German Shepherd nutrition diet

German Shepherd nutrition is vital for this working dog breed. With a body built for strength and agility it's important that you feed your German Shepherd the best dog food available. Your dog’s diet is the most important component that affects his whole behavior and personality.

Most authorized kennel clubs and licensed breeders of German Shepherd suggest that you should feed German Shepherd puppies those things which their parents were fed on as a matter of dietary routine. This makes sure that the sensitive digestive systems of the pups, that are not strong enough yet, are not exposed to any edible items that its genes are not familiar with. Also, keeping in mind the various diseases and health issues that this breed is genetically predisposed towards (such as hip dysplasia), a German Shepherd diet plan should include all those nutrients in generous quantities that help mitigate the intensity of the symptoms of these particular health concerns. That being said, a fullgrown, average-sized German Shepherd's diet must necessarily contain all the following nutrients:
  • Proteins, essentially from animal sources
  • Digestible fibers
  • Vitamin C
  • Essential fatty acids, particularly Omega-3
  • Complex carbohydrates in low quantities
  • Essential minerals in trace amounts
It is very important to maintain the right proportions of these nutrients in your dog's diet. Vitamins and proteins should constitute of the lion's share of a German Shepherd nutrition, seconded by fiber. Fat should not constitute of more than 8% of your dog's daily diet and carbohydrates should be given very sparingly, not more than 2% each day. While planning your German Shepherd's diet and nutrition, it is very important that you pay attention to the food source of such nutrition. For instance, the ideal source of protein, fiber and vitamins for a German Shepherd is meat. Safe and healthy fat sources for your dog may include coconut and sunflower oil, both of which are easily digestible with sunflower oil being an excellent unsaturated fatty acid source.

Poultry meat and egg yolks provide the necessary omega-3 fatty acids and are rich in proteins and fiber as well. You may include small amounts of whole grain flour to prepare dog food (if you prefer preparing it at home yourself) but then again, feeding whole grains to your dog is not advisable. The same logic applies to high fiber vegetables. Large dog breeds are highly prone to bloating and all that insoluble vegetable fiber and starch in grains would just worsen the situation for your beloved canine companion. You may add potatoes and carrots to your dog's diet in small quantities as this will give them just the right quantities of carbs and vitamins.

Make sure your German Shepherd gets a lot of Vitamin C on a daily basis. Besides keeping the joints healthy (thereby, minimizing the risk of joint problems common to this breed), Vitamin C also encourages healthy growth of coat. Coupled with the right amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, this will help keep your dog's coat shiny and luxuriant. Most reputed dog food brands offer a near perfect nutritional combination, ideal for different breeds, and you can opt for one of them once your dog has reached adulthood. The fat requirements of an adult German Shepherd are slightly more than a pup and the primary nutrients of an adult shepherd would primarily include proteins, fibers and fat in that order. Refrain yourself from giving your dog food or treats with sugar, refined carbohydrates or preservatives in it as eating these things is detrimental to the dermal health of dogs. The effects can be seen as tangled, dull coat and excessive shedding.

Too much protein can make your dog restless and over excitable and may lead to dog behavior problems. An unbalanced diet can lead to dog health problems, such as flaky skin or your dog's coat becoming 'mangy' so if you see your German Shepherd is continuously scratching or biting itself, this could be a symptom of poor dietary control, mineral or vitamin deficiency, and you may need veterinary assistance.

Feeding your German Shepherd should be twice a day and be at regular scheduled times. Don't feed late at night and make sure your dog has plenty of exercise. Always wait at least 30 minutes for your dog to settle down after taking him out before feeding. If you feed your dog as soon as you get back home, he will still be in an excitable state and will no doubt 'rush his food' and end up with possible stomach problems, flatulence and other digestive problems.