Maybe Theyre A Picky Eater
Some pups are simply picky eaters, and that makes it more difficult to keep them at a healthy weight. If this is the cause of their weight issues, you can try adding a little bit of wet food into the mix or try using dog food toppers to entice them into eating more than usual. Dog food toppers have the added benefit of giving them the nourishment they might not be getting from their ordinary food, which can affect their weight as well. Pumpkin toppers are excellent for dogs with sensitive stomachs who need to gain some weight.
What Should You Consider Before Putting Your Dog On A New Feeding Schedule To Gain Weight
Consult a Veterinarian First
Anytime you notice fluctuations in your dogs physical or emotional condition, you should contact a veterinarian. Your dog may cope with an illness that you are not aware of, and putting him/her on a special nutrition schedule may worsen the symptoms of the illness.
Do not take any dramatic steps
Any changes that occur in your dogs daily routine, especially in his/her feeding, may have a negative impact on his/her physical and emotional state. That is why you should change your dogs diet gradually. If you overfeed him/her, he/she may gain weight drastically, which will cause a big pressure on their joints.
Make sure that you will increase the amount of the useful calories of high quality.
If you do not consider the factor mentioned above, your pup is likely to fatten up, without developing any muscles.
Exercising is a factor important not only for weight loss, but also for weight gain. If your canine is not engaged in enough exercises during the day, fattening him/her up, may lead to obesity. Underweight, as well as obesity, are both equally bad for your dogs health. You can engage your furry friend in games that are both intellectual and physical. They will keep him/her busy during the day and will take care for him/her to stay fit. Hiding toys with treats inside, playing the chase the prey game or conducting some agility training , will definitely have a positive effect on your dogs health.
Best Homemade German Shepherd Dog Food Recipes
Weve compiled our favorite German Shepherd homemade dog food recipes to share with you.
Additionally, we give you a special treat recipe for German Shepherds that are tasty and packed with impressive health benefits. This recipe can do a lot for your GSDs health and wellness. It has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil.
For even more German Shepherd food recipes and cooking options, cookbooks can come in handy to have an array of dog food recipes at your disposal. We love Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.
Note: Please consult with your pets veterinarian & use personal judgment when applying this information to your dogs diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portions will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and your dogs health. A common recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be certain.
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German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart By Age
As a general guideline, heres how much you should feed your German Shepherd puppy daily by their age and cups of food:
- 8 weeks old: 1 to 1 ½ cups of food spread over 4 meals daily
- 12 weeks old: 1 ½ to 2 cups of food spread over 4 meals daily
- 6 months to 9 months old: 2 cups to 3 cup of food spread over 3 meals daily
- 9 months to 12 months old: 3 cups to 3 ½ cups of food spread over 3 meals daily
- 12 months old and above: 3 ½ to 4 cups of food spread over 2 meals daily
Adjust the amounts based on your dogs lifestyle. A more active puppy might need extra calories, while a lower energy puppy doesnt need as much food per day. These are guidelines only.
So, feel free to adjust the amounts based on your German Shepherds energy needs.
|Puppy Age||Total Cups of Dry Kibble||Number of Meals Per Day|
|8 weeks old|
|6 months to 9 months old||2 3 cups|
|9 months to 12 months old||3 3 ½ cups|
|12 months old and above||3 ½ 4 cups||2|
Offer your dog their food around the same time each day. 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.
Track Your German Shepherds Regular Exercise
Even if your companion is underweight, you still have to give them an exercise routine. The Honest Kitchen recommends that because itll help your German Shepherd gain muscle.
Thats better than just letting them lay down all day and building up fat.
Start small when exercising your German Shepherd. You can take them on a short walk around the neighborhood. As they gain more weight, gradually increase the amount of exercise you give them.
A lot of the tips mentioned above can apply to all kinds of dogs who need to gain weight.
Like varying dog breeds, however, German Shepherds will need more specific methods since their bodies function a little differently.
Below is a YouTube video that goes over a lot of what we talked about in this article:
You can look to this video for a quick reminder of some of the ways you can help your German Shepherd gain weight.
Ultimately, you should mostly follow your veterinarians advice. However, this can be an excellent place to start just in case you cant see a professional at the moment.
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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Best Value
Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula is designed to promote holistic health in large breed dogs like the German Shepherd. It contains real meat, whole grains, and fresh veggies as its base, which are all things that your dog needs to gain weight and fuel an active day. What is unique about this brand is that it contains LifeSource Bits, which are a blend of antioxidant-rich nutrients made to fill in nutritional gaps.
Glucosamine, which works to optimize joint and bone health, is also included. Chelated minerals are featured in the formula, which gives pups the ability to easily digest and absorb the vital nutrients that they need so the development of deficiencies does not become a risk. You will never find any corn, soy, wheat, or animal by-products on the ingredients list. Without a doubt, Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula is the best food for German Shepherds to gain weight for the money.
Made up of real beef, sorghum, chicken fat, and fish meal, this quality food is sure to help any German Shepherd gain pounds and maintain a healthy weight as time goes on. VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus is nutrient-dense and high in fat, which is essential for dogs that need to gain weight. The ingredients in this food are sourced in the United States and include multiple types of animal protein to optimize muscle and weight growth.
German Shepherds Nutritional Guidelines To Follow
The Association of American Feed Control Officials , the entity regulating dog food nutritional value in commercial dog food, states there are six indispensable nutrients that all dog meals require to support life and function in dogs and provide a balanced and healthy diet.
A proper homemade diet should consider your pups weight, health conditions, size, and activity level. Your German Shepherd will grow strong and healthy if these six components are present and you consider these factors.
Below is a breakdown of each nutrient and its importance.
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The 5 Best Foods For A German Shepherd To Gain Weight
May 6, 2021 by Garrett Yamasaki
The German Shepherd is one of the most energetic and active dog breeds there is. If youre a German Shepherd owner, youll know that these dogs can run for miles without even getting tired. This means that they burn a lot of calories and fat, meaning that they can get very skinny despite feeding them the right amount of nutrition.
While your dog might not be malnourished, a skinny German Shepherd can be an issue especially if they are growing. A too skinny dog can also be susceptible to health conditions such as weaker bones and joint troubles.
These two issues can be detrimental to German Shepherds because they wont be able to fulfill their active lifestyle. This can also lead to depression, hair loss, or skin disease.
Luckily, there is an easy solution to your dog losing too much weight. They simply need a better diet to help them gain weight. We have found the five best dog foods for a German Shepherd to gain weight.
Weve also compiled a list of important factors to consider before committing to purchase your dogs new diet to ensure that you get the best option out there. This is listed below our recommendations, so stick around until the end!
- Five stars: Bully Max claims that this is the only five-star rated dog food.
- More calories in less kibble: feed your dog less while still increasing their calorie intake.
- High protein, high fat: these macros will work together to ensure that your dog gains weight in a healthy way.
Hypothyroidism Is Behind It
Many diseases afflict our beloved pooches. One of which is hypothyroidism.
This is a medical condition that leads to weight gain and decreased energy. When a dog has hypothyroidism, they have less tolerance for exercise.
So watch out when your German Shepherd packs the pounds even with the proper diet. Hypothyroidism could be behind it.
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What Is Considered Overweight For A Female German Shepherd
Again, it is difficult to assign a value for weight as every dog is different. Assess your dogs body condition score or change in weight over time. Female dogs may be more prone to weight gain as they age and activity levels decrease, or with hormone changes such as after neutering. It is important to balance your dogs food intake and exercise with each life stage.
How Do I Put Weight On My German Shepherd
The two main factors that impact the German Shepherds ability to gain weight are the type of food youre feeding him as well as any existing medical condition. If youre feeding him the wrong type of food, he will likely struggle to gain the appropriate weight. Furthermore, poor feeding habits will also affect your dogs ability to stay healthy.
Many different supplements can be added to your dogs diet to increase his weight in general. If your dog doesnt like eating, he might have a serious problem.
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Keep Track Of Your German Shepherds Daily Intake
It could be hard to calculate the exact amount of calories your dog takes in. Thats why youll be taking note of how much your dog is eating each day.
You dont have to keep track of the complicated details, like how much protein they consumed.
The daily intake could include canine food, doggy treats, home-cooked meals, and more. Write down what your German Shepherds diet was before you decided to help them gain weight.
Its good to have that comparison to ensure that the changes you made are effecting your companion.
German Shepherd Homemade Food Risks
A poor diet is a significant threat to the health of your German Shepherd. Here are some things to avoid to provide a healthy diet to your pup.
- Not understanding the nutritional needs of German Shepherds
- Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
- Not preparing a balanced meal
- Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
- Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
- Neglecting your dogs health conditions
- Not understanding your dogs life stages nutritional needs
Research by the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary and two studies published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine and The Journal of Nutritional Science found that most homemade dog food recipes lackkey essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients.
Here are the findings:
- 48% of homemade dog diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities
- 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal
- 30.4% of the pet parents admitted to purposely changing the recipe
- 40% of owners didnt measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough
- 28.3% didnt use any of the recommended vitamins, minerals, or amino acids.
- 97% of obesity cases in dogs could be traced to how owners fed and played with their pets.
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German Shepherd Calorie Requirements
So, how much should I feed my German Shepherd?
The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight. An adult German Shepherd usually weighs between 50 and 90 pounds, meaning most GSDs need between 1165 and 1808 calories daily.
Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.
- For instance, if a GSD weighs 65 lbs., he would need 1480 calories daily. For those eating treats, thats 1276 calories in food and 142 in treats . Usually, most full-grown dogs eat two meals per day. However, since GSDs are prone to bloating, divide his daily meals into three meals. You need to split 1276 into three meals of 425 calories each.
You can use this calculator to find the exact caloric needs of your dog based on his weight.
Pregnant or lactating GSDs may need up to 2 to 4 times the food they usually need as the mothers energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.
Age Is Catching Up With Your German Shepherd
Age is just a number. So they say.
But when it comes to your German Shepherd, it could mean weight gain.
A lot of things happen when your dog gets older. First, their metabolism slows down. Second, they are less active but eat the same amount of food.
All of these factors eventually lead to weight gain.
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I Changed My German Shepherds Diet
The more your companion grows, the more it makes sense for you to adjust their diet. Thats when you transition from puppy chow to adult food.
They clean their plate, and you start to notice that theyre looking skinnier than usual.
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration to ensure your German Shepherd has a balanced diet. Details like these are complicated, which is why you should get a recommended food plan from your vet.
There may be some advice online, but never choose that over what your veterinarian says.
Start Dog Muscle Building Slowly & Progress Gradually
Body builders dont just start off bench pressing 400-pounds they start off with much lighter weights and work their way up to the heavier ones. The trick is, they increase the weight a little bit each day or week. This allows them to challenge their muscles continuously and build muscle mass.
This same progressive game plan is the best way to help your dog gain muscle mass too.
Not only because it is effective, but because it helps prevent muscle strains and other injuries that can occur if your dog tries to do too much too fast. This is especially important when working with young dogs, whose bodies have yet to mature.
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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!
What Is The Best Food For My German Shepherd To Gain Weight
The most effective diet for German Shepherds that will aid in weight growth includes Taste of the Wild Prairie grain-free dog food. This formula contains Bison and venison roasted as the major protein sources. These are believed to aid in maintaining the health of bones and create strong and lean muscles.