As a unique dog breed, the German Shepherd comes with its beautiful wolf-like appearance. They are energetic, powerful, and athletic dogs that weigh almost 60 to 80 pounds on average.
German Shepherd food must be nutritional and dietary needs because of their exceptional strength, physical temperament, and intellect. Right nutrients during puppy and adulthood help them to stay strong and healthy.
If you’re recently purchased or adopted an adorable German Shepherd, you’re probably looking for the best recommendations about the diet plan for your puppy and adult dog. To make your search easier, in this article we will explore the best diet plan for your canine friend. This article will also cover the nutrient requirements and the pros and cons of different dog food with their correct amount in different stages of your dog. Let’s start….
German Shepherd Feeding: General Guidelines:
As a carnivore, dog’s natural diet is meat, although they eat vegetables and fruits which shouldn’t exceed over 10% of their total diet. There is no exception in German Shepherd dogs.
They also require a high protein and fat levels into their diet to maintain their body and development. Protein content in their diet helps for proper growth and development while the fat content helps them to keep their skin and coat in good condition.
In general, adult dogs in good condition and fitness should be fed about this amount:
|10-30 lbs||1 ¼ – 2 ¼ cups per day|
|30-50 lbs||2 ¼ – 3 ½ cups per day|
|50-80 lbs||3 ½ – 4 ½ cups per day|
|80-100 lbs||4 ½ – 5 cups per day|
|Over 100 lbs||5 cups per day plus ½ cup per additional 10 lbs of dog’s weight|
German Shepherd food for puppies:
Usually, Shepherd puppies require more nutrients to develop and grow quickly during their first 8 months of age. Their growing continues till 18 months of age, although at a considerably slower pace. To ensure optimal development, your puppy requires the highest quality nutrition. Also, high-quality food can help them to reduce the risk of developing pre-existing health problems.
As a responsible dog owner, also ensure that your dog gets the nutrients he or she requires maintaining their coats healthy and glossy. Whether you have a white German Shepherd, a black-coated German Shepherd, or a fluffy-coated German Shepherd, always provide a high-quality diet to maintain their coat and skin healthy.
You can choose high-quality kibble available in the market for the large breed puppies that contain larger calories, proteins, and other nutrients. These nutrients are essential for the proper growth and development of your Shepherd’s body and bone. Always choose the kibble for larger-sized dogs because not every kibble available in the market contains enough nutrients for Shepherds. Due to their activeness, Shepherds require higher energy than other smaller breeds of dogs.
German Shepherd pups ideally require 500 calories to consume per day, which may increase up to 1,600 calories by the time they reach the age of 15 months. The kibble should have a fat content of 10% to 12% and a protein level of 17% to 22%. Don’t overfed calcium supplements to your German Shepherd puppy which increases the chances of hip and elbow dysplasia in later life.
Adult German Shepherd food:
You need to provide age-appropriate food to your adult German Shepherd. Usually, a Shepherd reaches to their adulthood at 15 months and from this time, you need to make the transition of food from puppy formula to adult formula. This transition period is very much important because the nutrient requirement of your dog changes dramatically during this time.
Usually, Shepherds require high-quality adult kibble of 14% fat and 18% to 24% protein during their adulthood. Like other larger breeds such as Siberian Husky, your German Shepherd requires approximately 1,700 calories and 2,400 calories per day to maintain his normal function. Although, it’s enough to provide 1,300 and 1,600 calories for less active up or elderly dogs.
Grain-free kibble is preferable for both adult and puppy German Shepherds, as they are frequently intolerant to or allergic to grains.
Senior German Shepherd Nutrients:
Provide the right diet for your senior German Shepherd’s body because they are prone to becoming overweight for their age. Because of their age, senior Shepherds start to lose their mobility in some parts like rear legs and rear joints.
Also, overweight and hip dysplasia are common issues during this time. That’s why they require special attention and different nutrients to maintain their normal body condition. Due to their inactiveness, they are very much prone to obesity, which you need to be monitored.
As your dog ages, always provide a high-fiber diet that can be easily found in the market. According to their weight and performance, most senior Shepherd usually requires 1200 to 1500 calories per day.
Home Made German Shepherd food for Adults and Puppies
Below, we provided one easy homemade dog food recipe for your lovely Shepherd. The ingredients include:
- 5 cups water
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2 cups of Brown rice
- 3 Eggs
- ½ cup fresh vegetables like broccoli, carrot, pumpkin, etc.
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 grams Krill oil
- 1/3 lb of Hempseed
- 400 IU Vitamin D
To make meat-based dog chow for your pet friend, please follow the steps below. You can also add some bones to give their teeth more strength. The steps include:
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- In a large saucepan, cook and stir the turkey for up to 5-8 minutes, or until it browns and crumbles. The grease should be drained and disposed of.
- Combine 5 cups of water and brown rice in a separate large pot and cook for 45 minutes, until the rice becomes mushy. You can add more water to make the mixture thicker.
- In a blender, puree the vegetables (eggs, carrots, broccoli, and rest), then thoroughly combine the combination with the pumpkin puree.
- Pour this mixture over the meat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Cook for 5 minutes after pouring this egg-vegetable mixture over the meat mixture.
- Let the entire mixture cool for 30 minutes before feeding your dog.
Veterinarians recommend feeding 2-4% of your dog’s overall weight. You can adjust the amount by calculating your dog’s body weight and activity level. It’s obvious that a larger dog requires more amount than the smaller one.
You can divide the daily diet into two halves: one for the morning and another for the evening. Although, some shepherd owner prefers to add seasonal fruits like apples, blueberries, or peas instead of the veggies.