Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!
~ Anne Tyler
~ Anne Tyler
Well, whether or not we really are such great hunters that our pets may take us to be, going by Anne Tyler's assumptions, it should definitely be our solemn responsibility to be the greatest providers for our pets! After all, when we accepted them in our lives, we entered an unspoken pact to take care of them in return for the joy of their company.
When it comes to canine diet, we must remember that the nutrition needs of each dog breed differs from others and what may qualify as a high nutrition diet for a small breed, such as a Lhasa Apso, may not suffice to fulfill the nutrition requirements of a larger dog breed, such as a German Shepherd.
German Shepherd Diet Information
Most authorized Kennel clubs and licensed breeders of German Shepherd suggest you to feed German Shepherd puppies those things which their parents were fed on as a matter of dietary routine. This ensures 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 full-grown, average-sized German Shepherd's diet must necessarily contain all the given 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
Now, coming to the right quantities of these nutrients that you should feed your German Shepherd, 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 GSD'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 GSD 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.
You see, dogs this size 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 GSD 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 GSD are slightly more than a pup and the primary nutrients of an adult GSD would primarily include proteins, fibers and fat in that order.
Avoid giving your dog anything with sugar, refined carbohydrates or preservatives, as eating these things is detrimental to the dermal health of dogs. The effects can be seen as tangled, dull coat and excessive shedding. Also, never, under any circumstances, feed chocolate to your dog - not unless you want him/ her end up in a coma or worse still, dead!