Many owners will not think much about what kind of food to feed their German Shepherds. The truth is, this breed needs to eat a lot of food.
It is very important to watch what your dog eats and how much he eats as this breed is prone to gastrointestinal issues especially as a result of overeating. These dogs, who can weigh as much as a hundred pounds, can and will eat more than a bag of food per week if their owner is not paying attention.
These large, intelligent, active dogs require a highly nutritious, nutritious food that supports their activity and their brains. Unfortunately, the cheapest foods on the market will not provide the types of nutrition that will support a shepherd’s health and well-being. Here are some tips to make sure you find the right kind of food for your adult German Shepherd Dog and to make sure it’s fed properly.
What Food Does Your Dog Need?
Choosing the best dog-food for a German Shepherd can be very difficult. There are many conflicting signals about what they eat, what foods are best, what types of allergies they have, and whether a raw food diet will benefit your dog.
Follow these tips to make sure your dog is getting the right nutrition for his breed and stage of life.
- Consider your shepherd’s nutritional needs
- Record your dog activity level
- Ingredients to look for
- Know the dog-food brands
- Dry dog-food or wet dog-food
- Compare prices
- Food allergy
- Raw dog-food or cooked
Consider your shepherd’s nutritional needs
Because these dogs are large and strong – nearly 80% of a German Shepherd’s weight is made up of muscle and bone only – their primary nutritional requirement is protein and fat. Your dog’s specific needs can be different. If he needs to lose weight or put him on, he may need a dog-food formulated to help dogs lose or put on weight.
High-quality dog-food is at least 18% protein and 5% fat. Puppy formulations have a higher protein and fat content, but most dogs don’t need to be on puppy food until the age of six months.
Make a note of your dog’s activity level
Dogs who live an active lifestyle need more than 1,700 and less than 2,200 calories each day. Most German Shepherds are naturally active, but they become less active with age. Additionally, your dog may not be as active as others just as some people are less active by nature.
These dogs need a lower calorie intake. Between 1700 and 2200 it is a good place to start and then the calories can be increased or decreased if you notice the dog is too thin or gaining too much weight.
Ingredients to look for
The most important ingredient to watch out for is a healthy source of protein. The very first ingredient on the bag should be a source of protein – and one that your dog won’t be allergic to.
In addition, there should be a healthy source of fat. Fish is another good option, but vegetable oils are mainly used as a healthy fat for dogs. To keep his energy up, you’ll want to look for carbohydrates like barley and rice. Basically, you want the dog-food to be dominated by real food with names you know and recognize. Anything containing “by-products” should be back on the shelf.
Know the dog-food brands
Not every brand is going to produce dog-food specifically for German Shepherds. In fact, most brands don’t. However, Royal Canin and Eukanuba produce high quality dog-food formulated specifically for the breed.
Many “natural” brands such as Blue Buffalo or Blue Wilderness will have a formula that is good for large breeds. These usually have a good ratio of carbohydrates to fat to the protein that keeps a shepherd strong and healthy, even if the formula isn’t just for German Shepherds.
It all depends on the country where you live. In my country there is no Blue Buffalo, Blue Wilderness, etc. I have mainly used Royal Canin and Eukanuba.
Dry dog-food or wet dog-food
Dry food or wet food? Since there are many good dry food and wet food options for German Shepherd owners, many people have a hard time choosing between these two foods or knowing if they can be mixed. Although wet food may seem like the best option, especially since it sometimes contains raw cuts of meat or other nutrients.
Dry food is usually a good option unless you have an older shepherd who has lost teeth, has bladder or kidney problems, or has trouble chewing crunchy bits of food. Dry food has certain dental health benefits, is generally more convenient and is also nutritionally stable for German Shepherds. Its texture can help remove and prevent plaque on teeth, and especially in early life, chewing dry food can help build strong jaw bones and muscles.
We sometimes combine dry and wet food. Especially with our last dog who was quite a fussy eater. Wet food and raw food make him happy. If you buy a decent brand, you will also get all the nutritional value you need. It’s also easier to digest. Make sure it doesn’t evaporate or go bad in shell during the summer.