|Prior to weaning our German shepherd puppies, they would have obtain
most of their nutritional needs from their mother's milk. By the time our
puppies are ready to move into their new home, they will be fully weaned on
to solid foods. The puppy is then entirely dependent on his new owner, to
provide a fully balanced diet that will meet all of his nutritional
Nutritionally balanced diet is crucial for the healthy growth and
development of a puppy in order to prepare him/her for an active,
long, and healthy life. All puppies thrive on the same basic
nutrients as adult dogs, but due to their rapid growth rate, these
nutrients are needed in proportionately larger quantities. Similar
to human babies, puppies have small stomachs, so they need to be fed
little portions but often.
German shepherd puppies grow very rapidly in the early stages of
their development. A German shepherd dog will reach about half
their adult weight by five or six months of age. However,
there is a wide variation in adult body weight between different
breeds, and dogs mature at different rates, since this article is
focus on the German shepherd puppy, we will focus at that.
|German shepherd puppies, in particular, which are most affected
by the feeding regimen - as they are growing rapidly, these puppies
are prone to disturbances in their skeletal development. It is
unwise to overfeed such dogs at this stage in an attempt to obtain
the maximum possible rate of growth.
- A puppy needs between two and four times as much energy as
an adult of the same size - growing is an energetic business!
They must have more protein than adults - this must contain all
the right building blocks of the protein (amino acids) for
growth, and they need just the right amount of minerals for
healthy bones and teeth. Puppies therefore have to eat large
amounts of food in relation to their body weight, but their
stomachs have only a small capacity. To compensate for this, a
puppy needs to be fed several small meals a day. It also helps
if his diet is designed to meet a number of useful criteria: the
food should be concentrated to ensure an adequate intake of
nutrients before his stomach is full;
- The food should be easily digested to maximize its nutritive
value; the diet must be balanced to provide the right amount of
nutrients to meet the puppy's particular needs; and it should
also be tasty so that he will eat it.
Devising an acceptable nutritionally balanced diet
for growth is thus a very complex exercise. Fortunately, feeding
your puppy need not be as complicated as it sounds.
- Diets, which are specially formulated for growth, take all
the guesswork out of rearing a healthy puppy and provide a
balanced and concentrated diet, which he will enjoy and thrive.
For a normal, healthy German shepherd puppy there is no need to
use supplements. In some ways this could be harmful. If you do
decide to use a supplement please consult your veterinarian.
- The feeding schedule of your puppy will depend greatly on
his age and individual characteristics, until they are about
four months old.
- At Gunbil German Shepherds, we feed our puppies "Three meals per day"
(Our Dog food of choice - Please
Click Here). Feeding can then be reduced to
two times a day until six months of age. You can offer your
puppy his daily food allowance in two separate meals.
- You can feed an adult diet from 14 months of age
- Since all puppies are individuals, some may need more and
some less than the indicated amounts.
- Your puppy's condition is the best guide of whether you are
feeding the correct amount.
- By recording his weight on a regular basis you will be able
to check his growing at a healthy rate, appropriate to his
- You can then make adjustments to avoid him becoming under -
Generally, a puppy should be allowed 10 to 15
minutes to eat at each mealtime. After then discard any uneaten
- Your puppy should have his own feeding and water bowls and
should be kept clean, separate from the family's dishes.
- Provide fresh water daily
- If you notice that your puppy is excessively thirsty and
often, you should consult your veterinarian.
- Note: When puppies come from a kennel environment "outside
living", to a family house, most often they will show signs of
panting and thirst. This is normal because they will be hot
with-in. In few days they should adjust in being indoors.
How Much Dog Food
Should I feed?
- The "puppy" feeding schedule is a guideline for our German
- 8 and 16 weeks of age: We feed our puppies 1/2 to 1 cup of
puppy food at each feeding (3 times/day).
- 16 weeks to 9 months: 1 to 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups at each feeding (3
- At 9 months and through adulthood, they are fed 2-1/2 cups
at each feeding (2 times/day).
- You may need to modify our feeding instructions according to
your puppies metabolism, activity and requirements of the