How much water should a puppy drink during potty training?
It’s a sensible question because, as we know, drinking = peeing!
But the answer might surprise you.
Because when it comes to toilet training your dog, it’s not the amount that they drink that has an impact on how quickly they become clean indoors.
And the rules differ for the day and night time.
Puppies need water!
Dogs need constant access to clean water during the day, and to have it removed an hour or so before bed.
It’s important to work your potty training routine around their need to stay hydrated.
How much water should a puppy drink during potty training in the daytime
During the day your puppy should have access to water the majority of the time.
I say the majority, because we don’t recommend you put a bowl of water into their crate with them.
Puppies should never be crated in the day for long enough to need a drink
A new 8 week old puppy might spend up to an hour at a time napping in her crate once she’s used to it.
And she won’t need water in there with her while she’s asleep.
In fact, all you will do by putting a bowl down is encouraging her to play with the water instead of napping.
Which will result in an over tired puppy, and a rather damp bed!
Even when your puppy is a few weeks older they won’t ever need a drink in the crate during the day.
This is because the absolute longest time they will be in there will be around three hours.
After which you’ll let them straight out for a pee, a play and some company.
Potty training is all about routines
For your puppy’s health, they need to be able to drink when they want to for most of the day.
But don’t worry, this won’t cause potty training problems.
After all, drinking and peeing are just part of every living being’s natural processes.
You just need to account for it in their routine.
All puppies are different, with different sized bladders and varying abilities to control them.
This is a good starting point for new puppy pee breaks:
They should have free access to a water bowl from 6am to 7pm as a minimum.
Aim to fit their meals in between 6.30am and 6pm. But don’t forget to use most of their kibble as training treats when possible!
How much water should a puppy drinking during potty training at night
Night time is rather different.
Your puppy doesn’t need a drink available during his big sleep.
In fact, providing him with water at this time will fill up his bladder and make an accident more likely.
We take our puppy’s water bowl away at least an hour before they settle down for the evening.
So if you are going to put your pup to bed at 11pm, take the water away at 10pm.
Then make sure they have a pee at 11pm before you all go down for the night.
Accidents in the night
Very young puppies are not able to hold their bladder all night, even without a pee.
The first night or two they will be beside your bed and will wake you when they need to pee.
But once you have started crate training at night, they will likely be in another room.
You have two choices for the first couple of weeks.
- Get up at 3am and let them out
- Use a playpen
Night time pee trips
If you get up in the night stay calm and quiet, carry the puppy from their crate to the back yard.
Even if you’re living in an apartment.
Set them down and stand silently next to them until they’ve emptied their bladder.
When they have peed, scoop them back up, and carry them back to bed.
Then return gratefully to your own bed!
Hopefully you will only need to do this for the first week or two.
If you don’t fancy losing sleep in this measured manner, then you can set up a night time playpen.
Leave the crate door open, and the crate inside a puppy playpen.
Line the floor of the playpen with puppy pads.
Your pup should relieve themselves there, rather than mess in their bed.
This is the same as the set up you might use if you work full time, or live in an apartment or house without a backyard.
Dogs need access to water during the day
Puppies need almost constant access to clean water during the daytime.
It’s essential for their good health, especially if you are feeding kibble.
And although drinking leads to peeing, the quantity of water you give them in the day should not be limited during potty training.
Instead, make sure you have a great puppy potty training schedule to follow, and remember to remove the water before they settle down for the night.
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