What Are The Pros And Cons Of Each Type Of Dog Food
I have put all this information in a handy table for you as it is easier to compare the pros and cons of each type of dog food and hopefully help you decide on the best diet for your German Shepherd.
Before transitioning your dog from one type to another, you may wish to talk to your veterinarian about the individual benefits and risks.
|TYPE OF DOG FOOD|
|No proven health benefits except for better digestionExpensive and time-consuming if preparing at homeRegular health checks advised|
What To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
Wondering what to feed your GSD puppy?
Your German Shepherds athletic body, as well as his energy, health, and condition, depend in part on what you choose to pour into his bowl and knowing how much to feed your German Shepherd puppy.
This means choosing what to feed a German Shepherd puppy is even more serious and intimidating!
Most dog foods on the market will adequately sustain your dogs life. But you dont want adequate
You want your dog to bloom with health!
Your GSD pup eats nearly double the amount of an adult in order to maintain growth rate and their higher daily energy needs.
Balanced formulas keep their bones and muscles strong throughout their growing periods and can ward off later joint issues, a common breed problem, as they mature.
There is a greater demand for quality nutrition during the early growth stage. For these reasons, you must feed high-quality food.
What Are The Best Treats For German Shepherds
Many dog owners give treats and snacks. Dog treats dont have to follow AAFCO standards, which means they may not contain the proper nutrients in their correct ratios. Lets just say many dog treats on the market will provide hardly any nutritional value at all for your dog! So what are the best treats for German Shepherds?
The best treats for German Shepherds are those carefully formulated for dogs and contain high-quality, nutritious ingredients. They should be low in fat and calories and free of additives, chemicals, and coloring. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dogs total daily calories.
There are some excellent good high-quality treats on the market. However, some can be quite expensive, so shop around.
However, Im happy to pay that bit more if it means my GSD stays healthy and happy. Willow loves her Guru venison sausages, as you can see from the below photo . She also enjoys Blue Buffalo Health Bars, which you can get on Amazon or any good pet store.
Recommended Reading: Dog Diapers For German Shepherds
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.
What To Be Given To My Puppy After 4 Months
The food should be reduced to thrice a day, after 4-6 months of age.
The packaging of quality commercial dog food will detail the appropriate suggested amount of food for the puppy, depending on its age and weight.
Fresh food, such as meat, fish, or vegetables, can be mixed 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.
Human food contains salt, sugar, and seasoning contents which are very harmful to a dogs health. Besides, if you do offer your dog your food, it will pester you during meals.
Recommended Reading: What Size Dog Crate For German Shepherd
How Much Should A German Shepherd Puppy Eat
You need to be careful when feeding your German Shepherd puppy. They should not be left to their own devices when it comes to food. Instead, feed your puppy 3 meals a day.
The amount of food your puppy needs depends on your puppys hunger, weight, and the type of food that you are feeding him. Stick to the German Shepherd puppy feeding chart below.
Watch your puppys waistline to see if there seems to be any excess weight hanging out that will be hard to lose later.
A puppy that is too thin will have visible ribs. If that is the case, monitor how much your puppy eats and, if concerning, call your veterinarian.
How Much Raw Food To Feed German Shepherds
You can determine how much raw food to feed your GSD based on calories needed by his weight. The only downside is that you need to know how many calories ingredient contains and add them up. Quite a cumbersome process if you ask me.
The body weight percentage option is the method of choice for many raw feeders . Its simple, and it works with any raw diet.
As a general rule, raw feed your dog about 2% to 4% of his ideal adult weight.
However, a dogs food intake will vary depending on his weight, metabolism, activity level, lifestyle or other factors. Use the guidelines below as a German Shepherd raw diet calculator.
You have a 4 scenarios to determine how much to feed your dog.
- Weight maintenance: Feed 2% 2.5% of their current weight in pounds per day.
- Active dogs : Feed 3% 4% of their current weight in pounds per day.
- Senior, less active, or overweight dogs : Feed 1.5% 2% of their current weight in pounds per day.
- Underweight dogs : Feed 3% 3.5% % of their current weight in pounds per day.
For instance, if your GSD weights 65 pounds and you want to maintain his weigh, you would multiply the 65 pounds by either 2% 2.5%.
But, which one do you use?
If your GSD is inactive, but his weight is ideal, then use 2%. For an average activity level dog that receives anywhere from an hour to several hours of exercise a day, a middle ground like 2.25% is recommeded. If you feel your dog is more active, you may need to feed 2.5% or more to maintain a healthy weight.
You May Like: House Training German Shepherd Puppy
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.
Best Diet For German Shepherds
German Shepherds grow to a large size dog breed between 60 to 90 pounds that is well muscled, slightly tapered, angular and longer than deep chested when fed a breed appropriate diet. Adult German Shepherds require 1,300 to 1,600 calories per day of high quality dog food for senior or less active dogs, and from 1,700 to 2,400 calories daily for active or working dogs.
If choosing a dry kibble diet, select a a quality formula like these Recommended Dog Food Brands with protein level around 24% and fat levels around 14%. Shepherds require quality protein which should come from a named meat source. Most premium kibble formulas work and Raw Dog Food is even better. Grain free kibble is another option but is very calorie dense and high in protein. We mention this with caution as some German shepherds seem to have difficulty tolerating grain free kibble and end up with soft and runny stool. For excellent insight on choosing a quality kibble to feed your German Shepherd, take a look at our Feeding Dry Dog Food section.
Also Check: German Shepherd Color Palette
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.
Hill’s Science Large Breed Puppy Diet Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe
Specially formulated for large breed puppies like the German Shepherd, this Hill’s Science Diet dog food is a great option for your pup. It’s made to provide controlled bone and joint growth.
It does this with optimum levels of calcium and phosphorus. It’s also filled with healthy antioxidants to improve cell function and immune health. Minerals help to make your dog’s teeth strong while DHA supports brain development.
As for protein, the kibble is made up of about 26 percent. It comes from chicken meal.
Read Also: German Shepherd Puppy Ears Stages
German Shepherd Raw Diet
Like homemade diets, formulating a raw diet for German Shepherds requires lots of effort and planning. There is more risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance due to its raw nature.
Raw dog food usually consists of uncooked and unprocessed animal-based products. These include raw meat, bones, vegetables, fruits, eggs with shells on them , dairy products such as butter and cheese made from raw milk without pasteurization or homogenizing. A dog raw diet is supposed to resemble the diet of what dogs ate in the wild millions of years ago.
Raw dog food is a growing trend These diets provide canines more nutrients than cooked foods and help them protect their teeth, coat, digestive functions, among other health benefits. Read our German Shepherd Raw Diet Guide to learn all about raw feeding GSDs and their benefits. We also recommend visiting our best raw dog food article to find the best brands to feed your dog.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Large Breed Dry Puppy Food
This recipe from Blue Buffalo is a great option that has everything your puppy needs to stay healthy. Its protein content is 35 percent, which is well above the recommended amount.
Most of that protein comes from wholesome meat sources like deboned chicken and fish. While the kibble has more fat than your pup needs, it’s all good fat. The omega fatty acids will keep your dog’s fur healthy while also supporting ocular health.
When it comes to minerals, you’ll be happy to know that this kibble offers the recommended calcium and phosphorus ratio of 1.2:1.
Don’t Miss: German Shepherd First Litter Size
What Are The Best Brands Of Dog Food To Feed German Shepherds
Rather than looking for a particular brand, you might make sure the brand or product you end up choosing fits in with your vets recommendation, and is adequate and balanced nutritionally.
This way you are picking based on professional advice and also health based criteria, rather than looking for a brand first.
Raw Dog Food Nutritional Guidelines
So, what does a German Shepherd raw diet plan looks like?
The recommended guidelines for a BARF diet consist of 70% uncooked muscle meat, 10% raw edible bone, 10% vegetables and fruit, 5% liver, and 5% other organs.
Your GSDs raw diet plan should also follow the AAFCOs guidelines to create a balanced meal that supports life and proper function in dogs. AFFCO , and it states every dog meal should have 6 indispensable nutrients. These include protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water.
A proper raw diet should consider your pups weight, health conditions, size, and activity level.
*If feeding the Prey model, this method typically consists of 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, and 10% organs . No fruits or veggies.
Read Also: When To Spay A German Shepherd
At The End Of 2019 During Our Yearly Vet Check We Received The Devastating News That Our 11 Year Old Dogs Blood Work Showed That He Was In Stage 4 Kidney Failure
Honestly, I was a basket case, how on earth did we miss this? He seemed like he was just dealing with some symptoms of getting older frequent urination, sometimes excessive water drinking. It definitely didnt feel like life threatening symptoms. As much as the diagnosis was a shock, the price tag of the prescription diet he would need to eat for the remainder of his life was pretty horrifying too!
How Much And When Should You Feed Your Dog
This will vary from dog to dog, but a general rule of thumb is for every 10 lbs your dog weighs they should be fed roughly 1 cup of prepared food.
For our 80 lb Hooch, that means 2 meals a day each containing 4 cups of food. It is important to note that, dogs with kidney problems often feel better when fed several small meals throughout the dayrather than just one or two large meals, so you may find that you need to adjust your feeding schedule as time goes on accordingly to keep your pup comfy!
Read Also: Low Shedding German Shepherd
How Much Should An 18 Month Old German Shepherd Weight
German Shepherd Weight Theres no weight standard listed for the breed. However, you can expect your male GSD to weight about 80 lbs by 18 months of age, and 84 lbs by 36 months of age. For female GSDs, the average weight at 18 months of age is about 62 lbs. At the age of 36 months, shell probably weigh around 66 lbs.
How Much To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy: Our Guide
Wondering how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy? Weve got the answers!
From the day you bring them home, to the time they move onto adult food.
After all, the typical GSD puppy feeding guide can change almost daily as your puppy grows bigger and stronger!
Puppyhood may be all too short, but it is a critically important time for your new puppys adult health and well-being.
In this article, we take an in-depth look at the German Shepherd puppy food diet.
Giving you trustworthy German Shepherd puppy feeding guidelines to supplement instructions given by your puppys breeder and veterinarian.
Did You Make This Recipe
Tag on Instagram and hashtag it #thismessisours
This 100% human grade home made dog food recipe utilizes some of the best fall produce for your dog like sweet potatoes, cranberries, rosemary, and sage. Its perfect for every day feedings and does double duty as a really delicious holiday meal for your dog!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for all of us, even our dogs! Get your dogs day off to a great start with a healthy dose of protein, vitamins, and minerals by feeding him/her a delicious Pumpkin and Yogurt Bowl for Dogs. These yogurt bowls are filled with good for your dog ingredients like fat free Greek yogurt, 100% pure pumpkin puree, plant based vitamin and mineral powder, and my Homemade Dog Food Seasoning which is a blend of 5 herbs that have extraordinary health benefits for your dog!
What Are The Best Types Of Foodfor German Shepherds
Our dogs are very dear to us. And as our pets, we certainly want to get the best food that will enable them to grow and maintain a healthy profile. There are different types of dog foods out there, and choosing the right one can be difficult.
Most German Shepherd owners prefer to feed their dogs with commercial dry foods and canned wet foods. Others prefer to try out a combination of both dry and wet foods. However, some owners choose to go with raw diets or spend time cooking home-made diets for their pets.
Regardless of the type of food you choose, it is essential to balance and have all the nutrients required in the right ratios. If you select commercial dog food, please check the packaging for the list of ingredients and the food’s dietary content.
As earlier mentioned, protein should be top of your list. You should consider foods with high-quality animal-based protein sources like lamb, beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, and plant-based proteins, such as grains, vegetables, and legumes. Moreso, the food should also be rich in fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Let’s take a look at the different types of dog food that are suitable for your pet. We will also review the pros and cons of each food type.
Don’t Miss: How To Potty Train A German Shepherd Dog