What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: July 8, 2018
What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy?

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When such an endearing pet, like a German Shepherd puppy arrives home, everybody immediately focuses their love and affections towards it. Yes, all dogs need to feel loved, but German Shepherds are particularly sensitive and receptive to displays of affection. This love and affection can be displayed in different forms, such as placing importance on the food for our German shepherd puppies.

Raising puppies can prove to be difficult and therefore guidance is often needed. One of the common mistakes when raising puppy dogs, is feeding them too much or giving them inappropriate and bad quality food. This food can put them at risk of health problems and can, at times, even result in obesity.

What is the best diet for a German Shepherd puppy, then? Here at AnimalWised we will tell you what is the best German Shepherd puppy diet. We´ll also provide a helpful German shepherd puppy food chart to know what they should eat and when.

You may also be interested in: Names for German Shepherd dogs

Newborn German Shepherd puppy Diet

For a German Shepherd to develop and grow properly , it is imperative that it first nurses on its mother's first milk or colostrum, and later on her rich milk. Puppy dogs should nurse for at least 6 to 8 weeks.

We cannot overstate the importance of first milk, as it will give the puppy 90% of its natural defenses. In addition, it contributes to proper blood flow and helps oxygenate the puppy's organs.

If for any reason the puppy cannot suckle its mother, never give it cow or goat milk. These milks are very poor quality in comparison to a puppy's mother's milk. If your German shepherd puppy must be prematurely weaned, a veterinarian will prescribe specific infant formula and establish the appropriate dosage: for instance, a Chihuahua and a German Shepherd cannot be fed the same food. This is because both of these breeds have different nutritional needs. Take a look here to find out more about the diet for a prematurely weaned puppy.

What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy? - Newborn German Shepherd puppy Diet

German Shepherd 1 month old puppy diet

From 3 to 4 weeks old, a German Shepherd puppy should start trying new flavors, besides breast milk, in its diet. This stage in a German Shepherd puppy's diet plan will consist of porridge or special wet food for puppies. At around 6 to 8 weeks old, a puppy should be given a little moistened dry food with water or unseasoned chicken stock between nursing sessions.

From the eighth week onward, the German Shepherd should be weaned and start feeding on solid food with special puppy feed. It is much better if this feed is specific to the particular breed. Your veterinarian can create a proper food plan for your German shepherd puppy by taking into consideration: feeding pattern, quantity and food type. At this stage, milk must be removed from the puppy's diet as it could cause diarrhea. It is vital that puppies have access to clean water at all times.

What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy? - German Shepherd 1 month old puppy diet

2 months-old German Shepherd puppy diet

At two months old, you can start to slowly decrease the moistening of your German Shepherd's dry food, until the puppy is used to eating the food completely dry.

Following its food chart, from 2 until 4 months old, a puppy will eat 4 or 5 times a day, but with one very important addition: discipline. Place the bowl of food down for 10 minutes, this should give it enough time to finish its mean. After 10 minutes, we suggest taking the bowl of food away, even if your puppy hasn't finished eating.

The puppy's food bowl must only be available to the dog for 10 minutes. 10 minutes should be enough time for a puppy to eat all of its provided food. After 10 minutes you should take the food bowl away, even if the puppy hasn't finished eating. This pattern will introduce the puppy's food schedule and allow it an opportunity to become accustomed to particular feeding times.

Accepting and adapting to a diet plan is very important for a puppy's intellectual development. It also facilitates more complex and demanding training sessions. Food for German shepherd puppies should be higher in calories, fats, proteins and calcium than adult dog food. This is because puppies are still growing and developing and therefore need more of everything.

What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy? - 2 months-old German Shepherd puppy diet

Four month-old German Shepherd puppy food plan

Between 4 and 6 months old, the number of meals (which we have detailed in our German Shepherd puppy food chart) should be reduced to 3 a day. This food quantity should be increased and an extra margin of 2 minutes to eat should be provided. Food tin packaging will detail the appropriate suggested amount of food for the puppy, depending on its age and weight. If you have any doubts, consult your veterinarian.

You should eventually start mixing fresh food, such as; meat, fish or vegetables, with commercial dry feed. Beware of forbidden foods for dogs. These such foods should always be cooked, and never given raw. Avoid chicken and rabbit bones, and fish bones as they can shatter and harm an animal.

Wet food should be given in moderation because they result in plaque and cause feces to smell. Meanwhile, treats for dogs should only be used as positive reinforcement during their training and learning period, not as a food supplement.

Under no circumstances should you give your dog human food leftovers. Human food salt, sugar and seasoning contents are very harmful to a dog's health. What's more, if you do this, your German Shepherd will pester you during meals.

What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy? - Four month-old German Shepherd puppy food plan

Six month-old German Shepherd puppies

When your German Shepherd puppy reaches its 6 months of age, its daily food intake should be reduced to twice a day, with a proportionate increasing in amount and eating time. A vet can provide you with a correct and tailored diet and/or food plan for your German Shepherd puppy. This diet chart will take into account your German Shepherd's age, lifestyle and size.

After 6 months, you should give your German Shepherd puppy shatterproof bones, such as; beef to gnaw on in order to strengthen its teeth and gums. Here you can learn more about bones for puppies.

What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy? - Six month-old German Shepherd puppies

Food and water bowl hygiene

Your puppy's food and drink containers should always be clean. Hygiene is important in order to prevent the appearance of insects , which, if present, could cause your German Shepherd puppy to suffer from intestinal parasites.

If you notice that your puppy has not eaten for three consecutive meals, consult your veterinarian immediately. This lack of appetite could easily be caused by bowel obstruction and stomach pain due to the ingestion of toxic food etc. Don't forget that puppies are very sensitive and fragile and ignoring any symptoms of disease can result in severe issues or even fatality.

In addition...

German Shepherd puppies should be socialized and trained to live with you from day one. These dogs are incredibly capable, with the ability, if trained properly, of learning tricks and performing to their best abilities. It is essential that there is a harmony among their exercise, food and affection. And don't forget the importance of the German shepherd puppy's food chart!

For more information about your German shepherd, take a look at...

What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy? - In addition...

If you want to read similar articles to What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy?, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.

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What did you think of this article?
My gsd pup is 35 days old..
It lost it's mom during it's birth..
So... what should i feed and when should i....
I dont have any idea about this....please do help me

Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Gnyana,

We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your pet. It is tough for a puppy, so there are some things you need to consider. In terms of diet, we have gone through this information in the article. If you have any specific questions, please go ahead. In terms of care, we also have these articles which may be helpful. They include feeding a prematurely weaned puppy, socializing a puppy and info on what happens if a puppy is away from their mother too early:

We hope they are helpful!
how to grow my german sheperd in to a giant?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Tyson,

If your dog is given a balanced diet, appropriate exercise and a lot of affection and positive reinforcement, they will grow into the healthy size they were born to be. Please do not focus on making them become a ‘giant’ and focus on their health and well-being.
Gourav Brahmin
What should I give my one month old german sheperd puppy unless serelac
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Gourav,

We're not sure we understand the question, could you please clarify for us and we'll see what we can do?
when should i start giving meat to german shepherd
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Kaka

You can start transitioning from a puppy diet to a raw food diet between 8 months and 1 year old. However we always suggest consulting your veterinarian before doing this as your dogs diet always depends on its age, weight and general health.

For more information on natural diets, we’ve attached some links for you:

We hope this helps!


s p singh
diet for 4month dog daily
Sam liu
My German shepherd in 10 months old and i feed him fruits, vegetables and cook meat, but he occasionally manages to catch sparrows, is this diet okay for a dog? (i don't feed him any onions or garlic)
Nishant singh
If I give 1 month 8 days german shaferd puppy cow milk then any problem?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Nishant,

As the article states, you should not give your dog cow or goat milk. Please read the article for information on what you should be feeding them.
sp singh
daily given cow milk with chapati
Is it right to give milk to 2 month German Shepherd puppy.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hello Ashutosh,

After about 4 weeks (2 months), a German Shepherd puppy should start to be weaned onto junior dog food. You can ask your vet or even someone responsible at your pet store for the most suitable brand they stock.

You possibly can give them milk also, but we advise against it. The reason for this is that after they start to wean, they will not produce as much lactase, the enzyme for breaking down lactose in milk. Some dogs will be able to digest milk OK, but some will develop allergies. No dogs will get the nutrition they need from cow or goat milk alone and it is unnecessary for them to drink it.

Here is some additional info on prematurely weaned puppies if it helps:
my dog is 7 week what is the proper diet
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Heavean,

This very article details what you need for your 7 week old puppy, so all you need to do is give it a read over. Good luck!

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