All You Need To Know About The Best Diet For Your German Shepherd
The German Shepherd, also known as the Alsatian, was originally bred to herd flocks all day. They are a relatively new breed, originally bred in 1899 by captain Max von Stephanitz a captain in the German cavalry, who had with a desire to create a German breed that would be an unmatched herding dog.
Their intelligence and natural physical energy has led to this breed being one of the worlds most recognised dogs as a result of their renowned abilities as service dogs. Employed by police, military and search and rescue around the globe, they are known to be highly trainable, loyal and make excellent guard dogs. Due to their natural energy and intelligence, they thrive on having a job to do, being busy and lots of physical exercise.
In this guide well take you through all you need to know about the best German Shepherd food:
- Why raw food is best
- Gut health
What Causes Allergic Reactions In German Shepherds
Allergic reactions as stated earlier is not a sickness its just a reaction to a foreign body.
While allergies in humans are often dangerous and can lead to death, in dogs it is less severe and does not have any serious effects. However, it should be taken care of since it can make your pet jumpy or restless, plus it can easily damage its beautiful body.
Allergic reactions are caused by substances known as allergens. Allergens are a set of substances that a dogs immune system treats in the same way as a disease causing pathogens.
Ingredients To Look For
The number one ingredient to look for is a healthy source of protein. The very first ingredient on the bag should be a source of proteinand one that your dog is not going to be allergic to.
Chicken, beef, and fish are all great choices for dog food, but there are dogs in the German Shepherd breed that are allergic to one of these three sources of protein, so always make sure to read the bag.
Additionally, there should be a healthy source of fat. Fish is another good option, but vegetable oils are primarily used as a healthy fat for dogs. In order to keep his energy up, you will want to look for carbohydrates like barley and rice. In short, you want the dog food to be dominated by real food with names that you know and recognize. Anything that contains by-products should go back on the shelf.
Read Also: How Do You Train A German Shepherd
What Should I Look For In A German Shepherd Dog Food
When looking for the best dog food for German Shepherds, you should consider several factors:
- Ingredients. Make sure that the constituent ingredients are obtained from a reliable source. Additionally, there should not be any fillers, additives, dyes, and flavors that have been added artificially. The food can also contain beneficial ingredients, including sweet potatoes, blueberries, and carrots, among others.
- Nutritional Needs. German Shepherds are large dogs that have specific nutritional needs. Make sure that the food you opt for offers these dietary supplements. You can also consult a vet for the best results.
- Shelf Life. Make sure that the brand you opt for has a decent shelf life. Otherwise, your food might expire early, and you will be left buying it over and over again. It should, however, be kept in mind that too much of a shelf life could indicate the presence of preservatives that are not considered healthy.
- Cost. Since food is a lifelong commitment, make sure that the product is cost-effective and easy on your pocket. Most premium brands will have cheaper counterparts that you can opt for.
Cooking Our Way To A Healthier Dog Diet
Ever since I started raising my own dogs, Id always wanted to make their food at home but thought it would be too expensive or too time consuming, or that they wouldnt get the nutrition they needed.
During the month of Bugs doggy depression, I vowed to make her precious life as comfortable as possible.
Both of my pugs had a range of health issues growing up, which I unfortunately found out were common for the breed.
My older one had persistent hot spots and itchiness that no commercial dog food could cure .
Bug was overweight for a while when she was younger, even though she ate the recommended amount of food for her target weight. Eventually, I settled on Wellness kibbles and they did well with that brand.
But, I wanted to explore other options. I wanted to give them real food fresh, nutritious ingredients that I recognized and could even eat myself.
Ive mentioned in my post on homemade whole grain chicken feed that the entire household all share the same whole grains and seeds that we buy in bulk, as well as the bounty that comes from our edible garden.
Everything our animals eat, we can eat.
When it comes to homemade feed for our laying hens, we stick to a tried-and-true formula that works for every layer: 16 to 17 percent protein , vitamins, minerals, and amino acids from a wide variety of grains and seeds, and free range of a pasture for weeds, greens, and insects.
Dogs, on the other hand, arent bred for a standard function the way chickens are.
Read Also: Best Raw Meat For German Shepherd
Ingredients To Avoid Feeding German Shepherd
Keep chocolate bars and cocoa powder always out of your hounds reach. Weve studied that the toxic ingredient in chocolate is methylxanthines that could cause harm to your dog. At times if German Shepherds consume chocolate, it may lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or low blood pressure.
Both types of grapes -fresh and dried ones are toxic to German Shepherds. Researchers have not yet concluded as to why so. But they have witnessed dogs having severe kidney failure symptoms, abdominal pain, and vomiting when consumed too many grapes.
Avocado is not highly toxic for canines but is mildly harmful to German Shepherds bodies. Theres a toxic ingredient in avocado that is called persin, which increases the obesity of pets. The fat content can lead to pancreatitis that can malfunction the whelps pancreas and affect its digestive system.
Caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine or alcohol, also in small quantities, can harm your German Shepherd Dogs internal system. Consuming it may lead to dangerous complications in your dogs body such as increased hyper activeness and restlessness. Avoid foods such as raw yeast dough and baked goods with liquor.
Instinct Raw Boost With Real Duck
Real Duck is one of 14 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Instinct Raw Boost product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Duck, chicken meal, peas, egg product, turkey meal
- Type: Grain-free
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:German shepherd puppy or adult
Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck obtains the bulk of its animal protein from fresh duck and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 23% fat and 31% estimated carbs creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.
This formula also gets its antioxidants from natural fruits and veggies for healthy immunity and thus, greater resistance to disease. A top pick for German shepherds and other large breeds.
Sample buyer reviewI recently switched from a dehydrated raw product to Instinct Raw Boost. This is a great quality grain- free food and my guys are loving it. I have a multi dog house hold and most of them have allergies of one kind or another. This food is working well for all..
Recommended Reading: Whats The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
Our 2022 German Shepherds Feeding Guide
Average Weight Approximately 10lb to 30lb
Recommended Daily Food Intake 1-2 cups a day
Average Weight Approximately 60lb to 90lb
Recommended Daily Food Intake 3-5 cups a day
Average Weight Approximately 60lb to 90lb
Recommended Daily Food Intake When it comes to feeding your senior German Shepherd , you must consult your vet as to the suggested amount and type of food. There are a range of factors that can affect feeding, so ensure you have spoken to a professional.
Ingredients For Rascals Homemade Dog Food:
- Olive oil
- All-Natural chicken stock or water
- Macaroni noodles
Note: We add in a supplement nutrient blend from a company called Just Food For Dogs very similar to dog vitamins as well as Omega oil to make sure he is getting enough healthy fats. I highly recommend adding both of these into your dog food so you can rest assure that they are getting proper nutrients.
Also Check: How To Train A German Shepherd Husky Mix Puppy
Best Dog Food For German Shepherds With Skin Allergies
Allergies remains a lifelong condition every German Shepherds will have to fight with on a daily basis.
Like humans, German Shepherds are susceptible to allergic reactions.
Unlike humans, however, symptoms of allergic reactions in German Shepherds are limited to the skin only. Theres no runny nose, itchy eyes or coughs.
Allergies in German Shepherds are harder to determine since its symptoms are pretty much the same as everyday behavior of a German Shepherd: scratching, kicking and licking.
An allergic reaction in a German Shepherd is not considered an illness, since it is not caused by any disease pathogens.
Though the skin reaction is not an illness, it can easily scar your dogs beautiful body and also make it restless and as such, allergies should be given proper attention and care.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
As with most dog breeds, German Shepherds require a specially formulated diet to support their unique physical characteristics and health considerations. Our informative guide will help you make the best decision in pet nutrition for your German Shepherd from puppyhood to adulthood. It is important to provide your dog with the best possible nutrition and to have an understanding of their potential health risks that need to be avoided.
|Beef, peas, pea protein, fish meal, eggs, flaxseed, tomatoes, fish oil.|
|Adult:||Yeast protein, chickpeas, oats, peas, potatoes, canola oil, sweet potato, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, fish oil.|
|Senior:||Yeast protein, chickpeas, oats, peas, potatoes, canola oil, sweet potato, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, fish oil.|
Also Check: How Long Do German Shepherd Huskies Live
Flea Bites Allergy In German Shepherds
Flea bite allergy is the most common types of allergic reactions in German Shepherds. Dogs are extremely susceptible to flea bites particularly saliva from a flea.
A dogs body will start itching immediately after a fleas bite since the body is extremely sensitive to fleas saliva. The itching easily transforms to red spots and inflammation.
The best treatment for flea allergy is flea control. You can take active steps to control fleas on your dogs body, home and fields.
You may also want to keep your dog from making contacts with other dogs, since fleas moves easily from one dog to another through body contact.
Itching caused by the fleas saliva can be soothed easily by using steroids or antihistamines.
Inhalants allergy in German Shepherds
German Shepherds are amongst the few breeds of canine that are extremely susceptible to pollen-related allergy.
The immune system of German Shepherds treats pollen like disease causing pathogens and as such reacts severely when it pollens are inhaled.
Unfortunately, Pollen-related allergies cannot be cured since it is genetic and could only be managed.
Usually Pollen-related allergy usually starts in the first three or six months of a dogs life.
The major effects of pollen allergy in German Shepherds is a skin condition called Atopic Dermatitis.
Unfortunately, Atopic Dermatitis is a genetic condition and cannot be cured.
Food Allergy In German Shepherds
German Shepherd Itching Constantly
None of us want to see our German Shepherd itching like crazy and constantly in discomfort.
Or, worsein pain from their own skin!
But there are solutions for German Shepherd allergies and dry skin that you can use right now to help your dog from itching like crazy.
Ill show you the exact things I do to help keep my German Shepherd from scratching and itching her dry skin that gives her quick relief. And you can do them right now, too!
Also Check: How Long Do German Shepherds Grow
When Can I Safely Switch My German Shepherd Puppy To Adult Dog Food
German Shepherd puppies will typically continue to grow until they are anywhere from 12 months old to 24 months old. It is important to keep your german shepherd on a healthy puppy food until your veterinarian recommends you switch. This is because the puppy food will have an increased amount of nutrients that will help your puppy grow compared to adult dog food which is used mostly for maintaining size. From some german shepherds they will be ready around 12 months of age but for others it could be closer to 24 months of age. Typically the average range for a german shepherd puppy to switch to adult food is 12 months to 18 months old.
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:German shepherd puppy or adult
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!
Recommended Reading: How Much Food Should German Shepherd Puppy Eat
Dog Food & Feeding Pattern For German Shepherds Age
A) For New Born
The average newborn German Shepherd puppy weighs around 370 600 grams during birth. To derive their nutrition, they are highly dependent on their mothers milk.
However, in a case where the mothers milk is unavailable, top quality powdered milk should be fed to the pups at regular intervals.
German Shepherd puppies almost double their weight when they complete 1 week. As the pups gradually start gaining weight and mobility, they crave more and more milk. Due to this reason, their feeding amount changes on a weekly basis.
Nutritional Profile Of A Baby Dog Milk
- Ultra-Digestible Protein: Supports faster growth and development.
- Omega Fatty Acid: Optimizes brain and eye development.
- Essential Vitamins: Boost metabolism in puppies.
- Antioxidants: Build strong resistance against infections and diseases.
Which Baby Dog Milk Should I Feed My Newborn German Shepherd Puppy?
You can find various milk replacers in the market for puppies. Yet the one which stands out in terms of quality and nutrition is Royal Canin Baby Dog Milk which has a dietary profile similar to that of maternal milk. The benefits of Royal Canin Baby Dog Milk:
- Offers high energy and protein levels.
- DHA boosts cognitive skills and nervous functioning in pups.
- Exclusive homogeneous formula of milk makes it easier to digest.
Best Starter Dog Foods For German Shepherd Newborns
1) Arden Grange With Chicken Weaning Puppy
2) Royal Canin Maxi Starter Food
B) For Puppy
|2 times a day|
What Foods Help Dogs Stop Itching
Here are a few common supplements recommended by veterinarians.
- Fish Oil. The Omega-3 fats found in fish oil help reduce inflammation, which can lessen the intensity of many allergies.
- Coconut Oil. Coconut oil can improve many skin conditions including itchiness and dryness.
- Digestive Enzymes.
Also Check: What Can Baby German Shepherds Eat
Do Grains Cause Skin Allergies In German Shepherds
Beef is more likely to cause allergies in your German Shepherd rather than grains.
No, grains dont generally cause skin allergies in German Shepherds. Grains are actually less common causes of allergies than animal products, despite the opposite being widely reported on the internet.
Corn is responsible for only about 4% of allergies.
However, wheat grains are reported as a food allergen in 13% of dogs.
Although grains are a less common cause of skin allergies its a good practice to check the dog food youre buying for any wheat ingredients to avoid this known allergen.
Is Homemade Dog Food Good For Dogs
While I am not a vet, and I certainly cant speak for all animals , I can tell you that switching to homemade dog food made the world of difference for Rascal. We had a very unique case with him and his food allergies, but we have also seen other positive changes.
On traditional dog food, Rascal was lethargic, he shed in abundance and his appetite was mediocre. He was also low in his weight class, weighing in at just 64 pounds for a full-sized male Golden Retriever.
Since the dog food switch, he has been energetic, focused, and calmer. He has also put on about 15 pounds in just one year after switching to homemade food. On a traditional diet, were vacuuming at least once a day but now only 1-2x a week. We no longer have to coax Rascal into mealtime and have finally developed a great eating schedule.
Also Check: How Many Cups Of Food For German Shepherd