Large breed puppy with a sensitive stomach! What types of foods are out there that won't sacrifice her needs?

I'm a GSD six months young named Tilly. My mommy doesn't know what to do with me. You see, I've always had such a sensitive stomach since I was just a little thing. She has tried feeding me many different types of kibble (all equally delicious) but only 2 have actually worked for me. The problems with these foods are that they are formulated for adult dogs! And I'm sure not one of those. Are there any options my mommy has that won't make me feel sick? The vet says I'm perfectly healthy and I've been checked through and through. Please help us! If no kibbles work, how can we supplement for the lost nutrients needed for a growing puppy (i.e. glucosamine, etc. etc.)

Asked by Matilda "Tilly" on Jul 28th 2009 in Food & Nutrition
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Best Answer


You're not alone with Tilly's poor sensitive stomach! Digestive problems are really common in German Shepherd dogs.

A really great resource are the health and nutrition forums on the GSD community at (click on the forums link). That is *the* place to go for Shepherd-specific information and there is a ton of information on tummy issues.

That said, Tilly is most certainly old enough to be on an adult dog food at 6 months old. Actually, the general concensus is that large breed dogs should be switched young or raised on adult food altogether, as there is a much lower incidence of pano (a growth disease) in pups raised on adult foods than pups raised on puppy foods!

Abby answered on Jul 29th.

Other Answers



I agree eat the adult food and enjoy it. Just make sure it has less than 1.5% calcium, by analysis, not the guaranteed minimum. An early switch to adult food is a common, well proven technique with larger breeds. If you have found something that is working, stick with it.

Note, the large breed puppy chows are often almost the same as adult foods, except for the price. There is a lot of skilled marketing aimed at getting more of your dollars.

Aster answered on 7/29/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Bam-Bam, CGC

Actually, studies are now showing the benefits of keeping a dog on a large breed puppy food longer (large breeds up to a year and even 18 mos), however, if you find something that works for Tilly's tummy then stick with it, just make sure the calcium levels aren't above 1.5%
Have you considered a raw diet? I recently switched both of my mastiffs to it with great success. Bam-Bam had over a year of gastrointestinal issues that just weren't going away. After 3 raw meals, it seems his problem went away! Hubby and I did the math last night and it's also cheaper by 130% than kibble for us to feed it!
Also, GSDs are prone to SIBO. It may be worth your while to have a B12 and Folate test run to rule out SIBO.

Bam-Bam, CGC answered on 7/29/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)

I'm in agreement with Abby K-9.

I can't say anything about the studies Bam-Bam mentioned. Haven't seen 'em. Or even heard of them until now.
I do agree though, that another thing you may consider looking into is a home-prepared diet. Raw is the best option, IMO. I switched my Papillon mix to raw 10 months ago and he's healthier than he was last year. Softer and shinier coat, smaller and less frequent stool, better breath, cleaner teeth...even our vet--who does not support a raw diet--agrees that he is healthier and that we should continue to feed him raw.
There's also homecooked.

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 7/29/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Miss Priss

Hello GSD Tilly! I can give your mom some home-cooking recipes to add to the Adult kibble - it will help to balance you...
Also, easy to digest..
Paw mail us and we can help

Miss Priss and MOM - pet nurse Marie from

Miss Priss answered on 7/30/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer