Like most creatures, puppies need water to survive. Mother's milk helps puppies stay hydrated and nourished as they grow. When the mother retires from these tasks, the puppies should be accustomed to the water and ready to meet their hydration needs on their own. So when can puppies drink water?
Let's take a closer look at introducing water to puppies. You can learn the best methods to ensure your puppies stay healthy throughout the process. In addition, it will help you raise happy puppies that will become fantastic family members.
When Can Puppies Drink Water?
One of the most important aspects of puppy care is giving them food and water at the right time. It can be detrimental if given to puppies at the wrong time. When can puppies drink water? To keep your pup on track, it's best to start giving them water and solid food around 3 to 4 weeks of age.
This contributes to the formation of their cells and good digestion. In addition, water helps deliver nutrients to cells for growth while helping to regulate body temperature.
Why Do Puppies Need Milk First?
You may want to introduce water and solid food to your puppies' diet earlier, but that's not a good idea. A puppy's digestive system is far too sensitive to be subjected to anything other than its mother's milk for the first few weeks. This milk is packed with antibodies and nutrients that puppies need to grow correctly. If removed too soon, his digestive system may not fully develop, and he may have difficulty digesting solid foods.
In some situations, puppies end up orphaned or separated from their mother. If this happens, water is not an adequate substitute. Several types of milk substitutes are available to supplement your mother's milk. This will ensure that your puppy's nutritional needs are met, even without its mother.
Best Products for Puppies
How To Introduce Water?
Around three weeks of age, you can begin to take your puppy away from its mother for a while. You should have soft food available for your pup to taste during this time. You can choose to use a milk replacement formula, wet dog food, or soft kibble. The bottom line is that this is a learning process for your pup. It can start slowly, and it will be dirty. Be ready for this part.
When you separate your puppy from his mother, use a warm place free from cold drafts. This will make your pup's time exploring the world on their own more comfortable and help them avoid unwanted illnesses. While introducing your puppy to solid food, always have water available. If he is not exploring the water on his own, gently push him toward the water. He will eventually try it. Finally, stand by the side of the road with a warm cloth to clean up your baby after he's had fun.
How Much Water Should I Give My Puppy?
Water is the main building block of all living organisms. Without water, there is no life. Therefore, it is important to ask about the quantity of water that we must bring to our animals to keep them in good health. A veterinarian will try to provide answers regarding water in dogs and puppies.
What Are The Physiological Water Needs Of Dogs?
To begin with, you should know that the water needs of an adult dog are estimated at 50-70 mL/kg/day. This is an average, and many parameters can cause this value to vary. If you want to know more, do not hesitate to read the article How much water should I give my dog?
However, the period when your pet is considered a puppy is very special for many reasons, implying that the physiological needs of the puppy are higher. For example, it is estimated that a puppy should drink twice as much as an adult dog, i.e., between 100 and 150 mL/kg/day. For a 5 kg puppy, this represents 500 to 750 ml per day, and for a 15 kg puppy, between 1.5 and 2 liters of water per day.
Why Do Puppies Have Higher Needs?
By definition, a puppy is a growing individual of the canine species. Indeed, the transition to adulthood is arbitrarily defined by the moment when the growth of the animal is complete. This period of growth varies according to the size of the animal in adulthood. The smallest dogs (Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Bichons, etc.) are adults for around six months, while giant breed dogs (Great Dane, Mastiff, Newfoundland, etc.) end their growth rather around 18 months.
Reasons why puppies need more fluid intake than adults are: Puppies are generally much more active than adult dogs. To compensate for this energy expenditure, they need to drink more.
When puppies are born, unlike humans, many developments are still to be acquired. For example, they take about three weeks to open their eyes and develop their sense of sight. Therefore, Puppies spend, in addition to this externally visible physical activity, a lot of energy developing their organism (bones, muscles, brain tissue, etc.).
Puppies, like children, have more difficulty maintaining their body temperature. A good state of hydration is essential for this to be possible.
Can My Puppy Drink Even More Or Even Less Water Than Average?
Your puppy may be drinking more than average. In this case, the approach to adopt is as follows: make sure to correctly quantify what your animal drinks over 24 hours. If he drinks "too much," this may be of behavioral origin (we speak of potomania) and, very often, linked to hyperactivity or hyper-anxiety syndrome. Or, it may be that a medical condition is present and requires a consultation with your veterinarian to determine the origin of the problem (urinary tract infection, congenital problem, etc.).
Your puppy can also drink less if you offer him a special diet such as mash, a portion of wet food that already provides a significant amount of water, or a household ration, for example.
What Are The Risks İf My Puppy Drinks A Little?
The main risk is, of course, bodily dehydration. In the eyes of inexperienced people, this dehydration may appear trivial or anecdotal. However, this is a situation comparable to what one can feel in the event of sunstroke, for example. It is, therefore, possible to observe severe clinical signs in a puppy in the event of dehydration:
Loss of appetite
Increased respiratory rate, gasping
Vomiting that accentuates dehydration
Moreover, if your dog drinks little, all the functions of regulating body temperature or developing bone and muscle tissue can be destabilized. In this case, episodes of hypothermia and growth disorders may be observed.
If Your Puppy İs Dehydrated?
There are three ways to determine if an animal is dehydrated quickly:
The fold of skin: make a fold of skin by gently pinching the area between the shoulder blades. Then release, and if this fold does not return to its place instantly, this is a sign of a lack of elasticity in the skin, proof that your dog is dehydrated.
The eyeballs: dehydrated dogs have more sunken eyes than average, which changes their appearance.
Dry mucous membranes: if your pet is dehydrated, his mucous membranes will be too. The best way to tell is to touch your dog's gums. Place your finger under his lips, in contact with the gum. If it's wet, it's fine. However, your animal is dehydrated if the gums are a little sticky or dry.
What To Do İn Case Of Dehydration İn The Puppy?
This is common sense. You have to offer water to your animal. It must rehydrate gradually, so it gets used to functioning with a normal volume of water.
If your dog has, in addition to this dehydration, one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, it is best to take him to a veterinarian and not wait to make sure that everything is fine.
In puppies, even more than in adult dogs, offering water at will and renewing it regularly so that it is fresh is essential. It is inadvisable to restrict a puppy's access to water, even if he is in a potty training period and urinates several times a day inside the home. In addition, puppies are even more sensitive than adults to extreme heat. Therefore, avoid any risk of dehydration problems by shifting your puppy's outing times during the summer!
In case of strong heat, to avoid dehydration, it is essential to renew the water in the bowl so that it remains as fresh as possible. If you are in the car or outside, do not hesitate to have a mister with you to refresh your puppy. Above all, do not leave your companion in the car (even with the windows a little open) in the event of strong heat. In the passenger compartment, the temperature can quickly rise above 40°C: if your dog remains locked in the car, even for a short time, he can suffer fatal heatstroke.
We hope that with this article, we have answered the question of when puppies can drink water. If water is important to a puppy's development, timing is crucial. Allowing your puppy to drink water before three weeks can disrupt its growth and development. Understanding their needs as puppies is essential for owners who want healthy puppies that will grow into happy pets. By sticking to this schedule, your new family member is sure to become a happy family member.
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