The When: How Often Should You Feed Your German Shepherd
If you have the added challenge of acquiring your Shepherd pup when theyre under six weeks of age, it may be worth preparing a mash of kibbles that can be given every few hours.
Once your puppy reaches six weeks old, you may still have to feed it a mash but can decrease meals to four per day.
German Shepherd puppies between the ages of 12 and 16 weeks can eat three to four times daily, while most dogs over four months of age decrease to a frequency of two to three times daily.
Although many owners are eager to decrease their pups mealtimes to one or two times daily for convenience, there are a couple of important reasons not to do this.
Itll require a few months to completely housetrain your puppy. Young puppies need to go to the potty pretty frequently.
Centering a few potty breaks around meals that stimulate their intestinal tracts helps develop consistent habits.
Your German Shepherd puppy will begin to develop a deeper chest combined with significant size by four to six months of age.
Both physical characteristics put your puppy at additional risk of gastric dilatation and volvulus compared to smaller breeds.
Four months is the age at which most pups will see a significant increase in their meal sizes. Studies have linked large meals with GDV, or bloat, life-threatening distension, and rotation of the stomach.
When To Stop Feeding German Shepherd Puppy Food
Another common question new puppy owners often ask is, How long should I feed my German Shepherd puppy food?
Figuring out when to take German Shepherds off puppy food is the topic of continued debate.
Different breeders have different feeding philosophies about the best time to transition from puppy food to adult dog food.
This process can occur as early as 16 weeks or as late as one year.
Typically, you will see most puppy owners beginning the process between the ages of five and six months old and 1 year.
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.
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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. As part of this proper diet, there are many things that should never be fed to German Shepherds.
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.
Calories For Gsd Puppy
|12-week-old GSD puppy||2000 calories|
Your new puppy will need to have their calorie needs met daily.
Many puppies need additional calories right before a growth spurt, then eat slightly less after the growth spurt. Its difficult to tell when the growth spurt begins, but you might notice that your puppy always seems hungry.
If you think your puppy is trying to eat everything, including his food bowl, then offer a small bit more food. If he seems slightly chubby or fat, then decrease the food by a small bit.
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Feeding And Exercise Warning
Give your dog the time to digest its food after hes had a meal.
Never let your pup play hard right after you feed them.
Wait 2 hours before and after feeding your dog its meal before heaving exercise or playing hard with them to avoid any gastric problems.
A light, slow walk is fine after eating if its not long and doesnt stress your dog.
Be sure to use these best exercises for a growing German Shepherd puppy to avoid injury and teach your dog valuable coordination and balance skills.
These gentle exercises keep your puppys joints healthy and help them learn confidence skills while getting to bond with their favorite person
German Shepherd Puppy: Dog Food And Water Bowl Hygiene
Your puppy’s food and drink containers should always be clean. Hygiene is very important in order to prevent the appearance of insects. If there are insects in your dogs water, it could cause your German Shepherd puppy to suffer from intestinal parasites.
If you notice that your puppy has not eaten for three consecutive meals, consult your veterinarian immediately. This lack of appetite in a puppy could be caused by bowel obstruction and stomach pain due to the ingestion of toxic food etc. Don’t forget that puppies are very sensitive and fragile and if you ignoring any symptoms of disease, it can result in severe issues or even puppy fatality.
German Shepherd Feeding Frequency
Much like the feeding amounts, your German Shepherds meal frequency will vary depending on its age. Heres how many times you should feed your German Shepherd daily:
- During the weaning process or at 8 weeks old and below: 4 daily feedings spaced at equal intervals.
- 8 weeks to 9 months old: 3 daily feedings spaced at equal intervals.
- 9 months to 12 months old: Transition to two daily feedings, once in the morning and the other in the evening, and about 12 hours apart.
- 12 months old above: Two daily feedings unless advised a different schedule by the veterinarian.
For evening meals, it would be best if you feed your German Shepherd a few hours before bedtime. That way, youll prevent your dog from having excess energy and needing to go on toilet breaks during the night.
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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When Should You Stop Feeding Your German Shepherd Puppy Food
Puppies can begin adult kibble when they are approximately 80 percent of their adult weight. This usually occurs around 8 to 10 months of age, but you can safely feed puppy food up to one year old as long as they are not putting on excess weight. German Shepherds usually dont reach their full growth until 18 months of age.
It isnt harmful to keep a German Shepherd on puppy formula until their growth plates have fused over, which is generally around 12 to 18 months of age .
What Time Should I Feed My German Shepherd Puppy
Feed 3 times per day from 8 to 12 weeks of age and twice per day thereafter. If you want to change the food, always choose a high quality puppy food labeled for large breeds. Mix the new food with the old food gradually at a rate of ¼ new for 2 days ½ new for 2 days ¾ new for 2 days until you are at 100% new food.
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For How Long Should Your German Shepherd Puppy Eat
In order to find out how much your puppy should eat, you need to monitor your puppys behavior closely and see how hungry they get at mealtimes, how much time they take to finish their food, and whether or not theyre still hungry after finishing their food.
Puppies usually take 15 minutes to finish their food. If the food is still there after 15 minutes and the puppy has stopped eating, then that means theyre not hungry. If the puppy continues to eat even after 15 minutes, then you might want to increase the amount of food you feed them at each meal.
Puppyhood Is The Best Time To Consider Pet Insurance
As a puppy, your dog has probably not shown any significant health concerns at his young age. Since pet insurance companies dont cover pre-existing conditions, the younger your dog is when you sign up, the better coverage you will likely receive throughout his lifetime. Furthermore, pet insurance can help support you financially during the unpredictable puppy years when dogs are more likely to chew on things they shouldnt and run into dangerous situations. Check out our pet insurance guide to learn more and to determine whether pet insurance is worth it for your puppy.
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How Much To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
Depending on your puppys current weight, activity level, and metabolism, you should plan to feed your puppy 3 or 4 times each day.
Older puppies can be fed fewer times per day, but be sure not to limit the caloric intake below the recommended amount.
Smaller, more frequent meals will help prevent bloatgastric dilatation volvulus is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Frequent meals will also help stabilize your puppys blood sugar and energy level to help them grow steadily, not in fits and starts.
Puppies need two or three times the number of calories as adult dogs do. This may seem strange considering puppies are much smaller than adults. However, German Shepherd puppies grow extraordinarily fast, so their caloric intake needs to support that.
To figure out how much to feed your German Shepherd puppy, look at his or her weight. Females will be slightly smaller and lighter than males.
|between 31 and 49 pounds|
|5-6 months||between 35 and 57 pounds|
Using the weight chart above, the general food chart in the previous section, and considering the gender and activity level of your puppy, you can calculate the approximate amount of food to feed daily.
Split that daily amount up between all meals. For example, if your 3-month-old GSD puppy is a male and weighs 30 pounds, you should feed him approximately 2 cups per day.
Food For German Shepherd Puppies: Faq
There is always the possibility that pet guardians have misconceptions about their canines diet. Do not fret, as those misgivings will be cleared here.
How many calories does a puppy German Shepherd need?
An intake of 500 calories per day is suitable for German Shepherd puppies. Yet, as the pup grows older, the number of meals is fewer, and the calorie intake increased to 1600 calories around fifteen months of age. Overfeeding your Shepherd can lead to obesity, while being underfed can affect its growth thats why you should always consult with your local vet about your pets nutritional intake.
How often should you feed my German Shepherd puppy?
Your sweet little fluff ball needs to be fed three to four times a day until four months of age. But, it is a good idea to practice restraint. Overfeeding German Shepherds can lead to indigestion and diarrhea.And dont forget to increase your puppys calorie intake as it grows older. Remember, your GSD loves to sweat it all off with much-needed physical exertion.
What types of food are good for German Shepherds?What diseases are German Shepherds prone to?
German Shepherds are susceptible to joint problems. Youll find that malnutrition in puppyhood can lead to elbow or hip dysplasia in adult dogs. Also, GSDs have specific allergies indicating weaker tummies, so keep that in mind when you pick out their dry food.
Are German Shepherds hypoallergenic?
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Beware Of Feeding Table Scraps
Once you have established a pattern of feeding for your GSD, its very important that you stick with it. Avoid the temptation to hand out snacks to your dog, no matter how much they may try to convince you that they are starving and need more food.
Feeding your dog table scraps not only interrupts your dogs eating schedule, they are also mostly unhealthy for your dog, and doing so can adversely affect your dogs physical development.
And you also run the real risk of creating an expectation in your dog, which may lead to it becoming a picky eater. Anyone who has ever owned a dog that is a picky eater can attest that its not a circumstance that you want to occur if you can avoid it.
If you have established an eating pattern for your dog and it is still really begging you for more food then its time to consult with your veterinarian, as there may be some underlying health issue causing the dogs excess hunger.
How Much Food Should I Give My German Shepherd Puppy How Often Should I Feed My Puppy
Young puppies need to eat 3-4 times a day in small amounts.
If necessary, you can divide the food into two larger meals, but make sure you are not feeding them so much that they start to vomit. The puppies will not necessarily be regulated, so it is easy for them to eat ad nauseam and then vomit, you have to regulate the amounts for them.
The food for German shepherd puppies is very different from the adult dog food
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How Long Is A German Shepherd Considered A Puppy
A German Shepherd should be fed a puppy diet until around 12 months of age, or as advised by your veterinarian based on their growth and development.
Adult German Shepherds are somewhat prone to obesity, which can contribute to the skeletal disorders they are prone to.
You should continue to monitor body condition and modify feeding to keep their weight moderate or somewhat lean.
Our complete guide to the best food for German Shepherd Dogs of all ages will help you find more delicious meals as your puppy grows and grows.
Make sure you read our German Shepherd facts to find out even more about these unique dogs!
Feeding A Senior German Shepherd
Your German Shepherds diet will then again change as it turns into a senior. This is as senior dogs typically require fewer calories due to lower energy needs brought about by lesser activity and slower digestion. Therefore, to keep your senior German Shepherd in shape, you must consider a low-calorie, high-fiber, and moderate protein and fat diet.
Usually, you can keep on feeding your senior dog with a decreased amount of its adult food or with specially formulated food for older dogs. But, considering older dogs may already have medical conditions that need to be addressed, your best bet would be to consult with a veterinarian to come up with the ideal diet for your senior German Shepherd.
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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.
Feeding Length Of Your German Shepherd Puppy
You need to observe your German shepherd in order to determine his mealtime lengths. Take note of how long he takes to finish a normal portion of food.
You also need to observe how long he takes to be full and pay careful attention to if he is still hungry after eating his portion.
Usually, German shepherds will take around 10 to 15 minutes to complete a meal, providing that you adhered to the customary feeding instructions. If you notice that your dog is displaying signs of eating slowly, you should pay a visit to your vet.
On the other hand, if you notice that your German Shepherd is still hungry after completing a meal, you should also pay a visit to your vet.
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