A German Shepherd has certain health and physical requirements that can be met with the help of high quality food.
German Shepherd dogs are strong, athletic and active dogs. They love to exercise and stay active most of the time.
Due to their energetic nature, these dogs require a diet full of energy.
If you want your German Shepherd to be healthy , make sure you are meeting your dietary needs
How to feed a German shepherd?
Nutritional requirements of a German shepherd’s diet
German Shepherd dogs like all dogs are carnivorous animals, which means they require a high protein content in their diet . This protein is what gives them energy and keeps them strong and healthy.
Proteins in the feeding of a German Shepherd
Proteins also play a vital role in the growth of your German shepherd and it is recommended that a German Shepherd dog have a diet with at least 22% protein . It is better to feed pure proteins to your German shepherd rather than buying poor quality dog food that has added corn syrup, a stuffing that is very harmful to a dog.
The other nutritional requirement for a German shepherd is fat.
The fat comes from the protein and gives flavor to the food of a dog . However, feeding too fatty foods will be detrimental to the dog’s health . While on the other hand, if your German Shepherd’s diet is low in fat, it will create a lot of skin problems in your dog
The ideal content of fat in a dog’s diet helps keep his skin healthy. As a German shepherd sheds a large amount of skin throughout the year, it is very important that you are given the correct amount of fat in your food. The fat content recommended by AAFCO for the German Shepherd is 5% -8%.
Individual needs in the diet of German shepherds depend on a number of factors, including age, sex, lifestyle and much more . The feeding requirements for a young dog do not have to match the diet of an adult.
Sometimes younger German shepherds require a high-energy diet to keep them active. This is the case of dogs that live both indoors and outdoors. These dogs also require a diet rich in protein to regulate their body temperature.
And the diet for the puppies?
In general, German shepherd puppies consume more food than an adult.
The little ones are extremely curious and are exploring their environment most of the time, so they need a high energy diet, and eat several times a day.
Food requirements of German Shepherd puppies
Puppies have the ability to store energy in a seemingly endless way. This means that they need a constant supply of calories – the right types of calories – to keep their energy levels high and help them become happy and healthy adult dogs.
If this is the first time you have a German shepherd puppy, you are probably going to ask yourself some questions about your diet. Feeding a puppy is very different from feeding an adult dog . Younger children need to maintain a regular feeding schedule and their growing bodies require more nutrients from their food than adult dogs.
Questions like …
- How much food should I give my puppy?
- How many times a day should I feed my puppy?
- How much should a puppy eat?
If you do not follow the proper guidelines one can simply be supercharged to your puppy or have it lacking nutrients and minerals vital for its growth.
As a general rule, it can be said that you are feeding your puppy excessively if he can not see or feel his rib cage.
While, for humans, this is considered a sign of malnutrition, it is actually a guide you can use to help find out if your puppy is getting enough calories from his diet.
How much food should I give my German shepherd puppy? How often should I feed my puppy?
Young puppies need to eat 3-4 times a day in small amounts.
If necessary, you can divide the food into two larger meals, but make sure you are not feeding them so much that they start to vomit. The puppies will not necessarily be regulated, so it is easy for them to eat ad nauseam and then vomit, you have to regulate the amounts for them.
How many times a day should a dog eat?
When your puppy reaches 6 months, you can reduce the number of times he eat each day to one or two.
Remember, the diet of a German shepherd puppy is not similar to that of an adult dog.
German Shepherd Dog Feeding Guidelines
It is important that the owners of the German shepherd know the amount of food that their dog requires daily. Feeding too much or too little can cause health problems in your dog . If you provide a diet with excess fat to your puppy, it is more likely that you can develop hip dyslexia.
With a balanced diet one can ensure that the dog properly develops its internal systems and maintains its energy levels.
Your German Shepherd will grow rapidly during its first 12 months of life, so it is necessary to increase the amount of food in your diet as it grows. Ensuring that the puppy of the dog receives the proper amount in its nutrition, and in the right proportions is essential for the development of a healthy adult German shepherd.
Up to 6 weeks
At 6 weeks of age, you should make sure that your puppy is receiving the same level of nutrition that they were receiving from breast milk.
Ideally at this early age, a puppy should be breastfeeding for its mother, because it is difficult to replace with food the necessary micro and macronutrients, along with the natural antibodies found in breast milk.
From 6 to 10 weeks
Between 8 and 10 weeks, you can start to wean them from your mother, and start increasing the amount of food for puppy dogs that you are giving them.
It is best to start with a diet of wet food, to help your body adapt to the transition. Wet foods contain about 85% moisture, which prepares your digestive system for all the food that we will give you in the coming weeks.
From 10 to 12 weeks
At 12 weeks of age, you can start the transition from wet food to dry food. You want to make the transition in small steps, to avoid causing excessive diarrhea or vomiting.
To start, mix 10% dry food in the wet food you are giving, and then increase them by 10-15% each week.
3 month old German Shepherd
At 3 months of age, your puppy should only eat dry foods.
Between 3 and 4 months
At 4 months of age, you can start introducing more products into your diet. Ingredients such as bones, pieces of liver and raw eggs are beneficial to help your dog assimilate the nutrients that may be missing in his dry dog food. Avoid giving them too much of this type of food.
Between 4 and 5 Months
At 5 months of age, your puppy will have become used to its new dry food, along with the food ingredients you have started to give it.
You can also reduce the frequency with which you are feeding, going to provide a meal in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening.
6 month old German Shepherd
At 6 months of age, you can start introducing other ingredients in your puppy’s diet.
Ingredients such as crushed animal bones, pieces of chopped liver and raw eggs are vital to help your puppy develop natural immunities and provide the nutrients they will not get from their dry food diet.
Between 6 and 8 months
At 8 months of age, you can begin to eliminate the diet of foods strictly for a puppy.
Once again, you should avoid abrupt changes in your diet, and instead combine 10% of your new food with 90% of your previous meal, and increase the proportions by 10% each week until you change the diet completely with food for adult dogs.
Not all dog breeds are the same and German Shepherds require different levels of nutrition when they are growing.
German Shepherd 1 year
At the age of 1 year, you will begin to notice that your dog is actually eating less food than when they were younger. This is because your metabolism is starting to decrease.
You can start limiting the number of times you feed it once a day. And if you leave food in your trough, you can reduce the amount you are giving it.