Top 7 Best Foods For German Shepherd Puppies
German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. It’s not hard to see why. Not only are they beautiful, but these dogs are also smart, loyal, and energetic. When they’re puppies, German Shepherds are playful little creatures that are curious about the world around them.
During the first year or so of life, your little puppy is going to go through a major growth spurt. Puppies start out at around one pound when they’re first born. Yet, by the time they are a year old, they can weight over 60 pounds!
To support that growth, you need to provide your pup with a healthy diet that’s filled with beneficial nutrients.
As a large breed, you need to be extra cautious about what you’re feeding your dog. Poor nutrition at a young age can result in some serious health complications in the future.
For German Shepherds, those risks are even higher due to the many conditions the breed is susceptible to.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of great dog food options on the market. Here’s a collection of some of the best wet and dry dog food for German Shepherd puppies.
Swapping Puppy Food Brands
You should initially feed the same diet the puppy was eating before you adopted them.
Consider continuing with this diet and then with the equivalent adult dog formulation.
If you plan to change to a different food do not do so in the first few weeks.
Then gradually include increasing proportions of the new food over a period of two to four weeks.
Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Feeding
From 3 to 4 weeks old, when it comes to feeding a German Shepherd puppy, we should start by letting them taste new foods and flavors.
At this stage, the German Shepherd puppys diet plan requires them to eat special wet food for puppies.
At around 6 to 8 weeks old, a German Shepherd puppy should be given a little dry dog food with water.
From their eighth week onward, a German Shepherd should be weaned and start feeding on solid food with a special puppy feed.
Puppies must have constant access to clean fresh water.
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German Shepherd Puppy Diet: 2 Months Old
At two months of age, you can start to slowly decrease the moistening of your German Shepherd’s 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, but at specific times. This is part of a puppys socialization and early education.
We start of by placing a bowl of food down for 10 minutes, this should give the puppy enough time to finish its meal. After 10 minutes, we suggest taking the bowl of food away, even if your puppy hasn’t finished eating.
A puppy’s food bowl must only be available to the dog for 10 minutes. This 10 minutes should be enough time for the puppy to eat all of its provided food. As already mentioned, after 10 minutes, you should take the food bowl away, even if the puppy hasn’t finished eating. This pattern will introduce the puppy’s food schedule and allow it an opportunity to become accustomed to particular feeding times.
How To Know If Youre Feeding Them Too Much
There is a common concern among German Shepherd dog breeds. The concern is related to the occurrence of developmental orthopedic disease. The disease is also often simply referred to as DOD. The condition is considered rather serious, as it holds longer-term complications for the dog.
DOD primarily occurs when a German Shepherd eats too much when they are still very young. The excess food causes them to gain too much weight, too fast. The condition places stress on the skeletal system, as well as the bones of the dog. This can cause problems with the German Shepherds development.
The best way to avoid overfeeding your German Shepherd puppy is to ensure you comply with the general guidelines when you feed them. Only feed them more than what is recommended if it is completely necessary. Most people, however, find that falling within these guidelines is appropriate and helps to keep the dogs satiety level high.
Do take note of your German Shephard puppys waist and body circumference. It is fairly easy to see if these puppies are gaining too much weight. If you find that weight gain occurs too quickly for your German Shephard puppy, then take a closer look at how much you are feeding them. You might have to reduce the amount of food you are giving your puppy.
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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.
Is My Puppy The Right Weight
You can also refer to German Shepherd puppy growth charts to see if you puppy is gaining weight and within the normal range.
However, keep in mind that some dogs will be unusually small or large but still be perfectly healthy.
Do not try to maximize growth rates as this can lead to health problems later.
But if you puppy is not showing a steady increase in size, or your puppy lacks appetite, consult with a veterinarian.
Ensure that you are familiar with how to assess the body condition of your puppy. You can ask about your puppys condition at veterinary wellness examinations.
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How Much Should I Feed My 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
An 8 week old German Shepherd puppy should be weaned from his mothers milk and be consuming puppy food. Offer food to him 3 times a day, but do not leave it out after feeding times in order to get him on a solid schedule for meals. You can offer up to 2 cups a day, but dont be surprised if he cannot eat it all.
My Puppy Wont Eat What Should I Do
It can be worrying to see your GSD not have any appetite for anything. If your German Shepherd is a little on the timid side of eating, heres what you can do:
- Consider dog-safe seasonings to make the food bowl more flavor
- Mix both kibble and wet food so its both crunchy and flavorful
- Try swapping to a different food brand
- Consult your vet if the puppy hasnt been eating for more than 2 meals and looks sick
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Feeding Your German Shepherd Puppy Raw Food
Feeding raw food to your German Shepherd puppy means that they are always eating wholesome, fresh, allergen-free foods that do not have any fillers and preservatives.
Raw food is easy to digest for your puppy and can help prevent Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Raw food means that your puppy does not eat unnecessary carbs allowing them to maintain a healthy weight.
However, uncooked raw foods can cause contamination with pathogens causing illness to your puppy. Unbalanced raw food can also affect the overall health of your puppy.
Raw foods such as muscle meat, edible bone, liver, vegetables, and fruits will ensure that your puppy is getting all the necessary nutrients. Consult with your vet to come up with raw diet recipes for your puppy.
How To Change The Diet Of A German Shepherd After 6 Months
The food intake should be reduced to twice a day once your German Shepherd is 6 months old. When we do this we can increase the food portions and eating time accordingly.
After 6 months, you should give your German Shepherd puppy shatterproof bones, such as beef, to gnaw on. This should be done to strengthen the puppys teeth and gums.
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How Much Food Should I Give My German Shepherd Puppy How Often Should I Feed My Puppy
Young puppies need to eat 3-4 times a day in small amounts.
If necessary, you can divide the food into two larger meals, but make sure you are not feeding them so much that they start to vomit. The puppies will not necessarily be regulated, so it is easy for them to eat ad nauseam and then vomit, you have to regulate the amounts for them.
The food for German shepherd puppies is very different from the adult dog food
What Is The Worst Dog Food For A German Shepherd
It depends on the individual dog.
But, very generally, foods that are inadequate or unbalanced nutritionally, and contain low quality ingredients might be bad.
Refer to the dog food considerations guide mentioned above for more indicators of bad dog foods.
You can read more in this guide about what foods might be dangerous for dogs.
It is also important to note that any new food you introduce to your German Shepherd that produces a negative reaction in their body you should also avoid. This can be specific to the individual dog or puppy.
Also, make sure when you are transitioning between your current dog food and new dog food, that you do so gradually so as not to upset your dogs stomach, and so you have an opportunity to see how the new food affects your dog.
Nutritional Requirements Of German Shepherds
Nutrition is a natural process where organisms assimilate foods and use them for growth and development. What are nutritional requirements? These are the essential needs of each living organism according to their varying metabolic needs.
From this definition, its evident that a humans nutritional requirements will vary from a German Shepherds, and a Beagles favorite food wont make a cat any fatter.
German Shepherds require high protein content in their diets, especially in their early life. Averagely, experts recommend 22% protein in a growing German Shepherds regular diet, unless otherwise stated by a vet.
Experts also recommend no more than 8% fats in any dogs diet. Too much fat will cause obesity and heart problems, while too little will be insufficient to produce enough natural oils for the Shepherds skin.
Raw meats are also worthwhile considerations, but should only be included after enough consultation with the veterinarian.
Introducing a raw diet at an early stage will help in the formation of stronger bones and fighting diseases. Besides, raw meats are often responsible for shinier fur and healthy coats.
The only nutrients German Shepherd owners should include in moderation are carbohydrates. Carbs dont help a dog that much in bodybuilding, and protection against diseases instead, too much carb can increase blood sugar levels, which isnt too good for your pups early life.
Also, exclude fillers such as grains and corn syrup.
How Does Diet Affect The Health Of Growing Shepherds
Recently it has come to light that a proper diet for puppies does more than prevent malnutrition.
Many orthopedic problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia have a strong hereditary component. However, people often discount the role of diet in bone developmental issues.
Theres a clear link between obesity in puppies and the resulting exacerbation of hip, elbow, and back problems.
However, your German Shepherd pup doesnt have to be overweight to suffer a myriad of health challenges. Merely creating an oversized puppy, as is often the case for show animals and people fixated on large dogs, can lead to several painful disorders:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Panosteitis Generalized inflammation of the long bones in puppies common in German Shepherds.
- Wobblers More common in Great Danes and Dobermans, Wobblers is a condition whereby the spinal canal is too narrow, causing neurologic instability.
Overnutrition and over-supplementation of certain vitamins and minerals lead to paradoxical malnutrition of the bone, and subsequently improper development.
Nutritional experts have modified their recommendations regarding the diets of large-breed dogs.
Many nutritionists and veterinarians advocate feeding German Shepherds and other large-breed puppies an adult or professionally-formulated homemade diet to limit the occurrence and severity of developmental problems.
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How Much To Feed A German Shepherd
There is no definite answer to how many cups of dog food should I feed my German shepherd? as it would depend on many factors. Nonetheless, here are some simple guidelines to help you get started.
- A 60-pound German shepherd should eat 3 cups of kibble per day.
- A 70-pound German shepherd should eat 3 1/2 cups of kibble per day.
- An 80-pound German shepherd should eat 3 3/4 cups of kibble per day.
- A 90-pound German shepherd should eat 4 1/4 cups of kibble per day.
Even though these numbers serve as a good starting point, you might still need to make an adjustment based on how active and how obese your dog is. Please also note that these are generic recommendations only make sure to check the food bag for specific feeding instructions.
Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Weight
When your GS puppy is 2 months old, you can expect him or her to weigh between 16 and 20 pounds, depending on the sex of the puppy. Females will always be a little lower on the scale than their male counterparts.
They are bigger dogs and do gain weight quicker than other breeds, but you still want to watch for signs of gaining too much too quickly or being underweight.
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German Shepherd Feeding General Guidelines
Most vets will tell you to watch the dog and not the bowl when deciding how much to feed a German Shepherd. What they mean by this is that you should always be aware of your dogs body size, shape, and condition, and not being too strict with charts and graphs of food measurements.
If your dog seems to be gaining weight, reduce the number of calories they consume. Start with reducing treats or any table scraps you may be feeding him.
If he is still gaining weight, you can slowly reduce the amount of food you give him during his regular meals.
On the other side of the spectrum, if your dog is overly thin, lethargic, and not doing well, you may be feeding her too little. Increase the amount of food in each meal by small increments. ¼ cup at a time is usually sufficient.
Do not make drastic changes to your dogs feeding schedule or the amount you give. Do not suddenly remove an entire meal. All changes to your dogs diet should be made gradually, ideally over the course of several weeks.
Feeding Length Of Your German Shepherd Puppy
You need to observe your German shepherd in order to determine his mealtime lengths. Take note of how long he takes to finish a normal portion of food.
You also need to observe how long he takes to be full and pay careful attention to if he is still hungry after eating his portion.
Usually, German shepherds will take around 10 to 15 minutes to complete a meal, providing that you adhered to the customary feeding instructions. If you notice that your dog is displaying signs of eating slowly, you should pay a visit to your vet.
On the other hand, if you notice that your German Shepherd is still hungry after completing a meal, you should also pay a visit to your vet.
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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.