German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart: Do you know how much food should a German Shepherd puppy eat?
This isn’t as simple as just counting meals or looking at the calendar to count how old is your four-legged best friend. You need to look at the dog’s exact weight and development.
Still, a German Shepherd puppy feeding chart can give you an estimate about the amount of food your dog should eat.
Just like you would closely monitor what you’re intaking, you need to think about your companion. A proper diet is just as important for canines as it is for humans.
The biggest difference is that we’re the ones responsible for what we eat, while our dogs depend on us to give them food. As such, we’re responsible for their well-being, as well.
If you’ve just become a GSD owner, or if you’re planning on getting yourself a puppy, this article is for you.
I’ll explain how much food a GSD puppy should eat, while also providing you with a German Shepherd puppy feeding chart you can consult with at any time.
Let’s get started!
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart
A feeding chart can give you an idea about the right feeding amount that is fit for your puppy’s needs.
Keep in mind that it is only an estimated feeding guideline and not something you should blindly follow. Your dog’s weight and development are more important than his age.
Age Cups of puppy food
- 2 – 3 months old 1 – 1.5 cups
- 3 – 6 months old 1.5 – 2 cups
- 6 – 12 months old 2 – 3 cups
- 12 months old and older 3 – 3.5 cups
How Much Food Should A German Puppy Eat?
Feeding large breed puppies the right amount of food can be more tricky than you think, They go through huge changes in size, and you need to stay on top of that.
I’ll give you a quick feeding guide. Keep in mind, though, that this is only an estimation and that you should always talk to your vet about any specific information.
It’s also very important to think about the type of dog food you’re giving to your puppy. You should stick to high-quality brands, such as Royal Canin, that provide the best nutrition.
Young German Shepherds should only eat wet food. When they are adults, you might switch to dry kibble or to a raw diet.
The best dog food should have lots of supplements that will help your puppy’s health. This includes ingredients such as calcium, fatty acids found in fish and fish oil, and lots of vitamins and minerals.
With that being said, here’s how you should feed your GSD according to his life stages:
A newborn puppy will have to rely on his mother’s milk, as this is the only type of food his sensitive stomach can digest.
Allow your GSD puppy to breastfeed whenever he wants to. He can never have too much of it. This means that the mother dog should be near her puppies all the time.
Most German Shepherd puppies will start exploring their environment when they are about four weeks old. This is the right time to slowly start introducing them to puppy food – but breastmilk should still be their main source of nutrition.
Mix puppy food with water. Use a 1:4 ratio, as the puppies’ digestive systems aren’t ready to solely eat puppy food.
Don’t force them to eat. A GSD puppy this young will only eat when hungry, and they might not like dog food yet.
If you notice your pup isn’t eating or breastfeeding, or that he isn’t developing the right way, contact your vet as soon as possible. Puppies are very sensitive at this young age, and every minute might be important if they are having some underlying health condition.
One To Three Months
As your GSD puppy is growing older, you need to slowly reduce the amount of water and increase the amount of puppy food in the mixture you’re giving them.
Once again, don’t force your puppy to wean off the mother’s milk. Let them follow their own pace. Still, they should stop actively breastfeeding by the time they are 6 – 7 weeks old – but the mother might nurse them until they are two months old.
A seven-week-old puppy should start eating puppy food on its own, without any added water. Not just that, but this is the time when his appetites will increase, which means you have to develop a feeding schedule.
At this age, a puppy should eat just a few drops of wet food 4 – 5 times a day. Still, as he is growing, the amount of food should increase. By the time a puppy is two months old, you should offer him 1.5 cups of food daily.
Don’t force your GSD puppy to eat if he doesn’t feel like it. However, carefully monitor his weight to know whether he is developing properly. Also, make sure he always has fresh water within his reach.
If you’re buying your new puppy from a breeder, you likely won’t be able to take them home until they are two months old. The breeder should’ve taught the puppy all the previous steps.
Three To Six Months
This is the time when large breed dogs will go through a growth spur. Their weight and height will drastically increase, and they’ll be able to eat a huge amount of puppy food.
While you should still give him several smaller meals, it’s okay if you feed your GSD three to four times a day by this time.
The feeding schedule should be somewhat established by this time. Your puppy should know when his mealtime is. This will also help with potty training, as young puppies usually go quickly after their meals.
Six Months To One-Year-Old
By the time your pooch turns six months of age, he is large enough to eat up to three cups of food each day. Also, this is the time when his growth rate will slow down, so you can finally relax a bit.
Don’t switch your GSD to dry dog food until their first birthday. Some dogs will take even longer.
The puppy’s diet is different from the diet of adult GSDs, as the puppy needs different nutrition during his development period. Still, this transition should be slow, as new food and any sudden changes might harm your dog’s health.
One To Seven Years Old
During this time, your pooch is considered an adult dog. He should switch from German Shepherd puppy food to adult dog food before his second birthday, and this is the time when he’ll stop growing.
It is up to the dog owner whether they’ll give their GSD dry or raw food. Still, it might not be a bad idea to consult with your vet during your next visit.
Don’t give your dog human food, as there are many things that might harm his health.
Senior dogs should have a lower food intake than adult German Shepherds. An old German Shepherd isn’t very active, so he requires fewer calories.
Not just that, but it might be smart to switch to the dog food carefully designed for older dogs.
With a proper diet, your German Shepherd can live many more years with you.
The Right Calorie Amount
You cannot measure the right amount of food in cups only. It’s also important how many calories you’re feeding your pup.
The average weight of a German Shepherd dog is 60 to 90 pounds. The next thing you need to do is to see how active your GSD is.
According to The National Research Council of the National Academies, active dogs that fall within this weight range require anywhere between 1,740 and 2,100 calories a day.
On the other hand, if your GSD happens to be on the lazier side, 1,272 to 1,540 calories should be enough.
Of course, this is just a general estimate and your dog might be fine eating a few dozen calories more or less. Just like in humans, dogs can have different metabolisms, and some might require a bit more calories than others or vice versa.
Finally, the type of calories also matters. The best dog food for German Shepherd shouldn’t have many empty calories that come from carbs or sugars. Instead, it should be rich in animal protein and have just the right amount of healthy fats.
Bad calories will not only lead to obesity, but the ingredients that contain them can be very harmful to your dog’s health.
Things To Consider
As mentioned several times, there are many things you need to consider before you make a decision to change the amount of food you’ll give to your GSD pup.
Not all dogs develop at the same pace. Not just that, but not all will grow to be the same shape and size. All of this will impact the right feeding amount, and it’s something you need to think about when applying the German Shepherd Puppy feeding chart.
Some of the factors that will influence the amount of food your dog needs are:
- The dog’s size. German Shepherds are large to medium dogs that grow at a fast pace. The dog’s weight is an important factor in deciding whether he needs more food, or if you’re feeding him too much.
- The dog’s age. This is something that I’ve focused on a lot in this article. The dog’s age will influence not just his size, but activity levels, as well.
- Activity levels. Dogs with high energy levels require more food than couch potatoes. The older the dog, the less active he is, and the less food he needs.
- Gender. Female German Shepherds tend to be smaller than males. As the result, they need less food than males.
- Health. German Shepherds might have some health problems that will affect their nutritional needs and the amount of dog food they need. Also, pregnant and nursing females will require more food, as they need more energy for the babies.
As you can see, these factors can vary from dog to dog. This is why it’s so important not to follow any instructions blindly, but to look at your dog specifically.
Food Quality Matters
A proper diet is a key to good health. Your dog food shouldn’t contain lots of sugars and too many fats, as these can lead to obesity, which is connected to many health problems, most notably hip dysplasia that might lead to osteoarthritis.
Malnutrition is another huge problem, and it can occur not just from health problems, but from improper dog food quality, as well.
A German Shepherd dog is much more sensitive than he might appear to be. His sensitive stomach will react if he doesn’t eat properly, and his health might deteriorate quickly.
Sticking to the German Shepherd puppy feeding chart is important, but finding the right type of dog food for your GSD puppy is equally essential.
Enabling your GSD puppy to have a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for his health. A German Shepherd puppy feeding chart can help your pooch grow up to be an intelligent, well-developed dog that will be as healthy as possible!
It’s important to note that not all dogs are the same. If you’re not a first-time German Shepherd owner, you shouldn’t simply do the same thing for your current pup as you did for your other dogs.
German Shepherd puppies might develop at a different pace. It’s essential to look not just at the dog’s age, but also at his weight and general condition.
Don’t make any changes in your dog’s diet without consulting with your vet first. Some German Shepherds have food sensitivities, and it’s best to have a veterinary professional monitoring this transition.
If you notice that your puppy isn’t developing properly or that he has experienced a sudden drastic change in his weight, contact your vet immediately.Weight changes might indicate that your pooch is experiencing some health issues. It’s important to rule this out before making any other decisions.