Having made the decision to become the owner of an intelligent, smart, devoted German Shepherd, a responsible owner should know that the health, proper behavior, appearance of an adult dog depends not only on its upbringing, care but also on a well-chosen balanced diet of the animal in puppyhood. It is in the early period that the laying of immunity takes place, the formation of the dog’s musculoskeletal system. It is not difficult to find information on what food is best to feed a German shepherd puppy: you can study a lot of special literature, get recommendations from a veterinarian, and ask your breeder. Of course, it is better to do this in advance in order to have time to prepare before the baby enters your family. Let’s try together to understand the question: what to feed a German shepherd puppy. This is especially important for novice dog owners.
Choice of dishes to feed your German Shepherd
Dreaming of raising a beautiful and healthy German Shepherd, the owner must take care of a properly equipped feeding place for his pet. This should be a special stand with a height adjuster, where the bowl of food is placed. If you feed a German Shepherd puppy from childhood without taking into account this moment, in the future you can get a dog with weakness of the front legs, high back, and a humped back.
Bowls made of ceramic or stainless steel are most convenient: they are more durable. There should be two of them: for eating and for water. The food container should be at the chest level of both the baby and the adult German shepherd. The dog will only need to tilt its head. In this position, deformities of the spine, neck, and joints can be avoided.
To prevent the dog’s paws from spreading on the floor and the bowl not moving, the cover under it should be covered with a non-slip mat. After the meal, the dishes are washed out until the next meal of the dog.
In summer, the water is changed at least three times to avoid intestinal infections.
Experienced breeders adhere to the following rules when feeding the offspring of German Shepherds:
- Food is given to the puppy at room temperature or slightly warmer. You can check this by placing your finger in the center of the food bowl.
- After the end of the table, the baby’s muzzle is wiped with a napkin to remove the remains of food.
- Having made a nutrition schedule, you need to adhere to it, otherwise, the dog may have sleep problems, and development will worsen.
- During the first months, it is recommended to be close to the puppy during feeding, accustoming to the correct posture, observing its position in order to correctly adjust the height of the bowl.
- In terms of density, the food should resemble the consistency of sour cream.
- Adhering to the requirements of food hygiene – giving food to the dog one and a half to two hours after an active walk, giving it a rest after eating for 2-3 hours, you will be able to avoid digestive disorders.
- After 20 minutes, the bowl of half-eaten food is removed, this will prevent food satiety and overeating.
Do’s and Don’ts: Food List
The dog owner develops his pet’s eating habits. It is important not to indulge the whims of a dog from a puppy’s age, to choose the right, healthy food. You need to feed with fresh natural products or high-quality industrial feed of at least premium class.
The diet of a German shepherd puppy is allowed:
- milk, low-fat cottage cheese (calcined is very good), fermented milk drinks (kefir, yogurt, fermented baked milk);
- rabbit, beef, horse meat, chicken, boiled turkey;
- boiled offal (heart, lungs, liver, rumen, kidneys, udder, spleen);
- beef ears and noses (like a delicacy);
- boiled eggs, soft-boiled or in the form of an omelet 1-2 per week, yolks can be given raw;
- bread (in small quantities), cereals (wheat cereals can be fed: rice, buckwheat, millet, sometimes wheat, and if there are no signs of allergy – oatmeal);
- boiled sea fish (without skin, bones, scales), it is advisable to introduce it at an older age (some types of fish contain substances that destroy minerals, vitamins, which impairs the development of the puppy);
- vegetables (zucchini, beets, pumpkin) boiled, stewed, finely chopped, or grated raw;
- greens, finely chopped;
- fruits, berries (as a delicacy, if the pet likes it);
- seafood (squid is useful as a source of vitamins B6, B12, B2, and PP);
- a few drops of vegetable oil in each serving of food;
- large bones (not sharp chicken and tubular).
It is important to know which foods are unacceptable in the diet of a German Shepherd puppy. Errors in nutrition lead to indigestion, diseases, and can cause the death of a small pet. What can not be fed, list:
- muffins and pasta;
- pickles, pickled, smoked products;
- grapes and sorrel;
- legumes and corn grits;
- river and lake fish (contains small bones, often infected with parasites);
- fatty lamb, pork;
- cabbage, potatoes (cause bloating);
- salt, sugar, and spices are not allowed.
It is unacceptable to feed the puppy with food from your table, flavored with various spices (spices), which, moreover, has no nutritional value for the shepherd. Such a diet leads to the fact that the dog will become picky in relation to food, refuse to eat the usual food, and will constantly beg for handouts. Besides, human food is not suitable for the sensitive stomach of the kitten. Food from the table will worsen the condition of the coat, cause diseases of the internal organs of the German Shepherd puppy.
You can feed your baby shepherd dog with natural food and ready-made dry or wet food. Mixing different types of products is allowed, but not in the same feeding. In this case, in the morning meal, the baby is given granules for puppies, they can be soaked, and in the evening – natural food. Feed portions for mixed meals are halved.
When transferring a little German from natural food to drying, the granules must be soaked in warm water, milk, or kefir. They begin to introduce a new product little by little, gradually completely replacing their usual food.
Natural products and ready-made factory feed are suitable for feeding German puppies. The variety of food allowed for the dog’s diet will allow you to prepare many healthy, tasty dishes. But in some dogs, diarrhea may begin from such food, and then veterinarians will recommend that you exclude the harmful product, you can try to introduce dry food or canned food for the German Shepherds.
It is important that natural products are fresh and dishes are prepared from high-grade raw materials. Ready-made food in the diet of German cubs is allowed only premium or super-premium class. The main protein here is meat products. High-quality feed is fully digestible and produces little undigested waste. The cost of such products is high, but it is it that is produced taking into account age, breed characteristics contain vitamins and minerals necessary for a growing body, and is balanced in terms of the content of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Cheap economy-class forages are produced from offal, contain bones and cartilage, low-grade grains, and soybeans.
Features of feeding shepherd puppies with natural food
Natural food will allow you to diversify the menu of the shepherd dog to the maximum, satisfy the most varied taste preferences of the dog. This is a natural, familiar food for dogs, it does not contain dyes, flavor enhancers that have a detrimental effect on animal health. The disadvantages of natural food are the difficulties in drawing up the menu, the duration of cooking. The food deteriorates quickly. It is problematic to take it with you when traveling with a small pet. It is inconvenient and takes up a lot of space. Often an additional introduction of vitamin and mineral supplements is required. But if the owners have enough free time, then they will cope with these tasks.
The nutritional scheme for shepherd puppies is as follows: a third is a meat or fish, a third is cereals in the form of cereals, a third is dairy products, vegetables, and fruits.
The diet of a six-month-old shepherd puppy is almost the same as that of an adult dog. Food is given in two steps. Consider a sample menu for a six-month-old German Shepherd puppy for a week, table:
|Monday||1. Calcined cottage cheese, raw chicken yolk.2. Raw beef, cut into small pieces.|
|Tuesday||1. Dry granules soaked in water.2. Buckwheat porridge with rabbit meat and herbs.|
|Wednesday||1. Sour milk. Dried slices of bread.2. Lean raw lamb, finely chopped. Millet porridge. A few drops of vegetable oil.|
|Thursday||1. Dry granules. Sugar bone.2. Boiled beef tripe, cut into pieces. Hercules porridge. Fresh berries.|
|Friday||1. Low-fat cottage cheese. Omelet.2. Boiled squids. Grated zucchini. Greens.|
|Saturday||1. Sour milk. Dog biscuits.2. Boiled liver, cut into pieces. Hard boiled egg.|
|Sunday||1. Ryazhenka. Crackers.2. Boiled fish. Rice porridge. Stewed pumpkin. Greens.|
Features of feeding shepherd puppies with ready-made food
The advantages of feeding a small shepherd with industrial feed are many. This also saves time: there is no need to draw up a menu, you do not need to spend a lot of time preparing dishes. Drying is convenient when transporting the dog and traveling with the animal. Factory feed takes up little space and can be easily used in any confined space. Using such food eliminates the need for the additional introduction of mineral and vitamin complexes: high-quality food of well-known brands includes everything necessary for the growth and formation of a dog.
Many lines of super and premium food include dietetic food, products for the treatment and prevention of various diseases. The best in terms of cost and composition is the German super-premium class food for puppies – Royal Canin.
If you have chosen dry food only in order to save time or save the family budget, you should think about preparing semi-finished products. After all, none of the best premium food can be compared to natural meat.
Features of feeding german puppies of different ages: how much and how often to feed?
It is not difficult to calculate the feeding rate of an adult shepherd dog: it is approximately 2-3% of the total weight of the animal. On average, this is 1 kg 200 g of food per day. An adult dog is fed 2 times a day, in the hot season – once.
The diet and food intake of a small dog should be adjusted as it grows. Breakfast is served at 7 am and the last meal is at 10 pm.
The diet of the puppy is selected taking into account the age, temperament, complexion, individual appetite, and activity of the animal. Owners with experience are of the opinion that up to 3 months a kitten can be fed ad libitum, only after adjusting the number of feedings and the dog’s diet.
A newborn baby will have enough breast milk. But it happens that the puppy cannot suck on its own or you have to wean the baby from the mother if she is sick or died. In this case, up to two weeks of age, the little shepherd is watered ten times a day with goat, cow, or sheep milk using a syringe, pipette, or baby bottle. The required amount of food per day is 150 ml.
Further, until the age of one month, portions of food are increased, and the number of feedings is gradually reduced to six times. Now you need about 2 glasses of food.
How to feed a 1-month-old German Shepherd puppy? At the age of 40-45 days, babies are usually sold. During this period, the puppy is given dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese, milk), several types of meat, cereals are introduced at intervals of 3-4 hours, cereals: oatmeal and rice, meat, soups, and vegetable puree. The baby’s stomach is small, it is important that the portions are small – up to 200 g. Meat is given twice a day. Dry cottage cheese is not allowed for the baby – it chokes, you can mix it with kefir, yogurt, add an egg. Although such food is not to the liking of the kitten, it is necessary and useful for him.
A one and a half to a two-month-old baby are fed six times a day, providing about 200 grams of food per meal. At 2 months, oils and vegetables are added to the usual menu for the shepherd. The digestive tract is already prepared to absorb fiber and protein. The portions are increased to 300 g, fed four times a day.
At 3 months old, the puppy can begin to give large marrow bones for the development of the jaws and grinding of the teeth: boiled, if the pet is kept in an apartment, raw – if he lives in the local area.
At 4 months, the dog is still fed four times a day, portions – up to 350 g. Starting from this age, the puppy actively develops joints and ligaments, teeth change occurs, which weakens the cartilaginous tissue, which is why the ears of the shepherd may not stand up, therefore, special attention is paid to calcium-containing products. A dog needs collagen for full development. To do this, you can purchase food gelatin or special nutritional supplements. The basic diet remains the same.
At 5 months, for the correct formation of the skeleton, good posture, chondroprotective are gradually added to the dog, for a quick change of milk teeth they are given marrow bones. The composition of the feed and the number of feedings – 3 times a day.
At 6 months, the puppy is transferred to two meals a day. At the age of six months, up to a year, the puppy is fed with a feed volume of at least 500 g. For males, milk is completely removed from the diet. At this time, you can begin to cook porridge not only from meat but also from offal. Acceptable grains are added: millet and sorghum.
It is important to constantly monitor your pet, to be attentive to how it looks externally, how well-fed, what is the condition of its coat, teeth, eyes, pay attention to the slightest changes in its behavior.
You have noticed that the puppy is not eating well, but is active, perhaps he has overeaten. If the pet completely eats the food and leaves full, remember this volume and do not exceed it later. It happens that the puppy licks for a long time, drives an empty bowl, while the baby’s weight gain is not going well, which means that there is not enough food for him. Review the dog’s menu and portions.
Whichever food option you choose for your little friend, feeding with natural foods, ready-made dry food, or canned food, it is important that this is based on the nutritional needs of the dog and its taste preferences. There is no need to insist on a product that the animal refuses to eat, offer it a replacement.
Proper nutrition is the key to a healthy and happy life for your four-legged friend. Follow your meal schedule, increase portions according to your German Shepherd’s age, exercise and play with your dog more. Remember that only the owner is responsible for how fully his pet will live.