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How To Get Puppy to Drink Water

Pug puppy drinking from a sink faucet

It is vital to your dog’s health. Your dog may need to be weaned from its mother and getting him or her to drink from a bowl can be a monumental task. Or they may be recovering from an illness or surgery and need to be retrained on how to drink.

Either way, it takes some effort to get your puppy to drink again and on its own. But to entice them to drink, you can feed them lactose-free milk, a little broth or even some fruit with a high-water content.

Another good way is to feed him or her moist dog food. That way they will get water regardless of how much they drink from a bowl.

How to Stop Puppy Diarrhea? Click here to learn more.

How Do You Hydrate a Puppy That Won’t Drink?

Your dog should drink, on average of about 1 to 1 1/2 fluid ounces of water every day per pound of weight. That means larger dogs need a lot of water while smaller ones can do with little amounts.

When your dog is not drinking, you can try to change the water temperature. Some dogs like it cold, so they drink out of the toilet. Instead of feeding your dog water at room temperature, put some ice cubes in it. The cool temperature should entice many dogs to drink again.

Take your dog for a good walk. The hot temperatures should motivate your dog to drink something. If you can’t take it for a walk, then try playing with them inside.

Or you can put their water or food bowl in a different place where there are no distractions. You can also try changing bowls to see if that is what stops your dog from drinking. Dogs do get a little fussy sometimes when it comes to bowls.

Other methods include splashing their nose, play water games, keep his or her water fresh at all times or moisten his or her food. There are lots of tricks to use when you are worried about your dog going long intervals without water.

At What Age Do Puppies Start Drinking Water?

Yellow lab puppy drinking from a white water bowl on tile floors

Puppies start drinking from almost the minute they are born. Of course, the liquid they are drinking is their mother’s milk and they do not start drinking water for some time to come.

After about a month after birth, your puppy will start drinking water. This is the time that they are being weaned off their mother’s milk and given water to drink. Puppies start to eat real dog food at this time as well.

Do not try to give your newborn puppies water prior to the 4-week benchmark. Your puppy could get sick, and water does not contain the nutrition they need at this stage in its life. If you do give them water before 4 week is up, they may get a little sick.

It is best to wait a little bit and let your puppy get all the nutrition they need to be healthy before giving them any water to drink. Don’t be surprised if it takes your puppy an extra hour or two before they start drinking water from a bowl. Some dogs just take a little longer than others.

Why Won’t My Puppy Drink Water from Her Bowl?

Jack Russell Terrier puppy drinking from a bottle of water poured into a person's hand

There are several good reasons why this situation arises. One is that they are too busy playing and having fun to notice they are thirsty. Just like with food, they haven’t learned how to recognize when they are thirsty.

A second reason is that they do not like the water temperature. Some dogs like their water nice and cold and others prefer room temperature. The former dogs tend to be the ones who drink out of the toilet, as that is almost the coolest water in the house.

A third reason would be that there is too much noise in the house. Some puppies like peace and quiet when they drink or eat. Reason number 4 is that they are stressed.

That stress can come from having a new baby in the house, they are new to the house themselves and so on. The good news is that they will or should return to drinking on their own in a little while.

Need to know How to Get a Puppy to Eat? Click here to find out.

Some Final Words

Black and white puppy drinking water in a person's hand outdoors

Getting your puppy to drink is vital, but you should not panic. There are some good tricks to try that should entice them to drink again. You just have to be patient and watch your puppy.

If the non-drinking lasts for some time, then call your vet to see what can be done. Sometimes an illness will; cause your puppy to stop drinking and they will need medication to start drinking again.

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