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Healthy Diet For German Shepherd Puppy

What About The Puppies

healthy german shepherd diet food | Easy homemade dog food

Usually, German Shepherd puppies consume more food than an adult GSD.

The little ones are extremely curious and because they are exploring their environment most of the time, they need a high-energy diet, that too several times a day.

One additional note: Always keep your puppy food away from their dog beds. And if you are in need of one, our friends from will help you with finding the most comfortable solution for your pup.

What Type Of Dog Food Is Best For German Shepherds

We all want the best for our pets and want to feed our German Shepherd the best diet. But, there are so many different types of dog food it can get confusing, and its difficult to know where to start.

So, heres the thing.

The best dog food for German Shepherds is dry food, which is more practical for large breeds. It is also the least expensive, even if you choose a high-quality brand. Of course, you can choose to feed other diets, such as wet, a mix of dry and wet, raw, home-produced, dehydrated, or freeze-dried.

Most owners feed their dogs a diet of commercial dry food or wet canned food. However, these are the main types of diet that you can feed your German Shepherd:

  • Complete dry foods

If you opt for commercial dog food, it must be complete and balanced according to the strict guidelines of the AAFCO. Complete means the food must contain all the nutrients required, and balanced means the nutrients present must be in the correct ratios.


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The AAFCO also provides information on understanding dog food labels. Its a pretty heavy read, but it essentially means that manufacturers will nutritionally label dog food depending on the dogs life stage.

Learn More About The Different Dog Food Types In This Video

Whats Wrong With Normal Dog Kibble

All dog kibble is not created equal. Some dog kibbles are healthier than others, but it can be difficult to tell these brands apart.

When feeding your GSD dry kibble, you are running a risk of feeding them poor quality ingredients, or missing out on essential nutrients that could provide them a better quality of life.

Low quality foods often focus on higher production versus quality ingredients. By feeding these foods to your Shepherd, they can experience symptoms that match up with nutrient deficiencies. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Dry and flakey skin

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My Puppy Is Still Hungry

If your puppy seems excessively hungry provide more frequent but smaller meals. Young puppies cannot tolerate going without food for extended periods.

With older puppies you may wish to experiment with foods that help them feel more full, and provide low calories treats.

Keeping a health puppy active and occupied will help prevent them from becoming overly focused on anticipating their next meal.

What Affects How Much Your German Shepherd Should Eat

Bethebest3: German Shepherd diet

You might find your German Shepherd puppy eats more or less than whats listed in these feeding charts. Thats totally normal. Every dog is different.

Keep in mind the number of calories in the kibble, which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Each puppy food company has a different amount of calories and size of the kibble.

Here are a few things that might affect how much your German Shepherd puppy should eat.

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Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Food


Puppy Large Breed is one of 10 dry recipes rated in our review of the Purina Pro Plan Puppy product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best for:German shepherd puppy or adult

Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy obtains the major portion of its meat protein from chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 15% fat and 45% estimated carbs which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

A classic, field-tested formula with controlled calcium and phosphorus ratios making this option ideal for German shepherd puppies.

Recommended with confidence.

Sample buyer reviewMy puppy absolutely loves this food! She can never wait to get her next meal! Her coat is soft & shiny! Highly recommend this product!

Best Diet For German Shepherd

When such an endearing pet like a German Shepherd puppy arrives home, its hard not to fall in love immediately. As a particularly affectionate breed, the German Shepherd will reciprocate this love in abundance. Since they will grow up to be a medium to large dog breed and their diet is an essential way to ensure they develop properly. Common mistakes when feeding a German Shepherd puppy include giving too much or too little food and giving them food of inferior quality. For this reason, many dog guardians ask what is the best diet for a German Shepherd puppy?

AnimalWised answers this by providing information on how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy, what type of food is best and how does this change as they grow. To do this we also provide a helpful German shepherd puppy food chart for when and how to feed these puppies properly.

Read Also: When Do German Shepherds Start Teething

Is There A Link Between Poor Diet And Health Problems In Gsds

Just like in human health, a poor diet can result in a list of medical issues for you dog. By feeding your German Shepherd a holistic diet filled with beneficial nutrients, you can help to prevent medical conditions that have been linked to poor nutrition and diet imbalances.

Some of these conditions include:

Kidney disease: While this can certainly happen in a dogs senior years, it can be exacerbated by poor quality dog food. Kidney disease in German Shepherds can be brought on by diets with extremely high protein levels, high sodium, or diets lacking hydration.

Pancreatitis: This is a disease in which the pancreas releases digestive enzymes that activate prematurely before they reach the small intestine . This causes damage to the pancreas and surrounding tissues and organs.

When this happens, these prematurely activated enzymes can actually begin to digest the pancreas itself, which is very painful to your dog. While this is often brought on by the ingestion of fatty foods, it can also be caused by low-quality dog foods that are high in fat. Growth disorders: German Shepherds that receive a low quality diet can have issues with bone growth. This can lead to fragile bones, joint pain, and abnormal growth.

Gastrointestinal upset: An improper diet can lead to a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms in GSDs.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Abdominal discomfort

Are There Supplements Or Oils That I Can Add To My Gsds Holistic Diet

German shepherd puppy Diet | 5 month old | N& D dog food | homemade food

Healthy oils and fats are known to hydrate skin and promote a healthy coat in dogs. Some oils you can add to your German Shepherds holistic diet include:

  • Fish oil: Fish oil contains DHA and EPA and omega-3 fatty acids. These ingredients can help to lubricate painful joints and reduce inflammation caused by multiple inflammatory conditions. They can also hydrate the skin and promote coat health.
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a healthier alternative to other processed trans fats. Coconut oil has been known to relieve dry skin in dogs, promote coat health, and has even been linked to improving bad breath in dogs.
  • Flaxseed oil: Flaxseed oil is high in alpha linolenic omega-3s, which has been known to promote heart health in dogs. This oil also reduces inflammation, relieves joint pain, and promotes skin and coat health.

While these oils can be incredibly beneficial to your canine friend, its important to remember that overuse of these oils can cause loose stool and diarrhea. Make sure to only use small amounts in addition to your dogs regular diet.

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German Shepherd Puppy Diet

Early in life, puppies must eat often.

Find out why German Shepherd puppies have different calorie and diet requirements that you need to know. You must feed a puppy food specially formulated for large-breed puppies to avoid an imbalance in their diets.

Due to their rapid growth, any diet mistakes made during puppyhood will have more severe, even irreversible, and lifelong, consequences.

Good puppy food has advantages over adult dog food because it has been specially formulated for a puppys demanding nutritional requirements. More importantly, puppy foods contain the appropriate amount of calcium.

A great recommendation for German Shepherd puppies that has the ideal protein and DHA is:

Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

If you need to introduce a new diet do so over the course of a week, starting with replacing only a small amount of the current food with the new food. Then, gradually, increase the proportion of the new food daily until you give your dog only the new food.

Daily food quantities are best divided out across the number of meals you feed per day.

Heres a quick overview of feeding a German Shepherd puppy.

The Best German Shepherd Diet And Meal Plan For Every Age

The best German Shepherd diet needs the right formulation to support the breeds powerful strength, athletic abilities, and superior intelligence.

And the stores have no shortage of colorful marketing gimmicks and fancy product descriptions at your fingertips to entice you to part with your money at every turn.

Its enough to make your head spin and for you to turn running!

But, this article will more than explore the best German Shepherd diet

Itll be your comprehensive, easy-to-understand road map to choosing an optimum diet with balanced nutrition.

Lets jump right in!

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Hills Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food


Large Breed Chicken Meal is one of 6 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Hills Science Diet product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain oats, whole grain sorghum, corn gluten meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best for:German Shepherd Puppies

This classic Science Diet formula gets the majority of its animal protein from chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 12% fat and 53% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

A fully-balanced, large-breed puppy diet. Contains just the right amount of calcium for controlled skeletal growth to help lower the risk of canine hip dysplasia in shepherd puppies. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer reviewAfter doing research, I found that many large boned puppy foods had much more calcium than recommended by the Veterinary Council. Science Diet is much stricter about the ingredients. I switched and feel much better about my German Shepherds food! My dog loves it!

The Best Diet For The German Shepherd: Nutrition And More

German Shepherd Puppies Weight At 8 Weeks

When I decided to choose a German Shepherd for my first dog, I asked myself, what do I feed my German Shepherd, and what do dogs like to eat?

So what is the best diet for German Shepherds? The best diet for the German Shepherd is a high-quality protein diet consisting of between 18-22% protein. Dogs can also get nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables, however they need to make sure they have the right mix of protein, fat, essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber for optimal health.

This post is outrageously long! You probably wont get it done in one go, so be sure to bookmark this page for later.


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Ask This First: What Is The Best Food For My Pet

There is no best diet for your pet, essentially.

A good rule of thumb is that if the marketing of a product sounds too good to be true, the manufacturer cites studies or research that they cannot provide to you or makes claims that cannot be substantiated, then thats a red flag that the diet should be avoided.

Clinical Nutrition Team in PETFOODOLOGY: A Pet Nutrition blog run by three enthusiasts with Masters or PhD degrees formTufts University and the University of California, at Davis.

Every pet is unique and the goal is to find the best diet for the individual pet. Like everything in life, the expense doesnt necessarily equal quality.

However, larger companies generally have more resources for stringent quality control protocols. They can employ expert nutritionists and food scientists, and are more eager to enrich our collective nutrition knowledge through research.

On the contrary, smaller manufacturers may have less control over ingredient quality, perform less laboratory testing, and are less likely to employ veterinary nutritionists.On top of that, there are still some basic rules you can follow. And we will walk you through things you will need to consider in this article.

Are German Shepherds Omnivores

Some people like to think of dogs as pure carnivores. But Im sure youve seen a dog eating grass! And modern dog food often contains vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato, or carrots.

German Shepherds are omnivores, not carnivores. Dog domestication has resulted in dogs adapting to a starch-rich diet over thousands of years. Therefore, their digestive system can process both plant and animal food, and their teeth can grind down fruit and vegetables.

While protein makes up most of a German Shepherds diet the domesticated dog also obtains nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. These are valuable sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Therefore dogs have evolved to become omnivores and have proved that they can thrive on various foods.


Here are the caveats to know:

  • If a fruit contains pits or seeds, you should remove them as they contain toxic cyanide.
  • You should cook most vegetables first to help with digestion.
  • You should feed fruits, vegetables, dairy, and nuts in small amounts no more than 10% of daily calories.
  • Although GSDs can eat some nuts, they are not recommended due to their high-fat content, which can cause an upset stomach.
  • Its not advisable to feed raw eggs or raw fish due to the risk of salmonella or listeria.
  • Some GSDs are lactose intolerant and can not eat certain dairy foods, depending on the amount of lactose.

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The 8 Best Dog Food For German Shepherds Reviewed

Before we dive in, I want to tell you that all the dog food I included in this list meets the standard AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs.

Also, we always recommend that you consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your German Shepherds diet.

  • 5 Key Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice
  • Nutrient Content: 23% Protein, 13% Fat, 3.5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • Best for: Adult German Shepherds

On the top of our list of the best dog food for German Shepherds comes Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult dry dog food. Featuring real cage-free chicken as their first ingredient, your German Shepherd will get the high quality he or she needs to develop lean and strong muscles and also get the energy to stay active.

This formula is specially formulated to meet the needs of large breed dogs, it contains glucosamine and chondroitin which are necessary to support your German Shepherds healthy joints, along with omega fatty acids that will help him or her develop and maintain healthy skin and thick coat.

Blueberries and oranges are among the fruits that are added to provide your furry friend with vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a complete and balanced diet.

This formula also contains probiotics and prebiotics that are vital to support the digestive systems health. Plus, it contains natural antioxidants that support the immune system and overall wellness.

Adjust Food Amounts As Needed

German Shepherd Puppy Eats Raw Diet! BARF Diet Full Day of Eating

Dog food labels recommend the amount of food that your dog should eat, but you need to make personalized adjustments to that amount.

Every dog is different. Whether youre feeding a pure-bred German shepherd or a mixed dog, your dog might need a different caloric intake than the recommended amount.

Food necessity changes based on how active your dog is and what its metabolism is like. Pay attention to how hungry your dog is and its weight trends. From there, you can make adjustments to ensure a healthy German shepherd diet.

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Can You Purchase Pre

While a homemade diet would be optimal for your German Shepherd, we understand that this takes time. Luckily, there are some diets that veterinarians recommended for their nutritional values, and that fit into a holistic lifestyle for your pet. Some of these include:

  • Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food
  • Nutro Max Natural Adult Dry Food
  • Stella and Chewys Frozen Raw

When choosing a store bought holistic diet, its recommended to do your own research on each brand, and look for any previous recalls for that particular brand.

We also recommend speaking to your vet about individual diets, in case they have any specific concerns. With these steps combined, you can find a holistic diet that you feel comfortable feeding your GSD.

Can I Feed Treats To My German Shepherd Puppy

Yes, treats are acceptable, provided they are healthy, rich in protein and nutrients, with no added sugar or preservatives. Many store-bought snacks for dogs, including puppies, are not as natural or high-quality as claimed. Naturally dried meats with low sodium, or dehydrated vegetables and meats, are the best choice to avoid any additives commonly found in treats.

If youre training your puppy, treats are a great reward. Treats should be given in small portions, and only on a limited to occasional, until your dog reaches six months. You can gradually increase treats from six to twelve months, provided they are consistently small in portion.

Its essential to ensure that these tasty rewards dont interfere with your puppys natural eating habits, as this can cause overeating or skipping meals if excessive treats are consumed.

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