How Much Water Should a Puppy Drink? 6 Food and Water Tips

Written by Alyssa Shea
Updated: August 16, 2023
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Getting a new puppy means taking on a lot of responsibility. It might surprise you to discover how easy it can be to overfeed your dog or how quickly it can become dehydrated. Do you know these crucial tips when it comes to providing for your new furry friend?

Victor professional dog food

Keeping your dog properly hydrated is a top priority.

©Ermolaev Alexander/

1. Puppies Need More Water Than Adult Dogs

Very young puppies’ nutritional needs are met strictly by their mother or through a bottle. As they’re weaned and start to tackle solid food, they will need more water than adult dogs. Puppies tend to be more active, significantly increasing their need for water. Their growing bodies require more hydration to support the development and changes they’re going through! An excellent goal is providing one ounce of water per pound of body weight daily.

2. Make Sure the Bowls Are Clean

Did you know bacteria can quickly grow on your pet’s dog food and water bowls? This can become deadly to your pet and is unsafe for other family members, especially small children! We all know that dogs tend to eat some pretty gross things, so you might think that a bit of leftover crumbs or dirty water isn’t a big deal. It’s important to know that puppies and elderly dogs have weak immune systems, making them susceptible to diseases. Getting into the habit of cleaning your dog’s bowls at the end of each day is a good idea.

3. Hot Weather or High Activity Changes Needs

Do you live in a warm or humid climate? This will affect how much water your dog needs in a day. Like us, a dog’s instinct is to scope out the closest water source available when they get overheated. If you plan on taking your dog outside in warm weather or for a long hike, ensure you are prepared with water and travel-size bowls!

4. Know the Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

It can be hard to tell if your puppy is sleepy or if a more dangerous reason lurks behind their lethargy. Your dog might be dehydrated! Besides tiredness, you’ll want to keep an eye on these symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Dry nose.
  • Panting.
  • Sunken eyes.
  • Dry or white gums.
  • Urinating less.
  • Firm, dry stools.
  • Constipation.
  • Low skin elasticity.
  • Loss of appetite.

5. Get Them on a Water Schedule

An excellent way to ensure that your puppy takes in the correct amount of water is to get them on a schedule. Measuring out their water and paying attention to their drinking habits can go a long way toward creating a healthy pup! It can also help when it comes to potty training, too. Offer them a measured portion of water and then potty time outside after about 15 minutes. Make sure you also take up the food and water bowls at bedtime!

6. Sharing Your Food

We all want to share everything with our dogs, but when it comes to human foods, there are plenty you will want to avoid. Many foods can be toxic to canines! Did you know that foods such as onions, garlic, chocolate, and avocado can be deadly to your pet? Play it safe and offer these dog-friendly foods instead:

  • Pumpkin
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Blueberries
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Rice
Woman's hand feeding a strawberry to a Pembroke Welsh Corgi on a blue background

Strawberries are a healthy dog treat as long as you follow specific guidelines.

©Ирина Мещерякова

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Eric Isselee/

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About the Author

I'm a 36-year-old mother of 2 and military wife. I have 2 dogs and a cat that I'm thoroughly obsessed with. When I'm not writing for work, I'm writing as a hobby. You can find me knee deep in a pile of books or way too invested in a video game.

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