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How Much Water Should I Give My Great Dane Puppy?

Great Dane drinking from water bowl

Great Dane puppies can go through a lot of water! As an owner, it can be difficult to know how much they should be drinking and how much you should be giving them. Of course, you want your puppy to be well hydrated, but can you actually give too much water?

How much water should you give your Great Dane puppy? The short answer is, as much as they want. There is no reason to restrict your dog’s access to water, although you should monitor water intake. Puppies need more water relative to their weight than full-grown dogs, so you should plan on replacing their water multiple times a day.

Although many people believe that you should only give a dog so much water, it’s actually much healthier for your dog to have an unlimited supply and self-regulate.

Just like in humans, dehydration can very dangerous for dogs and can lead to more serious health complications. So how much water should you expect your dog to drink in order to stay hydrated?

About How Much Water Does a Great Dane Need?

This should come as no surprise but Great Danes are big dogs! An adult Great Dane can weigh anywhere from one hundred to two hundred pounds.

These dogs are similar sized to humans and therefore have similar water requirements. Think of how much water you drink in a day, and it’s likely that your dog will have similar requirements. Interestingly, the amount of water required will vary with age as well.


Young dogs i.e. puppies need more water per pound of bodyweight than their full-selves. The best way to meet this need is to ensure that they have a full bowl of clean water at all times.

The actual amount of water that they drink will typically average out to a half cup of water every other hour, but this will also vary with activity and temperatures.

For example, if you let them have a blast playing outside on a hot day then they’ll clearly need to drink more water to account for lost fluids.

You may also notice that they go for a while without drinking at all, and then drink more after a play session or with meals. The important thing is to ensure that they’re overall getting enough fluids throughout the day as a whole.

While you do not want to restrict their total water intake, there are certain times when it may be smart to limit how much is available. Namely, during the late evening hours.

Because your Great Dane will likely still be learning to be potty trained, it can help to not completely fill up their bladders right before bed time!

This is not to say that you should completely remove their nighttime water, just cut back on how much is available. If you are looking for more information about potty training, make sure to look at our full guide here.


Older puppies that have been fully weaned need about half an ounce to an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. This means that if your puppy weighs 30 pounds, he or she will need 15–30 ounces of water per day. 

While these numbers serve as a general rule of thumb, certain Great Danes just simply drink more water than others! The best approach will be to still ensure that their water bowl is full of clean and fresh water at all times.

At this point, most Great Danes will be fully potty trained so nighttime accidents are less likely. However, if this is still a problem, you may want to consider cutting back on the available water late at night.


By the time Great Danes are fully grown, they’ll need even more water! Give about an ounce of water per pound of body weight.

Yes, a fully-grown Great Dane can easily go through a gallon of water every day!

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Why is Water Important?

Proper hydration is important for your puppy for the same reasons that it’s important for you. Water allows for metabolic processes such as digestion, muscle contraction, and brain activity.

Blood is mostly made of water and is used to wash toxins from the body and transport critical oxygen. 

Dehydration can happen when dogs don’t get enough water, especially when being active or in high heat. Vomiting, fever, or diarrhea can all cause dehydration as well. 

Here are some symptoms of dehydration to watch out for:

  • Panting
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark urine
  • Lethargy
  • Dullness or changes in mental awareness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Dry mouth, nose, or gums
  • White gums
  • Weak pulse
  • Sunken eyes
  • Shock
  • Collapse

Why Some People Don’t Give Their Great Danes Enough Water

There are lots of people who will recommend you limit a dog’s water intake for a number of different reasons.

One easy way to make sure that plenty of fresh water is always available is to use an automatic water bowl like the one shown below!

PetSafe Drinkwell

Give your furry friend fresh, flowing water with the PetSafe Platinum Pet Fountain. The circulating water stream encourages your pet to drink more.

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Most of these reasons are based on pure myths. Let’s go over a few of the most common reasons people don’t give their Great Danes enough to drink.

Accident Avoidance

Especially when potty training, having a dog with an overfull bladder can be a real concern. A dog that has had too much to drink might be more likely to pee on the rug, the floor, or the carpeting. To avoid a mess, some dog owners will limit water intake. 

The problem is that when water intake is limited, a dog becomes programmed to drink as much as they can whenever water is available. If water is always readily available, then they’ll drink only when they’re thirsty.

Limiting a dog’s water intake can actually cause the exact problem that it’s trying to avoid. Dogs that drink a ton of water all at once are more likely to have to go so bad later that they wind up having an accident.

Bloat Concerns

Bloat is a serious condition in larger dogs that can lead to serious health complications. Because bloat is so common and so dangerous, many dog owners worry about it to the point of limiting water intake.

Causing dehydration to avoid bloat is not a good trade-off, and the total amount of water affects bloat far less than the way it is consumed. 

To avoid bloat, place your dog’s food and water dishes up higher off the ground. When larger dogs stoop to eat and drink, they are more likely to have stomach problems. 

Also, avoid letting your dog consume too much water too fast. This is another reason not to limit water because, like mentioned in the section above, limiting water can cause dogs to overdrink when water is available.

It might be a good idea to provide a small water bowl and refill it regularly. 


While it is possible for dogs to overhydrate, it’s unlikely that a dog will overhydrate from simply drinking too much. It happens more commonly when dogs swallow too much water while swimming.

However, if you’re encouraging your dog to drink a lot all at once, over-hydration is a possibility.

Lot’s of things can affect how much water your dog takes in during a single day. Weather, activity level, diet, and other factors all can cause your dog’s natural water intake to swing wildly from day to day.

Because of this, it can be difficult to say how much water is too much. It’s generally best to assume that your dog can self-regulate, but be on the lookout for signs of overhydration, especially if it seems like they’ve gone through a lot of water recently. 

Contact your veterinarian if you see your dog exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Loss of coordination
  • Staggering
  • Bloating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Pale gums

Proper Water Bowl Placement

As discussed earlier. Water bowl placement is even more important than water intake in preventing bloat and overhydration in dogs.

The right amount of water placed too low to the ground, and only in one location can cause bloat or overhydration in extreme circumstances.

Up High

A Great Dane’s food and water bowls should be placed up off the ground, closer to its mouth. Big dogs, like Great Danes, struggle to swallow when stooped over.

When their heads are down, they often swallow large amounts of air along with what’s in the bowl. This can lead to problems like bloat in larger dogs. 

For adults, you’ll want to aim for 18–24 inches, depending on the size of your Great Dane. When they’re still puppies, aim for something shorter, maybe 6 inches or so.  

For a quick look at our list of recommended elevated feeders, you can find it here.

Indoors and Outdoors

We already mentioned it, but it bears repeating, give your dog water bowls in multiple locations. Even if you don’t limit water intake, putting water in only one location can cause your dog to develop a feast or famine mentality towards water.

You don’t want your Great Dane to feel like he or she has to get it while the getting’s good. This can lead to over-drinking, bloat, and overhydration.

Encourage your dog to drink when it’s thirsty by placing multiple water bowls. Usually, one inside and one outside is good enough. But maybe the two places in the house where your dog spends the most time makes more sense. 

Clearly, there are a lot of things for a Great Dane owner to consider…

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4 thoughts on “How Much Water Should I Give My Great Dane Puppy?”

  1. our 17wk old puppies stagger really bad when they wake up in the mornings. Its almost like their rear legs are asleep. Is this normal?

  2. I have an almost 10 month old Dane. She loves to run and play hard which in turn makes her very thirsty. I worry about bloat, so I watch her for about 30-45 min after playing and limit her water intake during this time until she seems cooled down. I let her drink a little in about 5-10 min increments while cooling down. If I let her, she would inhale her entire water bowl quickly after play. Is there a better idea on a safe amount during this time so she’s not so thirsty (if I’m being too restrictive), while she’s cooling down?
    Thank you for any advice.


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