How Much Water Should A Puppy Drink During Potty Training

How Much Water Should A Puppy Drink During Potty Training?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

As I mentioned earlier, most dogs will only drink water when they need it, so this is not something you need to worry about on a daily basis. An online calculator can provide you with an estimate, however. You will need to know your dog’s weight (in pounds) and how much activity they have per day (low, medium, or high) to use this calculator.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “How Much Water Should A Puppy Drink During Potty Training?“.

The question of how long puppies can go without water was discussed in a previous post as was the question of how long they can go without peeing.

How Much Water Should A Puppy Drink During Potty Training

So to continue my obsession with a puppys bladder this post will answer the question of how much water should a puppy drinks during potty training?

When it comes to drinking the majority of puppies and dogs self-regulate.

By that I mean they will only drink as much water as they need and no more.

There are some exceptions and I’ll explain them further later. 

Water should always be available to dogs at all times during the day and this should not change during potty training.

Keep your dogs’ water supply clean and fresh at all times. 

You should not change the amount of water your puppy has access to during potty training but you should take it out into the garden frequently to relieve itself. 

At what age should puppies start potty training?

Potty training puppies should begin when they are about 12 weeks old.

A puppy can start going to the bathroom in a particular place (such as on a patch of newspaper) as early as eight weeks old. This is sometimes referred to as ‘paper training’.

How long should puppy potty training take?

In my experience with our puppies there is quite a gap between when a puppy can go through a 24 or 48 hour without having an accident and a puppy that is 100% house trained.

From the age of 4 months on you might see a successful 24 hour period free of accidents but it may take another 4 months for them to reach 100% success day in and day out.

Dogs will always have accidents no matter how careful they are. 

Dogs can occasionally get stomach bugs or diarrhea resulting in them defecating in the house no matter how careful you are. 

Puppies are unique and some dogs might not be able to reach their full potential until they are about one year old.

How much water should my dog be drinking?

As I mentioned earlier most dogs will only drink water when they need it so this is not something you need to worry about on a daily basis.

An online calculator can provide you with an estimate however.

You will need to know your dogs weight (in pounds) and how much activity they have per day (low medium or high) to use this calculator.

If you choose to use ounces cups or gallons the calculator will return an answer. What influences consumption

Signs that a puppy needs to go pee

All sorts of desperate behavior could be displayed by a puppy who needs to pee now. 

The routine that you have created will hopefully prevent things from reaching this point!

Just because a puppy can hold its bladder for three hours does not mean that it can do so every three hours. 

These include:

  • The back door is pawing or scratching
  • Pacing around by the back door
  • And between you and the back door
  • Barking at the back door
  • You should sniff around any newspaper or pads you are using in the house as a toilet.

Why do puppies drink too much water?

The hotter the weather or the more vigorous the exercise the more a dog will drink.

You should also be aware of four other circumstances that might cause your puppy to drink too much water. 

1. Polydipsia

It occurs when a dog drinks too much water in connection with having a physical illness. 

However drinking too much water (over a period of days) is a sign that there is something wrong with your puppies such as kidney failure diabetes or Cushings disease. 

2. Psychogenic Polydipsia

An example of this condition is when a dog thinks they are thirsty and drinks too much water even when they are not. 

A case of psychogenic polydipsia is rare and it can be difficult to diagnose since the possibility of other illnesses must first be ruled out. 

3. Medications 

You may find that your puppy is thirstier and wants to drink more water if it is taking certain medications. 

You might notice that your puppy drinks more as a result of medication such as:

  • Drugs that reduce inflammation
  • include heart failure drugs 
  • and seizure medications

4. Water Intoxication / Overhydration

This was a new one to me. Have you heard of it before?

Dogs can become intoxicated by drinking or absorbing too much water.

Most often it is caused by dogs who love to play in the water (and have unrestricted access to it) or who swallow too much water when diving in to grab a toy ball or stick from the water.

In addition dogs who are out in the sun for too long and drink too much water in an attempt to cool down can also become intoxicated by water. 

Many of us have been in that situation when our dog misjudged a wave and got a faceful of water or they have fallen into the water and come up coughing and sputtering.

Occasionally these incidents can be far more serious than the occasional cough or splutter.

Nauseous lethargic and uncoordinated are some of the symptoms of water intoxication.

Due to so much water in your puppys body the sodium levels in their blood have been diluted way too much causing swelling.

Not catching it in time could be fatal. But do not be alarmed its an incredibly rare occurrence. 

Puppy potty training when out at work all-day

Potty training your puppy while working a full-time job is a very difficult task especially if you also have a full-time job.

A dog of any age should not be left alone for long periods of time and puppies and full-time jobs do not mix well. 

For a full-time job I estimate that you might spend at least nine hours per day away from home including commute time. 

There are three options available to you 

1. Bring in outside help

Someone will need to come into the office a few times a day if you are at work all day. 

The Humane Society states that puppies can hold their bladder for one hour every month of age.

In other words a two-month-old puppy can go about two hours without needing a bathroom break while a four-month-old puppy can go for four hours without the need to go to the bathroom. 

The child will need to be let out four times a day at two months of age. 

 Ideally you should live near a family member or have a very hospitable neighbor. 

You can also manage these multiple visits by coming home during your lunch hour or by asking your own child to let the puppy out when they get home from school.

You will have to work close enough to your home to come back during your lunch hour and you will have to have kids for this to work.

A dog walking or pet sitting service will be more expensive over time if you do not do this.

When it comes to getting the best results this is the only way. 

The frequent visits will not only almost guarantee that your puppy will be potty trained and over time will become 100% in the house but they will also increase the chances of your dog becoming a happy adult. 

Its challenging can not you see?

2. Set up a safe area indoors

The second option you have is this if the option

1. does not work for you.

If someone cannot come into your house during the day then you need to create an indoor space to minimize the damage that an incontinent puppy will cause Options

2. are not the best as you are not really potty training but rather managing.

Donot think of a small space as a safe place.

There is no crate here. 

Usually dogs do not defecate in the same place that they sleep and forcing a dog to do so by restricting the space that they are kept in could derail the whole training process for weeks or even months. 

In order for you to soak up the mess you have to “fence off” an area that has plenty of room for a bed and a lot of floor space that can be covered in newspaper.

If possible this area should be tiled or covered in vinyl flooring. Its a poor alternative to use wood flooring in a carpeted room because the carpet will need to be disposed of in a very short period of time. 

It does not matter how well you clean the carpet will begin to smell. 

In addition to the possible physical damage caused by the environment your puppy may suffer psychological scars from being left for such an extended period. 

3. Leaving a puppy outdoors

It is just too risky to consider this option.

While its true that any mess will be much easier to clean up here are 4 reasons not to. 

  1. What is the escape-proof of your garden? Are you absolutely certain that you have no gaps or holes in any of your fencing or gates?
  2. Do you have a secure garden? Will the puppy be able to get to the border with much-loved or poisonous plants or a pond in the garden? Where will it be able to stay warm and dry?
  3. Pets are easier to steal from gardens than houses. Approximately 52% of dogs are stolen from gardens while only 19% are stolen from houses.
  4. Do your neighbors seem relaxed toward you? Leaving a puppy outside for a long period of time can disrupt the neighbors.

When Should You Restrict Your Puppy’s Access To Water?

Restricting your puppys access to water has very few instances in which I would recommend it.

In the first case the water bowl becomes a “plaything” and not something to drink. Puppies and their gangs will use their water bowl as a mini swimming pool by dipping their noses in it or putting their paws in it. 

A puppy (or a few puppies) will not get too excited if the water bowl is removed for a short time.

 Furthermore it will save you time by preventing you from having to clean up wet floors over and over again. 

Another situation is when puppies are young many people remove their water bowls at night. 

Dangers signs and symptoms of dehydration

During potty training if you suddenly worry that your puppy does not have enough water lets examine dehydration.

Dehydration should not be an issue for puppies who have constant access to fresh and clean water. 

All dogs regardless of age need more water:

  •  When its hot (as opposed to when its mild) 
  • Rather than canned or raw food they eat dry food
  • When they have exercised more (as opposed to when they have exercised less or with less intensity.) 

First dehydration is dangerous.

Puppy and senior dogs are more likely to become dehydrated than middle-aged dogs.

This can often be due to puppies being so highly distracted that they may simply forget to drink.

Continue to jump from one thing or great interest to another at full speed. 

Dehydration can be caused by a number of factors.

One important cause of dehydration besides the obvious hotter days of summer is a puppy experiencing severe vomiting or diarrhea.

I define bad as having vomited or had diarrhea on “multiple occasions.” 

There are a number of signs your dog may be dehydrated but these are some of the more obvious ones:

  • Panting excessively
  • Thick saliva
  • Gums that are dry
  • have “unelastic” skin

What do you mean by unelasticity of the skin?

Checking the elasticity of your dogs skin is a good indicator of whether or not they are dehydrated.

This is a really simple process. The skin on your puppys shoulder just needs to be gently lifted up. 

When a puppy is well hydrated the skin will settle back into place very quickly whereas dehydrated skin takes longer to come back into place.

Dehydration is dangerous. What are the dangers? 

Dehydration can cause a puppys vital organs to shut down and it will die.  

Dangers signs and tests for over-hydration

Water intoxication is the same as overhydration which we discussed in great detail earlier. 

In contrast to larger dogs puppies and small breeds are more likely to become overhydrated because they are smaller and it takes less water to overwhelm their bodies.

Because they are much more difficult to control or stop when they get overexcited!

In addition to playing in a paddling pool for too long or soaking in a garden hose or sprinkler for too long puppies could also be at risk for water intoxication. 

A puppy that vomits or acts uncoordinated after being around water should be taken to the veterinarian immediately. 

Tips for successful potty training

Watched with interest

Follow the routine

Praises praises and more praises

The same place

Biggest potty training mistakes

The lead should not be worn

Punishment does not work

Do not turn into a game

Ignore the puppy

Waiting for the rain

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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