Best Food For German Shepherd Puppies
Speaking of vital elements that must be present in dog food, heres a list of the best German Shepherd puppy food. Not only do these brands pay particular heed to the necessary nutrients for your furry friend. They guarantee an energetic and fit German Shepherd puppy by adding in other minerals for the well-being of your dog.
How To Choose A Quality Pet Food
Contrary to popular belief, the labels on dog food arent that useful. Veterinary nutritionist, Dr. Lisa Freeman, goes in-depth on the matter in her article, Stop reading your pet food ingredient list!, as well as in a co-authored article titled Why you shouldnt judge a pet food by its ingredient list.
She discusses how labels are largely marketing ploys as they often include ingredients that are attractive to customers but arent nutritionally valuable.
Worse, foods with meat or poultry as the first ingredient make you believe the food has a high meat content, which isnt necessarily true.
These cuts of meat are comparable to what we would see at the grocery store, and thus they have a considerable amount of liquid in them which increases their weight.
Therefore, a food with chicken as the first ingredient may actually have less chicken in it than a food with chicken meal as the second or third ingredient.
Lastly, ingredient lists tell us nothing about the quality of the ingredients.
What To Look For In Dog Food For German Shepherds
All dog food brands claim to be the best option for your dog. If you know what to look for, you can see past marketing tactics and focus on the most important elements to pick the dog food thats right for your German Shepherd.
Make sure to select foods that contain a high percentage of protein from fish, meat, or poultry ingredients. Puppies need at least 22 percent protein in their diets, while you can cut back the amount for adults to 18 percent.
While protein is a requirement for your dog, you should be wary of high protein dog food products. Protein is calorie-dense and can cause your dog to gain weight more easily. As you probably know, putting on too much excess weight can lead to health problems for your dog down the line.
Choose a dog food that contains fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-3. These contribute to a healthy coat and healthy skin.
Look for products with fiber from natural, easily digestible carbohydrates such as vegetables and whole grains.
Iams Proactive Health Large Breed
Large Breed Chicken and Whole Grains is one of 14 dry recipes covered in our review of the Iams ProActive Health product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, ground whole grain barley, ground whole grain corn, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Maintenance
- Best for:Adult shepherds only
Iams ProActive Health Large Breed derives the majority of its meat protein from chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 25% protein, 14% fat and 53% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
This classic, grain-inclusive large breed design has been made by Iams for years and is a nutritious fit for adult German shepherds. Calcium levels are a bit high for shepherd puppies. Easily recommended.
Sample buyer reviewIAMS is a product that I have turned to for complete nutrition for my dog as well as my cats! In fact, I have been feeding IAMS to my cats for over 20 years! Sure there are higher priced pet foods, but why would you want to pay more when you get the proper nutrition and a quality product at a reasonable price!
Can You Free Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
Free feeding is leaving food out for your German Shepherd puppy to eat at whatever time they want. The following are reasons why free-feeding is not good for your puppy:
- It puts your puppy at risk of becoming overweight Puppies typically cannot control their eating. When they are bored, they can overeat which leads to obesity causing serious health issues.
- Free feeding allows the dog to access food all the time, making him find the food less appealing.
- Free feeding prevents you from keeping track of the amount of food you are feeding your dog.
Read Also: German Shepherd Puppy Leash Training
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
Wilderness Salmon is one of 18 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Blue Buffalo Wilderness product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned salmon, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, menhaden fish meal
- Type: Grain-free
- Profile: Maintenance
- Best for:Adult shepherds only
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh salmon and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 17% fat and 38% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.
A grain-free, protein-rich formula available in over a dozen flavors and recipes which makes Wilderness ideal for those who appreciate the benefits of diet rotation. Fairly priced and highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewI have a 3 year old husky and ever since she was a puppy i had her on blue wilderness. Ive got her every flavor if not almost every flavor, and this salmon one is the one she has loved the most! Ieave her food bowl full at all times she so can eat whenever she wants. And she eats this salmon one more than every other flavor. Now i know salmon is her favorite protein (:
What Are The Best Treats For German Shepherds
Many dog owners give treats and snacks. Dog treats dont have to follow AAFCO standards, which means they may not contain the proper nutrients in their correct ratios. Lets just say many dog treats on the market will provide hardly any nutritional value at all for your dog! So what are the best treats for German Shepherds?
The best treats for German Shepherds are those carefully formulated for dogs and contain high-quality, nutritious ingredients. They should be low in fat and calories and free of additives, chemicals, and coloring. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dogs total daily calories.
There are some excellent good high-quality treats on the market. However, some can be quite expensive, so shop around.
However, Im happy to pay that bit more if it means my GSD stays healthy and happy. Willow loves her Guru venison sausages, as you can see from the below photo . She also enjoys Blue Buffalo Health Bars, which you can get on Amazon or any good pet store.
German Shepherds With Normal Body Condition
If you or your vet have assessed your German Shepherd’s body condition and it’s somewhere around Normal/Standard, then a great place to start for the best dog food for German Shepherds with normal body weight is this brand:
This adult formula for health nutrition is not the same as the one I’ve mentioned above from Royal Canine, but it’s one of the best dog foods for German Shepherd that’s aged between 15 months of age to 7-8 years of age.
Royal Canin provides the right balance of nutrients to optimize a lean body condition over a lifetime.
Once again, the unique design of the kibble has a harder texture than most other similar dog food brands, therefore, its shape and size encourages chewing in German Shepherds. Similar to the above mentioned Royal Canin formula, this dog food is also formulated to support proper digestion and maintain the health of the skin, coat, bones and joints.
Are German Shepherds Omnivores
Some people like to think of dogs as pure carnivores. But Im sure youve seen a dog eating grass! And modern dog food often contains vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato, or carrots. So, are German Shepherds omnivores?
German Shepherds are omnivores, not carnivores. Dog domestication has resulted in dogs adapting to a starch-rich diet over thousands of years. Their digestive system can process both plant and animal food, and their teeth can grind down fruit and vegetables.
Whilst protein makes up most of a dogs diet the domesticated dog also obtains nutrients from grains and some fruits and vegetables.
All of these are valuable sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Therefore dogs have evolved to become omnivores and have proved that they can thrive on various foods.
Also Check: How Much Do You Feed German Shepherd Puppy
Does The German Shepherd Dog Require A Special Diet
Your German Shepherd should be on a diet designed specially for large dog breeds. Of course, puppies should eat puppy food, adult GSDs should eat food for adults, and senior buddies should eat kibble designed just for them.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach or is prone to food allergies, it should be on a special diet approved by your vet. Otherwise, there are no restrictions, and a healthy German Shepherd may eat either wet food, dry kibble, or a combination of both.
German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs
The German Shepherd dog, like many pure-bred dogs, can be predisposed to certain diseases. Some of these diseases may require a special diet for the GSD. Specifically, if you have concerns about his digestive health, work closely with your veterinarian to make sure your dog gets what he needs and hopefully, a proper diagnosis.
Notable diseases that are prevalent in this breed and which may affect the type of best dog food for German Shepherds you choose include:
- inflammatory bowel disease
- exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
- antibiotic-responsive diarrhea )
These diseases tend to cause GSDs to lose weight or not be able to gain weight effectively. In general, small, frequent meals are best for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Ask your veterinarian about diets like Royal Canin Gastrointestinal High Energy Dog Food, as it may help your GSD gain weight if he has those problems.
There’s also an article listing 15 best sensitive stomach dog foods, and a lot of these can be applicable for GSDs with a stomach upset or diseases. Bring those names up with your vet. I recommend you also read this article on upset stomachs from Dana Brown, DVM.
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What Do You Need To Know About German Shepherds
First and foremost, you need to know that the German Shepherd is a large-breed dog. These dogs weigh anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds at maturity, and their needs for exercise are above average.
If youre considering the German Shepherd breed, you should be prepared to put in a lot of time for training and socialization. These dogs are not aggressive by nature, but they are very protective, and their desire to protect their family can sometimes lead to dominant behavior toward other dogs and strangers. Because these dogs are highly intelligent, however, they respond very well to training, and they learn very quickly.
Another thing to consider about the German Shepherd is its thick double coat. The coat is medium-length and sheds constantly, so be prepared to do a lot of brushing and vacuuming. This breed doesnt need to have its coat trimmed, but weekly brushing is necessary to keep shedding under control.
In terms of their personality and temperament, German Shepherds are fearless and confident. They need a firm hand in leadership from their owner along with early training and socialization. They get along with children very well and do best when they spend a lot of time with family. This breed can get along with other dogs when socialized from a young age but may not be the best choice for homes with cats. They do enjoy having a job to do and excel in a variety of dog sports.
Do German Shepherds Need Supplements
Vets usually will advise senior Germans to take a heart and joint supplement. Just like humans, dogs can also experience wear and tear on their limbs and organs.
However, if you have a young and healthy pup thats fed a well-balanced diet, theres no reason to give him additional supplements unless recommended by a vet.
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When Can I Switch My German Shepherd Puppy To Adult Food
As your German shepherd puppy grows, you will be enthusiastic about introducing adult food to it. Right?
However, whats the best time to start them on adult food?
As a rule of thumb, you should start German shepherd puppies to adult food when they attain 80% to 90 % of their adult size. By this time, their tummies and teeth are challenging and well developed.
However, the pace at which your puppy grows will be a crucial factor when your start adult dog food. Some puppies may start when they turn eight months, whereas, for others, you may have to start when they hit 12 months.
Worth noting, when introducing adult food, you need to do it in phases. First, use 1/4 of the new food to the original puppy food, do it for 4-7 days.
Next, use 1/2 of the new adult food and 1/2 of the original puppy food and follow so for 4-7 days.
Next, use 3/4 of the adult food and 1/4 of the puppy food while monitoring the progress. While doing that, your veterinary should be on board. The veterinary will advise you appropriately and also help you in case your dog develops food allergies.
- This transition from German shepherd puppy food to German shepherd adult food can take 2-6 weeks.
- Changing the dog food all at once may cause gastric intolerance that comes with symptoms like bloat, dog flatulence, and even diarrhea.
Taste Of The Wild Dry Dog Food With Roasted Bison
Puppies, due to their ancestral DNA demand something of the wild feed your puppy with all the proper ingredients and nutrition they need to thrive. It is a grain-free recipe that provides digestible energy and excellent food for your growing puppy. It is made with real roasted meat and a blend of protein sources. This hearty recipe will satisfy the taste buds of your pet.
Royal Canin Giant Junior Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken By-Product Meal, 2. Brewers Rice Flour, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Corn, 5. Wheat Gluten
Offer only the best to your German Shepherd right from his first meal! This Royal Canin option is specially designed for your large-breed puppy with all the essential nutrients they need for excellent growth and development. The formula includes DHA and EPA for great joint health for you growing darling as well as digestible protein to ease digestive issues that are very common in pups. Your little baby will turn into a large dog soon. Make sure you provide him with the nutrition he requires!
Hills Science Diet Puppy Dog Food
Provide your German Shepherd puppy with the proper nutrition they need for a healthy lifestyle by feeding them the Hills Science Dry Dog food.
This dry food is formulated with wholesome ingredients like chicken meal and oats to meet the nutritional needs of your growing puppy.
This formula is manufactured in the United States following the industry standards and each ingredient meets the nutrient content and purity requirements.
The Hills Science Diet Puppy food is the best dog food for German Shepherd puppy who will be more than 55 pounds when they are an adult and is less than 1 year old.
Hills conduct quality system audits annually in their manufacturing facilities to ensure that the ingredients used in this formula are high in quality and standards.
The company also conducts safety checks to ensure that the food is safe for your German Shepherd puppy.
The Hills Science Dry food has a rich aroma and different textures to ensure that mealtimes are irresistible for your puppy. It also features controlled calcium levels, chondroitin, Glucosamine, antioxidants, and a blend of Vitamin C and E.
- Supports the optimal growth of your puppys bones.
- Supports healthy joints and strong muscles.
- Helps to maintain a healthy immune system.
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- Foul smell in some batches.
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 switching too soon.
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.
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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 optimal foods for your pup.
Some of the most common ailments that afflict German shepherds include: