What Are The Problems With Feeding Your German Shepherd Raw Meat
There are a number of different problems that come with feeding your german shepherd raw meat. And unfortunately, the problems often outweigh the potential benefits. Here are some of the main problems.
Your German Shepherd Will Struggle To Get Enough Nutrients
Dog food has been specifically designed to give your german shepherd all the nutrients they need in their diet. If youre only feeding your german shepherd raw meat, then theyre not going to get nearly enough nutrients.
German shepherds need a variety of vitamins and minerals that raw meat alone cant provide.
One of the biggest problems with a raw meat diet is they often lack calcium and phosphorous too. And even when there are adequate amounts in their food, it can still be hard for your pup to digest.
Increased Risk Of Food Poisoning
Even if you only plan on feeding your german shepherd raw meat as an occasional treat, theres still an increased risk of food poisoning.
While a dogs stomach is strong, it may not be strong enough to fight off salmonella and e. Coli. If you feed your german shepherd raw meat youre going to increase the chances of them contracting these, as well as other diseases.
As well as an increased risk of your german shepherd getting food poisoning, youre also increasing your familys risk of food poisoning as well.
Your Family May Be More Likely To Contract Food Poisoning
This is especially concerning if you have young children who often let their faces and hands get licked by your dog.
What Human Foods Are Dangerous For A German Shepherd Puppy
Though your German Shepherd can enjoy human foods, some of them can cause harm and they should be avoided to avoid making your puppy ill.
Chocolate contains the theobromine toxin which causes health issues for your puppy these include rapid heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and hyperactivity.
Avocado is another toxic food for your puppy because it contains persin which causes serious gastrointestinal issues when eaten. Other foods to avoid feeding your German Shepherd puppy include onions, raisins, grapes, fruit pits, macadamia nuts, and sometimes dairy.
Get The Right Size Kibble
German Shepherds are large dogs, which means they have big mouths. You can look into large breed-specific food, which has the appropriate-sized kibble. If the pieces are too small, your dog may swallow them too quickly or get a ton lodged in his teeth. If you are feeding a puppy kibble thats too large, then it will be very difficult for him to chew.
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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.
Cooking Our Way To A Healthier Dog Diet
Ever since I started raising my own dogs, Id always wanted to make their food at home but thought it would be too expensive or too time consuming, or that they wouldnt get the nutrition they needed.
During the month of Bugs doggy depression, I vowed to make her precious life as comfortable as possible.
Both of my pugs had a range of health issues growing up, which I unfortunately found out were common for the breed.
My older one had persistent hot spots and itchiness that no commercial dog food could cure .
Bug was overweight for a while when she was younger, even though she ate the recommended amount of food for her target weight. Eventually, I settled on Wellness kibbles and they did well with that brand.
But, I wanted to explore other options. I wanted to give them real food fresh, nutritious ingredients that I recognized and could even eat myself.
Ive mentioned in my post on homemade whole grain chicken feed that the entire household all share the same whole grains and seeds that we buy in bulk, as well as the bounty that comes from our edible garden.
Everything our animals eat, we can eat.
When it comes to homemade feed for our laying hens, we stick to a tried-and-true formula that works for every layer: 16 to 17 percent protein , vitamins, minerals, and amino acids from a wide variety of grains and seeds, and free range of a pasture for weeds, greens, and insects.
Dogs, on the other hand, arent bred for a standard function the way chickens are.
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German Shepherd Puppies Vs Adults Guidelines
Our last topic involves the difference between a puppy and an adult.
This is an important subject as it will help you figure out the best way to take care of your dog depending on whether theyre an adult or a puppy.
The following are some of the facts that recent studies have proven:
- Puppies have higher energy levels than adults. This means they need to eat more than adult German shepherds.
- German shepherds will need higher protein and fat content in their early age. The amount of fat and protein will decrease as they grow older.
- Puppies cannot tolerate too many nutrients. Ingesting extra minerals and vitamins may lead to serious health disorders. Meanwhile, adults are only risking being overweight when taking in more than intended.
With this German shepherd feeding chart, you can now decide on your dogs feeding plan, However, Id suggest seeing your vet first so you can confirm if your plan is actually effective.
Many owners simply feed their German shepherds without second thoughts of the dogs needs. But since youve read this blog post, you are now aware of the needs of your German shepherd.
After talking about the feeding amount, frequency, and lengths of a German shepherd, you can now easily plan how much, how many times, and how long you feed your dog. You even learned how to hydrate your German shepherd the proper way.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Guide: 6 Months To 12 Months
At this stage in your German Shepherds development, growth will be considerably slower. Since she no longer needs the extra calories to help support her fast growth period, you can safely reduce her feedings to 2 or 3 meals per day.
Youll still want to watch her weight, health, and activity level, but now you can split her daily total calories over fewer meals.
While she should still be eating puppy food at this point, you may consider purchasing a bag of her eventual adult formula.
You can use individual kibbles from the adult formula for treats or training rewards. This will help her get used to the new flavor and texture.
Around 9 months of age, you can begin slowly adding a small amount of the adult formula into her puppy food, though she should still be eating primarily puppy chow.
Again, its imperative that you speak with your vet before making any changes to your GSDs diet.
Only your vet will be able to tell you when your dog has reached maturity and can be safely moved to adult food.
Some GSDs stay on puppy food for a whopping two years! So, make sure you are in close contact with your vet to be sure that your feeding plan is individualized for your specific dog.
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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.
Dog Feeding Chart: How Much Should I Feed My Dog
Determining how much food you should feed your dog isnt always straightforward.
Bringing a dog home for the first time, getting another dog or changes with your dogs weight, age or health can all warrant a closer look at how much food youre feeding at mealtimes.
Although complete and balanced dog food packages have feeding recommendations on the label, every dog is unique so you may still need to adjust how much and how often to feed your dog.
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Types Of Diet For German Shepherd Puppies
German Shepherds are lean and strong dogs, which means that they need a diet that is high in lean proteins, but low in fats and carbohydrates. A GS that is overweight will have trouble losing weight because of the way that their body is made.
Overweight puppies will also have too much pressure put on their hips and since hip dysplasia is a real concern for GS, you want their hips to grow well. Stay away from foods that are high in filler as well because that will contribute to weight gain without positive benefit.
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.
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How Much And How Often To Feed A Senior German Shepherd
Senior German shepherds tend to experience weight fluctuation, meaning that the amount of dog food your dog should eat varies greatly depending on your dogs body condition. Generally, senior dogs will be benefited from eating more often with less portion size.
Lets say if I used to feed my dog twice a day, then I would feed him three times a day during his senior year. Three meals per day is a maximum you should give unless your vet specifies otherwise.
As for the portion size, I would suggest speaking to your vet to get an optimal ration. One last thing that Id like to add is that water is an essential part of your dogs diet. Its necessary to aid in digestion, flush the toxins out, and maintain a body temperature, so dont forget to provide easy access to clean, cool fresh water at all times.
Feeding Puppies Large & Small
Not only do puppies need puppy food, but certain breed sizes can benefit from size-specific formulas.
If you have a large breed puppy, he may benefit from a large breed-specific puppy formula. Small breeds can also benefit from small breed-specific puppy formulas. Regardless of breed size, the food should be complete and balanced for growing puppies.
The difference in formulas comes down to the unique needs of large and small breeds. Large dogs have a higher risk of developing joint problems, so a large breed puppy food should include proper levels of nutrients to support their healthy growth and development.
Small breeds may prefer smaller kibble so they can more easily chew their food, which helps ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
According to Purina Nutritionist, Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS, Small breed-specific dog food is important due to their increased metabolism. This results in a nutrient-dense, high-energy formula which adults and puppies need to support a healthy lifestyle.
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German Shepherd Calorie Requirements
So, how much should I feed my German Shepherd?
The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight. An adult German Shepherd usually weighs between 50 and 90 pounds, which means most GSDs need between 1165 and 1808 calories a day.
Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.
For instance, if a GSD weighs 65 lbs. he would need 1480 calories per day. For those eating treats, then thats 1276 calories in food and 142 in treats . Usually, most full-grown dogs eat 2 meals per day. However, since GSDs are prone to bloating so divide his daily meals into 3 meals. For this, you need to split 1276 into three meals of 425 calories each.
You can use this calculator to find their exact caloric needs for your dog based on his own weight.
Pregnant or lactating GSDs may need up to 2 to 4 times the amount of food they would normally need as the mothers energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.
German Shepherd Puppy Diet: After 6 Months
When your German Shepherd puppy reaches 6 months of age, its daily food intake should be reduced to twice a day. When we do this we can increase the food portions and eating time accordingly. A vet can provide you with a correct and tailored diet and/or food plan for your German Shepherd puppy. Our German Shepherd diet chart below should be taken into account depending on the age, lifestyle and size of your German Shepherd puppy.
After 6 months, you should give your German Shepherd puppy shatterproof bones, such as beef, to gnaw on. This should be done in order to strengthen the puppys teeth and gums. For more, take a look here for more about Bones For Puppies.
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Dry Food And Wet Food
If you havent had a dogbefore, this may come as a surprise to you. Dogs have two types of food, dryand wet. The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition recommends feeding your dog a balanced diet where hegets 50% of calories from wet food and the other 50% from dry food. If youhavent tried out wet foods before, you can check out PEDIGREE Chopped Ground Dinner.
The main differencebetween wet and dry food is moisture content. By giving your dog a mix or wetand dry foods, you help with his digestion and also help him hydrate if hedoesnt drink enough water. If youre following a diet that involves both wetand dry foods, you can feed him wet food during the day and dry food for hisevening meal, or vice versa!
An additional benefit ofusing both types of food is that your dog will not get tired of having just onetype of food, and this will help diversify his diet.
How Often Should I Feed My German Shepherd Puppy
It is equally critical that you know how many times a day your German shepherd puppy should eat. Most breeders recommend feeding a puppy three or four times a day.
These two factorsfrequency and amountsgo hand in hand to ensure that your shepherd puppy has enough food. A well-fed puppy is happier and healthier and wont develop behavioral issues such as aggression and eating feces.
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Know When You Are Feeding Your German Shepherd Puppy Too Much
While not every puppy owner is overly keen to do it, you can tell a lot just by examining your puppys stool.
Doing so can give you a more clear handle on how often you should be feeding your German Shepherd puppy and how much it should be consuming during the course of the day. If a GSD puppy has too much food to process through its digestive system, it will begin to show in its stools.
Soft or wet stool is a good indication that there is too much food for the puppy to digest or process through the digestive system.
If your puppys stool is consistently solid and does not cause your puppy to overexert itself while going potty, this is a good indication that you are striking the proper balance in terms of how much food you are feeding your puppy.
Even if you feel that your puppy is too skinny, do not dramatically increase its food intake. Do so gradually, and keep an eye on the consistency of their stools to give you an idea of how much of their increased food intake is actually being retained.