Background On German Shepherds
As might be expected, German Shepherds originated in Germany. The intelligent, obedient, and loyal companions were trained as shepherd dogs in the late 1800s.
While we use the term German Shepherd as an all-encompassing name for the breed, there are five varieties. These are the American, two West German, East German, and Czech lines.
German Shepherds have been loved by their owners for ages so its no surprise that they were the second most popular dog breed in 2019.
When To Stop Feeding German Shepherd Puppy Food
Another common question new puppy owners often ask is, How long should I feed my German Shepherd puppy food?
Figuring out when to take German Shepherds off puppy food is the topic of continued debate.
Different breeders have different feeding philosophies about the best time to transition from puppy food to adult dog food.
This process can occur as early as 16 weeks or as late as one year.
Typically, you will see most puppy owners beginning the process between the ages of five and six months old and 1 year.
What Do You Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
Your German Shepherds athletic body, as well as his energy, health, and condition, depend in part on what you choose to pour into his bowl and knowing how much to feed your German Shepherd puppy.
This means choosing what to feed a German Shepherd puppy is even more serious and intimidating!
Most dog foods on the market will adequately sustain your dogs life.
But you dont want adequate
You want your dog to bloom with health!
Feed a German Shepherd puppy a dry kibble from a major, research-based and vet-backed dog food manufacturer. Dry kibble is the most convenient, economical choice for most puppies. Look for a food created especially for large breed puppies that states the formula is a complete and balanced meal.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Smallest Kibble Dog Food
Monitoring Your German Shepherd Dog`s Growth
The answer from the German Shepherd Dog food calculator is a starting point number on how much food you need to feed your German Shepherd Dog.
Start by feeding your German Shepherd Dog the amount of food recommended by the German Shepherd Dog food calculator every day.
While feeding your German Shepherd Dog this daily amount of food, weigh your German Shepherd Dog at least once a week to ensure that your German Shepherd Dog is not on its way to becoming overweight or underweight.
If your German Shepherd Dog is becoming overweight, reduce the amount of food your feed it by 10 to 15 percent, if underweight increase its food by 10 to 15 percent.
You can use our dog weight tracking tool to keep records of your German Shepherd Dog`s weight. This tool will let you know if the feeding plan is making your German Shepherd Dog grow normally or abnormally.
You can also check your German Shepherd Dog body condition score to find out if it is overweight or underweight. Learn how to check your German Shepherd Dog body condition score here.
Merrick Grain Free For Large Breed Adult Dogs
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey MealType: Dry
With the first ingredient as deboned chicken, you know youre getting a high-quality feed.
Their recipe touts a 60% protein and fat inclusion, with the remaining 40% for fat, fiber, and other necessary ingredients which are both natural and beneficial to your adult dogs health.
Also Check: What Dog Foods Are Good For Dogs
German Shepherd Feeding Guide: Adult Years
Once your German Shepherd has ended his puppy stage and transitioned into adulthood, hes ready to eat a balanced adult diet.
Adult dog food will have a different ratio of calcium, protein, phosphorus, and other nutrients than puppy food does.
Feeding an adult dog a puppy formula can cause obesity as well as put too much strain on kidneys and other vital organs. Long term use of inappropriate food for an adult dog can have catastrophic consequences.
That said, there is no need to panic if your adult GSD eats a bowl of puppy food now and then.
Adult German Shepherds should be fed twice a day. They can get by on once per day, but its always better to split daily caloric intake between smaller meals instead of feeding it all at once.
Again, bloat is a real problem for large breed dogs, and large meals seem to be a big cause of this.
If youre not home for twice-daily feedings, you can use an automatic feeder. These will dispense the proper amount of food at set times each day so your dog isnt left waiting for meals.
Throughout the years, Ive fed a number of different high-quality dog foods to my German Shepherds.
One of my consistent go-tos is Royal Canin Adult Breed German Shepherd dry dog food. I feed my adult dogs this particular blend for a number of reasons.
In addition, this blend also uses optimal levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to make a GSDs coat pop, so to speak. You really can see the difference.
The Problem With Feeding Your German Shepherd The Industry Minimums
I hope youre providing your dog with more than just the minimum.
Because your German Shepherd isnt just eating to survive, theyre eating for optimum health!
Would you feed an athlete with only the minimum needed for their basic health?
I didnt think so!
So, dont feed your athletically driven, known working-breed lineage German Shepherd with just the minimum of protein and fats. A German Shepherd eating only the minimum isnt at their highest level of health theyre only at their minimum!
Fuel your German Shepherd like the athlete they are, with premium ingredients in a high-quality food thats more nutritious than the minimum dog food standards.
Dont have a minimum German Shepherd
Have an OPTIMUM German Shepherd.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Dog Food For Pancreatitis
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Guide: 6 Months To 12 Months
At this stage in your German Shepherds development, growth will be considerably slower.
Since she no longer needs the extra calories to help support her fast growth period, you can safely reduce her feedings to 2 or 3 meals per day.
Youll still want to watch her weight, health, and activity level, but now you can split her daily total calories over fewer meals.
While she should still be eating puppy food at this point, you may consider purchasing a bag of her eventual adult formula.
You can use individual kibbles from the adult formula for treats or training rewards. This will help her get used to the new flavor and texture.
Around 9 months of age, you can begin slowly adding a small amount of the adult formula into her puppy food, though she should still be eating primarily puppy chow.
Again, its imperative that you speak with your vet before making any changes to your GSDs diet.
Only your vet will be able to tell you when your dog has reached maturity and can be safely moved to adult food.
Some GSDs stay on puppy food for a whopping two years! So, make sure you are in close contact with your vet to be sure that your feeding plan is individualized for your specific dog.
Can German Shepherds Eat Bones
Do you remember the saying, give a dog a bone? But can GermanShepherds eat bones as part of their diet?
German Shepherds can eat bones. They are a good source of nutrients, especially calcium and phosphorus, and help clean your dogs teeth and keep them strong. However, never feed a cooked bone as cooking causes the bone to soften and splinter as your dog chews it and can cause injuries or choking.
If you want to know more about this topic, head over to this article, Can German Shepherds Eat Bones?
Choose a sizeable raw bone larger than your dogs muzzle so he wont be tempted to swallow it. Beef or lamb bones are better than chicken or pork bones as they are stronger and wont easily splinter. For example, a large beef shank bone would be just the thing for your German Shepherd.
Remember to supervise your GSD when giving him a bone.
Also Check: How Much Dry Dog Food For Puppy
Do German Shepherds Need Special Dog Food
No, your german shepherd doesnt need a special type of dog food as they require similar nutritional needs compared to other large dog breeds. But it is important to understand that some dog foods will provide your german shepherd with a cleaner nutritional profile and more protein that can be beneficial for their lifestyle. German Shepherds are large dog breeds that require enough calories to grow and maintain their weight. They should also receive a dog food that includes essential fatty acids such as omega-3 to help promote healthy joints.
Turkey Rice And Veggie Mix
Delicious wholehearted food low-fat recipe for German Shepherd who may want to maintain a healthy weight. It provides a good balance of lean animal protein, healthy carbs, and veggies.
- 1/2 diced apple
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
You May Like: Can I Buy Dog Food With Food Stamps
Best Diet For German Shepherds: Nutrition Types And More
Posted on Last updated:
Categories German Shepherds
As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions if you purchase products from other retailers after clicking on a link from our site. Learn more >
When I decided to choose a German Shepherd for my first dog, I wondered, what do I feed my German Shepherd, what do they need to keep them healthy, and what do they like to eat? So, what is the best diet for German Shepherds?
The best diet for German Shepherds is a high-quality protein-rich diet consisting of 18-22% protein. They can also derive nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, dogs need to ensure they have the right balance of protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber for optimum health.
In this article, youll learn:
- The nutrients your German Shepherd needs.
- The foods your German Shepherd can and cant eat.
- The various types of dog foods, including pros and cons.
- Exactly how much to feed your German Shepherd.
And tons more!
Want to see the latest dog supplies that are popular right now? You can find them on Amazon. You can also click the button below.
So, if you want to learn all about the best diet for German Shepherds, youve come to the right place. Lets get started!
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Natural Adult Wet Dog Food
Image courtesy Blue Buffalo
If you’re searching for high-quality, all-natural wet dog food, Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a wonderful alternative.
This dog food is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for an entourage diet. It’s made with real beef and chicken, can be served as a delicious treat, or blended into your dog’s regular dry food.
The Blue Buffalo puppy food contains no chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or preservatives making it a healthy choice for your dog.
Also Check: What Is Considered Large Breed For Dog Food
The Importance Of Good Nutrition
Dog food sales in the United States are a huge business.
There is tremendous competition among manufacturers, with many of these companies goals including making a large profit.
German Shepherd owners must not only stay alert as wise consumers but also monitor the health of their beautiful breed, which is an indicator of the quality of food you feed them.
A healthy German Shepherd has:
- bright, alert eyes
- energy for their daily activities
- and a glossy coat
The old saying You are what you eat is also entirely true for dogs, as well as people. Many German Shepherds can carry on for a long time on a substandard diet, but inadequate nutrition can lead to more than health problems.
In fact, poor nutrition could cause your German Shepherd to develop:
- behavior problems
- susceptibility to disease
- and even shorten their lifespan!
Keep in mind that everything your dog eats becomes part of their daily diet, whether its good for them or not.
Nutrition for your German Shepherd is affected by not only what they eat, but also:
- the foods digestibility
- how their body uses the food
- and what underlying health issues they might have
Lets take a quick peek at the nutrients in your dogs food.
How And When To Switch From Puppy To Adult Dog Food
A German Shepherds diet can be changed after 12 to 15 months of age depends on the conditions, or as advised by your vet based on their growth and development.
You should constantly monitor the growth of your pet and make diet changes accordingly.
Your puppys food and drink containers should always be clean. Hygiene is very important to prevent the appearance of insects.
If there are insects in your dogs water, it could cause your German Shepherd puppy to suffer from intestinal parasites.
In addition to the German Shepherd puppy feeding diet, dont forget the importance of preventative medicines, following the appropriate vaccination schedules, and general German Shepherd dog care.
Don’t Miss: How To Transition From Puppy Food To Dog Food
How To Identify A Quality Food For Your German Shepherd Puppy
The label of your dog food can tell a lot about the quality of the food inside. With a few tips on what to look for youll be able to quickly see whether its complete and balanced, what sources the nutrients come from, and if it is designed for puppies and athletic breeds like the German Shepherd.
Check if the brand is approved by the AAFCO. The Association of American Feed Control Officials is an independent organization that subjects dog foods to rigorous testing.
If a dog food package displays the AAFCOs seal of approval you know that the manufacturers have followed high standards for production quality, ingredient quality, overall nutritional value, standardized ingredient definitions, and run extensive feeding trials.
Though the exact amount of each ingredient is not listed, manufacturers must list the ingredients in order according to weight. For example, if chicken is listed first, that means the food contains more chicken by weight than any other single ingredient.
Because the German Shepherd Dog requires high-quality protein to support their powerful physique, they do better with a food that has one or two lean protein sources at the top of the ingredient list. Stay away from grain-based foods, as they wont provide your puppy with as much usable protein in addition to being harder to digest.
Feeding Treats To A German Shepherd
You can include small portions of fresh components to your puppys dry kibble for taste and flavor. But dont add more than a spoonful or two so your dog doesnt eat only the fresh ingredients and ignore the healthy kibble!
These components shouldnt make up over 10% of their daily calories to avoid them gaining excess weight.
GSD puppies enjoy eating:
Read Also: What Is The Best Dry Dog Food On The Market
Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food
Eagle Pack Power is one of 7 dry recipes included in our review of the Eagle Pack product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, pork meal, ground brown rice, peas, chicken fat
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Maintenance
- Best for:Adult shepherds only
Power Adult derives the majority of its animal protein from fresh chicken and pork meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 21% fat and 38% estimated carbs which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
A time-proven, grain-inclusive design free of any legume concentrates. Contains safe, natural antioxidant preservatives. No BHT or ethoxyquin. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewIf you have a dog that is extremely active this is a GREAT dog food. My Shepherd and Retrievers were skinny because they are highly active dogs. I switched to this food because of the nutrition and calories that it intails. My dogs are bulked backed up and love the taste!
What To Do If My German Shepherd Has A Sensitive Stomach
German shepherds are known for their sensitive stomach and gastrointestinal issues. A sensitive stomach can be caused by a range of issues such as parasites, warm weather, the food they are eating, or genetics.
Symptoms of the sensitive stomach include hyper-salivation, vomiting, excessive gas, diarrhea, and blood in the stool.
The following ways will help soothe your puppys sensitive stomach:
- Feeding him real food Commercial food like kibble can upset your puppys stomach and most people choose to move away from kibble to natural foods like fresh meat.
- Buy high-quality food Cheap food may contain poor ingredients, therefore, consider premium brands but first check the ingredients before your purchase.
- Consider grain-free food because food with grains can agitate sensitive stomachs.
- Speak with your vet to diagnose the problem causing a sensitive stomach in your puppy.
You May Like: How To Serve Wet Dog Food
Best Dog Treats For German Shepherd Yummy Picks
Our overall top-rated pick is the NaturVet Calming Aid Quiet dog treats.
These vitamin-infused, wholesome dog chews by NaturVet are made in a cGMP-compliant facility in the United States.
They are packaged for continued freshness in a re-sealable jar.
Each dog chew is made with L-Tryptophan, ginger, and melatonin to reduce stress and tension when dogs feel anxious when traveling or in a storm.
|Whatâs In This Guide?