Can You Feed Your Golden Retriever Puppy Raw Food
Some dog owners prefer to feed they are golden retrievers raw food as opposed to kibble. A diet that is raw means that you only give him raw bones, row organs, raw meats, as well as fruits and vegetables. Many consider this raw diet to be better than kibble.
In all truth, kibble may not be ideal for your Golden because dogs are carnivores who require high amounts of protein. Many of the kibble on the market has approximately 60% carbohydrates.
Dogs need more protein and fats for good nutrition. When dogs consume too much carbohydrates, they tend to have health problems from being overweight.
However, there are downsides to a raw diet because one must be careful about the way the food is prepared and stored.
You would need to think about the bacteria like salmonella and E Coli coming from the uncooked liver, meat, and eggs which can affect your dog and even be fatal if not handled properly. It can also cause issues with the pancreas if introduced too abruptly.
When your dog is on a raw diet, the amount of food you give him would need to be adjusted, as he may actually need to eat less. Many people who give dogs raw food only feed them once or twice per day.
Best Foods For German Shepherd Dogs
Looking for the best food for your German Shepherd Dog? German Shepherds are large breed dogs known for their loyalty, confidence, and ability to be trained. Keep in mind that German Shepherd Dogs usually arent ready for an adult food until around 12 to 14 months. Here are the top-rated foods for German Shepherd Dogs based on owner reviews.
Core Health Concerns For German Shepherds
Most German shepherds are healthy dogs, but the breed is more susceptible to a number of few health concerns than other breeds are.
Many of the problems that afflict German shepherds are congenital, and therefore out of your control. However, other health issues develop in response to your pups environment or lifestyle, and you may be able to treat these in part by selecting an optimal dog food for your shepherd pup.
Some of the most common ailments that afflict German shepherds include:
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Best Foods For German Shepherd Puppies
Below are five of our natural dry dog kibble recommendations that are made from natural ingredients, and all have the best overall nutritional content as guided by the AAFCO.
We have also considered the overall product rating given by dog owners across the world, as well as the reputation of each brand, so that you know you are choosing the best products from expert companies.
How Often Should You Feed Your German Shepherd
Puppies are often fed 4 times a day when they are 4 weeks old. When they reach 4 months of age, you can drop 1 2 meals so youll be feeding them only 2 3 meals a day.
Some wait till their GSDs are 9 months to a year old before making that switch because its better to keep them too long on puppy formula than to switch too soon.
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Always Work With A Vet/vet Nutritionist
Working with a vet or a vet nutritionist is a must-follow guideline!
Whether you feed your dog with commercial diets or homemade food, the most important thing to remember is that the meal should include all the nutritional ingredients needed to keep your dog healthy.
Unfortunately, studies on the nutritional completeness of homemade dog food have suggested that most dog owners dont feed their dogs with a nutritionally complete diet. For example, a study that assessed homemade dog food recipes reported that all had one or more nutrient deficiencies, and none included all the required nutrients.
Considering the risk of giving your dog a meal that lacks essential nutrients, the first thing to bear in mind is, thatwhen feeding your GSD with a homemade diet, the recipe should be created in consultation with a vet or a vet nutritionist. Doing this ensures that the diet is sound for your GSDs wellness.
This also means that you should be wary of the readily available homemade dog food recipes on the internet or in other sources like magazines and books. Before using these recipes, run them through your dogs vet first.
Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Grain
Top ingredients: Lamb, Salmon, Chickpeas
Specially made for puppies, these wholesome bite-sized treats come in a resealable bag. Formulated with all-natural products.
You also wont find meat by-products, corn, wheat, or dairy in this treat! While its specially formulated for puppies, it is fortified with DHA and omega-3.
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Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy
Image courtesy Royal Canin
Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy is a dry dog food that’s specifically designed for puppies up to 15 months old.
This recipe includes DHA for brain development, calcium and phosphorus for bone growth, and antioxidants to support the immune system. It’s also free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Preparation Of Our Homemade Diet
All of the information above might seem intimidating, but I assure you that making the actual meals for our dogs takes no more than 20 minutes of actual hands-on time.
First, we cook our complex carbs, whether theyre grains, legumes, or starchy vegetables.
While that pot is simmering on the stove, we cook the meat in a separate pan in coconut oil and ground turmeric. After its cooled a bit, we add chunks of meat to our food processor and pulse until theyre broken down into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces.
Then, we gather whatever vegetables or fruits we have in the kitchen , chop them up as needed, and toss them into the food processor.
We also add a few clean, crushed eggshells to the mix. A few pulses turns all this food into smaller pieces, making them more digestible for our dogs.
Finally, we add the cooled, cooked carbs to the food processor and do a couple more pulses to combine. Everything should have a finely crumbled texture by this point.
Since dogs have short digestive tracts, its crucial that you break down the food to increase its bioavailability that is, making all the nutrients in those wholesome ingredients more digestible in a dogs system.
I prepare enough food to last my two pugs an entire week. Its unbelievably easy, and I like knowing exactly what goes into their food. Friends will watch us feed our pugs and remark that it looks good enough for them to eat!
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German Shepherd Puppies’ Dietary Needs
Curious, confident, courageous, and vastly cuddly, these canines will gladly risk their lives to save yours. But, German shepherds usually need proper care and attention as they undergo drastic growth in the initial year of their life. Any neglect of nutritional needs results in serious health complications in their adulthood.
To begin with, you have to understand that GSDs are a large breed of dogs. So, it would be best if you gave them a large breed formula. You see, GSDs need extra minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and calcium. These nutrients support a healthy joint structure and promote buccal growth and a shiny coat. They also need a higher calorie intake as they tend to burn off the energy quickly. The German shepherd puppy sprouts super fast in the first eight months of their lives. That is when they need you to give them extra TLC.
On average, the GSD puppy requires 500 calories a day. And, by the time the puppy is 15 months, it needs 1600 calories. The protein intake should be around 18% to 22%. Moreover, there should be about 8-12% fat content in the diet to sustain the growth of your doggy.
Switch To Homemade Food Gradually
If your German Shepherd has been feeding on a commercial diet and youve decided to shift to homemade food, its extremely important that you do so gradually over a few days. This will help your dogs GI system adapt to the new diet and prevent digestion issues.
Some vets may advise you to mix the homemade food with the former commercial food, then gradually increase the amount of homemade food until you can feed your dog solely on the home diet.
Doing this helps your GSDs stomach to adjust to the new diet. You can also observe any unwelcome changes in your dogs digestive and excretory reactions and consult the vet if necessary. For example, any episodes of vomiting or diarrhea should be reported to the vet if it doesnt clear up within 24 hours.
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Food & German Shepherd Health: Why Feed Homemade
German Shepherds are notorious for developing food allergies and hypersensitivities despite being wonderful dogs. A study published in BMC Veterinary Research Journal found that German Shepherds are at a high risk of developing cutaneous adverse food reactions , or in simpler terms, dog food allergies.
CAFR can be responsible for many skin allergy issues like atopic dermatitis. Chronic allergic reactions are accompanied by excessive scratching, itching, and biting. Eventually, this could lead to secondary bacterial or yeast infections in your GSD. Unfortunately, a lot of German Shepherd allergies arise from commercial dog food. Kibble ingredients like protein sources, high levels of animal fat, preservatives, meat by-products, food coloring, grains, and fillers contribute to more allergies in this breed.
GSDs are predisposed to degenerative myelopathy, elbow and hip dysplasia, and osteoarthritis. Because German Shepherds are prone to these skeletal and bone problems, GSDs need to maintain a healthy weight. An obese German Shepherd may have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis and other joint disorders because the excess weight puts more strain on their joints, bone structure, and back . It could also potentially lead to degenerative myelopathy in GSDs.
Remember that even grain-free kibbles with high-quality ingredients can have high levels of starchy and bad carbs that contribute to the pet obesity epidemic.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppies
Puppies need the best nutrition to help them reach their full potential. When choosing a puppy food for your GSD, you should keep an eye out for high protein.
They should be getting at least 22% protein from their daily meals.
To keep up with a growing pups caloric requirements, you should feed them a high-quality large-breed puppy formula.
This is because growing puppies usually need twice the amount of nutrients as adults of the same breed.
Here are our top picks for growing Shepherd puppies.
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Can German Shepherds Eat Regular Dog Food
Yes, GSDs can eat a wide range of foods that are generic in nature.
However, because of their large size and their activity levels, they might require a special diet. For instance, they need 18%-22% protein in their meals, with their caloric levels ranging from 1,200 to 2,100 calories per day. This also depends on your dogs activity levels and overall health.
Key Reasons Dog Owners Opt For Homemade Food
Heres the list of reasons why German Shepherd owners opt to feed their dogs homemade food:
- Distrust in the safety of commercial dog foods. The perception that commercial dog foods are unhealthy and of poor quality is a big reason many opt for homemade food, especially when dog food recalls happen often.
- The need to have more control over what your dog eats. For example, opting for natural ingredients over possible byproducts in dog food.
- For health reasons. Whether for dogs with food allergies and intolerance or simply because you think homemade food is healthier for your dog, opting for homemade food due to health reasons is common, considering you know whats in it.
- For personal reasons. This could be for the fulfillment that comes with cooking for your furry friend, as a way of strengthening your dog-owner bond or simply to please a canine picky eater.
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Dry Dog Food Or Wet Dog Food
Dry food or wet food? Because there are many great dry foods and wet food options for German Shepherd owners, many have difficulty picking between these two types of food or knowing whether they can be mixed. While wet food might seem like the best option, especially because it sometimes contains raw pieces of meat or other nutritional draws.
Dry food is usually a decent option, unless you have an elderly shepherd who has lost teeth, has bladder or kidney issues or is having trouble chewing crunchy bits of food. Dry food has some dental health benefits, is overall more convenient, as well as being nutritionally stable for German Shepherds. The texture can help to remove and prevent plaque from forming on teeth, and especially in early life, chewing dry food can help to build strong jaw bones and muscles.
We combine dry and wet food at times. Especially with our last dog who was a fairly difficult eater. Wet food and raw food make him happy. If you buy a decent brand youll also get all the nutritional value you need. Its also easier to digest. Just make sure it doesnt expire or go bad in the bowl during the summer.
The truth is that high-quality German Shepherd dog food is going to be more expensive than low-quality food.
Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service
If you are a German Shepherd pet owner struggling to find time to cook for your GSD and wish your dog could eat whole, fresh homemade foods more often, a homemade dog food delivery service might be a great fit.
Nom Nom is one of our favorite options. They deliver fresh, prepared homemade dog food tailored to your pups dietary needs straight to your door. Everything is made from real, human-grade ingredients
Their food is developed with the input of a veterinary nutritionist and following the AAFCO nutritional guidelines. They do all the cooking for you, so you never have to worry about using the wrong ingredients, proper nutrition guidelines, portion sizes, and more.
All their meals are customizable to your dogs unique dietary needs, age, nutritional goals, and other key factors. For instance, if your GSD has food-related health issues like allergies or an illness, they will create a recipe that caters to this.
In our experience, its a huge time-saver, and you can spend time on more important things like walks or training. Plus, you avoid all the hassle of planning, shopping, and cooking. We think its worth the cost after adding up the prices of all the ingredients youll need to cook a recipe.
Our readers have access to save 50% off your first order of Nom Nom. Just use this link to get your GSDs first homemade meal.
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Science Diet Puppy Formula
More than 220 canine nutrition professionals have created Hills Science Diet. The puppy kibble has the optimal level of calcium for controlled bone growth. This is important for the German Shepherd and Dysplasia issues.
This formula contains fish oil that provides your pup with the nutrients he needs for brain and eye development. It is made with 100% natural ingredients, it has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in it, but it does have added vitamins and amino acids for your pups development.
We love that this is voted as the Number 1 dry dog food by Veterinarians across America so you know this kibble must be something special!
Transitioning To Homemade Dog Food
Most dogs dont have a problem making the switch to homemade food. If yours is prone to digestive issues, start slowly by mixing a little bit of the homemade food with the commercial food.
Over the course of a week or two, gradually increase the amount of homemade food while decreasing the commercial food.
If your dog vomits or has diarrhea, try introducing only a couple of new ingredients at a time until their systems are well adjusted to the fresh diet.
For dogs with health issues, please consult with a veterinarian if you arent sure what kind of supplements are needed. Use your best judgment, the way you would when feeding yourself or your family.
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German Shepherd Puppy Food Faqs
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the best food for German Shepherd puppies.
Q. When Should I Switch my German Shepherd Puppy to Adult Dog Food?
Ans. You should switch your German Shepherd puppy to adult dog food when they stop growing. This happens around 1 to 2 years of age. When in doubt, ask your vet when they recommend making the switch.
Q. How Often and How Much Should I Feed My German Shepherd Puppy?
Ans. It is best to feed your German Shepherd puppy 4 times a day until it is 4 months old, 3 times a day until its 6 months old, and twice a day after that.The amount you feed your German Shepherd puppy will depend on your puppys weight and the brand of food. Talk to your veterinarian about a more specific recommendation.
Q. How Do I Change my Puppy to a New Food?
Ans. Switching your puppy to a different puppy food or from puppy food to adult food can be tricky. Suddenly changing your puppys food can cause an upset stomach.You should start by adding a little of the new food to a lot of the old food. For example, your puppys meal should be ¼ new food and ¾ old food. After a few days, you can add more new food and less old food. Gradually increase how much new food you add until your puppy is only eating the new food. This process should take a week or two.