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When your puppy is obsessed with drinking water it can be concerning. Especially if they seem to be drinking more than their bellies can hold. There are some medical issues that can cause a puppy to drink excessively and it’s important to rule these out.

Why Does My Puppy Drink So Much Water?

A puppy drinking too much water can be caused by a behavioral issue, anxiety, or a medical problem. Medical problems can include Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Cushing’s Disease, as well as others. If your puppy is drinking too much water, they should have a veterinarian check them.

Most puppies will self-regulate the amount of water they need to consume. If they’re going beyond what is considered a normal amount, then there’s a reason behind it.

There can be a few reasons why your puppy won’t stop drinking water and they’re broken up into two main categories: Medical and Behavioral.

Medical

If your puppy is obsessively drinking water, then it’s vital that you have them checked by their vet. It’s important to rule out any possibilities of a health concern that could be affecting your puppy.

Possible health concerns can include:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Problems
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

One of the first symptoms you may notice in a puppy with diabetes, kidney issues, or Cushing’s Disease is excessive drinking. It’s also possible that a UTI is causing your puppy to drink in excess. This is the bodies way of flushing out the infection.

If your dog is drinking water and vomiting, be sure to read our post about that.

Here is a veterinarian talking about the medical side of when dogs drink too much water:

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Dehydration

If your puppy is dehydrated, then they’ll feel they need to drink lots of water. Dehydration can occur if they’re going through a bout of diarrhea, vomiting, or have excessive urination.

If your puppy eats dry food, and it’s of low quality and has a high sodium content, then this can also be causing dehydration and excess drinking of water.

Again, dehydration is something you can talk about with your veterinarian and discuss if this is the reason for your puppy’s water obsession.

Signs your puppy is dehydrated include:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Excessive panting
  • Skin not snapping back after being pulled
  • Dry nose
  • Dry gums

Behavioral

Some puppies will just love drinking water. They might like the splashing sounds, or the way it feels in their mouth.

Others may drink it because their anxious. If your puppy suffers from separation anxiety, or has anxiety in general, then this can definitely cause their fascination with water, as they try and find ways to comfort themselves.

Can Drinking Too Much Water Hurt My Puppy?

Yes, drinking too much water can definitely harm your puppy through water intoxication. This can be just as dangerous as dehydration. This can happen not only if they obsessively drink water, but if they play around water and accidentally swallow too much.

Watch for the following symptoms with your water loving puppy, and if you see any of them present, then take them to their vet.

  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Staggering
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Pale Gums
  • Salivating in Excess
  • Dilated Pupils

How Much Water Should My Puppy Drink?

A puppy that has yet to be weened off their mother will need about a half cup of water every two hours.

Most likely your puppy has already been weened and is older than 8-weeks.

You can use this chart to see what amount of water your puppy will require per day. We used the recommended daily amount from the American Kennel Club.

Weight Of Puppy (lbs) Daily Water Intake (ounces)
5 2.5 – 5
10 5 – 10
15 7.5 – 15
20 10 – 20
25 12.5 – 25
30 15 – 30
35 17.5 – 35
40 20 – 40
45 22.5 – 45
50 25 – 50
55 27.5 – 55

We also address this subject in more detail in our post How Much Water Should Your Dog Drink: (With Chart!)

If your puppy is very active, then they will require more water than the recommended daily amount. It will also be dependent upon whether or not they eat wet food, as wet food has a substantial water content, meaning they would require less drinking water.

Test Your Puppy’s Daily Water Drinking

In order to address the problem, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. It could well be that your puppy is drinking their daily recommended amount, or just slightly over it.

By testing how much water in a day your puppy is drinking, you can better understand how big the problem is and whether you will need to bring in some water intake restrictions.

The best method of doing this is to fill up a gallon jug with water. Pour some into your puppy’s water bowl. Throughout the day, use the same jug to refill their bowl.

At the end of the day, take a look at the marker on the jug, and read how much has been used up. Use the above chart and see where your puppy is in comparison to a recommended amount.

If it is drastically higher, then you will need to intervene with portioning their water intake.

You should also do this over a few days and log them, so if you are unable to solve the issue yourself, you have a reference to talk to your vet about the problem.

Restricting Their Water Intake

If you are house training your puppy then you can take their water away during the night. Be sure to stick to a regular schedule of when this occurs. For instance, 9pm every night.

If you have tested your puppy’s daily water intake, and it exceeds the recommended amount by more than what would be considered reasonable, then you can also take this step. There is a possibility here though that your puppy could start seeing their water as a valuable resource that isn’t around all the time. This could potentially do the opposite of what you’re hoping restrictions will do, and they will want to get all the water they can get while it’s there.

In this dog behavior expert video he explains a technique to teach your dog to control their own behavior around water.

How to Stop Your Puppy from Drinking Too Much Water

If your puppy’s vet has done tests and ruled out any medical related issues with their drinking, then you can start to address the issue from a behavioral standpoint.

Is your puppy suffering from anxiety? Does your puppy drink more water during stressful periods, such as being alone, or when there’s loud noises?

If this is the case, it’s a good idea to crate train your puppy if you haven’t already done so. This can help them with their anxiety as it gives them a safe space to spend time.

Also be sure to have a good supply of toys for them to play with, as well as puzzle enrichment toys, as this will keep their attention off what’s bothering them, while rewarding their play.

Reward them when they’re calm and give them lots of cuddles.

You should also consider changing their water bowl as it could deter them from excess drinking by interrupting their habitual pattern.

Here are a few choices worth considering.

PetSafe Healthy Pet Watering Station

K&H Pet Products CleanFlow Filtered Water Bowl

Heyrex Torus Filtered Water Bowl

It’s important to spend a lot of time with your puppy when they’re awake, training them, playing with them, and exercising them. The more time they’re kept distracted, the more likely they will only use their water when they feel thirsty.

Diet

Every puppy owner should be supplying their pup a quality dog food. Cheap kibble can absolutely be contributing to their over-drinking. We recommend Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy as there’s no artificial flavors or preservatives and no nasty fillers.

You can also try using a wet food as a topper for their kibble, such as Merrick Grain Free Puppy Plate. Wet food is higher in moisture content and will keep your puppy hydrated, and there’ll be less need for them to over drink.

Hot Weather

Your puppy will drink more water throughout the hotter periods of the year. Dogs don’t cope well in the heat, especially if they have a coat of hair that hasn’t fully molted yet.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t have many sweat glands to cool them down. Instead they use their noses and the pads of their feet. But panting is their main mechanism for cooling down, as the moisture from their tongue evaporates.

Final Word

If you think that your puppy is over drinking, then the first port of call is your puppy’s vet. It can become a danger to them if they drink too much, and it also can be caused by a medical condition that needs addressing.

Once you can rule out any medical related issues, then you can try some of the things we discussed in this article. If you’ve changed their diet, changed their bowl, restricted their access, and given them lots of training and affection, and they’re still obsessed, you should consider calling a dog behaviorist in to help.