Foods Your German Shepherd Puppy Will Love
These food formulas are all recommended for large breed puppies and meet and exceed regulated nutritional standards.
The better the food, the healthier your pup will be inside and out. Dont feed your German Shepherd puppy the cheapest food you can buy. Cheaper GSD puppy food lack quality proteins that are essential for your working breed dog.
Here are some of the best top-rated German Shepherd puppy foods.
Can German Shepherds Eat Bones
Do you remember the saying give a dog a bone? But can GermanShepherds eat bones?
German Shepherds can eat bones. They are a good source of nutrients, especially calcium and phosphorus. However, never feed a cooked bone as the cooking causes it to soften and splinter as your dog chews it and can cause injuries or choking. Choose a large raw bone larger than your dogs muzzle.
Beef or lamb bones are better than chicken or pork bones as they are stronger and wont easily splinter. Bones can also help to clean your dogs teeth and keep them strong. Always supervise your GSD when giving him a bone.
The best bone to give to your dog is one that matches their size, as dogs will try to swallow them. Bones should be larger than the length of the muzzle, making them impossible to swallow whole. For example, a large beef shank bone would be just the thing for my German Shepherd, and she certainly thinks so!
German Shepherd Feeding Guide: All You Need To Know
Like all dogs, German Shepherds have specific nutritional needs. While its possible to feed them the cheap, dry kibble found in your local grocery store, thats not the best diet for this loyal, graceful, obedient breed.
But the ideal food might not be the most expensive or fanciest either. With all these options to choose from and enough slick marketing to make your head spin, how do you pick the right food?
Below, well cover the different types of diets available, the specific nutritional needs of the German Shepherd, and what you can do to ensure your GSD gets the delicious and nutritious food they need at every stage of life.
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Fats And Other Essential Vitamins And Minerals
A German Shepherd puppy needs around 8% fat in their diet, while an adult GSD should have about 5% fat in their diet.
Natural fats from fish, meat, and plant-based oils contain beneficial properties that are great for your dogs cognition and muscle movement.
These fats will also have visual benefits, as your German Shepherds coat will have a beautiful shine when they get enough fat and oil in their diet!
Because German Shepherds are a powerful breed of dog, their energy levels will be served well by feeding them dog food that contains a range of vitamins like Vitamin A, B12, and E.
Nutritional Requirements For Senior German Shepherd
The fact that your German shepherd is growing older doesnt mean he is getting any less hungry. On the contrary, because older dogs tend to lose body mass, they need as much, if not more, protein than younger adult dogs to repair the muscle tissue.
To put it in other words, if your German shepherd is healthy and his appetite still remains high, you dont need to change his food. On the other hand, if your dog has become less active due to a health problem, you may need to switch to a senior formula that gives your dog more nutrition in each bite.
If your dog has a kidney problem, you should immediately switch your dog off his current diet to low protein dog food. It is true that protein doesnt cause kidney problems, but it can worsen your dogs existing kidney problem.
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Things To Consider When Feeding Your German Shepherd
Before we go any further, its time to finally explain what you need to consider when deciding on the right amount of dog food your GSD puppy needs.
The following factors vary from dog to dog, but they are essential in learning how to apply the German Shepherd puppy feeding charts you see everywhere.
How Can A Raw Diet Help German Shepherds With All Of This
There several reasons feeding raw food to GSD is beneficial.
- Raw food for German Shepherd ensures that your pup always eats fresh, wholesome, and allergen-free foods as no chemicals, additives, or fillers are used in raw diets, hence preventing allergies.
- You control the ingredients that go into your dogs body, so you pick ingredients that wont cause an allergic reaction in your pet. If you dont know the foods that trigger allergies in your GSD, we suggest doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy Test before picking the ingredients for your pups next meal.
- Raw dog food is easier to digest than kibble more easily digestible food means more efficient absorption of nutrients and faster inflammatory response. This may help prevent or relieve symptoms of allergies, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and/or a potential case of Perianal Fistula.
- Raw diets remove a lot of unnecessary carbohydrates. Its a great way of helping a dog to lose weight or maintain weight. A raw diet allows you to control the fat level in each meal, promoting a healthy weight even further. Preventing obesity is key in avoiding or bring relief to skeletal or joint maladies in GSDs.
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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 at an 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 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 Diet: Food Plan After 4 Months
Between 4 and 6 months of age, the number of meals should be reduced to 3 a day. The food quantity should be increased and an extra margin of 2 minutes to eat should be provided. The packaging of quality commercial dog food will detail the appropriate suggested amount of food for the puppy, depending on its age and weight. If you have any doubts, consult your veterinarian.
You should eventually start mixing fresh food, such as meat, fish or vegetables, with the commercial dry feed. Beware of forbidden foods for dogs. Some people ask about a raw diet for a German shepherd puppy, but we recommend these such foods should always be cooked and never given to a dog raw. Avoid chicken, rabbit and fish bones, as they can shatter and harm a dogs teeth.
Wet food should be given in moderation because given in excess, it can cause the development of plaque and cause the dogs feces to smell. Meanwhile, treats for dogs should only be used as positive reinforcement during their training and learning period, never as a food supplement.
Under no circumstances should you give your German Shepherd, or any dog, human food leftovers. Human food contains salt, sugar and seasoning contents which are very harmful to a dog’s health. In addition, if you do offer your dog your food, it will pester you during meals. For more, take a look at some of the harmful effects of treating a dog like a human.
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German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Guidelines
Here are some general German Shepherd puppy feeding guidelines that may be helpful to consider as you plan your puppys menu:
- Puppies typically need to eat more than adult dogs.
- The puppy diet is usually higher in fat and protein than the adult dog diet.
- A good puppy food will always meet these two criteria: it is formulated for large breed puppies AND it offers complete and balanced nutrition.
- Do not provide extra vitamins and minerals unless your veterinarian advises otherwise.
- Puppies generally eat at least three times per day, whereas adult dogs may eat twice or even just once per day.
- Puppies always need access to plenty of fresh water during and in between meals.
- A common age to switch GSD puppies from puppy food to adult dog food is 12 months.
German Shepherd Puppy Food Requirements
Puppies have seemingly endless energy stores. This means they need a constant supply of calories the right types of calories to keep their energy levels high and help them develop into happy, healthy adult dogs.
As a new German Shepherd puppy owner, youre probably going to have a few questions that need specific answers. Feeding a puppy is a lot different than feeding an adult dog because youre usually housebreaking them so youll need to stay on a regular feeding schedule and their growing bodies require more nutrients from their food than adult dogs do.
- How much food should I feed my puppy?
- How many times a day should I feed my puppy?
- How much should a puppy eat?
Theyre all legitimate concerns, and were glad youre taking matters into your own hands, instead of just giving them a constant supply of food all day or, worse, potentially starving them of vital nutrients and minerals because youre not feeding them enough.
As a general rule, you can tell that youre feeding your puppy too often if you can not see or feel their rib cage.
While, for humans, this is considered a sign of malnutrition, its actually a guideline you can use to help figure out if your puppy is getting enough calories from their diet.
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German Shepherd Raw Diet Supplements
A balanced raw diet shouldnt require additional supplementation. However, poorly made raw diets by inexperienced dog parents, special dietary needs, or health conditions may require additional supplementation to specific nutrients.
Adding a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews ensures your GSD gets the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals. For common GSD problems like osteoarthritis and other joint maladies, look for products containing glucosamine and chondroitin, which may help treat or prevent symptoms.
Best German Shepherd Food Type
The type of German Shepherd food must consist of various nutritional components comprised of proteins that help in maintaining the health of the coat and activeness of the dog as well. Then comes fat followed by carbohydrates and vitamins and including all these essential products make the best German Shepherd food.
Protein being the chief nutrient is mostly available in dog foods, and they majorly include meat such as beef, chicken, fish, etc. Many also consume meat meals which is a highly concentrated form of animal protein and form an essential element of German Shepherd food. Carbohydrates being the next to provide glucose and digests in the pups small intestine. Majorly two primary forms are available for puppies and dogs that are canned food and dry food.
The significant difference between canned and dry food is moisture content. The dry food, also known as kibble food contains 10% of moisture content whereas the canned or wet food contains 78% of moisture content. Another difference that we consider is the ingredients. The dry foods central part is meat chunks whereas the in case of canned food it is meat and animal derivatives. The next difference comes the cost, the kibble or dry food is more budget-friendly in comparison to the wet food.
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Raw Dog Food Delivery Service
If you are a German Shepherd owner with a busy lifestyle and dont have much time to cook for your pet and wish your GSD could enjoy the benefits of eating raw food, a raw dog food delivery service is for you.
BARF World is one of our favorite options and the best raw food for German Shepherds available in the market.
This raw dog food company is the pioneer of raw diets for dogs. They deliver Biologically Appropriate Raw Food straight to your door. Their formula is a balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables, organs, and bone. Plus, its supplemented with 4 other key ingredients.
BARF World states their food has helped generations of dogs become free of allergies, itchy skin and coats, digestive problems, obesity, and weight problems, among other issues.
All of their ingredients are USDA sourced, and their formulas are developed with the input of a veterinary nutritionist to meet the nutritional guidelines for dog food.
The best part of feeding BARF World is that you never have to worry about balancing ingredients, portion sizing,grinding, chopping, measuring, mixing, potential pathogens in raw ingredients, and all the risks and hassles involved in cooking raw dog food on your own.
In our experience, its a huge time-saver, and you can spend time on more important things like walks or training. We think its worth the cost after you add up the prices of all the ingredients youll need to cook a recipe and the convenience of it.
Best Homemade Cooking Practices
When making homemade food for a German Shepherd , make sure you are diligent and adhere to your veterinarians recommendations.
Here are some general guidelines to follow when cooking homemade dog food for your German Shepherd:
- Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for your dog
- Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
- Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
- Research every ingredient before using it for safety
- Follow the recipe as instructed
- Add supplements to their diet as needed
- Understand the impact of dietary changes
- Run any questions by a veterinary nutritionist
NOTE: When in doubt, ALWAYS research an ingredient. You dont want to add food that is toxic to dogs.
We strongly advise discussing your dogs nutritional needs and concerns with your vet before adding or changing your dogs diet.
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Benefits Of German Shepherd Raw Diet
So, what are the benefits of a BARF diet for german shepherd?
Among the benefits of raw dog food, according to veterinarian Dr. Ian Billinghurst and other proponents of raw feeding dogs, are:
- Shinner coat
- Increased agility
- Brihgt eyes
In the largest study to date on the effects of raw food on dogs, Belgian researchers Dr. Gerard Lippert and Bruno Sapy examined more than 500 dogs over a period spanning five years concluded that raw feeding dogs could add as much as 32 months to a dogs life5.
Dr. Peter Dobias, who has 30 years of veterinary experience and has advocated for raw pet diets since 1995, agrees with the study and says,From my experience, if people feed a raw diet, they will increase their dogs lifespan by 25 percent, Generally, raw-fed dogs are so much healthier. The changes are profound.7
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 Many Calories Are Needed For A German Shepherd Puppy
One thing our German Shepherd puppy feeding chart didnt cover is the number of calories required for a puppy to have enough energy without becoming obese.
There are several things that you need to take into consideration when determining how many calories your puppy needs. For example, active puppies will need more calories than puppies that spend most of their days sleeping.
A general rule of thumb is that a German Shepherd puppy requires at least 500 kcals daily. However, this amount increases with weight.
The best way to determine how many calories your GSD puppy needs is to calculate its RER . The basic formula is 70*3/4
For example, if your German Shepherd puppy weighs 20 kgs, their RER would be 70*3/4, which is 1,324 calories.
Are German Shepherds Omnivores
Some people like to think of dogs as pure carnivores. But Im sure youve seen a dog eating grass! And modern dog food often contains vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato, or carrots. So, are German Shepherds omnivores?
German Shepherds are omnivores, not carnivores. Dog domestication has resulted in dogs adapting to a starch-rich diet over thousands of years. Their digestive system can process both plant and animal food, and their teeth can grind down fruit and vegetables.
Whilst protein makes up most of a dogs diet the domesticated dog also obtains nutrients from grains and some fruits and vegetables.
All of these are valuable sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Therefore dogs have evolved to become omnivores and have proved that they can thrive on various foods.
These are the caveats to be aware of:
- If a fruit contains pits or seeds, these must be removed as they contain toxic cyanide.
- Most vegetables should be cooked first to help with digestion.
- Fruits, vegetables, dairy, and nuts should be fed in small amounts no more than 10% of daily calories.
- Although dogs can eat some nuts, they are not recommended due to their high-fat content, which can cause an upset stomach.
- Its not advisable to feed raw eggs or raw fish due to the risk of salmonella or listeria.
- Some dogs are lactose intolerant and can not eat certain dairy foods, depending on how much lactose they contain.
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