How Much Should a German Shepherd Eat?

How Much Should a German Shepherd Eat?

You need to feed them good food if you have a German Shepherd. Grocery store food is too cheap and might not suit this dog breed. You might also want to avoid expensive or fancy foods since they might not be the best option either.

I will describe the various diets below. Some are for dogs with some problems and different stages of life. German Shepherds have some special needs. I will tell you what they are and if your GSD gets enough nutritious food at each stage in their life.

Product name


Check price on amazon

Raw Diets, Cooking for Dogs, and Other Alternative Feeding

Supplements for German Shepherds

Nutritional Needs of German Shepherds

All dogs need healthy, nutritious food. But not everyone’s dog needs the same kind of food. For example, small dogs need something different than big German solid Shepherds. The best thing is to find out what your dog needs and make sure you buy it for them.

Size Considerations

According to the AKC, German Shepherds can be up to 26 inches high. Males are around 66 pounds, and females are 49-71 pounds. This is a medium or large dog in everyday life, so it needs food to match its size. Make sure you get good quality food for your dog.

Age Considerations

German Shepherds are big and energetic. You must feed them at various times.

Puppies will need different nutrients than older dogs, like protein and calcium. You’ll need to ensure that what you feed them is high-quality, healthy, and the right food for their age.

Activity Level

German Shepherds are a type of dog that needs to eat more food. They need more because they are active and have a lot of muscle. They should eat high-quality food with more calories to get enough energy.

If you only eat high-fat and salty food, your body will feel sick. If you are a professional athlete, you will not perform well if all of your fatty food. The same goes for German Shepherds.

Don’t feed your dog fast food, burgers, or soda if you want your dog to be healthy.

Health Considerations

This breed of dog is prone to more health problems than other breeds. Make sure you are feeding it a healthy diet. You should try to prevent these problems by giving them a nutritious diet rather than waiting until they happen and then trying to fix them.

Dogs can have arthritis. It can be from hip or elbow dysplasia, which they may have inherited. But you can help your dog by eating well and staying healthy, so they don’t get the condition too much.

It is essential to ensure they don’t get hurt when you have a GSD. Some of these injuries happen if the dog is not taking enough calcium and phosphorus.

Kidney problems can happen if you overeat protein. Pancreatitis can occur if you eat food that is high in fat. Heart disease will shorten your GSD’s life if they overeat salt and fat.

These are not all the health considerations for your dog, but you should know how important food is to your German Shepherd. It can be harmful to them in the long run if you feed them low-quality food since they may become ill or even die.

German Shepherd Feeding General Guidelines

Most vets will tell you to watch your dog, not the bowl. They mean that you should always consider your dog’s size and shape. It is essential not to follow charts and graphs of food measurements closely.

You should eat less if your dog is putting on weight. You can reduce the food during a meal if he still gains weight.

You might give him more food if you think your dog is not eating enough. Give the dog ¼ cup of food at a time and see if he eats it. If not, keep adding ¼ cups until the dog is happy with how much food he has.

Do not change the amount of food your dog eats or when you feed it. Change it gradually instead. It will take a few weeks to adapt to the new schedule, but they will get used to it.

Dog Food Measurements

Most commercial dog foods will have feeding guides on the back of the package. However, these are just suggestions, so do not be too strict about following them if your dog is not responding well.

Generally speaking, an adult dog in excellent health and fitness should be fed approximately this much:

Weight Amount

10-30 pounds1 ¼ – 2 ¼ cups per day30-50 pounds2 ¼ – 3 ½ cups per day50-80 pounds3 ½ – 4 ½ cups per day80-100 pounds4 ½ – 5 cups per day over 100 pounds5 cups plus ½ cup per additional 10 – 20 pounds of weight

In these charts, there are a lot of numbers. You can feed your dog with these different amounts. These charts will help you know how much to feed your dog daily.

It’s best to start with a low amount and then increase it if necessary. You should start with the highest amount if your dog is very active or a working animal.

German Shepherd Feeding Guide by Age

Different German Shepherds are of different ages. We are making it convenient for you to find what food to feed your dog. Find your dog’s age, and the correct information will come up for you.

You should talk to a veterinarian before changing your dog’s feeding habits. The information in this article is for research purposes only.

Feeding a German Shepherd Puppy From Birth to 12 Weeks

All dogs should spend at least eight weeks with their mother. The mother will take care of the puppies and teach them how to eat puppy mush.

Puppies need milk. Puppy mush is dog food soaked in water, milk, or other things. After the puppies are weaned from their mother’s milk, they can eat puppy mush or any other safe food for puppies.

It is vital to feed your puppy the food that they started on. If you feed them another kind of food, they might get sick. This food should be for puppies and not adults or seniors.

German Shepherd puppies can stop eating their breeder’s food when they are 8-12 weeks old. You can start by adding a bit of the new food to the old food and adding more every day until the puppy is only eating the new food.

Begin with a third of the previous meal and a quarter of the new dish. Make it half and half after a few days. Make it 34% new and 14% old food after the first week. Your dog should be entirely on her new food after two to three weeks.

Puppy Mush Recipe

You might need a puppy mush recipe if you care for a puppy before 8-10 weeks old. The ingredients in the recipe are dry kibble, water, and/or formula.

Pour boiling water or hot puppy food into a bowl. Add the kibble to the pot. Stir until it is wet, then let it stand until the dry food soaks up the water. Then, using a fork, mash it until no lumps remain.

If your puppy doesn’t have many teeth yet, add more water or puppy formula to make the mush soupy. The puppy will be able to lap it up easily. Just make sure it has cooled down before serving it to them.

Sometimes, puppies do not need liquid after the first time. But watch them closely when they eat. Puppies can choke or fall into their food dish and become sick (or aspirate liquid). According to your vet’s instructions, feed the puppy four to six times daily.

If a puppy is full and warm, its belly will be round and firm. They don’t need to limit their food intake at this age.

Feeding Guide For German Shepherd Puppy from 12 Weeks to 6 Months

Puppies can be taught to eat fewer meals each day if given the opportunity at defined times and with set amounts after they reach the age of 12 weeks. While you don’t want to restrict their eating too much at this age, you also don’t want to let them eat whatever they want.

German Shepherds often overeat. This can cause medical problems such as obesity, heart, liver, and joint pain.

Instead of letting your puppy eat all the food in a bag, ask your vet what to do. They’ll look at your German Shepherd pup as an individual and consider how other German Shepherds act.

The vet will talk about your pup’s health and how active he is. He will also think about how much energy the dog has. The vet will tell you that dogs need to eat less as they age, but if your dog still looks round and has a potbelly, you should feed him more food.

This potbelly baby stage indicates that she is not mature enough for reduced feedings. Watch her body and weight. When she looks more like an older puppy and the potbelly is slimming down, you can reduce the feedings to 3 per day.

How Much Should a German Shepherd Puppy Be Feed?

You need to feed your puppy three times a day. The puppy’s weight, activity level, and metabolism must be considered for how many times you should feed it. Puppies beyond the age of six months can be fed less often. But make sure not to limit the amount of food given because the recommended calories have already been met.

Smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent bloat. Bloat is a life-threatening condition that can happen when your stomach gets too full.

Puppies need more food than adults. They grow fast, so they need to eat a lot of food! German Shepherd puppies can eat twice as much as an adult dog. This might seem strange because the puppy is much smaller than an adult. But since they grow very fast, they need more food.

You can look at their weight to know how much to feed your German Shepherd puppy. Females will be smaller and lighter than males.

Age Weight

A baby will weigh between 11 and 30 pounds in 2-3 months and between 17 and 40 pounds in 3-4 months. In 4-5 months, a baby will weigh between 31 and 49 pounds. Finally, in 5-6 months, the average weight of a baby is 35-57 pounds.

If you have a 3-month-old German Shepherd that is male, weighs 30 pounds, and is active, then it needs to eat 2 cups daily. Split the amount of food it needs into three meals throughout the day.

If he eats four times a day, that works up to 12 cups of food per meal. To help him gain weight or satisfy his hunger, gradually increase the amount of food in each meal until he achieves a healthy weight.

Feeding Guide for German Shepherd Puppy from 6 Months to 12 Months

Growth will be slower in your German Shepherd’s development. You should not feed her as frequently as you used to.

Keep an eye on your dog’s weight, health, and exercise level. However, you can now divide her daily calorie intake into fewer meals. She should still be eating puppy food at this point. You should also consider purchasing a bag or adult formula for her at that time.

The adult recipe can use individual kibbles as treats or training rewards. This will help her adjust to the new flavor and texture.

You can start introducing a small amount of adult formula into her puppy diet when she is nine months old. She should, however, continue to eat mostly puppy chow.

At 12 months, you should be able to transition to adult dog food. Consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your GSD’s diet.

Only your veterinarian can tell you when your dog has reached sexual maturity. Some GSDs eat puppy food for up to two years. You should consult your veterinarian to determine if your dog should continue eating puppy food or transition to adult food.

German Shepherd Feeding Guide: Adult Years

Once your German Shepherd has transitioned into adulthood, he is ready to eat an adult diet. The food will be different than what he ate as a puppy. Feeding him the same things as when he was younger might make him overweight and put too much strain on his organs or other parts of his body.

Adult German Shepherds should be fed twice per day. They can get by once daily, but they will be healthier if fed in smaller amounts.

Bloat is a serious concern for large breed dogs, so if you can’t be home for twice-daily feedings, an automatic feeder can help. These will administer the appropriate amount of food at predetermined periods throughout the day, ensuring your dog does not go hungry.

I feed my dogs the Royal Canin Adult Breed German Shepherd dry dog food. It is one of my favorite foods. I like it because it is healthy and nutritious and lasts a long time in your fridge. When they eat this food, my dogs will grow up to be strong and healthy.

This food is made for German Shepherds. It has lots of animal-based nutrients that help make its joints healthy. These nutrients also make strong, lean muscles in your dog’s body to keep them in good shape when they are active.

German Shepherd Feeding Guide for Senior Years

Dogs of large breeds, such as the German Shepherd, age more quickly than dogs of smaller breeds. Large breeds decline in health and energy much more rapidly than smaller breeds. When your dog is an adult and becomes a senior, make sure to change its diet.

Big dogs usually reach the older stage (not relatively senior, but close) halfway through their lives. A German Shepherd’s life expectancy ranges from 10 to 15 years, meaning they’d be considered older and borderline senior at around 5 or 6 years old.

This is a suitable time to ask your vet if you should change your dog’s diet or continue with regular adult meals. A GSD can switch to a senior diet once they get older. Older GSDs need fewer calories, as they move less and don’t eat as much as when younger.

Older dogs have slower digestion. They also need fiber. Give them senior-specific dog food with adjusted calories because they eat the same food daily as younger dogs.

Make sure to ask your vet if you are not sure which food is best. Not all foods are the same. For treats, senior dogs should avoid milk bones with many calories or salty treats with fat in them. They can eat apples or carrots, which are healthy and good for them.

Some senior dogs get sick. This is because of how they ate when they were young or were too old. But it is never too late to care for them. Diet might play an even more significant part in your life if you have a GSD with health complications like kidney disease or joint discomfort.

German Shepherd Dog Feeding Tips

You can see a ton of dog feeding guides online. It is best to talk to your vet about your dog’s needs.

Raw Diets, Cooking for Dogs, and Other Alternative Feeding

This article focuses mainly on dry kibble, which most people feed their dogs. But some people choose to feed their dogs a different diet. These include raw food or providing them regular human food cooked for them.

There are different ways to feed your German Shepherd, but they all have pros and cons. You should talk with your vet before feeding him raw or homemade food. What’s good for humans is not always suitable for dogs.

Go to the link below to learn about canine metabolism, life stages, and nutritional needs. You can read about how it is suitable for your dog to eat healthy food.

Supplements for German Shepherds

The majority of dry kibble is complete and balanced for your dog. This means that they rarely need to add anything to their food. Even if they are healthy, adding things can be harmful.

Never supplement your dog’s diet unless a veterinarian says you should. They will tell you what to use. Human supplements are often not regulated, don’t work very well, and may have things in them that are bad for animals. Never give your GSD human supplements.

Final Thoughts

German Shepherds need good food too. The food should be made of meat and not have any animal stuff. You should look at the ingredients on the back of the package if you don’t want to eat that food.

Be sure to buy high-quality food for your dog with a clear label with ingredients and nutritional information. This will cost more, but it is worth it because you want to be healthy and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Should a German Shepherd Eat

How much to feed a German shepherd puppy per day?

Allow him to eat as much as he wants for thirty minutes while you calculate how much food to feed your German shepherd puppy. Then count how many kibbles remain in the bowl. This will assist you in determining how many kibbles to give your dog regularly.

How often should I feed my German Shepherd puppy?

It’s essential to know how many times your puppy should eat. Most people say three or four times a day.

How long do you keep a German Shepherd on puppy food?

Expert breeders suggest feeding your German shepherd puppy until one year old. After six months, you can change them to adult food so they don’t grow too big. This way, the puppy will still get all the nutrients he needs as he grows up.

How much and how often to feed a senior German shepherd?

Senior German Shepherds tend to gain and lose weight. Eating more frequently will benefit them.