You have gotten a new German Shepherd puppy and you wonder what to feed her. Most breeders will give you a small sample of what the puppy has been eating, and you can either continue with that same brand or switch.  If you change the food you will want to do gradually and purchase or make the healthy food for your German Shepherd puppy.

When you look to change foods, your large breed puppy’s requirements are different from small or medium size breed puppies.

There are 4 kinds of feed; dry kibble, canned, homemade, and raw consult with your vet to ensure proper nutrition. All kinds should meet two requirements. Make sure it is for large breed puppies and it meets the requirements of complete and balanced nutrition with a fat content of 26 percent and a protein content of 15-18 percent.

Proper nutrition is one of three vital keys in the raising of your puppy healthy and strong, and to maintain their health once an adult. If not monitored can cause some health issues. So, discuss with your vet the food of choice. 

Types of Dog Foods

1. Dry Kibble

Dry Kibble

Dry kibble is going to be the most convenient method of feed for your German Shepherd puppy. It is the cheapest, and you can check the contents by reading the packaging label.  The content and the percentages of fat and protein along with minerals will be on the label. The dry kibble is very dry, so you always need fresh water available.

Adding canned puppy food with the dry kibble will also make it more palatable as the canned food has 80 percent moisture.

Consulting with your vet will help determine if an additional supplement is needed.

The dry has some health benefits as the chewing on the dry kibble will keep the teeth clean from tartar buildup as well as curb the urge to chew on shoes or other household items. Dry kibble is also easy to travel with.

Some disadvantages of dry kibble are that it does not provide enough moisture and is high in carbohydrates. Puppies that consume dry kibble only should be monitored for digestion and liver issues.

2. Canned Puppy Food

Canned Puppy Food

The canned food is very moist which makes it a plus for your German Shepherd dog. Canned food helps keep her hydrated and the canned food will fulfill the German Shepherds protein requirement. Also, the canned food is easier on her digestion, not high in carbohydrates and is beneficial to her bladder functions. However, the canned food is expensive and takes a lot to feed your German Shepherd and does not stay fresh very long after being opened. The canned food will not fulfill your pups chewing needs or keep her teeth clean.

3. Homemade Dog Food

Homemade Dog Food

If you don’t like these options there is the homemade option.  This diet utilizes dog-friendly food you combine and cook resulting in a portion of nutritionally balanced dog food.

Your homemade dog food should contain 50 to 70 percent protein. Some ideas for protein ingredients in your homemade dog food would be baked or boiled fish, organ meat in small quantity, eggs, cheese or yogurt. You can add limited quantities of cooked vegetables, grains and fruits to provide fiber. Work closely with your vet, making sure your German Shepherd dog is getting good nutrition. 

4. Raw Food

Raw Food

Raw foods diet is similar to the homemade but the food is not cooked.  This diet will help to strengthen your puppy’s bones.  Raw food can also lead to issues with her immune system.  Consult your vet so they can advise you on the safest way to offer up the raw foods. There is the choice of using commercial freeze-dried foods which would fall in this category.

Nutrition is important for your German Shepherd dog if your dog isn’t getting enough protein in dry kibble add canned food, quality versus quantity. The German Shepherd dog requires a diet high in protein, your German Shepherd dog’s life expectancy depends on the food you feed her. Talking with your vet will help you decide what is the best food for your German Shepherd dog.

How Much to feed a German Shepherd Puppy?

Deciding how much to feed your German Shepherd puppy is going to involve aspects of their environment and their genealogy. Size of their parents will determine their adult size. Male puppies will generally grow to be larger built German Shepherd dogs than the female. Therefore, male puppy will consume more food and grow faster.

You can monitor your German Shepherd puppy’s growth with routine weigh-ins at your veterinarian.  Your vet can show you how to check your pups rib cage to monitor weight.  Generally speaking, you should be able to feel her ribs but not see them. It is very important to monitor the growth of your German Shepherd puppy.  If she gains to much weight early on in her development, health issues can arise with her skeletal system.

Most German Shepherd pups are started out eating 4 times a day, then when they are weaned, they are tapered back to 3 times a day with equally spaced intervals. Monitor their feedings and keep track of whether they are hungry or not, do they leave food in their dish. Although some believe in free feeding their puppies it not recommended as it makes it hard to figure how much your puppy is consuming.

Vets recommend feeding your German Shepherd puppy the food of choice up until they are between 4-6 months. When the transition from puppy to adult food is made, the amount of food and times per day they are fed will change. Discuss with your vet the amount of food to feed and how many times per day, so that your German Shepherd puppy maintains a healthy balanced growth. Having fixed feeding times will also aid in the housebreaking of your German Shepherd puppy.

The feeding frequency and amount of food your German Shepherd puppy is going to need will depend on these factors. How is their growth, how hungry are they, do they seem satisfied or do they look for more when their food is gone. General feed time is around 15 minutes if they are still acting hungry consult with your vet regarding increasing the size of the portion being fed.

When your German Shepherd puppy reaches the age of 9 months you may consider cutting her feeding back to twice a day, morning and evening. This is the norm from 12 months on but as always consult with your vet. Feeding twice a day keeps her on schedule but be sure the evening feed is not too late to avoid any accidents thru the night.

Your German Shepherd puppy will grow to be a lifetime friend and companion. Work with your vet to develop the good food for your German Shepherd.

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