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Best Dog Food for German Shepherds: Nutritional Needs & Health Tips

The German Shepherd is a dog recognized for its fearlessness and loyalty. This breed requires a lot of daily exercise, although it is normal for their physical activity to decrease as they age.

Due to this, the nutritional requirements of the German Shepherd vary over time. If you're thinking of creating a nutritional plan for your pet, you'll need to consider your dog's specific needs, as well as the general needs of the breed.

How do You Feed a German Shepherd

German Shepherd Energy and Calorie Needs

Large breeds generally require more exercise than small breeds, but among large breeds, German Shepherds require less exercise than other dogs of similar size. They can maintain a healthy weight and activity level through daily walks and occasional runs in a park.

Puppies have plenty of energy, so they require a diet high in protein and calories. While protein is always essential, as your dog ages, it will be necessary to adapt its diet to avoid becoming overweight.

When adjusting your dog's diet based on its activity level, keep in mind that it's the total calorie content that matters, not the volume of food. Feeding a dog based on the amount of exercise it gets is not the right way to keep it healthy. If you think your dog is eating too few or too many calories, consult your vet to help you develop an age-appropriate eating plan.

Regardless of your dog's age or activity level, the best dog food for German Shepherds requires a high-protein diet. Proteins are essential in their diet as they provide energy and are necessary for the production of hormones. It is important to consider the quality of proteins when choosing foods. As much as possible, ensure that the primary source of protein is of animal origin.

The amount of food a dog should eat in a day depends on its age, weight, and activity level. Your veterinarian can provide you with specific recommendations for your dog's needs.

Keeping skin and coat healthy

Since this is a breed with a double coat, the German Shepherd's coat helps protect its offspring from external agents. The topcoat may be smooth or slightly wavy. It sheds throughout the year but is most abundant in spring and autumn when the entire coat changes. Regular brushing can help you control excessive hair loss.

Although it is not easy to determine the reasons for excessive hair loss, it is very likely that if the hair has a different texture or if your dog scratches excessively, the diet may be the cause. The fats and natural oils that come from your dog's diet help keep its skin and coat clean and healthy.

Dogs with a diet low in fat often experience many skin problems. Choose foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E to help maintain the quality and health of the coat.

Old German Shepherd Dog

Potential health risks related to food

The average life expectancy of a German Shepherd is 10 to 13 years. They are prone to certain health problems, such as allergies, Cushing's disease, hyperthyroidism, or epilepsy. As a large breed, arthritis and hip dysplasia are also common.

While these two diseases cannot be prevented or cured, they can be managed through a diet with adequate levels of glucosamine and chondroitin. Weight gain can also exacerbate these conditions. In fact, with just a few extra pounds, a German Shepherd can suffer from joint diseases and experience greater discomfort. That's why it's important to monitor their calorie intake.

Things to keep in mind

The specific needs of each German Shepherd vary depending on their age, level of physical activity, and health. In general, the breed requires a diet high in protein and vitamins A, D, E, and K. Absorbing these nutrients also requires healthy fats, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6.

As a large breed, the diet of a German Shepherd should promote joint health to prevent joint problems throughout their life.