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What Is The Best Diet For German Shepherds

German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart

What Can German Shepherds Not Eat: Never Feed These 12 Foods to Your GSD

6 Week Old German Shepherd

  • At this age, it is crucial to ensure your puppy is receiving the same nutrients as if they were being fed by their mother
  • Ideally, a 6 week old puppy should still be feeding from their mother
  • It is tricky to replace the micro and macro nutrients that a puppy receives from their mothers milk, as well as any antibodies
  • They are growing very fast, so they need enough nutrients to sustain their growth

10 Weeks Old

  • As puppies are weaned off, the amount of puppy food they require increases
  • They need to be fed at least 3 times a day
  • To help their little bodies with the transition from mothers milk to puppy food, it is best to start with wet food
  • Using wet food helps to prepare their digestive systems for whole food, which will be introduced to a puppys diet in time
  • Again, they are growing very fast, so they need enough nutrients to sustain their growth

12 Weeks Old

  • Around 12 weeks of age, the transition from wet to dry food begins
  • Ensure the transition is in small steps, to avoid causing any upset to the puppy
  • As a guide, start with a 10% dry food, 90% wet food mix and increase the dry food by 10-15% each week after that
  • They need to be fed at least 3 times a day

3 Months Old

5 Months Old

  • Additionally, around 4-5 months of age introduce some live animal products into their diet such as actual bone, raw eggs and liver
  • They need to be fed at least 3 times a day
  • As a guide, feed them a total of 1-2 cups of dry food a day

1 Year Old

What Is The Best Food For German Shepherds With Joint Problems

If your German Shepherd has joint problems, you’ll want to find a dog food that is rich in omega-three fatty acids. These essential nutrients help to reduce inflammation and pain in the joints.

There are many brands of dog food that offer formulas specifically for dogs with joint problems. These foods often contain ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin, which are known to help relieve joint pain.

Now let’s chat in more detail about the best dog foods for your furry friend.

Final Thoughts The Importance Of Nutrition

So, there you have it the best diet for German Shepherds. Theres certainly a lot to consider in this giant guide, but I hope Ive given you enough food for thought!

When choosing what to feed your German Shepherd, the best advice I could give you is:

  • Choose a type of food that suits your dogs life stage and your lifestyle.
  • Invest in the best quality dog food you can afford.

Read Also: Will My German Shepherd Puppy Stop Biting

Lots Of Nutritional Ingredients For A Reasonable Price: Purina Pro Plan

  • Easily digestible ingredients, a particularly beneficial quality for German Shepherds
  • Includes ingredients that promote a healthy coat
  • The first food on our list with live prebiotics and probiotics


  • It May be difficult to find as Purina is transitioning this product

This dry dog food features salmon as its first ingredient, which means you can trust this product is not made with any by-products or fillers. This product also contains lots of omega fatty acids that will not only promote a healthy coat but also healthy joints. Another great point of this particular brand is this is the first on our list to include both prebiotics and probiotics in order to promote digestive health. As German Shepherd dog owners, you know that our furry pals often suffer from sensitive stomachs. The inclusion of these live bacteria will actually strengthen your dogs digestive system as well as his immunity. This product is also less pricey than similar dry dog foods of the same weight.

One note on this product Purina is transitioning this food from the Pro Plan FOCUS, so some may confuse the two. It may also be difficult to find the new formula during the transition. However, joining a site that offers autoship should ensure that you get the food youre looking for.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A German Shepherd

What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy? (With images ...

The life expectancy of a German Shepherd is between nine and thirteen years. This breed of dog is known for being a healthy and hardy breed, but there are some health problems that can shorten their lifespan.

It is important to feed your German Shepherd a diet that will help them maintain their health and keep them at a healthy weight to help ensure a long and happy life.

Read Also: How To Get A German Shepherd To Like You

German Shepherd Puppy Diet: Food Plan After 4 Months

Between 4 and 6 months of age, the number of meals should be reduced to 3 a day. The food quantity should be increased and an extra margin of 2 minutes to eat should be provided. The packaging of quality commercial dog food will detail the appropriate suggested amount of food for the puppy, depending on its age and weight. If you have any doubts, consult your veterinarian.

You should eventually start mixing fresh food, such as meat, fish or vegetables, with the commercial dry feed. Beware of forbidden foods for dogs. Some people ask about a raw diet for a German shepherd puppy, but we recommend these such foods should always be cooked and never given to a dog raw. Avoid chicken, rabbit and fish bones, as they can shatter and harm a dogs teeth.

Wet food should be given in moderation because given in excess, it can cause the development of plaque and cause the dogs feces to smell. Meanwhile, treats for dogs should only be used as positive reinforcement during their training and learning period, never as a food supplement.

Under no circumstances should you give your German Shepherd, or any dog, human food leftovers. Human food contains salt, sugar and seasoning contents which are very harmful to a dog’s health. In addition, if you do offer your dog your food, it will pester you during meals. For more, take a look at some of the harmful effects of treating a dog like a human.

Should You Feed Homemade Food To German Shepherds Alternatives

Many dog owners think dog food is the same for all dogs, but thats not the case. Every dog has different nutritional requirements based on several factors, and GSDs are no exception.

We hope you found the best homemade dog food recipes for German Shepherds and learned about proper nutrition and what to look for when cooking for German Shepherds. Remember to work alongside your vet to ensure the diet maintains nutritional adequacy and before adding or changing your dogs diet.

If you are the owner of a GSD with meat food allergies, digestive issues, or any other food-related health issue, vegan dog food might be an excellent alternative for your dog.

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Superfoods For German Shepherds

Always look for foods that start with whole, natural, ingredients. Superfoods like the ones listed below are fantastic choices because they are packed with nutritional benefits:

  • Flaxseed is a wonderful source of fat and fiber for a German Shepherd. Flaxseeds and flax oil are rich in those Omega-3 fatty acids that keep your dog shiny and beautiful. Flax also has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes for healthy joints and prevents arthritis.
  • Pre and Probiotics foster the growth of healthy bacteria in a dogs gut wall. Prebiotic balanced fiber is a fantastic ingredient to feed a GSD as it stimulates digestive bacteria activity and can improve regularity and quality of stool.
  • Plant-based carbs complex carbs digest more slowly and provide long-lasting energy and to the body. They come from legumes and vegetables and are an excellent fuel source for this energetic breed.

Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken

The perfect dog diet | What to feed your dog | German Shepherd

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp

The Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken is a veterinarian-approved dry dog food mix with a huge range of ingredients. It contains a great blend of farm-raised chicken, oatmeal and rice, as well as fruit and vegetables such as blueberries, carrots, apples and tomatoes.

This mix is suited to all stages of a German Shepherds life, from puppy to senior, and is a natural formula that contains both prebiotics and probiotics to assist with digestion and the absorption of food in your dogs stomach.

Vitamins A and B12 are included, as well as Taurine for optimal health. Although there arent any genetically modified inclusions in this food, some dogs who are very picky eaters have not enjoyed it. It is generally a quality choice for your German Shepherd though.

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What Foods Are Bad For German Shepherds

German Shepherds need a lot of protein, but this needs to be balanced with natural fibers that will promote digestion. Always look for dog food that includes plenty of protein but also offers natural fiber such as pumpkin or carrots.

Lets talk about foods that could be toxic to your German Shepherd. No dog should ever be given chocolate, but German Shepherds have a special sensitivity to chocolate. You should also make sure your German Shepherd never eats salt, macadamia nuts, grapes, onions, avocados, walnuts, and wild mushrooms. Never allow your German Shepherd to eat dough including yeast, green tomatoes, raw potatoes , any moldy food, and the sweetener xylitol.

Lamb meal or turkey meal may be less triggering for stomach sensitivity than other meats while being an excellent source of high quality animal protein. You also have to be careful of really rich foods like chicken fat.

Always make sure your German Shepherd has a diet that includes vitamins and nutrients such as glucosamine, natural fibers, and real meat. Avoid dog foods with preservatives and fillers.

How Often Do I Feed My Puppy

You and I have already learned that a growing puppy has different nutritional needs than an adult dog. It also needs to be fed more frequently at different stages of its growth. These are the recommended guidelines for the number of meals per day:

Puppies receive all relevant nutrients from birth by feeding on their mother. However, after three to four weeks it is safe to start the weaning process on a new diet.

Growing German Shepherd puppies need to ingest enough calories, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals to meet their needs for rapid growth and development to put them on the right path to a healthy life.

Puppies should continue on a puppy diet until adulthood, which is defined as 8-12 months of age for small and medium breeds and 10-16 months for large and giant breeds, according to the Veterinary Manual from MSD . An adult dog diet, or maintenance diet, contains nutrients suitable for pets that have passed their growth stage.

However, you may choose to feed your German Shepherds a puppy diet for the first 6 months only, as large dog breeds can be switched early to an adult food to help prevent too rapid growth. , which can cause bone and joint problems.

Many puppy foods specifically labeled for large breeds are formulated to address these problems.

My German Shepherd was transitioned from puppy food at just two months old, however I did give him a high quality food suitable for it.

Read Also: How To Teach A German Shepherd To Protect

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.

Raw Paws Preparation And Food Safety

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Raw Paws have left no stone unturned and give great advice on how to prepare and handle their raw food.

They recommend transferring the food into the freezer immediately. And you should only thaw a portion for 3 days worth of feeding.

If you read between the lines here, you can tell their food contains no preservatives. If it did, it would last much longer when thawed.

This is a fantastic and healthy benefit for your dog. And a point of peace of mind for you.

When it comes to thawing, Raw Paws suggests doing this in the refrigerator not on the counter or in the sink. Of course, this ensures there’s no room for bacteria to breed.

Once the food is portioned for thawing, wrap the remaining food tightly and place it back in the freezer.

Tip: Use separate cutting boards and utensils to prepare the food.

This, by the way, is the same protocol for handling the raw foods that we cook for ourselves and our families.

For storing food in the refrigerator, keep raw food stored in a plastic bag or a bin and store it on the lowest shelf to prevent cross-contamination.

After handling raw food, wash your hands and clean all preparation surfaces with a disinfectant such as bleach.

Read Also: Does Neutering Help With Aggression In German Shepherds

What Food Should German Shepherds Avoid

There are certain ingredientsthat should not be in the best food for German Shepherds:

  • Grapes and Raisins. These contain toxic compounds that can cause health problems in your dog. In extreme cases, they can lead to kidney failure and even death.
  • Salt. Salt is a flavoring agent that is often added to dog food. However, excessive usage of salt can lead to salt poisoning and prevent water deprivation.
  • Chocolate. This is among the most toxic compounds that a dog can eat. It can lead to an upset stomach and, if not treated, death.
  • Macadamia Nut. These nuts can cause vomiting, muscle weakness, tremors, hyperthermia, and depression in your dog. As a result, they should be avoided at all costs.
  • Onion. A key ingredient in onion is N-propyl disulfide which is highly toxic to dogs. Not only does it damage your dogs red blood cells, but it also can lead to anemia.
  • Avocado. Avocados contain a toxin called person, which is considered toxic to dogs. It can lead to fluid buildup in their lungs, which can be fatal.

Taste Of The Wild Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe

The Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe by Taste of the Wild is best for active dogs because it has some of the highest protein and calorie content amongst premium dry dog food brands.

Although its top protein sources are buffalo, pork, and chicken, this variant also contains roasted venison and bison, which imparts a unique flavor that German Shepherds love.

For fiber and carbohydrates, this dry dog food uses ancient grains. That includes quinoa, millet, sorghum, and chia seeds. For that reason, it is highly digestible and is naturally high in omega fatty acids and antioxidants. Additionally, it is rich in probiotics that support your GSDs gut and boost their immune system.

Nutrition Facts Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe
Top Ingredient

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Month Old German Shepherd

At 4 months old, you can begin introducing more live animal products into their diet. Ingredients like actual bone, pieces of liver, and raw eggs are great to help your dog pick up the nutrients that may be lacking in their dry dog food.

Avoid giving them too much, though, by following the guidelines weve given you above.

What Is The Best Way To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy

Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds

The best way to feed a German Shepherd puppy is to start them on a diet that is high in protein and fat. Puppies need more calories than adult dogs, so it is important to choose a food that will give them the nutrition they need without making them overweight.

As your German Shepherd puppy grows, you can slowly transition them to an adult dog food. It is important to make sure that they are getting the right amount of calories and nutrients for their age, weight, and activity level.

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What Is The Best Dry Dog Food For My German Shepherd

The best dry dog food for your German Shepherd is one that incorporates the right amount of protein, natural fibers, and nutrients. You may have to test a few different brands before you find the one that your dog not only loves but also does not cause digestive issues. German Shepherds can be quite finicky! Unfortunately, some Germans may find a food that they really enjoy, but it may cause them to be gassy or to have an upset tummy. If this is the case, youll need to switch to another food.

We suggest a dry dog food that offers around twenty-five percent protein with natural fibers . Look for glucosamine and chondroitin in the list of ingredients as well. These two ingredients are pivotal in promoting joint health. German Shepherds may experience joint issues such as hip dysplasia eating a diet with glucosamine and chondroitin can help to mitigate this issue.

Look for meat as one of the first ingredients in your dogs dry dog food. Foods that are naturally processed are much better for your dogs digestive health as well.


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