If asked to name a smart, courageous, and intelligent working dog breed with legendary canine characteristics, the obvious answer would be German shepherd. The breed with its German roots, German shepherd is the 2nd most popular pet in America as per the records of American kennel club and is the 7th most popular type in the United Kingdom.
Originally recognized by the name German shepherd, these dogs were officially known as Alsatians in Britain while Sheppard dogs in the U.S until the late 1977s when the breed was renamed as German Shepherd.
German Shepherds are known for their devotion and can put themselves in line for their masters. This quality is extensively used in police and defence training of these breeds. Other than devotion, these little beasts are known for their amazing ability to learn and imitate commands quickly with agility and steadiness.
German Shepherd – An Intro of the Breed
- Origin – Germany
- Weight – Male: 30 – 40 kg / Female: 22 – 33 kg
- Height – Male: 60 – 65 cm / Female: 55 – 60 cm
- Coat – Double Coat
- Skin Colour – Any shades of gold or cream
- Life Span – 9 -13 Years
Being a strong, active and athletic dog breed, a German Shepherd relies heavily on a power-packed diet to flourish. Feeding them only home cooked foods, without knowing the right kind of nutrition they demand, can leave them under-nourished.
Every proud German Shepherd owner should be aware of the best foods and feeding patterns of their dogs. Providing them with high quality nutrition not only boosts their vitality, but also rejuvenates their skin and coat.
In order to make the owners fully conscious about their beloved German Shepherd’s dietary needs, we have listed the breed’s ideal nutrition, best foods and also the feeding plan here.
Dog Food & Feeding Pattern for German Shepherds Age-Wise
A) For New Born (0 to 2 months)
The average newborn German Shepherd puppy weighs around 370 – 600 grams during birth. To derive their nutrition, they are highly dependent on their mother’s milk.
However, in a case where the mother’s milk is unavailable, top quality powdered milk should be fed to the pups at regular intervals.
German Shepherd puppies almost double their weight when they complete 1 week. As the pups gradually start gaining weight and mobility, they crave more and more milk. Due to this reason, their feeding amount changes on a weekly basis.
|Puppy Age (Weeks)||Feedings Per Day||Amount Per Feeding||Time Gap|
|1||8||10-12 ml||Every 2 hours|
|2||5||30-35 ml||Every 4-5 hours|
|3||4||70-80 ml||Every 4-5 hours|
|4||4||100-120 ml||Every 4-5 hours|
Nutritional Profile Of A Baby Dog Milk
- Ultra-Digestible Protein: Supports faster growth and development.
- Omega Fatty Acid: Optimizes brain and eye development.
- Essential Vitamins: Boost metabolism in puppies.
- Antioxidants: Build strong resistance against infections and diseases.
Which Baby Dog Milk Should I Feed My Newborn German Shepherd Puppy?
You can find various milk replacers in the market for puppies. Yet the one which stands out in terms of quality and nutrition is Royal Canin Baby Dog Milk which has a dietary profile similar to that of maternal milk. The benefits of Royal Canin Baby Dog Milk:
- Offers high energy and protein levels.
- DHA boosts cognitive skills and nervous functioning in pups.
- Exclusive homogeneous formula of milk makes it easier to digest.
German Shepherd pups can be given starter dog food after they complete their first month. A starter food is a moistened dry dog food that acts as an ideal transition from mother’s milk to solid kibble. These starter foods can also be fed to nursing mothers who require minerals like calcium and phosphorus during the lactation period.
Best Starter Dog Foods For German Shepherd Newborns (1-2 months old)
1) Arden Grange With Chicken Weaning Puppy
A highly palatable and an easy to digest food, Arden Grange With Chicken Weaning Puppy Food offers a concentrated source of healthy calories for German Shepherd pups, which they require during the weaning phase. The benefits of Arden Grange With Chicken Weaning Puppy
- High protein content for enhancing muscle and bone density.
- Omega 3 fatty acids keep healthy skin and boosts retinal and brain development in pups.
- Anti-oxidants in the diet increases protection against free radical damage.
2) Royal Canin Maxi Starter Food
Royal Canin Maxi Starter Food has a kibble design that easily gets rehydrated to a porridge-like consistency, which makes it delicious for both bitch and her weaning puppies. The benefits of Royal Canin Maxi Starter Food:
- Promotes gentle and healthy digestion in the pups.
- Boosts their overall immunity.
- Fulfils the dietary requirements of the lactating mother.
3) Farmina N&D Low Grain Puppy Chicken and Pomegranate Starter
Having no artificial flavours or GMO grains, Farmina N&D Low Grain Puppy Chicken and Pomegranate Starter is an excellent starter dog food comprising of top quality chicken and pomegranate that builds superior health in both the nursing bitch and her German Shepherd pup. The benefits of Farmina Puppy Chicken and Pomegranate Starter:
- Due to the diet’s low glycemic index, it keeps ideal body weight in the pups.
- Consists of essential vitamins and minerals that keep a healthy metabolism.
- Absolutely Gluten Free Food.
B) For Puppy (2 to 15 months)
German Shepherd puppies are a bundle of infinite energy and thus need plenty of healthy calories to support their active lifestyle. The frequency of their feeding changes throughout their puppy-hood.
|Puppy Age||Feeding Frequency|
|2-4 months old||4 or 5 times a day|
|4-6 months old||3 times a day|
|6-15 months||2 times a day|
Nutritional Requirements Of German Shepherd Puppies
- At least 22% Protein Content: Protein helps in building lean muscle mass and strength in German Shepherd Puppies
- 5–8% Fat Content: Fats keep healthy skin and a lustrous coat in the pups. It is also a vital element for brain and eye development.
- Calcium and Phosphorus: Calcium and Phosphorus are necessary for German Shepherd puppies to develop robust bones and joints
Best Foods For German Shepherd Puppies
1) Royal Canin German Shepherd Junior
A diet that is custom-made for German Shepherd puppies, Royal Canin German Shepherd Junior is a wholesome meal comprising of nutrition that promotes overall growth and development in puppy German Shepherds. The benefits of Royal Canin German Shepherd Junior:
- Offers a kibble shape and size that perfectly fits German Shepherd Puppies
- FOS Prebiotics supports a healthy intestinal flora and great stool quality.
- Exclusive complex of antioxidants strengthens the pup’s internal defence.
2) Arden Grange Puppy Junior Large Breed
Consisting of high-quality fresh chicken and rice, Arden Grange Puppy Junior Large Breed serves best for a large breed puppy like German Shepherd. The benefits of Arden Grange Puppy Junior Large:
- Enhanced levels of Glucosamine and Chondroitin maintain strong cartilage and joints.
- Fresh chicken meat in the diet provides protein with high biological value.
- Natural Prebiotics to boost the overall digestive process.
3) Orijen Puppy Large
Orijen Puppy Large Breed is a biologically appropriate diet, having all the vital ingredients for boosting the overall health and wellbeing of your German Shepherd pup. The benefits of Orijen Puppy Large:
- A calorie limited diet to promote a healthy weight and to put less pressure on joints.
- Rich in protein for making German Shepherd pups healthy and strong.
- Highly delicious chicken and turkey liver tempt the pickiest of eaters.
C) For Adult (above 15 months)
A typical adult German Shepherd consumes around 1700 calories daily. You can feed your adult German Shepherd 2 times a day. The primary ingredient in a German Shepherd’s diet should be whole meat protein such as poultry, fish or beef. You should avoid feeding them synthetic preservatives.
Nutritional Requirements Of Adult German Shepherds
- 18% Protein Content: Being a breed which generates a lot of power, German Shepherd needs a fair amount of protein in their diet.
- 5% Fat Content: Fats meet the dog’s high energy requirements and also fortify their skin health.
- High in Fibres: Natural fibres maintain superior digestive health and also an ideal body weight.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C keeps the joints healthy, preventing problems like hip dysplasia and arthritis.
Best Foods For Adult German Shepherds
1) Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult
A fitting diet for your adult German Shepherds, Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult offers a nutritional solution that is solely prepared to make adult German Shepherds thrive according to their biological needs. The benefits Of Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult:
- Enriched with EPA and DHA for supporting supple bones and joints.
- It fortifies the German Shepherd’s skin barrier to eliminate infections and allergies.
- Natural fibres promote excellent digestion and maximum nutrient absorption.
2) Fidele Adult Large Breed
Fidele Adult Large breed is a diet that is tailored to suit the nutritional demands of a large breed dog like German Shepherd. The benefits of Fidele Adult Large Breed:
- Contains a substantial amount of protein for enhancing strength and endurance in grown up German Shepherds.
- Omega fatty acids boost skin health and also maintain good eyesight.
- FOS and MOS probiotics keep a healthy gut and facilitate gentle digestion.
3) Hills Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dog
A highly nourishing meal that has Chicken and Barley as its primary constituents, the Hills Science Diet Adult Large Breed is an easy-to-digest meal offering a nutritional profile that suits an adult German Shepherd. The benefits of Hills Science Diet Adult Large Breed:
- High quality Chicken meat makes the food delicious.
- Omega 6 and Vitamin E promote beautiful skin and coat in German Shepherds.
- Ample amounts of protein maintain lean muscle mass and endurance.
D) For Senior Age (above 8 Years)
Mature and fully grown adult German Shepherds are a tad bit exposed to obesity. So you shouldn’t keep feeding them diets, which are loaded with protein and fat. They need foods that are low in protein and fat content while richer in fibres. However, an overall moderate diet with all the components is also considered healthy, provided your dog trains and exercises regularly. A senior German Shepherd consumes around 1200 calories daily. They can be fed 2 times a day.
Nutritional Requirements Of Senior German Shepherds
- Additional Vitamins and Minerals: A diet offering a multivitamin formula keeps the bones and joints of the German Shepherd in robust condition.
- Fish Oil (Omega 3): Fish oil is an excellent source of Omega fatty acids that provides a good anti-inflammatory effect to senior dogs.
- Fewer Carbs: As elderly German Shepherds are quite vulnerable to obesity and diabetes, a diet that has a low glycemic index is most preferred to them.
Best Foods For Senior German Shepherds
1) Hills Science Diet Adult 7+ Active Longevity Original Dog Food
A nutrition that restores youthful vitality in senior German Shepherds, the Hills Science Diet Adult 7+ Active Longevity Original offers a precisely balanced diet, having clinically proven anti-oxidants that promote longevity in the dogs.
The benefits of Hills Science Diet Adult 7+ Active Longevity Original:
- High quality, easy to digest ingredients that support a higher nutrient absorption.
- A combination of Vitamin E and C, builds a stronger immune system.
- Devoid of artificial flavors and preservatives.
2) Orijen Senior Dog Food
One of the best foods for older German Shepherds, Orijen Senior Dog is a diet having a balanced proportion of important vitamins and minerals for fostering their overall metabolism. The benefits Of Orijen Senior Dog Food:
- Provides limited calories to maintain optimal body weight.
- Fresh meat and freeze-dried liver make the meal highly delectable.
- A biologically appropriate diet that nurtures your older German Shepherds according to their biological and evolutionary needs.
German Shepherds are highly curious and self-assured active dogs. Thus, when you adopt a German shepherd pup, make sure that you provide it with a fully nutrition loaded diet and maintain a lifestyle with lots of physical activities. Don’t forget regular visits to the vet. A comprehensive diet including all the above parameters will lead to a healthy and long life span of your little beasts.