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Hello, my family and I adopted a four month old lab pup on Saturday. He's slowly been getting better and better at going potty outside, but I fear that we've gotten into a bad habit of not setting water out for him all the time. We usually give him a couple ounces at a time and spread his water intake over the day because he drinks quite a lot at a time. We just saw the vet and it doesn't seem like there's anything wrong with him, but he's gotten into the habit of sitting in front of the water pitcher until we give him some. Also, whenever it rains and we have to take him outside to potty he just drinks the water despite getting water inside! I know that we have to give him unlimited, but I'm not sure how to as I'm afraid he'll just drink all of it at once and I don't want him to go back on all of his housetraining progress. Any advice?
 

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If your dog is that desperate for water then I think he's really thirsty and you should give him more... I wouldn't hold water from a puppy during the day and the most I'd recommend is taking it away overnight.
 

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Yeah I would make sure he's getting the amount of water he wants. He's obviously thirsty and some dogs just drink more than others. My male dog drinks almost twice as much as my female. I have no idea why, he just does.

You'll just have to be more vigilant with watching him carefully and taking him outside more. Of course take him out right after he's had a big drink of water.

It's okay to take it away at night.
 

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Give him water. It's entirely possible that limiting it the way you are can cause medical and mental issues. Medical because water is an essential nutrient, and dehydration can cause all sorts of problems. Mental because right now, he's obsessed with drinking because he's always thirsty, and the more he is deprived of water, the more obsessed with it he can become.

The only times I've ever not allowed free access to water has been overnight (we are talking maybe six hours, and only for one dog who was a determined crate pee-er) or when someone is going in for surgery the next day.
 

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I basically always give unlimited water access to puppies and adults when I am awake and home. Meaning, I do not refill water during a workday (puppy or young dog is crated without water) or overnight unless very hot or dry conditions.

Restricting water is dangerous for dehydration and UTI type issues in the immediate short term but also can be a behavioral issue in the long run if the dog becomes OCD about water or ends up guarding water resources. I dealt with that when I first got Eva, she actually resource guarded water in addition to gulping huge bowls down at once because she feared it was all she would get. Which is not helpful for health and digestion either.
 

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I have heard the advice to withdraw water at 8 or 9 PM and offer water (free choice) after 6AM when you should be up walking the dog.

I never followed that advice. I actually put a secure water bowl in the crate at night with some water in it. Guess what that meant? I had to set an alarm and get my butt out of bed every two hours (when the puppy was 8 weeks old) to get the puppy out. That is the deal of having a puppy. Your puppy is 4 months old, so you will have to get up every four hours at night. Since he is not housebroken at all, I would get up every three.

I would not ever with hold water to a dog. It means more work for me but the dog's well being comes first so too bad and so sad for me. Puppyhood is not forever. It is a few months. Totally worth the work to have a great dog. :)
 

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I'm begging you... do NOT withhold water from the pup except as others suggest overnight. In addition to everything mentioned it might also lead to kidney failure which is as far as I know always lethal for a dog.
 
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