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German Shepherd Diet – What & How Much Do They Eat?

As a German Shepherd owner, it’s crucial to ensure your dog is healthy and receives proper nutrition. Providing your German Shepherd with a balanced diet is fundamental to maintain their health and vitality. But what exactly should German Shepherds eat, and how much is the right amount?

What Do German Shepherds Eat?

German Shepherds can eat a variety of foods, including commercial dog food, raw food & homemade diets. Commercial dog food is a convenient and balanced option, as it provides all the essential nutrients in a convenient format. It’s important to choose a high-quality commercial dog food that meets the specific nutritional needs of German Shepherds.

  • Raw food diets, which consist of uncooked meat, bones & organs, can also be fed to German Shepherds. However, it’s important to ensure the diet is balanced and includes all the essential nutrients. It’s also important to handle raw food properly to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.
  • Homemade diets can also be fed to German Shepherds, but it’s important to ensure they are balanced and meet the specific nutritional requirements of the breed. Homemade diets can include a variety of protein sources, such as chicken, beef & fish, as well as vegetables and grains.

Nutritional Needs of German Shepherds

German Shepherds have specific nutritional requirements based on their age, weight & activity level. The essential nutrients needed by German Shepherds include protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals.

  • Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass and German Shepherds require a higher protein intake than many other dog breeds due to their larger size and active lifestyle. The recommended protein intake for adult German Shepherds is 18-22% of their total diet.
  • Fat is also an essential nutrient for German Shepherds, providing energy and supporting healthy skin and coat. The recommended fat intake for adult German Shepherds is 5-8% of their total diet.
  • Carbohydrates provide energy and are also important for digestive health. The recommended carbohydrate intake for adult German Shepherds is 30-50% of their total diet.
  • Vitamins and minerals are also essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. German Shepherds require a balanced intake of vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, phosphorus & zinc.
A German Shepherd eating food

What is the Best Type of Dog Food for German Shepherds?

The best type of dog food for German Shepherds is a high-quality commercial dog food that meets their specific nutritional needs. Look for a dog food that lists a named animal protein, such as chicken or beef, as the first ingredient. Avoid dog foods that contain fillers such as corn or wheat, as they provide little nutritional value.

It’s also important to choose a dog food that is appropriate for your German Shepherd’s age and activity level. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs and active dogs may require more calories than sedentary dogs.

German Shepherds and Human Food

While it’s tempting to share your food with your furry friend, it’s important to be cautious when feeding human food to German Shepherds. Some human foods can be harmful to dogs, such as chocolate, onions & garlic. However, some human foods can be a healthy addition to your German Shepherd’s diet, such as lean meats, fruits & vegetables. It’s important to feed human food in moderation and avoid foods that are high in fat or sugar.

How Much Food Do German Shepherds Eat?

Life StageAmount of FoodFeeding Frequency
Puppies (2-6 months)2-4 cups of high-quality dry food, divided into 3-4 meals per day3-4 times per day
Puppies (6-12 months)3-5 cups of high-quality dry food, divided into 2-3 meals per day2-3 times per day
Adults (1-7 years)3-5 cups of high-quality dry food, divided into 2 meals per day2 times per day
Seniors (7+ years)2.5-4.5 cups of high-quality dry food, depending on health and activity level, divided into 2 meals per day2 times per day

Key Points to Consider:

  • Quality of Food: It’s essential to choose a high-quality dog food that’s appropriate for the German Shepherd’s age, size, and activity level. Puppies require food that supports their growth and development, while adults need a balanced diet to maintain their health and energy levels.
  • Adjust Based on Activity: The amount of food might need to be adjusted based on the dog’s activity level. Active German Shepherds who regularly exercise may require more food.
  • Dietary Transition: When transitioning your German Shepherd from puppy to adult food, or when changing food types, do so gradually over a week to prevent digestive issues.

German Shepherds and Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your German Shepherd’s overall health and well-being. Obesity can lead to a range of health problems, including joint pain, heart disease & diabetes. To help manage your German Shepherd’s weight, it’s important to feed them a balanced diet in appropriate portions, provide regular exercise and monitor their weight regularly.

What Can German Shepherd Eat?

See below for detailed answers on specific breeds.

German Shepherd Diet – What & How Much Do Alsatians Eat?