What To Feed A German Shepherd
When comparing the best dog foods for your GSD, take extra time to look for the following:
Meat Proteins Whole meat, such as chicken, beef, fish, and lamb should be included in the first several ingredients. Protein can also come from meat meals, a concentrated form of meat in which the moisture has been removed. AAFCO recommends that German Shepherds eat a food with at least 22% protein as puppies and at least 18% protein as adults.
Healthy source of fat Chicken fat, canola oil, and flaxseed are all healthy sources of fats and include additional health benefits. AAFCO recommends eight percent fat for German Shepherd puppies and five percent fat for adults.
Omega-3s This fatty acid helps keep a German Shepherds skin and coat healthy.
DHA One of the three Omega-3s is DHA, which supports brain and eye development.
Carbs To keep a German Shepherds blood sugar steady, the dog food should be low in carbs and may include an alternate, low-glycemic form of carbs, such as sweet potatoes.
Proper Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio Puppy foods should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1.2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. Having a deficiency or excess of calcium in your dogs diet can lead to serious orthopedic problems, like painful bone spurs.
Since German Shepherds need a high-quality dog food to sustain their level of activity, its best to avoid:
Swapping Puppy Food Brands
You should initially feed the same diet the puppy was eating before you adopted them.
Consider continuing with this diet and then with the equivalent adult dog formulation.
If you plan to change to a different food do not do so in the first few weeks.
Then gradually include increasing proportions of the new food over a period of two to four weeks.
German Shepherd Feeding Guide For Seniors
You will need to modify your German Shepherds diet when he changes from adult life stage to senior. Older German Shepherds have lower energy needs.
They will begin to have less physical activity and move slower, and so they will require fewer calories each day. You should increase in fiber amount in their diet because digestion tends to slow down in seniors
There are some commercially sold dog foods that are already adjusted for seniors. If you prepare your own dog food, you will need to reduce the calories primarily through the carbs.
Senior German Shepherds still require proper nutrition, especially for their bones and joints.
When it comes to treats, senior dogs should have healthy ones like whole-food treats such as apple slices or carrots.
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Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Feeding
From 3 to 4 weeks old, when it comes to feeding a German Shepherd puppy, we should start by letting them taste new foods and flavors.
At this stage, the German Shepherd puppys diet plan requires them to eat special wet food for puppies.
At around 6 to 8 weeks old, a German Shepherd puppy should be given a little dry dog food with water.
From their eighth week onward, a German Shepherd should be weaned and start feeding on solid food with a special puppy feed.
Puppies must have constant access to clean fresh water.
Pointers For Feeding German Shepherds
Improper feeding practices can lead to serious health problems for German shepherds. Most of the time, these problems linger throughout the dogs lifetime.
You should remember this before doing something reckless, such as altering your German shepherd puppys feeding amount.
An owner is responsible for taking into consideration the age and weight of a German shepherd before feeding them. So here are some tips that can be applied according to your dogs age and weight.
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What Makes A Good German Shepherd Puppy Food
The needs of a puppy are much different than that of an adult dog. Your pup is growing rapidly right before your eyes. Their bones are getting stronger and their muscles are being primed for a lifetime of activity.
As a result, your puppy is actually going to need more nutrients now than they will when they get older.
To ensure that you’re giving your dog everything they need, here are some things to look for in your pup’s dog food. Many of this information is recommended and regulated by the Association of American Feed Control.
You can look out for the small AAFO seal of approval on the packaging as a quick way to determine if a food is suitable for your dog.
Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Chicken flavor, 5. Fish Meal
A diet thats designed for a specific breed is much more fulfilling than a regular one. Keeping that in mind, Royal Canin has created a special formula especially for German Shepherds and their dietary needs. Some noteworthy features of the breed-specific diet include special dietary fibers that cater to the sensitive digestive system of German Shepherds and a mix of nutrients that nourish and support their skin and coat.
The recipe is designed with highly-digestible proteins to encourage muscle growth and nourishment. Moreover, it contains both EPA and DHA to support bone and joint health, which is a common issue with most adult and senior German Shepherds.
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Blue Buffalo Life Protection
In order for your German Shepherd to lose weight, or simply maintain it if he is less active, then feeding him a natural dry dog kibble with less fat content than normal kibbles is your best bet, and Blue Buffalo offers the perfect solution. Follow the package guidelines closely and be sure to continue his exercise as directed by the Veterinarian, as he still needs to be active to lose that extra fat.
Weight control will not only help to reduce the risk of heart disease, but it will also decrease the pressure on his hip and elbow joints. So, if he is a bit on the chunky side feeding him a less calorific diet will benefit his health significantly.
We love most of Blue Buffalos offerings. They are synonymous with high quality, while not taking up half your paycheck.
Holistic Select Large And Giant Breed Adult Health Dog Food
Large and Giant Breed Adult Health is one of 5 dry kibbles included in our review of the Holistic Select product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, rice, oatmeal, oats, chicken fat
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Maintenance
- Best for:Adult shepherds only
Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Adult Health derives the bulk of of its animal protein from chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 16% fat and 50% estimated carbs which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
This grain-inclusive, large breed formula boasts above-average protein content yet still free of any plant-based protein boosters. Reasonably priced. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewMy 4 Great Danes absolutely love this food. They are all very healthy, coats are wonderful, and it helps with their teeth. I would recommend this to anyone with Giant Breed dogs. The nutrition information is comparable to what the needs are for Giant Breed . Nothing in this thats bad for your dog. If you decide to get this, your dog will enjoy it!
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How To Serve Raw Paws Pet Food
Raw Paws suggests serving a raw food diet out of stainless steel bowls rather than plastic or ceramic. Stainless is non-porous and will never trap food or bacteria.
You should feed your dogs on a floor or solid surface that is easy to clean and disinfect.
Once a portion is served, return any remaining food to the refrigerator. If your pet leaves any food over, place it back into the fridge.
If any food sits out for more than two hours, toss it.
Wash your dogs bowl after every feeding, and disinfect any surfaces that have come in contact with raw food.
Wash your hands often during the preparation and clean-up of raw food.
Holistic Select Large And Giant Breed Puppy Food
Holistic Select offers a dry puppy food formula in lamb flavor or lamb and chicken flavor. Both flavors are grain-free. The formula includes DHA from salmon oil, prebiotics and probiotics, live yogurt cultures, digestive enzymes, fruits and vegetables, and antioxidant-rich superfoods. Lamb meal and chicken meal are the first 2 ingredients on the list.
Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed puppy food contain 25% crude protein. Crude fat is 16% and crude fiber is 4.5%. The calcium to phosphorus ratio is 1.3% to 1%, respectively. Calorie counts results at 433 kcal/cup.
Overall, another solid choice for your German Shepherd puppy.
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Blue Freedom Puppy Grain Free Chicken Wet Dog Food
Also from Blue Buffalo is the Freedom formula. It’s a grain-free formula that can do wonders for your puppy’s overall health. Real chicken is used as the primary protein source.
It’s accompanied by chicken liver and chicken broth. When you open the can, you’ll notice the visible vegetables. The food has carrots and peas, which provide plenty of vitamins and minerals.
There’s also sweet potato. It acts as the source of carbs to keep your dog’s energy levels consistent throughout the day. The potatoes also provide a dose of fiber for better digestive health.
How Much Should A 10 Week Old German Shepherd Eat
Ideally, they should be on food with lean protein and low fats to keep their slim physique. Puppies should be fed about 2 cups of food daily, on average. The amount of food depends on the crude fat contained within the food. A puppy should eat 3 times a day, moving to 2 times a day at around a year old.
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Best Food For German Shepherd Puppies
Speaking of vital elements that must be present in dog food, heres a list of the best German Shepherd puppy food. Not only do these brands pay particular heed to the necessary nutrients for your furry friend. They guarantee an energetic and fit German Shepherd puppy by adding in other minerals for the well-being of your dog.
Wellness Complete Health Whitefish & Sweet Potato
Best Fish-Based LID Food
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Whitefish, Ground Barley , Rye Flour, Menhaden Fish Meal, Ground Pearled Barley…,
Sweet Potatoes, Canola Oil , Tomato Pomace, Natural Fish Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Minerals , Vitamins , Mixed Tocopherols , Choline Chloride, Taurine.
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You Need To Know What You Are Doing
Cooking a home-cooked meal for your dog isnt about what you think is best. To prepare a meal that actually fits within your dogs nutritional requirements is actually an exact science. Using your best judgment is not appropriate here.
If you do choose to make homecooked meals for your dog, it can be of great benefit to it. Just make sure that you consult with a dog nutritionist to guide you along the way and to provide you with exact recipes to feed to your dog.
Unless you are prepared to do this, or you have extensive knowledge of your dogs nutritional requirements, its best for your dog that you stick with high-quality store-bought food.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Senior
Senior dog food is a good formula to feed your German Shepherd when he begins to slow down. For some German Shepherds, they may remain highly active until they are 10 years old. Other German Shepherds may start to slow down around age 7. No matter what, transitioning to a senior formula with higher glucosamine and chondroitin levels will aid in joint health and hopefully ward off hip dysplasia.
Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food does a great job of supplying aging dogs with the proper nutrient levels they need. Nutro Ultra Senior contains 26% crude protein for moderate energy levels, 11% crude fat to avoid weight gain, 4% fiber to aid in digestion, and only 314 kcal/cup. The formula includes a boost of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. The recipes main ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran, lamb meal, and salmon meal. We recommend this food as a great source of protein and healthy fats for older German Shepherds.
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Can German Shepherds Eat Bones
Do you remember the saying give a dog a bone? But can GermanShepherds eat bones?
German Shepherds can eat bones. They are a good source of nutrients, especially calcium and phosphorus. However, never feed a cooked bone as the cooking causes it to soften and splinter as your dog chews it and can cause injuries or choking. Choose a large raw bone larger than your dogs muzzle.
Beef or lamb bones are better than chicken or pork bones as they are stronger and wont easily splinter. Bones can also help to clean your dogs teeth and keep them strong. Always supervise your GSD when giving him a bone.
The best bone to give to your dog is one that matches their size, as dogs will try to swallow them. Bones should be larger than the length of the muzzle, making them impossible to swallow whole. For example, a large beef shank bone would be just the thing for my German Shepherd, and she certainly thinks so!
How Much To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy Per Day
Once you have decided what dog food to feed your GSD, the next step is to determine how much you should feed your German shepherd puppy. To figure this out, let your German shepherd puppy eat as much as he wants in a thirty-minute period. Pick up the bowl after your puppy is full and measure how much kibble is left in the dog bowl. Do this for several days to get the right amount of food.
As your puppy enters growth spurts, youll find that his appetite increases drastically. At this point, observe your pup carefully. If he always seems hungry and looks thin, you may need to put more food into his bowl. If he appears to be chubby or has diarrhea, you should slightly cut back on the amount of food he eats.
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How Much And How Often To Feed A Senior German Shepherd
Senior German shepherds tend to experience weight fluctuation, meaning that the amount of dog food your dog should eat varies greatly depending on your dogs body condition. Generally, senior dogs will be benefited from eating more often with less portion size.
Lets say if I used to feed my dog twice a day, then I would feed him three times a day during his senior year. Three meals per day is a maximum you should give unless your vet specifies otherwise.
As for the portion size, I would suggest speaking to your vet to get an optimal ration. One last thing that Id like to add is that water is an essential part of your dogs diet. Its necessary to aid in digestion, flush the toxins out, and maintain a body temperature, so dont forget to provide easy access to clean, cool fresh water at all times.
How Much To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
Depending on your puppys current weight, activity level, and metabolism, you should plan to feed your puppy 3 or 4 times each day.
Older puppies can be fed fewer times per day, but be sure not to limit the caloric intake below the recommended amount.
Smaller, more frequent meals will help prevent bloatgastric dilatation volvulus is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Frequent meals will also help stabilize your puppys blood sugar and energy level to help them grow steadily, not in fits and starts.
Puppies need two or three times the number of calories as adult dogs do. This may seem strange considering puppies are much smaller than adults. However, German Shepherd puppies grow extraordinarily fast, so their caloric intake needs to support that.
To figure out how much to feed your German Shepherd puppy, look at his or her weight. Females will be slightly smaller and lighter than males.
|between 31 and 49 pounds|
|5-6 months||between 35 and 57 pounds|
Using the weight chart above, the general food chart in the previous section, and considering the gender and activity level of your puppy, you can calculate the approximate amount of food to feed daily.
Split that daily amount up between all meals. For example, if your 3-month-old GSD puppy is a male and weighs 30 pounds, you should feed him approximately 2 cups per day.
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Adult German Shepherd Nutrients
Adult German Shepherds also need age-appropriate food, so it is important that when he reaches the age of 15 months or so, he should be transitioned from a large breed puppy formula to adult formula as his nutrient requirements change . A high-quality adult kibble should include 18% to 24% protein and around 14% fat content.
Similar to the Siberian Huskys food needs, an average adult German Shepherd should consume anywhere between 1,700 calories and 2,400 calories a day, dependent on his size and energy levels. If he is a less active pup or an elderly dog, then he will need much less energy, and he should only consume between 1,300 and 1,600 calories.
Both adult and puppy German Shepherds generally do better on grain-free kibble as they are commonly allergic, or intolerant to, grains and most Veterinarians would suggest putting your pup on this straight away to save any dietary upset or the need to change his diet in the future. However, not all owners and experts agree on a totally grain-free diet, so this is a personal choice as there are pros and cons to each argument, so therefore we have included a mix of grain-free and grain inclusive recommendations.