One of the most common questions that new puppy owners have is when their furry friend will start drinking water. Puppies typically begin to drink water at around three weeks old, but there can be some variation depending on the breed and individual dog. In this blog post, we will discuss when puppies start drinking water and what you can do to make sure they are getting enough fluids.
When Do Puppies Start Drinking Water?
Puppies drink their mother’s milk exclusively for the first 2 to 3 weeks of their lives and are usually weaned from their mothers starting at week 3 or 4. Sometimes this process goes on a bit longer, and it’s important to be patient with your puppy as they adjust to their new diet.
You can introduce your dog to water around week 3 or 4 as well, but they will likely not be interested in drinking it the first few attempts. One way you can tell that a puppy is ready to drink water is when their teeth begin to grow in, which happens around the same time they are weaned from their mother’s milk.
It’s a relatively simple process to teach a puppy to drink water, and they may even pick it up instinctually from their mother. You can expect your pup to learn how to drink water in about two to eight days. It may even happen on the first try!
Once your puppy starts drinking water, it’s important to make sure they are getting enough fluids each day. Puppies need about one ounce of water per pound of bodyweight every day. For example, a four-pound puppy needs approximately four ounces of water each day. If you’re unsure how much water your puppy is drinking, you can try to more mindfully measure the amounts you’re giving each pup.
How Water Helps Your Puppy
Metabolic processes are facilitated by water. From digestion to blood flow to breathing, water facilitates everything. During its flow through your dog’s body, blood removes harmful substances and transports oxygen. A lack of water prevents this exchange from taking place, which can harm vital organs.
Your puppy’s body temperature is also regulated by water. Your pup may pant if it’s hot outside. Panting allows a dog to stay cool by evaporating water. However, he loses water through the tongue, so he may have to drink more water than usual.
Because of this, it’s so important to take your time teaching your puppies how to drink water and provide them with clean, high-quality water for them to drink.
Too little water can cause dehydration, which is a serious medical condition. Symptoms of dehydration in puppies include sunken eyes, lethargy, dry mouth and gums, and increased thirst. If you think your puppy may be dehydrated, it’s important to take it to the vet immediately as this can be a life-threatening condition.
When to Feed and Give Water to Puppies?
You should start giving your puppy food and water at the same time, at approximately 3 to 4 weeks old. As mentioned above, this is the time that your puppy’s teeth will start to come in, which means they will be able to eat and drink on their own.
It’s OK to provide your pups with constant access to water as long as it isn’t dangerous for them to have access to it (i.e. if they could fall into a container or it’s in an unsafe area). However, you should only provide your puppy with food during specific meal times.
Puppies typically need to eat three to four times per day until they are about six months old. After that, you can switch them to two meals per day. You can pair this with water time in the first few weeks to help your puppy get used to its new eating and drinking schedule.
It’s important to remember that different puppies will have different schedules, so it’s best to talk to your veterinarian about how often you should be feeding and watering your specific pup.
How Do You Introduce a Puppy to Water?
You will be introducing your puppy to water during the weaning process, so there will be a lot of big changes for your little guy.
The most natural way for puppies to learn how to drink water is from their mother. Puppies naturally follow their mothers and imitate their behavior, so if you see your pup’s mother drinking water, chances are your puppy will want to do the same.
All you will need to do is leave water in a low shallow container that is accessible for the pups. They may not be able to reach the same bowl the mother is drinking out of. Keep an eye on them and if there are several pups, make sure that they are all getting enough to drink.
If their mother isn’t present to help them learn, you can introduce your puppy to water in a few different ways.
You can start by simply placing some water out and encouraging your puppy to explore it. You can also offer your pup small amounts of water on your finger or a spoon. Placing a small amount of water on its nose will usually get a puppy’s attention and cause it to start licking, which will help it realize that the water is there to drink.
Make sure to praise your puppy when it drinks and give it lots of love and attention. This will help your puppy associate drinking water with positive experiences and help things to move along more quickly.
What if My Puppy Won’t Drink Water?
If your puppy isn’t drinking water, it’s most likely because it is making a negative association with water or container.
This can happen if your puppy gets sick after drinking water or if it has had a bad experience with water in the past. If this is the case, you will need to take some time to re-introduce your puppy to water and help it make a positive association with drinking.
The best way to do this is to use positive reinforcement and a lot of patience. Start by offering your puppy small amounts of water and praising it when it drinks. You can also offer it small pieces of kibble as a treat if it is comfortable with eating (puppies start eating food at the same time they start drinking water).
If your puppy is still refusing to drink, it’s important to take them to the vet to make sure there isn’t a medical reason for their lack of interest in water. Dehydration is a serious issue for puppies and can lead to death, so it’s important to take action if your puppy isn’t drinking water.
When Do Puppies Start Drinking Water From a Bowl?
Puppies typically start drinking water from a bowl around the same time they start eating food from a bowl, which is usually around six to eight weeks old.
Before that, they will likely drink from a shallow dish or even directly from your hand. If you are using a bowl for your puppy, make sure it is low enough to the ground that it can easily reach it.
You can also help your puppy get used to drinking from a bowl by holding it for them and letting them drink at their own pace. This can be especially helpful if your puppy is hesitant to drink from a bowl or if it seems like they are afraid of it.