The best German Shepherd diet requires the right formulation to support the breed's powerful strength, athletic ability, and superior intelligence.
And in stores, there's no shortage of colorful marketing gimmicks and outlandish product descriptions to tempt you to spend at every turn.
That's enough to make your head spin and make you run away!
However, this article is about more than just the best diet for German Shepherds...
It will be your comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to choosing optimal nutrition with a balanced diet.
If you have read this you will know what the best food for a German Shepherd is, what unique breed specific diets there are and what is the healthiest feeding plan for your high energy puppy.
Let's get in right away!
The nutritional content of commercial pet foods must meet regulated guidelines that meet your dog's lifestyle nutritional needs, as long as they have an official AAFCO declaration. By these standards, the minimum protein level to maintain an adult German Shepherd Dog is 18% with a minimum of 5% fat. For growing German Shepherd puppies and pregnant bitches, 22% protein and 8% fat is the minimum.
Only two life stages are provided with these patterns: growth/reproduction and maintenance. The same minimum grooming requirements also apply to older German Shepherds.
|stage of life||Rohprotein||coarse fat|
|growth/reproduction||22 %||8 %|
|maintenance||18 %||5 %|
But here's the problem...
These guidelines only list the minimum amounts, not the amounts your dog needs to thrive!
And that's not all...
The problem with feeding your German Shepherd to the industry minimum
I hope you provide your dog with more than the basics.
Because your German Shepherd eats not only to survive, but also for optimal health!
Would you give an athlete only the basic health necessities?
I didn't think so!
Therefore, don't just feed your popular and athletically motivated working breed German Shepherd the bare minimum of protein and fat. A German Shepherd that eats only the bare minimum is not at the highest level of health - it has just reached its "minimum"!
Fuel your German Shepherd like the athlete he is with premium ingredients in a quality food that's more nutritious than "minimum dog food standards".
I don't have a minimalist German shepherd...
Have an AMAZING German Shepherd.
German Shepherd Diet
For optimal nutrition, a healthy adult German Shepherd Dog's diet should be guaranteed to contain 20-25% protein, 10-15% fat, and 3-7% fiber. Caloric intake can range from 1,272 for a low-activity German Shepherd to 2,100 or more for a high-activity German Shepherd. Look for animal proteins as the main ingredient. If you see chicken, lamb, beef, or turkey as a main ingredient, also look for a “meal” or “by-product meal” among the top 5 ingredients. These are the most concentrated sources of protein that are nutritious for your German Shepherd (despite what you may have read before).
This is because whole meat is moist and contains up to 60% water; In contrast, “flour” or “by-product flour” contains little or no water.
To support very active German Shepherds, it is best to feed food with a guaranteed protein content of 26% or more. German shepherds that receive dietary protein at this level are more likely to achieve peak performance in their active lifestyles (Those). Most German Shepherds are considered active or moderately active and do best with 20 to 25% protein.
Adult German Shepherds enjoy two meals a day, ten or twelve hours apart. Feed your dog after breakfast and again after dinner to maintain a feeding routine.
Diet chart for German Shepherds
|stage of life||Rohprotein||coarse fat||Rohfaser||calorie range per day|
|Adult||20 % - 25 %||10 % - 15 %||3 % - 7 %||1.272 – 2.100|
Puppies need even more calories and extra protein to keep up with their growth, while older German Shepherds need food to maintain a healthy weight and consume more protein to prevent muscle wasting.
Let's find out how much you should feed your German Shepherd Dog on a daily basis.
How Much Should a German Shepherd Dog Eat a Day?
An inactive German Shepherd weighing about 70 pounds should consume about 1,272 calories, while an inactive German Shepherd weighing 90 pounds should consume about 1,540 calories. Active dogs, on the other hand, require more fuel. An active 70-pound GSD needs at least 1,740 calories per day, and an active 90-pound German Shepherd needs 2,100 calories per day for their weight and activity level.
Calories per day for an adult German Shepherd Dog
- Inactive German Shepherds: 1,272 to 1,540
- Active German Shepherds: 1,740 to 2,100
These calorie amounts are based onThe National Research Council of National Academiesfor complete nutrition of dogs.
You will also find guidelines on how much to feed your German Shepherd Dog on the food packaging. These are guidelines only, so you may need to make adjustments to suit your dog's individual needs. This is influenced by your activity level and individual metabolism.
Then you might also want to know how many cups your GSD eats.
As I have already said…
That's enough information to make your head spin!
How many cups of food does a German Shepherd need?
Knowing how many cups of food to give your German Shepherd gets a bit more complicated when you consider the wide variation in calories and high-energy foods from each manufacturer.
WhileCalories vary from brand to brandUse this chart to estimate how many cups of dry food your adult German Shepherd Dog will need.
Meal plan and nutrition guide (by weight and cups)
|Current adult weight||number of cups per day|
|50 pounds||2 3/4 - 3 cups per day|
|60 pounds||3 - 3 1/2 cups per day|
|70 pounds||3 1/2 - 3 3/4 cups per day|
|80 pounds||3 3/4 - 4 1/2 cups per day|
|90 pounds||4 1/2 - 5 1/4 cups per day|
A German Shepherd's diet should take into account the dog's size, activity and exercise level, and any pre-existing medical conditions that may require special consideration.
So if you want to know how much food your German Shepherd needs, you will need to know his age, weight and activity level.Typically, an adult German Shepherd should eat at least 3 cups of food per day, but can eat more than 5 cups of food per day, or more if they are large enough and regularly active.
Let these cup measurements be your guide, but don't let them dictate the exact food cups for feeding your German Shepherd.
Your dog's health will improve when you customize the cups to meet your dog's specific nutritional and calorie needs.
Now let's look at what really is the best food for a German Shepherd Dog.
Best food for a German Shepherd Dog
The best food for a German Shepherd is dry dog food that uses traditional muscle meat as one of the main ingredients. Lean meat is listed on the label simply as beef, chicken, fish, or any number of meat-based proteins. Meat-based meals are an important source of protein and absolutely healthy.Ideally look for a food that also contains glucosamine and additional joint supplements for an adult German Shepherd Dog. Stick to the large breed diet for your German Shepherd puppy, with DHA, which is said to promote brain development, as the preferred supplement.
Your German Shepherd does not need sugar in its food, so do not buy dog food with added sugar. Sugar is also bad for dental care and contributes to tooth decay.
Based on ideal nutritional and performance indicators, here are the best foods for German Shepherds:
Iams King Chicken Dry for large breed adults with high protein content
With added glucosamine to support large breed joints and protein to support your energetic companion.
Hill's Science Diet Chicken and Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food
This easily digestible formula boosts coat health and shine in 30 days with powerful antioxidants.
Dog food for German Shepherds with a sensitive stomach
Many German Shepherds have digestive issues—a sensitive stomach or digestive tract that responds easily to a change in diet or even mental stress. They can even develop gastroenteritis or colitis.
These particular dogs generally do better on a diet that helps cultivate a healthy microbiome and overall digestive well-being - all while maintaining regular and healthy bowel movements!
If your dog is sensitive or has loose stools, grains can help the stool become firmer and of better quality.
Feed your sensitive German Shepherd a food specially formulated for stomach issues like this one.Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Digestion dry dog food with chicken, brown rice and whole grain oats
This special blend from Hill's contains gut-friendly prebiotics, whole oats and pumpkin that support your dog's unique microbiome for smooth digestion and a balanced diet.
If you're concerned that your dog may have uncomfortable skin problems, read onThe best dog food for German Shepherds with skin allergiesto help them relieve the itching. And you will find even moreSensitive food recommendations for the stomach of your German Shepherd can be found here.
There are several options for German Shepherds with skin and stomach problems who cannot tolerate a conventional diet.
Diet chart for German Shepherds
Feeding a German Shepherd the right diet will bring out their inner Olympian and provide them with longer, healthier years with their favorite companion.
When choosing the best food for a German shepherd, pay attention to the following ingredients. These items listed are all good foods for a German Shepherd diet when mixed in the correct amounts into a quality dry dog food.
What type of food should I feed my German Shepherd Dog?
Feed a German Shepherd a commercial dry dog food that prioritizes animal protein sources, such as chicken or beef, and also lists additional protein sources and meat meals (high in protein) in the top five ingredients.
In addition, since their digestive system is not the most efficient, their diet must also contain easily digestible proteins that are much better absorbed by the German Shepherd's body.
Providing your German Shepherd with a quality diet can help prevent future stomach problems. Premium diets also help maintain proper bowel function to keep them regular and prevent diarrhea.
If the protein source is meat only, chances are the kibble is too high in calcium, sodium, and phosphorus. The right answer to the best dog food for a German shepherd is a combination of ingredients that provide the full spectrum of nutritional values for your mighty canine.
When in doubt, start withIams High Protein Dog Food for Adult Large Breed DogseHill's Science Diet Chicken and Barley Recipe Dry Dog Foodas both premium formulas have been specially developed for the optimal nutrition of adult German Shepherds.
What is the best meat for my German Shepherd Dog?
Here are the best types of meat for a German Shepherd:
- Fish (salmon, whitefish, etc.)
Muscle meat and by-products such as hearts, liver, lungs and kidneys and meat dishes made from them are also good sources of protein.
Though these animal organs may make you wrinkle your nose at the thought, they contain essential nutrients that your German Shepherd loves. And contrary to what you may have heard, these organs are a healthy addition to your dog's diet.
dry food diet
Overall, a good commercial complete pet food will provide all of the essential nutrients for your German Shepherd Dog.
Dry food is good for your dog's teeth, so it can be beneficial. A wet food diet can lead to tooth decay more quickly because wet food does not have an abrasive effect on teeth.
A good German Shepherd diet also includes other ingredients such as digestible carbohydrates (e.g. sweet potatoes), fat, vitamins and minerals, fiber, preservatives (look for natural preservatives such as vitamin E or rosemary oil) and preferably other additives. naturally . that contribute to joint, mental or heart health.
Be wary of cheap (cheap) supermarket or generic brands. They can add artificial colors, extra sugar, and inferior fillers to lower their costs.
Avoid these additives - they do nothing to build a stronger nutrient base for your working dog.
Meat vs. meat Meat dishes
When comparing ingredient lists, do you think you should choose the one that has the meat or meat meal listed first?
If your goal is to get the most nutrients from meat, start by choosing a meat meal. Ingredients are displayed in descending order of their weight (this weight includes any water in each ingredient).
If you see chicken as an ingredient, it's unprocessed chicken, including water. Chicken meal means chicken that has been stripped of water and fat.
Yes, it weighs less than chicken but may contain a larger serving of protein (Those).
Do not pass on meat meals as they are nutritious and healthy for your dog.
Can German Shepherds have grain in their food?
Yes, German Shepherds can incorporate grains in their diet and are capable of processing grains. Still, some people blame grains for allergies in their German Shepherds. While it's true that some dogs can be allergic to certain grains, it's important to remember that some dogs can be allergic to certain meats. Grains are actually a source of healthy nutrients.
Interestingly, grains contain more nutrients than alternative ingredients used in grain-free diets (like peas).
German Shepherds clearly evolved from their ancestors, the wolves. This includes developing the ability to digest starch and fat, as well as living longer and healthier lives.
Additionally, the FDA is investigating possible links between grain-free diets and life-threatening heart disease in dogs, and research is ongoing.
Is corn good to feed my German Shepherd Dog?
The answer is yes. Corn isn't just a filler in dog food. It also has several nutritional benefits. Corn isn't bad when added to a balanced dog food, although leading nutrition research institutes confirm the results (Those).
Corn is a rich source of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid for dogs. It also supplements your dog's diet with vitamins and minerals. And let's not forget the necessary fiber that corn provides in dog food.
Although carbohydrates get a bad rap, certain carbohydrate sources (like corn) also provide essential nutrients.
Corn contains healthy fat, fiber and even vitamins. Carbohydrates are also a source of fiber, which promotes your dog's gut health and mobility, helping him to keep his movements more regular.
But don't take my word for it...
You can read the AKC position on cornHere.
In fact, cooked, ground whole corn (like most dry dog food is made) is about 97% digestible for dogs (Those). Therefore, do not neglect the benefits of corn in your German Shepherd's diet.
However, corn should not be the main source of protein for your German Shepherd. While corn is beneficial, it's best to buy foods with another protein source (e.g., meat) alongside the corn. This creates a complete and balanced meal.
I can already hear the screams from the blogosphere as they read the next statement:
Rest assured, corn isn't just a cheap stuffing ingredient in your dog's food.
Diet of the German Shepherd Dog
From an early age, puppies should eat frequently.
Find out whyGerman shepherd puppies have different calorie and nutritional needsyou have to know that. You should feed a puppy food specifically formulated for "large breed" puppies to avoid nutritional imbalances.
Because of their rapid growth, any "nutrition mistakes" made in the puppy stage have more serious, even irreversible, lifelong consequences.
A good puppy food has advantages over adult dog food because it is specifically formulated to meet a dog's demanding nutritional needs. Most importantly, dog food contains adequate calcium.
A good recommendation for German Shepherd puppies who have the ideal protein and DHA (brain boosting supplement) is:
Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy dry food for large breed dogs
If you must introduce a new diet, do so over the course of a week, starting with just a small amount of the current diet for the new diet. Then gradually increase the proportion of the new food each day until you are giving your dog only the new food.
It is best to divide the daily feeding amounts by the number of meals that you feed each day.
Here is a quick overview of how to feed a German Shepherd puppy.
German Shepherd Dog Meal Plan (By Age)
|age of the dog||Number of daily meals|
|6 to 8 weeks||4 bis 6|
|8 to 12 weeks||4|
|12 to 24 weeks||3|
|From 24 weeks||2|
Stay on top of your dog's longevity with these German Shepherd meal plans.
Following a breed-specific diet and nutrition plan will keep you and your dog happy.
6 week old German shepherd
In order to ensure the best possible start in life, puppies should still be suckled and fed with mother's milk at the age of six weeks. Her mother's milk provides special antibodies to ward off disease, and at this age she is focused on her mother's diet.
However, if you have a pup that young, I encourage you to read onI am taking care of a 6 week old German Shepherd DogSo you know how best to support them.
8 week old German shepherd
At 6 to 8 weeks of age, they need to be fed about four to six meals a day. They require proportionately larger amounts of food because they grow quickly and have limited space in their tiny stomachs.
This is also a good time to start.Training your 8 week old German Shepherd puppy.
Do you know the best way to take care of your new pup?
Read all about howTake care of a German Shepherd puppyto take the right path.
12 week old German shepherd
3-month-old German Shepherd puppies are typically fed four meals a day from 12 weeks of age.
You will notice many changes in your pup over the course of 9 to 12 weeks. They begin to grow rapidly and develop their baby shark teeth.
Male hatchlings can average 25 to 30 pounds while females weigh around 20 to 26 pounds.
That's where they become an eating machine!
4 month old German shepherd
If your pup seems hungry this month, remember that their appetite will increase just before a major growth spurt. Slightly increase the amount of food you give them and spread the amount over the daily meals.
At 16 weeks of age, your puppy will eat three meals a day.
After a major growth spurt, the appetite usually decreases somewhat. This is normal, so be aware and ready to change your eating habits.
5 month old German shepherd
Your pup will continue to grow rapidly at around 20 weeks of age. During those 5 months, your pup can weigh up to 50 pounds!
With their adorable oversized ears and slender legs, they can even seem a little out of proportion. Don't worry, your GSD will grow into an athletic physique eventually.
As long as you provide them with quality food, you won't need to make any changes to their diet or food. Keep an eye on your weight to avoid gaining weight too quickly.
6 month old german shepherd
At the age of 6 months, your German Shepherd puppy will be given two meals a day.
During this time, your puppy can eat the same high-quality kibble that you give him without any side effects. If they have bright eyes and a shiny coat, you've chosen the right food.
Some puppies may develop skin issues due to household irritants, seasonal allergies, or food intolerances.
If you notice excessive itching and dry skin, foods specifically formulated to address these conditions can provide relief. Read more about sensible eating by following the guideBest food for German Shepherd puppies with skin allergiesand see all the ways to help them.
8 month old German shepherd
Some owners may still think their German Shepherd is too small at this stage.
But rest assured, they will grow into larger bodies. Typically, German Shepherd puppies take longer to reach their full weight and fill out their muscles.
Keep feeding them twice a day and don't overfeed them thinking it will give them more muscle.
Instead, focus on their health by following the steps belowHelp your German Shepherd puppy gain weight safely.
12 month old German shepherd
As your year-old German Shepherd gets bigger and more active, he will need more calories to keep his energy levels up.
But whatever you do...
Don't just think that eating more is the solution! Some German Shepherds are quite gluttonous!
You still need to watch your weight, monitor your growth, and adjust your calorie intake. And if you haven't started exercising yet, it's never too late!
Remember to follow this important informationTraining your 1 year old German shepherd. This will ensure your training goes smoothly and you will feel less stressed with your pup.
18 month old German shepherd
A German Shepherd puppy should transition to adult food when they stop growing, which typically takes around 18 months for this large breed.
Don't heed the food manufacturer's advice on the exact timing; Instead, track your German Shepherd's weight and growth regularly to get a clearer picture.
Adult German Shepherds should continue to maintain the habit of feeding twice a day.
This reduces the risk of overeating, overeating and bloating - a serious condition for your dog.
Remember that your pup will need different nutrition throughout their life cycle to keep them looking and feeling their best.
Diet for senior German shepherds
Older German shepherds need at least 18% protein and 5% fat in their diet.
These are absolute minimums only, and research shows these numbers are too low to provide optimal nutrition for a senior dog with special needs.
German Shepherds over the age of 7 will benefit from a diet tailored to their needs. Senior dog diets are generally lower in calories, higher in protein, lower in sodium, and lower in carbohydrates. Many also contain ingredients like prebiotics to help maintain healthy gut microbial populations, increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and other antioxidants to fight inflammation.
As an additional supplement, senior foods often contain glucosamine to promote joint health.
Focus on giving yoursSenior German Shepherd, the best dog food for the life stage if you have an older dog.
Look for a senior dog food that is not only easy to digest, but also contains antioxidants and prebiotics and is at least 25% protein. For example,Iams ProActive Health Senior Large Breed Dog Food for Healthy Ageingmeets all of these standards.
There is a growing trend towards feeding home-made feed and raw feed, but it is important to recognize the issue of proper nutrient balance. Get veterinary advice before feeding these types of foods if they are the primary source of food in your German Shepherd's diet.
Feeding them homemade food occasionally, in addition to a quality complete food, is another option if you want to prepare your German Shepherd Dog some homemade food.
German shepherds like a little shredded and cooked chicken and cooked carrots mixed into their food as encouragement and encouragement to eat their dry food.
weight maintenance diets
Keep in mind if your dog is overweight or underweight as manufacturer calorie counts vary widely and you could accidentally overfeed or underfeed your dog.
As a rule of thumb, the food bowls for a German shepherd who needs to adjust their weight are as follows:
- for weight gain: Aim for more than 450 calories per cup of kibble
- for weight loss: Aim for less than 350 calories per cup of kibble
However, with such a wide variety of products, it is best to take this as a guide and check the calorie count per cup of food before feeding your German Shepherd.
Use this chart as a general reference to determine your German Shepherd's energy level.
This will help you understand your GSD's calorie needs and the amount of food required to sustain your daily activities.
|Low activity dog||Moderate activity dog||High activity dog|
|Less than 1 hour per day, e.g. go at the top||1-3 hours a day, e.g. Playing on a leash, swimming, walking||More than 3 hours a day, e.g. Working dogs, agility, herding|
It's important to monitor your dog's weight and pay attention to their physical condition over time. This will ensure that you are feeding them properly and that they are not under or over fed.
overfeeding and underfeeding
As a guide, your German Shepherd should have a defined waist and you can feel their ribs.
A pot-bellied puppy is cute but not healthy.
Obesity is expensive, both in terms of vet bills and health. An overweight German shepherd has a higher risk of arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.
German Shepherds love to exercise and maintaining good physical condition is part of maintaining their diet.
Adults and puppies have different exercise needs, and to keep them happy, you better know the difference:
- Adult German Shepherds need a racing heart,stimulating workout routine
- While German Shepherd puppies do best with itgentle, gentle exercise
It's rare that you can overexert a healthy and fit adult German Shepherd Dog.
But puppies tire much faster and develop their joints even more. Don't overexert a puppy to avoid long-term bone damage.
How often should I feed my adult German Shepherd Dog?
Feeding twice a day, about 10 to 12 hours apart, is healthy for most adult German Shepherds.
Regardless of the feeding schedule you choose, you shouldn't let your German Shepherd do vigorous exercise for at least an hour or two after eating a large meal. This is especially true if your dog eats the food quickly.
Giving your dog time to fully digest the meal can help minimize problems with bloating, intestinal obstruction, or other serious digestive upsets.
What food do German Shepherds need?
The German Shepherd is an Olympic athlete at heart!
They love to exercise, play, run and are generally on the move most of the time. Giving them the best food is important for their natural drive.
Because of its convenience and ease of feeding, dry food is the most common way to meet a German Shepherd's nutritional needs.. Common commercial foods are made from products and by-products of chicken, beef, lamb, or fish, and grains such as corn, wheat, rice, barley, or oats. They contain extra vitamins and minerals to ensure the final diet is balanced.
These foods can be formulated for specific life stages such as puppies, adults, seniors, or "all life stages."
Some owners prefer to mix dry and wet food, prepare their own food, and serve only raw food or whatever combination they feel is right for their dog and lifestyle.
Any food mix you give your GSD should meet its nutritional needs.
It is important to understand your German Shepherd's diet as it is your dog's main fuel and the foundation of his health.
The importance of good nutrition
Selling dog food is big business in the United States.
There is tremendous competition among manufacturers, and many of these companies aim to make huge profits.
In addition to remaining vigilant as savvy consumers, German Shepherd owners need to be mindful of the health of their beautiful breed, which is an indicator of the quality of the food you are giving them.
A healthy German Shepherd has:
- bright and watchful eyes
- Energy for your daily activities
- and a shiny coat
The old adage "You are what you eat" applies to both dogs and humans. Many German Shepherds can go on a poor diet for a long time, but poor nutrition can lead to more than just health problems.
In fact, a poor diet can cause your German Shepherd to develop:
- behavioral problems
- Deficits in the immune system
- disease susceptibility
- and even shorten the lifespan!
Remember that whatever your dog eats becomes part of his daily diet, whether it's good for him or not.
Your German Shepherd’s diet is influenced not only by what they eat, but also by:
- the digestibility of food
- how your body uses food
- and what underlying health problems they may have
Let's take a quick look at the nutrients in your dog's food.
What are the dietary needs of German Shepherds?
The six basic nutrients are water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins.
These essential nutrients are required in a dog's normal diet and are involved in all basic bodily functions. Good nutrition plays an important role in your dog's appearance and vitality.
Minimum nutritional requirements have been established for many nutrients.Keep in mind that these are minimum requirements and not optimal health for your German Shepherd.
To understand more, let's focus on the two most important building blocks of your German Shepherd's diet: protein and fat.
The main nutritional requirement of the German shepherd is protein. Protein has several functions that keep your dog healthy. Proteins provide energy, help build and repair muscle, form new skin, hair, and nail cells, and even keep your immune system and musculoskeletal system strong.
Protein requirements vary with age, activity level, temperament, life stage, health status, and the specific quality of protein in the diet. Most commercial dog foods contain a combination of plant and animal proteins with a digestibility of 75% to 90%.Those).
Estimation of protein needs
Although energy requirements in dogs vary widely, protein requirements are fairly constant.
Adult dogs generally need at least 1 gram of protein per pound.
However, younger and older dogs may need more. young pets for early growth and old pets because they appear less able to utilize dietary protein than their younger counterparts.
More protein is generally not dangerous and senior dog owners should not limit their dog's protein intake. In the worst case, not all of the protein is fully utilized, so it can be wasted (Those).
On the other hand, too little protein can be even more damaging to your dog's health.
The amount needed for puppies and adult German Shepherds is different:
Growing puppies require at least 22% protein, while adult German Shepherds require 18% protein. However, these values are only the minimum.
Remember, you want your dog to thrive, not just thrive on industry minimum standards.
Fat is your German Shepherd's second main nutritional requirement. Fat provides energy and is necessary for the normal development and function of cells, nerves, muscles and tissues in the body.
The amount needed for puppies and adult German Shepherds is different:
The recommended minimum fat content for puppies is 8% and for an adult dog 5%. However, these minimum requirements are only for the maintenance of your German Shepherd Dog, they do not ensure optimal health and sustainable growth.
Your dog's food also contains carbohydrates, which provide energy for your dog's active lifestyle and support protein intake. Manufacturers even combine fiber, vitamins, and minerals to meet the minimum nutrient profiles of commercial dog foods.
Most German Shepherd owners use treats on a daily basis, either during training or for general fun with their dogs.
Let's look at the role treats play in your dog's diet as they are also part of your dog's diet.
sweets and snacks
There is a wide variety of treats available in stores, but quality varies.
While some are relatively natural, others can be high in sugar, dairy, and fat — all factors that can increase your dog's weight.
Try limiting treats to reward good behavior or enrichment exercises for preventionfeared boredom in the German Shepherd Dog.
Always feed treats in moderation and reduce your German Shepherd's normal diet when given treats.
As a general rule, your dog's diet should not consist of more than 10% treats.
Try healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables if you're looking to reduce the number of snacks in your dog's diet.
These are good alternatives as they contain fewer calories. Examples of food safe natural treats are:
- Cooked or raw carrot slices
- Frozen blueberries (great for teething dogs and on hot days)
- Apple slices (without core and core removed)
When in doubt about which treats to feed, start with one of these treatsHealthy treats for German Shepherds.
Feeding a German Shepherd isn't just about the food you give them.
It's about the eating habits you develop for your dog. Follow these nutritional tips to keep your athletic dog in top shape.
- Don't leave the food outside all day.
- Any uneaten food should be removed after about 20 minutes to encourage good eating habits.
- Some German Shepherds can develop picky eating habits. In many cases, this is because the owner is very quick to offer something tastier.
Be aware of this and don't give in to your dog right away. Ensuring that the food is only eaten for a certain period of time will make your German Shepherd realize that it is not in their best interest to wait. Otherwise, they will miss the meal altogether.
Ensure access to fresh water at all times. Always keep your water bowl available and check it regularly.
I tend to fill my German Shepherd's water bowl with fresh water three to four times a day. This is normal as German Shepherds are notoriously messy drinkers and tend to at times spill more water than they drink. In addition, food leftovers often end up in the water bowl, which quickly makes the water cloudy.
Finally, here are some tips to make feeding your German Shepherd easier.
How to choose the best diet and nutrition plan for your German Shepherd
Choosing a good, affordable diet for your German Shepherd Dog may seem daunting at first.
With so many options and so many different opinions about pet food on the shelves, it's an endless sea of sophisticated marketing.
Choose the best diet for your German Shepherd according to its life stage and level of activity, and choose dog food that:
- Complete– contains all the necessary nutrients.
- Balanced–all nutrients are present in the right balance.
- Appetizing– Your dog likes to eat the food in sufficient quantities to keep him in optimal body condition.
- Digestible– absorbed by your dog’s body and used as fuel.
- secure– is free from weaknesses, excesses, toxins, unnecessary sugars, salts, additives and colourings.
Feeding a German Shepherd requires a balanced mix of nutrients to keep their energy reserves in check without adding excess weight that could damage their bones and larger structures.
Some German Shepherd puppies and adults may have:
- sensitive stomachs
- For skin allergies
- food intolerances
While your veterinarian is the best source of health information, home care is an easy and inexpensive option.Food allergy and intolerance testto ensure you are giving your German Shepherd the very best nutrition.
The most useful German Shepherd diet advice to remember is the following:
The best diet for a German Shepherd is not the least...
It is an ideal balanced diet for your athletic dog.
Adjust your feeding plan to suit your dog's lifestyle and health for healthier results.
Cole, D. 1999,The German Shepherd Dog, Macmillan Publishing, Nova York.
Henriksson J, et al. Effect of exercise on amino acid concentrations in skeletal muscle and plasma. Journal of Experimental Biology. 1991:160:149-165.