Homemade Food For German Shepherd Puppy
A German Shepherd puppys diet is not the same as an adult GSD.
Compared to adult dogs, puppies need higher levels of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus. Too few of these nutrients can cause deficiencies, stunted growth, or lifelong complications.
According to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition , puppies need about twice as many caloriesper pound of body weight as an adult dog of the same breed.
Most people worry that their puppy requires more food and calorie intake every day because they are rapidly growing. This isnt necessarily the truth. Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist at Nom Nom advises that in order to promote normal growth, most puppies need about the same number of calories, and the same type of food, from 4 months to 12 months of age.
German puppies should eat 3 to 4 times a day. When your puppy is a bit older you can switch to 2 to 3 meals daily at scheduled intervals.
For proper growth and development, it is not advised to skip meals while your puppy is growing and developing. As our nutritional guidelines previously outlined, a puppys diet needs to include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins.
Best Homemade German Shepherd Dog Food Recipes
Weve compiled our favorite German Shepherd homemade dog food recipes to share with you.
Weve also added a special treat recipe for German Shepherds that is not only tasty but its packed with impressive health benefits. We kid you not, 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 portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and the health of your dog. 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.
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.
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How Often Should You Feed Your Adult German Shepherd
Your adult German shepherd dog will eat differently than they did as a puppy. While younger dogs may eat their puppy food a few times throughout the day, adult German shepherds should generally eat twice a day. Keep in mind that the calories adult dogs need will vary depending on factors like:
- Activity level
- Overall size
The best dog food should provide your dog with the nutrition they need on this twice-a-day schedule. To help you further ward off bloat, its best to avoid giving your dog heavy exercise immediately after eating.
A high-protein food like Bully Maxs 30/20 High Performance Dog Food can help your dog meet their nutritional requirements on this recommended feeding schedule. This will help your dog remain a healthy weight as they grow. Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of dog ownership, as dogs that become overweight can put excess weight on their joints. This can cause or exacerbate health problems, such as hip dysplasia, as the dog ages.
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.
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German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart
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
- Still growing!
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
German Shepherd Puppy Food
German Shepherds grow quickly, so they should only be fed a puppy-specific formula for about six months before they start eating an adult dog food. Feeding them a puppy food for too long can cause rapid growth in the bones and joints, which can cause developmental orthopedic disease down the line.
Plan on feeding your German Shepherd puppy three to four meals a day, depending on the formula you choose.
Orijen Puppy food prides itself on providing a formula that aligns with nature serving puppies a biologically appropriate amount of protein and nutrients to best nourish their growing bodies. This food contains quality protein sources, is low-glycemic, and is USA-made in Kentucky kitchens with fresh regional ingredients.
Main Ingredients: Boneless Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chicken Liver, Whole Herring, Boneless Turkey
- Protein: 40%
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Instinct Raw Boost With Real Duck
Real Duck is one of 14 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Instinct Raw Boost product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Duck, chicken meal, peas, egg product, turkey meal
- Type: Grain-free
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:Adult shepherds and puppies
Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck obtains the bulk of its animal protein from fresh duck and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 23% fat and 31% estimated carbs creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.
This formula also gets its antioxidants from natural fruits and veggies for healthy immunity and thus, greater resistance to disease. A top pick for German shepherds and other large breeds.
Sample buyer reviewI recently switched from a dehydrated raw product to Instinct Raw Boost. This is a great quality grain- free food and my guys are loving it. I have a multi dog house hold and most of them have allergies of one kind or another. This food is working well for all..
Best Diet For German Shepherds
German Shepherds grow to a large size dog breed between 60 to 90 pounds that is well muscled, slightly tapered, angular and longer than deep chested when fed a breed appropriate diet. Adult German Shepherds require 1,300 to 1,600 calories per day of high quality dog food for senior or less active dogs, and from 1,700 to 2,400 calories daily for active or working dogs.
If choosing a dry kibble diet, select a a quality formula like these Recommended Dog Food Brands with protein level around 24% and fat levels around 14%. Shepherds require quality protein which should come from a named meat source. Most premium kibble formulas work and Raw Dog Food is even better. Grain free kibble is another option but is very calorie dense and high in protein. We mention this with caution as some German shepherds seem to have difficulty tolerating grain free kibble and end up with soft and runny stool. For excellent insight on choosing a quality kibble to feed your German Shepherd, take a look at our Feeding Dry Dog Food section.
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Taste Of The Wild Wetlands Grain
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Duck, 2. Duck Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas
Give your big-breed German Shepherd a wholesome diet that combines the goodness of grain-free and a variety of other nutritional ingredients. The tempting flavors not only serve as a savory option for your big pooch, but the balanced nutrients ensure healthy overall development and a great level of activity. The recipe is free from by-products and fillers and features just the right amount of nutrition perfect for your German Shepherd dog.
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.
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German Shepherd Puppy Nutritional Needs
German Shepherd is a large breed and grows very quickly from newborn to adult puppy. German Shepherd puppies require at least 500 calories per day.
As they gain weight, the amount gradually increases. Young adult puppies need between 1500 and 1700 calories per day.
The best dog food for a German Shepherd puppy should have all the necessary nutrients in the right amounts. This is explained below:
What Is The Best Dog Food Brand For German Shepherds
Thankfully, German shepherds arent as prone to allergies as other dog breeds, which are a good thing by the way, since there are a lot more options open to you when it comes to feeding your pet.
You have an ease of mind when introducing new products to your dog without so many concerns about how they would react to itthats a real blessing, I can assure you.
Our Top Pick
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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.
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:Adult shepherds and puppies
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!
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German Shepherd Puppy Diet: Newborn
For a German Shepherd puppy to develop and grow properly, it is imperative that they first nurse on their mother’s milk. The first milk they receive is a protein and antibody-rich type of milk known as colostrum. This gives the puppy’s immune and central nervous systems a boost. They then progress on to regular breast milk.
Puppies will nurse for at least 6 to 8 weeks, gradually being weaned on to solid food at about 4 weeks. We cannot overemphasize the importance of a puppys first milk, as it provides them with 90% of its natural defenses. In addition, a puppys first feeding contributes to proper blood flow and helps oxygenate the puppy’s organs.
If, for any reason, the puppy cannot suckle its mother, don’t give them cow or goat milk. These milks are very poor quality in comparison to a puppy’s mother’s milk. If your German shepherd puppy has to be prematurely weaned, a veterinarian will be able to prescribe specific infant formula and establish the appropriate dosage for your puppy.
A dogs breed type does however influence this feed. For example, a Chihuahua and a German Shepherd should not be fed the same food. This is because hese breeds have different nutritional needs. Take a look here to find out more about the diet for a prematurely weaned puppy.
Raw Diets Cooking For Dogs And Other Alternative Feeding
This article has been focusing mainly on commercially available dry kibble since that is what most pet parents ultimately choose for their dogs.
However, there are many dog owners that choose to feed alternative diets. These include raw diets and cooking regular people food for dogs.
There are many viable options for feeding your healthy German Shepherd, but there are just as many harmful fads, too.
As with commercial foods, be sure to speak with your vet before starting your dog on a raw diet or home-cooking her meals. Whats healthy for humans isnt usually healthy for dogs.
That means youll need to learn a lot about canine metabolism, life stages, and nutritional needs before you embark on that journey.
Weve covered the holistic diet approach right here if youre interested in learning more. Feeding your dog an alternative diet can be a fun way to bond with your pup and feel good about providing whole, nutritious, natural foods that support your GSDs health and wellness.
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