When And How To Change The Feeding Of Puppy To Adult
Many owners would like to know what is the best age to switch their German Shepherd puppy to adult food. The best way to shift your German Shepherd from puppy food to adult dog food is to look at his age and size.
When a German Shepherd is around 1 to 1.5 years old, he is generally considered an adult. This is a good estimate of when you could consider making the switch.
When a German Shepard has attained around 80-90% of their overall growth, is a good indicator of when the switch should be made.
It is always better to do this gradually as an abrupt switch may not be ideal. If you feed your dog twice per day, you can start giving him adult food mixed in with his usual food.
Nutritional Requirements For Senior German Shepherd
The fact that your German shepherd is growing older doesnt mean he is getting any less hungry. On the contrary, because older dogs tend to lose body mass, they need as much, if not more, protein than younger adult dogs to repair the muscle tissue.
To put it in other words, if your German shepherd is healthy and his appetite still remains high, you dont need to change his food. On the other hand, if your dog has become less active due to a health problem, you may need to switch to a senior formula that gives your dog more nutrition in each bite.
If your dog has a kidney problem, you should immediately switch your dog off his current diet to low protein dog food. It is true that protein doesnt cause kidney problems, but it can worsen your dogs existing kidney problem.
At A Glance: Our Choices Of Best Dog Food For A German Shepherd
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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, 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.
Complete And Balanced Dog Foods
One of the first things you should look for on a dog food label is the statement is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. This isnt just an advertising slogan. The Association of American Feed Control Officials has strict requirements to make sure that a product is in fact complete and balanced for dogs . Complete and balanced diets must contain the minimum amount of all of the nutrients necessary for dogs, which is also indicated in the guaranteed analysis. This analysis gives the minimum amount of crude protein and fat, along with the maximum amounts of water and crude fiber. The analysis does not, however, give the exact amount of these components, which means there is room for considerable variation. The manufacturers average nutrient profile is often a better tool for evaluating a product.
You can always contact the dog food company directly to get more information about its product. A reputable company that has your dogs interests at heart should be happy to answer your questions and in many cases will give you more information than what is available on the website or product label. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has a helpful sheet with questions you can ask a company representative.
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Now You Know What You Need For Your German Shepherd
As you can see, German Shepherds might be giant, but they are very delicate dogs. They would need a lot of care and support to grow strong and healthy. This nature is also the reason why you need to be very picky about what they eat. Dont be afraid to try something new, especially if the dog food you have been giving them is lacking. You can try different dog foods as long as you gradually change the dog formula.
German Shepherd Weight Chart
For current and soon-to-be owners of a German shepherd of any age, it can be informative to compare your dog to a German shepherd growth chart. This can give you a general idea of whether your German shepherds weight is typical for a dog of their age. Remember that these charts are an approximation, so dont worry if your canines weight doesnt match up exactly.
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Ground Beef Chicken Liver Veggies Mix
This one is among our favorite German Shepherd raw diet recipes. Easy to digest and packed with all the essential nutrients GSDs need.
Best Dry Dog Food For German Shepherds
What you feed your dog has a significant impact on their overall well-being. Their health and longevity depend on a proper diet. If you have a GSD, you should really look into the kibble they consume.
The best dry dog food for German Shepherds are easily digested and dont irritate their typically sensitive stomachs. Plus, they are formulated with the right ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to maintain their robust bodies and support their athleticism. For most owners, dry dog food is the best choice, but some owners feed a mixture of wet and dry dog food.
*This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you .
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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.
Best Diet Food For German Shepherd
Diet food may be necessary if your German Shepherd becomes overweight. Extra weight must be lost as soon as possible to avoid complications from hip dysplasia. A special weight management formula is a good idea, along with close monitoring of other foods being consumed by your dog. If you feed him excessive amounts of treats or people food he will gain weight. In order to effectively lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, your German Shepherd must not eat too many treats or table scraps.
Blue Buffalo Large Breed Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food could solve the issue of excess pounds on your German Shepherd. Not only is this food designed with protein for energy, but it is also designed with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support as your dog loses the weight. Typically, large breed dog food contains a few extra calories for energy to burn. But this formula cut out the extra calories so your dog burns fat faster.
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Victor Purpose Nutra Pro Dog Food
Nutra Pro is one of 6 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Victor Purpose product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, blood meal, whole grain millet, chicken fat, yeast culture
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:Adult shepherds and puppies
Victor Purpose Nutra Pro derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal and blood meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 46% protein, 24% fat and 22% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Nutra Pro is also rich in low-glycemic carbohydrates for sustained energy and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewThis formulation is new to the rotation for my 2 Australian Shepherds. Magic happily gave it 4 paws up after her first bowl. Loki, my fussy eater, was a bit skeptical at first, til he had the experience of eating this food being dispensed by a moving toy. Now his review is also 4 paws up. // I was able to transition to this food with no GI upset or poop changes. If you regularly change food brands or formulations, consider adding this food for your energetic canine partners. Highly recommended!
How Much Food Should A German Shepherd Puppy Eat
Until the age of about 6 months, young puppies should have 3 to 4 small meals during the day. Dish these out into bowls at the start of the day, and use these rations as their training treats too. Reward them every time they do something youd like to see more of. Like laying calmly at your feet, or not jumping up your guests.
Using their daily kibble as training treats removes the potential for over feeding, and the issues that come along with it. Follow the manufacturers recommended feeding amount guidelines on the product packaging. But dont be afraid to adjust it if you think they are looking too skinny or are carrying a bit too much weight.
Keys To A Healthy Gsd Puppy
Veterinary research tells us that large breed puppies such as the German Shepherd need a different diet and feeding schedule than do medium or small breed puppies.
Incorrect feeding early in life can result in a lifelong impact to your puppys health!
In fact, diet is only one of three vital keys to raising a healthy GSD puppy.
Environment and genetics each intersect with your puppys diet to determine how healthy he or she will be as an adult.
For this reason, your first and best resources to create a healthy German Shepherd puppy feeding guide should be your veterinarian and your puppys breeder.
Even if you dont want to keep your new pup on the same food the breeder was using, wait a few weeks before beginning the food transition so your puppy can settle in first.
German Shepherd Feeding Guide: Senior Years
Large breed dogs, such as the German Shepherd, age faster than most smaller breed dogs. This is evident by the fast decline in health, joint flexibility, and energy in older large breed dogs compared to same-age smaller breeds.
Because of this, its important for your dogs longevity and happiness to pay attention to signs of aging. When your GSD moves from the adult life stage to senior, you need to adjust her diet.
Large breeds reach the older stage around half of their assumed life expectancy. A German Shepherds life expectancy is anywhere from 10 to 15 years, which means theyd be considered older and borderline senior at around 5 or 6.
This is a good time to ask your vet if you should make any changes to her diet or if its okay to continue with her normal adult meals.
Inevitably, your GSD will need to switch over to a senior diet. Older large breed dogs have lower energy needs. They move slower or less overall and therefore wont need as many calories each day.
Older dogs also tend to slow down their digestion, so an increase in fiber might be a good choice for your senior GSD.
Since the calories in senior-specific dog food have already been adjusted, youll likely still be feeding the same measured amount based on your GSDs weight.
Do be sure to confirm this with your vet, however. Not all foods are created equal.
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How To Choose A Dog Food For Your German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd dogs mature later than smaller breeds and are typically ready for adult dog food between 12 to 24 months. Because of the breeds unique nature, you should look for a dog food that is formulated especially for German Shepherd Dogs or large breeds. In addition, consult your veterinarian about the best food for your German Shepherd Dog.
Raw Dog Food Delivery Service
If you are a German Shepherd owner with a busy lifestyle and dont have much time to cook for your pet and wish your GSD could enjoy the benefits of eating raw food, a raw dog food delivery service is for you.
BARF World is one of our favorite options and the best raw food for German Shepherds available in the market.
This raw dog food company is the pioneer of raw diets for dogs. They deliver Biologically Appropriate Raw Food straight to your door. Their formula is a balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables, organs, and bone. Plus, its supplemented with 4 other key ingredients.
BARF World states their food has helped generations of dogs become free of allergies, itchy skin and coats, digestive problems, obesity, and weight problems, among other issues.
All of their ingredients are USDA sourced, and their formulas are developed with the input of a veterinary nutritionist to meet the nutritional guidelines for dog food.
The best part of feeding BARF World is that you never have to worry about balancing ingredients, portion sizing,grinding, chopping, measuring, mixing, potential pathogens in raw ingredients, and all the risks and hassles involved in cooking raw dog food on your own.
In our experience, its a huge time-saver, and you can spend time on more important things like walks or training. We think its worth the cost after you add up the prices of all the ingredients youll need to cook a recipe and the convenience of it.
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Nutrition And Feeding For A German Shepherd
One of the most important considerations to keep in mind when caring for an animal is what to feed them. Generally, the rules remain the same when feeding any animal. The contents of their food should consist of natural, whole foods, high in protein but low in calories from grains. Shepherds are no exception and will get the most benefit out of protein-rich kibble where the top ingredients consist of human-grade foods.
Some of the best ingredients to look out for are:
German Shepherd Feeding Amounts
As a general guideline, heres how much you should feed your German Shepherd according to its age:
- 16 weeks old and below: ½ to 1 full cup of food per meal.
- 16 weeks to 9 months old: 1 cup to 1 ¾ cup of food per meal.
- 9 months to 12 months old: 2 cups to 2 ½ cups of food per meal.
- 12 months old and above: 2 ½ to 3 ½ cups of food per meal.
Feel free to adjust these amounts based on your dogs activity level.
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Food For German Shepherd Puppies: Faq
There is always the possibility that pet guardians have misconceptions about their canines diet. Do not fret, as those misgivings will be cleared here.
How many calories does a puppy German Shepherd need?
An intake of 500 calories per day is suitable for German Shepherd puppies. Yet, as the pup grows older, the number of meals is fewer, and the calorie intake increased to 1600 calories around fifteen months of age. Overfeeding your Shepherd can lead to obesity, while being underfed can affect its growth thats why you should always consult with your local vet about your pets nutritional intake.
How often should you feed my German Shepherd puppy?
Your sweet little fluff ball needs to be fed three to four times a day until four months of age. But, it is a good idea to practice restraint. Overfeeding German Shepherds can lead to indigestion and diarrhea.And dont forget to increase your puppys calorie intake as it grows older. Remember, your GSD loves to sweat it all off with much-needed physical exertion.
What types of food are good for German Shepherds?What diseases are German Shepherds prone to?
German Shepherds are susceptible to joint problems. Youll find that malnutrition in puppyhood can lead to elbow or hip dysplasia in adult dogs. Also, GSDs have specific allergies indicating weaker tummies, so keep that in mind when you pick out their dry food.
Are German Shepherds hypoallergenic?