Can I Feed My German Shepherd Puppy Adult Dog Food?

Hey Everyone,

I have been told several times that I should now be switching my 5 month old German Shepherd to adult dog food, so I finally looked it up on the internet and some sites seem to say that its better for the puppy and some say it’s a big no no!

The sites for it say that it aids in slowing down there growth so it's not so hard on their joints, and it better in the long run for large breed puppies as they are supposed to mature much slower then say a small breed puppy. The other sites say i would be depriving my puppy of needed protein so his growth...

So what are your opinions on the subject!

Asked by Apollo on Nov 13th 2009 in Pet Food
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Bam-Bam, CGC

As a giant breed owner who is familiar with growth disorders, the answer is YES you can, but should you? Recent studies are saying no.
Large breed puppy food has controlled amounts of calcium and phosphorus. By controlling these amounts, you control the growth of your pup, thus slowing it down and preventing growth disorders. There are many adult foods that would be fine for a pup, but there are many which are not. Why risk harm to your pup?
The other thing is that Large breed puppy food also contains the appropriate amounts of other vitamins and minerals needed for proper growth, as well as DHA which is important for brain development.

Bam-Bam, CGC answered on 11/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


The early switch has long been the practice of those in the best position to know. The vets at the dog guide school we raise puppies for stay on top of the latest research in addition to their own continuing studies. The instructions they gave us for the puppy we picked up Sunday still say to switch to adult food at 4-5 months.

Note, adult foods vary. All the foods have the minimum amounts of the essential nutrients. Since much of the food is burned as energy, the levels of protein, fat, and carbohydrates can vary and still provide the nutrition dogs need. Extra of some vitamins and minerals doesn't hurt adult dogs either. Many contain more than the recommended 1.2% calcium for puppies. The school's results with Pro Plan chicken and rice may not hold for other foods. As far as I know, the schools that have had good results with other common brands are continuing the early switch.

Not everybody giving advice has your dogs best interest at heart. Or even if they do, they may have been mislead by somebody else. Puppy chow, especially large breed puppy chow, is much more profitable than adult chow. The practice of the early switch switch to adult chow is costing the manufacturers a fortune. Not all studies are unbiased, carefully designed studies. The results can be distorted too. I would put your 5 month old on a common brand of adult chow. If you choose a premium brand, make sure the by analysis, not guaranteed minimum, calcium is less than 1.5%.

Aster answered on 11/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I wouldn’t worry about what some unidentified possibly imaginary school feeds their dogs nor believe in some paranoid idea about feeding practices making dog food companies rich.

Bam Bam is truly knowledgeable about giant breed dogs. She gave you some great tips and links. Follow her advice she is an expert.

Also be aware that most or all dog food from the grocery store is very poor quality. You want foods that do not contain corn, byproducts, animal digest, or sugar.

Anyone with a bit of common sense should be able to read the label on a bag of Purina dog chow or… and know that it is very unhealthy.
Good Luck

Fritz answered on 11/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Oh boy, the fangs are out on this question.
I switch mine between 7 months to a year, depending on the dog.
When I do change the food I make it very slowly, especially with my Shepherds because they tend to have sensitive stomachs. I take at least three weeks to change the food over entirely.
Your Shepherd is cute. What a face.

Kayak answered on 11/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Well, we have the same breed.
I feed puppy food til they are 13-15 months old.
I use Solid gold products only.

It is safe, this brand is the only one I feed however.
My dog has certified good hips, elbows and is in perfect health.

As Bam bam points out for his breed things may be different. As I have no experiences with that breed I am sure things are different.

I can only tell you what has worked for us.
Good luck in what ever decisions you make.

Since your dog is not a giant breed, you can feed your breed a good puppy food longer.
Shepherds have sensitive stomachs to foods chucked full of corn and grains.
There are some gastro diseases of the breed as well.
I found that I fair out good with Solid Gold products so far.
good luck.

Dieta answered on 11/14/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


well don't get traditional puppy food. the puppy food should say large breed on it, then your fine. My fave is Orijen large breed puppy.

Chocolate answered on 11/14/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Miss Priss

Feeding large breed pup food:
I would go with the large breed pup food until 15 months of age. a good quality brand, too

You can talk with your vet about your dog's weight and see if he is ON-target for his growth...
Also - good supplements are helpful to balance out the dog food..
HOPE this helps ...
SEE here: pet vitamins
and See here:
Dog food Experts
BEST wishes on your Quest for health....

Miss Priss answered on 11/14/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I switched my last two puppies over to adult food at 6 months and they are both fine. But i know this idea is something new and is yet something that needs to be studied more. I have heard comments on both sides of the fence . I wnt off of the recomendation of a lady that studies the breed i have so maybe see if you can contact more people with yours and see what they have done.

Ty answered on 11/15/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer