to drink water that is clean and fairly fresh.
The water doesn’t need to be replaced every hour of the day, but filling the bowl in the morning and refreshing the water in the afternoon will encourage your puppy to keep drinking.
If the bowl or water becomes dirty, empty and clean the bowl.
Dogs that drink in parasites or tons of pollutants may struggle to stay healthy no matter how much water they drink.
Incentivize With Food
If you have a puppy that is nervous about using a water bowl, you can encourage them to give drinking a try by making sure the bowl is near their food.
You can also try placing a small amount of water in the bowl along with a treat (for a brief time).
Another option to try includes giving them water in fun forms such as ice cubes, that they can then play around with within their water bowl.
Water is vital for the health and well-being of puppies and mature dogs.
By making sure your puppy has clean water provided in a safe, accessible area of the home, you will be supporting your puppy’s wellbeing for life.
Limiting water at times is acceptable and sometimes helpful as long as your puppy has opportunities for frequent drinking during other parts of the day.
Have other questions related to your puppy’s water intake? Then give my other guides a read:
- Should I Leave Water Out For My Puppy At Night?
- Puppy Won’t Drink Water [The Causes & What You Should Do]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.