How Long Can A Puppy Go Without Water Overnight?

How Long Can A Puppy Go Without Water Overnight

About the Author: Dr. Finlay Tayler (DVM), a Harvard veterinary graduate, brings his five years of diverse experience to MyPetDoggie. Passionate about all animals, and a proud dog owner, he balances full-time veterinary practice with contributing expert insights to our content. Dr. Tayler’s love for the outdoors, cycling, and love for dogs enrich his holistic perspective on dogs care.

Our pets are like our family members. They deserve to be treated the right way whether it be their mental health or physical health, their diet, or their play-time. It’s essential to take good care of them. Your little puppy depends on you for care and attention. Never forget to give them the best.

You need water during night time and it’s easy for you to get up and grab a glass of water and go back to sleep. But can your puppy do this? The answer is no! And if you are curious about your puppy’s water needs, then let me tell you that they need between one half ounce and one ounce of water per pound of body weight in a day.

So, How Long Can A Puppy Go Without Water Overnight?

Puppies are more prone to dehydration because they have faster metabolism. To have healthy and well growth, they need an adequate amount of water. Puppies can go 8 hours easily without water overnight.

But this doesn’t mean that you should restrict their water intake. Doing this continuously can cause dehydration. Try to maintain a balance. Water intake totally depends on the size, age, and breed of your puppy. Always seek professional help before taking any step that could affect your puppy.

During the daytime, puppies are active. They are indulged in different activities like playing, physical exercise, sniffing around, and exploring. These activities consume energy and energy comes from both food and water. Such activities may leave him tired and thirsty. Research says that an animal’s body is made up of 60% to 80% of water. To maintain this water level in their body, they need water.

How Long Can A Puppy Go Without
A little dog wears the collar and sits on a rock

Why Is Water So Important For Puppies

All living beings need water to survive. It is one of the crucial elements that is required for survival. Imagine yourself without water. Can you stay healthy and hydrated? Water is essential to maintain your inner activities. For humans, it is important to have at least 8 glasses of water per day. Remember, lack of water can even cause death!

Just like us, our little fluffy fellows also need fresh and clean water. Water maintains nutrient intake, digestion, and absorption and regulates the body temperature. Water plays an essential role in joint lubrication. If you are not giving enough water to your puppy, it can cause dehydration. Your puppy may have to face muscular complications and it becomes difficult for their internal system to maintain their pH level. If organs don’t get water for a long time, they start dysfunctioning which can lead to death.

When Can You Introduce Water To Puppy At Night

Dogs are good at giving indications. You can follow the thirst pattern of your puppy. This would help you to understand when your pup needs water at night. If your puppy is having excess water before sleep, it can also cause trouble for him and you as well. The need to urinate increases by drinking excess water. But it doesn’t mean you should restrict water to him.

Train your dog first. Take him out and encourage him to relieve himself before bedtime. You can confine a small area for your puppy to urinate, this will also help him. Once your puppy is all set to deal with urinating issues, you can introduce water to him at night too. But don’t start from too much, start from a moderate amount of water. Observe if your puppy is leaving water or craving for more. Also, note that either he is urinating frequently or normally. 

When Do Puppies Start Drinking Water

Once puppies transition from milk to solid food and their teeth start to grow, they are all set to start drinking water. This period is around 3-4 weeks of their age. Newborn puppies can fulfill their hydration needs from their mother’s milk. But when they switch from milk to food, water is the essential element to keep them hydrated. 

When Do Puppies Start Drinking W
A little puppy lying in a car seat

Make sure to give clean and fresh water to your puppy. If your puppy is too young, he is good with half a cup of water every two hours. Monitor the drinking habits of your puppy, it will help you to understand the increasing need for water. As the puppy grows, his water intake also increases. A growing body needs more to function properly. When your puppy gets involved in physical activities, thirst increases. Always try to give adequate water to your puppy to avoid dehydration.

My Puppy Won’t Drink Water, What Can I do

The key to dealing with this situation is to be patient. When your puppy starts growing, his routine changes significantly. He may take time to adjust to his new routine. So try to be consistent. Don’t stop giving water, it could worsen the situation. Ensure that water is clean, fresh, and easily accessible. Your puppy might also be avoiding water because of any impurity or not having easy access to water. Give water in a shallow bowl.

Pet follows the owner. Drink water in front of your puppy, this will intrigue him. You can also start the playtime of your puppy or you can increase the existing playtime. It will increase his thirst and he will surely run to the bowl of water. You can also monitor the food intake of your puppy. Your puppy might be having wet food. Eating wet food means that your puppy is getting the essential moisture from the food. Decrease the wet food and make your puppy addicted to water. 

Also, you can try different water temperatures. Some puppies don’t like cold water. Observe the reaction of your puppy towards different water temperatures. If he prefers lukewarm water, I suggest you provide him with water according to his needs. At last, if your puppy is showing continuous inconsistency, then you may consult your vet. There might be any health issue that needs to be resolved.

You might be interested in: Learn whether you should leave water out for your puppy all day and how to manage their water intake

How To Get A Puppy To Drink Water

Start by giving less amount of water. Keep an eye on your puppy’s response. Try giving water from different sources like well water, filtered water, or bottled water to know about your puppy’s preferences. Make a consistent schedule. Set up a routine of giving water at different intervals throughout the day. Use a small and approachable bowl. You can also use interactive bowls with unique patterns and designs. It makes puppies curious.

Take your puppy out to explore. Let him play in the wet grass. Sometimes puppies lick the wet grass and this can also be a good initiative to get towards drinking water. Hiding your puppy’s favorite treat near the water bowl can also be helpful. Something that will bring him near to the bowl. He will notice water and there is a chance that he will drink too. 

When To Stop Giving Water To Your Puppy Before Night

Limiting the intake of water before bedtime varies for every dog. It depends on the dog’s age, size, and breed. If your puppy is just a few weeks old, it means he has a small bladder. He can’t resist the urge to urinate. You should limit the water to two hours before night. If he is an adult and trained, then you should not worry much. Adult dogs can survive the whole night easily without water. They are also well-trained and can control the urge to urinate.

When To Stop Giving Water To You
A dog sleeps peacefully on the bed

It is important to keep track of your pup’s activities throughout the day. Having a physically engaging day can also increase the thirst. In such a case, don’t let your puppy suffer from dehydration. If he needs water, give him. 

How To Ensure Your Puppy Remains Hydrated Throughout The Night

Giving water directly through a bowl is not the only way to keep your dog hydrated. You can use various techniques to deal with this. Give wet treats to your puppy. Freeze your puppy’s favorite treat. It will be a good engaging entertainment for him and he can also fulfill his water requirement. You can also use chicken broth instead of water. It will attract your dog and it is also a tasty treat for dogs.

You can also offer your pup water-drenched toys. Give him a treat every time he drinks water, this will motivate him to drink an adequate amount of water. If your dog is drinking enough water throughout the day, he will not get in any trouble at night without water. You just need to be careful with all the tips and tricks.

How To Know If Your Puppy Is Dehydrated

How To Know If Your Puppy Is Deh
A dog sits on the floor in his home

Your puppy can show various symptoms if he is dehydrated. Those symptoms can be:

Dry Urine 

If the urine of your puppy is very concentrated and it shows a darker color than usual, then it could be a sign of dehydration. It means that your puppy is lacking the required amount of water.

Loss of Appetite

Your puppy can also lose interest in food when dehydrated. If he is not eating enough and avoiding food, it means something is wrong.

Dry Mouth and Panting

If your puppy’s mouth is not moist enough and his gums and mouth are dry and sticky, it means he is suffering from dehydration. Excessive panting can also be one of the symptoms. 

Dull- Looking Eyes

Your puppy’s eyes should be bright. If suddenly his eyes have changed from being bright to dull or appear as sunken eyes, you can consider that he is suffering from dehydration.

Less Urination

Not having an adequate amount of water in your puppy will result in less urination. If your puppy is not going out much to urinate, he is showing one of the symptoms of dehydration. 

If your puppy is showing all or some of these symptoms, be mindful. Seek professional help or consult your vet as soon as possible. You might have limited his water intake or there could be other causes of dehydration. Get your pup checked by a vet, so he can solve the problem.

Signs Of Overhydration

Just like dehydration, your puppy can be overhydrated. You must have been familiar with the phrase which goes as ‘Excess of everything is bad’.

Signs Of Overhydration (1)
A dog shows his sign regarding the hydration

Yes, giving too much water to your puppy is not going to fix things. It will lead to many problems. Such as:

Nausea and Vomiting

Excessive amounts of water can dilate the electrolyte and disturb the fluid balance. This imbalance will force the extra fluid out of the body through vomiting. Frequent vomiting is one of the signs of overhydration. It can affect the digestive system and cause nausea.


Overhydration can cause water intoxication in puppies. This can disturb the nervous system, which can sometimes lead to headaches. Nut headaches are not frequent in dogs like humans. It’s very rare.


As I mentioned before, overconsumption of water can cause water intoxication in puppies. Water intoxication is the condition when the electrolyte imbalances. It can also cause swelling in puppies. Swelling is not a common symptom or not the only indicator of overhydration. You need to confirm by observing other symptoms as well.

Confusion and Disorientation

The brain function is badly affected by electrolyte imbalance. To function properly, balance is essential. As the balance is disrupted, the puppy loses the ability to respond quickly. They act confused. Their brain functioning is disturbed, which leads to disorientation and confusion. You will find that your puppy is almost lost and is not able to do anything properly.


Overhydration can sometimes cause fatigue and tiredness in puppies. However, fatigue is mostly related to dehydration.

Frequent Urination

One of the common symptoms of overhydration is frequent urination. The body finds every possible way to force out the excess fluid to maintain the balance of the body. When this happens, the puppy gets an urge to urinate more frequently than usual.

Pale Urine

Pale urine is not considered a sign of overhydration. Instead, pale urination indicates that the puppy’s body is maintained and well-hydrated. It is a sign of a healthy body not of a sick body. If your puppy’s urine is pale, it means he is all good.

Hyponatremia Symptoms

Hyponatremia is termed as water poisoning. Too much water intake can cause hyponatremia. It comes with various symptoms. If your puppy is suffering from overhydration, he will show loss of coordination, because electrolyte imbalance disturbs the normal functioning of the body. There are many chances of your puppy feeling weak, anxious, or restless. Excessive water intake swells the abdomen of the puppy.

Too much drooling, excessive salivation, increased heart rate, dilated pupils, and pale gums are the symptoms of hyponatremia. All these symptoms appear together or some of them appear to indicate that the body is suffering from overconsumption of water. Keep in mind that hyponatremia can progress rapidly. It can cause swelling in the brain that can lead to death.

It is very important to avoid overhydration just like dehydration. Both affect the puppy in the worst way possible. Teach your puppy to take breaks while doing any physical activity, it will help him to not over consume the water at once.

Limit the water during training especially if you are using any treat. Don’t get them into water right after having a meal. Take guidance from your veterinarian to save your pup from any trouble in the future.

Do Some Dog Breeds Need More Water Than Others?

Yes, water requirements vary from dog to dog. Some breeds need more water than others. It is not limited to breed only. Many other factors play a part, those are age, size, activity level, climate, health condition, and diet. Adult dogs can survive more time without water as compared to puppies. Just like this, if your puppy indulges in heavy physical activities on a daily routine, he will need more water than the ones who are involved in light physical activities.

If your pup’s diet is super healthy and his water requirements are fulfilled through the diet. He may not need to drink water more frequently. A healthy dog can survive without water for a long time. On the other hand, if there is any underlying health problem for a dog, he might not be able to survive with limited water access. All these factors collectively or individually play a part in water consumption for dogs. The best way to get the correct answer is to monitor your dog’s activities and eating and drinking habits.

Common Questions:

What time should a puppy’s last meal be?

It is different for dogs of different ages. In early weeks, a puppy’s last meal should be 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. As they grow into adults, their last meal should be 5 to 6 hours before bedtime. But you can always adjust the schedule according to your puppy’s needs. Don’t fall into such a situation where to avoid the nighttime bathroom, you limit your puppy’s food. This can cause hunger-discomfort to them.

Can 4-week-old puppies drink water?

Yes, 4-week-old puppies can drink water. Around 3 to 4 weeks, puppies start shifting towards solid food and water. This is the period when they are introduced to water. You should be careful at this stage. Teach them to drink water and monitor their routine. Don’t stuff them with excessive water.

Should a puppy have water in his crate at night?

It is ok if you leave water in your puppy’s crate but you should be careful about this. Consider the needs, age, breed, size, and health conditions of your puppy. If your puppy needs water more frequently and is trained about his bathroom routine, then it is good to keep water. In other cases, you should be responsible enough to maintain the balance.

Should water be left out for puppies?

Yes. You should leave clean and fresh water for your puppy. The bowl should be accessible to the puppy. Make it easy for him to drink water at his learning stages. If you do not do this, you may face some issues later. Your puppy will not get familiar with drinking water and it can lead to dehydration.

When should puppies have their first water?

The time when they left their mother’s milk. Newly born puppies get all the nutrients and hydration from their mother’s milk. But once they start to grow up, they shift to solid food. Solid food alone cannot give hydration. Once a puppy enters into the 3rd or 4th week of his lifespan and starts growing teeth, he should have his first water.

Ending Note

Water is the basic part of life. Just like oxygen and food, every individual needs water to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Whether it be us or our pets like dogs or cats, all need water. The question arises of how much water is enough water and how to manage the adequate requirement of water. The answer is simpler than you think, don’t overwhelm and stuff yourself with queries.

When you adopt a puppy, he is at the stage where his daily intake of fluid is shifted from his mother’s milk to water. The amount of water is further dependent on his accurate age, size, breed, and health conditions. In the early weeks, a puppy needs less water. As he matures and gets engaged in physical and outgoing activities, his water requirement increases. But be careful, don’t let your pup get overhydrated. Strike a balance to protect them from being dehydrated or overhydrated. Both can have adverse effects.

Keep your pup’s activities and health under surveillance. On average, a dog can go 72 hours without water (source), but it doesn’t mean that you have to put them in such a situation. I hope you may have got all your answers, and if yes, then share them with other dog owners too. Sharing is caring and caring for your dog should be one of your top priorities!

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