Many owners won’t think much about the food the German Shepherds are feeding on. The fact is that this breed needs to eat a lot of food.
These dogs, which can weigh up to a hundred pounds, can eat more than one sachet of food each week if their owner is not paying attention. It is very important to monitor what your dog eats and how much he eats, as this breed is prone to digestive upset, especially due to overeating.
These large, intelligent, and active dogs need to be very nutritious and full of food that keeps them active and their brains working. Unfortunately, the cheapest foods on the market will not provide the types of nutrition that support a shepherd’s health and wellness. Here are some tips to make sure you find the right kind of food for an adult German Shepherd and to make sure you feed him properly.
What food does your dog need?
Finding the best dog food for your German Shepherd can be challenging. There are many mixed signals about what they eat, which foods are best, what kind of allergies they are facing, and whether or not a raw diet would benefit your dog.
However, finding the right dog food to keep up with their eating habits doesn’t have to be impossible. Follow these tips to ensure your dog receives the correct nutrition for his breed and for its life stage.
- Be mindful of the shepherd’s nutritional needs
- Write down the dog’s activity level
- Ingredients to look for
- Learn about the types of dog food
- Dry dog food or wet dog food
- Compare prices
- Food allergy
- Raw or cooked dog food
Pay attention to the sponsor’s nutritional needs
Since these dogs are large and strong – roughly 80% of a German Shepherd’s weight consists of only muscles and bones – their primary nutritional needs will be protein and fat. Your dog’s special needs may be different. If he needs to lose or gain weight, he may need dog food designed to help dogs lose or gain weight.
High-quality dog food contains at least 18% protein and 5% fat. Puppy formulas are high in protein and fat, but most dogs only need to eat puppy food until they are six months old.
Write down the dog’s activity level
Dogs that lead active lives will need more than 1,700 and fewer than 2,200 calories each day. Most German Shepherds are naturally active, but they become less active as they age. Additionally, your dog may not be as active as others, just like some humans are naturally less active.
These dogs will need fewer calories. Between 1700 and 2200 is a good place to start, after which the calories can be increased or decreased if you notice that your dog is very thin or gaining a lot of weight.
Ingredients to look for
The first ingredient to look for is a healthy source of protein. The first ingredient in the bag should be a source of protein – one that your dog will not be allergic to.
Chicken, beef, and fish are all great food options for dogs, but there are dogs of the German Shepherd breed who are allergic to one of these three sources of protein, so always make sure to read the sachet.
Additionally, there should be a healthy source of fat. Fish is another good option, but vegetable oils are mainly used as healthy dog fats. In order to conserve its energy, you will need to look for carbohydrates like barley and rice. In short, you want dog food to be dominated by names that you know and know over the real food. Anything that contains “by-products” should return to the shelf.
Learn about dog food brands
Not every brand will produce dog food specifically for German Shepherds. In fact, most brands don’t. However, both the Royal Canin and Eukanuba produce high-quality dog food that is specifically designed for the breed.
Many “natural” brands like Blue Buffalo or Blue Wilderness will have good formulations for larger breeds. These foods usually have a good ratio of carbohydrates to fat compared to protein which will keep the Shepherd strong and healthy, even if the formula is not intended only for German Shepherds.
It all depends on the country in which you live. In my country, there are no Blue Buffalo, Blue Wilderness, etc. I used Royal Canin and Eukanuba mostly.
Dry dog food or wet dog food
Dry food or wet food? Because there are so many wonderful dry foods and wet food options for German Shepherd owners, many have a hard time choosing between the two types of food or knowing if they can be mixed. While wet food may seem like the best option, especially because it sometimes contains raw chunks of meat or other nutrients.
Dry food is usually a decent choice, unless you have an elderly shepherd who has lost his teeth, has bladder or kidney problems, or has trouble chewing crunchy bits of food. Dry food has some dental health benefits and is generally more appropriate and nutritionally stable for German Shepherds. The texture can help remove plaque and prevent its formation on the teeth, especially early in life, chewing dry food can help build strong bones and jaw muscles.
We sometimes combine wet and dry food. Especially with our last dog eating with some difficulty. Wet food and raw food make him happy. If you buy a reputable brand, you will also get the nutritional value you need. It is also easier to digest. Just make sure it hasn’t expired or hung in the pot over the summer.
The truth is, high-quality German Shepherd food will be more expensive than low-quality food. It can be tempting to buy lower quality food and feed it to your dog just because this breed needs to eat a lot of food throughout the day and because keeping up with this demand while purchasing higher quality food can affect your bank account.
However, those lower-quality foods rarely have the right nutritional content in order to keep large, active dogs healthy. Just like with humans, if all you feed your dog is junk food, they will be tired, more likely to develop serious diseases, and will have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, no matter how much exercise they do.
On the other hand, there are fairly inexpensive quality foods you can buy, especially if you compare prices before purchasing. Many people in the world don’t even earn more than a couple of hundred dollars a month, it’s unrealistic to expect them to buy raw food or the food we would prefer.
The most common German Shepherd food allergies include corn and wheat. It’s usually best to avoid dog foods that have high corn and wheat contents. Food colorings, preservatives, and other chemicals that a dog would never have encountered if they lived in the wild, often cause allergies. Many German Shepherds are allergic to dairy, while eggs, soy, and even beef and chicken can be allergies.
Most of the time, if your dog has a food allergy, especially that related to the type of protein found in the food, he should switch to a food that uses lamb as a protein and rice as a carbohydrate. If you notice that your dog has intestinal problems or is constantly itching, try switching the current brand for one that uses completely different sources of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
Raw or cooked dog food?
Raw or cooked? Many dog owners will offer a raw diet to their dogs, claiming that raw meat and vegetables are what a dog would eat if he lived in the wild. However, dogs that live in the wild rarely live beyond four or five years of age, and domesticated dogs are different enough from wolves and wild dogs that feeding them the same diet does not always make sense.
In some cases, a raw German Shepherd diet is a great choice, but don’t immediately assume it’s the only option for your dog. As long as the food is properly cooked, dry food and even homemade dog food can be beneficial for your dog. I mix it up, sometimes raw, sometimes cooked, but it’s often just dry food.
If you end up giving your dog only dry food, make sure he drinks enough water and provides some sort of bowl or running water regime. Beware of bladder or kidney stones. Some brands like Royal Canin also contain special food for dogs with urinary tract issues.
Breed feeding guidelines
How do you know that your dog gets enough food? How do you know if he’s getting too much? How do you know that he is getting the right kind of food? Paying attention to your dog’s eating habits, establishing a feeding schedule that he can learn to rely on, and following these tips can make feeding your dog much easier.
How much should a German Shepherd eat?
A typical Shepherd should eat between three to five cups of dog food each day. If you are not sure how much he needs, refer to the calorie content of the dog’s food bag. You need to feed your dog enough food to make sure he gets at least 1,700 calories per day. Most adult dogs require more than 1,700 calories.
In general, the best and only way to find out if your dog is getting enough food is to feel his sides. You should be able to feel his rib a little, but not see it. If you feel it and see it, then it needs more food. If he can’t see or feel it, he needs less food.
What can I do to avoid “bloat?”
As is common in large dogs, German Shepherds can develop a condition called flatulence, volvulus, or distention. This occurs when a dog eats too quickly and swallows food instead of chewing and takes its time. This is a serious condition that could cause shock and his heart could stop. Finding a way to slow down your food intake is the best way to avoid this problem.
Putting a tennis ball in his bowl of food is a good way to slow him down, as is to find a food bowl that looks more like a ring than it actually is. The calories eaten should be divided into at least two meals a day and not walking or running for more than an hour before a meal and an hour after a meal.
Overweight German Shepherd
Why is letting the German Shepherd gain weight a bad thing? Allowing a German Shepherd to gain weight can be a very bad thing, largely due to these dogs’ size, susceptibility to arthritis, and conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia, even without being overweight. Staying fit and active helps prolong a healthy life and prevent these conditions from developing, or at least keep them from getting worse.
Where do I buy?
Where do you find food? One of the hardest parts of feeding a German Shepherd good food is finding that good food. Unless you live in an area with natural pet food stores, your local grocery store may not carry the type of dog food you want to feed a shepherd. This means dedicating a little extra time and effort to hunting for food.
Finding and buying quality dog food online is easier than ever and getting it delivered right to your doorstep. Plus, if you talk to your local pet store owner, he or she might be willing to order the right brand for you.