How Much Should A German Shepherd Eat: Dry Food
There is a huge variety of dry food on the zoo market and the choice of brand in most cases depends on the budget, and only then on the quality of the food, which is completely wrong. It is necessary to select dry food individually, since dogs of the same breed, of the same age, may have different reactions to the same food.
The main ingredient of dry food should be meat, such as beef, poultry, or fish, then the list continues with easily digestible carbohydrates rice, oatmeal, barley. The presence of wheat, corn, and soybeans in dry food should be alarming since this type of grain is poorly absorbed and causes food allergies.
Vegetables are not only a source of carbohydrates but also fiber for better digestion.
It is imperative that dry food for German Shepherds contains foods containing fats, such as fish oil, vegetable oils, and foods that are a source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
High-quality dry food contains a complex of vitamins and minerals, which eliminates the need for additional vitamin and mineral supplements in the diet.
Wet foods are not essential in the German Shepherds diet. Canned food has a soft structure, and with constant feeding, the dogs teeth will suffer, which will ultimately lead to dental problems. Wet canned food is a source of fluid, this is their advantage, but constant access to freshwater will help avoid fluid deficiency in the animals body.
How Much Sugar Is Safe For A German Shepherd
German Shepherds love eating yogurt because it is liquidy and cold, but how much of it can they safely consume? Generally, yogurt should not comprise more than 5 to 10 percent of your canines diet. Since yogurt can also be a harmful substance for German Shepherds, make sure to feed it to them in smaller amounts.
If you are feeding yogurt for the first time to your puppy, make sure to discuss the decision with the veterinarian first. If you notice any symptoms of yogurt allergies, take your dog to the emergency room. Lastly, do not feed yogurt to your dog if you know that they are allergic to it.
German Shepherd Feeding Guide: Adult Years
Once your German Shepherd has ended his puppy stage and transitioned into adulthood, hes ready to eat a balanced adult diet.
Adult dog food will have a different ratio of calcium, protein, phosphorus, and other nutrients than puppy food does.
Feeding an adult dog a puppy formula can cause obesity as well as put too much strain on kidneys and other vital organs. Long term use of inappropriate food for an adult dog can have catastrophic consequences.
That said, there is no need to panic if your adult GSD eats a bowl of puppy food now and then.
Adult German Shepherds should be fed twice a day. They can get by on once per day, but its always better to split daily caloric intake between smaller meals instead of feeding it all at once.
Again, bloat is a real problem for large breed dogs, and large meals seem to be a big cause of this.
If youre not home for twice-daily feedings, you can use an automatic feeder. These will dispense the proper amount of food at set times each day so your dog isnt left waiting for meals.
Throughout the years, Ive fed a number of different high-quality dog foods to my German Shepherds.
One of my consistent go-tos is Royal Canin Adult Breed German Shepherd dry dog food. I feed my adult dogs this particular blend for a number of reasons.
In addition, this blend also uses optimal levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to make a GSDs coat pop, so to speak. You really can see the difference.
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Can A German Shepherd Puppy Eat Human Food
Overall, we would not advise giving human food to your GSD puppies. Young dogs have sensitive stomachs, and they can easily get diarrhea or an upset tummy.
However, if you feel like giving your dog a treat, there are a few healthy options that might even be a better alternative to giving your dog store-bought treats. These are usually protein sources, as well as some fruits and veggies humans eat.
For example, chicken, turkey, beef, fish, and eggs are great protein sources that can help your puppy gain muscle mass. There are also several safe fruits and veggies that make for great sources of vitamins. These include:
- Fruit pits
What Is The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
The best dog food is a trick question and a slippery slope. There are no clear-cut, hands down best dog foods for German Shepherds or any breed for that matter.
The best dog food and diet are going to vary from dog to dog. Your German Shepherds food may need to be tweaked or changed as your dog transitions from a puppy to an adult to a senior or if your German Shepherd develops allergies or other health ailments as they age.
One of the essential things for German Shepherd puppies is a safe food for their age and development.
German Shepherds need calcium, but too much calcium in a German Shepherd puppies diet causes a higher risk of developing hip dysplasia.
German Shepherd puppies are growing until 12 to 24 months. These large breed pups arent ready for adult dog food until they have reached maturity.
There is a vast range of dog foods and brands which can be overwhelming and confusing for owners.
Options include dry food, wet food, raw food, organic food, fresh food, all-natural food, holistic food, low carbohydrate food, high protein food, grain-free food, puppy food, senior food, all life stages food, and the list goes on and on.
The bottom line is, though, German Shepherds need a specific balance of nutrients and ingredients.
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How Old Should A 10 Year Old German Shepherd Be
10-year-old German Shepherd Unfortunately, a German Shepherds expected lifespan is between 9 and 13 years old, and their time left here is getting short. It is common for German Shepherds to face arthritis, skin problems, decreased activity, dental issues, weight gain or loss, or even cancer at this age and older.
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German Shepherd Homemade Food Tips
Once you pick a recipe for your GSD or GSD puppy, its time to prepare it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
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Merrick Grain Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe
- Type of Product: Dry large breed adult food
- Life Stage: Adult
- Best for: Low-Calcium
- AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance
Featuring a protein-rich formula from animal sources, this food is lower in calcium. The product has a moderate fat content and digestible carbohydrates for an active lifestyle.
Healthy fats from omega fatty acids support a healthy coat and skin. Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin promote cartilage health and joint function.
Whole food ingredients and probiotics help aid digestion. There are no artificial ingredients, corn, wheat, soy, or gluten in the formula.
Customers say their pups love the food and have energy when they eat it.
German Shepherd Feeding Guide By Age
As mentioned above, the age and development stage of your German Shepherd will play a big part in what foods are best suited for him.
To make your research easier, were breaking down the GSD feeding guide into age-based categories. Simply find your dogs age or developmental stage below to find the right information at the right time.
Be sure to check with your vet before beginning, switching, or stopping a feeding program. The information provided here is for research purposes only. Always take your vets advice for your individual dogs needs.
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Before You Pick The Best Food For Your German Shepherd
Theres no such thing as one food that fits all German Shepherds. While I did my best to find the best food for most German Shepherds, you might prefer to pick a more specific formula.
Thats why I elaborate here our main considerations while reviewing the best dog foods for German Shepherds.
You can divide your research journey into 3 steps:
The rest of the guide will show you how to pick the right food for your German Shepherds life stage, how diet helps in common German Shepherd health issues, and what to look for on the label.
For your convenience, I shortlisted 14 dog foods. These foods were carefully selected and should satisfy your German Shepherds needs. I also noted which food is best for certain life stages or particular health issues.
After going through the shortlist, you can find additional considerations that might be of interest to you and your fur-baby.
Finally, I answered the most popular questions that Im being asked regarding German Shepherds nutrition and diet.
Please keep in mind, while I tried to do my best to find the best food for your German Shepherd, it would be a good idea to understand how and why we made our decisions.
The recommendations in this review are not intended to replace the doctor-patient relationship. Always consult your veterinarian before making major adjustments to your furbabys diet.
Why Is Vitamin D Important For Dogs
Vitamin D is vital for the regulation of the calcium and phosphorus balance in your pups body. The lack of vitamin D can make your pup get bone disorders rickets, heart disease when they grow up, which ultimately affects the development of their ears as well.
On the other side of the coin too much vitamin D can cause toxicity. So make sure you strike the right balance between too much and too little when giving vitamin D supplements to your puppy.
If youre hesitant in giving your pup commercially available vitamin supplements, you can alternatively substitute the commercial supplements with natural yogurt or cottage cheese.
Both cottage cheese and yogurt offer the same benefits they are a natural source of calcium, protein, vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
Tough yogurt may be a better choice among the two since yogurt contains probiotics that help the pups digestive system stay healthy.
If you pick yogurt to give to your pup, you should only give small amounts of plain yogurt at first, preferably one teaspoon, to avoid upsetting your pups stomach.
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German Shepherd Height Chart
|24 26 / 60 65 cm
|22 24 / 55 60 cm
When looking at the German Shepherd height chart, you will get a good idea on how quickly they grow and what you can generally expect as far as their height goes.
Looking at the German Shepherd height chart, you will notice that the puppies double in height between months 1 and 3 and again between months 2 and 4.The first 4 months of your puppys life is when you will see the largest amount of growth.
The height growth rate will slow down by 6 months. While your dog is nowhere near his final size, the amount that he grows each month will gradually reduce, so he will be growly less dramatically, while still growing.
This will help especially with feeding since you will be able to get him on a fixed amount after he has done his largest growth periods. You will notice on the charts that they keep going up until 3 years, taking into account any last bit of growth.
German Shepherd Diet Guide
There is actually a lot to learn about your dogs diet, and not only do dogs have different nutritional needs at every age, but also this can change from one dog to another depending on many things.
Things your dogs diet depends on:
So, yeah, there is actually a lot to learn about your dogs food, but I promise you we will keep it as simple as possible.
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What About The Chart On Dog Food Bags
Youve likely seen the feeding chart on the back of commercial dog food bags. These charts can seem pretty straightforward at first glance.
However, they dont take into consideration the size, weight, activity level, or overall health of each individual dog.
For that reason, its best not to treat these dog food packaging feeding guides as gospel. Instead, use them as a starting point.
Observe your dog, see how he looks and feels, and note any changes in his bathroom habits, weight, or energy level. Adjust his meals accordingly.
The other problem with these packaging guides is that they arent clear on how to feed your dog. Generally speaking, they talk about daily intake, not per meal.
For example, if the guide says you should feed your dog 3 cups, its not suggesting that your dog eats 3 cups at every meal. It means to split that 3 cups total over the entire day.
If your dog eats 3 times per day, that would be 1 cup at each meal for a total daily intake of 3 cups.
To further confuse dog parents, some manufacturers do list per-meal serving sizes, not the total daily intake! In these cases, if you read it incorrectly, you would end up underfeeding your dog.
To help mitigate some of this confusion, it may be helpful to ask your vet how many calories your dog should be consuming each day. Then you can check the calorie content in the dog food and measure things from there.
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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Yogurt Also Helps Improve A German Shepherds Digestion
Active bacteria or probiotics can be found in some types of yogurt, which are either added after the pasteurization process or were part of the starter culture already. These could help your dogs digestive system.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a prevalent illness that affects the colon, and several probiotics present in some types of yogurt, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, have been demonstrated to alleviate the painful symptoms. This can assist your dog in remaining healthy and pain-free.
Yogurt can also help your dogs digestive health because the good bacteria in yogurt can help with digestion. As a result, youll be protected from diarrhea and constipation.
Foods That Gsds Should Not Eat
Who doesnt love to share a taste of their favorite foods with their furbaby? If you find pleasure in giving your pal special treats from time to time, avoid offering your pup these foods:
- Chocolate and coffee contain stimulants that can be deadly to dogs.
- Onions and garlic contain a chemical that can cause anemia.
- Grapes and raisins can cause kidney damage in dogs.
- Alcohol dogs dont have the same body mass or tolerance as humans
- Gum or other foods that contain xylitol can trigger life-threatening hypoglycemia
- Macadamia nuts are toxic to shepherds
- Raw yeast doughs the yeast can ferment and create alcohol in the gut, or the dough may expand and trigger a twisted stomach
- Peach and cherry pits can be a choking hazard and contain a toxic chemical
- Avocados not fatal but they can make your pooch ill
- Cooked bones and all poultry bones can splinter and puncture the stomach or intestines
- Hops can trigger a dangerous rise in your dogs body temperature
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Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds
Choosing the best food for your German Shepherd can seem like an overwhelming task. German Shepherds are large breed dogs and have specific nutrient requirements. Luckily, there are some great diets that can promote healthy growth and development in your dog.
In this article, Ill discuss my recommendations for the best dog foods for German Shepherds, specific nutritional needs and the important role of nutrition in their long-term health.
Ill also discuss the differences between puppy and adult food options and when to transition your pet.
While this article is written by a vet, please speak to your own vet about your dogs specific situation since this advice is meant to be more general in nature.