Water plays a critical role in almost all the bodily functions of our furry friends.
It makes up most of the body’s weight and helps transport essential nutrients to cells, regulate temperature, cushion the brain and spinal cord, improve cognitive function, and more.
In short, without enough water, your puppy’s organs may become damaged or even shut down if dehydration persists long enough — ultimately leading to death.
It’s essential to ensure your pup drinks enough water daily to stay hydrated.
But how much exactly should they be drinking?
Generally speaking, a healthy dog should drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. So, an 8-pound dog needs 8 ounces or a cup of water daily. If your puppy weighs 10 pounds, it requires approximately 10 ounces of water daily.
However, young puppies often need slightly more as they are more active than adult dogs and require additional fluids for growth and development.
Remember that this is just a guide, and particular pups may require increased daily fluid intake due to medical conditions such as kidney disease or metabolic disorders like diabetes.
Additionally, pregnant or nursing mothers will likely need more fluids than others due to the additional demands placed on their bodies during this period.
Housetraining a puppy: Water schedule and access to water
Housetraining a puppy is no easy feat. It requires patience, consistency, and attention to detail. One of the most important yet overlooked elements of potty training is regulating your puppy’s water intake.
If you don’t have the right balance of water intake, it can lead to issues like frequent accidents or disruption in sleep patterns because of overnight potty breaks.
So, when should puppies drink water?
For puppies just starting their housetraining journeys, it’s best to provide a bowl of fresh water throughout the day and remove it at night, approximately two or three hours before bedtime.
The symptoms of dehydration in dogs
Dehydrated dogs may move more slowly than usual and show signs of tiredness or lack of appetite.
Other physical symptoms include sunken eyes, panting, dry nose and gums, or an overall decrease in energy. If you suspect your dog is dehydrated, taking action quickly is essential.
The skin pinch test
One way to check for dehydration is by performing the skin pinch test.
Gently pinch the skin between the shoulder blades on your puppy’s back and release it to observe how quickly it falls back into place.
The skin should snap right back into place; if it’s slow to snap back, then your dog may be dehydrated.
Ensuring your puppy stays hydrated
Here are some tips on how to keep your puppy hydrated:
Provide fresh water every day
The first step in ensuring your puppy stays hydrated is providing access to clean water daily.
Place multiple water bowls throughout the house so your furry friend can access fresh water easily.
This way, your dog drinks when it’s thirsty without waiting for you or walking too far.
If you want something more aesthetically pleasing than regular ceramic bowls, consider investing in a pet drinking fountain as an alternative option.
Not only do these fountains look nice, but they also help keep the water fresh and cool throughout the day.
Offer canned food
Another great tip for increasing hydration levels is giving canned food as part of your pup’s daily diet. Wet foods contain more moisture than dry foods, which can help improve your puppy’s water intake.
However, don’t forget about dry, solid food altogether — it still has benefits and provides vital nutrients like calcium and protein necessary for a balanced diet.
Adding fun extras
To encourage your puppy to drink enough water, add some fun extras into its routine. For example, freezing some treats or toys into ice cubes can help entice your little one into drinking more often – plus, they can cool it down during those hot summer days.
The location of the water bowl also matters when it comes to keeping your puppy hydrated — place the bowl in low-traffic areas such as a quiet corner of the living room or away from any busy doorways or kitchen counters so your pup doesn’t get disturbed while drinking its fill of water throughout the day.
You may also want to test different bowl shapes and sizes, as some dogs prefer wider or deeper bowls over others.
If you plan on traveling with your pup, you should teach it to drink from a water bottle or collapsible bowl before leaving home — this will save time and effort while exploring.
Treating dehydration at home
If you suspect your pet might be dehydrated, start by watching for signs of dehydration, including loss of appetite, lethargy, reduced activity level, panting, sunken eyes, and a dry nose.
If you’re unsure, it’s never a bad idea to contact your veterinarian immediately for advice on what to do next.
Mild cases of dehydration can be treated at home with simple but effective measures. Start by giving your puppy small amounts of water or electrolyte replacement fluids specifically formulated for dogs.
It would be best to let your little canine have extra rest and limit and monitor all physical activities until it fully recovers.
This will help reduce the chances of further fluid loss due to panting or sweating.
Puppies can be overhydrated
Overhydration, also known as water intoxication, can occur when puppies drink a lot or take in more water than is good for them.
As a pet owner, you must know the signs of overhydration and how to prevent it from happening.
Suppose you notice any of the following in your pup. In that case, it might have taken in too much water: lethargy, nausea, loss of coordination, staggering, bloating, dilated pupils, excessive salivation, vomiting, and pale gums.
If you see any of these signs in your puppy and there are no other obvious explanations, you should go to a vet immediately.
When caring for a puppy, there’s no doubt that water is a critical factor in its health.
Water is essential for healthy living cells and provides vital nutrients to pets, aiding digestion and absorption.
It also helps regulate temperature and lubricates joints. Always speak to your veterinarian immediately if you have any questions or concerns.