German Shepherd Dog Food Health Concerns & Risks
So, why is it important to feed your German Shepherd the right food, understand the breeds specific nutritional requirements and health risks associated with poor nutrition?
According to a study on nutritional risks of large-breed dogs, large dogs like German Shepherds have a higher risk of developing skeletal diseases such as hip dysplasia due to improper nutrition. Over time, skeletal diseases and obesity can lead to osteoarthritis.
GSDs tend to suffer from Gastric dilatation and volvulus bloat. Monitor your GSDs eating habits. Fast eating and gulping can increase the risk of these health problems. Feeding 3 smaller meals a day instead of one large one can also prevent this problem. Making sure your GSD does not do any strenuous physical activity after eating is also necessary. A slow down dog bowl can also help.
Other important German Shepherddog foodhealth-related risks to be aware of include:
- German shepherds tend to develop food allergies that typically manifest as dry, itchy skin, ears, or paws.
- Food intolerances in German shepherds difficult protein digestion some. This can lead to vomit or experience diarrhea.
- Inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal issues that can make life doubly uncomfortable.
Now you should know why selecting the right dog food for your GSD is so important!
Best Food For German Shepherd To Gain Weight
If your German Shepherd is in need of some surplus calories, Purina Pro Plan Sport is your best option.
Perhaps you German Shepherd is underweight, needs to bulk up, or is a highly active dog that burns a lot of calories and you need to replenish them to maintain a healthy weight, whatever the reason may be, this formula contains 496 calories per cup to help your GSD gain weight by building lean muscle.
It has almost 100 calories more than your standard kibble calorie count per cup. Packed with 30% protein and 20% fat to help metabolic fuel needs, avoid calorie deficiency, and maintain lean muscle.
But is it good for GSDs? GSD dog parents report its worked well on their pups. This formula is also enhanced with rich in amino acids to support muscle development, fish oil, vitamin E, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and other essential vitamins and minerals that support healthy joints, maximum mobility, and overall health.
Its antioxidant-rich recipe nourishes your dogs immune system and helps defend it against free radicals.
Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food
This dry puppy food from Royal Canin is made exclusively for German Shepherds. It meets the breed’s unique health and nutrition needs.
The food is suitable for dogs as old as 15 weeks and addresses many common health issues. To combat digestive problems, it has probiotics that introduce beneficial flora into your pup’s gut.
To avoid joint and bone issues, it has a healthy dose of calcium and phosphorus. Finally, it has a good blend of antioxidants to enhance your pup’s vulnerable immune system.
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Q: How Many Calories Does My German Shepherd Need
A: Since German Shepherds are classified as large dogs that can weigh from 60 to 90 pounds, the NRC recommends feeding the adult GSD 1,740 to 2,100 calories every day, divided into two meals. This recommendation is based on a physically active GSD, of course. But if your Shepherd is already in its senior years or leads a sedentary lifestyle, its daily calorie requirement can be reduced to 1,272 to 1,540 calories. German Shepherds with joint problems like hip dysplasia are best placed on a low-calorie diet to help reduce their weight and lessen its impact on their already-compromised joints.
Personality Traits Of German Shepherds
There is perhaps no other dog breed in the world that is as instantly recognizable as the German Shepherd. These dogs have a long history of being widely used in the police force, the army, search and rescue teams, and as guard dogs, guide dogs, and family companions. Renowned for their intelligence, obedience, and confident demeanor, German Shepherds are loyal, affectionate, and protective toward their family and friends.
They can, however, come across as intimidating toward strangers,or those they perceive as potential threats. In general, they will not hesitate to turn aggressive if they think that they or their family are being attacked. Given their large size, this can take an unfortunate turn if the dog is not properly trained and socialized. If you own a German Shepherd, you need to take the time to train and socialize your pet from an early age so that they are able to remain calm and controllable in different kinds of situations.
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This Post Has 3 Comments
Our Max has been on TOTW for 10+ years and hes fit as a bull. No health issues and impeccable teeth. Good quality and its so easy to digest which is essential if you have an older dog.
Orijen is hands down the best brand weve tried, the doggo loves it. He goes though it like hes been on a hunger strike ha! His coat is shiny and theres definitely less shedding compared to other brands. No more stomach rumbles as well, it used to keep us awake at night in the past #horrorshow
I have to say I am super impressed with the Wellness brand. Never heard of it before so I had to google it. Will check our local stores and see if they carry this brand, my dog needs a change from Taste of the Wild, its doing nothing for her.
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy
The Wholesome Essentials Puppy kibble by Nutro uses farm-raised chicken as its main source of protein. It is rich in omega fatty acids that support overall development, which is critical while your dog is growing.
Additional essential fatty acids come from its fish oil content. This kibble is also enriched with calcium to support your puppys bone development.
This Nutro variant of dry dog food uses oatmeal as its main source of carbohydrates and fiber. This is a gluten-free grain that is especially beneficial to dogs with food sensitivities.
Additionally, oats are rich in B vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates into energy more efficiently.
|Nutrition Facts – Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy|
Read Also: How Much Exercise Do German Shepherds Need
Elbow And Hip Dysplasia
Unfortunately, the primary health concern for German Shepherds is hip dysplasia, which is a malformation of the joint. It is a condition that can get worse if your dog is overweight or obese, so keeping her at a healthy weight is imperative. If your dog is overweight*, you should choose a dog food that uses a weight management formula, which will be lower in fat.
Another thing that can help this condition is to look for dog foods that contain glucosamine and chondroitin , as they stimulate the body to repair damaged cartilage.
*Females can weigh up to 71 lb , while males usually weigh up to 88 .
Special Dietary Concerns For German Shepherds And Health Concerns
If you are a pet parent to a GSD, then you know they are full of energy, incredibly smart, and very trainable. You can learn more about this breed by watching the video below:
Now, part of ensuring that he remains healthy and performs at his optimal best is in knowing some of the health concerns that German shepherds might be prone to.
One of these concerns is of a dietary nature, while the other is a physiological impairment likely to occur as your furry friend grows older.
Fortunately, this can be prevented in most cases, and if your dog does have issues, it can be managed in a way that keeps you dog comfortable and active.
Two common health conditions you should take note of include:
Also Check: How Much Raw Meat To Feed My German Shepherd
Firstmate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Large Breed Formula
Best Food German Shepherd with Sensitive Stomach: Whether your dog has a sensitive stomach or food allergies, you need to be careful what you feed him. Our top pick for the best food for German Shepherd with sensitive stomach is FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Large Breed Formula. This recipe is a single-source, novel-protein diet featuring Pacific Ocean fish meal. It contains grain-free carbohydrates like potato for maximum digestibility with vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. It provides a blend of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat support and contains a very limited list of main ingredients. This recipe also comes in a larger kibble size, which helps control how much your German Shepherd can eat at once, and the nutrition is specifically formulated for large breeds. Plus, it contains glucosamine and chondroitin for bone and joint support.
- Pros: Single source of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, blend of omega fatty acids, larger kibble size, glucosamine for joint support
- Cons: Expensive compared to most dry foods
Do German Shepherd Puppies Need Special Nutrients
To keep up with the rapid growth of German Shepherd puppies, it is important to offer them a diet that is specifically designed with large-breed puppies in mind. German Shepherd pups require an appropriate combination of calories, calcium, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to ensure maximum nourishment.
Recommended Reading: How Much Do Full Grown German Shepherds Weigh
Orijen Dry Dog Food Puppy Large Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
As it says right on the packaging, this option from Orijen is biologically appropriate dog food. It’s designed to meet the nutritional needs of large puppies without giving them any unnecessary extras.
You won’t find any potentially harmful additives or plant proteins. Instead, it has healthy meat and carbs. Protein makes up 38 percent of the recipe. It comes from an array of meat sources, including chicken, turkey, fish, meat organs, and more.
There’s also plenty of complex carbs to give your dog a constant supply of energy. To make sure that their bones grow in a healthy way, it has that magic 1.2:1 ratio of calcium and phosphorus.
Royal Canin German Shepherd Loaf In Sauce Canned Dog Food
This canned dog food from Royal Canin is specially formulated for German Shepherds in order to provide the essential nutrients needed by the breed. The food contains D.H.A. and E.P.A. for healthy skin and a smooth, shiny coat, as well as chicken and pork to provide essential animal-sourced protein. It also contains fish oil for essential fatty acids and vitamin C and E for immune support. There are no artificial flavorings, colorants, or preservatives in the food.
Tinned dog food typically contains a great deal of water content, and the total weight is largely moisture. Added to this is the fact that this food contains corn flour to bind the ingredients and bulk it up. Therefore, the food is not as rich in nutritional calories as youd like. It also contains powdered cellulose, produced from pulp fibers from wood and plants, which has no nutritional benefits at all.
- Contains filler ingredients like powdered cellulose
- Not as nutrient-dense as dry dog food
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Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken And Rice
Large Breed Chicken and Rice is one of 13 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Diamond Naturals product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, ground white rice
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Maintenance
- Best for:Adult shepherds only
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice derives most of its animal protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 26% protein, 14% fat and 52% estimated carbs which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
The recipe contains multiple probiotics for better digestion and chelated minerals for improved absorption and healthy nutrition. Affordably priced and easy to recommend.
Sample buyer reviewWe have had our dogs on this food for some time and the vet is constantly saying how healthy they are . We searched for some time to find a quality food at an affordable price as we have 4 dogs . Have never had any issues with them or their digestive systems while on Diamond!
How Many Calories Does Your German Shepherd Puppy Need
As your German Shepherd puppy grows , she needs a calorie-rich diet. According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, a puppy needs twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult of the same breed.
Lets work that out. So, an adult German Shepherd weighing 70 lb needs about 20 calories per lb per day. That would mean that a German Shepherd puppy who will reach 70 lb as an adult needs 40 calories per lb per day.*
*Theses are just guidelines. I advise you to discuss this with your vet and work out an accurate amount for your puppy.
Recommended Reading: Potty Training German Shepherd Puppy
What Is The Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppies
The best food for German Shepherd puppies is Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Food. The high amount of protein and healthy fat content promotes strong muscle growth, joint protection and cognitive development.
This blend allows you to select exactly whats in your dogs diet at an incredibly affordable price on Amazon.
Instead of spending up to $100.00 on other German Shepherd dog food brands, Iams gives you a cheaper alternative without compromising the health benefits of those more expensive products.
The Ingredients You Should Avoid
Chocolate should be on the top of every DO NOT TOUCH list of every dog owner. What is a tasty treat to us, can be lethal to them.
Always store your chocolates out of reach because curiosity might get the better of them and its better to be safe than sorry.
When it comes to the ingredients list on your kibble, you want to stay away from animal by-products, preservatives, artificial coloring, and nutritionless fillers.
Read Also: Can A Chihuahua And A German Shepherd Mate
Wellness Complete Health Dog Food For Large Breed Dogs
If you need complete dog food for your German Shepherd, this is the best choice that you have.
Wellness Complete Health Dog Food for Large Breed Dogs contains the right amount of nutrients that your dog needs in order to grow strong and healthy.
If you have a German Shepherd in your house, this dog food formula will surely be a good choice.
It has a chicken and salmon recipe that your dog will surely love. The key ingredients include chicken meal, deboned chicken, ground brown rice, salmon meal, and peas.
All the nutrients that your puppy needs can be found in this particular dog food formula. Vitamins and minerals will allow them to grow strong and healthy.
You dont have to look elsewhere because this is the perfect dog food for your German Shepherd puppies. If you think that your puppies need more nutrition and protein, this dog food formula can guarantee that your dog will live healthy and strong.
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
Specifically crafted for large breed puppies including German Shepherd puppies, Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice formula is guaranteed to help your pup grow into a strong, healthy adult dog. Vying for the position of the best food for the German Shepherd puppy, this recipe contains high-quality ingredients only, including lamb and fish meal for protein content, and whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies as carbohydrate sources. Aside from lamb, the recipe contains fish meal, brown rice, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, coconut, spinach and many more antioxidant-packed ingredients that help boost immunity.
Amount of calories for every serving: 342 per cup
Minimum amount of proteins in %: 27
Minimum amount of fat in %: 15
Maximum amounts of moisture and fiber in %: 10 and 4.5
Top 3 ingredients: lamb, lamb meal, whole grain brown rice
L-carnitine, DHA, prebiotics, antioxidants, minerals, 80 million CFUs probiotics
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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!
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:
6. Royal Canin German Shepherd Breed Health Nutrition Adult
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.
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