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How Much to Feed a German Shepherd: Vet-Approved Guide

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

german shepherd dog lying near food bowl

How Much to Feed a German Shepherd: Vet-Approved Guide

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lorna Whittemore  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

BVMS, MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Do you have a German Shepherd? If so, you’re probably wondering how much food to feed him. It can be tricky to figure out the right amount, especially since puppies and adults have different nutritional needs. In this blog post, we will provide an adult and puppy feeding guide for German Shepherds so that you can make sure your dog is getting the right amount of food each day.

When it comes to feeding German Shepherds, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First of all, every dog is different and will have unique nutritional needs based on factors like age, size, activity level, and health status. That being said, there are some general guidelines you can follow when determining how much food to feed your German Shepherd.

In general, an average German Shepherd that weighs 66 pounds would need 1200 calories per day, whereas puppies should eat 35–40 calories per pound of body weight each day.

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Recommended Feeding Amount

Important Note: The amount of calories each dog needs for healthy growth and development depends on many factors, including their age, breed, and activity level. These charts are general guidelines for healthy young dogs, but we recommend confirming any changes you make to your dog’s diet with your vet.

Large Dog Breed Calorie Chart
Click here to download printable PDF

An adult German Shepherd weighing around 66 pounds would need around 1,200 calories a day. An average food containing 400 Kcal/cup would mean the recommended amount of food is three cups per day, divided into two meals.

Puppies, on the other hand, should be fed three to four times per day. The amount of food will depend on the puppy’s age and weight, but as a general rule of thumb, puppies should consume about 35–40 calories per pound of body weight per day. Large breed puppies need to eat food specifically for them to control proper bone growth.

Of course, the amount of food you feed your German Shepherd will also depend on the type of food you’re giving him and the calories it contains. For example, if you’re feeding him high-quality dry food, he will need less than if you’re feeding him a lower quality food or wet food. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to get specific recommendations for your dog.

dogster face divider Ensuring Proper Nutrition

Now that you know how much food to feed a German Shepherd, it’s important to also understand the importance of proper nutrition. Just like humans, dogs need certain nutrients in order to stay healthy and function properly.

The three main types of nutrients dogs need are:
  • Protein: Protein is essential for muscle development and repair, and it also helps to boost the immune system.
  • Fat: Fat is a concentrated source of energy and provides essential fatty acids that are important for healthy skin and coat, eyes, heart, and joints.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are another source of energy, and they help to promote healthy digestion.

When choosing a food for your German Shepherd, it’s important to look for one that contains all of these essential nutrients. You can find out more about canine nutrition by talking to your veterinarian or doing some research online.

german shepherd puppy eating dry food outdoors
Image By: Victoria Antonova, Shutterstock

Tips for Choosing a Healthy Dog Food

Now that you know a little bit more about the importance of proper nutrition, you’re probably wondering how to choose healthy dog food.

Here are a few tips to get you started:
  • Look for a food that is specifically designed for German Shepherds or large breed dogs.
  • Look for the AAFCO statement on the bag showing a complete and balanced diet.
  • Choose a manufacturer that employs a full-time veterinary nutritionist or animal nutrition PhD holder.
  • Choose a food that contains named high-quality ingredients.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about which foods are best for your dog’s individual needs.

dogster face divider Ingredients to Look for and Ingredients to Avoid

When you’re looking at the ingredients list on a dog food label, there are certain things you should look for and avoid. Here’s a quick rundown:

Good ingredients to look for:
  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
Bad ingredients to avoid:
  • Fillers
  • Artificial preservatives
  • Artificial flavors and colors

By following these tips, you can be sure that you’re feeding your German Shepherd the best possible food.

woman feeding her german shepherd
Image by: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A, Shutterstock

Feeding Guide

When it comes to choosing the best food for your German Shepherd, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. You should always consult with your veterinarian to get specific recommendations for your dog. They will be able to take into account factors like age, activity level, and health status when making recommendations.

It’s also important to choose a food that contains all of the essential nutrients dogs need, including protein, fat, and carbohydrates. You can find out more about canine nutrition by doing some research online or talking to your veterinarian, but you can start by making sure you choose a dog food that offers complete and balanced nutrition and is made from high-quality ingredients.

Finally, you’ll also need to consider the type of food you’re feeding your dog. For example, dry food is typically more nutritionally complete than wet food and is also easier to portion out. If you’re feeding your German shepherd a dry food, you should follow the recommendations on the packaging for how much to feed him each day. Remember that these are guideline amounts and you may need to adjust them for your individual dog.

If you’re still not sure how much food to feed your German shepherd, we recommend talking to your veterinarian or a pet nutritionist. They will be able to give you specific recommendations based on your dog’s individual needs.

You can also calculate this more accurately by using our dog feeding calculator here:

The exact amount of calories an individual animal needs to maintain a healthy weight is variable and influenced by many factors including genetics, age, breed, and activity level. This tool is meant to be used only as a guideline for healthy individuals and does not substitute veterinary advice 

Puppy Feeding Schedule

When it comes to feeding puppies, it’s important to follow a schedule. Puppies should be fed three to four times per day, and the amount of food will depend on their age and weight. As a general rule of thumb, puppies should consume about 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. Puppies can start solid foods around six to eight weeks of age, or once their teeth and jaws are big and strong enough to chew kibble.

Once your puppy reaches adulthood, you can transition him to a twice-daily feeding schedule. The amount of food will depend on his size, age, and activity level.

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Conclusion

Now that you know how much food to feed a German Shepherd, it’s important to also understand the importance of proper nutrition. Just like humans, dogs need certain nutrients in order to stay healthy and function properly.

The three main types of nutrients dogs need are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. When choosing a food for your German shepherd, it’s important to look for one that contains all of these essential nutrients. You can find out more about canine nutrition by talking to your veterinarian or doing some research online.


Featured Image Credit: Snezhana_G, Shutterstock

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