Every German Shepherd is different and will drink different amounts of water depending on their health, lifestyle, and environmental factors.
However, a German Shepherd drinking a lot of water is concerning especially if your dog is drinking a lot more than usual.
It is normal for a German Shepherd to be thirsty when it’s hot, or after an exercise, but what other factors cause a German Shepherd to drink a lot of water?
Why is your German Shepherd drinking so much water?
Let’s look into factors that contribute to a German Shepherd drinking a lot of water, the potential complications, and what to do.
Why is my German Shepherd drinking so much water?
A German Shepherd drinking so much water is a result of excessive thirst caused by different factors including underlying illness, dehydration, diet, play or exercise, lactating females, puppy thirst, and medication. Increased water intake can be temporary which is normal, however, it can also be unusual due to underlying health conditions.
Common Reasons For German Shepherd Drinking So Much Water
Some conditions and diseases cause a German Shepherd to drink more water than usual.
Conditions such as cancer, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, liver or kidney disease, infections, uterine infection of a female dog, and hyperthyroidism cause excessive shirts and intake of water.
If your German Shepherd is drinking a lot of water, an underlying condition is likely to be the cause.
Dehydration is a common cause of increased water intake in a Great Dane.
Dehydration is a common cause of increased water intake in a German Shepherd. Dehydration is caused when a dog does not drink enough water or loses water and electrolytes through either vomiting or diarrhea.
Dehydration is life-threatening. It can lead to organ damage and death.
Diet can cause your German Shepherd to drink so much water especially if their diet mainly consists of dry food.
A dry food diet has a small percentage of water therefore it causes thirst and increased water intake.
Play or exercise
Vigorous activities such as play and exercise cause dehydration and thirst and a German Shepherd will have the urge to drink water.
When your dog is engaged in these activities, expect them to drink a lot of water which is normal for a thirsty dog.
Lactation is the process of production of milk through the mammary glands of a female dog. It is driven by hormonal changes when a dog has puppies to enable her to feed her young ones.
Lactating female German shepherds drink more water than an average dog because the hormonal changes cause excessive thirst and increased water intake to support the production of milk.
Puppies have a very active lifestyle compared to older or senior dogs and they will tend to get thirsty quickly.
This results in increased water intake to quench their thirst.
Therefore depending on your German Shepherd’s age, if you have young dogs they will tend to drink a lot of water.
Some medications cause extreme thirst and dehydration causing a German Shepherd to drink a lot of water.
Dehydration is the most common complication of excessive thirst in a German Shepherd. Excessive dehydration leads to consciousness, organ failure, and death.
Thirst is normal when it is temporary, and it can be managed by the provision of enough drinking water.
However, when a German Shepherd starts drinking a lot of water frequently, it can also be because of underlying illnesses that can be life-threatening.
Therefore thirst can be a sign of a more serious condition and the cause should be identified and addressed.
What to do when your German Shepherd is drinking a lot of Water
At-home care for thirst should be offered when your German Shepherd experiences thirst due to normal activities such as play, exercise, or during hot days.
This can simply be done by providing your dog with enough drinking water to quench its thirst.
Also if your German Shepherd is still a puppy or you have a female that is caring for her young, it is natural for these life stages to drink a lot of water. Therefore provide enough drinking water.
However, if you notice that your German Shepherd is unusually drinking so much water without any obvious cause such as thirst due to hot weather, play, exercise, puppy, or lactating female, seek medical attention.
This means that the excessive thirst could be due to an underlying condition and the veterinarian will evaluate your dog to determine the cause.
If possible, carry a urine sample from your German Shepherd during your appointment with the veterinarian. This will be tested and will help in the diagnosis.
Other diagnostic tests will be conducted and the veterinarian will have questions for you about the surrounding factors that may have contributed to your German Shepherd drinking so much water.
This includes questions on your dog’s lifestyle, diet, and any signs of illness that may have appeared.
The recommended treatment will be based on the diagnosis. Treatment may include:
- Change of diet
- Medication and management of disease or infections
- Rehydration through intravenous fluids
- Home-based care through the provision of enough drinking water
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A German Shepherd drinking so much water is a reason to worry because it can indicate your dog is not ok.
The first thing to do is to identify the possible cause of the thirst and provide your dog with enough drinking water.
Always err on the side of caution and seek medical attention so that the veterinarian can rule out any illness and also offer treatment when required.