Caring For Your German Shepherd
German Shepherds are fantastic dogs and its easy to see why they are such a popular breed. However their size and strength means they arent suited to all families and need a lot of space to burn off their energy. Youll need to make sure you have a lot of time to spend with these dogs and you are committed to providing for their exercise needs every day.
My Puppy Is Still Hungry
If your puppy seems excessively hungry provide more frequent but smaller meals. Young puppies cannot tolerate going without food for extended periods.
With older puppies you may wish to experiment with foods that help them feel more full, and provide low calories treats.
Keeping a health puppy active and occupied will help prevent them from becoming overly focused on anticipating their next meal.
Foods You Should Never Give To Your German Shepherd
While you can feed yourGerman Shepherd just about anything, there are certain foods you need to avoidgiving them. Some of these foods are either toxic or may cause allergicreactions and digestive problems in your German Shepherd.
Heres a list of foodsyou should keep out of your GSDs reach:
- Wild mushrooms
- Fresh or dried grapes
- Rhubarb leaves
- Dairy and ice cream
If your GSDsaccidentally consume one or more of these foods, consult your vet immediately.If youre able to take care of them immediately, chances are theyll be fine.
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How Often And How Much Should You Feed Your Gsd
Naturally, the growingGSD pups are more ravenous than their mature counterparts. This is because theyhave higher energy levels and require a lot of calories to stay healthy andhappy. You should feed your German Shepherd puppy at least 500 calories perday. As soon as he becomes a young adult, increase it to 1,500 to 1,700calories per day.
Its best to start withwet food for weaned puppies, at around seven weeks old. Puppies younger thanfour months should be served four meals per day. At about four months, reducethe meals to 3 per day until about nine months. This is the ideal time to startintroducing your dog to live animal products such as eggs, liver, and bones.Avoid giving them too much of these foods.
After nine months, yourpuppy should be able to eat fewer meals 2 to 3 per day. You may also givethem more live animal products at this age. If youre not sure the total amountof food to feed them per day, ask your vet for advice.
When your GSD becomes ayear old, his metabolism willstart to decrease slowly. At this point, they need less food, and you can servethem one large meal per day, or two regular-sized meals per day.
Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
At 2 weeks old, your German Shepherd puppy will still be with his mother. He should be reliant entirely on his mothers milk. These small pups will begin to open their eyes to take in the world, but otherwise will not be straying anywhere.
In larger litters, make sure that all of the puppies are growing and gaining well. Pups that dont seem to be getting enough milk might need to have formula supplemented to them in order to get their weight up to a healthy level. If you are worried about this at all, contact your veterinarian.
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Orijen Puppy Large Breed
You will question less on How much should I feed my German shepherd puppy? with the calorie-limiting property from Orijen Puppy Large Breed. This dog food will make sure your little fur babys weight is on the right track. Its doing in while also fulfilling a pups need of protein to go by the day, resulting in an active and lively puppy. You dont need to worry if your pups a picky eater, the turkey liver will make any pup eager to devour it.
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Tips For Feeding A German Shepherd Dog
You can find a ton of dog feeding guides online, and while they each hold merit, its best to talk to your vet about your dogs specific feeding needs.
Getting a personalized recommendation from your veterinarian is worth the time, expense, and effort. That said, there is still plenty of good information in this article that should give you an idea of your dogs nutritional needs at each stage of life.
Its likely that your vet will give you plenty of options, including suggesting you follow this guide and make small adjustments as needed.
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 .
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How Do German Shepherds Show Love
Most dogs youve formed a bond with will show excitement when seeing you after a while of being apart. German Shepherds are especially known for this. They may jump up at you, lick your face, and run around aimlessly at your presence. They may even whine from their inability to contain their excitement.
Feeding An 8 Week Old German Shepherd
In the beginning, its best to keep your 8-week-old German Shepherd puppy on the same food she was eating before you brought her home. This helps keep some element of consistency in her routine .
If you do decide to switch over to a different food after a few weeks, do so in stages. Adding about 25% of new food to 75% of your puppys current food is a good general rule. You can then increase that slowly over time.
At 8 weeks old, German Shepherd puppies should be fed three to four times per day. Eating too much in one sitting will upset their stomachs, and thats no fun for either of you!
Because the German Shepherd is a large breed, you should also feed your puppy a diet formulated specifically for large breed puppies.
There are many commercially available diets made to help large breed puppies grow at the right rate. This helps to avoid skeletal abnormalities like hip dysplasia.
Want more information on what to feed your 8-week-old German Shepherd, and how to change her diet as she gets older? We have everything you need to know right here in our guide to feeding a German Shepherd puppy.
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He Likes To Eat At Certain Times Of The Day
Just like you might not like to eat breakfast at 6 a.m, your dog might make a habit of only eating at certain times of the day. Though this can be concerning at first, you should be keeping track of how much food in total your German Shepherd is eating throughout the day.
If he still eats about the same amount, he just might prefer to eat at specific times of the day!
My German Shepherd used to eat one meal in the morning and one in the evening. However, now that she is older, she prefers to eat both meals in the evening. She wont eat them all in one go , but she will eat them with 2-3 hours in between, which is fine.
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What Are The Signs Youre Underfeeding Your German Shepherd Puppy
The most prominent way to tell that you are underfeeding your puppy is when you can easily see or feel its bones through its skin. There are many other signs in addition that you might be underfeeding your German Shepherd puppy.
German Shepherds are not supposed to be fat but they are supposed to be bulky with muscular frames. Raising your German Shepherd to be lean and fit will help them later on in their highly active lifestyle.;
You Can Feel Your German Shepherds Bones
There is something wrong if you can feel the dogs ribs when petting them. If there is no fat between your German Shepherds skin and bones you should begin working on helping them gain weight.
Your German Shepherd is Lethargic or Constantly Tired.
If your dog is constantly sleeping or refusing to play despite appearing interested, this is a sign that they may not have enough energy. Everyone gets their energy from food. So, to fuel your pup you will need to give them more food.
Evaluate your German Shepherds diet and perhaps consider adding more protein-rich foods to their daily menu. Foods that are high in fat content can help your dog gain weight.
Your German Shepherd is Constantly Begging You for Food
Dogs love to beg for food but there is a difference between lip-licking whines and stomach-growling groans. If your dog is begging for food even after feeding them, you might want to pay attention to some of its other behaviors too.;
Ways to increase your German Shepherd puppys weight include:
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Your Best Puppy And Dog Food Options
Remember, having a dog who has his dietary needs met will be happier and healthier as a result. Not eating enough can lead to malnutrition, and overeating makes your pup obese .
Are you looking for more dog food articles? Weve got plenty of resources on various dog diets and nutrition, including the best dog foods for any age, diet type, and health concern, the best dog food delivery services for puppies and adult dogs, and homemade dog food recipes.
We also have guides about when you should switch your dog from puppy to adult food and what to do if you run out of dog food.;Have additional questions or issues with your dog? Ask us in our if you need help. Wed love to help your family transition and aid with any adjustments as needed.
How much and how often does your puppy eat?
German Shepherd Feeding General Guidelines
Most vets will tell you to watch the dog and not the bowl when deciding how much to feed a German Shepherd. What they mean by this is that you should always be aware of your dogs body size, shape, and condition, and not being too strict with charts and graphs of food measurements.
If your dog seems to be gaining weight, reduce the number of calories they consume. Start with reducing treats or any table scraps you may be feeding him.
If he is still gaining weight, you can slowly reduce the amount of food you give him during his regular meals.;
On the other side of the spectrum, if your dog is overly thin, lethargic, and not doing well, you may be feeding her too little. Increase the amount of food in each meal by small increments. ¼ cup at a time is usually sufficient.;
Do not make drastic changes to your dogs feeding schedule or the amount you give. Do not suddenly remove an entire meal. All changes to your dogs diet should be made gradually, ideally over the course of several weeks.
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.
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.
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German Shepherd Puppy Diet: 2 Months Old
At two months of age, you can start to slowly decrease the moistening of your German Shepherd’s dry food. Eventually, the puppy will be used to eating the food completely dry.
Following the German Shepherd puppy food chart, from 2 until 4 months old, a puppy will eat 4 or 5 times a day. This has to be carried out with one very important addition: discipline. A puppy needs to learn that it will not be fed constantly throughout the day, but at specific times. This is part of a puppys socialization and early education.
We start of by placing a bowl of food down for 10 minutes, this should give the puppy enough time to finish its meal. After 10 minutes, we suggest taking the bowl of food away, even if your puppy hasn’t finished eating.
A puppy’s food bowl must only be available to the dog for 10 minutes. This 10 minutes should be enough time for the puppy to eat all of its provided food. As already mentioned, after 10 minutes, you should take the food bowl away, even if the puppy hasn’t finished eating. This pattern will introduce the puppy’s food schedule and allow it an opportunity to become accustomed to particular feeding times.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat
While German Shepherds can eat human food not all human foods are safe for your GSD.; They like chewing on the occasional raw bone, but should not be fed cooked chicken bones.
Avoid anything spicy or with sugar, and NEVER give your dog chocolate; it can be fatal. In addition, steer clear of foods like grapes, raisins, and garlic.
Here are examples of some human foods German Shepherds like to eat:
- Cooked chicken breast
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Supplements For German Shepherds
The vast majority of commercially available dry kibble is complete and balanced for your dog, assuming its a high-quality food.
That means there is almost never a reason to supplement your dogs diet with additives, vitamins, or herbal supplements. In fact, adding these things to a healthy dogs diet can cause a lot of harm.
Never supplement your dogs diet unless directed by a veterinarian. In those cases, they will prescribe or suggest canine-safe products to cover your GSDs special needs.
Human supplements are often unregulated, minimally effective, and often contain substances harmful to animals. Never use a human supplement for your German Shepherd.
Creating A Consistent Feeding Schedule
Keeping your German Shepherd puppy on a consistent food schedule will help teach him when to expect food. It will help regulate his hunger and ensure that he is eating consistently to grow well.
The ideal schedule for a puppy is to give him about 2 cups of food a day, broken up into 3 meals. When your puppy reaches one year, you can decrease the amount to 2 meals a day. The needed amount can vary from puppy to puppy.
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Dealing With Constipation In Your German Shephard Puppy
In the event your German Shepherd puppy isnt pooping like normal, they may be dealing with constipation. Constipation is where your dog is having significant trouble defecating from their stool.
While there are more severe things that can cause constipation, such as a concurrent kidney disease or an enlarged prostate, often the dog has simply swallowed something difficult to digest.
Grass and hairs are frequent items that prevent the puppy from pooping normally. Dog bones, believe it or not, can cause this problem as well.
The experts at PetMD recommend providing the dog plenty of water, control bouts of their eating grass, and substitute a bone with a nylon chew toy.
Should the problem persist, take the puppy to a veterinarian clinic for the appropriate treatment. Depending on how severe the situation, the dog may require hospitalization for the purposes of an enema procedure to eliminate any obstructions in their rectum