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.
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.
Pointers For Feeding German Shepherds
Improper feeding practices can lead to serious health problems for German shepherds. Most of the time, these problems linger throughout the dogs lifetime.
You should remember this before doing something reckless, such as altering your German shepherd puppys feeding amount.
An owner is responsible for taking into consideration the age and weight of a German shepherd before feeding them. So here are some tips that can be applied according to your dogs age and weight.
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How Much Should A 9 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy Eat
Ideally, they should be on food with lean protein and low fats to keep their slim physique. Puppies should be fed about 2 cups of food daily, on average. The amount of food depends on the crude fat contained within the food. A puppy should eat 3 times a day, moving to 2 times a day at around a year old.
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.
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Orijen Adult Dog Food
This protein rich recipe is one of the richest around, with 85% of the ingredients being poultry, fish or egg products. Approximately two thirds of the meat content in this recipe are all fresh or raw, meaning that your German Shepherd will be getting his nutrients in the most nourishing form.
It is 100% grain and gluten free and it is packed with a variety of fruit and vegetables to provide your German Shepherd with his vitamins and minerals. It also comes in three different flavors the Original, Regional Red and Six Fish, so if you have a fussy pooch then there a few choices for him to choose from, and all of their recipes have whole fish in which helps to maintain a healthy heart.
We love that this is biologically appropriate, in that the recipe is based on a whole prey diet that mirrors the ratio of a wild diet. It incorporates a balance of meat, organs, bones, and cartilage. While that might not sound too appealing to you, your German Shepherd will love it!
How Often Should You Feed My German Shepherd Puppy
Puppies younger than 4 months old should eat 4 small meals each day. From 4 months to 9 months, puppies should eat 3 small meals each day, and after 9 months puppies can eat 2 or 3 meals per day. Total amount of food each day will vary by the brand of food, so read the label and check with a veterinarian to be sure of the correct amount.
DO NOT free feed your German Shepherd puppy! This means do not fill their bowl with the entire days amount and let them eat as much as they want. Puppies do not know how to control themselves or the consequences of eating such a large amount of food and they will eat the entire bowl. Eating so much at once can cause vomiting or worse bloat.
No matter what brand or type of food you feed your puppy, be sure to closely monitor his weight and overall appearance. A little baby fat is acceptable when the puppy is very young but as he reaches 5 months he should slim down and start to build muscle tone. Reduce your puppys feeding if he remains chubby as he grows closer to 6 months of age. Additionally, if your puppy develops patchy fur, itchy skin, or loose stool, he may have a food allergy and need a different formula. We will discuss food for allergies and sensitive stomachs later in this article.
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German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart
Split up the total cups of dry dog food listed. Dont feed this amount at every meal or your dog might get sick. Instead, use the chart found below called How Often Should You Feed a German Shepherd Puppy? to determine how many meals throughout the day your GSD needs.
Keep in mind, these are guidelines and you should adjust them based on your dogs energy needs.
|Total Cups of Dry Kibble
|2 months old
|3 3.5 cups
How Much Should a German Shepherd Puppy Eat *Guidlines only.
Offer your dog their food and 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.
If they refuse to eat 2 or 3 of their meals take them to your vet for a health checkup as refusing to eat could be a sign of sickness.
Always offer fresh water during their meal times. Keep the area they eat in calm and dont pester them while they eat.
I find sitting with a book reading, just keeping my GSD puppy company, encouraged my dog to eat their meals while giving us time to quietly bond.
Wet Food Vs Dry Food For German Shepherd Puppies
Feeding dry food has the advantage that it is convenient and usually more affordable than canned wet food. Kibble is also very good at removing plaque from your puppys teeth as he eats. Helping to prevent the formation of tartar and the onset of periodontal disease. Its also much easier to use as training treats.
However, dry food contains negligible water content. To avoid liver and kidney problems in your pup, always ensure that plenty of clean fresh water is available to him. Wet food contains around 80% water, which keeps your puppy hydrated.
Most canned foods are also packed with protein, which is essential for your German Shepherd puppys development. However, feeding canned food generally works out more expensive than feeding kibble, as youll need to feed more of it to meet your pups daily needs.
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How Many Calories Does A German Shepherd Puppy Need
The number of calories that your puppy needs depend on certain factors such as age, weight, and activity level. Active puppies need more calories to sustain their energy levels.
German Shepherd puppies require at least 500 calories per day, but the amount increases as their weight also increases.
You need to calculate the RER of your puppy and multiply by two to know exactly the number of calories they need. The formula of RER is 703/4.
For example, if your German Shepherd puppy weighs 20kgs their RER is 703/4 = 662. Therefore, their daily intake should be 1324 calories.
What Is The Best Diet For A German Shepherd Puppy
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When such an endearing pet like a German Shepherd puppy arrives home, it’s hard not to fall in love immediately. As a particularly affectionate breed, the German Shepherd will reciprocate this love in abundance. Since they will grow up to be a medium to large dog breed and their diet is an essential way to ensure they develop properly. Common mistakes when feeding a German Shepherd puppy include giving too much or too little food and giving them food of inferior quality. For this reason, many dog guardians ask what is the best diet for a German Shepherd puppy?
AnimalWised answers this by providing information on how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy, what type of food is best and how does this change as they grow. To do this we also provide a helpful German shepherd puppy food chart for when and how to feed these puppies properly.
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Meal Plan / Feeding Guide By Weight
There are lots of German Shepherd food brands out there. However, you need to look for foods that meet your pet’s unique dietary requirements.
A few great recommendations from Hungry Bark include:
- Superfoods with Chicken, Turkey + Brown Rice
- Superfoods with Turkey + Duck
- Superfoods with Lamb + Turkey
- Superfoods with Salmon
If you doubt how much food your dog needs, you should check the meal pack. Most dog food brands provide feeding calculators to help you work out how much your pet needs.
Hungry Bark recommends these daily serving amounts for your German Shepherds.
- 3lbs: 29-43 grams daily
- 80lbs: 431-517 grams daily
- Above 36kg : You should add half a cup for every additional 7kg .
Lactating German Shepherds need more calories than other adults. So If your female pet is lactating, you should visit your vet or pet nutritionist to recommend the best feeding schedule and amounts for your pet.
Puppies typically need three times the amount of food as adults. And Hungry Bark recommends thrice of daily adult servings for German Shepherd puppies. However, if your puppyâs activity level is low, you should stick to twice the daily adult servings to avoid obesity.
If you are transitioning to Hungry Barkâs dry food, you should feed your pet 75% of the old food and 25% of the new food in the first three days. Within the next 4-6 days, you can serve your pet 50% of the new food and 50% of the old food.
Wet Canned Foods
Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food
Eagle Pack Power is one of 7 dry recipes included in our review of the Eagle Pack product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, pork meal, ground brown rice, peas, chicken fat
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Maintenance
- Best for:Adult shepherds only
Power Adult derives the majority of its animal protein from fresh chicken and pork meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 21% fat and 38% estimated carbs which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
A time-proven, grain-inclusive design free of any legume concentrates. Contains safe, natural antioxidant preservatives. No BHT or ethoxyquin. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewIf you have a dog that is extremely active this is a GREAT dog food. My Shepherd and Retrievers were skinny because they are highly active dogs. I switched to this food because of the nutrition and calories that it intails. My dogs are bulked backed up and love the taste!
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Seven Week Old Baby German Shepherd
When we move into the seventh week of their life, a new significant phase of development starts to begin: the fear period.
While this sounds disconcerting, it merely means that this is the time that many puppies begin to show fear towards new things, rather than curiosity.
Things that the puppy may find scary or uncertain during this time can make for big changes in their personality throughout life.
For example, if a puppy has a bad experience with a human at this stage, it may lead them to becoming fearful and distrustful towards people for the rest of their life.
This is why gently exposing the puppies to humans and common sights and sounds beforehand is important. By preemptively socializing the puppies with humans, we can help this period run smoother.
Taste Of The Wild Wetlands Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild Wetlands made our top favorites because of the wild game proteins in the recipe. Roasted quail, roasted duck, and smoked turkey provide rich flavor and highly digestible protein. K9 Strain Probiotics are developed specifically for dogs and added after the cooking process to ensure viability. Dried chicory root provides the prebiotic fiber to fuel your German Shepherds energy supply.
The analysis of Taste of the Wild Wetlands breaks down to 32% crude protein, 18% crude fat, and 4% crude fiber. This food contains 375 kcal/cup.
Taste of the Wild Wetlands hits many of our strong points for an adult German Shepherd food.
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What Human Foods Can A German Shepherd Puppy Eat
Sometimes, your German Shepherd puppy deserves to be given a treat, and certain human foods are great options. There are proteins, veggies, fruits, carbs, and nuts eaten by humans that can you feed your puppy.
Proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and beef are great sources to help your puppy gain lean muscle and become strong.
Safe fruits for your puppy include blueberries, apples, strawberries, watermelon, coconut, bananas, and mangos. They are packed with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Safe veggies for your German Shepherd puppy include green peas, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, and cucumber. Safe nuts for your puppy are peanuts but they should be plain. Safe carbs for your puppy include rice and sweet potatoes because they are easily digestible.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Senior
Senior dog food is a good formula to feed your German Shepherd when he begins to slow down. For some German Shepherds, they may remain highly active until they are 10 years old. Other German Shepherds may start to slow down around age 7. No matter what, transitioning to a senior formula with higher glucosamine and chondroitin levels will aid in joint health and hopefully ward off hip dysplasia.
Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food does a great job of supplying aging dogs with the proper nutrient levels they need. Nutro Ultra Senior contains 26% crude protein for moderate energy levels, 11% crude fat to avoid weight gain, 4% fiber to aid in digestion, and only 314 kcal/cup. The formula includes a boost of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. The recipes main ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran, lamb meal, and salmon meal. We recommend this food as a great source of protein and healthy fats for older German Shepherds.
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Nutritional Guidelines To Follow
Not all German Shepherds are created equal. A proper homemade diet should consider your pups weight, health conditions, size, and activity level.
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 in order to support life and function in dogs and provide a balanced and healthy diet.
You may also want to add a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to make sure your GSD pup is getting the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.
If these six components are present, your German Shepherd will grow up strong and healthy. We break down each nutrient and its importance:
You should look for products containing glucosamine and chondroitin, which may help treat or prevent common problems in GSD like osteoarthritis and other joint maladies.
Because of the risk of bloating in GSDs, you should avoid raised dog bowls, make sure to give small, frequent meals, invest in a slow-feeder, and avoid vigorous exercise after meals.
If you need more advice on German Shepherd nutrition, an excellent resource is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. This book its considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy homemade dog nutrition.
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.
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Orijen Adult Dog Grain
Orijen hits all our requirements for a top-quality adult food for German Shepherds. Freeze-dried free-run chicken and turkey, wild caught herring and flounder, and nest-laid eggs top the ingredient list for powerful protein. Low-glycemic fresh fruits and vegetables maintain good digestive health and limit carbohydrates. The recipe does not contain synthetic protein or added fat. The formula is biologically appropriate and all ingredients are regional and fresh. Orijen is never outsourced.
Orijen freeze-dried grain-free contains 36% crude protein, 35% crude fat, and 5% crude fiber. 800 mg/kg of glucosamine and chondroitin keep your dogs joints healthy and strong. Dried chicory root, ginger root, peppermint leaf, dandelion root, and summer savory mirror the instinct to forage for grasses and weeds.
Orijen is definitely our favorite adult food for German Shepherds.