Does your German Shepherd drink enough water each day? How much water do German Shepherds need anyway?
Generally, a normal and healthy dog needs to drink 0.5 to 1 oz. of water per pound of body weight daily. This means that an 80-pound German Shepherd needs 40 to 80 ounces of water daily. However, there are also different things to consider when altering the amount of your German Shepherd’s water intake.
Things to Consider When Adjusting the Amount of Your German Shepherd’s Water Intake
Whether your German Shepherd needs 40 to 80 ounces of water – or somewhere in between — depends on different factors such as the following:
- Weather/Climate – Yep, dogs need to drink more water during hot days compared to cooler days.
- Diet – If your German Shepherd feeds on dry kibble, he will need to drink more water compared to dogs who eat wet food or are on a raw diet.
- Activity – German Shepherds are very active, and they will need to drink more water after exercise, running around, and other physical activities.
- Health condition – Some medical issues may require your German Shepherd to increase or lessen his or her water intake.
- Age and Weight – The heavier the German Shepherd, the more water he needs to drink.
Is Your German Shepherd Dehydrated?
If you aren’t sure if your German Shepherd is drinking enough water, you may do the following tips to see if your German Shepherd is dehydrated.
Pinch the Skin
The best and easiest way to know if your German Shepherd is hydrated or not is to check his or her skin’s elasticity. Pinch your German Shepherd’s neck and pull it up, then let it go after a few seconds. Observe how the skin of your German Shepherd moves. If the skin snaps back to its original position instantly, it means your German Shepherd is hydrated. If it failed to snap back or if it remained wrinkled, it means your German Shepherd needs to drink more water.
Check the Gums
Another way to know if your German Shepherd is consuming enough water is by checking his or her gums. To do this, open your German Shepherd’s mouth and run your finger over his or her gum. If it is wet, then your German Shepherd is hydrated. If it’s too sticky or dry, then he or she needs to drink more water.
Another way to check if your German Shepherd is dehydrated is by pressing his or her gums. To do this, open your German Shepherd’s mouth and press his or her gum – forcing the blood out of the area you are pressing. Look closely at the spot and release the pressure. If you see the blood rush back instantly, then your German Shepherd has been drinking enough water.
But What If Your German Shepherd is Drinking Too Much Water?
Never assume that it is healthy for dogs to drink too much water. Sometimes dogs who consume too much water have underlying health problems, which need immediate veterinary attention. Health issues such as Pyometra, Diabetes, liver problems, and more can make your German Shepherd’s body think that it needs more water. So if you see your German Shepherd drinking a lot more water than he or she should, a trip to the veterinarian may be necessary.
How to Make Your German Shepherd Drink More Water
Some dogs do not really like drinking, so they tend to be dehydrated and this could be a problem. Dehydration can lead to an array of issues including constipation, kidney problems, and even death. If your German Shepherd hasn’t been drinking enough water, you must do something to make him or her drink more.
Reward Your German Shepherd for Drinking
Perhaps teaching your German Shepherd to drink on command may help. To do this, simply teach your German Shepherd to drink saying the command “drink” and giving him his water. If your GS obeys, praise him or her and give him a treat. With enough practice, your German Shepherd will think drinking in front of you means getting a reward.
Mixing Flavoring on Your German Shepherd’s Water
If your German Shepherd does not like drinking, then mixing flavoring with his or her drinking water should help encourage him to consume more. You can check your local pet store to see if there are flavorings available.
Mix Broth with Your German Shepherd’s Food
You can also mix beef, chicken, or pork broth with your German Shepherd’s food. This way, your German Shepherd will like the taste of water. You may also add a few vegetables in it to make it healthier.
Switch to Raw or Wet Food
Wet and raw food contain moisture. The water in the wet or raw food your German Shepherd eats, plus occasional drinking throughout the day should be enough to keep your German Shepherd hydrated.