German shepherds are high-energy breeds, and this means that they need exercise and mental stimulation so they can remain healthy. It also means that they must consume enough calories to keep up the energy. You need to feed them the best food for German shepherd puppy.
This breed has the tendency to pack on some pounds, so you need to get food with enough protein to support their energy levels. A moderate fat food is also suitable for German shepherd puppies.
German shepherds often suffer from hip dysplasia because of their sloped back. This is the main reason why you need to manage your German shepherd puppy’s weight. You should also search for food with important ingredients like chondroitin and glucosamine that support strong joints. Also, search for I-carnitine and calcium for bone health.
Also, stay away from cheap fillers like corn, wheat, and soy. German shepherds are naturally less prone to allergies, but they can suffer from stomach sensitivity. Consider this before picking best food to feed German shepherd puppies.
Note that calorie intake is crucial for active breeds that are prone to weight gain like the German shepherd. You can ask a vet about what is best for the puppy. Your pup must eat more calories than adults because they have higher energy levels and also grow at a quick rate. Their growth takes 1-2 years, unlike some other pets.
What to consider before buying food for German shepherd puppy
Large breeds such as German shepherds are prone to developing various musculoskeletal problems. In almost all cases, the dogs with such problems grew at a faster rate than necessary. This excessive growth stresses the newly developing bones and joints of your puppy. You can stop this from happening by researching about what to feed German shepherd puppy. You also need to know the recommended German shepherd puppy food amount.
Only feed your German shepherd puppy large breed puppy formula for a while. When he reaches the appropriate adult size, switch to the adult recipe for large breeds. These formulas contain adequate levels of protein that support a lean muscle mass. They also have moderate fat content that helps prevent overgrowth. A formula with chondroitin and glucosamine is ideal as it offers joint and bone support for a puppy.
Before picking a diet for your German shepherd, you should consider a couple of factors. Your dog needs lots of protein with moderate fat content. This will prevent the consumption of too many calories. This is worse for lazy dogs.
For active dogs or dogs that have been trained particularly for sports, they require a high-fat content meal that will support their increased need for energy. Most large breed specific formulas are suitable for an average pup, but your pup may benefit more if he is fed a working or active breed formula.
Irrespective of feeding routine you choose, ensure that you read the feeding recommendation on the label to avoid overfeeding your dog. German shepherds can easily become obese, and this will lead to lots of other health issues.
You should also note that your German shepherd, being a large breed dog, is prone to bloating or gastric torsion. If large breed dogs chew too quickly, air can pass into their stomach and fill it with gas. This gas makes it expand, cutting off blood flow to the vital organs and the stomach. Bloating also happens when your pet engages in vigorous exercise or consumes large amounts of water a short while after eating.
You can also prevent this by buying your dog a special bowl to keep the dog from chewing too fast. You can also restrict water intake after each meal and divide the daily portion into two separate meals at least.
|Dog Food||Image||Feature||Type||Our Rated|
|1. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed||Dry food||Check on Amazon|
|2. Natural Balance Original Ultra||Wet food||Check on Amazon|
|3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy||Dry food||Check on Amazon|
|4. Canidae All Life Stages Large Breed||Wet food||Check on Amazon|
|5. Eagle Pack Dry Puppy Food||Dry food||Check on Amazon|
Best Food for German Shepherd Puppies Review
If you’re looking for natural dry dog food for your large breed pup, then the Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food will serve you best. The recipe specifically caters to large breed pups who will weigh over 55lbs once fully grown. The natural lamb and rice recipe is perfect for pups under a year old.
In addition, to ensure better bone growth for your pup, the formula comes with optimal levels of calcium. So, you won’t need to shell out extra dollars for calcium supplements. Also, the formula contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin to allow full development of strong muscles.
What’s more is that the dog food is quite easy to digest. It is loaded with various vitamins and minerals as well as amino acids. Moreover, you can rest assured that the formula contains no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.
This all-natural diet is bound to boost your pup’s immunity system and keep him safe and healthy.
- All natural diet, free of preservatives, flavors, and artificial colors.
- Loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
- Ensure better bone and muscle growth.
- Easy to digest.
- Nourishes the skin as well as coat.
- Kibble might be too large for smaller pups.
The Natural Balance Canned Dog Food is perfect for those looking for an economical yet nutritious option for feeding their large breed pups. These are available in two sizes, 13 oz., and 6 oz. The pup formula contains chicken, brown rice as well as duck and many other supplements.
Apart from that, the pup food actually takes an entire body approach. This means that it keeps your pup’s entire body healthy. The food can help maintain a strong immune system so your pup will always remain healthy. Also, the food’s premium proteins allow the development of strong muscles.
In addition to this, the food is perfect as it supports growing heart, bones, eyes and teeth. The Natural Balance Formula provides your pup with the perfect balance of proteins and other nutrients. With this diet, you are bound to feel a difference in his digestion as well as the sheen in his fur and skin.
- Packed with flavor.
- Improves digestion and immune system.
- Provides optimal balance between nutrients.
- Good for hair and skin.
- Promotes the growth of bones and muscles.
- Doesn’t have a lot of flavor to it.
If your pup is not a fan of mushy wet food, then the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Dog Food will be perfect for him. The All natural formula from Nutro contains brown rice, sweet potato as well as chicken. However, the recipe is supplemented with calcium as well. This allows strong development of bones and teeth in your pup.
What’s more is that the formula contains Omega 3 Fatty Acids that boost neural development and ensure healthy growth. On the other hand, the Omega 6 Fatty Acids ensure a healthy skin as well as a soft, shiny coat. You can rest assured that the formula contains absolutely no traces of GMO ingredients.
The food comes in a single 5 lb. bag. It is perfect for feeding pups above 6 weeks of age. However, you can also feed it to younger pups by moistening it.
- Contains calcium for strong bones development.
- Boosts neural development and ensures healthy growth.
- Allows a shiny soft coat and healthy skin.
- No GMO ingredients were used.
- Supplemented with Vitamins E and C
- Contains chicken and grains.
- Kibble is very small so your pup might swallow instead of chewing it properly.
The Canidae All Life Stages Large Breed Food comes jam-packed with quality nutrition to help your German Shepherd Pup grow into a strong big dog. The formula contains Chicken, duck, and lentils each of which has its own benefits. The Chicken is the perfect source of protein while the duck is loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids and the lentils will help satisfy your pup’s hunger.
All these ingredients are simmered in a broth to allow for better taste. The best part is that the food is free from all wheat, fillers, soy or anything artificial. You can feed it to your pup in all stages of his life. It will ensure that he gets a balanced diet and will help his digestion to maintain firmer stools.
The Canidae Canned Wet Food is made right here in the US and uses a special formula to fulfill all the needs. The added advantage here is that you can use this formula for all the dogs in your household!
- Can be used for all large breed dogs and pups in all stages of their lives.
- A premium source of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Contains no artificial ingredients.
- Helps maintain firmer tools.
- Perfectly satisfies your pup’s hunger.
- Contains grains.
- Still requires a steady diet of dry food.
The Eagle Pack Puppy Food contains a tasty dry food recipe that specifically caters to the larger breed of dogs that will weigh over 50 lbs at maturity. This means that the food contains larger kibble. It consists of real chicken, lamb, and fish!
These deliver the perfect balance of protein, antioxidants, fats, fatty acids as well as Carbs. Also, you need not worry about any corn, wheat or meat by-products. The formula is also free of artificial colors, preservatives or artificial flavors. Our tried and tested formula ensures shiny coats, improved digestion as well as an active pet.
The formula also contains DHA which is a fatty acid to allow better development of the eyes as well as the brain. The balanced minerals in the formula allow for controlled growth.
With the Eagle Pack, your puppy is bound to have a strong immune system as well.
- Contains no by-products of meat, artificial colors or flavors or preservatives.
- Promotes better brain and eye health
- Provides an optimal balance of nutrients.
- Improves digestion.
- The bag is not resealable.
The Right Time to Switch to Adult Dog Food:
As your puppy continues to grow, his nutritional needs might continue to change. When he fully matures, you might need to change his diet. Smaller breed dogs are quicker to mature. However, it takes about 12-24 months for a large breed pup to fully mature.
Generally, you should switch to an adult diet when he reaches the size and weight of an adult dog. This can differ for each breed. For German Shepherds, the size will be about 60-65 cm from the withers while the weight may be anywhere from 30-40 kg.
You can even ask your vet for recommendations about when to start the adult dog food. A good indication is when your dog has gotten big and is starting to refuse or pick on his meals. This might mean that the high-calorie puppy food is making him feel full. Then you can try and switch his meals slowly.
How Do Puppies’ Nutritional Needs Differ from an Adult Dog’s?
The quick answer is that the pups’ nutritional needs differ those from an adult dog. The puppy dog food is usually very high in calories and proteins. This is because the puppy is growing and needs as many nutrients as possible to meet his development needs.
Growing puppies have a faster metabolism. They are much more active and thus require three square meals a day. However, grown dogs are less active and their metabolism slows down. Feeding them the same puppy food will actually cause obesity as they will be overloading on calories they do not need.
In addition to all this, your puppy needs a diet loaded with vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants to help develop a strong immune system. Since these puppies are more vulnerable to diseases, this kind of diet is a necessity.
How much do you feed a German shepherd puppy?
Whatever you choose to feed your German shepherd puppy every day needs to be divided between your pet’s overall number of kibbles daily. This should include treats as well. A puppy that weighs about 10 lb. to 30 lb. should be fed 1-2 cups of dog food every day. This should ideally be 100 g to 200 g of food.
German shepherd puppies require a regular feeding schedule of about three to four times daily. This food should be spaced all through the day. This means that if you are feeding the puppy 2 cups daily, it will be half a cup during each meal.
However, it still advised that you follow the instructions of the dog food manufacturer as well as your vet to feed your puppy.
Dos and Don’ts During Feeding
Before feeding your German shepherd, ensure that the food contains the best ingredients for your puppy. If you don’t know what your dog needs, ask the vet for some crucial ingredients good dog foods need. Here are some dos and don’ts before feeding your puppy.
- Do not fail to ask a vet or dog breeders about their experiences with some particular brands so you can get firsthand information to compare brands. Go an extra mile to read online reviews and product features. This will help give you an idea of what you should give your dog and what you shouldn’t.
- Do not pick your preferred dog food based on the price. This is because you may pay a lot later if your dog develops stomach issues and allergies. Be prudent; consider the pros and cons before deciding on a product to buy.
- Keep an eye out to observe your pet for allergies or stomach issues. This is crucial especially after trying out a new product. This way, you can determine if your pup is growing properly or not.
- Whenever you notice anything unusual, speak to your vet about it. The vet will advise you on what to do. If your puppy doesn’t like the food, try something else. But don’t rush the process as it may trigger other stomach issues or allergic reactions.
Your German shepherd puppy needs a special diet, which supports its weak digestive system. It also needs one that maintains coat while preventing joint problems in the future. To prevent these problems, it is good to give your pups food that prevents rapid growth.
Our favorite food in this lineup is Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food. This dog food is filled with protein that your pup needs with moderate fat. It also doesn’t contain grains that could upset your pup’s stomach.
Picking the best food for German shepherd puppy is necessary if you want to keep your dog healthy and happy. Be sure to pick one that is suited to the needs of your puppy.
Catherine Bono is a blogger, who is passionate about dogs and cats. She created Crittersitca.com to shares her experience as she studies to become a qualified vet.