Can You Afford It
Simply put, cooking a nutritionally complete diet for your dog at home is not cheap, and significantly more expensive than even the highest quality dog food. You cant beat the low cost of mass production.
Ingredients like meat are not cheap and the serving requirements pound for pound are much higher than they are for a person. Also, home-cooked meals for your dog will require supplements in addition to basic store-bought ingredients, adding to the cost even more.
You can realistically look at this expense like feeding another person with expensive tastes. If you are financially prepared to do that, then perhaps home-cooked meals for your GSD are something that you may want to consider.
How Much Should I Feed My German Shepherd Puppy
To begin with follow the guidelines provided by the feeder, the feed manufacturer, or by your veterinarian.
For example, you could expect to start feeding your puppy a total of around 3 cups a day of a high-quality kibble.
However this will vary depending on how calorie dense the food is and how it is formulated.
Puppies will quickly develop individual needs for food types and amounts based on their size, activity level, and other factors.
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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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.
What To Do If My German Shepherd Does Not Want To Eat
You are used to your German shepherd running to the kitchen upon hearing their food poured into the bowl but lately, they seem not interested or even not finish their food.
There are a few reasons that may be making your German Shepherd puppy not eat their food. These include dental problems, health conditions, or does not like the food.
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Royal Canin Maxi Starter Food
At the crucial weeks of weaning, its important to what and how much should a German shepherd puppy eat. To make sure the weaning goes smoothly, Royal Canin Maxi Starter Food is a great weaning food you can try. The kibbles of this dry food are designed to allow two-way serving: rehydrate the kibbles for weaning puppies or serve it as starter kibbles when theyre more comfortable eating solid food. This product promotes healthy digestion and immune system boost to ensure your pups growth.
Your Puppys Water Intake During Housetraining
The water rules change a bit during house-training. Its best to remove your puppys water bowl at night. Be consistent with the time you remove water, the same way youre consistent with feeding times. As a rule of thumb, remove the food and water bowls about two-to-three hours before bedtime. So, if your lights-out time is at 11 p.m., a puppy should have no food or water after about 88:30 p.m. This gives you a chance to take him out for a one last potty break before settling in for the night.
Its important not to take this advice too far by restricting your pups water during the day. Puppies are more prone to dehydration than adult dogs because of their greater need for water. Restricting water intake can also lead to obsessive behavior like resource guarding. So, even while housetraining, you should give your puppy his regular amount of water during the day.
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How Can A Homemade Diet Help German Shepherds With All Of This
Home-cooked food for German Shepherd ensures that your pup always eats fresh, wholesome, and allergen-free foods as no chemicals, additives, or fillers are used when cooking at home, hence preventing allergies.
More importantly, home cooking for your GSD allows you to pick only those ingredients that you know wont cause an allergic reaction to your German Shepherd. If you dont know what foods can trigger allergies in your GSD, we strongly suggest doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy Test before choosing ingredients for your German Shepherds next meal. Plus, it could save you a trip to the vet.
Homemade dog food is easier to digest than kibble more easily digestible food means more efficient absorption of nutrients. Dogs with homemade diets absorb nutrients more efficiently thus, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids act more quickly on the skins inflammatory response, preventing or relieving symptoms of skin allergies, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and/or a potential case of Perianal Fistulas.
A condition like EPI in GSDs requires a low-fat diet and highly digestible food. Homemade cooking allows you to create the low-fat diet needed to feed your dog, plus research confirms that fresh diets are, in fact, more digestible than even a seemingly nutrient-rich kibble10.
Remember each dog is different, and always consult with your vet before making any changes to your GSDs diet.
How Long Do Puppies Eat Puppy Food
Dont overlook the importance of planning and allowing for a transitional process when changing dog food. Imagine eating the same meals every day. Then, suddenly, you switch to something completely different. Youll probably experience a tummy ache or other gastrointestinal problems.
The same thing goes for your puppy. Remember that its a process that should take a minimum of six days, and sometimes longer . Heres a video that highlights the transition process so you know how to properly change your puppys food.
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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.
Raw Dog Food Vs Ready
With the rise of raw food for dogs, many owners start questioning about the best diet for their German Shepherd puppies. Raw food enthusiasts believe that dogswhich are mainly carnivoreswere built to digest meat and need it for their health and growth. Its believed that raw food will promote healthier-looking coats and skin, better dental health, and higher-level energy. On the hindsight, raw food preparation takes more time as there are other microbial and bacterial threats, compared to ready-to-eat commercial dog food. It makes the difference when you realize just how much to feed German shepherd puppy. They eat a lot!
Ready-to-eat dog food , however, has gone through stages of quality inspections before arriving at your pups bowl. They are cost and time efficient, that with a careful examination you can still have control over what your pup eats. There are concerns over additives and preservatives that need to be addressed, so a visit to a vet is advised.
Especially with kibbles or dry dog food. A lot of brands will add some grain into their kibble mixture to bind the materials together. Vets have warned owners to be careful to choose this type of food since they can cause bloated stomach and irritation. Its not particularly bad, thanks to the omnivorous attribute in dogs, but its still something to consider.
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General Nutritional Requirements For German Shepherds
The first thing you need to remember is to feed your German shepherd dog food that meets their nutritional needs. I know this might sound obvious, but it is an easy mistake to make and can cost your dog a lot of trouble in his or her life.
When I consider the food feed to my German shepherds, I always think about their health issues first. A German shepherd is a medium to large breed dog, which means that he is at a higher risk for certain health problems, with bones and hips problems being the most notorious ones.
Genetics plays an integral part in the likelihood of them developing joint diseases, and too much rapid growth is another factor that can make these problems worse.
This is why, although German shepherds need basic nutrientssuch as protein, fat, carbs, and other vitamins and mineralsjust like other dog breeds, you want to be careful with dog foods that are too rich in nutrients as they can promote dangerously quick growth.
Aside from health issues, there are also other things that you need to take into account, including the size, age, and activity level of your dog.
What Nutrients Does A German Shepherd Puppy Need
German Shepherd puppies require a protein-rich diet to help them grow well and have sustained energy for their active lifestyle. Your puppy needs at least 22% protein in his diet. High-quality protein sources include fish, chicken, and beef.
According to our German Shepherd puppy feeding chart, your pup needs 5% of fat in their diet for healthy skin and coat. The recommended amount of carbs for your puppy is 5% to 8% and should come from fruits and vegetables such as peas and potatoes.
Your puppy also requires minerals, vitamins, probiotics, antioxidants, water, and omega fatty acids in their diet to ensure that their immunity is healthy.
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Canned Or Dry Food For German Shepherd Puppies
Most dogs will always opt for the sweet smell of wet, canned food, but that is not the best idea for German Shepherds. Canned food is typically higher in fat due to its wet consistency and it can cause dental issues for your dog as he gets older.
Dry food naturally removes any build-up and plaque from your dogs teeth, keeping them as healthy as possible.
Dry food is also better for digestion and is normally more protein-based with less fat. Get your puppy off to the right start by keeping him lean and keeping his teeth healthy.
German Shepherd Feeding Guide: Nutritional Needs How Much & How Often
Knowing how to feed your German shepherd properly is one of the first basic things you have to get right as a German shepherds owner. Failure to do it right can expose your dog to a number of health-related concerns such as hair loss, skin disease, and infection.
While there is no hard and fast rule for feeding a dog, there are some general best practices that all vets and animal healthcare professionals agree on. Here are the most common questions new and experienced German shepherd owners have about feeding German shepherds and their answers.
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What Should I Feed My German Shepherd Puppy
Now we know the different types of food and the benefits and drawbacks, its easier for you to pick a puppy food for your GSD puppies. Now were going into more detail about what the puppy food your GSD puppy consumes should contain, regardless of the type you choose.
In general, a German Shepherd needs a lot of protein. They are considered carnivores and will require at least 22% their diet to be protein. They also require fat content of 5% to 8%, preferably from healthy sources such as fish oil omega fatty acids. This will ensure that your GSD puppy has healthy skin and a glossy coat.
GSD puppies need even more than this as they are still growing. So the key is to look for good and balanced dog food and ask your vet whats best for your GSD pup based on his size and activity levels and confer with the German Shepherd feeding guide on the package.
Any food you pick should have meats as the first few ingredients, and we mean real meat. The more ingredients on the list that are clearly labeled, whole and/or organic, the better. Avoid puppy or adult dog food that has an abundance of artificial ingredients, preservatives or additives. Look for options that exceed AAFCO nutritional profile guidelines to ensure quality.
Diamond Naturals Premium Large Breed Formulas
Heres a power-packed meal to provide antioxidants, probiotics, essential vitamins, and added minerals. The superfoods in the meal promote a long and hearty life for your fluffball. Diamond Naturals formula is specifically for large breed puppies. They need more nourishment to sustain their bone development.
GSDs tend to suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia. So, it is imperative to fortify their immune systems as well as ossein buildout. That will make sure that your pooch does not suffer from joint pains in their adult life.
Furthermore, the antioxidants in the blend prevent cancer. The probiotics in the mix keep the gut flora flourishing, and the omega fatty-acids keep the skin, coat, and vision healthy.Diamond tops it all up with a great price tag to give you the ultimate value for your money.
How Much Does A German Shepherd Puppy Eat
We can only give a generalization in this section because how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy will depend on a variety of factors, which we will get into in a bit. A German Shepherd feeding guide is meant to be used as a guideline and it doesnt always have to be followed to the letter because all large breed puppies grow at varying rates and have different exercise levels.
At 2 months of age, a German Shepherd puppy will need around 1 to 1.5 cups of food.
The amount you feed a German Shepherd puppy will increase even by a single month. Add 0.5 cups to the amount when your pup reaches 3 months, so it will be 1.5 to 2 cups depending on how much you initially started out with.
You can stay at 1.5 to 2 cups until your German Shepherd puppy reaches 6 months. By this tie, you should increase his puppy food to 2 to 3 cups.
Maintain this amount until your pup reaches 12 months or a year old, which is when he nears his full size. This is when the amount increases to 3 to 3.5 cups and is also around the same time your German Shepherd puppies should switch to adult dog food. Remember that these are all guidelines, and a very active and slightly larger pup should eat more than one thats smaller and not as rambunctious.
Change Of Food And Change Of Amount
How much to feed a German Shepherd puppy may also change based on when you begin the transition from puppy food to adult dog food.
If you choose to keep your GSD puppy on puppy food for longer, you may want to slightly decrease portion sizes per meal as your puppy grows up.
Conversely, if you switch your puppy over to adult food earlier, you may want to slightly increase portion sizes.
Discuss this with your veterinarian if you are unsure which approach is best for your puppys health.
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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 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.