General Feeding Guidelines For A German Shepherd Puppy
Your dogs vet can suggest puppy food, and a feeding plan for your GSD puppy.
Commercially available food is usually labelled as puppy food on the label .
GSD might be considered puppies between birth and the age of about 14 to 16 months but, confirm with your dogs vet.
Puppies, because of their life stage and growing bodies, might have some specific guidelines to take into account of their own.
The Best German Shepherd Puppy Food Reviews
Absorbing all these important facts about GSD puppy food may get us thinking about which brands to choose. Base on GSD owner feedback, here are six of the best GSD puppy food.
If you are in search of a puppy food specially formulated for German Shepherds, then Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food is the answer.
GSD puppies are genetically predisposed to a lot of health issues but Royal Canin has created this dog food to address these health issues. It has ingredients that are highly digestible which can improve digestive health so young GSDs will be able to absorb nutrients efficiently.
Chondroitin and glucosamine combined with proper ratios of calcium and phosphorus can lay a good foundation for joints and bone health which is vital in supporting their growing bodies.
In order for GSD puppies to thrive and have strong immune system Royal Canin has enriched its formula with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.;
GSD puppies may have tiny bodies but their daily nutrition needs are huge.
Would you believe that a serving of Wellness Complete Health Puppy Food is packed with all the good stuff for our fur babies?
It has protein sourced from deboned chicken and salmon for healthy brain and eye development. This dry puppy food is also high in antioxidants for a stronger immune system, rich in omega fatty acids for a shiny coat and lots of fiber for better digestion.
Switching From Puppy Food To Adult Food
There will always come a time in your puppys life when its time to switch from puppy food to adult food. The name of the game when it comes to changing foods is to do it gradually. If you abruptly switch the food, your dog could become sick.
The best way to do it is to mix the new brand with the old one gradually in varying amounts. For instance, you can start with most of the food being the one he is used to, with a lesser amount of the new one.
Then you gradually add the new one until the switch is complete.
Also Check: What Age Do German Shepherds Calm Down
Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food
This dry puppy food from Royal Canin is made exclusively for German Shepherds. It meets the breed’s unique health and nutrition needs.
The food is suitable for dogs as old as 15 weeks and addresses many common health issues. To combat digestive problems, it has probiotics that introduce beneficial flora into your pup’s gut.
To avoid joint and bone issues, it has a healthy dose of calcium and phosphorus. Finally, it has a good blend of antioxidants to enhance your pup’s vulnerable immune system.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Seniors
While senior dogs dont have to be fed senior diets, its definitely worth considering. Senior foods often have fewer calories to accommodate reduced activity levels.
Furthermore, some foods may include small amounts of glucosamine, which acts as a joint supplement.
Nutro Max Senior Dry Dog Food Chicken Recipe*;is an affordable option for pet owners.
Includes glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health.;There is no soy, corn, or wheat in this recipe.
The Bright Mind formula uses enhanced botanical oils to promote alertness and mental sharpness.
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Taste Of The Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food
German Shepherds are built to be muscular. Though we wouldnt want them to grow out of their puppy bod, its still paramount to keep the protein intake sufficient. The Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food will make sure your pup has everything he needs to achieve the lean and strong build like hes intended too. One of its ingredients is real meat thats rich in fatty acids and lean protein. This product is best for puppies with high energy levels. The best thing about it is its made from sustainably sourced ingredients without artificial flavoring and preservatives.
A General Guideline For Preparing Homemade Dog Food
My DIY dog food recipe is more of a general guideline, rather than an exact meal plan that I follow each week. My dogs diet changes the same way ours does, depending on what we do and what we buy or grow.
However, we almost always stay with this basic formula:
- 50 percent cooked protein
- 25 percent cooked complex carbohydrates
- Fats and supplements
Protein is always meat and usually chicken, though weve also used turkey, pork, and beef. We feed any and all parts of the animals, but most commonly, we saute chicken breasts or chicken thighs in coconut oil and ground turmeric.
Coconut oil has a host of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, reducing allergic reactions, promoting wound healing, preventing yeast and fungal infections, and supporting arthritis or ligament problems.
Turmeric has long been studied for its powerful medicinal properties, including its use as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
We add it to the coconut oil since it is fat-soluble, and use it to support our pugs joint health.
Speaking of dark meat, we feed thighs and breasts interchangeably. While well remove the skin from poultry and trim off excessive fat from red meat, we dont worry about buying the leanest meat possible for our dogs.
A little fat is necessary for a well-rounded diet.
They tend to be the leftovers in our produce bin, so we never have to buy, say, a whole head of cauliflower just for the dogs.
Protein And Fat From Quality Sources
German Shepherd puppies should eat a diet that is approximately 22% protein and 8% fat. As adults, German Shepherds should have 18% protein and 5% fat.
Whats the importance of this? You might think that more protein is better. However, with large dog breeds like German Shepherds, too much protein is actually a bad thing.
You see, protein helps German Shepherd puppies grow. However, too much protein can cause a puppy to grow too quickly.
Why is that a bad thing?
Large breed dogs who grow too quickly are far more prone to bone and joint problems. German Shepherds are highly prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis. Growing too quickly may not cause the conditions, but it can certainly;make them worse.
So, you dont want a puppy food that is too high in protein. However, you should;feed a food where the protein comes from quality sources.
Many cheap puppy foods get their protein from animal meal or by-products. By-products are the worst protein source. By-products are the parts of the animal with the least nutritional value. That includes things like beaks, feet, and hooves.
Meat meal is somewhat better than meat by-products. Meal is made primarily from ground bones. While its better than meat by-products, it isnt as nutritious as a whole meat.
In short, you should look for a puppy food for your German Shepherd that gets its protein from whole meat sources.
How Many Calories Does A Puppy German Shepherd Need
German Shepherd puppies need the right balance of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorous. Ideally, puppy formula will have a protein content of 18% to 22% and a fat content of 8% to 12%. The formula should also have a 1/1 calcium to phosphorous ratio. German Shepherd puppies should have 500 calories per day at an increasing level as they grow. Once the pup is a young adult, he should consume 1,500 to 1,700 calories per day.
Be wary of formulas with too high protein content. Puppies can be sensitive and may get an upset stomach or loose stool. Additionally, never supplement extra calcium into a large breed puppys diet. Too much calcium encourages hip dysplasia earlier in life.
Raw Paws Signature Blend Food
I really like the Signature Blend from Raw Paws. ;It’s great to serve as the main part of a raw food diet for dogs. And it offers balanced nourishment for your dog.
The meat they source is human-grade, high quality, and sourced from family-owned farms in Indiana. ;In fact, it’s probably healthier than the meat you eat every day.
Many commercial farms use growth hormones in their herds. ;And some even use genetically modified growth hormones.
In humans, these can cause all kinds of problems from developmental disabilities, reproductive issues, to breast and colon cancer. ;
And the same can be said for the problems caused in our dogs.
Antibiotics that are regularly used on commercial farms trickle up the food chain and contribute to antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
But Raw Paws only use meats that are:
- Antibiotic-free and hormone-free.
Their foods also contain no fillers or additives. ;And they are minimally processed. All of the beef used in Raw Paws products are locally sourced from farms in Indiana.
Earlier I mentioned that mixing up the meats equals a;healthy diet. ;So I like that the Signature Blend comes in a variety of proteins like:
Raw Paws has also taken great care to ensure the proper ratio of meat, bone, and offal.; I can’t stress how important these ratios are to optimal nourishment.
Getting this wrong can cause problems so it’s great that Raw Paws have taken the guesswork out of it.
Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Canine Grain
If you want your puppy delighted with its meal and for him to grow into a big boy, then Taste Of The Wild High Prairie is the healthiest pick of the day. Its a superior quality formula that is suitable for German Shepherd with delicate tummies.
The blend contains no grain, so there is no question of gluten-related problems. There are no fillers in the meal. And, it has only 100% natural ingredients to guarantee the absolute healthful development of your puppy. Even the smaller-sized kibble is to make chewing and digestion easier for your little fluff ball.
How Often Should You Feed My Adult German Shepherd
DO NOT feed your German Shepherd a cheap formula with corn, wheat, oats, or rice. German Shepherds are at high risk of Gastric Dilation-Volvulus , which is caused by these ingredients. Bloat can be fatal. Feeding your dog a corn, wheat, oat, or rice formula is not worth the price of the food.
Generally, an active adult German Shepherd can eat 2.5 to 3 cups of food per day, twice a day. This is a solid starting point but check with your veterinarian and the guidelines of the food brand to get the most accurate measurement.
Victor Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients:;1. Chicken Meal, 2. Blood Meal, 3. Whole Grain Millet, 4. Chicken Fat , 5. Yeast Culture
Made from gluten-free grains, this balanced diet by VICTOR is ideal for large breed dogs with moderate to high levels of daily activity. You will find all the high-quality nutrition for your German Shepherds diet while steering clear of unnecessary fillers like soy and corn. The impressive nutrient profile with chicken meal as a primary ingredient ensures a delicious blend for your Shepherd.
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.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart
Split up the total cups of dry dog food listed. Dont feed this amount at every meal or your dog might get sick. Instead, use the chart found below called How Often Should You Feed a German Shepherd Puppy? to determine how many meals throughout the day your GSD needs.
Keep in mind, these are guidelines and you should adjust them based on your dogs energy needs.
|Puppy Age||Total Cups of Dry Kibble|
|2 months old|
|3 3.5 cups|
How Much Should a German Shepherd Puppy Eat *Guidlines only.
Offer your dog their food and if they dont eat their meal in 10 to 15 minutes remove their dish. Wait an hour and offer them the same meal to see if theyve changed their mind about eating.
If they refuse to eat 2 or 3 of their meals take them to your vet for a health checkup as refusing to eat could be a sign of sickness.
Always offer fresh water during their meal times. Keep the area they eat in calm and dont pester them while they eat.
I find sitting with a book reading, just keeping my GSD puppy company, encouraged my dog to eat their meals while giving us time to quietly bond.
German Shepherd At A Glance
German Shepherds are intelligent, loyal companions that are affectionate with their families but sometimes aloof toward strangers. Sheepherders in the past, they are now well known for their role as police dogs.
Considered a large breed, GSDs weigh between 50 and 90 pounds.
Unfortunately, they are prone to suffering from hip dysplasia and arthritis, especially in old age.
Because of this, its important to take extra care with their exercise and nutrition while they are growing.
You should talk with your vet about your German Shepherds diet to ensure she remains healthy throughout her life.
When And How To Change The Feeding Of Puppy To Adult
Many owners would like to know what is the best age to switch their German Shepherd puppy to adult food. The best way to shift your German Shepherd from puppy food to adult dog food is to look at his age and size.
When a German Shepherd is around 1 to 1.5 years old, he is generally considered an adult. This is a good estimate of when you could consider making the switch.
When a German Shepard has attained around 80-90% of their overall growth, is a good indicator of when the switch should be made.
It is always better to do this gradually as an abrupt switch may not be ideal. If you feed your dog twice per day, you can start giving him adult food mixed in with his usual food.
How Many Calories Does Your German Shepherd Need
German Shepherds were bred to work all day herding livestock, which makes them high-energy dogs who are active both physically and mentally. This means that adult German Shepherds need a high-calorie diet to give them the energy to run as well as stay sharp.
For a large breed with an average weight of around 70 lb the calorie suggestions* are:
*These estimates are based on an average weight for this breed using Train Pet Dog Make sure you talk to your vet to get an accurate amount for your dog.
The Results From Feeding Our Diy Dog Food
Back to the story of Bug
After only a couple of weeks of feeding her a homemade diet, the hubby and I were blown away by how much her mental and physical health improved. And we wholeheartedly believe she was able to bounce back because of her new food.
She went from an ailing, exhausted, incontinent, tail-down dog to a happy, energetic, curious, communicative pup. While she isnt miraculously walking again, her hip dysplasia also hasnt progressed or caused her any pain.
Weve learned to watch for signs that she needs to relieve herself as weve realized she knows when she has to go, she just cant get there without our help.
We feed both of our pugs the same food, with the hope that we can stave off any potential health problems for our older one.
When we travel, well bring their homemade food on the road in a cooler. On occasion, weve even ordered their dinner from a restaurant when we ran out of food .
If were camping, well usually just feed them whatever were cooking in camp they love corn on the cob, hobo packs , and the whole assortment of tri-tip, sausages, and ribs that weve usually got going on.
As you might imagine they lovecamping trips!
Homemade dog food gives us the flexibility to fine-tune their diet as needed. Im forever grateful for the extra time we were given with our beloved Bug as a result of the food we chose to feed her.
Things To Look For In A Dry Dog Food For German Shepherds
Although German Shepherds can live on almost any kibble, their large and agile bodies thrive on high protein formulas. These allow them to build and maintain lean muscle mass.
Generally, you should avoid any brand that doesnt have an animal source of protein listed at the top of its ingredients list.
The needs of every GSD will be different but, generally, this is the nutritional content you should look for in dry dog food:
Additionally, you should look for a brand that doesnt have any filler carbohydrates. Deciding on whether or not you should feed your German Shepherd a grain-free diet is up to you. Generally, dry dog food containing digestible carbohydrates like vegetables and whole grains is sufficient.
When youre looking for a kibble brand for your GSD, take the time to look at the additional ingredients. Some variants contain supplements like omega 3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to your dogs skin and coat. Others have probiotics for a healthy gut while several contain glucosamine for optimum joint health.
Of course, your German Shepherds specific health conditions will affect the type of food they need as well. If they have food allergies, make sure you scrutinize the label to keep your dog safe.
If theyre not hitting their weight milestones, they might need to consume high-calorie kibble to gain weight. If your dog has a health condition that might require a special diet, its always best to get dry dog food recommendations from your vet.