If you love water as much as we do, then we’re pretty sure you already love 80% of your little pup there! Water is essential when it comes to survival and growth for both humans and our furry little pals.
Whether you found “the chosen one” from a breeder or a rescue center for the first time in forever (no Frozen pun intended), puppies will inevitably melt your hearts that you would do everything in your power to ensure it is kept safe and healthy.
As some of you may know, there have been growing concerns about new pups not wanting to drink water.
At this point, you might be thinking: “Wait, is this normal?”, “Why would pups not drink water?” or “How do I help my furry pal drink water?”, hold your horses.
We got you.
In this article, we’ll be going through everything you need to know about puppies and their water intakes. So let’s dive right into it!
Why is my new puppy not drinking water?
When your little puppy is reluctant to drink its water, there are explainable reasons for that.
The top 4 reasons for this include lack of exercise (we know it can be tiring but it’s vital!), dehydration, health problems, and environmental changes. Alright, let’s break this down into more detailed bits.
Like all pups, especially ones who’ve just been out from their breeder or rescue center may experience habitual changes (including water-drinking).
This is because to puppies, uncharted territories can mean new sounds, scents, and even sights, all of which may frighten and overwhelm by all the senses they pick up.
It’s a lot like receiving 10 emails at the same time, not fun at all.
When your little furry friend steps into this new realm that you call home, the changes in the environment interfere with their natural body clock.
All the sensory inputs such as the ceiling fan, the washing machine, or the smell of some chicken soup you’ve been prepping for the past hour can cause changes in the way they behave and ultimately affect their habits.
Lack of Exercise (You know what this means)
When your little furry friend here does not move out and about as much as they should, drinking less to no water is a natural response from their bodies. Why may you ask? We’re way ahead of you!
So, when pups attend their own scaled-down gym session, this causes their body temperature to increase. In response, your pup produces sweat through their soft, mini paws to cool off from all that steam.
This would cause your furry friend to thirst for a large sip of water to replenish the water lost through sweating. Pay close attention to whether they’ve had plenty of exercise throughout the week and make those puppy lifestyle changes as needed.
If you went like: “Wait, what do you mean dehydration?” we did too! Logically speaking, we would think dehydration equals a natural desire to drink more water, right?
But for your little furry companions, it’s not the case. Pups may tend to be less urged even to sip a drop of water the more dehydrated they get (probably worrisome and mind blowing at the same time, a weird feeling indeed).
The cause? This is due to multiple not-so-good biological responses that your pup experiences when they are water-deprived. To tell if your pup is dehydrated, check for the following symptoms:
- Over-drooling (not the best sight to see)
- Dry or glue-sticky gums
- Vomiting (Nope, just nope)
- And more.
If you have any concerns about the extent of how these symptoms might affect your dog’s health, always consult your local vet for a professional opinion.
Health Problems (Oh dear goodness no)
As much as we don’t like to hear it, it’s still a possibility to look out for.
Several health issues can become culprits why your little bestie may not want to drink water, and these include Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), diabetes, or kidney disease, none of which are pretty.
These health problems immensely impact how much your pup is willing to gulp down that bowl of H20.
As always, if you think your furry little friend isn’t drinking enough water due to those reasons, contact your local vet for an in-depth assessment and check-up.
What is the importance of water for puppies?
Water acts as a facilitator for the key functions of the pup’s body. This goes from digestion, brain tasks to silk-smooth blood flow.
Blood mainly comprises water, which serves as an anti-toxin patrol and delivers oxygen to many parts of their body system.
Another reason mentioned earlier is, you guessed it, body temperature control.
When you’re both out in the park under the scorching summer heat, puppies can typically be seen panting.
It is one of the ways pups cool down by respiring out tiny water molecules.
How much water should puppies drink?
A wise man once said that too much of something is never good (and vice versa); the same goes with your little pal’s water intake.
With that being said, it is crucial to know how much water (like, really) is deemed as enough.
Is there an exact amount to the nearest millimeter that we should know about? It depends on factors such as age and body weight.
So, a weaning (or infant) pup usually requires half a cup of water once every few hours. And as your pup’s growth spurts start to kick in when they’re about, say, three months and above, their needed water intake amount will be reduced.
A good general rule of thumb is 0.5 to 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight cool down, so if your little bud weighs 28 lbs, they should take in about 14 ounces of water per day (easy peasy, right?).
How can you encourage a new puppy to drink water?
If getting a pair of pom-poms to audition to be your pup’s numero uno cheerleader is the first thing that came to mind, then that’s one way to go!
Jokes aside, we’ve done some digging and are glad to say our hard work finally paid off. Here are some of the best ways to get your pup to drink water on their own:
Add water to dry foods/treats
As puppies typically eat 3-4 times a day, it’s always a great idea to take advantage of this by sneaking in some water into their food (and to unleash the ninja within you, of course).
Ensure the water you add is at room temperature (about 25 degrees celsius), and stir it up a little to give it a soupy look.
Switch up the water bowl placement
Believe it or not, and as simple as this sounds, changing their water bowl placements can help your little pals drink more water. Why may you ask? Alright, so here’s the thing, pups are relatively sensitive to their surroundings (almost like having spidey senses), so numerous things can scare them, may it be a nasty scent or that gnome you forgot to stow from Christmas eve. We recommend trying various locations; somewhere peaceful, clean, and safe would be ideal.
Place an ice cube in their water bowl.
These small cooling blocks work like a charm, especially in the summer or spring.
Aside from adding some crispiness and cooling to the water, it may very well serve as a fun way to drink!
You know how we, like children, can’t resist the urge to get a grip on those floating ice cubes on our orange juice cup?
Well, the same goes for pups!
At the same time, they’ll start drinking some water as they strive to achieve the seemingly impossible.
What other issues or troubling behaviors might a new puppy have?
Like all walks of life, each has its challenges to conquer, and so do pups.
Think of it as raising a child of your own; it takes patience, understanding, and keenness to make sure they grow into a gentle and playful adult dog one day.
Below are some of the common issues or challenges pups may bring to the table:
As the name implies, it’s essentially norming and teaching your pup how to behave accordingly. A few examples of training could be nipping, leash training (to keep your pup away from harm or threats), and the classic sit, stay, and lie down are just a few of many your puppy will have to learn as they mature. Some of you may know how hard this can be, especially when it comes to patience (you need this and a whole lot of it).
Chewing, teething, and wreaking havoc (prepare your hearts)
To this day, no one knows where puppies obtain their excellent source of stamina and energy. With great power comes great responsibility, a responsibility that your little pal has yet to understand (so please be extra understanding!).
From digging, paw-unleashing, shredding, chewing, you name it, they can do it all to anything in sight to satisfy their craving curiosities. This is why puppy training is super important to not only keep your house intact but also to help your pup be the well-behaved dog they’re destined to be.
What can puppies drink apart from water?
As essential water is for a pup’s health and wellbeing, allow us to have the honor to inform you that your mini bestie here doesn’t generally need to drink anything (including water) until they start weaning.
This is because all the nutrients these pups need are found in their mother’s milk, which essentially becomes their default drink during their early days.
For pups who may not have a present mother, your can give your little pal some powdered puppy formula as an alternative to their mother’s milk by bottle-feeding.
Training your puppy to drink water
Training your small buddy to drink water is a walk in the park (not literally) and typically takes about eight days at most for your puppy to master.
To start, you will have to prepare a small, non-reflective water bowl and, of course, some dazzling water.
The reason for using non-reflective bowls is to not frighten your pups by exposure to lights and shadows and to learn to drink in peace. Now there are several methods you can try, which include the following:
- The Chicken/Turkey Broth Method (keep the sodium levels low)
- The Icey Method
- The Food Method (dog food or treats, whichever works best)
Remember always seek professional advice from your vet should any doubts arise.
Otherwise, feel free to try these methods out and see which works best for your tiny tail-wagging bestie!
As a veteran or first-time puppy owner, it is indeed wise to understand what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to your pup not drinking water. By now, with the wisdom we entrust to you, you should be able to distinguish what’s typical and when to call for backup from the vet, which will hopefully get your little pal to drink water normally as they should. Remember, each pup is unique (and adorable) in its own way, so bear in mind that some water-drinking training methods may differ from one pup to the other. And on that note, we wish you the best of luck in your puppy training journey ahead.