German Shepherds are one of the most awesome dogs you will ever get to see. Not just because they are a big bundle of happiness, athleticism, and loyalty. But also, because these dogs are capable of almost any line of work you can imagine!
However, GSDs don’t immediately start out as big, strong, and athletic doggies. Just like everyone else, they start out as cute small puppies who need your undivided attention and care to make them turn out that way. One most important aspect of their growth is proper diet and nutrition.
We know how frustrating and stressful it can be to choose from countless of dog food brands, not knowing which is best for your German Shepherd puppy. So, we’ve done our research and put together a nutrition checklist aimed at helping you take care of your cute doggie. Packed with all the necessary information from essential nutrients, types of dog food, and even tips – this list will undoubtedly be of great help to you!
3 Essential Nutrients Your Puppy Will Need
While they might not be the biggest dogs, German Shepherds do grow quite a bit and need key essential nutrients to nourish their body and promote growth. With that in mind, the best food for German Shepherd puppies will require a balanced diet that consists of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to keep them healthy. Now, let’s take a look at what these essential nutrients can give your puppy:
If you’ve ever wondered what magical ingredients help’s your puppy grow big and strong, then look no further because protein is what makes this happen. Protein is the miracle nutrient that builds and grows your puppy’s organs and muscles. In charge of turning a small puppy now, into a strong and loyal German Shepherd in the future!
Likewise, with just how important protein is, there are key things you should take note of to ensure that your puppy is utilizing it to its fullest. When looking for a suitable dog food, make sure that it contains around 18% to 22% protein content. This is the appropriate amount a puppy should eat because too little will hamper growth and too much will cause complications.
Have you ever wondered why your dog has such a beautiful coat and fur? Well, that is entirely made possible by healthy amounts of fat in their diet! Fat is in charge of lots of functions in a puppy’s growth and body, but it boils down to two specific functions and those two are energy sources and better absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Fat help’s keep your puppy full of energy and moderates almost every single aspect that defines your puppy’s health. By promoting the absorption of vitamins and minerals, every part of the body receives ample amounts that influence your puppy’s steady and healthy growth. It is recommended that the best option of dog food for German Shepherd puppies should have between 8% to 12% fat content to avoid any issue with bloating as much as possible.
German Shepherd puppies are always so full of energy and don’t seem to run out of it no matter how tireless their actions may seem! Behind this entire seemingly endless amount of energy though are Carbohydrates, the essential nutrient that acts as your puppy’s main energy source. Needless to say, this essential nutrient is vital for your puppy’s growth in terms of energy and also in regulating his body temperature.
Ensure that your puppy meets his requirements of 500 calories per day, keeping the proportions of protein and fat in balance, filling the rest with healthy sources of carbohydrates. These healthy sources of carbs such as grain should be filled with fiber to keep your little doggie from asking for more food and promote the growth of healthy bacteria inside his tummy.
4 Types of Best Food for Your German Shepherd Puppy
Now that we have the three essential nutrients in check, let’s look at four different dog food types you can find these in. The following are: Dry Kibble, Wet Food, Homemade Food, and Raw Food. With each having their own distinct benefits, suggestions, and key takeaways to take note of concerning your puppy’s health.
1. Dry Kibble
Dry Kibble is by far the most well-known type of dog food, not just for German Shepherds, but for all dogs in general. It comes in large bags, easy to use and store, and are much more inexpensive options compared to other types of dog food. They come packed with all the essential nutrients and come in many different delicious flavours.
However, we suggest that you avoid feeding your puppy any dry food earlier on as this may upset their stomach. Most likely, they will not be able to chew and chug down the kibble and this may leave them unsatisfied. Only after they are around 6-8 weeks of age do we recommend feeding them moistened dry kibble, and onwards of 8 weeks with solid dry kibble.
2. Wet Food
The next most well-known type of dog food on this list is Wet Food, which we believe to be one of the smartest options you can take to ensure your puppy’s growth and health. At their young age, their teeth have not yet fully grown and will need some practice before they can move on to more crunching.
Wet Food makes the perfect first food types your puppy should eat to try out new flavours once they are done suckling on their mom’s precious milk. However, do make sure that the ones you sought out for are made of high-quality meat as bad ones may pose a bigger threat than a benefit.
3. Homemade Food
Another major prospect in the food options for your German Shepherd puppy is Homemade Food, delicious meals planned straight out of the kitchen! The best aspect of going homemade is having full knowledge of what you put in your puppy’s food and being aware of every ingredient that he’s going to eat. Not only will you be able to better tailor his diet, but you’ll also have a fun time whipping up brand new homemade food for your cute little doggie.
Fair warning though, if you are not by any means skilled nor knowledgeable of do’s and don’ts when it comes to feeding your German Shepherd puppy, its best to leave homemade food for later stages. Preparing stuff at home might end up with feeding your dog a bit too much, which can pose quite a threat since puppies don’t really know how to control themselves yet.
4. Raw Food
A holy grail that many dog-lovers stand by is Raw Food, a diet that is natural and best mimics what a dog can actually find if they were eating all-natural. These are types of food which many users claimed have given their dog a shinier coat, stronger teeth, better skin, and more energy. Raw Food diets are very intricate and require utmost care to every detail to ensure that you get the most out of its benefits.
However, we strictly want to warn you of the many dangers and risks it can put your German Shepherd in, from the deadly pathogens to the bad bacteria present in uncooked meat. Therefore, feeding your puppy raw food is off the choices because it may pose dangers that the little doggie may get dangerously hurt from. Though, if you insist on feeding them these, do wait until later on when they’ve grown older and do it gradually.
Important Tips to Keep Puppy Healthy
Now that you’re aware of the essential nutrients and the different dog food types, you are more than ready to go out and choose the best dog food for your German Shepherd puppy. But, to top it all with a cherry on top, here are three important tips to help you on this journey of watching your puppy grow:
1. Keep Them Hydrated
Your puppy will constantly be on the move and might not even stop to think about drinking if not given the chance, so it’s best that you take the initiative. Always have a fresh bowl of clean water ready for your doggie to drink from whenever they are thirsty. This will ensure that they are well-hydrated and as healthy as can be!
2. Whole Food Ingredients
When choosing dog food for your German Shepherd puppy, be on the lookout for whole food ingredients because these are the high-quality ones you should get. Meat like Chicken, Beef, Pork, Duck, Turkey, and more should be specified rather than “meal/deboned” to avoid anything unnecessary. This will make sure that your puppy will have a high-quality source of protein rather than a lacklustre one.
3. Be Observant
No puppy can be entirely the same as the next, and the same goes for your German Shepherd puppy who is unique. With all the checklists, info, and tips we can give – it all falls into your own responsibility of taking care of your puppy. So, be observant and take note of the things they agree with, don’t like, or find a hard time of ingesting. By making personal notes and keeping tabs on your puppy. You will have more knowledge than any other checklist could ever provide!
German Shepherd Best Food for Puppies: Summary
German Shepherds are beautiful strong dogs but require delicate care, time, and effort during the early puppy stages to help them grow into the GSD they were meant to be. You will need to make sure that they eat a balanced diet of protein, fat, and carbohydrates that come from high-quality sources like whole food ingredients. There are plenty of food types but it is best to start out with wet food before you move into dry kibble, homemade food, and much more intricate raw food.
Always prepare clean water for your puppy to drink from to prevent dehydration and keep them healthy and lively to promote their growth. But most importantly, be observant and know that your dog is different from others. Take down notes and remember the different things that are good and bad for him based on expert advice and personal experience.