Monitor Weight & Health
Its important you monitor your German Shepherds weight as you transition to a homemade food diet.
Follow your GSDs weight and health closely for about a month to ensure that she is not adversely affected by this new diet.
An unbalanced diet can lead to excessive energy, skin or coat disorders, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, or obesity. If you notice these symptoms, stop feeding your GSD this food immediately and consult with a professional dog nutritionist.
Its important to work alongside your vet to ensure the diet maintains nutritional adequacy.
Teach Them Something New
Its not true that you cant teach an old dog new tricks. This might actually be the perfect time to teach them some new tricks. It will help keep their brain engaged, something we all need as we progress into our elder years. Whether you just want to teach your German shepherd to shake or you are going to refresh some of the tricks that he knew as a younger dog, spend some time each day teaching your dog and rewarding him for his progress and effort.
Average Age For German Shepherds
Most German Shepherds live between 11 and 13 years. Owners of small breeds of dogs might see their animals live up to 17 or 20, but larger dogs put more strain on their bodies and simply do not live as long, no matter how well they are taken care of. A dog that is neglected or does not get proper exercise will actually die much earlier than age eleven.
While some German Shepherds do live far beyond age 13, this is fairly uncommon and impossible to predict, especially if you do not know the lineage of your dog and what health problems they might encounter as they pass into old age.
When you next take your German Shepherd to the vet, it would be worth your time to ask about your dogs life expectancy, even if they are still fairly young. Your vet will be able to look at your dogs current health and what issues they might have had in the past or that might be developing and in their early stages, and tell you how long they expect your dog to live. Your vet should also be able to tell you exactly what you should be doing in order to help your dog live as long as possible.
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Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Grain
Top ingredients: Lamb, Salmon, Chickpeas
Specially made for puppies, these wholesome bite-size treats come in a resealable bag. Formulated with all-natural products.
You also wont find meat by-products, corn, wheat, or dairy in this treat! While its specially formulated for puppies, it is fortified with DHA and omega-3.
Watch Your Dog’s Weight
One of the reasons that smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs is because they weigh less than larger dogs. If your German Shepherd starts to gain extra weight as they age, it could only speed up the aging process and create more serious problems for that dog in their later years.
Fat on a dog can create serious problems for their joints and organs. While they are probably going to gain a little bit, simply because they have slowed down as they age, you do not want to see your dog gaining a lot of weight. This is very bad and should be carefully monitored.
If you start to see that your dog is gaining some weight, you should dial back the treats and pick up a lower calorie food. One formulated specifically for older dogs is always a good option. You should also be able to find a food that is formulated specifically for older German Shepherds which will help you address any weight gain and any joint issues.
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Transition: How To Switch From Puppy To Adult Dog Food
Making the transition between puppy to adult food or from one brand to another is not as hard as you think. All you need to do is replace the original food with the new kibble gradually.
You can do this slowly or over the course of a month, depending on how much of the old kibble you still have.
The most common method is adding 20% of new dog food daily, so by the 5th day, your dog will have transitioned to the new food.
What I like to do is mix their new and old kibble together in a container and serve.
Adjust the radio until all the old dog food is used up, so when youre nearing the end of the bag, just throw a handful into the container!
Best Dry Dog Food For German Shepherds
What you feed your dog has a significant impact on their overall well-being. Their health and longevity depend on a proper diet. If you have a GSD, you should really look into the kibble they consume.
The best dry dog food for German Shepherds are easily digested and dont irritate their typically sensitive stomachs. Plus, they are formulated with the right ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to maintain their robust bodies and support their athleticism. For most owners, dry dog food is the best choice, but some owners feed a mixture of wet and dry dog food.
*This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you .
What About The Chart On Dog Food Bags
Youve likely seen the feeding chart on the back of commercial dog food bags. These charts can seem pretty straightforward at first glance.
However, they dont take into consideration the size, weight, activity level, or overall health of each individual dog.
For that reason, its best not to treat these dog food packaging feeding guides as gospel. Instead, use them as a starting point.
Observe your dog, see how he looks and feels, and note any changes in his bathroom habits, weight, or energy level. Adjust his meals accordingly.
The other problem with these packaging guides is that they arent clear on how to feed your dog. Generally speaking, they talk about daily intake, not per meal.
For example, if the guide says you should feed your dog 3 cups, its not suggesting that your dog eats 3 cups at every meal. It means to split that 3 cups total over the entire day.
If your dog eats 3 times per day, that would be 1 cup at each meal for a total daily intake of 3 cups.
To further confuse dog parents, some manufacturers do list per-meal serving sizes, not the total daily intake! In these cases, if you read it incorrectly, you would end up underfeeding your dog.
To help mitigate some of this confusion, it may be helpful to ask your vet how many calories your dog should be consuming each day. Then you can check the calorie content in the dog food and measure things from there.
What Types Of Food Are Appropriate For German Shepherd Dogs
The most popular type of food for your German Shepherds is dry kibble. However, for puppies and senior dogs, you should consider a variety of wet food options too. Other varieties you can serve include semi-moist form and freeze-dried food. For owners who dont mind preparation and handling, frozen-then-thawed food is a viable option too.
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How Much To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
Depending on your puppys current weight, activity level, and metabolism, you should plan to feed your puppy 3 or 4 times each day.
Older puppies can be fed fewer times per day, but be sure not to limit the caloric intake below the recommended amount.
Smaller, more frequent meals will help prevent bloatgastric dilatation volvulus is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Frequent meals will also help stabilize your puppys blood sugar and energy level to help them grow steadily, not in fits and starts.
Puppies need two or three times the number of calories as adult dogs do. This may seem strange considering puppies are much smaller than adults. However, German Shepherd puppies grow extraordinarily fast, so their caloric intake needs to support that.
To figure out how much to feed your German Shepherd puppy, look at his or her weight. Females will be slightly smaller and lighter than males.
|between 31 and 49 pounds|
|5-6 months||between 35 and 57 pounds|
Using the weight chart above, the general food chart in the previous section, and considering the gender and activity level of your puppy, you can calculate the approximate amount of food to feed daily.
Split that daily amount up between all meals. For example, if your 3-month-old GSD puppy is a male and weighs 30 pounds, you should feed him approximately 2 cups per day.
Taste Of The Wild Southwest Canyon
Southwest Canyon is one of 9 dry recipes included in our review of the Taste of the Wild product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Beef, peas, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil
- Type: Grain-free
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:Adult shepherds and puppies
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon derives the majority of its animal protein from fresh beef and lamb meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 17% fat and 43% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Its nice to find a recipe containing natural source preservatives which means Southwest Canyon contains no BHA, BHT or other toxic additives. A super-popular, grain-free brand and a healthy, all life stages option for any German shepherd. Easily recommended.
Sample buyer reviewMy dog loves this food! He eats it enthusiastically and it has really helped him thrive! He is energetic, has a gorgeous coat, and devours his meals!
For More Choices:Visit our Best Large Breed Puppy Food page
Orijen Puppy Large derives most of its animal protein from fresh chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 23% fat and 26% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
Ever since its founding, Champion Petfoods, the well-respected maker of Orijen, has always advocated for a meat-based, biologically appropriate diet. This is a proven, balanced design which makes this particular recipe a top option for growing Shepherd puppies.
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Orijen Adult Dog Food
This protein rich recipe is one of the richest around, with 85% of the ingredients being poultry, fish or egg products. Approximately two thirds of the meat content in this recipe are all fresh or raw, meaning that your German Shepherd will be getting his nutrients in the most nourishing form.
It is 100% grain and gluten free and it is packed with a variety of fruit and vegetables to provide your German Shepherd with his vitamins and minerals. It also comes in three different flavors the Original, Regional Red and Six Fish, so if you have a fussy pooch then there a few choices for him to choose from, and all of their recipes have whole fish in which helps to maintain a healthy heart.
We love that this is biologically appropriate, in that the recipe is based on a whole prey diet that mirrors the ratio of a wild diet. It incorporates a balance of meat, organs, bones, and cartilage. While that might not sound too appealing to you, your German Shepherd will love it!
Do Adult German Shepherd Dogs Need Special Nutrients
German Shepherds often develop digestive problems due to a shorter colon. This can lead to a sensitive stomach. Therefore, it is important to give a very precise diet to avoid triggering the sensitivities and also contribute to optimal health maintenance. Provide your adult German Shepherd a balance of meat protein, fiber, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, and vitamins.
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What Household Foods Can Puppies Eat
There are a large amount of different opinions on which household foods puppies can eat. As a broad rule, its best in order to avoid giving your puppy anything that isnt specifically designed for dogs. That includes such things as chocolate, onions, grapes, and other human food items which can be harmful with their health. However, there are certainly a few exceptions to this rule. Here are a few safe and healthy foods that puppies can eat:
Cooked, mashed sweet potato
Canned tuna or salmon
Grated cheddar cheese
King Shepherd Vs German Shepherd Good With Comparison
|King Shepherds have a higher energy level than other dog breeds.||German Shepherds are high energy dogs.|
|Activity Requirement / Exercise Need||King Shepherds need quite a lot of exercise.||German Shepherds need quite a lot of exercise.|
|Sleeping Need||King Shepherds are quite energetic dogs and they don’t spend to much time with sleeping.||German Shepherds don’t need too much sleep.|
|Avg. daily food consumption||8 to 10 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals||3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.|
|Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity||Average to High.|
|Weather & Climate||Prefers average to cold weather conditionsThe King Shepherd can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.||Tolerates warm and cold weather.|
|Stinkiness||The King Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell.||MediumThe German Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell.|
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How Often Should I Feed My German Shepherd Puppy
Serve puppies younger than 4 months four small meals every day. Reduce the meals to three between 4 and 9 months. From the 9th month onwards, your puppy can eat two to three large meals during the day. Consult your vet or read the labels for calorie content to ensure you are serving the right amount.
When Is A German Shepherd Officially Elderly
There is no exact age when a dog is considered elderly. It depends a lot on genetics, diet, exercise routine, and overall health.
Dogs who experience many health problems might act older than they are, while other dogs can still act like puppies far into their life.
Generally, these dogs are considered elderly around eight years of age, according to the UC Davis Book of Dogs. However, this can differ quite a bit from dog to dog.
To figure out whether or not your dog is considered elderly, we recommend taking age, appearance, and behavior into account.
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Do German Shepherd Ears Stand Up On Their Own Or Do They Have To Be Cut Or Taped To Make Them Stand Up
Ah, you’re thinking about cropping, a surgical procedure to make the ears stand up. That’s done with Doberman Pinschers, but not with German Shepherds. A Shepherd puppy’s ears prick up naturally they’re never cropped.
German Shepherd puppy with perfectly normal ears at this age. If the pup inherited normal genes, the other ear should come up shortly.
But German Shepherd puppies aren’t born with pricked ears. In some pups, the ears start to prick up at 6 or 8 weeks old, while others don’t start until 12 or 14 weeks old.
Often the ears don’t go up smoothly. In other words, they don’t suddenly pop straight up. Typically one ear will go up halfway, and stay like that for a few days. Then the other ear may start to prick while the first ear straightens all the way up. A few days later, just as the second ear straightens up, the first one suddenly flops back down.
This can be a trying time for new owners who worry that their pup’s ears will never stand properly. Rest assured, it’s normal for German Shepherd puppy ears to go up and down for a month or two, especially during the teething period.
Unfortunately, some puppies do inherit poor genes for ear strength and often those ears will never come all the way up. They’re called “soft ears.” Sometimes taping a weak ear can help it stand erect, but often not.
I had a German Shepherd with one soft ear. It flopped sideways on top of his head, while the other ear stood up beautifully. Of course I loved him dearly anyway!
Dr Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet
German Dog Diet is one of 13 dry recipes covered in our review of the Dr. Garys Best Breed product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, dried beet pulp, chicken fat
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:Adult shepherds and puppies
Dr. Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 22% fat and 34% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
We like the fact the formula also includes zinc proteinate and other chelated minerals which provides superior absorption and nutrition. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewOur german shepherd has had a lot of itching problems since she was about 1 year old. We have tried different foods, supplements, sprays and shampoos. Nothing has seems to work as well as when we switched to this food. Scabs that were on her for months due to her itching them open all the time have finally healed over. She is still a little itchy, but significantly better than before. And she loves the food too! We used to leave her food bowl full all day because she would only pick throughout the day. With this food we are only doing 2-3 cups morning and night because she scarfs it all down in minutes! Glad we finally found something that she loves and works so well!
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