If you're wondering why your puppy drinks so much water, you should know this is a common complaint from puppy owners. Sometimes, puppies don't understand their limits. They might play until they fall asleep, eat well past feeling full, or overdo it when drinking. But it's also possible your puppy might be drinking a lot of water because they're anxious, bored, aren't getting enough moisture from their food, or have an underlying medical problem. Keep your puppy healthy by understanding what this behavior could mean and how much water is too much.
Possible Reasons Your Puppy Drinks a lot of Water
Puppies who guzzle down water might do this for a few different reasons. Most are behavioral, referred to as psychogenic polydipsia, but there might be something else going on.
Puppies often experience a lot of stress in their early months. They're weaned from their mother, taken from their littermates, and thrust into a new environment. These adjustments can cause mild to severe anxiety. It's possible your little one could be drinking so much water as a way to self-soothe. Keep an eye out for other signs of stress, including pacing, hiding, yawning, panting, or diarrhea.
Without enough mental stimulation, your puppy could become bored and turn to activities to entertain themselves, like gulping down water. Other signs of boredom include digging, barking, destructive chewing, and signs of agitation. Make sure your pup is getting enough exercise and attention through enriching activities. Play games with your puppy, allow them to engage in smelling while on walks, and work on training to tire them out mentally.
Do you feed your puppy a kibble-only diet? Dry dog food is pretty low in moisture (usually around 10% water content), so it's possible they might drink a lot of water to compensate for this. You could consider supplementing your puppy's diet with wet food, which contains up to 70% moisture, or add some warm water or broth to their kibble.
Unfortunately, medical problems can cause increased thirst, even in puppies. These include puppy UTIs, Cushing's disease, or kidney problems. Your veterinarian can run a few non-invasive tests to rule these out and give you peace of mind that your little one is healthy.
Should You Limit Your Puppy's Drinking Water?
It's not safe to withhold water from a pet, so never limit your puppy's water. Always allow free access to fresh water to prevent your puppy from becoming dehydrated. Water intoxication, where a dog ingests too much water, is rare and is usually a result of playing or swimming in open water. If you're worried your puppy is drinking too much water, see your veterinarian to rule out any physical causes, then address possible behavioral reasons behind this habit.