German Shepherds are graceful, obedient, and loyal dogs with specific nutritional needs.
Following a German Shepherd puppy feeding chart will enable you to track the amount of food your puppy is eating as they grow.
There are varieties of foods available in the market and most of them come with guidelines at the back of the packaging showing you how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy.
This article will cover different types of diets available and the specific nutritional needs of your German shepherd.
It will also help you know what to do to ensure that your GSD gets nutritious and balanced food for every stage of their life.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart
There are three aspects of this German Shepherd puppy feeding chart, namely the German shepherd feeding amount, feeding frequency, and mealtime lengths.
It is important to find out the appropriate feeding amount, frequency, and length for your German shepherd without leaving out one of them. That way, you can accurately find out the best way to feed your dog.
Let’s start with the most basic of them all, the feeding amount.
How Much To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
The feeding amount to feed a german shepherd mainly depends on how old age your German shepherd is. Overall, there are four ranges that you need to keep in mind.
- 16 weeks and below: ½ cup (14 grams) of food for each meal
- 16 weeks to 9 months: Approximately 1 and ½ cups (42 grams) of food for each meal
- 9 months to 12 months: Approximately 2 cups (56 grams) of food for each meal
- 12 months and above: Approximately 3 cups (84 grams) of food for each meal
In addition to the age, you’ll also have to consider how active your dog is. An active dog may require a bit more than the numbers in this list, and an inactive dog will need a slightly less amount.
Don’t feel bad if you’re having trouble figuring out how much to feed your German Shepherd. There’s a lot to grooming and exercising this breed, but the diet is one of the most important parts. You’ll need to know how much food should go into that gorgeous furry body regularly.
Every dog is different so it’s best to check with your vet for the best feeding schedule depending on your dog’s age, activity level, and health. But this guide can act as a solid benchmark.
Suggested How Much to Feed German Shepherd Schedule:
- German Shepherds can eat between 1-1.5 cups of food per day, split into two meals so you don’t overload their digestive system.
- A puppy will need to eat more because they are growing very quickly. Talk to your vet about how much exactly so you keep them healthy and happy.
- Make sure your German Shepherd has access to fresh, clean water all day.
- When you take your dog for a walk make sure to bring along some extra water in a collapsible bowl. If they get tired on the way or it gets very hot, this can save their life.
- Don’t let them drink too much before going to bed unless you want a lot of puddles.
How Much Should A German Shepherd Puppy Eat:
- German Shepherds in general need around 1,000 calories each day (more or less depending on their size).
- Your dog will eat between 30-50% of its body weight in one sitting. So for example, if your dog is 60lbs they should eat between 18-30lbs of food in one day.
- If you notice your dog is losing weight, add more calories to its meal size. If they are starting to gain too much fat on their body, cut back suggested serving sizes by around 25%.
How Many Time To Feed A German Shepherd Daily
Just like the feeding amount, you’ll have to depend on the age of your German shepherd.
However, there are other considerations on how much to feed a German shepherd puppy per day.
- 9 months and below: Feed your GSD thrice per day in equal intervals.
- 9 months to 12 months: Slowly transition to two meals a day, particularly in the morning and evening.
- 12 months and above: German shepherds of this age will now naturally eat twice a day.
You might want to consider avoiding meals right before bedtime. Let them digest their food first before they go to sleep.
Lastly, we go to the most often overlooked part of every German shepherd’s feeding chart, mealtime lengths.
Understanding German Shepherd Puppy Nutritional Needs
All dogs require nutritious, satisfying, and healthy food and every breed have their special diet. For maximum energy and health, there are factors to consider when deciding what to feed your German Shepherd:
Size considerations- the AKC breed standard says that a German Shepherd can go to 26 inches tall at the shoulder. Females can be around 49 to 71 pounds while Males can be around 66 to 88 pounds.
This means that they have a big appetite hence it is good to find quality food for them.
Age consideration- with the German shepherd’s high energy level and large body, consider appropriate nutritional levels at each stage of development.
They grow pretty fast hence they need specific nutrients for specific stages.
Activity level- German shepherds are muscular, active, and agile which contributes to higher caloric needs to be complemented by feeding them a high-quality diet.
Health consideration- GSDs are prone to many diseases hence a healthy diet will prevent problems.
For example, arthritis that is caused by hip and elbow dysplasia can be mitigated through an excellent diet.
Ensure that your GSD diet contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
How Long To Feed A German Shepherd
The mealtime lengths of your German shepherd will mainly rely on your observation. Therefore, you’ll need to consider these questions:
- How long can your dog finish his portion?
- How long does it take for your dog to be full?
- Is your dog still hungry after eating his portion?
German shepherds normally take anywhere from 10 minutes to 15 minutes to finish the meal, given that you followed the proper feeding guidelines properly. If your dog shows signs of slow eating, we recommend sending them to your vet.
If you think your dog is already full before finishing his portion, there is no problem. However, if your dog is still hungry after finishing the meal, consider sending him to your vet.
This is because this can be a sign of a serious health issue involving their digestive system.
Now you know about the German shepherd’s feeding amount, frequency, and length, but let’s not forget about an important part of meals.
Kibble vs Wet Food for German Shepherd Puppies
Kibble or dry food is good for puppies. They encourage the puppy to chew hence preventing periodontal diseases or tartar.
Dry foods are also good to pre-portion and they don’t go bad if the puppy leaves out their meal. Kibble is less expensive to buy and can stay fresh for longer.
Wet food is also essential for puppies because they allow puppies to feel fuller with less food. If your GSD need to shed a few pounds, wet food is a good way to reduce their caloric intake.
Wet food is easier to digest, hence they are good for German shepherds with sensitive stomachs. Wet food is appetizing and keeps the puppy hydrated.
What If My German Shepherd Puppy Won’t Eat?
You need to understand why your puppy cannot eat because it will help you determine the way to deal with the issue.
There is no need to worry if the puppy lost appetite shortly and goes back to normal eating without any sign of illness.
If the puppy loses appetite and takes a few days without improvement, take your puppy to the vet to find the problem because your dog might be sick.
If the vet finds that the puppy is sick, they may suggest a special diet that will boost their immunity and give them extra nutrients to better their recovery.
The puppy may have stopped eating because of behavioral issues; therefore, you may need to feed them same time to get a routine.
Treats and human food that is given to the puppy may need to be reduced and also you can try different kinds of food.
Can You Free Feed a German Shepherd Puppy?
The German shepherd is a medium dog breed according to the AKC. Therefore, free-feeding is not a good idea.
For the German shepherds, feeding schedules work better. If the puppies are free-fed the puppy may eat the leftover at any time even when they are not hungry. Sticking to a feeding routine help the puppy to stay healthy and prevent obesity.
When you have a schedule, managing their weight and house training will improve.
The puppy usually relieves themselves around 15 minutes after eating or drinking, therefore, when they feed at the same time every day and are taken outside after a while, accidents will be minimized.
Is a Raw Diet Healthy for A German Shepherd Puppy?
A raw diet is good for German shepherds. A raw diet help improves vitality and energy. The puppy gets healthy white teeth with an increased lifespan and reduced shedding as well as a stronger immune system.
Raw meat is a great source of protein and an optimal diet. It is like keto to humans because it allows the puppy to reach their total capacity and good health.
Dogs are naturally carnivorous, hence raw diet aligns with their natural needs.
However, you should speak to your vet before putting your puppy on a raw food diet.
Should You Feed a German Shepherd Puppy Supplements?
The majority of commercially available kibble food is balanced and complete, and of high quality for your German shepherd puppy.
Therefore, there is almost no reason to supplement your puppy’s diet with vitamins, additives, or herbal supplements because adding these supplements can even cause harm.
Do not supplement your dog’s food unless given a directive by the veterinarian. In such cases, the vet will prescribe canine-safe products that will cover the German shepherd’s special needs.
Human supplements often contain harmful substances to animals and are unregulated or minimally effective. Therefore, never give human supplements to your German shepherd puppy.
How Much Dry Food To Feed A German Shepherd?
The amount of dry food you should feed your German Shepherd will depend on several factors, including their age, weight, and activity level.
- Puppies: Feed 2-3 times the recommended amount on the food label.
- Adult dogs: Feed 1-2 times the recommended amount on the food label.
- Active dogs: Feed 2-3 times the recommended amount on the food label.
- Senior dogs: Feed 1-2 times the recommended amount on the food label.
The main factor in determining how much dry food to put in the bowl is your German Shepherd’s body condition.
You should be able to easily feel all of its ribs, and you shouldn’t be able to see its waist. If the dog is obviously overweight or underweight, adjust accordingly.
If you can feel most of the ribs without squeezing your fingers in between them – try 1 cup per day. This is a decent starting point for a growing large breed puppy that needs the extra calories to grow big and strong.
If you can’t feel most of the ribs without squeezing your fingers in between them – try 2 cups per day.
This is a good amount for an adult German Shepherd at its ideal weight, which also eats pretty fast so it doesn’t have time to eat too much.
If you can feel most of the ribs AND see its waist – try 3 cups per day. This is perfect for an adult German Shepherd which needs extra calories due to being very active. With this amount, it will be able to maintain its weight, but not gain any extra fat.
If you can feel all the ribs and see their waist – try 3.5 cups per day. This is a good amount for a very active German Shepherd which needs extra calories to maintain a healthy weight.
If you can’t feel most of the ribs nor see its waist, try 4 cups per day. This should be sufficient for an adult German Shepherd which is quite active.
If you can feel all the ribs and see their waist – try 5 cups per day. This is a good amount for an extremely active German Shepherd which needs extra calories to maintain lean muscle mass.
It is worth noting that this shepherd’s body condition will probably change as it grows older. For example, when my dog was a puppy, he would feel all ribs and see his waist when eating 2 cups of food per day.
However, as he got older and larger, I had to increase the amount – even though I could still feel most of the ribs! He maintained around 4-4.5 cups per day until one year old — at this point in time, I increased it to 5 cups per day since he was getting older.
Although there are lots of opinions on how much food your shepherds needs, these guidelines work for me and my German Shepherds.
Everyone is different though, so you will have to adjust accordingly if necessary — this guide should help you until you find the ideal amount.
Please remember that these are only guidelines, and if you feel your German Shepherd doesn’t get enough or too much food please adjust accordingly.
If your dog is a very active one it may need more food depending on its activity level. Always be sure to give plenty of water since dry kibble can dehydrate the animal over time.
How Much Water To Give A German Shepherd
A German Shepherd should have about two to three cups of fresh water daily. However, this amount will vary depending on the size, age, and activity level of your dog.
Puppies and young dogs, for example, generally need more water than adult German Shepherds. And working dogs or those who exercise frequently may require even more.
Unlike the German shepherd puppy feeding chart, you won’t have to spend your time on this task. This is because they can easily hydrate themselves if given free access to water.
However, you still need to remember some things. For example, take note that your dog will need to drink 6 ounces of water per day for every 3.5 kilograms of weight.
So if your German shepherd weighs around 35 kilograms, he’ll need to drink an average of 60 ounces of water every day.
Depending on the temperature and activeness, this amount can increase. If that’s the case, finding out the perfect amount of water needed will be difficult. That’s why you need to rely on the most noticeable sign of dehydration, panting.
Lastly, make sure you take extra care in providing water access to your German shepherd. The most preferable way is to fill a bowl with a moderate amount of water, not too much.
The feeding amount, frequency, length, and water requirements can always be changed. That’s why I recommend seeing your vet regularly to discuss important matters, such as how much to feed a German shepherd puppy.
If you have no time to visit your vet, the following topic may help you.
How Much Should A 1-year-old German Shepherd Eat
A 1-year-old German Shepherd should eat about two and a half to three cups of food each day, broken up into two or three meals. The amount of food may need to be adjusted based on your dog’s activity level, weight, and other factors.
Pointers for Feeding German Shepherds
Improper feeding practices can lead to serious health problems for German shepherds. Most of the time, these problems linger throughout the dog’s lifetime.
You should remember this before doing something reckless, such as altering your German shepherd puppy’s feeding amount.
An owner is responsible for taking into consideration the age and weight of a German shepherd before feeding them. So here are some tips that can be applied according to your dog’s age and weight.
When feeding a german shepherd puppy that is four to six months old, you must give them two meals a day that comprises around eight ounces and five ounces.
When feeding a German shepherd puppy that is between seven and twelve months old, the meal amounts should be increased to ten ounces for each meal. This amount should be split into three smaller meals.
When feeding an adult or fully grown German shepherd, you should give them an amount that is equivalent to two and a half times the puppy’s daily calories.
This is regardless of whether they are active or not. Yep, German shepherds can gain weight regardless of whether they exercise or not. If you think your dog is gaining too much weight, you can split their daily calories into four or five smaller meals.
Some people prefer using dry dog food, while others would choose canned dog food. Whatever you choose for your German shepherd is usually okay, but canned food tends to contain more moisture than dry food (which may lead to bladder stones in certain dogs).
However, when it comes to the amount of dog food you feed your German shepherd, canned food leads to more obesity than dry food.
If your German shepherds are over five years old, you must give them an extra meal. This additional meal should comprise around four ounces of food so they can easily digest it during their older age.
When feeding a German shepherd puppy, you must know how to correctly measure their food amount.
Here are some tips for measuring their food:
- Measure your German shepherd’s food in a measuring cup or scoop that is specifically designed for pets.
- Be accurate when following the proper measurements; otherwise, it could lead to your dog gaining too much weight.
- Use measuring cups that are specifically made for dry food. If you use any other type of measuring device, it might lead to your dog eating too much or too little food.
- You must not feed your German shepherd until they are full, but allow them to eat until they are slightly satiated.
- Do not serve unlimited food; give them about two to three cups of food per day.
- Avoid changing your dog’s diet, as this can lead to them becoming malnourished or obese. You should always consult a veterinarian before changing anything about your dog’s feeding schedule.
- If you are unsure whether or not your German shepherd is obese, check its waistline. If they have a thick waist and their stomach looks like a sphere, then that is a clear sign that your German shepherd is obese.
- You must clean your dog’s bowl of food after they eat it. Never let them finish their meal if they are still hungry; otherwise, you will encourage them to gorge on their food.
- Your German shepherd must always have access to fresh clean water, so you should ensure they can drink it whenever necessary.
Make sure your dog is not being overfed or underfed when following the proper feeding schedules.
If you notice any changes in your German shepherd’s health after changing their diet, then you must contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Feeding Guidelines by Age
Before proceeding with the following points, remember that age is not the only determining factor in a German shepherd feeding chart. Make sure to consider all the content in this blog post as well.
- 6-Week Old: German shepherd puppies of this age are likely to have not adapted yet. They will still require nutrients equal to that of what they get from their mother’s milk.
- 10-Week Old: At this point, you can feed other types of food to your German shepherd puppy besides their mother’s milk.
- 12-Week Old: Your German shepherd is now capable of digesting dry food. It is recommended that you slowly let them adapt first.
- 3-Month Old: The German shepherd puppy would already be used to eating dry food. This can be their regular food from now on.
- 4-Month Old: You can now feed them with different types of food. This includes fruits, bones, and more. However, you shouldn’t go overboard and avoid providing them with too much of these types of food. You should also avoid giving them your leftovers. This is because seasonings may harm your dog’s health.
- 5-Month Old: At this age, a German shepherd can finally eat live ingredient foods such as bones, eggs, and more. However, they will need time to adapt.
- 6-Month Old: Your dog can now take in more nutrients that they weren’t able to get from dog food. You should also consider feeding your German shepherd foods that can be gnawed and chewed. This is so they can develop their jaws, teeth, and gums.
- 8-Month Old: German shepherds of this age are capable of abandoning dog food once and for all and lean more on live ingredients.
- 1-Year Old: 1year old German shepherd will have a slower metabolism. This will result in less feeding amount and frequency.
Feeding Guidelines by Weight
German shepherds can be of different weight ranges. That’s why the feeding plan for your dog can be complicated. Fortunately, there’s a calculation for the feeding amount of German shepherds according to weight.
- Inactive German Shepherds: For every 1 kilogram your dog weighs, they’ll need 40 calories a day.
An average weighted German shepherd (35 kilograms) will then need 1400 calories per day. This only applies to German shepherds that do not exercise or are inactive.
- Active German Shepherds: In the case of active German shepherds that exercise regularly, every 1 kilogram equals 55 calories per day.
So an average weighted German shepherd will require 1925 calories per day to be able to function properly.
Take note, however, that this calculation may be affected if the German shepherd has a health disorder concerned with metabolism or digestion.
German Shepherd Puppies vs. Adults Guidelines
Our last topic involves the difference between a puppy and an adult.
This is an important subject as it will help you figure out the best way to take care of your dog depending on whether they’re an adult or a puppy.
The following are some of the facts that recent studies have proven:
- Puppies have higher energy levels than adults. This means they need to eat more than adult German shepherds.
- German shepherds will need higher protein and fat content at an early age. The amount of fat and protein will decrease as they grow older.
- Puppies cannot tolerate too many nutrients. Ingesting extra minerals and vitamins may lead to serious health disorders. Meanwhile, adults are only risking being overweight when taking in more than intended.
With this German shepherd feeding chart, you can now decide on your dog’s feeding plan, However, I’d suggest seeing your vet first so you can confirm if your plan is effective.
Many owners simply feed their German shepherds without second thoughts of the dog’s needs. But since you’ve read this blog post, you are now aware of the needs of your German shepherd.
After talking about the feeding amount, frequency, and lengths of a German shepherd, you can now easily plan how much, how many times, and how long you feed your dog. You even learned how to hydrate your German shepherd the proper way.
Along with the German shepherd feeding chart, you also learned some tips for coming up with your dog’s feeding plan according to their age and weight. Lastly, we talked about the difference between a puppy and an adult in terms of feeding.
After all these, you are now capable of coming up with your dog’s feeding plan on your own. Now it’s no longer impossible to have a future with a healthy and well-fed German shepherd.