German Shepherd Feeding Guide: Adult Years
Once your German Shepherd has ended his puppy stage and transitioned into adulthood, hes ready to eat a balanced adult diet.
Adult dog food will have a different ratio of calcium, protein, phosphorus, and other nutrients than puppy food does.
Feeding an adult dog a puppy formula can cause obesity as well as put too much strain on kidneys and other vital organs. Long term use of inappropriate food for an adult dog can have catastrophic consequences.
That said, there is no need to panic if your adult GSD eats a bowl of puppy food now and then.
Adult German Shepherds should be fed twice a day. They can get by on once per day, but its always better to split daily caloric intake between smaller meals instead of feeding it all at once.
Again, bloat is a real problem for large breed dogs, and large meals seem to be a big cause of this.
If youre not home for twice-daily feedings, you can use an automatic feeder. These will dispense the proper amount of food at set times each day so your dog isnt left waiting for meals.
Throughout the years, Ive fed a number of different high-quality dog foods to my German Shepherds.
One of my consistent go-tos is Royal Canin Adult Breed German Shepherd dry dog food. I feed my adult dogs this particular blend for a number of reasons.
In addition, this blend also uses optimal levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to make a GSDs coat pop, so to speak. You really can see the difference.
Can You Overfeed A Puppy
Dogs in general seem to have voracious appetites, and puppies may be too young to figure out when their little tummies are full. They may continue eating, or snacking, even when they arent hungry. Eating too much can lead to food bloat, or even a life-threatening condition called gastric dilation-volvulus.
Proteins In The Feeding Of A German Shepherd
Proteins also play a vital role in the growth of your German shepherd and it is recommended that a German Shepherd dog have a diet with at least 22% protein . It is better to feed pure proteins to your German shepherd rather than buying poor quality dog food that has added corn syrup, a stuffing that is very harmful to a dog.
Also Check: Skinny German Shepherd Puppy
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.
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.
Read Also: How To Draw A Realistic German Shepherd
How Much Exercise Does A 3 Month Old German Shepherd Need
A three-month-old German shepherd needs about 30 minutes of exercise each day. This can be a combination of aerobic activity, such as walking or playing fetch, and strength training, such as playing with a rubber Kong toy. GSD puppies need plenty of exercises to grow strong and healthy. too much or too little can lead to problems further down the line.
You can also take your German shepherd puppy on car rides to give them some extra exercise. Just make sure to stop regularly so they can relieve themselves.
Its important not to over-exercise a young pup, as this can lead to joint problems down the road. Instead, focus on providing plenty of opportunities for physical activity throughout the day. This will keep your German shepherd puppy active without wearing them out.
My favorite bit of exercise for a 3 month old GSD is walking. It is good for both of us, and I enjoy the time with my dog!
German Shepherd Feeding Guide By Age
As mentioned above, the age and development stage of your German Shepherd will play a big part in what foods are best suited for him.
To make your research easier, were breaking down the GSD feeding guide into age-based categories. Simply find your dogs age or developmental stage below to find the right information at the right time.
Be sure to check with your vet before beginning, switching, or stopping a feeding program. The information provided here is for research purposes only. Always take your vets advice for your individual dogs needs.
You May Like: Best Collar For German Shepherd
Feeding Your German Shepherd Puppy Raw Food
Feeding raw food to your German Shepherd puppy means that they are always eating wholesome, fresh, allergen-free foods that do not have any fillers and preservatives.
Raw food is easy to digest for your puppy and can help prevent Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Raw food means that your puppy does not eat unnecessary carbs allowing them to maintain a healthy weight.
However, uncooked raw foods can cause contamination with pathogens causing illness to your puppy. Unbalanced raw food can also affect the overall health of your puppy.
Raw foods such as muscle meat, edible bone, liver, vegetables, and fruits will ensure that your puppy is getting all the necessary nutrients. Consult with your vet to come up with raw diet recipes for your puppy.
Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy
Complete Health Large Breed Puppy is one of 14 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, ground brown rice, salmon meal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Growth
- Best for:German Shepherd puppy
Complete Health Large Breed Puppy derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh chicken as well as chicken meal and salmon meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 14% fat and 45% estimated carbs with a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.
Sample buyer reviewMy almost year old GSD loves this food! I transitioned him to this at 9 weeks. He was on another grain free puppy food but was not large breed. This food for high marks and I wanted to have a food that contained grains and was formulated for large breeds. My dog had no issues transitioning and loves his food. Like a lot of GSDs he does have a sensitive tummy and most treats dont agree with him so we use this as a training treat as well and he still loves it.
Also Check: How To Train German Shepherd Puppy
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.
How Much Should A German Shepherd Puppy Eat A Day
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.
You May Like: Drawing Of A German Shepherd
Keys To A Healthy Gsd Puppy
Veterinary research tells us that large breed puppies such as the German Shepherd need a different diet and feeding schedule than do medium or small breed puppies.
Incorrect feeding early in life can result in a lifelong impact to your puppys health!
In fact, diet is only one of three vital keys to raising a healthy GSD puppy.
Environment and genetics each intersect with your puppys diet to determine how healthy he or she will be as an adult.
For this reason, your first and best resources to create a healthy German Shepherd puppy feeding guide should be your veterinarian and your puppys breeder.
Even if you dont want to keep your new pup on the same food the breeder was using, wait a few weeks before beginning the food transition so your puppy can settle in first.
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken And Rice
Large Breed Chicken and Rice is one of 13 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Diamond Naturals product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, ground white rice
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Maintenance
- Best for:Adult shepherds only
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice derives most of its animal protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 26% protein, 14% fat and 52% estimated carbs which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
The recipe contains multiple probiotics for better digestion and chelated minerals for improved absorption and healthy nutrition. Affordably priced and easy to recommend.
Sample buyer reviewWe have had our dogs on this food for some time and the vet is constantly saying how healthy they are . We searched for some time to find a quality food at an affordable price as we have 4 dogs . Have never had any issues with them or their digestive systems while on Diamond!
Recommended Reading: Names For German Shepherds Female
How Do I Know If Puppy Is Eating Enough
Too little food
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.
Read Also: German Sheperd Chihuahua Mix
Holistic Select Large And Giant Breed Adult
Large and Giant Breed Adult Health is one of 5 dry kibbles included in our review of the Holistic Select product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, rice, oatmeal, oats, chicken fat
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Maintenance
- Best for:Adult shepherds only
Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Adult Health derives the bulk of of its animal protein from chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 16% fat and 50% estimated carbs which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
This grain-inclusive, large breed formula boasts above-average protein content yet still free of any plant-based protein boosters. Reasonably priced. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewMy 4 Great Danes absolutely love this food. They are all very healthy, coats are wonderful, and it helps with their teeth. I would recommend this to anyone with Giant Breed dogs. The nutrition information is comparable to what the needs are for Giant Breed . Nothing in this thats bad for your dog. If you decide to get this, your dog will enjoy it!
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.
Don’t Miss: German Shepherd 1 Month
How Much Water Should A German Shepherd Puppy Drink
Your German Shepherd puppy needs to drink 6 ounces of water per day for every 3.5 kilograms of body weight. Therefore, if your puppy weighs approximately 35 kilograms, he needs to have about 60 ounces of water every day.
If your dog is engaged in a lot of physical activity, or if the weather is hot, then this amount may need to be increased. You may notice that your dog is panting and this is a clear sign of dehydration. Always keep the water bowl full.
Taste Of The Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food
German Shepherds are built to be muscular. Though we wouldnt want them to grow out of their puppy bod, its still paramount to keep the protein intake sufficient. The Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food will make sure your pup has everything he needs to achieve the lean and strong build like hes intended too. One of its ingredients is real meat thats rich in fatty acids and lean protein. This product is best for puppies with high energy levels. The best thing about it is its made from sustainably sourced ingredients without artificial flavoring and preservatives.
Read Also: When To Neuter A German Shepherd
Also Check: Is Purina Pro Plan Good For German Shepherds
Feeding A German Shepherd Puppy The Right Way
June 6, 2019 By Emily Patterson-Kane
The German Shepherd puppy is a popular addition to many households. Sometimes called the Alsatian puppy, the German Shepherd was initially developed for herding and now commonly used as a working dog or pet. This is your guide to providing all the nutrients your new puppy needs.
Many types of food can be provided. However puppy foods designed for large breed dogs are essential for puppies. This will help to avoid health problems caused by overly-rapid bone growth.
Read on to find out the ins and out of whats best for your German Shepherd puppy!
German Shepherd Feeding Guide For Seniors
You will need to modify your German Shepherds diet when he changes from adult life stage to senior. Older German Shepherds have lower energy needs.
They will begin to have less physical activity and move slower, and so they will require fewer calories each day. You should increase in fiber amount in their diet because digestion tends to slow down in seniors
There are some commercially sold dog foods that are already adjusted for seniors. If you prepare your own dog food, you will need to reduce the calories primarily through the carbs.
Senior German Shepherds still require proper nutrition, especially for their bones and joints.
When it comes to treats, senior dogs should have healthy ones like whole-food treats such as apple slices or carrots.
Read Also: German Shepherd Puppy Floppy Ears
How Many Times Should I Feed My 3 Month Old German Shepherd
A German shepherd puppy should be fed three times a day. At around 11 weeks, you can feed your pup twice and then raise it up to three meals by 16 weeks of age. When theyre just over 30 pounds, this dog is raised up to four meals per day but some owners prefer giving their pets five small feeds throughout the day.
The meals should be evenly spaced out and your pups last meal should be done at least two hours before bedtime. Puppy food is better for them during their growth phase than adult dog food so dont switch over to a different kind of kibble until they reach around 50% of their mature size.
A good guideline for how much to feed your German shepherd puppy is ¼ ½ cup of dry food per meal. You will need to adjust this amount up or down depending on whether they are more active or lazy and if they are putting on weight.
Overall, a three month old german shepherd is a great puppy. They are playful, energetic, and loving. Although they may be a little too rambunctious for young children, they make excellent family pets.
Some of the downsides to owning a three month old German shepherd are that they can be quite destructive when left alone unsupervised and they require a lot of exercise and training. Overall, these puppies are a great addition to any family. If you are prepared for the challenges that come with owning one of these energetic dogs, they will provide you with years of companionship and love.