GSDs are strong, athletic, and active dogs. They love physical exercise and stay active most of the time.
Due to their energetic nature, these dogs require a power-packed diet.
If you want your GS to be healthy, make sure you are fulfilling its dietary needs.
What Is a GSD's Nutritional Requirement?
GSDs are carnivores, which mean they require a higher content of protein in their diet. This protein is what provides them energy and keeps them strong and healthy.
Protein also plays a vital role in your GSD’s growth and it is recommended that a GSD get at least 22% of protein in its diet. It is best to feed pure protein to your GS instead of buying poor quality dog food that has corn syrup added as a filler which is extremely
The other nutritional requirement for a GS is fat.
Fat comes from protein and gives taste to a dog’s meal. However, feeding too
Feeding a raw diet starting at an early age will help your pup grow faster - @sheppedcom
Fat content in a dog’s diet also keeps its fur healthy. As a GS sheds a lot of fur throughout the year, it is extremely important that it is given the right amount of fat in its food. AAFCO recommended fat content for German Shepherd is 5%-8%.
Individual needs of German Shepherds depend on a number of factors including age, sex, lifestyle, and much more. It is not necessary that the food requirements for a young GS match an adult GS.
Sometimes younger German Shepherds require a high-energy diet to keep them active. This is the case with the dogs that live both indoors and outdoors. These dogs also require a diet rich in protein to regulate their body temperature.
What About The Puppies?
Usually, German Shepherd puppies consume more food than an adult GSD.
The little ones are extremely curious and because they are exploring their environment most of the time, they need a high-energy diet, that too several times a day.
German Shepherd Puppy Food Requirements
Puppies have seemingly endless energy stores. This means they need a constant supply of calories -- the right types of calories -- to keep their energy levels high and help them develop into happy, healthy adult dogs.
As a new German Shepherd puppy owner, you’re probably going to have a few questions that need specific answers. Feeding a puppy is a lot different than feeding an adult dog because you’re usually housebreaking them -- so you’ll need to stay on a regular feeding schedule -- and their growing bodies require more nutrients from their food than adult dogs do.
- How much food should I feed my puppy?
- How many times a day should I feed my puppy?
- How much should a puppy eat?
They’re all legitimate concerns, and we’re glad you’re taking matters into your own hands, instead of just giving them a constant supply of food all day or, worse, potentially starving them of vital nutrients and minerals because you’re not feeding them enough.
As a general rule, you can tell that you’re feeding your puppy too often if you can not see or feel their rib cage.
While, for humans, this is considered a sign of malnutrition, it’s actually a guideline you can use to help figure out if your puppy is getting enough calories from their diet.
How Much Do I Feed My Puppy? How Often Do You Feed a Puppy?
Young puppies need to eat 3-4 smaller meals each day.
If you must, you can divide the food up into two larger meals, but make sure that you’re not feeding them so much that they’re starting to vomit. Puppies won’t necessarily regulate themselves, as far as stuffing their face goes, so you’ll need to do it for them.
Puppy food is a lot different than adult food because manufacturers put more emphasis on the different nutrients puppies need while they’re developing their internal, muscular, and skeletal systems. Once puppies become adult dogs, their nutritional requirements change, meaning you should only feed them food created specifically for puppies (or later, adults).
How Many Times a Day Should a Dog Eat?
When your puppy reaches the 6-month mark, you can reduce the number of times they eat each day to one or two.
Below are our instructions for a German Shepherd puppy. Remember, a GS pup’s diet isn’t similar to that of an adult dog.
German Shepherd Dog Feeding Chart
It is important that German Shepherd owners know the amount of food that their dog requires on a daily basis. Feeding too much or too little can cause health problems in GSDs. If you feed a lot of fat to your pup, it will develop hip dyslexia.
Depending on how you’re deciding to feed your puppy -- either a natural, real meat / bone / vegetable diet, or if you’re giving them off-the-shelf dog food, you’ll want to follow the recommendations below to help ensure they properly develop their internal systems, and maintain their energy levels.
Your German Shepherd is going to grow rapidly over their first 12 months of life, so you’re going to want to increase the amount of food they have as they get older. Ensuring they have the proper amount of nutrition, in the proper ratios is critical to them developing into healthy adults.
Types Of GSD Foods In The Market
There are different types of dog foods available in the market. However, commercial food is not very healthy for your German Shepherd Dog and has ingredients that may harm you pup’s health. Make sure you visit your vet and take recommendations on a high-quality German Shepherd food.
Canned Or Dry Food?
It might be confusing to decide the type of food you want to feed your German Shepherd. There are a variety of options you can choose from. However, the biggest debate is; canned or dry?
So, how can you differentiate between canned and dry dog food? What is better?
Which is healthier of the two? You can choose the best option only when you know all about them. GSDs rely on their food to grow and become stronger. If we feed the wrong type of food to our dogs, it will cause them many health problems.
Let us help you differentiate between canned and dry food for your dog.
> Dry Food Or Kibble
This type of dog food is the most popular type of dog food available in the market. There are several pros of getting this type of food for your GS.
Dry food is convenient, affordable, and is greater in quantity. However, there are certain cons to this type of GS food as it has a very little quantity of water in it. This type of food can cause dehydration and liver problems in your dog.
Expert vets around the world suggest that dog owners feed their pet a moderate diet which comprises of both dry and wet food.
Hint: Organic food is becoming more and more popular nowadays
Top 5 Dry Dog Foods On The Market
> Wet Or Canned Food
This type of dog food is healthier than the dry food. It contains 80% water which keeps the dog hydrated. However, canned foods are expensive and can’t be used for a long time. Canned food needs to be fed in greater quantities to a GS.
Canned foods are not only delicious but they also fulfill a GSD’s requirement of protein.
Top 5 Canned Dog Foods On The Market
Alternative Diet For Your German Shepherd
If you don’t like the idea of giving only wet and dry food to your GS, you can put it on a raw diet.
This type of diet is packed with energy, protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates. You can feed your dog raw meat or you can choose to bake it. The ingredients you add to the diet should be dog-friendly. You can also add vegetables to the meal (in cooked form).
Feeding a raw diet starting at an early age will help your pup grow faster. A raw meat diet is also helpful in strengthening the bones and fights several diseases in GSDs.
Below are the options of meat that you can feed your GS.
- Meat – 50% – 70% content and should be low-fat.
- Baked or boiled meat is the ideal food for a GS.
- Raw meaty bones.
- Cooked Fish; pink salmon, trout, sardines, and jack mackerel.
- Organs such as Liver should be included in the diet in a small quantity.
- Eggs. Yogurt. Keffir. Cottage and Ricotta Cheese.
- Non-poisonous fruits and vegetable. (for a better understanding, view our article on fruits and vegetable treats for GS)
Whether you are feeding your dog canned or dry food, you need to make certain that the food is made from healthy ingredients. A dog’s life expectancy depends 80% on the food it eats.
Maintain quality over quantity and feed your dog the food that is of quality and meets its bodily requirement. GSD’s are carnivores and they need a diet that is rich in protein. If you think your dog is not getting enough protein from dry food, switch to canned food.
Similarly, if your dog drinks water after every meal and doesn’t have a dehydration problem then feeding it dry kibble wouldn’t be a problem.
If you want to know more about your German Shepherd’s nutritional requirements, follow our posts and join our newsletter!