How Much Should You Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
Watching your German Shepherd puppy grow from newborn to senior is a pleasurable experience but feeding them can get confusing for first-time dog owners. Newborn German Shepherd puppies require being fed at least once every 3-4 hours. As they grow older this will slowly decrease to only twice per day.
In this article, you will learn how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy and the diet restrictions of this friendly, hyperactive breed.
Can German Shepherds Eat Raw Meat
Yes, dogs, including German Shepherd, can eat raw meat and other raw ingredients. German Shepherds are true carnivores, just like any dog, and can, thrive on a raw meat diet. From DNA studies, we know dogs descended directly from the timber wolf approximately 15,000 years ago1. Wolves are clear carnivores, so genetically, dogs demonstrate similar and noticeable carnivorous traits. Their teeth, digestive system, and behavior account for their meat-eating capabilities.
Unlike humans or animals like cows, dogs dont have flat teeth or chew their cud from side to side.;Like all carnivores, dogs have;narrow pointy back teeth, and their jaws can only move in an up-and-down,;chop-chop motion. Carnivores do not produce;amylase in their salivary glands. Dogs dont produce amylase in their saliva but their pancreas and small intestine2.
Finally, meat-eating animals like dogs have a higher concentration of;stomach acid.;This allows faster digestion of animal protein, and the stronger acids kill the bacteria in decaying meat.
However, Dr. RuthAnn Lobos, a Purina veterinarian, says feeding a diet consisting primarily of raw meat may not provide the complete and balanced nutrition your dog needs3. If you plan to feed raw meat to your GSD, you need to do it as part of a balanced raw meal plan. Any raw meat needs to be fresh and thoroughly washed before feeding it.
Week Old German Shepherd
At 6 weeks old, your job as a new owner is to make sure that your puppy is receiving the same level of nutrition that they were getting from their mothers milk.
Ideally, your puppy should still be nursing from their mother, because most foods are going to have a hard time replacing the needed micro and macronutrients, along with the natural antibodies that are found inside of the mothers milk.
Recommended Reading: How To Train A German Shepherd To Protect
Learn How Much To Feed A German Shepherddiet And Health Of German Shepherd
German shepherds;are a breed known for their loyalty and smarts. These hard-working dogs excel as service dogs and police dogs. They also make great pets who learn quickly and create strong bonds. German shepherds typically live for 7-10 years and grow to be around a couple of feet tall. The average German shepherd weight is about 70 pounds.
Like any household animal, German shepherds need a balanced and healthy diet to stay happy, energetic, and sharp. Its important to know which foods are good for your German shepherd, which foods you should stay away from, and how much to feed a German shepherd. The following article will go over the specific diet needs and best dog food for;German shepherds;to help your pooch thrive.
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 in their 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 actually 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.
Read Also: How Much Food Does A German Shepherd Need
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.
From 16 Weeks To 9 Months
After your dog passes 16 weeks of age, you will want to change how much you feed your dog to be about one cup to one and three-quarter cups. You will want to gradually increase the amount of food you are offering at a time.
At this point, since 12 weeks have passed, your dog should not only be on adult-oriented kibble but it should naturally eat about twice a day. It should also be better at controlling its bladder at this age, although it may still be iffy. Ideally, your dog should be gaining weight steadily and be following the projected growth and weight patterns for German shepherds.
Also Check: Are German Shepherds Good Running Dogs
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.
Victor Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients:;1. Chicken Meal, 2. Blood Meal, 3. Whole Grain Millet, 4. Chicken Fat , 5. Yeast Culture
Made from gluten-free grains, this balanced diet by VICTOR is ideal for large breed dogs with moderate to high levels of daily activity. You will find all the high-quality nutrition for your German Shepherds diet while steering clear of unnecessary fillers like soy and corn. The impressive nutrient profile with chicken meal as a primary ingredient ensures a delicious blend for your Shepherd.
Also Check: What Colors Do German Shepherds Come In
What Might Be The Minimum Standards Commercial Dog Food For German Shepherds Has To Meet
Pet food generally doesnt have its own specific and enforceable regulations in any country.
There are general regulations for animal food in some countries.
In the US for example, The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled
Theres also a voluntary membership association called AAFCO that outlines some standards in the US.
In Australia, Pet food is essentially self-regulated with voluntary industry standards applied through the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia
In different countries, regulations, standards and labelling requirements can differ.
So, be aware of what these are, and where the gaps and limitations in them might be.
You will be required to do additional research to ensure what you are getting in each pet food product, and cover information you might not get given on a label.
Note that standards are the minimum, and not the standards you should necessarily follow for optimal health.
Also note that certain phrases like organic dog food mean different things in different countries.
Check what different phrases mean by law in your country.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Guide: Birth To 12 Weeks
All dogs should stay with their mother for no less than eight weeks, ideally up to ten weeks. During this time, the mother will nurse the pups until they are old enough to begin eating puppy mush.
Puppy mush is usually regular dog kibble thats been soaked in water, formula, or homemade puppy milk made with human-grade ingredients.
After the puppies are fully weaned from their mothers milk, they will get all of their nutrition either from puppy mushmade progressively drier every few daysor other puppy-safe foods.
Its important to continue feeding your puppy whatever the breeder started them on, at least for the first few weeks. This will help prevent gastrointestinal distress.
Also, be certain it is food intended for puppies and not adults or senior dogs. Adult dog foods do not have the proper nutrients to support a growing puppy.
Once your German Shepherd puppy is homebetween 8 and 12 weeksyou may begin weaning them off of the breeders food and introducing their new foodif youve decided to switch, that is.
Over the course of the next few weeks slowly introduce the puppys new food into her old food, adding more of the new food each day.
Start with ¾ of the serving of the old food and ¼ of the new food. After a few days, make it half and half. After the first week or so, make it ¾ the new food and ¼ the old food. Then by two to three weeks, your pup should be fully on her new food.
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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.
Senior German Shepherd Daily Caloric Intake Requirement
German Shepherds become lazier as they age which can eventually lead to obesity if you are not careful. Senior German Shepherds become vulnerable to bone and joint issues like hip dysplasia.;
Restrict your dogs daily food intake if you notice that your dog is rapidly gaining weight. Permitting weight gain can lead to pain and potential immobilization if it gets bad enough.
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.
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.
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.
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What Should You Do If Your German Shepherd Puppy Doesnt Eat
There are a few methods that you can try if you are struggling to get your German Shepherd puppy to eat. Puppies who are developing their appetite might be struggling to acquire a taste for new foods.;
Cook strong-smelling meat to entice your puppy. Waft the smell of the meat toward your puppy and use it as an encouragement to eat. Human meat and processed foods are bad for puppies so do not feed your German Shepherd any of the cooked meat.;
German Shepherd Food Brands
Today there is a wide range of products present in the market but choosing the best and right which helps in building good strength of the dog and quite helpful for muscles and the digestive tract.
Some of the best dog foods are listed below:
- Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Puppy Health Dog food
- Precise Holistic Complete Large Breed Adult Formula
- Royal Canin Giant Junior Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein
- Iams Proactive
- Hills Science Diet Puppy
- Nutro Essentials Puppy
Foods Not To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
German Shepherds are prone to irritable bowel syndrome, so its important to monitor what snacks you are sharing with your furbaby.
Just like humans, there are certain foods that dogs need to avoid. Although some may only cause a mild irritant, other foods can cause your dog to become very ill.
Consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your puppy has consumed any of the following.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Guide: 12 Weeks To 6 Months
After approximately 12 weeks of age, puppies can be trained to eat fewer meals a day, at set times, and with set amounts. While you still dont want to limit their food too much at this age, its also not a good idea to just let them pig out whenever they want.
Large breed puppies have a tendency to overeat, and concerned puppy parents often give in to their pups cries for more. This sets your German Shepherd up for obesity, heart problems, liver issues, joint pain, and a host of other medical conditions.
Instead of letting your puppy have a free-for-all on a bag of kibble, ask your vet what they recommend. Theyll look at your German Shepherd puppy as an individual as well as considering the breed as a whole.
The vet will also consider the pups overall health, activity level, and metabolism.;
While your vets recommendation should overrule anything you read online, here is a decent middle ground feeding guide for most German Shepherd puppies.
This potbelly baby stage means she is not quite mature enough for reduced feedings.
Watch her body composition, shape, and weight. When she starts to look more like an older puppy and the potbelly is slimming down, you can reduce the feedings to 3 per day.;
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.