As a new puppy owner, everyone will be wondering when your puppy can be weaned from mother milk independent of drinking water and eating their own dog food. It’s a very important process and yet you don’t want to do it prematurely.

In this post, I’m going to talk about when can a puppy drink water, when you can consider weaning your puppy from mother’s milk, and how to do it safely and effectively.

Here we go:

When Can A Puppy Drink Water

What Age Can I Introduce A Puppy To Water?

Let’s talk about the age of a puppy and when it’s safe to start the weaning process. Experts suggest the ideal time is around 4 weeks before considering this step.

If you start the process early, your puppy will be denied vital and key nutrients plus antioxidants from mother’s milk. This is crucial for a healthy and successful development process.

Alternatively, waiting too long or missing this window can cause problems in that you’re encouraging your puppy to drink from mother’s milk after the normal and natural cycle is over.

The mother dog is not going to produce milk forever and this is something you need to keep in mind.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - AnimatedWhy Is Water Important To A Puppy?

Water is important because it helps keeps your puppy hydrated. Additionally, it allows them to feel cooler especially during the warmer months.

It will also assist with the digestive system in that it will flush out the impurities left behind. This will help with your puppy by being regular and reduce constipation. 

How Long Does It Take A Puppy To Wean From Mothers Milk?

Once you start this process, it should take about another three weeks and up to four weeks after the weaning process has started.

The goal is to remain patient and consistent during this process. Your puppy is going to experience significant change and that is never easy.

How To Introduce Puppies To Drinking Water (4 Steps)

1) Set Up The Room

The first step is you need to set up an independent area where your puppy and mother are separated for a period of time. Figure somewhere between 3 to 4 hours to allow your puppy to get used to the environment and explore.

2) Fresh Water

Use clean fresh water along with some dog food. Dip it into your puppies milk or water bowl. Just make sure the bowl is short enough for your puppy to access and drink the water.

3) Encouragement

As mentioned above, allow your puppy to freely roam and explore things for a few hours. After some time has passed and if nothing is being consumed, encourage your little friend to try out the water.

Take a small spoon and see if you can get them to lick the water. Perhaps put a little food in your hand and see if your puppy is willing to try to taste it.

4) Repeat Repeat Repeat

Repetition on a daily basis is critical during this stage. Your goal should be to get your puppy to get used to the water and solid foods as quickly as possible.

If you adopted a puppy or the mother dog isn’t producing enough milk for some reason, try using evaporated milk. You can read more about it here.

Frequently Related Questions

1) Can A Puppy Drink Cold Water?

Yes, a puppy can drink cold water. On a hot summer day, a puppy would love the treat. I would add ice in the water as well. Just make sure they are crushed and small enough so that your puppy won’t choke on any of the pieces.

2) What is the best time to get a puppy to drink water daily?

During the day, the time will not be as important just as long as you are consistent with the offering of water. However, I would give a puppy some water for about 3 hours before bedtime.

This will give adequate time for the water to take its course through the digestive tract. 

After 3 hours, I would let the puppy go potty and then allow it to sleep.

3) Is your puppy drinking enough water?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), an adult dog should have one ounce of water per pound of weight. Because puppies are more active, you should consider a little more so you can avoid dehydration. Check with your vet to get additional recommendations.

Additional Reading:

Why Do Dogs Like Mud -Yuck! (And How To Stop It)
How To Keep A Dog Cool Inside The House -15 Helpful Tips


When your puppy is about 4 months of age, you need to considered weaning from mothers’ milk. Start by offering your puppy water but just remember the patients and consistency will play a key role in succeeding.

By following the steps outlined above and over time your puppy will be drinking water and onto being a healthy dog.

Feel free to leave a comment or question below.





Wesley Buck
Wesley Buck

Hello, my name is Wesley, and I grew up in Colorado. I went to school at St. Mary's University of Minnesota and have a B.S degree in Criminal Justice. I currently reside in Georgia and have been married for over 17 years.

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