What You Should Know About Growing and Feeding German Shepherd Puppies
Know the Potential Health Problems for German Shepherds
German Shepherds are prone to a number of specific health problems including bloating, conditions of the skin, and hip dysplasia. You should always make sure to have fresh water available. Allowing them to eat too much can result in excessive weight gain, which leads to health issues.
This breed will shed year round due to their thick coat. While this is normal, it is important to make sure that your German Shepherd gets a proper diet to keep their coat healthy. Otherwise, your dog may overshed which can lead to skin conditions.
Bloat can be fatal to German Shepherds. This condition, known as GVD or gastric dilation-volvulus, affects large breeds of dogs happens when there's too much water, food or air in the stomach. Blood vessels in the abdomen are obstructed causing twists and swelling in the stomach. Internal organs can be damaged, shock can set in and blood pressure can drop. The condition is usually fatal.
Understanding the Best Diet for Your German Shepherd
Believe it or not, it’s a common mistake for puppies to be fed too much dog food. It’s also common to give puppies bad quality food or food that is not adequate for that breed’s particular dietary needs. Also, puppies need to be fed in a particular way at each stage of their development, from newborn, to one month, to two months, to four months, and finally six months.
To give your dog the best chance at not developing health problems, you want to know the best dog food for a German Shepherd puppy. Don’t just go out and buy the first dog food that you see or the dog food with the lowest price. Be sure to know the particular dietary needs of the German Shepherd breed before making your buying choices. Here are tips to help you with feeding your young German Shepherd.
How to Feed a German Shepherd Puppy
Feeding a German Shepherd puppy is done in stages from birth to a year old. German Shepherd puppy food should provide energy, nutrients and vitamins to prevent medical issues and provide optimal health. You want to avoid overfeeding, and introducing the next stages of diet to early in order to keep your German Shepherd puppy healthy and their growth on track.
What is the Best Diet for a German Shepherd Puppy?
The market offers both dry and wet food for dogs, while vets recommend that puppies be started on wet food following weaning. Your puppy is used to processing the milk from his mother. There is approximately eighty percent water content in wet dog food which helps to keep puppies properly hydrated.
Newborn German Shepherd Puppy Diet
Newborn German shepherd puppies should be fed approximately four small meals through the day until they reach about six months of age. Meals should be divided because puppies will eat up anything you give them, which can result in making them sick. Dry food should not be introduced until the puppy is twelve weeks old.
One Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Diet
Newborn puppies get breast milk. Then, at two to four weeks new flavors are introduced, such as wet food. Ninety percent of the puppy’s immunities come from the mother’s milk. When new flavors are introduced, they should be special wet food.
Two Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Diet
Six to eight week old puppies can have dry food that has been moistened either with water or chicken stock that has not been seasoned. At this age being to decrease the moistening of the food gradually until it is completely dry. You will still be feeding your puppy up to five times per day; only leave the food for ten minutes as this is enough for the puppy to eat the food. The age of three months is when the food should be supplemented with kibble increasingly.
Four Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Diet
Begin reducing the feedings to three times per day. The amount of food offered should increase at meal times with additional time given to eat.
Six Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Diet
German Shepherd feedings should be down to twice a day at this age. Your puppy should be given bones that are shatterproof to strengthen gums and teeth.
At any age, you should avoid overfeeding your puppy, as it can lead to excessive weight gain.
What to Feed a German Shepherd Puppy
When feeding a puppy, there are four key things that you need to watch in their food. These things are protein, carbohydrates, fat, and vitamins & minerals.
When you are feeding any puppy, protein is required for the development of strong muscles, growth of organs and tissues. The puppy’s body will most effectively be able to metabolize protein sourced from animals.
The best puppy diet should provide energy in the form of carbohydrates. When you use carbohydrates derived from grains, your puppy gets fiber to allow him to feel full and aid in the production of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Do not worry about having a fat puppy. Their diet benefits from fat as it is converted into glucose which provides energy. Fats also make the skin and coat are healthier and helps the body absorb vitamins better from the food that is eaten.
- Vitamins and minerals
Any good dog food should contain the right amounts of vitamins and minerals, which are an essential part of the German Shepherd diet. Make sure that your puppy gets the right amount, but not too much. Too many vitamins and minerals can be poisonous to your German Shepherd puppy.
If you ever wonder if a particular dog food product is good for your dog, be sure to read the nutrition facts on the package. Then, ask your local vet if that is the best food for your dog. If not, your vet will give you guidance on the best and correct food to purchase for your dog. Feed your puppy right, and you will enjoy each other’s company for years to come.
Stacey Carroll is the author of the thriller series - Avia. She also authors the paranormal erotica series - The Blooddoll Factory. Stacey grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. she went to college at Indiana State University (ISU) and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in aerospace in the professional pilot program. She has flown Cessna 152s, Cessna 172s, the Pipe Seneca and the King Air. She also graduated with a minor in computer science that specialized in web design.
She has always been interested in reading and writing, and the first book she was ever read was the Grimms Brother's Fairy tales. From the ages of 6 to 11, she read the Nancy Drew series. By the age of 11, she had graduated to Stephen King novels. A few of her favorites include Carrie, Tommyknockers, The Dark Tower Series up to book 3 (That's where it stopped in the late 80s/ early 90s), Pet Semetary, The Shining, Night Shift, The Stand, It, Cujo, Christine, The Eyes of the Dragon and Thinner (Richard Bachman). In her teen years, she moved on to Anne Rice and got through about four of those books before they degraded. If you've ever read Anne Rice, you know book 5 isn't readable. Stacey has read a couple Harry Potter books as she was introduced to them in the early 2000s, and she's never read or watched anything Twilight or 50 Shades. Sorry. I'm a vampire purist, and nothing needs to be said about the latter. You already know.
She is currently an author and freelance writer. She received an honorable mention in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine in 2008 for a short story entitled The Field. In 2014, she was published in 13 Stories by Us by MacKenzie Publishing.
Other books by Stacey