One of the many basic responsibilities you have with your German Shepherd, or with any pet that you own for that matter, is to make sure it is eating enough food and drinking enough water.
Ensuring your German Shepherd’s drinking water is clean and plentiful is very important for his or her overall health.
In this informational article we discuss –
- What your German Shepherd’s drinking water requirements might be
- Options to make providing lots of clean drinking water easy and quick by exploring the Best Drink Water Fountains for German Shepherds and multiple dogs and pets
- What to do if your German Shepherd isn’t drinking enough water
How Important Is Water To Dogs?
I know what you’re thinking, put some water out for your German Shepherd and it will take care of itself, right? Well, yes and no.
Like humans, water is the main component of healthy living cells in a dog’s body. Not only do they get this water by lapping up drinking water from a bowl, bucket or fountain, but also from the food they eat which contains moisture and H20.
A German Shepherd not getting enough water (and quality clean water) from both of these sources is at risk of dehydration.
Benefits Of Your German Shepherd Drinking Enough Water
In most cases, as long as you provide the water, a healthy dog will drink enough water everyday to stay hydrated. So, a healthy German Shepherd will regulate itself.
Staying hydrated is important because apart from preventing dehydration, enough clean water has the following benefits for your German Shepherd –
> Carries nutrients into and out of the body cells
> Aids in digestion of food and nutrient absorption
> Cools the body down, maintaining a safe body temperature
> Lubricates and cushions body joints…makes movement easier
> Removes wastes from the body through urination
> Protects organs from water deficiency damage
An interesting note – canned food is composed of 70-80% water. A dog on a canned food diet may drink less water than if it was eating primarily dry food for this reason.
How Much Water is Enough Water for Your German Shepherd?
Your German Shepherd might drink about an ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. For those of you on the metric system, that’s 0.3 litres.
Being a large dog, your German Shepherd likely needs around 49-90 ounces of water daily (1.5 to 2.5 litres) to maintain good health as an adult. Puppies might need slightly less, but it’s always good practice to have more than required available at all times, and re-fill daily.
The more exercise your German Shepherd does, the more this water intake number increases as water is lost through panting and loss of saliva.
Your German Shepherd’s drinking water should be fresh and clean at all times, and easily accessible. A dog water fountain can be important in doing this. Which brings us to our next section…
Considering A Water Feeder/Fountain For Your GSD
The idea of a water fountain is to provide fresh, filtered and aerated water for your German Shepherd.
Brands with fountains like the PetSafe Drinkwell Big Dog Pet Fountain, or Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Fountain are a good start. But, there are plenty of other popular options too!
You might look for the following things in a Water Drinking Fountain for your German Shepherd:
- A large enough capacity for your German Shepherd, or multiple pets if you have more than one
- Replaceable water filters that are easy to access and replace
- BPA free plastic – better for the health of your dog
- UV resistant if you plan to store the fountain in warmer conditions
- Specifies whether the fountain is for indoor or outdoor use
- If you are concerned about the noise of the motor, it is suggested you look at the outdoor fountain option
Regular Water Feeder
168 fluid ounces, 4.96 litres capacity – View the Regular PetSafe Water Feeder on Amazon
Large Water Feeder
3.5 gallons, or 13.24 litres capacity, good for MULTIPLE pets and heavy drinkers – View the Large Petsafe Water Feeder on Amazon
When Your German Shepherd Isn’t Drinking Enough Water…
When your German Shepherd isn’t drinking enough water, it is at risk of dehydration.
Dehydration, as mentioned previously can have devastating effects, like organ damage, and eventually death if left untreated.
Symptoms and signs of dehydration are vomitting, diarrhea, tired behavior, dry mouth and gums and loss of appetite.
A good check for dehydration is to watch for these signs, or gently pick up a skin fold on your German Shepherd’s back, and watch it fall back to place. A hydrated dog’s skin will fall back quickly.
The following are instances in which dehydration is most likely to occur:
> Dogs suffering from illness or disease (kidney disease, diabetes, cancer etc.). Ironically, your German Shepherd can drink excessively in these instances!!
> Senior and Pregnant Dogs
> Dogs left in hot environments (locked in cars is a common one)
> Dogs not provided with enough water
If you think your GSD is at risk of dehydration, you should take them to the vet immediately.
I Think My German Shepherd Is Drinking Too Much Water!
Dogs that drink too much water suffer from Polydypsia.
As mentioned above, this is caused by dehydration and diseases that cause dogs to lose excess water from the body.
If you suspect that your German Shepherd is drinking either too little or too much water, monitor it in the short term for the above warning signs, but don’t hesitate to take him or her to the vet if something doesn’t seem right.
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