At What Age Do German Shepherds Calm Down
On average , German Shepherds wont start to calm down until they are about three years old
As a new owner, you should always keep in mind that your dog may not be fully grown yet. They might have health problems because of their rapid growth and need extra care from veterinarians such as special food, more exercise, or medicine for things like hip dysplasia.
If youve had past experience with the breed then these tips will help guide you but if this is your first time raising one its good to know what all comes ahead!
German shepherds can grow up into adulthood at an alarmingly fast pace so its important to make sure theyre eating enough without being overfed! This could lead them to gain weight which would lead to health issues.
Nutritional Guidelines To Follow
Not all German Shepherds are created equal. A proper homemade diet should consider your pups weight, health conditions, size, and activity level.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials , the entity regulating dog food nutritional value in commercial dog food, states there are six indispensable nutrients that all dog meals require in order to support life and function in dogs and provide a balanced and healthy diet.
You may also want to add a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to make sure your GSD pup is getting the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.
If these six components are present, your German Shepherd will grow up strong and healthy. We break down each nutrient and its importance:
You should look for products containing glucosamine and chondroitin, which may help treat or prevent common problems in GSD like osteoarthritis and other joint maladies.
Because of the risk of bloating in GSDs, you should avoid raised dog bowls, make sure to give small, frequent meals, invest in a slow-feeder, and avoid vigorous exercise after meals.
If you need more advice on German Shepherd nutrition, an excellent resource is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. This book its considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy homemade dog nutrition.
Where Fat Should Come From: The Bad And The Good
Fat and protein together should be the key dietary sources of energy in the best German Shepherd puppy food, and the best food for their grown-up versions. When looking at the label for German Shepherd dog food or puppy food, youll be able to tell the best food for German Shepherd puppies from a lower quality product if you see that it contains fat from a recognizable source. Ingredients like lamb fat or pork fat are generally good indicators of this. Youll mostly be compromising on the quality of your German Shepherds puppy food if you choose a dog food with mysterious ingredients like lard or poultry fat as the main fat source, instead of a dog food that incorporates real animal fat sources you can easily place.
As noted by the AAFCO, the best dog food for fully developed German Shepherds should be comprised of at least 22.5% protein and a bare minimum of 5.5% crude fat. This crude fat content for our German Shepherds dry kibble actually works out as giving him 12% of his daily calories from fat, which is why youll often see higher figures on the side of dog food packages.
Read Also: Can You Buy Dog Food With Food Stamps
Best Dog Foods For German Shepherd Puppies:
- Formulated with probiotics, another puppy food that considers a German Shepherds sensitive tummy!
- Flaxseed and salmon oil both contribute to your puppys DHA intake
- Wellness have managed to put a whole load of real veggies and fruit in here- theres kale, spinach, blueberries, broccoli, parsley, sweet potatoes and more! Talk about vitamin content!
- 35% protein derived mainly from chicken and chicken meal
- 14% fat which is naturally preserved from natural chicken fat sources
- Free entirely from added grain fillers such as soy, corn, wheat.
- Nope, not really. To us, this is another winner!
How Many Calories Does A Puppy German Shepherd Need
German Shepherd puppies need the right balance of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorous. Ideally, puppy formula will have a protein content of 18% to 22% and a fat content of 8% to 12%. The formula should also have a 1/1 calcium to phosphorous ratio. German Shepherd puppies should have 500 calories per day at an increasing level as they grow. Once the pup is a young adult, he should consume 1,500 to 1,700 calories per day.
Be wary of formulas with too high protein content. Puppies can be sensitive and may get an upset stomach or loose stool. Additionally, never supplement extra calcium into a large breed puppys diet. Too much calcium encourages hip dysplasia earlier in life.
Also Check: Is Wet Food Bad For Dogs Teeth
How To Choose A Quality Pet Food
Contrary to popular belief, the labels on dog food arent that useful. Veterinary nutritionist, Dr. Lisa Freeman, goes in-depth on the matter in her article, Stop reading your pet food ingredient list!, as well as in a co-authored article titled Why you shouldnt judge a pet food by its ingredient list.
She discusses how labels are largely marketing ploys as they often include ingredients that are attractive to customers but arent nutritionally valuable.
Worse, foods with meat or poultry as the first ingredient make you believe the food has a high meat content, which isnt necessarily true.
These cuts of meat are comparable to what we would see at the grocery store, and thus they have a considerable amount of liquid in them which increases their weight.
Therefore, a food with chicken as the first ingredient may actually have less chicken in it than a food with chicken meal as the second or third ingredient.
Lastly, ingredient lists tell us nothing about the quality of the ingredients.
What Do You Need To Know About German Shepherds
First and foremost, you need to know that the German Shepherd is a large-breed dog. These dogs weigh anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds at maturity, and their needs for exercise are above average.
If youre considering the German Shepherd breed, you should be prepared to put in a lot of time for training and socialization. These dogs are not aggressive by nature, but they are very protective, and their desire to protect their family can sometimes lead to dominant behavior toward other dogs and strangers. Because these dogs are highly intelligent, however, they respond very well to training, and they learn very quickly.
Another thing to consider about the German Shepherd is its thick double coat. The coat is medium-length and sheds constantly, so be prepared to do a lot of brushing and vacuuming. This breed doesnt need to have its coat trimmed, but weekly brushing is necessary to keep shedding under control.
In terms of their personality and temperament, German Shepherds are fearless and confident. They need a firm hand in leadership from their owner along with early training and socialization. They get along with children very well and do best when they spend a lot of time with family. This breed can get along with other dogs when socialized from a young age but may not be the best choice for homes with cats. They do enjoy having a job to do and excel in a variety of dog sports.
Also Check: Can You Buy Dog Food With Food Stamps
Homemade Food For German Shepherd Puppy
A German Shepherd puppys diet is not the same as an adult GSD.
Compared to adult dogs, puppies need higher levels of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus. Too few of these nutrients can cause deficiencies, stunted growth, or lifelong complications.
According to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition , puppies need about twice as many caloriesper pound of body weight as an adult dog of the same breed.
Most people worry that their puppy requires more food and calorie intake every day because they are rapidly growing. This isnt necessarily the truth. Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist at Nom Nom advises that in order to promote normal growth, most puppies need about the same number of calories, and the same type of food, from 4 months to 12 months of age.
German puppies should eat 3 to 4 times a day. When your puppy is a bit older you can switch to 2 to 3 meals daily at scheduled intervals.
For proper growth and development, it is not advised to skip meals while your puppy is growing and developing. As our nutritional guidelines previously outlined, a puppys diet needs to include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins.
Monitor Weight & Health
Its important you monitor your German Shepherds weight as you transition to a homemade food diet.
Follow your GSDs weight and health closely for about a month to ensure that she is not adversely affected by this new diet.
An unbalanced diet can lead to excessive energy, skin or coat disorders, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, or obesity. If you notice these symptoms, stop feeding your GSD this food immediately and consult with a professional dog nutritionist.
Its important to work alongside your vet to ensure the diet maintains nutritional adequacy.
What Is The Best Dog Food Brand For German Shepherds
Thankfully, German shepherds arent as prone to allergies as other dog breeds, which are a good thing by the way, since there are a lot more options open to you when it comes to feeding your pet.
You have an ease of mind when introducing new products to your dog without so many concerns about how they would react to itthats a real blessing, I can assure you.
Our Top Pick
Which Food Is Best Recommended For German Shepherd Puppies
For these recommendations, we chose the food with the most natural and organic ingredients, the highest nutritional benefit, and the overall reputation of the company. Like we said earlier, puppies need high levels of protein, moderate fat levels, small amounts of fiber, and a balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Don’t Miss: Can You Buy Dog Food With Food Stamps
Different Types Of Gsd Puppy Food
One of the most confusing parts in choosing food for our GSD puppies is the type of foods available in the market. Listed here are the different types of food for GSD puppies.
Wet food as its name suggests, has a very high moisture content making it easier for nutrients to be absorbed by GSD puppies and can help hydrate their tiny bodies. It is suitable for recently weaned puppies and picky eaters since it is easy to chew, more appetizing and has a meatier taste.
Dry food or kibbles are the most popular type of GSD puppy food because it is more convenient and easy to clean up after. It is packed with more carbohydrates, protein and has high-calorie content. Thus, it can be served in smaller amounts of every meal. Since kibbles are chewy, it promotes oral health and makes GSD puppies teeth strong and healthy.
Based on its name, semi-moist food are similar to wet food but with a moisture content of only 60% to 65%. This is also a good option for puppies who are picky eaters or have a hard time eating kibbles. Some brands of semi-moist food for GSD puppies have high sugar and salt content. So, it is best for owners to be careful when buying semi-moist food for their fur babies.
Dehydrated Food and Freeze-Dried Food
Gaining popularity in recent years, organic food is the healthier choice. Its ingredients dont contain any chemicals, hormones or antibiotics.
Special Diet Food
Do Adult German Shepherd Dogs Need Special Nutrients
German Shepherds often develop digestive problems due to a shorter colon. This can lead to a sensitive stomach. Therefore, it is important to give a very precise diet to avoid triggering the sensitivities and also contribute to optimal health maintenance. Provide your adult German Shepherd a balance of meat protein, fiber, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, and vitamins.
Also Check: Nutro Vs Taste Of The Wild
Eukanuba Breed Specific German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Corn Meal, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Dried Beet Pulp, 5. Fish Oil
Building on the belief that dogs thrive on a carnivorous diet, Eukanuba has made a breed-specific dog food for German Shepherds to fulfill their nutritional needs in all ways possible. Their recipe uses high-quality animal proteins to provide essential amino acids for muscle nourishment and contains both taurine and L-carnitine to support heart health.
Apart from that, the special diet also includes beet pulp and FOS to encourage better digestion. Another unique feature of this dog food is that it uses a DentaDefense System that prevents tartar buildup for up to 28 days, significantly improving your German Shepherds dental hygiene.
Ps For Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food
PS for Dog food is a formula explicitly manufactured for dogs with skin and food allergies according to the PS brand, this formula is made with few ingredients and contains no grains, and it also promotes healthy digestion in dogs while reducing itching licking other allergy-related discomforts in your dogs.
To offer high protein levels to your German Shepherd dogs with skin allergies, this formula contains real Australian lamb meat chunks that have been thoroughly aired-dried and contain some additional hypoallergenic components.
It also helps to control foul-smelling and improves your dogs coat health. This Dog food is ideal for dogs that are fussy eaters and require a high-protein, grain-free diet.
This formula contains low glycemic dog food that avoids yeast infections in your German shepherd dog and builds a healthy immune system of your dog with a high level of protein and hypoallergenic ingredients.
Read Also: Where Is Dr Pol Dog Food Made
Exercise Requirements For German Shepherds
Before we get into the best German Shepherd dog food reviews, one thing I must mention, as it’s common for pet owners to ignore. While food is one of the keys to a healthy GSD, play time and exercise are especially important for this dog breed.
Dog owners looking to adopt a GSD should know is that a German Shepherd is a very high energy animal that requires daily exercise it’s non-negotiable if you want to have a healthy dog. Because GSDs are a smart breed, like other herding breeds, they require a job to live life to the fullest, which provides them with sufficient mental stimulation.
The GSD will keep you on your toes, ready for anything. Playing dog Frisbee, fetching balls, performing in obedience training and agility trials, or even just playing on the beach if youre game, theyre game. And you better be game!
With this out of the way, let’s talk about how to feed a German Shepherd for health, what is the best dog food for a German Shepherd dog, and what are their nutritional needs.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
Best Budget Option for Sensitive Skin
This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more
Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal, Fish Meal …,
Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-tocopherols, Salmon Meal , Dried Yeast, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Chicory Root Inulin, Fish Oil, L-lysine Monohydrochloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dl-methionine, Vitamins , Calcium Carbonate, Minerals , Choline Chloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate , Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product.
Read Also: Can You Buy Dog Food With Food Stamps
Taste Of The Wild Southwest Canyon Grain
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Peas, 3. Garbanzo Beans, 4. Lamb Meal, 5. Canola Oil
Science proves that our beloved four-legged buddy shares DNA with wolves, and Taste of the Wild brand takes this fact very seriously when crafting the perfectly balanced recipe for your large breed dog. The nourishing, grain-free dinner is prepared using lamb, boar, and beef as primary protein sources work wonderfully even for the pickiest dogs. Give your German Shepherd an ancestral diet.
Our Top Pick Taste Of The Wild High Prairie
Made with high-quality ingredients, including a host of nutritious animal protein sources and antioxidant-packed veggies and fruits, the Taste of the Wilds High Prairie Canine Recipe has got to be our top pick. With a whopping seven different animal proteins, this recipe contains all essential amino acids your Shepherd needs to remain strong, agile, and healthy. The formula also contains chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health, probiotics for digestive and immune health, and essential fatty acids for skin, coat, heart, and brain health. One of the best foods for GSDs, hands down!
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Darwin’s Dog Food
German Shepherd Puppy Nutrients
All puppies need extra nutrients to help them grow, and they grow super quick within the first 8 months of their lives. They then continue to grow up until the age of 18 months, but at a much steadier rate. Your puppy needs the best quality nutrients to make sure he develops properly. But using high-quality food will also help reduce the chances of having predisposed health issues.
You also want to make sure your pup has the nutrients it needs to help keep their coats nice and shiny. Regardless if you have a white German Shepherd, black coated GSD, or a GSD with a fluffy coat, youll need to make sure you are using a high-quality food to keep their coats soft and shiny.
He specifically needs high-quality kibble that is specifically aimed at large breed puppies, as they have a higher number of calories, carbohydrates and calcium levels which will provide his growing body and bones with everything that it needs. Standard puppy kibble which is aimed at dogs of all sizes may not contain enough nutrients. German Shepherds are active dogs, so its important to feed them food meant for large breeds.