12 easy ways to encourage your puppy to drink water

Water is a basic need of humans and animals. If your puppy does not drink enough water throughout the day, then he might not be healthy and might be suffering from some serious health problems. There may be other reasons like kidney issues or pain in the gums due to growing teeth. Some puppies may not be drinking water due to behavioral problems like they are cranky and sometimes don’t drink water deliberately. But despite anything, puppies should never remain thirsty otherwise it can become a threat to their life. Dehydration may lead puppies to serious problems like renal failures etc. Therefore, here we have mentioned many ways through which you can convince your cranky puppies to drink water so that they may stay hydrated and active throughout the day.

How to encourage my Puppy to Drink More Water?

Here we have discussed all the methods and techniques through which you can convince or motivate your puppy to drink water.

  1. Make sure the water bowl in which you are giving water is clean. It is not polluted or dirty with impurities in it and put fresh and clean water on a daily basis after washing it out. Often people put the food and water in old uncleaned water bowls that turn into molds and algae and in this way when puppies drink that contaminated water, the mold and algae enter the pup’s body and stomach and eventually cause many problems. It may cause stomach infections, algal infections, intestinal infections, etc. Therefore, a water bowl before every refill should be properly washed and cleansed in order to protect your puppy from unexpected diseases and health problems. It is better to sanitize your pup’s bowl with a sanitizing liquid before refilling it.
  2. Place his water bowl in the place he resides, sits in or spends most of his time so that whenever he sits or relaxes, he takes a sip of water now and then. Just try keeping a bowl of water in his play area or the area where the puppy sits most of the time. Whenever he sees the fresh water-filled bowl, he naturally will have the urge to drink water and by drinking sip by sip from one time to another will overcome his water deficiency.
  3. Whenever he takes a sip or two, give him a treat so that he knows that drinking water is rewarding. This is called reinforcement in psychology which means if the behavior is accompanied, then through the reward that animal is most likely to replay or redo that behavior again and again in order to get the reward. For example, if you reward your puppy with a yummy peanut butter biscuit once he drinks water and one another time he drinks water and you give him a cookie again. Then he will link that drinking water with the reward of that cookie and is most likely to come and drink water again to get the cookie again. This can be a very helpful technique and will help your pup to drink more and more water until he is properly hydrated.
  4. Add chicken or bone broth to his water to make it look more yummy and appealing. When a puppy is given chicken or bone stock, he drinks it with great interest as puppies and dogs love broth. If he is not liking simple water then put some broth with bones and chicken chunks in the water and whole water for him will turn into a yummy broth. So, in order to eat bones and chicken chunks, he will also drink the water and in this way you can make your dog drink a lot of water. Some dogs love chewing ice cubes, thus give him a small bowl of ice cubes so that his water intake is fulfilled. Puppies that are young and have healthy teeth love chewing and biting on ice cubes. They find it quite amusing to break the ice cubes with their teeth and grind them up. This is one of the best tricks to give your puppy plenty of water through ice cubes, just fill up a bowl with lots of ice cubes and then let him eat them all, all the water will end up in your dog’s stomach making him feel fuller and hydrated.
  5. Place some wet food on the water bowl or on its sides so that while eating his food, some water also goes along in the mouth. In this way, you can just trick your puppy and he will definitely drink water along with eating his food. Sometimes the wet food is mixed in water to make it flowier and in this way your puppy can have the goodness of both.
  6. You can also put water in the dry food of puppies so that water goes into their body and they stay hydrated. Commercially prepared dry dog foods have very low water content and dogs that rely totally on dry food are mostly dehydrated because the food is free of any water content except for just 3% that is also used for manufacturing. As water is not added in dry dog food to increase its shelf life and to preserve it for a longer time. So the dogs that are only on dry food need to drink water separately alongside. Therefore, pet parents mix dry food with water to enhance the texture and flavor of food and in this way they stay hydrated too.
  7. Try making drinking of water fun for him. Just open up the tap and allow him to play with water and while playing he will also keep drinking from tap but the condition is that tap water should be clean and free of impurities. Puppies love playing with water in summers. If your pup is dehydrated, just fill a tub of tap water and let him play with it. You can also make it fun by pouring some colorful balls in water with which he will play and splash water around and will also consume it.
  8. Give him some juice, fluid or a watery drink but not a carbonated drink. You can give him strawberry juice or orange juice. You can also add the chunks of oranges and strawberries in the juice that he will love to enjoy while eating. You can also add some glucose powder in the water so that he may also get some energy along with water. You may feed him with yummy juices that are commercially made either mango and apple flavored and he would love it. Just make sure to read the ingredient list before buying these ready-made juices.
  9. Just start giving your dog or puppy canned food as it has a good amount of water content. If your puppy is not drinking water at all, just switch from dry dog food to canned dog food. As soon as you switch, you will immediately see the change in your puppy. Canned dog food has a huge amount of water content and after intaking canned food, your puppy will be intaking a lot of water.
  10. Add spinach, blueberries and apple sauce in food as these have huge amounts of water and when dogs eat them, their water intake also increases. Fruits and vegetables are naturally loaded with water and when you eat them, huge amount of water enters into the body.
    • Spinach is a green leafy vegetable and is extremely beneficial with lots of nutrients. Spinach also has a lot of water in it. You can give your puppy either spinach soup or you can also make yummy spinach and chicken cookies for him. You can also make a spinach juice for him as this will aid a lot against the dehydration of puppies.
    • If your puppy is finding his food boring and not eating it, just add a bit of sweetness and apple flavor and he will finish it up all. If you are serving him with dry food, then add apple sauce. You can also add apple sauce in the veggie salad to make it more flavorful and juicy. Thus, using an apple sauce in dog’s food incorporates more water in his diet .
    • Juicy blueberries also have huge water content. Just try to incorporate the blue berries in your puppy’s diet by making blueberry cookies or making a chunky blueberry cake. You can also put blueberries in huge amount in homemade dog foods. Your puppy will not only love eating them but his dehydration will also reduce.
  11. Put water bowls at more than one places where he normally sits like near his bed, his eating place, near his play area etc. You can also put different kinds of liquids or juices in bowls to encourage him to drink more fluids or water.
  12. Bring a new bowl and buy a new one with brighter color, having different texture and material to make drinking water more exciting. You can also bring a new bowl having dog shape or any other shape that has 3D molding of any animal or any other cartoon character. This can also be very appealing for your dog and he will start drinking water from that new bowl.

Following are some frequently asked questions about water for puppies, that you might be interested in getting answered.

  1. At what age can puppies start drinking water?
  2. Why is my puppy not drinking any water?
  3. How long is a puppy OK without water?
  4. Can puppies drink tap water?
  5. Can puppies go all night without water?
  6. How do I know if my puppy needs water?
  7. What is the best water for puppies to drink?
  8. Do puppies need boiled water?
  9. How long can an 8 week old puppy go without drinking water?
  10. Can a puppy go 4 hours without water?
  11. Conclusion.

At what age can puppies start drinking water?

A Puppy can start to drink water when it is 3 to 4 weeks of age. Before that they must be fed on their mother’s milk and cannot drink water. At 4 weeks, they must be gradually switched from the mother’s milk to solid food and by that time, their teeth also start growing and they are able to digest the food naturally as well.

Why is my puppy not drinking any water?

Puppies usually drink plenty of water and they love it. Puppies stay more active than elder dogs, therefore because of more physical activities they need more water to drink. But if the puppy is hesitant to drink water or suddenly stops drinking water then there may be some problem related to his health which might be leading to the loss of thirst. There can be problems like:

  • Kidney disease.
  • Liver problem.
  • Diabetes etc.
  • There may be other symptoms like loss of appetite, behavioral changes like dog being irritated most of the time or lethargic.

Then you should immediately take him to a veterinarian because there is definitely some serious health issue that is causing disturbances in thirst and appetite drive.

How long is a puppy OK without water?

Puppies can go from 48 to maximum 72 hours without water. Some puppies have seen to survive 6 to 10 hours without drinking water but puppy will start showing dehydration signals after 24 hours. Puppies can be OK without water for not much long. A Puppy must drink water because it can be easily subjected to dehydration and dehydration can cause serious problems like renal failures.

Can puppies drink tap water?

Yes, puppies can drink tap water only if it is clean and fresh. In some areas due to water pollution, the tap water is polluted with sodium, sulfur and other impurities present in them. In such cases don’t make your puppy drink that water. If the water is not safe for human consumption then it can not be safe for animals like puppies and dogs as well. If the water is free of contamination and you use it for bathing, cleaning and drinking purposes, then there is no problem of making your puppy drink that water.

Can puppies go all night without water?

Yes, puppies can go all night without water like for 8 hours and that is the time of overnight and most of the vets recommend to avoid serving water bowl at night. For puppies especially in winters, if they drink water at night then they will have a desire to pee again and again at night. So it will make a mess in the morning.

How do I know if my puppy needs water?

There are many ways to know if puppy is dehydrated or needs water.

  • If you stretch the place between the puppy’s shoulder and if the skin immediately gets back to its place, then the dog is fully hydrated. If the skin takes time to come back to place then the puppy is definitely dehydrated.
  • If the gums of the dog are dry and are sticking together then he needs more water.
  • If your dog is frequently panting again and again then it means he is thirsty.
  • If a puppy has sunken eyes, saliva is thick, nose is dry and the gums are tacky, then it means that the puppy is thirsty and needs water.

What is the best water for puppies to drink?

Distilled or filtered water is the best for puppies to consume. Distilled or filtered water is free of impurities. It will strengthen your pup’s immune system and will prevent him from stomach disorders or other issues.

Do puppies need boiled water?

Yes, puppies being sensitive should be given boiled water and water should be boiled for at least one minute so that all the bacteria and impurities are removed and all the hazardous pathogens and micro-organisms die. After boiling, just cool down the water and give it to your puppy.

How long can an 8 week old puppy go without drinking water?

An 8 week old puppy can go for a maximum of 8 hours without drinking water, that is the time of an overnight. The smaller the puppy, the lesser the time he can stay without water.

Can a puppy go 4 hours without water?

Yes, a puppy can go 4 hours without water but if the puppy is not served water for more than 24 hours then he may start displaying signs of dehydration that may turn dangerous.


If you want that your puppy drink water, then keep him busy in any physical activity. Water is the major entity of survival and lack of water in puppy’s body may lead to severe and serious health problems. Puppies thus cannot be kept thirsty for more than 8 hours because they may get dehydrated. There can be many reasons behind puppy not drinking water like kidney issues, diabetes etc. Some techniques can be adopted to convince them to drink water like cleaning their water bowl daily and adding fresh water, buying a new attractive water bowl, mixing wet and dry food with water, serving more canned food, reinforcement, adding chicken or bone broth is water, serving more fruits and vegetables, letting the puppy play with water and serving juices etc. Thus, puppies can be fed with water in many ways and people should try tricks and tactics to give them water. Otherwise dehydration may lead to renal disorders, stomach upset or even death of puppies.

Leave a Comment