German Shepherds have a wonderful reputation for following directions, strength, and intuitive thinking. It comes as no surprise that they are one of the most popular breeds to own around the world. And it’s no surprise that many people are wondering how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy.
If you have recently adopted or are adopting a German Shepherd puppy, however, you will need to make sure that you are setting your pup off to the right start in life. Through balanced nutrition and exercise, you should be able to raise your puppy to be a healthy and active life.
You will need to make sure you are feeding your puppy the right type and amount of food to succeed.
How Much Should A German Shepherd Puppy Eat?
You need to be careful when feeding your German Shepherd puppy. They should not be left to their own devices when it comes to food. Instead, feed your puppy 3 meals a day. The amount of food your puppy needs depends on your puppy’s hunger, weight, and the type of food that you are feeding him.
Watch your puppy’s waistline to see if there seems to be any excess weight hanging out that will be hard to lose later. A puppy that is too thin will have visible ribs. If that is the case, monitor how much your puppy eats and, if concerning, call your veterinarian.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart
German Shepherds are large, wonderfully intelligent animals. Their breed needs to be carefully fed to ensure that they do not gain weight excessively. GS are especially prone to hip dysplasia and excessive weight will only exacerbate any problems.
Ideally, they should be on food with lean protein and low fats to keep their slim physique. Puppies should be fed about 2 cups of food daily, on average. The amount of food depends on the crude fat contained within the food. A puppy should eat 3 times a day, moving to 2 times a day at around a year old.
2 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
At 2 weeks old, your German Shepherd puppy will still be with his mother. He should be reliant entirely on his mother’s milk. These small pups will begin to open their eyes to take in the world, but otherwise will not be straying anywhere.
In larger litters, make sure that all of the puppies are growing and gaining well. Pups that don’t seem to be getting enough milk might need to have formula supplemented to them in order to get their weight up to a healthy level. If you are worried about this at all, contact your veterinarian.
4 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
When your German Shepherd puppy is 4 weeks old, he will begin to be curious and start to explore the world around him. This is the time that you can try introducing a very small amount of puppy food to the pups to see if they would be interested in taking a sample or not.
When you do this, make sure to keep a ratio of ¾ water to ¼ puppy food. Their stomachs are still very small at this age, so don’t expect them to eat much. Your puppy is still going to be reliant on his mother’s milk.
6 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
When your puppy is at 6 weeks, it is time to wean him off of his mother’s milk and move toward a diet of puppy food. You can do this by gradually increasing the amount of food in your food to water formula that you made.
Once the puppy will take the ¼ food to ¾ water, increase the food so it is 50/50 water to food. Once the puppy has tolerated that, just add a little water until he can eat the food straight. He should have more puppy energy at this point as well, exploring further from his mom.
8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
At 8 weeks, your puppy should be weaned from his mother’s milk and be consuming puppy food. Offer food to him 3 times a day, but do not leave it out after feeding times in order to get him on a solid schedule for meals.
You can offer up to 2 cups a day, but don’t be surprised if he cannot eat it all. He will be burning a lot more calories now, however, and will need to make up for the deficit with well-balanced meals. Every German Shepherd will eat a different amount of food, so the 2 cups is just an average to keep in mind.
10 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
Your German Shepherd puppy will start to be really hungry by this point. Still make sure to give him meals three times a day for consistency. The 2 cups we recommended at 8 weeks might not be enough to curb his appetite. The puppy will begin to experience a rapid growth spurt at this point as well. Be careful with the puppy’s weight.
Overweight German Shepherd puppies can put too much pressure on developing bones, resulting in permanent adult problems, like hip dysplasia. You can monitor size by looking at the puppy’s tummy. When you can see ribs, the dog needs more food.
12 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
When your puppy is 12 weeks old, you will still be feeding him often and a lot. German Shepherd puppies grow rapidly between 3 and 6 months, so you can expect to feed him a larger amount until he tapers off of the growth spurt. Outside of size, your puppy will be having big brain growth at this age as well.
You might notice some days he is less inclined to eat than others as he adapts to his new body. Because of the rapid growth, really watch the puppy’s weight. An overweight German Shepherd will have a harder time slimming down, so it is best to not let it happen to begin with.
1. Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy
Our recommendation for the best puppy food for German Shepherds is the Royal Canin Puppy Food. This food is especially great, because it is specifically formulated with German Shepherds in mind, taking into account all of their health and nutritional needs. German Shepherds have sensitive digestive systems and need food that will be well-tolerated while still having all of the necessary nutrition for growing puppies.
- Formulated specifically for German Shepherds
- Kibble is shaped for German Shepherd muzzles
- Protects puppies’ developing immune system
- Easily digestible
- Helps with bone and joint health
- Contains fillers
2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Food
Our second choice for GS puppies is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness puppy food. This food is made entirely grain-free and there no animal by-products. It contains real chicken as well and is incredibly high in protein, making it a great choice for muscle development. Without preservatives, you know every bag of this food is fresh.
- No preservatives, by-products, or fillers
- Made with real chicken
- Formula contains DHA and ARA
- Completely grain-free
- Great blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- Very high level of protein, which might be too much for some puppies
3. Purina Pro Plan Focus
For good puppy food on a budget, we suggest the Purina Pro Plan Focus. This food is made to give your puppy the right start to life with a great balance of nutrition. With the omega-rich fish oil, your puppy’s brain will be growing at the right pace. It also has glucosamine for joint development and health.
- Contains DHA from omega-rich fish oil for brain development
- Antioxidant-rich formula for immune system development
- Made with high-quality protein
- Works for dogs up to one year-old
- Comes with natural sources of glucosamine
- It does have some poultry by-product
4. Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food
Another great choice for German Shepherd puppies is the Eukanuba puppy food for large breeds. This is a protein-rich food has a high amount of DHA to help with brain growth as well as other minerals to help ensure your puppy’s body is growing well. Considering this was made for large breeds, it has a good balance between protein, fat, and carbohydrates, helping to keep GS slim and active.
- High levels of DHA for brain development
- High-quality chicken
- Supports muscle growth
- Great balance of fat and carbohydrates
- Contains calcium for bone growth
- Contains animal by-products
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy
Our last food recommendation is for the Taste of the Wild High Prairie puppy blend. This is a high-protein food that has no grains, fillers, or preservatives. The first ingredient listed in the good is buffalo, which is a good indication that it is full of good meat. The idea behind this food is that dogs are descended from wolves and need the type of diet that their predecessors ate for optimal health.
- High quality protein
- Contains antioxidants and DHA
- Is made with roasted bison and venison
- Grain-free, preservative-free
- Contains probiotics
- Has little fibre, which will not work for all dogs
2 Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Weight
When your GS puppy is 2 months old, you can expect him or her to weigh between 16 and 20 pounds, depending on the sex of the puppy. Females will always be a little lower on the scale than their male counterparts. They are bigger dogs and do gain weight quicker than other breeds, but you still want to watch for signs of gaining too much too quickly or being underweight.
3 Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Weight
At 3 months, you can expect your German Shepherd to weigh between 25 and 30 pounds, depending on the sex of the puppy. Your puppy should have gained about 10 pounds in the last month. Because of this rapid growth, you will need to make sure your pup is on a low-fat diet that is also full of protein. Your puppy might be teething around this age, which means you might see a temporary drop in interest in food.
4 Month Old German Shepherd Puppy Weight
By 4 months old, your German Shepherd puppy should weigh between 36 and 42 pounds. He will be about half-size of what he will be when he is fully grown. He should be slimming down as well, and getting taller. You should be able to see a waist at this point. If you have any concerns about your puppy’s weight, make sure to contact your vet right away to make a plan to stay on track.
German Shepherds Background
German Shepherds are a large breed that started in Germany in 1899. They were bred originally to help with herding and guarding sheep. As a result, they are working dogs and prefer to have a job and a task, which is why they are preferred by police departments and the military.
GS are also incredibly strong as well as obedient, becoming dedicated to their owners. They are incredibly smart dogs with an excellent sense of smell. They are prone to hip dysplasia and can have dental issues if given the wrong type of food.
Types Of Diet For German Shepherd Puppies
German Shepherds are lean and strong dogs, which mean that they need a diet that is high in lean proteins, but low in fats and carbohydrates. A GS that is overweight will have trouble losing the weight because of the way that their body is made.
Overweight puppies will also have too much pressure put on their hips and since hip dysplasia is a real concern for GS, you want their hips to grow well. Stay away from foods that are high in filler as well because that will contribute to weight gain without positive benefit.
Creating A Consistent Feeding Schedule
Keeping your German Shepherd puppy on a consistent food schedule will help teach him when to expect food. It will help regulate his hunger and ensure that he is eating consistently to grow well.
The ideal schedule for a puppy is to give him about 2 cups of food a day, broken up into 3 meals. When your puppy reaches one year, you can decrease the amount to 2 meals a day. The needed amount can vary from puppy to puppy.
Canned Or Dry Food For German Shepherd Puppies?
Most dogs will always opt for the sweet smell of wet, canned food, but that is not the best idea for German Shepherds. Canned food is typically higher in fat due to its wet consistency and it can cause dental issues for your dog as he gets older.
Dry food naturally removes any build-up and plaque from your dog’s teeth, keeping them as healthy as possible. Dry food is also better for digestion and is normally more protein-based with less fat. Get your puppy off to the right start by keeping him lean and keeping his teeth healthy.