German Shepherd Feeding General Guidelines
Most vets will tell you to watch the dog and not the bowl when deciding how much to feed a German Shepherd. What they mean by this is that you should always be aware of your dogs body size, shape, and condition, and not being too strict with charts and graphs of food measurements.
If your dog seems to be gaining weight, reduce the number of calories they consume. Start with reducing treats or any table scraps you may be feeding him.
If he is still gaining weight, you can slowly reduce the amount of food you give him during his regular meals.
On the other side of the spectrum, if your dog is overly thin, lethargic, and not doing well, you may be feeding her too little. Increase the amount of food in each meal by small increments. ¼ cup at a time is usually sufficient.
Do not make drastic changes to your dogs feeding schedule or the amount you give. Do not suddenly remove an entire meal. All changes to your dogs diet should be made gradually, ideally over the course of several weeks.
Feeding A German Shepherd Puppy A Homemade Diet
Research has shown that in the past, poorly balanced homemade diets have been harmful to German Shepherd puppies.
There is now abundant information available to anyone who is willing and able to produce a safe and balanced diet. Also, diet bases can be purchased to add to homemade diets, This should help to provide all the important nutrients that your puppy needs.
However, modern cases studies have shown that well-meaning owners may still over-feed or create an unbalanced diet.
Many people can fall for the idea about some particular element of the food that: if some is good, more is better! Reports have shown that serious disorders can result from feeding a diet too rich and calcium or phosphorus. So, this is an area where you really can have too much of a good thing.
As with commercial foods, homemade diets must be properly formulated for a large breed dog. Do not deviate from recommended recipes as provided by a veterinarian. If possible, preferably a vet with a board certification in veterinary nutrition.
Recipes published in popular magazine and websites may not be nutritionally complete or suitable for a large breed puppy.
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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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.
German Shepherd Puppy Diet: 2 Months Old
At two months of age, you can start to slowly decrease the moistening of your German Shepherd’s dry food. Eventually, the puppy will be used to eating the food completely dry.
Following the German Shepherd puppy food chart, from 2 until 4 months old, a puppy will eat 4 or 5 times a day. This has to be carried out with one very important addition: discipline. A puppy needs to learn that it will not be fed constantly throughout the day, but at specific times. This is part of a puppys socialization and early education.
We start of by placing a bowl of food down for 10 minutes, this should give the puppy enough time to finish its meal. After 10 minutes, we suggest taking the bowl of food away, even if your puppy hasn’t finished eating.
A puppy’s food bowl must only be available to the dog for 10 minutes. This 10 minutes should be enough time for the puppy to eat all of its provided food. As already mentioned, after 10 minutes, you should take the food bowl away, even if the puppy hasn’t finished eating. This pattern will introduce the puppy’s food schedule and allow it an opportunity to become accustomed to particular feeding times.
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How Long Do You Feed A German Shepherd Puppy Food
Overall, you should feed any dog puppy food until they stop growing. This can vary from breed to breed, as many small dogs stop growing before they are 12 months old.
When it comes to German Shepherds, they should usually be ready to transfer to adult dog food between 12 and 24 months of age. Its important to consult their vet, as they are the ones who can determine when your puppy is done growing.
If you switch from puppy food to adult dog food too soon, youll be changing your dogs nutritional intake too soon. This means your German Shepherd might not get enough of the proteins and minerals they need, which can cause permanent joint damage.
Iams Proactive Health Large Breed
Large Breed Chicken and Whole Grains is one of 12 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!
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Our Backstory: Common Food Allergies For Dogs
After Rascal turned a year old or so, he started developing really strange eating habits. He wasnt finishing his food, had loud intense stomachaches and frequently threw up. We went through a number of blood tests. He had been diagnosed with things like pancreatitis, anxiety and one vet even thought he had parvo. We were stressed and at a loss at how to move forward. That is until we did an allergy test.
We uncovered that Rascal was allergic to a dozen different food items, one being beef, the main ingredient in his traditional dry dog food. Our vet introduced us to an all-natural human-grade dog food company called Just Food for Dogs. The company sells premade food and teaches people how to make a homemade dog food recipe at home. Once we started this all-natural diet, the stomach aches subsided and he was the happiest we had ever seen him.
German Shepherd Puppy Calorie Chart: 0 4 Months
|Weight in Pounds|
If you look at the feeding recommendations on your dogs food package, youll likely see the amounts to feed a German Shepherd puppy are written in cups rather than calories. Those guidelines are safe to follow because they calculate your puppys calorie requirements in the same way the above charts do. Plus, using a measuring cup is easier than figuring out caloric needs using a mathmatical formula.
Now, you need to choose the right number of feedings per day for your German Shepherd puppy.
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My Puppy Is Still Hungry
If your puppy seems excessively hungry provide more frequent but smaller meals. Young puppies cannot tolerate going without food for extended periods.
With older puppies you may wish to experiment with foods that help them feel more full, and provide low calories treats.
Keeping a health puppy active and occupied will help prevent them from becoming overly focused on anticipating their next meal.
What To Be Given To My Puppy After 4 Months
The food should be reduced to thrice a day, after 4-6 months of age.
The packaging of quality commercial dog food will detail the appropriate suggested amount of food for the puppy, depending on its age and weight.
Fresh food, such as meat, fish, or vegetables, can be mixed with the commercial dry feed. Beware of forbidden foods for dogs.
Some people ask about a raw diet for a German shepherd puppy, but we recommend these such foods should always be cooked and never given to a dog raw.
Avoid chicken, rabbit, and fish bones, as they can shatter and harm a dogs teeth.
Human food contains salt, sugar, and seasoning contents which are very harmful to a dogs health. Besides, if you do offer your dog your food, it will pester you during meals.
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When Should You Introduce Adult Dog Food
Even though your canine companion should still be consuming puppy food during this stage, you may want to think about getting them adult dog food.
Some owners introduce adult food through treats and training prizes, which is just enough to get them accustomed to its distinctive texture and taste.
On the other hand, some owners decide to mix kibble for adult canines with puppy food in different ratios until the latter is completely gone from their menu.
The transition usually begins somewhere around the tenth month of age, but you wont be late if you start when your pup turns one.
Before making any adjustments to the food your GSD eats, you absolutely have to consult with your veterinarian first.
Your vet is the only one who can tell you when your dog has achieved maturity and when it is safe for you to switch them over to adult food.
Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Weight
When your GS puppy is 2 months old, you can expect him or her to weigh between 16 and 20 pounds, depending on the sex of the puppy. Females will always be a little lower on the scale than their male counterparts.
They are bigger dogs and do gain weight quicker than other breeds, but you still want to watch for signs of gaining too much too quickly or being underweight.
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When To Switch From Puppy To Adult Food
Puppy foods tend to contain more nutrients and calories than adult food, to meet the nutritional requirements of your dog. As such, whether you feed a dry or wet variant, the puppy food you give will have higher levels of protein and fat. If you continue to feed this to an adult dog, they will be more prone to put on weight because of the high fat content. Moving over to adult food is an important stage in your dogs development.
Small breed dogs are usually fully mature by around 10 months, medium dogs by 14 months, but large breed dogs can take up to 24 months to fully mature.
With your German Shepherd, wait until he reaches around 80% of his anticipated adult weight before making the transition to adult food.
- Feed ¾ puppy food and ¼ adult food for the first week.
- Feed ½ puppy food and ½ adult food for the second week.
- Feed ¼ puppy food and ¾ adult food for the third and final week of the transition.
Easy Homemade Dog Food Recipe
Jump to RecipeMy easy homemade dog food recipe combines lean ground sirloin, wholesome brown rice, fresh vegetables, hard boiled eggs, and tender herbs
***Please note, I am not a veterinarian, just a very passionate dog owner! The information in this blog post documents our own personal experiences, research, and the recipes that we feed our dogs under our veterinarian’s careful supervision. Please, consult with your vet and use your own personal judgment when considering transitioning to a 100% human-grade food diet for your pup. This post was updated with video August 16, 2020, updated with additional recipe links 9/14/2020, updated 1/7/2021 with metric measurements, updated 1/3/2022 with recipe links for hydrating meals.***
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In Addition A Good German Shepherd Feeding Chart Helps To Keep Your Dogs Weight Gain Or Loss Within The Proper Range
Without a proper diet, you may find that your puppy grows obese rather quickly. Also, the chart helps you measure your dogs progress, which will allow you to monitor how much or how little you feed your dog. You can set a limit as to how many cups of German shepherd dog food you want to give your dog each day. This gives you some control, especially if you have more than one dog living in your household.
The German shepherd is a breed that tends to be very active and playful. This means that you need to make sure that they get plenty of exercises and that you take them out often enough to meet their daily needs. A good way to do that is by making sure that you keep up with their feeding guidelines. As stated above, the size of their bowls is very important, as is the frequency of feeding.
If you find that your dog has an eating disorder, talk to your vet about the possibility of a prescription diet for your dog. Your vet can also help you make the necessary decisions on your own to keep your German shepherd healthy and happy.
What To Do If My German Shepherd Does Not Want To Eat
You are used to your German shepherd running to the kitchen upon hearing their food poured into the bowl but lately, they seem not interested or even not finish their food.
There are a few reasons that may be making your German Shepherd puppy not eat their food. These include dental problems, health conditions, or does not like the food.
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How Much Water To Give A German Shepherd
A German Shepherd should have about two to three cups of fresh water daily. However, this amount will vary depending on the size, age, and activity level of your dog.
Puppies and young dogs, for example, generally need more water than adult German Shepherds. And working dogs or those who exercise frequently may require even more.
Unlike the German shepherd puppy feeding chart, you wont have to spend your time on this task. This is because they can easily hydrate themselves if given free access to water.
However, you still need to remember some things. For example, take note that your dog will need to drink 6 ounces of water per day for every 3.5 kilograms of weight.
So if your German shepherd weighs around 35 kilograms, hell need to drink an average of 60 ounces of water every day.
Depending on the temperature and activeness, this amount can increase. If thats the case, finding out the perfect amount of water needed will be difficult. Thats why you need to rely on the most noticeable sign of dehydration, panting.
Lastly, make sure you take extra care in providing water access to your German shepherd. The most preferable way is to fill a bowl with a moderate amount of water, not too much.
The feeding amount, frequency, length, and water requirements can always be changed. Thats why I recommend seeing your vet regularly to discuss important matters, such as how much to feed a German shepherd puppy.
If you have no time to visit your vet, the following topic may help you.
Do German Shepherds Eat A Lot
As a large breed dog, you can expect a German Shepherd to have a huge appetite. They are always eager to eat, may it be dry food, raw, or canned food.
However, it is crucial to know when or how much to feed a German Shepherd to avoid weight problems and severe diseases. After all, being a responsible owner can contribute significantly to your dogs quality of life.
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