How many cups of food you should feed a young German Shepherd puppy is dependent on factors such as the dog’s weight, growth rate, age and recommendations from your vet.
However, the generally accepted guidelines for feeding young German Shepherd puppies are:
- From 8 weeks old to 12 weeks old – 1 to 1½ cup of food per meal
- From 12 weeks old to 6 months old – 1½ to 2 cups of food per meal
- From 6 months old to 12 months old – 2 to 3 cups of food per meal
- 12 months old and above – 3 to 3½ cups of food per meal
How Many Times A Day Should You Feed Your Young German Shepherd Puppy?
The recommended frequency of feeding for a German Shepherd puppy is as follows:
- From 8 weeks old to 12 weeks old – 4 times a day
- From 12 weeks old to 6 months old – 3 times a day
- From 6 months old to 12 months old – 3 times a day
- 12 months old and above – 2 times a day
You can also feed your German Shepherd puppy snacks and treats in between meals, but the frequency with which you do this should reduce as the pooch grows older.
What Should You Feed A Young German Shepherd Puppy?
As earlier seen, German Shepherd dogs have several stages of development, and it is essential that you feed your dog the appropriate meals at each stage to provide the levels of nutrition that are required for healthy development.
That said, young German Shepherd dogs typically need to eat more than the adult pooches. And the young GSD’s meal should also contain a higher percentage of fat and protein compared to that of the adult dog.
From Birth To 8 Weeks Old
The period immediately after a German Shepherd’s birth is very crucial, and the puppy must be appropriately fed to ensure proper growth and development.
Puppies should be left with their mothers, for at least eight weeks after birth, so that they can be fed the nutrient-rich colostrum which contains antibodies necessary to fight diseases and infections.
If, for one reason or the other, the puppy has to be prematurely weaned, then the best thing to do is consult a vet for the prescription of a specific infant formula for the pup.
From 8 Weeks Old To 12 Weeks Old
Once the puppies are weaned – typically around eight weeks – they should be placed on a special puppy mush diet, which is usually prepared by soaking regular dog kibble in goat milk.
Adding goat milk makes the food easily digestible for the puppy, and by soaking the kibble, you’re making it easy for the young pooch to eat. For GSD puppies that don’t have teeth, you can add water to the mixture to make it even easier for the pooch to lap up.
12 Weeks Old To 6 Months Old
As the German Shepherd puppy grows older, you can decrease the amount of goat milk you add to its kibble, till you begin to feed the puppy dry, hard kibble. You can also add tiny amounts of fresh ingredients such as boiled eggs, unsweetened yoghurt and canned pumpkin to improve taste and flavour.
6 Months And Above
This phase is highly important and it marks the transition of the young German Shepherd from puppy to adult food. You can continue to feed the pup kibble, but you need to ensure the food is of the highest possible quality.
And if you will rather switch to wet dog food, then we suggest you pick one that is specially formulated for young German Shepherd dogs such as the Pet Plate.
German Shepherd puppies require a protein-rich diet to grow into the strong and athletic dogs they are designed to be, and the Pet Plate’s meat-based formulation caters adequately to this. Additionally, you have the option to submit your GSD puppy’s physical characteristics to Pet Plate to get a tailored food plan for the pooch.
Can You Overfeed A German Shepherd Puppy?
German Shepherd puppies, like all other dogs, are prone to weight issues; Hence, to prevent this from happening, you should avoid overfeeding a Shepherd puppy.
Sure, by overfeeding a German Shepherd puppy, you will be encouraging significant weight gain, and rapid growth. But this weight gain is highly unhealthy, and you’re only placing the pup at risk of suffering from health conditions such as hip dysplasia in future.