Skip to Content

Why Do German Shepherds Drink So Much Water? [Answered!]

Water is essential to life. Every living creature needs it to stay hydrated and therefore alive. Dogs need water just as much as we do, though different breeds of dogs need different amounts of water. German Shepherds are one of the breeds that need to drink a lot of water every day.

Table of Contents

Why Do German Shepherds Drink So Much Water?

German Shepherds need to drink so much water because of a combination of their larger size and their activity levels. They need more water than some other breeds because they do more exercise every day and are bigger creatures. 

The amount of water that any dog should be drinking in a day is calculated using their body weight in pounds and that number in ounces is how much they should be drinking a day. Another way of calculating is to multiply your dog’s weight by 0.3 and that’s how many liters it should be drinking a day.

German Shepherds weigh between 61 and 88 pounds (depending on whether the dog is male or female.) This means that your German Shepherd should be drinking between 62 and 88 ounces of water a day or 1.8-2.6 liters of water a day. 

Of course, this number also changes based on how active your German Shepherd is. This breed of dog is a lot more active than some other breeds out there. 

German Shepherds need about an hour of exercise a day and have a lot of energy to use up. You can also typically find these dogs working as police or service dogs. 

Dogs that are more active or spend more time outside need to drink more water to stay properly hydrated. 

When you are outside with your dog, make sure that it has access to plenty of clean water so that it can stay properly hydrated. This is also recommended for extensive exercise with your dog which can happen during agility and endurance training. 

Why Do German Shepherds Need So Much Water?

German Shepherds weigh more than many other kinds of dogs out there which means that they have to drink more water. There are several in-depth reasons why this breed needs more water.

Their Size

As already discussed, German Shepherds need a lot of water because they are bigger dogs. Since the amount of water, a dog needs are calculated based on its weight, it isn’t surprising that the larger dogs need more water. 

With male German Shepherds getting into the 80-pound range, you really have to make sure that your dog is getting enough water every day. Expect to need to refill their water bowl a few times a day so that they get the proper hydration.

Activity Level

German Shepherds have a ton of energy and love to run around and play. These dogs can be seen going for plenty of walks, playing in the backyard, and even going on outdoor adventures with their families. 

However, since these dogs spend a lot of time running around, your German Shepherd will pant a lot.

Panting is how dogs keep themselves cool when they are outside or doing exercise. However, due to the evaporation of water that comes with the process of panting, dogs can face dehydration if they pant too much.

Since German Shepherds are super active, they will need even more water on the days that they do more work. 

Typically, your German Shepherd will know when they need to have more water so they should always have water available to them. 

To make water more available, have an outside water bowl for the backyard, or bring a water bottle and bowl when on outdoor adventures. 

Making sure that your German Shepherd is hydrated while outside will help prevent them from becoming too dehydrated or even having a heat stroke. 

It is also best to avoid the outdoors for extended periods of time when it is really hot out. 

German Shepherds have thick coats that already make them pretty warm and hot temperatures can be dangerous if they are outside for too long. 

Their Diet

This isn’t a huge factor in how much water a German Shepherd drinks in a day but it still makes a difference. 

Dry dog food is the most commonly given form of dog food. However, as the name entails, it is pretty dry. This means that your German Shepherd will need a bit more water than a German Shepherd who only eats wet dog food. 

Why Might My German Shepherd Not Be Getting Enough Water?

Just because they are supposed to be drinking plenty of water every day, there are German Shepherds out there that don’t drink as much water as they should. 

A Sick German Shepherd

When a German Shepherd gets sick, they might not want to or have the energy to go and get a drink of water. Being sick can also lead to dehydration to sudden losses of body fluids that then aren’t replenished by drinking water.

Usually, one of the first signs of your German Shepherd being sick is an unwillingness to drink water and eat food. If you notice a sudden decrease in hunger and thirst, you should call up the vet as soon as possible. 

On the other hand, there are also diseases that can cause your German Shepherd to drink even more water. Diabetes and kidney diseases, along with some others, can make your German Shepherd feel thirstier and therefore drink more water. 

Lack of Clean Water

No one wants to drink dirty water. If you neglect to clean your dog’s water, whether that be from not changing out the water or not cleaning the bowl, your German Shepherd might refuse to drink the water from it. 

This refusal can then lead to dehydration because their water isn’t clean enough to drink. 

Make sure to change the water in your German Shepherd’s water bowl regularly. If your dog has an outside bowl, make sure that the bowl gets taken inside to be cleaned so bugs, dirt, and other debris can’t get into it

It’s also good to make sure no harmful bacteria can grow in your dog’s water bowl and make them sick. 

Always make sure that your German Shepherd’s water bowl is full whether they are inside or outside. Not having access to enough water during the day is a sure way to become dehydrated.

Old Age

When a German Shepherd gets to their senior years, moving can become difficult. 

German Shepherds are prone to bone problems and joint pains which can make it hard for them to get up and go to the water bowl for a drink.

If your German Shepherd is in too much pain or if it takes too much energy to get to the water bowl, the German Shepherd might just decide to not bother. That’s not good as it will lead to dehydration.

To remedy this, make sure that the water bowl is close by to your German Shepherd’s favorite resting spot. 

You can also give them several water bowls across the house so that your Germans Shepherd never has to walk too far. 

This method also works great if your German Shepherd is sick, injured, or just had surgery. 

How to Get Your German Shepherd to Drink More Water

If the methods above don’t work or if your German Shepherd is facing a different situation, then you might want to try some of these other methods. 

A simple way to get your German Shepherd to consume more water is by switching them to wet dog food. 

There is obviously more water in wet dog food than dry dog food, so by eating the wet kind, your German Shepherd will also be getting a little more water in them as well.

Many different kinds of fruit are safe for German Shepherds to eat. You can give them some fruit with a high water content, such as watermelon, for them to “eat their water.” Just be careful and always double-check what fruit your dog can and can’t eat.

Frozen “pup-sicles” make the hydration experience a bit more pleasurable for your German Shepherd. 

Whether it’s just ice or a homemade fruit popsicle, this frozen liquid can help dehydrated dogs get the water that they need.

Final Thoughts

German Shepherds need to drink a lot of water in a day. Depending on the size of the German Shepherd, they can need to drink 88 ounces a day which translates to about 2.6 liters. 

Smaller German Shepherds won’t need as much water, but it is still a lot to drink!

German Shepherds need more water mainly because they are larger dogs and they do a lot of physical activity. Even dogs need to keep hydrated after a workout. 

With these dogs needing so much water, they might be prone to dehydration.

Make sure that your German Shepherd always has access to plenty of clean water for them to drink. These dogs do a lot so they can get pretty thirsty!

Tags

Tags