What are the best diets to serve German Shepherds?
Basically, a good, high quality dog food is all that’s necessary for this large breed.
You do need to be mindful of her weight, though. German shepherds can weigh anywhere between 49 and 88 pounds. An overweight dog usually experiences more health problems—and German shepherds are prone to arthritis, especially at the hip—so it’s important not to add any additional pressure (that is, excess weight) to her body.
It’s also important to remember that scheduling is very important to the German shepherd, so no free feeding. Feed the adult dog once or twice a day and remove any uneaten food after 15 minutes.
German shepherds are also prone to:
• Chronic pancreatitis: This means to keep the fat content of her food a little on the low side and give her absolutely no table scraps, no matter how much she begs. Treats and snack should be only account for ten percent of her daily caloric allotment (25 to 30 calories per every five pound of body weight.)
• Torsion, or stomach bloat: Eating too fast is one of the causes of bloat. If she gobbles her food, you can try these things: Put a clean rock in her dish so she’ll have to eat around it to get at the food. Or try a food puzzle—they’re those objects, like Kongs, that have openings in which to “hide” the food. The dog then needs to work at it for 20 to 30 minutes to get the food out. Since German shepherds are known for their extreme intelligence, they’d probably love this challenge. If she’s still gobbling, she might be too hungry and, hence, needs food with a higher nutrient content.
• Calcium gout and various eye problems: Discuss this with your vet who can recommend dietary therapies and/or supplements.
• Stress: People tend to not think that German shepherds are prone to stress, but the truth is they are greatly affected by it, resulting in things like restlessness, aggression, chewing and loss of appetite. So, keep mealtime as pleasant and stress-free as possible to ensure that she’ll eat, and enjoy, her meal.