How healthy are your German Shepherd dogs? Healthy German Shepherds have bright and alight eyes, shiny coats as well as abundance of energy. Things like environmental, genetics, proper care and nutritional factors including diet, contribute to your dog’s overall good health. The popular saying about being what you eat, applies just as much to your German Shepherd as it does to you. If you continue to feed your German Shepherd junk food, your dog will begin to develop different health problems. This is due to the fact that it needs proper nutrition to keep its immune system healthy. This is why a good German Shepherd diet along with adequate nutrition is absolutely critical. When done right it will increase the life expectancy of your dog.
To help you get started on this journey, here are some important tips for improving your German Shepherd’s diet
Can Dogs Eat Healthy Human Food?
There’s nothing stopping you from putting your German Shepherd on a diet that comprises of healthy foods like vegetables, bread, meats and certain fruits. One of the benefits of doing this is the fact that fresh food comprises of natural enzymes which cannot be found in the processed commercial dog foods. However you need to ensure that your German Shepherd’s diet does not contain more than 15% human food. This is because too much human food can upset your dog’s nutrient balance.
Don’t Always Believe Everything Advertised in Dog Food Commercials
It’s a huge industry for dog food in the US as well as in other parts of the western world. As a result manufacturers are always competing among themselves through ads and other promotional activities. Although these ads always feature healthy and happy dogs, we must remind ourselves that profit making is the major goal of these companies. This means that dog consumers ought to be wary of some of the products that these companies are trying to sell to them. We’re definitely not insinuating that dog food manufacturers don’t provide the necessary nutrition required by your dog. What we mean is that German Shepherd dog owners have a duty to choose the best among all the other dog foods.
If you remember, a few years ago, there was massive dog food recall in the US because they were contaminated with melamine. The consequence of this was that a lot of pets started experiencing kidney failures, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. This is why it is necessary to first check the labels of dog food and consult with dog food experts like a veterinarian to make sure that your German Shepherd enjoys all the important nutrients it needs. To ensure that your German Shepherd gets good quality food, confirm that the food has adequate supply of protein, fats and carbohydrates. A dog owner can achieve this by going through the list of ingredients. If you notice that any of the listed products is a by-product like bone and internal organs, you should see it as a red flag. The proteins from these by-products do not metabolize as good as the muscle meat in the body of the dog.
There are some German Shepherds that are allergic to some of the ingredients used to produce certain commercial foods like beef, wheat and lamb. Owners of such dogs have admitted the challenge of finding good-quality dog foods without such ingredients. If you’re this kind of situation, you can decide to produce homemade food for your dogs, with advice from experts in this field. The fact that it is homemade should not stop you from making sure it has all the essential nutrients needed by your dog. After the massive dog food recalls in the US, a lot of people started producing their own homemade meals for their dogs to enable them to control what their dogs consume. Here’s a good resource on how to make a perfect homemade German Shepherd diet.
How much food should I give my dog?
There is no fixed quantity of food required to be eaten by any dog. Although a lot of manufacturers of dog food have a chart indicating the quantity of food you should feed your dog, you should note that these are just recommendations. Every dog’s quantity of food depends on its metabolism, rate of activity and lifestyle. Most dog owners can tell when their dogs are not eating enough or if they’re eating too much. If your German Shepherd is very thin and always hungry, then you need to give him more food.
Nutritional Changes May Take a While
If you decide that the current food that make up your German Shepherd’s diet cannot give it all the required nutrition and chose to switch the dog to another diet, you should know that nutritional changes do not occur overnight. So there’s really no need for you to continue to switch your dog’s German Shepherd diet on a weekly basis. According to dog experts, it is better for dog owners to use the same diet for at least 4 weeks before assessing the results and making all the necessary changes.
Foods like raisins, onions, chocolate, grapes, greasy food, spicy food, macadamia nuts, or salty food should not be given to them. Spicy food can upset their stomach while the others can be extremely toxic. You should also be very careful not to give your German Shepherd too much nutritional snacks.
What about bones?
Although German Shepherd dogs have very strong jaws and can crack, splinter or swallow smaller bones, this can however, choke them and damage their gastrointestinal tracts. This is why you need to be very careful when giving bones to your German Shepherd.