GERMAN SHEPHERD: A COMPLETE GUIDE WITH TIPS FOR CHOOSING THEIR IDEAL DIET
Food is the basis of a healthy life. This is why it's so important to understand how to choose the best food for your dog. German Shepherds are large, very athletic dogs. Guide dogs, rescue dogs, police dogs... they perform many roles, which is why their diet needs to be chosen with care, to ensure that it fully and properly meets their nutritional requirements. If you're thinking of adopting a German Shepherd (or you already have!), here are some tips to help you understand the specific needs of the breed and select the best type of dog food for your furry friend.
German Shepherd: Specific Dietary Needs
The German Shepherd is a large dog, generally acclaimed for its athletic qualities. As such, your German Shepherd's diet should be adapted to their level of physical activity. These are some of the specific characteristics that you should consider when choosing the right dog food for your German Shepherd:
This is a powerful, muscular dog with a well-developed chest; assets that make for a great athlete. This is a key determining factor for choosing their diet.
The German Shepherd's digestive system is often quite delicate. Therefore, their dog food needs to be easily digestible.
In addition to the specific features related to the breed, it's important to take into account other factors, such as age, weight, physical activity, and any potential or reported diseases.
What type of food should I give my German Shepherd?
First and foremost, you need to make sure that your dog's typical dietary needs are met, in terms of protein, minerals, etc. Then, opt for kibble adapted to your German Shepherd, which will effectively meet the requirements of the breed.
When choosing their ideal dog food, you should look for:
Digestible dog food: rice is the most digestible source of starch.
An antioxidant complex that will promote the good health of your German Shepherd Dog.
Food that helps strengthen your dog's joints: due to their high activity level, German Shepherds' joints are subject to a lot of stress. Ideally, their diet should be supplemented with chondroprotectors, as well as contain chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine to strengthen their joints, slow the onset of osteoarthritis, and reduce the risk of inflammation. More importantly, their diet should be supplemented with Omega-3 fatty acids via the addition of a quality, well-conserved fish oil.
The Hector Kitchen Motto
Every dog is unique, so their diet should be too!
We cannot stress it enough: each dog has their own specific dietary needs. And these recommendations are not the only things to take into account when choosing the best food for your German Shepherd.
Their age, weight, activity level, and any potential or reported diseases are equally important factors. No one is better qualified than an animal nutrition specialist to create a suitable diet for your German Shepherd Dog.
When and how should I feed my German Shepherd?
Once you’ve chosen the ideal food for your German Shepherd, you'll also need to learn when and how to feed them. We recommend that you give them their meals at the same, fixed time each day to avoid possible digestive disorders. The amount of kibble provided should be adapted according to your dog's weight and daily activity level.
Here are some recommendations for how best to feed your German Shepherd Dog:
Give them their meals in a quiet place, away from possible sources of distraction: It's important to create a pleasant environment for mealtimes, as this facilitates digestion and promotes a balanced diet.
We recommend that you split your German Shepherd's daily food ration into two or three small meals: The idea is to distribute their food throughout the day, so as not to overload their digestive capacities. It also stops them from feeling hungry.
Give them the correct amount of dog food: This will depend on different factors, such as your dog's age, weight, activity level (normal or sustained), and reported illnesses. Your vet or an animal nutritionist specialist can help you determine the appropriate amount of food for your dog.
Also, make sure that your German Shepherd Dog has constant access to a water source: Hydration is an integral part of a healthy diet and is essential to the good health of your pooch. Make sure you change their water bowl every day so that the water is always fresh.
Treats: In addition to their regular food, you can certainly offer your furry friend a healthy treat from time to time. Little pieces of fruit or cooked vegetables are a great, natural option! However, be careful with this if your dog is overweight.
Forbid certain foods: Of course, some foods are toxic to dogs. Sugar, cold meats, and chocolate are dangerous foods for dogs. Chicken and rabbit bones are also not recommended as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
German Shepherd: Characteristics of the Breed
A Brief History of the German Shepherd
As the name suggests, the German Shepherd Dog originated in Germany. This breed has been recognised since 1889, the result of a crossbreeding of the best sheepdogs in Central and South Germany performed by Captain Max Emil Frédéric von Stephanitz.
Originally, the goal was to create a versatile dog that was as intelligent as it was physically strong. Initially used as herding dogs, they quickly became known for their versatility in various roles. These days they're often used as police dogs, war dogs, guide dogs, and even therapy dogs.
German Shepherd Temperament
German Shepherds are very happy, playful, and intelligent dogs. These are loyal dogs who get very attached to their owners. Their bravery and courage make them excellent companions for children, whom they love to play with. They are particularly territorial with a cautious nature, which makes them good watchdogs.
German Shepherd Health
German Shepherds have a rather robust constitution. However, the breed is predisposed to hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand disease. We, therefore, recommend that you take your German Shepherd for regular tests, in order to properly address any potential diseases.
It's also essential that you keep all their vaccinations and deworming treatments up to date and provide them with regular vet check-ups throughout their life. If you have a German Shepherd or you're thinking about adopting one, it's important to take all of these characteristics into consideration when choosing their dog food. Remember that good food is the foundation of good health!
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