What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy?
See files for Dogs
When such an endearing pet, like a German Shepherd puppy arrives home, everybody immediately focuses their love and affection towards it. Yes, all dogs need to feel loved, but German Shepherds as a dog breed, 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 quite difficult and therefore guidance is often needed. One of the common mistakes when raising puppies 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. Do you want to know how much to feed a German shepherd puppy? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
What is the best food for a German Shepherd puppy, then? Here at AnimalWised we will be discussing the best food for a German Shepherd puppy. In addition, we’ll be providing you with a helpful German shepherd puppy food chart for when and how to feed these puppies adequately.
German Shepherd puppy Diet: newborn
For a German Shepherd puppy to develop and grow properly, it is imperative that it first nurses on its mother's milk or colostrum, later on moving to her rich milk. Puppy dogs should nurse for at least 6 to 8 weeks.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of a puppy’s first milk, as it provides a puppy with 90% of its natural defenses. In addition, a puppy’s first feeding 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 has to be prematurely weaned, a veterinarian will be able to prescribe specific infant formula and establish the appropriate dosage for your puppy. A dog’s breed type does however influence this feed, for example; a Chihuahua and a German Shepherd cannot be fed the same food. This is because both of these breeds require different nutritional needs. Take a look here to find out more about the diet for a prematurely weaned puppy.
German Shepherd: 1 month old puppy diet
From 3 to 4 weeks old, when it comes to feeding a German Shepherd puppy and the best dog food for a German shepherd puppy, you should start by allowing it to taste new flavors and foods; other than breast milk. This stage in a German Shepherd puppy's diet plan will consist of offering it porridge or special wet food for puppies. At around 6 to 8 weeks old, a German Shepherd puppy should be given a little moistened dry food with water, or unseasoned chicken stock between nursing sessions.
From their eighth week onward, a 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. A veterinarian can create a proper food plan for your German shepherd puppy. A professional will take into consideration a puppy’s: feeding pattern, quantity and food type. At this stage, milk must be removed from the puppy's diet as it could cause diarrhea. If by any chance your dog or puppy is suffering from a bad stomach, we recommend taking a look at our article on; What To Do If My Dog Has Diarrhea.
In addition, it is vital that puppies have constant access to clean water.
German Shepherd puppy diet: 2 months old
At of 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. This does have to be carried out with one very important addition: discipline. A puppy needs to learn that it will not be fed constantly throughout the day, but at specific times. This is part of a puppy’s socialization and routine training. First, start of by placing a bowl of food down for 10 minutes, this should give the puppy enough time to finish its meal. After 10 minutes, we suggest taking the bowl of food away, even if your puppy hasn't finished eating.
A puppy's food bowl must only be available to the dog for 10 minutes. This 10 minutes should be enough time for the puppy to eat all of its provided food. As already mentioned, 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 German Shepherd dog food. This is because puppies are still growing and developing and therefore need more of everything.
4 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. The puppy’s 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 the commercial dry feed. Beware of forbidden foods for dogs. Some people ask about a raw diet for a German shepherd puppy, but we recommend these such foods should always be cooked, and never given to a dog raw. Avoid chicken, rabbit and fish bones, as they can shatter and harm a dog’s teeth.
Wet food should be given in moderation because given in excess, it can cause the development of plaque and cause the dog’s feces to smell. Meanwhile, treats for dogs should only be used as positive reinforcement during their training and learning period, never as a food supplement.
Under no circumstances should you give your German Shepherd, or any dog, human food leftovers. Human food contains salt, sugar and seasoning contents which are very harmful to a dog's health. In addition, if you do offer your dog your food, it will pester you during meals. For more, take a look at some of the harmful effects of treating a dog like a human.
Six month-old German Shepherd puppies
When your German Shepherd puppy reaches 6 months in age, its daily food intake should be reduced to twice a day; with a proportionate increase in food quantity and eating time. A vet can provide you with a correct and tailored diet and/or food plan for your German Shepherd puppy. Our German Shepherd diet chart below should be taken into account depending on the age, lifestyle and size of your German Shepherd puppy.
After 6 months, you should give your German Shepherd puppy shatterproof bones, such as; beef to gnaw on. This should be done in order to strengthen the puppy’s teeth and gums. For more, take a look here for more about; Bones For Puppies.
German shepherd puppy: Dog food and water bowl hygiene
Your puppy's food and drink containers should always be clean. Hygiene is very important in order to prevent the appearance of insects. If there are insects in your dog’s water, it 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 in a puppy could 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 if you ignoring any symptoms of disease, it can result in severe issues or even puppy fatality.
German Shepherd care
German Shepherd puppies should be socialized and trained to live with you from day one. These dogs are incredibly capable and have the ability, if trained properly, of learning tricks and performing to their best abilities. It is essential that there is a harmony among a puppy’s exercise regime, a puppy’s diet and affection. In addition to the diet of a German Shepherd, don't forget the importance of; preventative medicines, following the appropriate vaccination schedules and general German Shepherd dog care.
For more information about your German shepherd, take a look at...
- The origin of the German Shepherd
- Tips to train a German Shepherd
- Differences between German Shepherd and Belgian Shepherd dogs
- Common diseases of German Shepherds
If you have a German Shepherd dog and found this article helpful, take a look at our YouTube video below; All About German Shepherds.
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.