My Puppy Isn't Drinking Enough Water

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Puppies need to drink water to stay healthy and grow. Ideally, on a daily basis, they should be getting at least 1 ounce of water for each pound that they weigh. Monitor your puppy's drinking behavior closely, because if he isn't drinking enough water -- or any at all -- he may need to see a vet, and soon. Whatever the cause, be it sickness or behavioral, he needs to be getting regular fluids. Watch for the signs of dehydration, like dry mouth, stringy saliva and inelastic skin.


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Tip #1 - Freshen up the water in his bowl more frequently. Your puppy may just be finicky -- some dogs don't like to drink water that's been sitting out for too long.

Tip #2 - Comfort your puppy in any way you can. Sometimes pups stop drinking as a reaction to stress, like moving in with a new family and changing homes. Make sure that his environment is calming and comforting, free of high-energy distractions and loud noises.


Tip #3 - Give him wet food to get moisture into his body, provided he is still eating regularly. Dry food can hasten any dehydration he may be inducing in himself, but wet food is typically 70-80 percent water.

Tip #4 - Change his water bowl. If a puppy isn't used to drinking from a certain type of bowl, he may be hesitant. For example, if he is used to metal bowls, a plastic one may seem uninviting.


Tip #5 - Contact your veterinarian to schedule an appointment. Dehydration can stunt your puppy's growth and cause organ failure, so he needs to get fluids soon. His unwillingness to drink water may be caused by an underlying condition, like an infection or an injury, which should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.


Warning: Never attempt to force your puppy to drink water, either by pushing his face into the water bowl or by forcing water into his mouth.

By Tom Ryan


Pet MD: The Importance of Water for Dog Nutrition
Dog Channel: Change in Dog's Drinking Habits
Gun Dog Magazine: 10 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool

About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.


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