A German Shepherd puppy needs to eat healthy food.
In order to do so, you will need to watch their food requirements, the quantity of food that they have to eat, the frequency of giving them food, and many other things.
You will also need to carefully research the best type of food for German Shepherds puppies.
Here is a guide about the best German Shepherd puppy diet.
German Shepherd puppy food requirements
Your puppy’s diet should consist of roughly 27% of protein. Protein work to build up strong muscles and helps organs grow.
The protein for your German Shepherd puppy should come from an animal source so they can be properly digested and absorbed through your puppy’s body.
Carbohydrates provide the energy that your puppy needs by providing them with glucose.
Another benefit of puppies eating carbohydrates is that it helps maintain your puppy’s body temperature when it generates energy.
They also provide fiber which lets your German Shepherd feel full and aids with the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Vitamins and minerals
Some foods contain the vitamins and minerals that your puppy needs. You have another option of buying vitamin and mineral supplements; however, you have to be careful with the amount that you give to your puppy.
If you give your puppy too many vitamins and minerals, they will become poisoned.
Because of this reason, you got to choose a formulated puppy food that contains the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
To know the best types of puppy foods, consult your vet about what kind of food that you will give to your puppy.
Fat has many benefits that will definitely help your puppy. First, it is an important source of energy where it is converted to glucose which is an energy source.
Second, fat also easily lets your puppy absorb vitamins from food and promote healthy skin and coat.
How much food should you feed your German Shepherd puppy?
German Shepherd’s puppies will eat different amounts of food based on different stages in their life. As mentioned, food must contain the nutritional requirements that your puppy needs.
Here is the German Shepherd feeding amount for puppies in different ages and phases.
- If your German Shepherd is below 16 weeks or exactly 16 weeks, you can provide 1/2 to 1 cup of food for your puppy.
- From 16 weeks to 9 months, you can give your puppy about 1 to 1 3/4 cup of food.
- From 9 months to 12 months, you can give your German Shepherd puppy 2 to 2 1/2 cups of the meal.
- After 12 months, you can give 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of food in every meal.
You have to give them sufficient time for them to eat their meals and provide them with water. Normally the interval between meals and water is 10 to 15 minutes.
How many times should a German Shepherd puppy eat?
It’s true that puppies need more amount of food provided with many nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, fat than adult German Shepherds.
So naturally, you may be wondering how many times you have to feed a German Shepherd puppy?
Your German Shepherd puppy will need to eat from 3 to 4 meals a day so they can grow healthy and develop smoothly.
It’s important to divide the meals at different times as puppies are prone to vomiting when they are offered a lot to eat.
There is a common feeding schedule for puppies who eat three times a day where they can eat at 7 am, noon, and 5 PM.
What are the different types of puppy food to give to your German Shepherd puppy?
There are four types of food to give to your German Shepherd puppy. They are dry kibble, wet food, raw food, and homemade food.
1.) Dry kibble
Dry kibble is one of the most popular types of dog food available for German Shepherds. Dry food is affordable and convenient for all dogs.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of dry kibble are:
- It is good for your dog’s teeth and makes them stronger.
- Dry food is easy to get and is more convenient.
- It helps protect your dog’s teeth against plaque and tartar buildup.
- Helping in reducing stress, dry kibble will more likely stop your dog from chewing on furniture and shoes.
- It lasts longer than wet food when it is opened and it’s easy to preserve where it doesn’t have to be placed in a refrigerator.
- Dry food is affordable than wet food.
The disadvantages of dry kibble are:
- It causes liver problems and digestion problems in dogs.
- Dry food contains lots of carbohydrates that, when they are eaten in excess, it will definitely cause your German Shepherd problems.
- The dry kibble is extremely dry and contains only 10 % moisture which is a very low amount to help keep your puppy hydrated and sometimes will be the sole reason for dehydration.
- Dry food contains preservatives, flavors, and artificial colors.
- It doesn’t contain enough protein that your dog needs in order to grow.
- Your German Shepherd puppy may have a problem in swallowing dry kibble.
2.) Wet food
Wet food is by far healthier than dry food. It contains about 80 % water which helps keep your puppy dehydrated.
Here are the advantages of wet food
- Wet food is made of 80 percent which means that it will help your German Shepherd stay dehydrated.
- It is packed with all the nutrition that your puppy needs.
- Being easy to digest and delicious, your puppy will be very happy eating their meals.
- It doesn’t contain a large number of carbohydrates that will affect your puppy’s health negatively.
- Wet food is easily digested.
- It helps the urinary tract and urinary functions of a dog.
Here are the disadvantages of wet food
- Wet food has a soft texture that doesn’t allow your dog chewing requirements.
- It doesn’t keep your dog’s teeth clean of tartar and plaque.
- Wet food is more expensive than dry food.
- It doesn’t have a long life and can expire in the sunlight easily.
- It isn’t easily transported from one place to another especially when traveling
3.) Raw food
German Shepherd puppies can also eat raw meat which is a diet that is packed with protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates.
You can either feed your German Shepherd puppy raw meat or you can bake the meat. Any ingredients that you add to your puppy’s diet has to be dog-friendly.
Also, you can add cooked vegetables that will also provide your puppy with needed nutrients.
As you give your puppy raw food to eat early on, they tend to grow faster, strengthen their bones, and fight off diseases before they appear.
Here are some of the options that you can feed your German Shepherd puppy:
- Meat that is low in fat
- Raw meaty bones
- Boiled or baked meat
- Cooked fish, salmon, sardines
- Organs such as liver
- Eggs, yogurt, cottage, and cheese
- Vegetables and fruits that are not poisonous for German Shepherds
An important step to do is to consult your vet about the safest way to serve these raw meals so your puppy doesn’t have problems in their immune system.
So take this important step to talk with your vet about what’s best for your puppy’s health.
4.) Homemade food
When you feed your German Shepherd homemade food, you have the chance to actually increase their chance of being healthy.
If you are preparing homemade food, it is essential to make well-balanced meals. It’s not enough to only give your puppy homemade food rather you have to give them certain vitamins and supplements.
People who feed their German Shepherd puppies feed them cooked meat, chicken, and fish as main sources of protein.
Other German Shepherd homemade meals include yogurt, cottage cheese, or eggs. You can also give your German Shepherd vegetables such as greens, carrots, sweet potatoes such as berries.
Guidelines for the best German Shepherd puppy feeding schedule
It’s important to feed your dog at specific frequencies and don’t give them food all the time because it will cause them to have health problems or become obese.
At first, you can only start by feeding your dog twice per day so they get used to accepting food.
Then, you can switch to four daily feedings during the weaning process for some time.
Around the age of eight weeks, you can transition to only three daily feedings spaced at equal intervals.
It’s important for you to avoid nighttime accidents for your dog by feeding them a couple of hours before their bedtime.
Around the age of 9 to 12 months, you can transition into two daily feedings in the morning and in the evening.
This is the norm for your dog from that age upwards.
The meal length is important to put into perspective when giving your dog the meals. It affects the amount of food that you are going to give to your dog.
Thus, it is important to balance your dog’s meals by giving them a specific amount of time for their meals. The meals should be between 10 to 15 minutes.
If your dog hasn’t eaten all their food in 15 minutes, they are full. However, if they want to eat more food after 15 minutes, then you have to consult your vet about whether to increase your dog’s portion size or not.
Mealtimes depend on several factors such as the level of hunger that your dog has, the amount of time that it takes them to finish their food, and is your dog hungry after all the food is finished.
You have to provide water to your dog at all times so they stay hydrated throughout the day.
Water is so important that you need to give it to your dog at all times.
It’s also a good idea to remove excess water before your dog goes to bed to avoid your dog from making accidents.
Can puppies eat adult German Shepherd food?
Puppies and adult dogs have different nutrition requirements needs. For puppies to grow gracefully, they require more protein, micronutrients, and carbs than the food found in adult German Shepherds.
Because puppies require more nutrients, protein, and carbs, they need to eat puppy food and not adult German Shepherd food.
When comparing puppy food with adult food, puppy food is smaller in size when compared to adult German Shepherd foods to make up for their small mouths and holds more of the nutrition requirements that your puppy needs.
Another reason to not give your German Shepherd puppy adult German Shepherd food is that the kibble is too large and hard in texture for their mouth.
If you do give your German Shepherd puppy adult German Shepherd food, you risk the chance that the kibble will damage your puppy’s teeth, jaws, and health in general.
These are the main reasons that you should give your German Shepherd puppy food that is suitable for their age.
Top 3 best German Shepherd food list for puppies
1.) Orijen Puppy
Orijen Puppy food has a diet that has protein and other nutrients that help balance your German Shepherd’s puppy diet. It contains protein sources such as eggs, chicken and turkey, and fish.
It is made grain-free making it suitable for German Shepherds. This puppy food is on top of the German Shepherd food list for puppies especially since it is made from the trustworthy and credible Kentucky Kitchens in America.
Having so many positive reviews on Amazon, the Orijen Puppy food is a fantastic option for your German Shepherd puppy. To get it, check the Amazon store.
2.) Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken and Turkey
This puppy food is highly rated among many vets and nutritionists.
It contains the protein sources made from real chicken and turkey that will provide your German Shepherd puppy with all the protein that they need so they can grow healthy.
Having DHA in the ingredients, the Wellness Core Grain-Free Puppy Chicken and Turkey helps support a healthy brain and developing eye development.
It also doesn’t contain ingredients that will harm your dog’s health such as wheat, corn, soy. and artificial colors.
This puppy food also contains calcium and phosphorous which helps develop your dog’s bones.
Another benefit is that it contains vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and spinach which benefits your dog’s health by providing them with the vitamins and nutrients that they need.
Your puppy’s health is a top priority and you have to take care of them. To get this puppy food, check the Amazon store.
3.) Royal Canine German Shepherd Puppy Food
This dry-puppy food is designed to meet the nutritional requirements of purebred German Shepherds at the age of 8 weeks to 15 months.
The puppy food is designed in a shape that helps your German Shepherd eat it comfortably.
It also helps protect your dog’s immune system by containing natural antioxidants such as vitamin E.
Aiding in digestion for your German Shepherd puppy, the Royal Canine German Shepherd Puppy Food does so because it contains digestible proteins and fibers making digestion of food run smoothly.
Containing both glucosamine and chondroitin, this puppy food supports joint and bone health to support their bodies growing.
If you want to get this amazing puppy food, check the Amazon store.
When to stop feeding your German Shepherd puppy food?
Keep on giving your German Shepherd puppy their food until they are 8 to 9 months where you can actually transition them to adult dog food.
You can also wait for German Shepherds to become 10 to 16 months in their age before transitioning them into adult food depending on their growth.
It is better to wait for your German Shepherd until they are ready. Don’t rush the process as they will face digestive problems.
Foods that your German Shepherd puppy is allergic to
German Shepherds whether adults or puppies are prone to food allergies that will cause their skin to become itchy and cause them to itch a lot.
Some of the signs of a food allergy are an upset stomach and diarrhea which will cause your dog discomfort.
The foods that will cause your German Shepherd a food allergy are a corn, dairy, soy, and wheat.
The best diet for an allergic dog from food is either a puppy or adult German Shepherd foods that says “hypoallergenic”.
This means the protein isn’t treated as a foreign subject so no allergic reaction happens.
How to transition your dog from puppy food to adult dog food?
This all depends on your dog’s willingness and growth rate to start eating adult food.
Once your German Shepherd has reached the stage to eat adult food, you can start by gradually feeding your puppy 1/4 adult food and 3/4 cups for several days which are about 4 to 7 days.
For the next days, start feeding your dog 1/2 adult food and 1/2 puppy food for several days.
After several days have passed, start feeding your puppy 3/4 adult food and 1/4 puppy food each meal for a couple of days for 4 to 7 days.
After the end of 7 days, you can start to only give them adult German Shepherd food.
It’s important to gradually switch your German Shepherd puppy food and don’t switch it immediately as this will cause your German Shepherd puppy problems such as an upset stomach and potty accidents.
Top 3 German Shepherd homemade food recipes for puppies
1.) Lamb Goloush
- 1kg ground lamb (beef if you wish)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cups brown rice
- ½ cup Broccoli
- 2 medium potatoes
- 3 medium carrots
First, fry the meat or lamb in the frying pan.
Second, add the chopped garlic to the pan and wait until they are brown.
Third, on a separate pot, boil 2 to 3 cups of water and gradually add brown rice. Wait on them and cook until they are soft.
Fourth, steam the broccoli, potatoes, and carrots until they are cooked very good.
Fifth, when it’s cooked, put some butter and a little quantity of milk on the vegetables and then add the lamb.
Sixth, add the rice and then serve the meal to your puppy.
2.) Meat stew
- A pot
- Olive oil
- 10 kg Ground beef
- 4 cups of water
- 2 liters chicken broth
- 2 kg of frozen vegetables
- 2 kg of brown rice
First, fry ground beef in olive oil.
Second, add water and chicken broth and let it boil.
Third, add brown rice and let it boil again.
Fourth, reduce the heat to a very low degree and let it simmer for one hour.
Fifth, remove it from heat and let it cool. Serve to your dog.
3.) Liver snacks
- 1/2 cup of warm water
- 1 cup of corn meal
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 2 kg chopped liver which can be from chicken or beef
- 1/2 cup powdered dry milk
First, blend the liver and water in the food processor.
Second, Pour it into a bowl and add all the other ingredients. Mix it well and then pour it into a greased cookie sheet.
Third, spread it evenly and bake at 350 degrees at 30 minutes.
Fourth, get it out of the oven and cut it into squares while it’s hot. Let it cool down and then give it to your dog.
Store it in the freezer.
Top 10 tips to make German Shepherd homemade food
1.) Check with your vet about the recipe
Your vet is the first person that you have to consult with them when you want to create and maintain a homemade dog diet.
They will be able to give you a schedule and a list of the foods that your German Shepherd can eat.
Dogs with health conditions will need special diets that are made especially for their health.
2.) Get recommendations for recipes from experts in dog nutrition
Homemade dog food includes a balance of nutrients and vitamins such as:
- Proteins like animal meat, dairy, seafood, and eggs
- Fat from meat and oil
- Calcium from dairy and ingredients such as eggshells
- Carbs such as vegetables
- Fatty acids such as plant oils, egg yolks, and oatmeal
They also need essential nutrients such as iron, copper, calcium, and zinc.
3.) Prepare and cook the food
You have to prepare your dog’s food properly so it doesn’t have any harmful bacteria on it.
You have to cook the food thoroughly to prevent bacteria from living on the food. This includes beans and starchy vegetables.
4.) Watch out the calories
Watch out the calories in the meals that your dog is eating. You have to not overfeed your German Shepherd that they become so obese or underfeed them that they become skinny.
You have to make sure that the meals that you prepare fit to the specific calorie range for your dog.
5.) Stay away from toxic human foods for your dog
Here is the list of the toxic foods that your dog shouldn’t eat which are
- Cooked bones
- Cat food
- Corn on the cob
- Raw fish
- Milk and dairy
- Peaches and pears
6.) Consider transitioning your dog from your dog’s current food into homemade dog food
If puppies or dogs change the brands of food too quickly, they will experience internal digestive problems.
When changing from one food to another, it’s important to transition over the course of 7 to 10 days or whatever your vet recommends.
7.) Monitor your dog’s stool
You have to monitor your dog’s stool for the first few weeks of their diet so your dog stays safe.
It’s important to monitor your dog’s stool because your dog may have digestive problems such as not eating, vomiting, diarrhea, and allergies that are mainly caused by rushing your dog in their diet.
8.) Be careful about the timing that you will switch your dog to homemade food
Consult your vet about the best time to switch to a homemade diet. Puppies are developing and growing in their first stages and they have nutritional requirements that need to be fulfilled.
Don’t rush the process so fast that your German Shepherd puppy faces many problems in their digestive system.
9.) Don’t feed your German Shepherd puppy bones
Don’t give your German Shepherd puppy bones as their jaws will splinter and crack.
It can also lead them to choke and cause them problems in their digestive system.
Thus, you have to be careful when feeding your German Shepherd any food so that it doesn’t have any bones in them and doesn’t cause them choking.
10.) Let your dog drink water
It’s important for your German Shepherd to drink water so they stay hydrated all the time.
Just like humans, 70 % of your dog’s weight is made of water so they need to drink water regularly.
A German Shepherd puppy needs a specific diet for them to eat. This diet consists of protein, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals in specific amounts so your puppy can get all the nutrients that they need.
There are guidelines about the frequency and amount of food that you have to give to your puppy so they don’t face any problem.
You have to take care of foods that your puppy is allergic to so they don’t face any problem.
To know more about the facts and myths about German Shepherd, check Top 25 Interesting German Shepherd Facts and Myths that will Blow Your Mind
Share your experience with us. How do you feed your German Shepherd puppy and what types of food does your puppy eat?