German Shepherd puppies are energetic, intelligent and undeniably adorable. These athletic puppies need nutritious food for them to function and grow healthy and strong. But, choosing the best food for a German Shepherd puppy can sometimes be an impossible task due to the plethora of puppy food choices. Worry not because this guide will not only help you pick the best puppy food but also make you understand puppy nutrition.
What are the nutritional needs of a German Shepherd puppy?
German Shepherd is a large dog breed. They tend to grow very fast from the newborn stage to adult puppy. In order for them to grow physically and mentally healthy and alert, their food should be well-balanced with the right amount of nutrients.
Since GSDs are carnivores, they need food rich in protein. They need 22% of protein in their diet for healthy tissue production, organ growth, and energy.
- Essential Fatty Acids
GSD puppies need 8% of fats in their diet. The essential fatty acids aid in food digestion while it improves skin and fur condition. It also encourages healthy bones and joints development.
GSDs are active, hence they need around 5 to 8 percent of carbohydrates in their diet.
- Vitamins and Minerals
GSDs are prone to Hip Dysplasia, having the right amount of calcium and phosphorus in their diet can help reduce their risk. Vitamins and minerals will also help build their immune system.
Different types of GSD puppy food
One of the most confusing parts in choosing food for our GSD puppies is the type of foods available in the market. Listed here are the different types of food for GSD puppies.
- Wet Food
Wet food as its name suggests, has a very high moisture content making it easier for nutrients to be absorbed by GSD puppies and can help hydrate their tiny bodies. It is suitable for recently weaned puppies and picky eaters since it is easy to chew, more appetizing and has a meatier taste.
- Dry Food
Dry food or kibbles are the most popular type of GSD puppy food because it is more convenient and easy to clean up after. It is packed with more carbohydrates, protein and has high-calorie content. Thus, it can be served in smaller amounts of every meal. Since kibbles are chewy, it promotes oral health and makes GSD puppies’ teeth strong and healthy.
- Semi-Moist Food
Based on its name, semi-moist food are similar to wet food but with a moisture content of only 60% to 65%. This is also a good option for puppies who are picky eaters or have a hard time eating kibbles. Some brands of semi-moist food for GSD puppies have high sugar and salt content. So, it is best for owners to be careful when buying semi-moist food for their fur babies.
- Dehydrated Food and Freeze-Dried Food
Dehydrated food and Freeze-dried food are made from natural raw food that went through the process of taking away moisture from the food while naturally preserving it. These types of puppy food can last up to ten years and ideal for GSDs living in disaster-prone areas. These foods can be easily served by adding water.
- Organic Food
Gaining popularity in recent years, organic food is the healthier choice. Its ingredients don’t contain any chemicals, hormones or antibiotics.
- Special Diet Food
Not all GSD puppies have the same food requirements. Some GSD puppies might be allergic to one or more ingredients of certain brands of GSD puppy food. Some may need a special diet for certain health issues.
German Shepherd Puppy Food Advice
A growing German Shepherd puppy needs frequent feeding than adults. Hence, it is necessary to learn the correct German Shepherd feeding chart. Choosing the right kind of food is the key to ensure the optimum growth of our GSD puppies. But how do we even recognize the best for our little fur buddy?
Basically, growing GSD puppies need more calories for their body and brain development. Since they are in their most active stages, they need more calories to fuel their energy and support their growth. GSD puppies’ daily calorie need is 40 calories per pound. Therefore, we should look for puppy food with high-calorie content.
It is very important to check the ingredients before buying puppy food for your GSD. Always look for high-quality ingredients that are whole food-based, human-grade and with natural or no preservative at all. This will ensure that your GSD puppy is getting the most nutrients from the right kind of food. On the other hand, too much of something good is bad. Thus, there should be the right amount of important ingredients in each serving. For instance, too much calcium and phosphorus will increase a GSD’s risk to hip dysplasia, skeletal and joint problems.
Puppy’s Health Condition
Not all GSD puppies are born healthy and strong. Some puppies may need a specific diet for their health issues such as allergic reactions to grains. It is best to ask your GSD’s vet for food recommendations.
The Best German Shepherd Puppy Food Reviews 2020
Absorbing all these important facts about GSD puppy food may get us thinking about which brands to choose. Base on GSD owner feedback, here are six of the best GSD puppy food.
If you are in search of a puppy food specially formulated for German Shepherds, then Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food is the answer. GSD puppies are genetically predisposed to a lot of health issues but Royal Canin has created this dog food to address these health issues. It has ingredients that are highly digestible which can improve digestive health so young GSDs will be able to absorb nutrients efficiently. Chondroitin and glucosamine combined with proper ratios of calcium and phosphorus can lay a good foundation for joints and bone health which is vital in supporting their growing bodies. In order for GSD puppies to thrive and have strong immune system Royal Canin has enriched its formula with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- Royal Canin has uniquely-shaped kibbles, designed to encourage chewing and promote dental health.
GSD puppies may have tiny bodies but their daily nutrition needs are huge. Would you believe that a serving of Wellness Complete Health Puppy Food is packed with all the good stuff for our fur babies? It has protein sourced from deboned chicken and salmon for healthy brain and eye development. This dry puppy food is also high in antioxidants for a stronger immune system, rich in omega fatty acids for a shiny coat and lots of fiber for better digestion. What’s more, it is grain-free which means less bloated stomach for your fur baby.
- This is formulated with Yucca Schidigera for less stool odor.
- Some GSD puppies may develop allergic reactions to one or more ingredients.
Large dog breeds like German Shepherd puppies have special nutritional needs. Nutro Max Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food is specially formulated for growing GSD puppies. It is loaded with protein from real farm-raised chicken and fiber from whole grains. Its all-natural flavor will satisfy your puppy’s hunger while getting all the nourishment and energy he needs. Furthermore, it has tiny kibbles that suit GSD puppies’ small hungry mouths.
- It doesn’t have chicken by-products, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
- This dry food also comes in a grain-free formula for GSD puppies who are allergic to grain
It’s always hard to decide which wet food to give GSD puppies who are picky eaters. Blue Buffalo Natural Wet Dod Food has real deboned chicken meat that your fur baby can actually eat. It contains essential amino acids that are crucial for the growth and development of GSD puppies. How about garden veggies and fruits in your puppy’s food? Well, this dog food has all of these combined with wholesome grains for a well-balanced meal with more vitamins and minerals.
- It doesn’t contain fillers, chicken by-products, preservatives or artificial flavors.
Wanting to feed raw food to your GSD puppy but you feel reluctant? Why not try Instinct Raw Boost Natural Dry Dog Food. It has pure raw U.S.A. beef, cage-free chicken or grass-fed lamb, freeze-dried to lock-in natural taste and nutrients. This dog food is enriched with probiotics for healthy digestion, protein for strong muscle and bones, and antioxidants for a stable immune system. Give your GSD puppy the best of both worlds, raw and dry dog food, hassle-free.
- Instinct Raw Boost is suitable for all dogs and puppies.
Looking for a dry puppy food that’s tasty and formulated for large dog breeds like GSDs? You don’t have to look further, Fromm Family Large Breed Puppy Dry Food is the answer. It is a dry dog food that can sufficiently support GSD puppy’s health by obtaining high-quality protein from chicken and duck, vitamins and minerals from potatoes and carrots. Did we say it has Wisconsin cheese for a more savory flavor? Start giving your GSD puppy a holistic dry food that’s not short on taste.
- Made in Wisconsin
GSD puppies are smart breeds. However, they need more DHA to support brain and eye development. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Puppy Food provides adequate DHA sourced from fish oil. It is made with real chicken and has enough water content to hydrate your puppy while providing all the nutrients it needs. Smart GSD puppies are equally energetic, but not to worry because this wet food has more carbohydrates to fuel their active lifestyle. And to top it all, this is #1 recommended by vets.
- It has more water content for easy digestion and nutrient absorption.
GSDs are known to be large dogs but are more prone to digestive issues. Choosing a suitable food for growing GSD puppies is substantial for their adulthood and life expectancy. It will be helpful to read the German Shepherd growth chart to help you know if your GSD puppy is growing and developing well. If you want to know more about what to feed your GSDs from 0 to adults, read on The Best Diet for German Shepherds: Counting Calories.
Remember that GSD puppy food can only supply their nutritional needs until they are puppies. It is not enough to supply the needs of adult GSDs. Thus, it is best to be ready and start searching for the Best Dog Food for German Shepherd in the next stage of their life.