Preventing Stomach Problems In German Shepherd Dogs
There are some things that you can do to prevent your dog from developing any of these conditions. The most common and simple ways to do this are by making sure that your dog is eating a diet thats suitable for it.
To make sure that youre not going to put your dog at risk for developing stomach problems, its important that you make sure you know that youre getting quality food. Quality food, for a German Shepherd, isnt necessarily the same quality food that you might get for another dog.
Of course, youre going to need to make sure that you get a good mixture of protein, fat and carbohydrates. For a Shepherd, this equates to roughly 20% of its calories coming from protein and 5% coming from fat However, more important than the breakdown of nutrients is the quality of the ingredients and the specific ingredients used. Try to go without glutenfree or at least low grains.
In terms of protein, youre going to want to make sure that you choose a high-quality protein source. Good sources of protein for Shepherds would be those that come from whole meats like beef, fish, and other organ meats. Chicken isnt the best food for Shepherds because foods made with chicken often come with a lot of byproducts that arent good for anybody, especially not a Shepherd with a sensitive stomach.
Change Of Food And Change Of Amount
How much to feed a German Shepherd puppy may also change based on when you begin the transition from puppy food to adult dog food.
If you choose to keep your GSD puppy on puppy food for longer, you may want to slightly decrease portion sizes per meal as your puppy grows up.
Conversely, if you switch your puppy over to adult food earlier, you may want to slightly increase portion sizes.
Discuss this with your veterinarian if you are unsure which approach is best for your puppys health.
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What Nutrients Does A German Shepherd Puppy Need
German Shepherd puppies require a protein-rich diet to help them grow well and have sustained energy for their active lifestyle. Your puppy needs at least 22% protein in his diet. High-quality protein sources include fish, chicken, and beef.
According to our German Shepherd puppy feeding chart, your pup needs 5% of fat in their diet for healthy skin and coat. The recommended amount of carbs for your puppy is 5% to 8% and should come from fruits and vegetables such as peas and potatoes.
Your puppy also requires minerals, vitamins, probiotics, antioxidants, water, and omega fatty acids in their diet to ensure that their immunity is healthy.
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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.
Offer An Extra Meal To Their Normal Routine
Begin by feeding your dog a bitmore of their current food spread out over one more meal per day. Add a quarterto half a cup of extra food per meal.
You can also take their regularfeeding and the additional food and increase their feeding schedule to fourtimes per day, splitting the food equally at each feeding.
This routine allows your dog to space out their food more evenly, so they dont fill up too quickly and then ignore their later meals. Its also gentler on their stomachs and makes digestion easier since theres less food sitting in their belly at one time.
If you want to make a German Shepherd gain weight the right way, youre going to have to plan for multiple feedings and watch how much you feed them so they dont get fat, but build muscle.
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Why Is My German Shepherd So Picky With Food
It may be they have become bored of the same food every day. Owners often try to get around this by adding extra treats to meals to get them back to the bowl. A little healthy treat every now and again is fine, but if you are doing it just to entice your dog to eat, you are on the path to creating a picky eater.
Follow 80% / 20% Dry Kibble To Wet Dog Food Mix
Substituting a small amount of kibble for wet dog food is widely recommended by veterinarians as a way to increase nutrition, water intake and to make the food A LOT more appetizing.Wet dog food is considerably tastier, juicier, has a higher protein content with fewer preservatives and additives. Adding a small amount to every mealtime will be irresistible for your German Shepherd.You should keep the amount of wet dog food small because its extremely rich. Adding too much will have the opposite effect and may even disrupt your GSDs digestion.
Let Your Dog Eat When They Want
Ifyour German Shepherd is picky about when they eat, then it may help to leavefood out for them all the time. This is called free feeding.
Dogswho can free feed tend to gain more weight than dogs fed on a schedule. Freefeeding allows your dog the chance to eat a little whenever they are hungry orbored.
This type of feeding may help them eat more overall. But only use free feeding with dry food, since wet foods spoil when left out for more than a couple hours.
And remember to watch their weight gain, as a fat German Shepherd isnt healthy.
Change To Puppy Or High
Some adult and senior dogs benefit from a puppy or high-performance food. Both puppy and high-performance food is higher in calories to support complex energy needs and sustained growth.
Test out a mixture of half of your dogs regular food combined with half of the puppy or high-performance food to help with weight gain.
If you want quality high-performance or puppy food then go with Victor Active Dog & Puppy Grain-Free dog food for a healthy way to add fat to your German Shepherd.
Puppy foods generally have added nutrients to support puppy growth which can help your underweight German Shepherd gain weight and fatten up in a controlled manner which is what you want.
Mixing regular adult and puppy or high-performance food helps your GSD gain weight and fat in a regulated manner. But dogs with certain kidney problems shouldnt eat a high protein diet which is why its best to check with your vet first.
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What Peoples Food Should Your Dog Avoid Eating
We can give you an extensive list of peoples food including, extracts, seasonings, and herbs that your dog cannot eat, but there is not enough time or room to list everything.
Besides, extensive lists tend to confuse people. Keep the rules simple and avoid all peoples food at all costs. This list means no peoples cupcakes, cakes, pies, cookies, ice cream, and all else that sits on your meal table, including what you have in the refrigerator and garbage can, does not go into your dogs mouth.
We cannot say this more straightforwardly or stress the practice of keeping your dog away from table food of any kind, including peoples beverages. Would you please stick to dog food and an occasional doggie treat?
Common German Shepherd Stomach Problems
Sam Shephard is an experienced German Shepherd owner and has learned throughout the years how to optimize the breeds health and wellness.
German shepherds make wonderful pets, but, unfortunately for them and their owners, they often suffer from health problems. Common among these are digestive issues and a sensitive stomach. These range from mild to fatal, so its very important to keep an eye on your dogs health and bowel movements.
If you own a German shepherd, you should consult regularly with your vet about your dogs diet. Depending on what issues it has, you may need to adjust by eliminating certain kinds of food, adding supplements, or even designing a raw food diet.
With attention and care, you should be able to keep your dogs stomach issues in check so that he can live happily and you dont have to clean up too many messes.
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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!
General Nutritional Requirements For German Shepherds
The first thing you need to remember is to feed your German shepherd dog food that meets their nutritional needs. I know this might sound obvious, but it is an easy mistake to make and can cost your dog a lot of trouble in his or her life.
When I consider the food feed to my German shepherds, I always think about their health issues first. A German shepherd is a medium to large breed dog, which means that he is at a higher risk for certain health problems, with bones and hips problems being the most notorious ones.
Genetics plays an integral part in the likelihood of them developing joint diseases, and too much rapid growth is another factor that can make these problems worse.
This is why, although German shepherds need basic nutrientssuch as protein, fat, carbs, and other vitamins and mineralsjust like other dog breeds, you want to be careful with dog foods that are too rich in nutrients as they can promote dangerously quick growth.
Aside from health issues, there are also other things that you need to take into account, including the size, age, and activity level of your dog.
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Can German Shepherd Consume Rice
German Shepherds can devour a range of human foods reminiscent of beef, hen, pork, turkey, salmon, tuna, and eggs. They can also eat fruit and veggies reminiscent of apples, bananas, berries, carrots, peas, and pumpkins. You too can feed different foods reminiscent of rice and pasta, yogurt, and cheese to your GSD.
Stress And Emotional Issues
Your pup may also be suffering from stress or emotional issues. There can be so many causes behind this as well. For example, you may have moved house, or perhaps youve gotten a new pet. Maybe youve recently got your german shepherd from a rescue home or someone who couldnt look after them anymore.
Whatever the case they may be, it could stop them from eating. Just like humans, emotional distress can either cause them to stop eating altogether, or start eating a lot more.
What To Do
If your German shepherd is suffering from stress or emotional issues, then youll need to do whatever you can to help make them feel comfortable again. I like to feed them by hand to let them know its okay. But it could also include giving them more attention during the day and playing with them
Stress and emotional issues caused by new changes should clear up fairly quickly.
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Dr Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet
German Dog Diet is one of 13 dry recipes covered in our review of the Dr. Garys Best Breed product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, dried beet pulp, chicken fat
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:German shepherd puppy or adult
Dr. Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 22% fat and 34% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
We like the fact the formula also includes zinc proteinate and other chelated minerals which provides superior absorption and nutrition. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewOur german shepherd has had a lot of itching problems since she was about 1 year old. We have tried different foods, supplements, sprays and shampoos. Nothing has seems to work as well as when we switched to this food. Scabs that were on her for months due to her itching them open all the time have finally healed over. She is still a little itchy, but significantly better than before. And she loves the food too! We used to leave her food bowl full all day because she would only pick throughout the day. With this food we are only doing 2-3 cups morning and night because she scarfs it all down in minutes! Glad we finally found something that she loves and works so well!
If The Problem Is Behavioral Consider Talking To An Animal Behavior Expert Or A Professional Dog Trainer
A vet might be able to refer you to an animal behavior expert.
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Stop Feeding Extra Treats Or Table Food
It is very easy to get into the habit of feeding your German Shepherd treats during training or to sneak a few scraps off your plate into your dogs mouth under the table at dinner.
But this can backfire big time if your dog decides they like your food or the treats better than their regular dog food.
To get your dog to eat their own food again, you may have to first stop feeding the treats and table food. Once your dog gets the message that those food sources are gone, they may decide to eat their own food again.
Eating As An Experience
Heres a trivia. Japanese people have long lives because they treat eating as an experience. They eat with a purpose.
They have a schedule whenever they eat. And they control their portions.
Like the Japanese, you can train your German Shepherd not to overeat. This is done by scheduling their meals.
Also, avoid giving them snacks before meals. This will train them to only eat at the right time.
You can make your dog relate eating to motivation.
Whenever they play or do activities, you can give them a delicious meal as a reward.
Not only will they get plenty of exercise, but they will not try to look for other inedible things.
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Eating Feces May Have Been A Survival Skill
Steven R. Lindsay, an animal behaviorist, explains in his book Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training that eating feces may have been a survival skill for dogs in the past, and may still be, depending on the situation. Food may not have always been readily available, so to keep starvation at bay. Dogs may have resorted to eating their feces or the feces of other animals.
Tips To Get A Picky German Shepherd To Eat
This YouTube video offers up some helpful hints that may provide extra motivation to your dog to eat.
However, as many of the viewer comments indicate, sometimes when a dog suddenly refuses to eat there may be a deeper health issue going on.
If you have tried everything you can think of and nothing is working, it is time to dig deeper. Your dogs veterinarian is your best resource to determine if food allergies or an underlying health issue may be to blame for your dogs lack of appetite.
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