It is hard to know everything about caring for a new puppy right away. You may end up with more questions after bringing your new puppy home for the first time.
Something you may be wondering is:
Do puppies need water at night?
Yes! Puppies do need access to water at night because they might end up dehydrated if they can’t drink when they are thirsty.
Check out why you should not restrict water access to your puppy and if there are certain situations when you may need to remove their water.
You’ll also find out how long puppies can hold their bladder and how to prevent your dog from having accidents during the night.
Some dogs drink a lot of water at night, and some don’t. So, learn how to look for signs of dehydration to keep them healthy.
Do Puppies Need Water at Night?
Puppies need to drink enough water at night because they can end up dehydrated after several hours of no water.
Dogs spend most of the day asleep in between eating, exercising, and playing. They tend to only drink a lot after eating and exercise.
At night, a dog’s sleep is not continuous. They often need to compensate for any lack of water intake throughout the night to avoid dehydration.
Leaving a bowl of water for your puppy at night may be tricky if you’re still potty-training them.
Accidents will surely occur if they are not yet aware of where to pee and how to let you know if they need to go out.
If your puppy is already potty-trained but tends to urinate all the time, then they might have a urinary tract infection.
UTIs worsen when a dog is dehydrated, so taking away their bowl of water is not the right solution to stop them peeing all over the house at night. You’ll learn how to resolve this issue soon.
You also want to be patient with puppy accidents as their bladders are still tiny at this point.
Why Puppies Need Water
Everyone needs water!
Puppies need ready access to water because they can’t regulate their body temperatures yet. They can do it with the help of enough water intake though.
Ever noticed your dog panting during a hot day? When they do this, they are releasing water from their mouth through evaporation. This will mean they need to drink more water.
Water also makes digestion, blood flow, brain activity, and breathing more efficient.
It will clear out any harmful toxins in a puppy’s vulnerable body.
Also, once you slowly wean a puppy from their mother’s milk and start feeding them solid foods, they will need more water. This will help keep their little body functioning and healthy.
How Much Water do Puppies Need?
Puppies can’t live without water. But how much water do they need?
Their need for water increases as they become more active and the amount of energy they expend grows.
As the weather gets hotter and puppies require more energy while growing, their need for water also increases.
Puppies need around 60-90 milliliters of water per kilogram of body weight. This means that a 10 lb. or 4.5kg puppy needs around 270 to 400ml of water per day.
If your puppy is more prone to dehydration, then you might want to lean towards the higher end of that scale.
Even if they do drink this much water during the day, they may still be thirsty during the night.
That being said, limiting their water intake the whole night is not the right way to avoid puppy accidents. Never compromise your puppy’s health!
Why You Should Not Restrict Your Puppy’s Water at Night
Both health and behavioral issues might occur when you restrict water access to your puppy at night. As well as potential dehydration, there are a number of things to look out for.
Dogs who lack access to water at night may overcompensate in the morning and develop bloating or water intoxication.
When your dog drinks too much water, their electrolyte levels drop, and their blood plasma becomes thinner.
Water intoxication can also happen when they are swimming or playing with the garden hose. It can disturb brain function and other body organs.
Symptoms of water intoxication can include:
- lack of coordination
- dilated pupils
- glazed eyes
- excessive salivation.
They might start vomiting from a large water intake too quickly.
Your dog might also be at risk of urinary tract infection which can escalate into bladder stones or kidney damage.
Obsession with Water
Your puppy may start seeing water as a reward or something to be excited for when they can only have it at a certain time of the day.
They can start obsessing during the short accessible moments, making them drink all the water they see. Whether it’s clean or dirty, if they need it or not, they will drink it.
This means dogs might drink from the pool, mud puddles, or anywhere else that is inappropriate and potentially unsafe.
If your dog starts doing this, you should prevent their access to areas with dirty or toxic water.
A dog who’s obsessed with water might also start resource guarding or being aggressive toward anyone who approaches their bowl of water.
They could also start resource guarding the pool, toilet, sink, or even the puddle in your yard because it contains water.
Resource guarding can be a severe issue, especially if they start getting violent with others.
Should You Remove a Puppy’s Access to Water
You might be wondering if there are certain situations where you can remove your dog’s access to water. The truth is there’s none.
If you want to stop puppy accidents, you have to potty-train your puppy. If they are potty-trained but started having accidents again, check for signs of UTI such as:
- straining or crying while urination
- house accidents
- wants to pee outside all the time
- bloody and/or cloudy urine
- licks around their urinary opening
Your puppy should never have restricted access to water. They have to be able to drink when they are thirsty.
Water should always be available, especially if they have health problems, it’s too hot, they’ve had plenty of exercises, or if they are dehydrated.
You also want to pay attention to when they have to pee and drink water so you can adjust their night routine.
For example, if your puppy drank a lot of water after an afternoon play session, then you might expect them to urinate soon after.
The same is true with letting them drink water during the night.
You can try setting a timer to guarantee that your dog has enough time to go outside, pee, and even poop at the right place. For puppies, they might have to go out every 30 minutes.
However, if nighttime access to water is causing chaos to the house and you’re not yet done potty-training them, then you have to make sure they’ve had enough water before bedtime.
A good guide is to let them drink water at 8 PM, then take them out for a potty break at 10 PM. But you should check on them during the night if you can. And give them water as soon as you are able to.
Why Dogs Drink a Lot of Water at Night
If your dog suddenly gets extremely thirsty at night, then there might be a medical issue, such as an infection, kidney disease, cancer, or liver disease.
This is more common among senior dogs rather than puppies. It’s also accompanied by huge weight loss.
But sometimes, they might simply be thirsty. Or they know you will take away their water at night, so they drink more.
If your puppy is on medication, then it might also be causing excess thirst. Check with your vet and research the side effects of the meds they’re on to know if this is normal or not.
Signs of Puppy Dehydration
Some signs that your puppy is dehydrated include:
- dry nose
- loss of skin elasticity
- loss of appetite
- sunken eyes
- sticky gums.
To check if your pup is dehydrated, look at the scruff of their neck, gently grab, stretch out, and let go.
Their skin should snap back right away. If it doesn’t they may be dehydrated.
You can also check for dehydration in their gums. Press their gums until they’re white and release pressure.
In two seconds, a hydrated puppy’s gums will return to pink.
How Long can Puppies Hold Their Bladder?
For a guide, the number of hours dogs can hold their pee is directly proportional to their age. A two-month-old puppy can only hold their pee for two hours.
This means the puppy also needs to go out every two hours or earlier. As previously mentioned, the safe interval for small puppies is every 30 minutes.
If you don’t take them out more often, they will have accidents and potty training will become more difficult.
Remember that this is merely a guide.
A puppy has little to no control over their muscles in the urethra or pee passageway.
The bladder is also tiny at this point.
Here are some factors that might affect your dog’s ability to hold their pee.
If your dog has diabetes, they might have to pee more often as extra urine is produced from high blood sugar levels.
Your furry friend might also tend to have a higher water intake to compensate.
UTI is also a health condition that greatly affects their ability to control their bladder, although this is uncommon in puppies.
Other conditions include kidney diseases, infections, bladder stones, and certain medications.
We have earlier pointed out that the younger your pup is, the more frequent their urination.
Puppies won’t be able to sleep through the night without the need to go out until about 16 weeks old.
But as they grow older, they might still need to pee even during the night.
If your puppy is not yet fully trained, then it is perfectly normal for accidents to happen around the house.
Puppies need to be taught the right and wrong places to pee, as well as when to drink water.
A routine will help both of you to remember bathroom breaks and to ensure your puppy is well hydrated.
If your pup has anxiety, they might not be able to hold their urination. This is more likely to happen during nervous situations.
One way to help an anxious dog is by wrapping them. Wraps provide a comforting weight and soothe specific pressure points on their body.
It feels like a nice warm hug to them.
Your puppy needs more water during hot summer days because they burn more energy and have to regulate their body temperature.
Their excessive panting will help them regulate their body heat, causing dehydration. They will then need more water and therefore will urinate more.
If you don’t take them out more frequently during this time, they won’t be able to hold it in.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Having Accidents at Night
If your puppy has access to water at night, here are some ways to prevent bedtime accidents.
Avoid Salty Food
Your puppy should avoid salty food because it will make them thirstier and drink more water.
Aside from future kidney problems, salty treats will make your dog more dehydrated, therefore increasing their water intake and the need to going out at night.
Take Your Dog Out Before Bedtime
Always take your puppy out before bedtime.
This is the most convenient way to prevent accidents at night. You need to do this even if they don’t drink too much water at night.
Even if their water intake is low, they may still have an accident in the house.
Put them in a Smaller Space
Dogs have a lower chance of urinating inside the house if they are confined to a smaller area of the house.
You might want to keep your puppy in a crate at night where they have a water bowl.
Some water bowls are specifically made for the crate, such as Poodle Pet Water Feeder Bottle. It’s easy to mount and refill, unlike the typical water bowls with limited volume.
This means it’s important to crate-train them as early as possible so they can learn to comfortably sleep at night.
You may also keep them in a slightly bigger sleeping space than the crate by using a dog gate to segment part of a room in the house.
FAQ Dogs and Water
How Long Can Dogs Live Without Water?
Dogs can only survive up to three days without water.
And if they continue living past that they will be very weak and sick.
This does not mean it’s okay to leave your dog without water for a few hours at night. Constant dehydration or over-drinking in the morning can have a severe impact in the long run.
When Can Puppies Eat Dry Food Without Water?
At 8 weeks, your dog should be fully weaned from the mother and start eating dog food with water.
And within a month, they must start relying more on a solid food diet. However, you have to do this gradually.
Don’t do this too quickly or they might not be interested in eating at all since they are not yet used to eating food.
Help your puppy transition their dietary needs by understanding when and how to eat dry dog food.
Why Doesn’t My Dog Pee on the Pad?
If your dog used to pee on a pad but suddenly stopped, then it’s could be because they need re-training or they may have a urinary tract infection.
Train your dog to pee on the pad with positive reinforcement methods.
If you think training is not the problem, then check for signs of UTI.
Find out the other reasons why your dog doesn’t pee on the pad anymore.
Keep Your Puppy Hydrated
Just like with us, water is essential for your puppy’s health. Everyone needs it to survive and to keep the body functioning well.
You should not restrict access to water at night just because you don’t want them to pee all over the house.
The main alternative to this solution is to train them to pee in the right place. You should do this as early as possible so they can get used to the correct behavior right away.
But what if your adult dog suddenly experiences accidents? Sudden accidents may happen with older dogs even if they are house-trained.
Stop your adult dog from having accidents by rewarding them for doing their business outside.