What To Feed My German Shepherd Puppy
German Shepherds are big dogs, and they have a hearty appetite. Although dogs are not obligate carnivores by nature, they thrive on a protein-rich diet. Ideally, most of the protein you feed your GSD will come from animal and meat sources rather than plant sources. Feed a minimum of 22% protein, although we would aim for 25% protein at the very least.
How Many Daily Calories Do German Shepherd Puppies Need
The age of your German Shepherd determines the number of calories they need to consume. You will notice as your dog gets older the demand for a high-calorie diet lowers. The reason the demand for a high-calorie diet decreases is because your dog is no longer as active as they were in their youth.;
Cutting back on food intake is important so you are not contributing to potential health problems like obesity. Obesity can be problematic for your dog because it puts pressure on the joints. German Shepherds are already known for their weak joints.;
How To Know If Youre Not Feeding Them Enough
Underfeeding is also a common concern. You might try to avoid overfeeding, but end up not giving your German Shephard puppy enough food.;;
Looking out for signs of underfeeding is important. German Shepherds do have a lot of hair in general, which can make it more difficult to see the physical signs. If you do see that your puppy is not looking healthy and too skinny, then you are most likely not feeding them enough.
Running your fingers through their coat can be another way of determining if you are feeding them enough. If you can feel the bones of their ribcage, then you are also likely not feeding them enough.;;
Be sure to slowly adjust the diet if you find that your German Shepherd puppy looks too skinny. You do not want to suddenly introduce a lot of extra food into their daily diet. Rather increase the food slowly. Look at how the puppy responds to the increase in food. This will help you reach an appropriate amount of food without overfeeding your German Shepherd puppy in the process.;;
Recommended Reading: How Cold Can German Shepherds Handle
How Much To Feed German Shepherd Puppy
The amount of food is largely depending on your puppys weight and level of activities. As mentioned above, German Shepherd puppies need more calories than adult dogs. Calories are like fuel to your vehicle. They are meant to exhaust before being refilled again. An active pup will need about 55cal per kg of weight. Lets say that you have a 15 kg puppy, which means he needs at least 825cal a day. Thats approximately 2 cups of kibbles a day or 2 cans of regular dog food. Canned food is easier to digest, so be prepared for a pup that gets hungry faster.
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!
Read Also: When To Start Training Your German Shepherd
Find Out Exactly How Much They Need With The Pitpat App
Wouldnt it be a relief to know youre feeding your German Shepherd exactly the right amount?
These handsome pups need plenty of fuel to keep them going, but too much food could see them piling on the pounds.
Every dog is different though, so how do you figure out precisely how much to feed them?
PitPat is changing the way you feed your German Shepherd.
Say goodbye to vague feeding guidelines on the back of food bags. Say hello to feeding recommendations that are precisely tailored to your dog.
Just download the free PitPat app to get your German Shepherds tailored feeding recommendation based on their age, weight, breed, sex and whether they are neutered. And, if youve got a PitPat Dog Activity Monitor, well take their activity levels into account too.
With PitPat theres no more guessing whether theyre getting the right amount to eat. We got you.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Amount
How much you should feed a German Shepherd puppy really depends on a number of factors that you have control over. Your GSD pup should eat enough to maintain their growth and energy, while not carrying any extra fat.
Consider the following factors for how much to feed German Shepherd puppies:
- number of calories in the kibble, which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer
- the daily energy expenditure of your pup
- how sedentary or active your GSD pup is
Refer to the following charts as a starting point. Adjust how much you feed your GSD based on your pups energy needs and growth.
These formulas are only;recommendations and when in doubt check with your vet.
Don’t Miss: How To Train A German Shepherd To Protect
Scientifically Formulated German Shepherd Puppy Food
Hills Science Diet Large Breed Puppy- Terrific for Coat and Skin Health!
Rich aroma with DHA fish oil to entice puppies to finish every last bite while giving shine to their coats.
Feed a high-quality kibble from a name-brand company.
Dont buy boutique formulas, as these companies dont always quality check or feed test their formulas, and many have been found linked to causing deadly heart conditions in dogs .
The brands recommend here meet the World Small Animal Veterinary Association criteria and have no reported cases of DCM. Purina and Hills all have boarded Diplomates of ACVN on staff and Ph.D. Animal Scientists and Nutritionists work to ensure quality control and exceed nutritional standards. .
Most GSDs are healthy and fit on commercial dog foods that are high quality. Theyll eat eagerly and have a shiny coat and bright eyes with a scientifically based commercial diet that meets their needs.
Feeding A German Shepherd Puppy Kibble
There are many good quality kibble diets, but they arent always the best choice.
The FDA recently issued a notice alerting dog owners to a potential increased risk of a serious heart condition. This is called canine dilated cardiomyopathy .
The risk is in dogs eating foods that include peas, lentils, or potatoes instead of grains.
Some of these cases of DCM were in German Shepherds.
The underlying cause of these cases is not clear, but the FDA note suggests that caution should be used in selecting foods with these ingredients for German Shepherds and other large dogs.
Head over to our article on the pros and cons of feeding kibble to know more.
Don’t Miss: What Colors Do German Shepherds Come In
Year Old German Shepherd
At 1 year old, youll begin to notice that your dog is actually eating less food than they did when they were younger. This is because their metabolism is beginning to slow down.
You can begin to limit the amount of times you feed them to once a day. If they leave food in their bowl, you can cut back on the amount youre actually giving them. We recommend Royal Canin Nutrition GIANT formula for large breed dogs.
What Type Of Dog Food Is Best For German Shepherds
We all want the best for our dogs and want to feed them the best diet for their needs. But, there are so many different types of dog food; which is best for German Shepherds?
The best type of dog food for German Shepherds is dry food, as it is more practical for large breeds. It is also the least expensive, even a high-quality brand. Of course, you can choose to feed other types, such as wet, a mix of dry and wet, raw, home-produced, dehydrated, or freeze-dried.
Most people feed their dogs with commercial dry food or wet canned food, but there are numerous different types, and it isnt easy to know where to start! These are the main different TYPES of food that you can feed your GSD:
- Complete dry foods
- A mix of dry and wet
- Home produced diets
- Complete raw diets
It is a requirement that all commercial dog food be complete and balanced according to the strict guidelines of the AAFCO. Complete means the food must contain all the nutrients required, and balanced means the nutrients present must be in the correct ratios.
The AAFCO also provides information on how to understand a dog food label. Its a pretty heavy read but what it means is dog food will be nutritionally labeled depending on a dogs life stage.
If you choose to feed commercial dog food , always check the packaging for what is known as The Nutritional Adequacy Statement. This was designed for vets, nutritionists, and dog owners to evaluate the foods nutritional value to their pets.;
Read Also: Do German Shepherds Naturally Protect Their Owners
German Shepherd Nutritional Requirements
Other than simply minding the amount of food to feed a German Shepherd, you should also consider the quality of the food and the nutrients that it provides.;
Feeding your German Shepherd with low-quality dog food will cause malnutrition and lead to overeating and health issues like poor skin, gastrointestinal issues, and osteoarthritis.
So, when it comes to choosing your German Shepherds dog food, you must look out for two important ingredients, protein and fat. The dog food you choose must provide at least 22% protein and 8% fat for puppies or at least 18% protein and 5% fat for adult German Shepherds.
That said, not all protein and fats are created equal. And so, do also consider the sources of such nutrients. Ideally, your German Shepherds protein must come from whole meat sources like beef, fish, poultry, and organ meats. In the same way, your German Shepherds fat must also come from healthy sources such as fish oil and vegetables.
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.
Read Also: Why Is My German Shepherd So Anxious
What About The Chart On Dog Food Bags
Youve likely seen the feeding chart on the back of commercial dog food bags. These charts can seem pretty straightforward at first glance.
However, they dont take into consideration the size, weight, activity level, or overall health of each individual dog.
For that reason, its best not to treat these dog food packaging feeding guides as gospel. Instead, use them as a starting point.
Observe your dog, see how he looks and feels, and note any changes in his bathroom habits, weight, or energy level. Adjust his meals accordingly.
The other problem with these packaging guides is that they arent clear on how to feed your dog. Generally speaking, they talk about daily intake, not per meal.
For example, if the guide says you should feed your dog 3 cups, its not suggesting that your dog eats 3 cups at every meal. It means to split that 3 cups total over the entire day.
If your dog eats 3 times per day, that would be 1 cup at each meal for a total daily intake of 3 cups.
To further confuse dog parents, some manufacturers do list per-meal serving sizes, not the total daily intake! In these cases, if you read it incorrectly, you would end up underfeeding your dog.
To help mitigate some of this confusion, it may be helpful to ask your vet how many calories your dog should be consuming each day. Then you can check the calorie content in the dog food and measure things from there.
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.
Don’t Miss: What To Feed A 1 Month Old German Shepherd Puppy
Whats The Best Food To Feed A German Shepherd
5 Best Foods for German Shepherds
- Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain. Best Grain-Free Option.
- Wellness Complete Health Whitefish & Sweet Potato. Best Fish-Based LID Food.
- Natural Balance L.I.D. Lamb & Brown Rice Formula.
- Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach.
- CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food.
German Shepherd Dog Feeding Guidelines
It is important that the owners of the German shepherd know the amount of food that their dog requires daily.;Feeding too much or too little can cause;health problems in your dog;.;If you provide a diet with excess fat to your puppy, it is more likely that you can develop hip dyslexia.
With a balanced diet one can ensure that the dog properly develops its internal systems and maintains its energy levels.
Your German Shepherd will grow rapidly during its first 12 months of life, so it is necessary to increase the amount of food in your diet as it grows.;Ensuring that the puppy of the dog receives the proper amount in its nutrition, and in the right proportions is essential for the development of a healthy adult German shepherd.
Up to 6 weeks
At 6 weeks of age, you should make sure that your puppy is receiving the same level of nutrition that they were receiving from breast milk.
Ideally at this early age, a puppy should be breastfeeding for its mother, because it is difficult to replace with food the necessary micro and macronutrients, along with the natural antibodies found in breast milk.
From 6 to 10 weeks
Between 8 and 10 weeks, you can start to wean them from your mother, and start increasing the amount of food for puppy dogs that you are giving them.
It is best to start with a diet of wet food, to help your body adapt to the transition.;Wet foods contain about 85% moisture, which prepares your digestive system for all the food that we will give you in the coming weeks.
You May Like: How Much Dog Food To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
When To Start Feeding A Puppy Dry Food
Ideally, a puppy should be nursed and fed by its mother up to the first 8 weeks of its life. However, to get your puppy used to eating dry food, you would want to introduce dry food starting at around 4 to 6 weeks of age.;
To do so, soften up dry food by mixing it with milk replacer, and offer it to your puppy 3 to 4 times a day. As your puppy gets used to eating the food, gradually decrease the amount of milk replacer until the puppy eventually adapts to eating solid food.;
Your puppy should get used to eating dry and solid food by around 8 weeks of age.
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.;
Don’t Miss: How To Train A German Shepherd To Protect You
Newborn German Shepherd Daily Caloric Intake Requirement
Measuring with kitchen devices is a better idea than counting calories when you are taking care of a newborn pup. It is dangerous to use caloric intake because your pup is constantly growing. Focusing on caloric intake can prevent your puppy from growing.
Purchase measuring cups, a doppler, a feeding syringe, measuring spoons, bottles, and more.
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.
Don’t Miss: What Is A German Shepherd A Mix Of