Just bought a German Shepherd puppy, but not sure how much to feed them? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
The best way to determine how much you should feed your German Shepherd puppy is to ask your vet. During the weaning process, feed them four times a day. When they’re 8 weeks old, they’re fed three times a day. After 9 months, feeding them twice a day should suffice.
In this article, I’ll talk about how much you have to feed a German Shepherd puppy and how their eating habits change as they get older. You’ll get to learn about health problems that can develop because of an unhealthy diet and why it’s imperative that you feed your German Shepherd puppy a balanced meal. What our dogs eat has a significant impact on their health and as a responsible dog owner, it’s important that you learn how to feed them. Let’s jump right in!
General Guidelines on Feeding German Shepherd Puppies
While it’s best to consult a veterinarian to find out the correct amount of food you should feed your German Shepherd puppy, there are some general guidelines that we can follow. Puppies require more food than adult dogs and their diet should contain 26% more fat and 15% more protein than the diet of an adult dog.
Quality puppy food is formulated for large breed puppies and it should have complete and balanced nutrition. Your tiny furry friend shouldn’t be fed more vitamins or minerals than the amount your vet has set for them. Generally speaking, German Shepherd puppies should be fed three times a day (adult German Shepherds are fed once or twice a day).
You should give puppy food to your German Shepherd for the first 12 months of their lives, after which you should switch to adult dog food. Another important thing to remember is that you have to keep your puppy hydrated, which means always keeping freshwater within their reach.
How Much to Feed You German Shepherd Puppy
Some German Shepherd puppy owners are of the opinion that free feeding is the way to go. Free feeding means that a bowl filled with dry kibble should always be accessible to your puppy. This can make it difficult to find out how much your puppy is consuming and you won’ be able to figure out their eating habits.
What you should do, instead, is create a feeding schedule for your puppy.
Feeding Frequency and Amount
During the weaning process, your puppy has to be fed four times a day. When the puppy reaches the age of eight weeks, you can bring their feeding frequency down to three times a day, with the third feeding being given a few hours before you put your puppies to sleep.
Once they become 9 months old, you can start feeding them twice a day (unless your vet says otherwise). As they grow older and the feeding frequency decreases, the amount of food you feed them at each meal should increase.
The amount of food you should feed your German Shepherd puppy depends on their age, size, and the opinion of your vet. Before they reach the age of 16 weeks, you should give them ½ or 1 full cup of food. When they’re between the ages of 16 weeks and 9 months, you should feed them anywhere between 1 full cup and 1¾ cup of food.
Between the ages of 9 months and 12 months, give them 2 or 2½ cups of food. After 12 months, you should give them 2½ or 3½ cups of food. Keep in mind that this is a general guideline, and you’ll have to talk to your vet before you go around making any changes to your puppy’s eating habits.
Here’s a table that explains how much you should feed your German Shepherd puppy:
|Before 8 weeks||4 times a day||½ – 1 full cup|
|8 weeks – 16 weeks||3 times a day||½ – 1 full cup|
|16 weeks – 9 months||2 times a day||1 full cup – 1¾ cup|
|9 months – 12 months||2 times a day||2 – 2½ cups of food|
|After 12 months||2 times a day||2½ – 3½ cups|
Is Your German Shepherd Active or Inactive?
The eating habits of a dog can change depending on their weight. An active German Shepherd needs 55 calories a day per every 1 kilogram they weigh. The average weight of a male German Shepherd is 35 kilograms which means if your puppy gets a healthy amount of exercise, then they will need around 1925 calories per day.
An inactive German Shepherd that doesn’t exercise regularly needs 40 calories a day per every 1 kilogram they weigh, which means they’ll need at least 1400 calories every day in order to function properly.
For How Long Should Your German Shepherd Puppy Eat?
In order to find out how much your puppy should eat, you need to monitor your puppy’s behavior closely and see how hungry they get at mealtimes, how much time they take to finish their food, and whether or not they’re still hungry after finishing their food.
Puppies usually take 15 minutes to finish their food. If the food is still there after 15 minutes and the puppy has stopped eating, then that means they’re not hungry. If the puppy continues to eat even after 15 minutes, then you might want to increase the amount of food you feed them at each meal.
Consequences of Incorrect Feeding an Unhealthy Diet
Feeding your German Shepherd puppy the right amount of quality food is crucial in helping them grow into a healthy adult dog. A healthy diet can save your German Shepherd from developing arthritis caused by hip or elbow dysplasia. Lack of calcium and an imbalance between phosphorous and calcium in the dog’s diet can lead to musculoskeletal disorders.
Excessive consumption of protein can result in kidney problems and food that has too much fat can cause pancreatitis. Don’t give your German Shepherd low-quality food. Always give them puppy food that’s labeled “complete and balanced”. Your German Shepherd’s diet has to be consistent. If you plan on changing it, you should discuss it with your vet first.
There are four types of foods that you can give to your puppy: dry kibble, homemade food, raw food, and wet food. Many puppy owners choose to give their furry friend balanced dry kibble with wet food. Since a puppy’s immune system isn’t fully developed, I don’t recommend giving them raw food.
Figuring out how much you should feed your German Shepherd puppy can be complicated, as there are a lot of factors you have to consider. The best thing to do is to consult your vet as they can help you create a feeding chart for your puppy. There are some guidelines you can follow, though. Feed them four times a day during the weaning process and as they get older, decrease the feeding frequency, bringing it down to twice a day when they reach the age of 9 months. As the feeding frequency decreases with age, the amount of food you feed them should increase.
German Shepherd puppies take about 15 minutes to finish their food. If they take more than that, then it means you’re not feeding them enough. You also have to keep in mind the calorie differences between an active German Shepherd and an inactive German Shepherd.
Finally, you have to make sure that you’re giving your German Shepherd puppy good quality food that’s nutritionally complete and balanced as poor quality food can lead to various health problems. Keep their diet consistent and if you decide to change it, talk to your vet first.
Hi! My name is Hamza, I studied Japanese in Tokyo for a year and just moved back to Pakistan. I spend most of my time playing and writing about my pups Milo and Yuki.