What Should You Do If Your German Shepherd Puppy Doesnt Eat
There are a few methods that you can try if you are struggling to get your German Shepherd puppy to eat. Puppies who are developing their appetite might be struggling to acquire a taste for new foods.
Cook strong-smelling meat to entice your puppy. Waft the smell of the meat toward your puppy and use it as an encouragement to eat. Human meat and processed foods are bad for puppies so do not feed your German Shepherd any of the cooked meat.
Weaning A German Shepherd Between Different Types Of Food
Whether you have a full grown dog, or a puppy, its important to wean your GSD between foods.
This essentially involves gradually decreasing the proportion of old food, and increasing the proportion of new food in your dogs bowl so their stomach can get used to the new food.
Follow the instructions on the new food label for proportions.
This is particularly important for puppies transitioning from say liquid and soft foods to solid adult dog food.
If you are unsure about weaning ask your vet.
Feeding A German Shepherd Puppy A Homemade Diet Or Fresh Food
Homemade diets or have become a growing trend. You need a recipe or a subscription service for fresh dog food . Whats difficult about opting for homemade dog food is the nutritional profile. As we mentioned, kibble and wet food you buy from the store have all been formulated to provide balanced nutrition. Many of the recipes were created by vets and pet nutritionists.
If you do not have these credentials, you may not know how to make homemade food that provides your German Shepherds with everything they need. Sure, you can look up recipes online, but how much do you trust all the so-called experts without real credentials?
If you can get your hands on a recipe that incorporates all the nutritional values your German Shepherd pup needs, then fresh food is what we recommend most. It is the least processed out of all the types of dog food we have discussed so far, and it will also be irresistible to many dogs in terms of taste. Your trusted vet may also recommend temporarily feeding your German Shepherd a fresh food diet if he suffers from medical issues.
But are there drawbacks? Like with any other food, fresh diets also come with their fair share of disadvantages. Human-grade ingredients will not keep as long as processed puppy and adult food, and it can really get expensive. It is also very time-consuming to prepare and again, you should make sure you have consulted with your vet or pet nutritionist to work together to find the best recipe.
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When To Switch From Puppy To Adult Food
Puppy foods tend to contain more nutrients and calories than adult food, to meet the nutritional requirements of your dog. As such, whether you feed a dry or wet variant, the puppy food you give will have higher levels of protein and fat. If you continue to feed this to an adult dog, they will be more prone to put on weight because of the high fat content. Moving over to adult food is an important stage in your dogs development.
Small breed dogs are usually fully mature by around 10 months, medium dogs by 14 months, but large breed dogs can take up to 24 months to fully mature.
With your German Shepherd, wait until he reaches around 80% of his anticipated adult weight before making the transition to adult food.
- Feed ¾ puppy food and ¼ adult food for the first week.
- Feed ½ puppy food and ½ adult food for the second week.
- Feed ¼ puppy food and ¾ adult food for the third and final week of the transition.
The Other Nutritional Requirement For A German Shepherd Is Fat
The fat comes from the protein and gives flavor to the food of a dog . However, feeding too fatty foods will be detrimental to the dogs health . While on the other hand, if your German Shepherds diet is low in fat, it will create a lot of skin problems in your dog
The ideal content of fat in a dogs diet helps keep his skin healthy. As a German shepherd sheds a large amount of skin throughout the year, it is very important that you are given the correct amount of fat in your food. The fat content recommended by AAFCO for the German Shepherd is 5% -8%.
Individual needs in the diet of German shepherds depend on a number of factors, including age, sex, lifestyle and much more . The feeding requirements for a young dog do not have to match the diet of an adult.
Sometimes younger German shepherds require a high-energy diet to keep them active. This is the case of dogs that live both indoors and outdoors. These dogs also require a diet rich in protein to regulate their body temperature.
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Nutritional Needs Of German Shepherds
All dogs deserve healthy, nutritious, and satisfying food, but generic dog food isnt going to be right for most of them. Every breed has its own special dietary needs.
Small dogs, for example, need something totally different than our big, hard-working GSDs. For maximum health and energy, keep these things in mind when deciding what to feed your German Shepherd.
There Are Two Ways To Determine How To Feed Your Puppy
The most pressing questions you probably have about your new puppy are how much to feed them and how often lets go over a few things to consider.
Many people use the food bag as a starting point to decide how much to feed their dogs. However, a label on commercial food is one of the easiest ways to overfeed your growing puppy.
Dog food labels may raise feeding guidelines by up to 25% to ensure the diet meets or exceeds NRC requirements. Its more accurate and healthier for your puppy if you calculate and measure meals yourself.
Feeding your puppy involves regularly evaluating and tracking their weight. You should be able to assess how close your pup is to their ideal weight just by looking at them.
Weight charts are useful guides, but they dont account for an individuals variations from the norms. Also, dont forget to include treats in your calculations for daily food allowances!
If you give a lot of treats during training, for example, you need to account for it by decreasing meal sizes according to your pups weight or body condition.
Assessing Body Condition
Drake Center for Veterinary Care uses a body scoring system modified from Purinas charts and other sources.
Puppies will vary in their body scores and may change rapidly within a few days. Pups often lose their abdominal tuck right after a meal.
Puppies under 16 weeks old commonly have a pot-bellied appearance without much abdominal tuck.
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Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food
Puppies and adult dogs have different nutrient needs. To help puppies grow into adult dogs, they require more protein, micronutrients, and carbs. Puppies also require a high amount of calories to help them grow, so its essential to purchase a high-quality food brand for your puppy.
A puppys mouth is smaller than an adult dogs mouth, which helps explain why their food is not as big as adult kibble. Feeding puppies adult dog food can be dangerous because the kibble is larger and the texture is harder to chew. Giving a puppy adult dog food, it can cause damage to their teeth, jaws, and overall health.
How Long Is A German Shepherd Considered A Puppy
A German Shepherd should be fed a puppy diet until around 12 months of age, or as advised by your veterinarian based on their growth and development.
Adult German Shepherds are somewhat prone to obesity, which can contribute to the skeletal disorders they are prone to.
You should continue to monitor body condition and modify feeding to keep their weight moderate or somewhat lean.
Our complete guide to the best food for German Shepherd Dogs of all ages will help you find more delicious meals as your puppy grows and grows.
Make sure you read our German Shepherd facts to find out even more about these unique dogs!
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Dog Food For German Shepherds With Dry Skin Or Flaky Skin
Skin problems with food might be to do with allergies, so if you suspect this, see a vet.
If you think the problem may just be a mild one and that the skin is just dry and flaky, it could be because of some of these reasons:
You live in a dry area with little humidity
Your dog may not be getting enough water through their food or drinking enough water
The food your dog is eating is highly processed and doesnt contain any quality nutrients that contribute to a healthy coat or skin
Your dog may be lacking digestive enzymes or probiotics in their diet
Your dogs digestive system may not be working like a normal dogs system does
Difference Between Feeding A German Shepherd Adult & German Shepherd Puppy
German Shepherd puppies might have two main differences in their feeding requirements compared to full grown adults:
1. Puppies are still growing and need a different balance of nutrients and calories compared with adult dogs to help in this growing process. Puppy formulas for example may contain these specific nutritional requirements
2. At some stages, the type and texture of dog food a puppy can ingest might be limited based on what they can physically eat and swallow, and what their bodies can process properly
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What Kind Of Snacks Can I Feed My Dog With Kidney Disease
Our dogs walk a bit on the wild side when it comes to snacks as they love thin apple slices, banana chunks, carrots, whole unsalted peanuts in the husks, and dehydrated sweet potatoes! Dogs with kidney disease should avoid meat based chews/treats that are high in phosphorus, so you may find that you need to explore doing friendly fruit and veggies for treats like we have. We still on occasion will offer Hooch bully sticks or a jerky treat, but it is better for him if we limit his intake due to the levels of phosphorous that those treats contain.
Stages Of Feeding A German Shepherd Puppy
To help you understand your German Shepherd puppys body, the stages of feeding a German Shepherd puppy might be:
1. Nursing and Mothers Milk
The first 6-8 weeks a GSD puppy should be left with their mother to be nursed on their mothers milk if possible.
This milk contains nutrients and antibodies to protect your puppy against disease.
So, if you wondered what to feed a 6 week old German Shepherd, milk is probably the best option.
2. Weaning And Transition To Solid Food
Weaning a puppy from mothers milk to solid foods occurs at the 6-8 week mark, and the puppy is then ready to transition to solid foods.
Puppies have sensitive stomachs that are easy to upset leading to diarrhea and vomiting among other problems.
To reduce the risk of upsetting your German Shepherd Puppys stomach, you can buy milk replacer or puppy milk, and mix this milk with your selected puppy solid food to create a gruel . You can also use water.
In the transition phase a puppy might eat a gruel/mushy food mix to get their stomachs used to more solid food.
3. Eating Solely Solid Food
After 2-3 weeks of the transition phase of milk replacer and solid food, your puppy should be ready to eat solely solid foods at around 8 to 11 weeks of age.
Once again, your vet is the best person to approve the plan for weaning, transitioning to solid puppy food and the type of solid puppy food and puppy milk to feed your German Shepherd puppy.
Months Old German Shepherd Puppy Feeding
At two months of age, you can start to slowly decrease the moistening of your German Shepherds dry food. Eventually, the puppy will be used to eating the food completely dry.
Following the German Shepherd puppy food chart, from 2 until 4 months old, a puppy will eat 4 or 5 times a day.
This has to be carried out with one very important addition: discipline. A puppy needs to learn that it will not be fed constantly throughout the day
Accepting and adapting to a diet plan is very important for a puppys intellectual development.
Food for German shepherd puppies should be higher in calories, fats, proteins, and calcium than adult German Shepherd dog food.
This is because puppies are still growing and developing and therefore need better nutrition.
Its All About Calories
It is easy to make general assumptions about quantity.
When it comes down to calculating 10 percent, I realized I did not know exactly how to do it.
The answer is in the calories, much like many human dietary plans. Unlike humans, however, the sheer range in size between dogs means that you cant fall back on a solid number, like the 2,000 daily calories most human nutritional labels use. This means you will have to come up with that number yourself.
Your dogs food bag should tell you the number of calories in your dogs food, but as you check it, you may notice that the caloric content is measured in kcals, not the same calories you are used to seeing. This is often confusing.
Scientifically speaking, a kcal is a kilocalorie, or 1,000 calories. Dog food manufacturers, however, must have figured out that kcal doesnt roll off the tongue the same way calories does, because the calories found on food packages are actually kcals.
In other words, when your dogs food says: 364 kcal/cup, as is the case with Hills Science Diet Active Longevity, it just means 364 calories per cup. Normally, 364/kcal would be equivalent to 364,000 calories, but in this case, kcal and calories are used interchangeably.
If your dogs food does not tell you the number of calories per cup, you have to do a little more research, like calling the company and asking your veterinarian what your dogs total daily caloric intake should be.
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Instinct Original Recipe With Real Chicken
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat, Tapioca
Caloric Content: 4,406 kcal/kg
Finally, the Instinct by Nature Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food is a great choice for your German Shepherd in all life stages.
From its raw nutrition base to its balanced approach to a high protein food, this dry food is a positive addition to your dogs diet. Full of real chicken, vegetables, antioxidants, natural omegas and probiotics and without any grains, corn, potato, soy or wheat, there is great digestive support, as well as a healthy coast, skin and immune health.
The bag can be a little tricky to open though, so it can take a little getting used to, and some dogs may find they get gas after eating. Overall however, this food is a positive choice for German Shepherds.
Avoiding Underfeeding & Overfeeding
A German Shepherd is a large breed dog and should never be skinny. Although the GSD breed is not necessarily prone to being overweight, this is always a danger if you feed your dog too much, or if he doesnt get enough exercise.
Always ensure that you measure your dogs food, stick to the appropriate amounts, and be careful if you give additional treats and extra food. If you give your dog treats, be sure to remove these calories and fat from their daily food intake. Even though the GSD is a large breed dog, they are still smaller than humans, so it can be difficult to comprehend exactly how much extra food you are giving.
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Why Is My German Shepherd Always Hungry
German Shepherds tend to have a healthy appetite so it can feel like they eat a lot. If you ensure that the food you give is properly measured and that you have chosen food that is suitable for large breeds, then the following are reasons that your GSD could be showing signs of being hungry all the time.
- Lots of Exercise The more exercise your dog gets, the more energy they burn off, and the greater their requirement for food to replenish this energy source. One hour of moderate exercise per day is considered a minimum for this breed. Any more than this and your German Shepherd may require more food.
- Anxiety and Stress Anxiety and stress not only cause a lack of appetite but may lead to stress eating. Find out what is causing anxiety in your dog, and remove these stressors.
- Illness Diabetes, Cushings disease, malabsorption syndrome, and SIBO are some of the illnesses that can cause your dog to want to eat more. Look for other symptoms of illness and consult with your vet if your dog is showing any signs.
- Bad Habits Dogs are creatures of habit, and this means that they will benefit from having set meal times and routines. Try to feed your dog at the same time every day. If you feed a meal early, they may still expect food at their usual allotted time.