Best Diet For German Shepherds: Nutrition Types And More
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Categories German Shepherds
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When I decided to choose a German Shepherd for my first dog, I wondered, what do I feed my German Shepherd, what do they need to keep them healthy, and what do they like to eat? So, what is the best diet for German Shepherds?
The best diet for German Shepherds is a high-quality protein-rich diet consisting of 18-22% protein. They can also derive nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, dogs need to ensure they have the right balance of protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber for optimum health.
In this article, youll learn:
- The nutrients your German Shepherd needs.
- The foods your German Shepherd can and cant eat.
- The various types of dog foods, including pros and cons.
- Exactly how much to feed your German Shepherd.
And tons more!
Want to see the latest dog supplies that are popular right now? You can find them on Amazon. You can also click the button below.
So, if you want to learn all about the best diet for German Shepherds, youve come to the right place. Lets get started!
Raw Dog Food Recipes For German Shepherds
Here is a list of our favorite German Shepherd raw dog food recipes you can cook.
We have also added a recipe for a special treat that is tasty and packed with impressive health benefits. This recipe can do a lot for your GSDs health and wellness. It has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil.
For even more German Shepherd raw recipes and cooking options, this raw dog food cookbook can come in handy to have at your disposal. Or better yet, you can get the best raw dog food for german shepherds from one of the brands we recommend on our Raw Dog Food Guide.
Note: Please consult with your pets veterinarian & use personal judgment when applying this information to your dogs diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and health of your dog.
Feeding Requirements For The German Shepherd Breed
Every dog deserves to have a healthy and balanced diet that keeps them full between mealtimes.
However, the feeding requirements for German Shepherds will vary from dog to dog, and this can make it challenging to hit all of their nutritional needs.
There are a few considerations you want to keep in mind, and we outlined them below.
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What To Consider While Buying Best Food For German Shepherds
We have pinned down some important factors that you must look for before choosing best food for german shepherds. Your requirements may vary from your dogs weight and age, but no worries, we have covered them all for you. Make sure to get your German Shepherd checked with your vet and note down all ingredients which may not be suitable for consumption by your pet.
As weve said before, German Shepherds are dog breeds that grow huge within 8 months. At their growing stage, they are vulnerable to bone-related issues. So at this time, we have to feed them a low-calorie diet that will lead to their slow growth process. Get a pack of high fiber dog food that is low in calories and feed them about 4 small meals throughout the day rather than 1 big meal.
Meat as 1st Ingredient
At their growing stage, it is crucial to keep the muscle and bone structure healthy. Your fur buddys food must contain at least 24% of protein and 8% of fat to help its physical development. Ensure including meat such as pork, beef, duck, chicken, fish, and lamb in their meals. High protein meat will build your dogs muscle structure by increasing its mass and making your pet look bulky.
How Many Time To Feed A German Shepherd Daily
Just like the feeding amount, youll have to depend on the age of your German shepherd.
However, there are other considerations on how much to feed a German shepherd puppy per day.
- 9 months and below: Feed your GSD thrice per day in equal intervals.
- 9 months to 12 months: Slowly transition to two meals a day, particularly in the morning and evening.
- 12 months and above: German shepherds of this age will now naturally eat twice a day.
You might want to consider avoiding meals right before bedtime. Let them digest their food first before they go to sleep.
Lastly, we go to the most often overlooked part of every German shepherds feeding chart, mealtime lengths.
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Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy
Complete Health Large Breed Puppy is one of 13 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, ground brown rice, salmon meal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Growth
- Best for:German Shepherd puppy
Complete Health Large Breed Puppy derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh chicken as well as chicken meal and salmon meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 14% fat and 45% estimated carbs with a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.
Sample buyer reviewMy almost year old GSD loves this food! I transitioned him to this at 9 weeks. He was on another grain free puppy food but was not large breed. This food for high marks and I wanted to have a food that contained grains and was formulated for large breeds. My dog had no issues transitioning and loves his food. Like a lot of GSDs he does have a sensitive tummy and most treats dont agree with him so we use this as a training treat as well and he still loves it.
Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp
The Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken is a veterinarian-approved dry dog food mix with a huge range of ingredients. It contains a great blend of farm-raised chicken, oatmeal and rice, as well as fruit and vegetables such as blueberries, carrots, apples and tomatoes.
This mix is suited to all stages of a German Shepherds life, from puppy to senior, and is a natural formula that contains both prebiotics and probiotics to assist with digestion and the absorption of food in your dogs stomach.
Vitamins A and B12 are included, as well as Taurine for optimal health. Although there arent any genetically modified inclusions in this food, some dogs who are very picky eaters have not enjoyed it. It is generally a quality choice for your German Shepherd though.
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Suggested How Much To Feed German Shepherd Schedule:
- German Shepherds can eat between 1-1.5 cups of food per day, split into two meals so you dont overload their digestive system.
- A puppy will need to eat more because they are growing very quickly. Talk to your vet about how much exactly so you keep them healthy and happy.
- Make sure your German Shepherd has access to fresh, clean water all day.
- When you take your dog for a walk make sure to bring along some extra water in a collapsible bowl. If they get tired on the way or it gets very hot, this can save their life.
- Dont let them drink too much before going to bed unless you want a lot of puddles.
Fresh Foods Are Great For German Shepherds
German Shepherd love to eat healthy, human foods such as meat and cheese products and certain fruits and vegetablesand these foods make awesome treats. Fresh foods also contain natural enzymes that commerical dog foods have lost due to processing. Care should be taken however, to ensure that fresh foods do not account for more than about 10 percent of your German Shepherds diet. Feeding too many treats daily can lead to nutrient imbalances and digestive upsets.
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How Long To Feed A German Shepherd
The mealtime lengths of your German shepherd will mainly rely on your observation. Therefore, youll need to consider these questions:
- How long can your dog finish his portion?
- How long does it take for your dog to be full?
- Is your dog still hungry after eating his portion?
German shepherds normally take anywhere from 10 minutes to 15 minutes to finish the meal, given that you followed the proper feeding guidelines properly. If your dog shows signs of slow eating, we recommend sending them to your vet.
If you think your dog is already full before finishing his portion, there is no problem. However, if your dog is still hungry after finishing the meal, consider sending him to your vet.
This is because this can be a sign of a serious health issue involving their digestive system.
Now you know about the German shepherds feeding amount, frequency, and length, but lets not forget about an important part of meals.
Is A Raw Diet Healthy For A German Shepherd Puppy
A raw diet is good for German shepherds. A raw diet help improves vitality and energy. The puppy gets healthy white teeth with an increased lifespan and reduced shedding as well as a stronger immune system.
Raw meat is a great source of protein and an optimal diet. It is like keto to humans because it allows the puppy to reach their total capacity and good health.
Dogs are naturally carnivorous, hence raw diet aligns with their natural needs.
However, you should speak to your vet before putting your puppy on a raw food diet.
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Always Change Diet Gradually
Whenever you need to change your dogs diet, remember that you should do this gradually. Changing food on your German shepherd suddenly is sure to cause them some digestive issues.
Switch between foods gradually by mixing the old food with the new food for a few weeks, gradually increasing the amount of the new food. Eventually, your dog will be eating only the new food.
How Much Should A German Shepherd Eat Per Day
An inactive German Shepherd weighing approximately 70lbs should eat around 1,272 calories, while a 90lb inactive German Shepherd should eat about 1,540 calories. On the other hand, active dogs need more fuel. A 70lb active GSD will need at least 1,740 calories a day, and a 90lb active German Shepherd needs 2,100 calories a day for their weight and activity levels.
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German Shepherd Care: Feed A Healthy Diet
To make sure your pet stays strong, healthy, and nutritious, you need to provide them with the best dog food for German shepherds.
Dogs can eat many foods that you eat. However, some foods may be delicious to humans but deadly to dogs. Chocolate is the most common example.
So, a healthy diet for your dog should include 18-22% High-Quality Proteins and 5-8% Healthy Fats .
Apart from chocolate, there are other foods that you need to avoid too. They include Corn, Corn Syrup, Wheat gluten, all grains, food dyes, Beta Hydroxy Acids , Butylated Hydroxytoluene , rendered fat, Monosodium Glutamate , Soy, Nitrates, Vegetable Oil, Brewers rice, and Pea protein.
Feed Your German Shepherd At Least Twice Daily
German Shepherds are a large, deep-chested breed and are therefore predisposed to developing life-threatening bloat or gastric torsion. To decrease these risks, feed your German Shepherd at least two smaller meals daily and at regularly scheduled times. Avoid late night feeding and make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise during the day. Never feed your German Shepherd when its in a state of excitement. Excitable states and eating can contribute to stomach problems, flatulence and other digestive issues. Additionally, wait at least 1-1/2 to 2 hours before and after exercise before feeding your German Shepherd.
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What Is The Size Of A Full
An adult male German Shepherd is typically 24 to 26 inches tall, while adult female German Shepherds are 22 to 24 inches tall, according to the American Kennel Club German Shepherd Standard.
The estimated full-size varies significantly between sexes. In terms of weight, an adult male German Shepherd weighs anywhere from 75 to 90 pounds. A female German Shepherd weighs notably less at 55 to 70 pounds.
Please keep in mind that these numbers are only estimates to give you an idea of how much bigger a German Shepherd puppy may get. Some dogs will be both smaller and larger than these weight ranges when fully grown due to a variety of genetic and environmental factors.
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Which Dog Food Is Best For German Shepherds
- Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred German Shepherd puppies 8 weeks to 15 months old
- Unique kibble shape is designed for a German Shepherds long, strong muzzle to encourage chewing
- An exclusive complex of antioxidants, including vitamin E, helps protect puppy development of the immune system
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How Much Should A German Shepherd Puppy Eat:
- German Shepherds in general need around 1,000 calories each day .
- Your dog will eat between 30-50% of its body weight in one sitting. So for example, if your dog is 60lbs they should eat between 18-30lbs of food in one day.
- If you notice your dog is losing weight, add more calories to its meal size. If they are starting to gain too much fat on their body, cut back suggested serving sizes by around 25%.
The Best Food For German Shepherd Dog
Now that you have a better understanding of a German Shepherds dietary requirements, shopping for dog food will be a breeze. However, if youre looking for a hint on what brand might meet all the criteria youve learned
Both delicious and nutritious, Lucy Pet Formulas For Life is an excellent option for a growing GSD. With a diverse nutritional profile comprised of only the best ingredients and a recipe precisely formulated for gut health, Lucy Pet dog food checks all the boxes in a German Shepherds diet.
Point is: if youre looking for the right type of dog food, look no further.
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Meal Plan / Feeding Guide By Weight
There are lots of German Shepherd food brands out there. However, you need to look for foods that meet your pet’s unique dietary requirements.
A few great recommendations from Hungry Bark include:
- Superfoods with Chicken, Turkey + Brown Rice
- Superfoods with Turkey + Duck
- Superfoods with Lamb + Turkey
- Superfoods with Salmon
If you doubt how much food your dog needs, you should check the meal pack. Most dog food brands provide feeding calculators to help you work out how much your pet needs.
Hungry Bark recommends these daily serving amounts for your German Shepherds.
- 3lbs: 29-43 grams daily
- 80lbs: 431-517 grams daily
- Above 36kg : You should add half a cup for every additional 7kg .
Lactating German Shepherds need more calories than other adults. So If your female pet is lactating, you should visit your vet or pet nutritionist to recommend the best feeding schedule and amounts for your pet.
Puppies typically need three times the amount of food as adults. And Hungry Bark recommends thrice of daily adult servings for German Shepherd puppies. However, if your puppyâs activity level is low, you should stick to twice the daily adult servings to avoid obesity.
If you are transitioning to Hungry Barkâs dry food, you should feed your pet 75% of the old food and 25% of the new food in the first three days. Within the next 4-6 days, you can serve your pet 50% of the new food and 50% of the old food.
Wet Canned Foods
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Natural Adult Wet Dog Food
Image courtesy Blue Buffalo
If you’re searching for high-quality, all-natural wet dog food, Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a wonderful alternative.
This dog food is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for an entourage diet. It’s made with real beef and chicken, can be served as a delicious treat, or blended into your dog’s regular dry food.
The Blue Buffalo puppy food contains no chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or preservatives making it a healthy choice for your dog.
What Dog Food Brands Are Affordable But Healthy
When shopping on a budget, steer clear of cheap, low-quality dog foods. According to an article in The Whole Dog Journal, these foods are made with the cheapest ingredients available in the pet food industry and are not healthy for dogs. Instead, look for an affordable high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet that will keep your dog happy and healthy. Of course, if your dog is on a prescription diet for health reasons, you will have to pay more for that food. Following are three top-rated foods manufactured by experienced pet food companies that have veterinary nutritionists on staff.
- real chicken is the first ingredient
- four antioxidant sources promote your dogs immune system
- doesnt use artificial flavors or preservatives
- chicken is the first ingredient
- includes glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain bone and joint health
- contains L-carnitine to help support a healthy metabolism
- contains glucosamine and chondroitin to promote joint and bone health
- contains omega-6 fatty acids to promote skin and coat health
- doesnt contain high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or added sugar