German Shepherds are very active and loyal dogs. They require certain nutrition requirements so they can grow effectively into adult dogs. So what is exactly the best food for German Shepherd?
To know the best food for German Shepherd, let’s look at the nutrition requirements that they need and tips on getting the best food.
Nature of German Shepherd
The nature of a German Shepherd is that they are carnivores by nature. They require a high amount of protein in their diet. This protein provides them with energy and keep them strong and healthy.
It is recommended that your German Shepherd gets about 22% of protein in their diet. It is best to buy for your German Shepherd protein instead of giving them poor quality foods.
They also require taking fat. Fat comes from protein and gives a taste to your dog’s meals. However, feeding too much fat to your dog will cause them harmful effects and feeding them low amount of fat will cause them skin problems.
Fat also keeps your German Shepherd’s coat healthy. A German Shepherd sheds a lot throughout the year so it is important to give them the right amount of fat in their food.
If you feed a lot of fat, your German Shepherd will develop hip dyslexia.
How much to feed a German Shepherd per day
There are different amounts of foods for a German Shepherd life stage whether they are a puppy, adult, or senior dog.
Other factors that also affect a German Shepherd is their size and weight. As for treats, they should only take about 10 % of your dog’s diet.
German Shepherd puppy
A puppy of 4.5 kg to 14 kg should be fed between 1-2 cups daily of food. German Shepherd puppies will need to eat three to four times a day throughout the day.
Adult German Shepherd
An adult German Shepherd is between 27 kg to 40 kg. They will need a 3 to 5 cups of dog food daily.
Generally, you should feed an adult German Shepherd twice a day. One time during the morning and the other during the evening.
Senior German Shepherd
Consult your vet when your dog is about 6 to 7 years of age to discuss how much you should be feeding your German Shepherd.
Giving them food depends on several factors.
How much calories does a German Shepherd require?
When fed an appropriate diet, a German Shepherd grows between 60 to 90 pounds. As a result, they have muscular bodies.
Both adult and senior German Shepherd dogs require 1,300 to 1,600 calories of food suitable for dogs. While active or working dogs require 1,700 to 2,400 calories.
What to feed a German Shepherd
- Meat : Whole meat such as chicken, beef, fish, and lamb are meat sources. Protein can also come from meat meals a concentrated meat in which moisture is removed.
- Healthy Fat: Chicken fat, canola oil, and flaxseed are healthy sources of fats. The AAFCO recommends eight percent fat for German Shepherd puppies and five percent for German Shepherd adults.
- Omega- 3: This is a fatty acid that helps keep a German Shepherd’s coat and skin healthy. DHA supports brain and eye development.
- Carbs: It should be low in carbs to keep a German Shepherd’s blood steady and may include a low form of carbs such as sweet potato.
- Proper Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: Puppies should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1.2 parts calcium to 1 parts calcium. It’s important to not have a deficiency or excess in this ratio so your dog doesn’t suffer from problems such as bone spurs.
- Vitamins and minerals: These are important in your dog’s diet. They need to be in a small portion. The vitamins and minerals tend to strengthen the immune system and keep your dog’s coat healthy.
You should avoid giving your German Shepherd preservatives, animal by products, and fillers. You should also avoid giving your dog common allergic foods such as soy, wheat, and soy.
Tips on getting the best food for German Shepherd
1.) Follow a feeding schedule
You got to follow a feeding schedule for your German Shepherd so they don’t become obese. They are prone to overeating when they eat a lot so it is important to balance their diet.
To make an eating schedule, start by feeding your dog five meals a day and then slowly moving to two to three meals a day.
If you let your dog eat freely, they can suffer from many problems.
Here are a couple of points to keep in your mind:
- A high active dog will require more food than an inactive dog. There are other factors to keep in mind such as age, size, metabolism, and health when deciding how much to give to your dog.
- Puppies under 3 months must be fed whenever they are hungry so they can develop smoothly.
- Take your German Shepherd to the vet if they are not eating properly.
2.) Give natural supplements that will reduce joint problems
German Shepherds are susceptible to bone problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia, as well as osteoarthritis.
Other ways to avoid this problem is to keep your dog in a healthy weight and exercising them. You can also give them food filled with natural compounds such as chondroitin and glucosamine.
These compounds will help reduce the loss of cartilage and will help with the making of new cartilage so to keep the joints cushioned.
Also, there is Omega 3 which reduce joint inflammation and improve movement. It is found in Salmon, flaxseeds, and fish oils which provide health benefits to their brain, heart, and coat.
3.) Give foods that contains probiotic supplements
German Shepherds are prone to digestive problems because they have a shorter colon than dogs of their size.
Dogs will benefit from food with probiotics. These probiotics contain beneficial bacteria which help your dog to digest their food and keep bacteria in check.
It’s also important to nourish these bacteria so they can increase in number and be in their colon. To do so, give your dog probiotics and prebiotics , fiber rich substances that are the food for bacteria.
This fiber will also slow down the passage of food helping the German Shepherd digest their food properly.
4.) Consider your German Shepherd’s nutritional needs
Nearly 80 percent of your German Shepherd’s body is composed of bones and muscles. As a result to built their healthy bodies, they will primarily need protein and fat.
The amount of fat and protein depends on the size of the German Shepherd such as whether they are obese or not.
5.) Track your German Shepherd’s activity levels
Naturally, German Shepherds are very active dogs and become less active as they age. As stated above, active dogs need about 1,700 to 2,400 calories.
While German Shepherd dogs who are less active require less than 1,700 calories mainly between 1,300 to 1,600 calories.
By tracking your German Shepherd’s activity level, you will know how much food they will need and understand , if they are overweight, how much exercise they will need.
6.) Look out for food allergies
German Shepherd are commonly allergic to wheat and corn. Other foods that German Shepherd’s should avoid are preservatives, colorings, and chemicals.
Some German Shepherd’s dogs are also allergic to dairy, white eggs, soy, beef, and chicken. These allergies make the German Shepherd have itchy skin, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
So what’s the solution? One of the solutions is buying food that is ” hypoallergenic” or ” anallergenic”. This means that the meat has been hydrolysed where the gut doesn’t recognize it as a foreign substance and so their are no allergies.
If you don’t want to buy these diets, you can instead substitute the diet with protein in which your dog doesn’t react too such as duck, tuna, turkey.
A solution for itchy skin is omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce skin irritations.
7.) Give them either raw food or cooked meals
If you don’t want to give your dog dry food, raw food is a great choice for German Shepherds. However, if your dog has allergies, you got to know from which type of protein do they have allergies from and switch the protein.
If you want to give your dog dry food, give them dry food with home cooked and it will be a great option.
8.) Keep your German Shepherd hydrated
Make sure your German Shepherd stays hydrated. Give them lots of water so they can stay hydrated and not have kidney stones and.
Your dog may also drink water to much. Drinking too much is a symptom of an underlying problem. These problems are like diabetes and liver problems and will make your German Shepherd’s body need more water.
How to feed your german shepherd to make them gain weight
Step one: Determine the cause of your dog being underweight
Take your German Shepherd to the vet to know what are the causes of them weighting less. It can be the result of two things either you are not feeding your dog enough food or perhaps you are not giving them the right kinds of foods.
They may have disease a disease, infection, or injury that is causing them weight loss. These illnesses causes them loss of appetite and weight loss.
Step two: Start a schedule of weekly “weigh ins”
Make sure to weigh your dog weekly so you know if your dog is gaining weight, losing weight, or staying the same weight.
This will help measure their weight so you can change their diet accordingly. If your dog continues losing weight even though they are eating more, you should take them to the vet.
Step three: Provide food several times of the day
You got to provide dog food many times a day. Some dog owners leave dry food all day long and combine with it wet food once or twice a day.
If you are going with the above option, make sure that that the dry food is high in protein and low in fillers such as cornmeal and ash.
Another solution is to provide feedings at certain times during the day for three to four times. Make sure to feed them multiple times so they do get all that they need.
Step four: Offer them human food along their meals
You can offer your German Shepherd dog ,along their meals and as treats, human food such as vegetables like carrots and celery . You could also provide cooked chicken and turkey along their meals.
By doing so, you ensure that they get a variety of foods to eat from and get all the nutrition they need.
Step five: Give them exercise
It’s important to not only work on getting your German Shepherd gain weight without muscles. Thus , you got to build their bodies so they have a strong and muscular body.
Some of the exercises that help make your German Shepherd gain muscles are walking, jogging, and swimming.
By building muscle mass, your dog will have a proper weight and health.
Top 10 Fruits and vegetable that your German Shepherd can eat
Here are the best food for German Shepherd in terms of fruits and vegetables.
One of the healthiest best food for German Shepherd ,when looking at fruits, are apples.Your German Shepherd can eat apples. Apples are low in protein, high in fiber, and antioxidants and benefit your dog.
Apples are also a good choice for senior dogs who have some illnesses. In these illnesses, they must restrict their protein intake and be on a low fat diet.
Apples are used as a substitute where they are easily digested and are low in protein and fat.
They are also good for younger dogs who need antioxidants and Vitamin C which will also help with problems such as joint disease.
In small cuts, peach are safe for dogs. They are a great source of vitamin A and fiber. One important tip is to be careful to not give them the seed to prevent them from choking.
Pineapple should be taken in moderation. It contains important minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C, B1, and B6.
It is also an important source of fiber.
Strawberries are a good source of fiber, vitamin C , and minerals. It benefits the German Shepherd’s body by slowing cellular aging and strengthening of the immune system.
Coconut has many benefit to a German Shepherd. They provide many minerals and vitamins such as vitamin E. It decreases inflammation and helps boost the immune system.
Your German Shepherd can eat cucumber. The cucumber has many benefits for such as it is a good source of fiber and water.
It also has antioxidants such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium which reduces blood pressure.
Peas are healthy for your dog. They contain magnesium, vegetable protein, and vitamin B2. All of which benefit your dog.
It is one of the best vegetables for dogs. It contains vitamin A, B, and C and salts such as potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.
The best recommendation is to boil and cut it into pieces to give it as a treat or part of your dog’s meal.
Spinach is important for your dog. They provide them with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. All of which are important for your dog’s health.
Lettuce benefits to dogs are 90 % water helping keeping your dog dehydrate.
Bad food for German Shepherds
This is the opposite of the best food for German Shepherd. These are some tips to avoid when giving your German Shepherd foods.
- Bad food for German Shepherd has fillers such as corn syrup.
- It will also make your dog’s coat dull and flaky.
- Low quality food will also make your dog weak.
- It will also not meet your German Shepherd nutrition requirements.
- Bad dog foods will make your German Shepherd’s lower belly fat.
- It will also create stomach problems for your German Shepherd.
- Bad food for German Shepherd will contain preservatives.
- It will also cause preservatives.
- A bad dog food contains flavoring and coloring agents.
Meals for German Shepherd with weak digestive issues
One of the best food for German Shepherd with digestive problems is this meal. This meal is for German Shepherd’s with a weak digestive system.
Ingredients for the meal
- 1 sweet potato
- 8 ounces chicken breasts
- Vitamin E capsule
- 1 cup rice
Cook the rice and potato each separately. Then, boil the chicken in a separate pot and cut into little pieces. Mix everything together.
Meaty meal for German Shepherds in general
Another best food for German Shepherd is a recipe that is full of meat. This recipe will serve a German Shepherd three times a day. This recipe contains the following:
- 1kg rice
- 300 gram beef
- 250 gram carrots
- 250 gram green veggies including parsley, celery, and parsnips.
- Very little salt for taste.
To make this recipe, you will need to boil the meat until it is tender. Then add vegetables and salt into the beef pot and let them cook into a steam.
Prepare rice into another pot and add it to the beef pot when it is ready.
A meaty meal for German Shepherds
The final best food for German Shepherd recipe is this meal. This meal is packed with proteins and fats that are important to your German Shepherd.
- 3 to 4 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
- 2 raw eggs
- 1 lb raw beef liver
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 teaspoon cod liver oil
To make the recipe, first add raw beef liver, beef broth, flaxseed oil, and cod liver oil in a pot and cook. When it is almost finished, add the cheese and raw eggs and give it to your German Shepherd.
In conclusion, the best food for German Shepherd is one that offers them all the nutrition requirements that they need. There are important tips to help keep your dog healthy and not suffering from effects of bad food.
Also , there are important meals for your German Shepherd that makes them strong and healthy.
To know more about other tips on best dog for German Shepherd, check Top Tips on Best Dog Food for German Shepherd.