Whats Good For German Shepherd Hips
Dogs are susceptible to hip dysplasia, which is a condition that can be painful and lead to arthritis. German shepherds are especially prone to this condition. There are a few things you can do to help prevent hip dysplasia in your dog.
You can give them supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin. You can also feed them a diet that is rich in omega-three fatty acids. This includes fish oils, flaxseed oil, and evening primrose oil.
You should also make sure they get plenty of exercise, but avoid high-impact activities like jumping. If your dog is already showing signs of hip dysplasia, you should speak to your veterinarian about treatment options.
German Shepherd Diet Chart
Feeding a German Shepherd the right diet will bring out their inner Olympian and give you longer and healthier years with your favorite companion.
When choosing the best food to feed a German Shepherd, look for the following ingredients in your selection. These items listed are all good foods for a German Shepherds diet when mixed in the appropriate amounts in a premium dry kibble.
How Soon After Taking Supplements Will My Dog Feel Better
This depends on the supplement and the reason your dog is taking it. Some supplements take longer to work than others.
For example, if your dog is taking a joint supplement for arthritis, it may take several weeks for them to see any improvement.
If your dog is taking a vitamin C supplement for immunity, they may see an improvement within a few days. Always speak to your veterinarian about how long you should expect to see results.
Adult German Shepherd Calories Per Day
- Inactive German Shepherds: 1,272 to 1,540
- Active German Shepherds: 1,740 to 2,100
These calorie amounts are based on The National Research Council of the National Academies for dog nutritional feeding.
There are also guidelines on how much to feed your German Shepherd written on the food packet. These are guidelines only, so you may need to adjust accordingly for your dogs individual needs. This is affected by their activity levels and unique metabolism.
Then, theres also the number of cups of food your GSD eats that you might want to know.
Benefits Of Dog Supplements
Choosing to give your German Shepherd health supplements comes with a lot of perks. Supplements provide your pet with essential nutrients, boosts immunity, improves his skin and coat, increases absorption rates, maintains digestion health, enhances cognitive development, and promote hip and joint health.
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Zesty Paws Advanced Mobility Bites
The Advanced Mobility Bites by Zesty Paws is a chewable supplement made specifically for hip and joint care. It is a variant of the brands more popular Mobility Bites made for senior dogs and those in need of more advanced care.
Its active ingredients include glucosamine hydrochloride, MSM, curcumin , green-lipped mussels, and chondroitin sulfate.
What sets it apart is its combination with other anti-aging and antioxidant ingredients, including vitamins C and E, pepper, hyaluronic acid, and hemp extract.
Senior Dog Food Types
Commercial dog food for senior dogs can be canned, semi-moist, or dry.
Many GSDs prefer canned food, with its higher moisture, sugar, and fat content. But, it also tends to be the priciest and can stick to teeth and cause tooth decay.
Semi-moist food has the most fillers and preservatives to make it hold its shape and appear more palatable to your dog. But its better left to dogs with loose teeth or other mouth issues due to the fillers and preservatives
Kibble is the most convenient to feed your elderly German Shepherd and also keeps teeth and gums in good shape. It can also be left out during the day without spoiling.
Adding warm water to dry kibble and leaving it to soak for 5 10 minutes can help your aging German Shepherd eat their food more easily while providing a tasty gravy-like slush to entice their appetite.
Plus, theres such a variety on the market youre sure to find a formula that suits your dogs unique palette and nutrition needs.
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Prevention Is The Key
Keep in mind that the best joint supplements for dogs will provide the most benefits before symptoms begin to appear.
Additionally, if you begin to care for your poochs joints now it will allow them to play, jump, run, and go on walks for as long as possible.
Bone and joint supplements for dogs typically contain ingredients such as MSM, chondroitin, and glucosamine. These are all essential supplements to provide the best care for your dogs joints. They provide essential nutrients that offer natural pain relief, improved flexibility, strengthened joints and cartilage, as well as reduced inflammation.
Micronutrients: Vitamins And Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients because your dog needs only small amounts of them. However, failing to get even those tiny quantities nearly guarantees disease.
Vitamins and minerals also enable a dogs body to process the protein, carbohydrates, and fats, called macronutrients, discussed previously.
They also help keep your senior GSDs immune system healthy, support coat quality, and prevent many dog-related health problems.
Well cover more on the best vitamins and mineral food supplements for your senior German Shepherd later in this article.
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Customer Service And Post
Your experience doesnt end with buying a supplement, and neither should the customer support you receive.
Companies that care deeply about animals also care about their owners.
It should be easy to contact them and ask them any questions you might have, be it by email or phone.
And, of course, their responses should be prompt and helpful.
Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip & Joint Supplement For Dogs
The Advanced Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs by Doggie Dailies are treat-like chewables for optimum joint health and prevent issues altogether. It is also meant to reduce pain and increase mobility in elderly dogs and others who already have joint conditions.
Each chew contains glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin, as well as other beneficial ingredients that support healthy aging. That includes yucca schidigera, coQ10, and hyaluronic acid.
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The Problem With Dog Food For Senior German Shepherds
Yet, there are problems when it comes to feeding your senior German Shepherd. Neither the Association of American Feed Control Officials nor the National Research Council has determined official dietary requirements for aging dogs.
In part, because senior dogs vary so much in their individual needs. That may explain why commercial foods for elderly dogs vary so widely in nutrient levels.
Good thing there are lots of research articles backed by science so we can figure it out.
To help you through all the legal jargon and nutritional specification, this guide for choosing the best quality dog food for your senior German Shepherd will make choices for your dogs health easier.
Supplement Form And Packaging
Joint supplements for dogs come in a variety of forms, including:
While no one form is inherently better than the others, its fundamental that a dog supplement is easy to administer even to the pickiest of eaters.
If your fur baby wont eat it, its completely useless.
This is why we prefer powder or liquid supplements with small serving sizes the vast majority of dogs dont even notice youve added it to their meals!
Packaging is also worth thinking about.
Does the supplement have any special requirements? For example, does it need to be refrigerated? Or does it expire quickly?
If so, make sure that fits with how youre planning to use it.
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Energy Needs Of Older German Shepherds
Because of their decreased physical activity and slowed metabolism, older German Shepherds need approximately 20% fewer total calories than middle-aged adult dogs. As GSDs age, they may tend to become overweight if their calories and physical activities are not monitored closely.
It also takes obese or severely overweight German Shepherds longer for their blood glucose concentrations to return to normal. This disrupted metabolism can lead to diabetes, along with further complications and other diseases.
Unhealthy weight gain exacerbates many age-related conditions this is avoidable through the proper diet and caloric monitoring.
What The Science Says About Protein And Senior Dogs
Studies have shown that higher-protein diets for senior dogs dont cause kidney problems in healthy German Shepherds. And higher-protein helps to maintain lean muscle mass as they age.
Senior dogs do well on up to 30% protein on a dry-matter basis and, at a minimum, 24% protein based on dog nutrition research. If your German Shepherd is overweight, higher levels of protein are important to aid in weight loss.
High protein levels in a food DO NOT cause kidney damage in the normal, healthy dog .
Protein restriction of senior German Shepherds could be more detrimental than protein deficiency in younger animals.
But, dont only focus on the protein amount, focus on the quality of the protein included in their diet.
Heres a short nutrition breakdown of what your aging German Shepherd needs in their daily diet.
Can German Shepherds Eat Grains In Their Food
Yes, German Shepherds can eat grains in their food and are able to process grains. Still, some people blame grains for allergies in their German Shepherds. While its true some dogs can be allergic to some grains, its just as important to remember that some dogs can be allergic to some meats. Grains are actually a source of wholesome nutrients.
Interestingly, grains contain more nutrients than alternative ingredients used in grain-free diets .
German Shepherds have evolved significantly from their wolf ancestors. This includes developing an ability to digest starch and fat, plus living longer and healthier lives.
Also, the FDA is exploring potential links between grain-free diets and life-threatening heart disease in dogs.
What Are Some Signs That Your German Shepherd May Have Joint Problems
There are some signs that your German Shepherd may be experiencing joint pain. Some are obvious, like difficulty getting up from lying down, a stiff gait, or limping. But there are other signs that may not be as clear. For example, you may attribute your dogs decrease in energy levels to aging. And you may not think a change in your dogs mood is related to joint problems, but along with other indicators of joint pain, this can also be an indicator.
If your German Shepherd is having difficulty when they move, its always wise to consult a vet to make sure that theres no injury involved. This is also a good time to talk about the underlying causes of joint problems in German Shepherds, like degenerative myelopathy, panosteitis, and hip and elbow dysplasia. All of these conditions can cause joint pain in your dog. Seeing your vet is also a good time to discuss adding natural supplements into your dogs diet.
Its important to note that not all supplements are effective for German Shepherds. In fact, some may be downright harmful. Thats why its important to look for a supplement that includes one or more of the following compounds. Why? There have been numerous studies that indicate that supplements containing these ingredients can have a positive effect on a dogs joint pain.
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Taste Of The Wild Sierra Mountain:
This dog food is lamb-based, and is prepared using ingredients of the highest quality. Since Taste of the Wild intends to mimic the diet of wild canines, the product is prepared in the absence of grains.
Packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals, Taste of the Wild provides your dog with the energy that it needs to flourish. The omega fatty acids, meanwhile, promote skin and coat health.
Every serving of this food contains proprietary pro-biotics, along with pre-biotics and anti-oxidants, which encourage healthy digestion, immune functioning, and overall wellness and health.
Every ingredient used to prepare Taste of the Wild has been obtained from sustainable and reliable USA and global sources. The food is free of any wheat, corn, artificial colors, and artificial flavors.
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What Is The Best Glucosamine For Dogs
The best glucosamine for dogs may help your pooch with elbow or hip joint pain, damage, or arthritis. Although my large breed German Shepherd has good hips and elbows, I want to make sure he doesnt develop health issues like dysplasia. I limited his jumping until he was well over a year old, did not get him fixed, and know he comes from solid lines with no problems. Also, I have bought chondroitin and glucosamine supplements for my GSD.
Best joint supplements for dogs on Amazon
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Some dog food companies like Victor add these supplements in their foods. Example: Victors Hero Canine dog food, which, oddly enough, has a GSD on the package. Marketing tactics aside, perhaps they will work as a good joint supplement for my GSD perhaps they wont work.
Pros and cons of giving the best glucosamine supplement for dogs
Pro: Glucosamine is a drug free alternative treatment for dogs with joint pain or joint damage.
If your dog is suffering from joint pain and you have concerns about the long term effects drugs may cause, glucosamine is a good alternative choice, as it is dietary supplement, not a drug. If your dog shows improvement after taking this supplement, their veterinarian may choose not to incorporate drugs into their recommended treatment plan.
Pro: Glucosamine is accessible. Glucosamine is easily obtained over the counter through brick and mortar pet stores or online pet suppliers.
Wellness Complete Health Whitefish And Sweet Potato:
This limited-ingredient, whitefish-based dog food is prepared using whole foods, and does not contain any artificial additives. In addition, Wellness has been equipped with minerals and vitamins that can help ensure that your dog is meeting his nutritional requirements.
The diet is free of allergens such as soy, wheat, corn, as well as artificial preservatives, colors and flavors. Since Wellness does not contain any unidentifiable meat-meals or meat byproducts, you can have full knowledge about the ingredients contained in your German shepherds diet.
It is also rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and also contains a number of antioxidant-abundant ingredients. Pretty much every dog owner is satisfied with the product, reporting that the food was palatable and easily digestible. In fact, several owners who tried the product out even reported an improvement in their dogs digestion and stool quality.
Wellness has been prepared in the US, and fulfills strict and stringent food-safety practices and criteria.
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What Are Joint Supplements For Dogs
Many joint supplements are available for dogs. These are the ones most commonly used to support overall joint health and to avoid painful conditions brought about by age or diseases:
1) Glucosamine Hydrochloride
Glucosamine hydrochloride is the most popular joint supplement given to large dogs like German Shepherds. It is used to avoid or help treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia. It works by speeding up the bodys natural capacity to repair damaged cartilage.
2) Chondroitin Sulfate
Chondroitin sulfate is a chemical that naturally occurs in the joints. It is one of the most critical substances in the development of cartilage, oral supplementation and is said to slow down joint deterioration.
Like Glucosamine, the studies surrounding the efficacy of chondroitin sulfate remains questionable or inconclusive. However, veterinarians continue to recommend them due to what may be convincing anecdotal evidence as well as their own positive experiences with their patients.
3) Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables
As the name implies, avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables are natural extracts derived from avocados and soybeans. Supplements made of which are commonly used to support healthy joint function.
4) Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids work by suppressing the bodys inflammatory response, effectively reducing swelling in the joints and minimizing pain.
6) Green-Lipped Mussels
How Much To Feed A Senior German Shepherd
When deciding how much to feed your senior German Shepherd first determine how active they are during their day. A low activity senior German Shepherds diet aims for around 1,300 1,500 calories daily, spread across 2 to 3 meals. While moderate to highly active senior German Shepherds should consume anywhere from 1,400 1,700 calories, depending on their activity level.
Determine your dogs average calories per day by their activity levels:
- Low Activity Senior German Shepherd: 1,300 to 1,500 calories per day
- Moderate to Highly Active Senior German Shepherd: 1,400 to 1,700 calories per day
As a general rule of thumb here are the cups of kibble for a German Shepherd that needs to adjust its weight:
- For weight gain: Aim for more than 450 calories per cup for kibble
- For weight loss: Aim for less than 350 calories per cup for kibble