When it comes to keeping a young puppy growing healthy, vibrant and strong, clean and fresh water is crucial one he's weaned. Before weaning, drinking water is an unknown experience for most dogs. The transition to drinking water usually has just occurred by 6 weeks of age.
Until a puppy is old enough for weaning, she probably won't show any interest in drinking water. While a mother doggie is nursing a puppy, the wee one receives all she needs. Outside nourishment just isn't necessary at this point. However, mother dogs typically begin weaning their litters around 3 to 4 weeks of age, or perhaps shortly after. This is when you gradually introduce a puppy to the wonders of healthy, thirst-quenching water.
When a puppy is 6 weeks old, her mother will very likely still be occasionally nursing her, as well as the rest of her littermates. Weaning isn't an instant thing; it usually takes around five weeks or so to fully complete. Although a puppy will probably still be getting some nourishment from nursing, she'll certainly be eating some solid foods -- both moistened and dry -- at this time. It's also extremely likely that she'll have begun regularly drinking water, too.
The amount of water a puppy may consume depends on the individual. After all, just like people, puppies are individuals, too. Puppies often tend to mimic the water-drinking habits of their mothers, especially in the beginning. You may notice a puppy enthusiastically lapping up water every single day, several times a day. At the same time, another puppy may be significantly more lackadaisical when it comes to water consumption.
Although some puppies may seem more or less interested in water than others, it is extremely important for all of them. H20 by far is the most crucial nutrient in any canine diet, whether puppy, young adult or senior. Make sure that your puppy always has plenty of clean, new water available to her. Dehydration can lead to potential health problems in dogs and can sometimes even be life-threatening. For your sweet pooch's sake, take the need for water seriously.
Although some puppies may be bigger water drinkers than others, pay attention if you think that your fluff ball's consumption is excessive -- think more than 3 or 4 cups daily, for instance. Remember, however, that water intake depends largely on body size, ambient temperature and activity level. In cases of seemingly inordinate water consumption, your pet may be suffering from hyponatremia, an insufficient sodium disorder. Some dogs drink water as an obsessive-compulsive habit -- despite not being particularly thirsty. Take your puppy to the veterinarian to make sure your puppy's drinking habits are normal and not in fact related to hyponatremia or any other pressing medical condition -- the sooner the better.
- Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: Nutrition for the Growing Puppy
- ASPCA: Feeding Your Puppy
- ASPCA: Weaning
- ASPCA: Nutrients Your Dog Needs
- The Humane Society of Harrisburg Area: Signs of Dehydration in Your Dog
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Low Sodium
- ASPCA: Compulsive Behavior in Dogs
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