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How Much To Feed a German Shepherd Puppy: GSD Feeding Chart

Image depicting how much to feed your german shpherd puppy

How Much To Feed a German Shepherd Puppy?  Well, let me tell you, my friend, it’s a question that’s been keeping dog owners up at night, just like that time my own Shepherd pup devoured a whole pizza! 

But fear not, for I’m here to share my years of experience and dish out some belly-rumbling advice. 

In short, the answer is not one-size-fits-all, and that’s why you need to keep reading. 

Trust me, you don’t want your furry friend going from pup to pup-pernickel!

German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart By Age

A German Shepherd feeding chart is crucial for tracking food intake and monitoring the dog’s weight. 

It helps ensure that puppies eat sufficient quantities of nutrient-rich food to support their active lifestyles. 

Using a documented regimen helps better match feeding to energy output, reducing the risk of obesity-related health issues.

Here’s a brief guideline that you can follow to determine how much you should feed your German Shepherd puppy daily by its age and quantity of food:

  • 6 – 8 weeks old: Feed puppy mush or mother’s milk as needed throughout the day.
  • 8 – 12 weeks old: 1.5 – 2 cups of puppy food mush spread over 4 – 5 meals throughout the day.
  • 1 – 3 months old: 2 cups of puppy food spread over 3 – 4 meals per day.
  • 3 – 6 months old: 2 – 4 cups of puppy food 3 times per day.
  • 6 months – 1-year-old: 3 – 4 cups of puppy food and adult chow 3 times per day.
  • 1-year-old & above: 3 – 5 cups of adult food 2 -3 times a day.

Below is a table showcasing a German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart with serving sizes and meals per day:

AgeCups/DayNo. of Meals/Day
6 – 8 weeks oldAs needed4 – 5 times
8 – 10 weeks old1.5 – 2 cups4 – 5 times
10 – 12 weeks old2 cups4 – 5 times
3 – 6 months2 – 4 cups3 times 
6 – 10 months3 – 4 cups3 times
10 months – 1 year3 – 5 cups2 – 3 times
1 year – 18 months3 – 5 cups2 – 3 times
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart According to Their Age

How Much Should a German Shepherd Puppy Eat?

gsd pup looking at food bowl

The amount of calories an adult German Shepherd needs each day can vary depending on several factors such as age, health condition, and activity level. 

On average, an adult German Shepherd should consume at least 1300 to 2200 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight. 

However, older and less active GSDs may require fewer calories, at least 1,300 per day, to avoid gaining excess weight. 

On the other hand, an active and energetic older GSD may need more calories, up to 1,800 per day, to support their daily activities and maintain their weight. 

It’s important to keep in mind that every dog is different, and their calorie requirements may differ from the average.

How much should a German Shepherd puppy eat?

Are you ready to be shocked?

German Shepherd puppies require more calories than adult German Shepherds to support their rapid growth and development. 

In fact, a German Shepherd puppy can eat twice as much food as an adult GSD! (per pound of body weight)

The amount of food a puppy needs depends on their age, weight, and activity level. 

If your puppy is younger than four months old, it will need at least 80-90 calories per pound of body weight each day. 

As they grow and mature, you can gradually reduce their calorie intake to around 40-60 calories per pound of body weight. 

However, it’s crucial to regularly weigh your puppy and monitor their overall body condition to ensure they’re getting the right amount of food for their needs.

Keep in mind that puppies are incredibly active and need extra energy to support their growth and development. 

They’re constantly exploring, playing, and learning about the world around them, which requires additional calories. 

As a responsible pet parent, it’s essential to choose high-quality puppy food and carefully follow the feeding guidelines on the packaging.

It’s also worth noting that the number of calories a puppy needs can vary between different brands and manufacturers. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to read the feeding label and nutritional guidelines on the package of food you’re feeding your GSD. 

RELATED: German Shepherd Price: Total Cost of Buying & Maintaining a GSD

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Calorie Requirements of German Shepherd Puppies by Age

german shpehrd puppy eating dog food

German Shepherd puppies have specific caloric needs that vary based on their age, weight, activity level, and overall health. 

To ensure optimal growth and development, it is important to provide them with the appropriate amount of food.

Here is a table that displays the recommended daily caloric intake for German Shepherd puppies based on their age:

AgeFrequency of MealsCalorie Range
6 – 8 Weeks4 – 5 meals/day800 – 1200 calories
8 – 10 Weeks3 – 5 meals/day1000 – 1800 calories
10 – 12 Weeks3 – 4 meals/day1200 – 2000 calories
3 – 6 Months3 meals/day2000 – 2200 calories
6 – 10 Months3 meals/day2700 – 3900 calories
10 Months – 1 year2 – 3 meals/day2800 – 3900 calories
1 year -18 Months1 – 3 meals/day3300 – 4300 calories
It is important to note that these are only general guidelines, and individual dogs may require more or less food depending on their specific needs.

When feeding a German Shepherd puppy, choosing high-quality dog foods specifically formulated for puppies is important. 

Avoid feeding them table scraps or human food, as these can be harmful to their health.

Pro Tip: Always consult with your vet regarding the appropriate caloric intake for your German Shepherd. Additionally, monitoring your dog’s weight and adjusting its food intake accordingly is crucial in maintaining its overall health and well-being.

RELATED: German Shepherd Health Issues

In summary, German Shepherd puppies have specific caloric needs that should be met with high-quality dog foods. 

Using the recommended daily caloric intake guidelines and consulting with a veterinarian can help ensure optimal growth and development.

RELATED: Why Is My German Shepherd So Skinny? How To Fatten Them Up

How Much To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy By Weight

person feeding a german shepherd pup

To ensure proper growth and development, it is vital to determine the appropriate caloric intake based on your puppy’s weight too. 

Depending on their weight, they require different amounts of calories to maintain optimal health.

Below is a table showing caloric requirements based on the weight of a German Shepherd puppy:

Weight (lbs.)Calorie Range
10400 – 600 calories
20600 – 800 calories
30800 – 1000 calories
401000 – 1200 calories
501200 – 1400 calories
601400 – 1600 calories
701600 – 1800 calories
801800 – 2000 calories
902000 – 2200 calories
1002200 calories

It is important to note that each individual puppy can have unique dietary needs, so it’s best to consult with a veterinarian regarding specific caloric requirements.

Make sure that most of the calories for your dog should come from quality sources such as high-quality protein, healthy fats, and vegetables rich in vitamins. 

It is also crucial to follow the feeding guidelines according to your puppy’s age, weight, and activity level. 

Overfeeding can lead to obesity or other health problems.

Now that we know the amount of food and number of calories to feed to our puppy, in the next section, we are going to talk about how often should you feed a German shepherd puppy.

RELATED: What Do German Shepherds Eat?

Feeding Schedule for German Shepherd Puppies

German Shepherd puppies have specific nutritional needs that require appropriate feeding schedules to ensure optimal growth and development. Here is a guide on how to feed your German Shepherd puppy:

  1. Offer four meals a day until the puppy reaches 4 months old.
  2. Reduce to three meals a day once the puppy is 4 – 6 months old.
  3. From 6 – 14 months, two meals a day are recommended.
  4. Gradually increase the serving size as the puppy grows.
  5. Feed high-quality puppy food that meets AAFCO nutrient standards.

Frequencies by Age and Activity Level

When it comes to your German Shepherd puppy’s feeding schedule, the frequency of their meals depends on their age and activity level. 

Here is a breakdown of appropriate feeding frequencies for German Shepherd puppies:

Puppy’s AgeNumber of Meals/Day
Under 3 months4 – 5 small meals a day
3 – 6 months3 meals a day
6 – 12 months2-3 meals a day based on activity level and weight gain/loss
1 year & older2 meals a day
Frequency of meals/day according to the puppy’s age.

Puppies between six to twelve months may not need as many feedings as they grow older and become less active. 

However, if they are more active or are growing faster than average, they may require an additional meal in their daily diet regimen.

One unique aspect of German Shepherds is that they tend to overeat, so finding the right balance is crucial. 

Make sure you always provide them with high-quality food that satisfies their dietary requirements while refraining from overfeeding them.

Benefits of Feeding Smaller Meals Throughout the Day

German Shepherd puppies require a specific feeding schedule to ensure that they grow into healthy and active adults. 

One beneficial approach to feeding German Shepherd puppies is by dividing their daily meals into smaller, more frequent portions throughout the day.

Here are five benefits of feeding multiple smaller meals to German Shepherd puppies:

  • Regulate Blood Sugar Levels: Feeding several smaller meals to puppies helps regulate their blood sugar levels, preventing hypoglycemia or diabetes.
  • Avoid Overeating: By providing several small meals, you can avoid overfeeding your puppy in one sitting while giving them adequate nutrients and energy throughout the day.
  • Prevent Gastrointestinal Problems: Splitting up meals reduces the likelihood of bloating, acid reflux, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues.
  • Encourage Healthy Eating Habits: Providing regular small portions encourages your puppy to develop a healthy appetite and reduce pickiness or obesity when compared with inconsistent feedings such as large and irregular portions.
  • Supports Overall Growth And Development: Multiple small feedings ensure that your German Shepherd puppy gets the necessary minerals, vitamins, and nutrients needed for growth.

Although dividing meals into several smaller portions has many benefits for German Shepherd puppies’ health overall, consultation with experts will help cover additional details for individual preferences and customize their nutrition plan.

RELATED: Diabetes Mellitus in German Shepherds

What Should Be The Mealtime Lengths of Your German Shepherd?

how much to feed a german shepherd puppy

When it comes to mealtime lengths for your beloved German Shepherd, observation is key. 

You’ll need to keep a close eye on your furry friend and consider a few important questions. 

First, how long does it take your dog to finish its portion of food? 

Normally, German Shepherds take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to finish a meal if the proper feeding guidelines are followed.

If you notice your dog showing signs of slow eating, it may be a good idea to take them to the vet for a check-up. 

Additionally, pay attention to whether your dog seems full before finishing their portion or if they are still hungry after eating. 

If your dog is full, there’s no problem. 

However, if they’re still hungry after finishing their meal, it may be a sign of a serious health issue involving their digestive system, and you should consider taking them to the vet for an evaluation.

What’s The Best Time To Feed A German Shepherd Pup?

The best time to feed a German Shepherd depends on their age and the preferred feeding schedule. Here is a summary of the recommended feeding times:

German Shepherd Puppies on Four Daily Feedings:

  • Morning
  • Noon: Around mid-day.
  • Afternoon
  • Evening

German Shepherd Puppies on Three Daily Feedings:

  • Morning: Before starting the day.
  • Noon or Early Afternoon: Mid-day meal.
  • Evening

German Shepherd Puppies 12 Months and Older:

  • Morning
  • Evening

These feeding schedules aim to ensure the comfort, health, and proper growth of German Shepherds. 

However, it’s important to note that individual needs may vary, so consulting with a veterinarian is always recommended to determine the best feeding routine for your specific German Shepherd.

Transitioning to Adult Food

Adult german shepherd with dog food

When to Switch German Shepherd Puppy to Adult Diet?

As your German Shepherd Puppy grows, it will outgrow its puppy food and require a specially formulated adult diet. 

Typically, this transition occurs between 12 and 24 months. Gradually introduce the new adult food to avoid upsetting their digestive system. 

Offering a mix of puppy and adult food over 7-10 days can help with the transition. 

Continue to monitor their weight, energy levels, and overall health to ensure they are thriving on their new diet.

If your GSD puppy is on a breed-specific food or has a sensitive stomach, consult with your veterinarian for a personalized recommendation. 

Consider the ingredients of the new food and choose one with high-quality protein as the main ingredient. Always provide fresh water and avoid overfeeding.

Ideally, German Shepherd puppies should be fed puppy food until they reach approximately one year old.

It’s also important not to switch your puppy’s diet abruptly as this can upset their digestive system leading to stomach problems or diarrhea. 

A gradual transition is recommended by mixing both feeds and slowly increasing the amount of adult formula over a week or two.

RELATED: German Shepherd Diarrhea: Treatment

Puppy Food vs. Adult Dog Food

german shepherd puppy looking at food
Untitled design – 18

Choosing between puppy food and adult dog food is a decision that should be based on the specific needs of your pup at each life stage. 

Let’s explore the differences between puppy food and adult dog food for German Shepherds.

Puppy Food

Puppies have unique nutritional requirements due to their rapid growth and development. Puppy food is specifically formulated to meet these needs. 

Here are some key points to consider when it comes to puppy food for German Shepherds:

Balanced Nutrition: Puppy food contains a higher concentration of essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, minerals, and calories to support the puppy’s growth and energy needs. It helps them develop strong bones, muscles, and a healthy immune system.

Controlled Calcium Levels: Large breed puppies like German Shepherds are prone to skeletal issues, including hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Puppy food typically has controlled calcium levels to promote proper bone development and reduce the risk of these conditions.

DHA for Brain Development: Many puppy foods include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid that supports brain and eye development. It can contribute to improved cognitive function and better learning abilities in puppies.

Smaller Kibble Size: Puppy food usually comes in smaller kibble sizes, making it easier for puppies to chew and digest. This is especially important during the teething phase.

Adult Dog Food

As German Shepherds reach adulthood, their nutritional needs change. Here’s what you should know about adult dog food for German Shepherds:

Balanced Maintenance: Adult dog food provides a balanced nutrition profile designed to maintain a healthy weight and support overall well-being.  It contains optimal levels of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to sustain their energy levels.

Joint Health Support: German Shepherds are prone to joint issues, such as arthritis and hip dysplasia, as they age. Some adult dog foods may include ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health and reduce the risk of these conditions.

Appropriate Calorie Levels: Adult dogs have lower energy requirements compared to puppies. Adult dog food is formulated to meet their needs without promoting excessive weight gain. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to avoid strain on the joints and potential health problems.

Dental Health: Some adult dog foods are designed to promote dental health by incorporating ingredients that help reduce tartar and plaque buildup, preventing dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay.

RELATED: Why Is My German Shepherd So Skinny? How To Fatten Them Up

Why Is Large Breed Puppy Food Important for Your GSD Puppy?

Large-breed puppy food is important for your German Shepherd (GSD) puppy because it meets its specific nutritional needs during growth. 

It has controlled calcium levels for proper bone development, optimal protein, and nutrients, and supports brain and eye development. 

Additionally, it helps prevent excessive weight gain and promotes joint health. 

Feeding your GSD puppy the right food supports their growth, reduces health risks, and ensures overall well-being. 

Consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice.

Specially formulated for larger breeds such as Pit Bulls, Great Danes, and German Shepherds, large-breed puppy food is crucial in supporting their growth and overall health. 

These formulas differ from regular puppy food due to the unique needs of larger breeds. 

It is essential to feed large breed puppies this specific diet as it helps regulate their growth and maintains their well-being. 

German Shepherds, for instance, can weigh between 80 – 90 pounds when fully grown. 

Such rapid growth puts a strain on their bodies, emphasizing the importance of providing them with the appropriate diet to support their development and maintain a healthy size and weight.


Choosing the Right German Shepherd Puppy Food

german shepherd puppy food

Choosing the best nutrition for your German Shepherd puppy is crucial for its overall health and growth. To ensure the perfect diet plan for your pup, consider the following factors:

  1. The puppy’s age and weight determine the required calorie count and the specific diet plan. Consult your vet for the best options.
  2. Choose high-quality puppy food that lists meat as its primary ingredient. A puppy’s diet should typically contain 18-20% protein, less than 25% fat, and 5-8% fiber.
  3. Avoid foods that contain artificial flavors, preservatives, and colorants. Such foods may lead to digestive problems and allergies.
  4. Consider the food’s texture, size, and shape. Choose food that is easy to chew and swallow for your puppy.
  5. Offer small amounts of food multiple times a day, rather than one large meal to prevent bloating and indigestion.
  6. Pay attention to your puppy’s reactions to the food. If your pup suffers from any food allergy or develops digestive problems, immediately consult your vet for alternatives.

RELATED: Common German Shepherd Allergies

It is important to note that feeding your German Shepherd puppy human food is not recommended, as it can lead to weight gain, pancreatitis, and other severe health issues.

German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, and feeding them high-calorie diets may lead to weight gain, exacerbating the problem. 

According to an article published by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, German Shepherds are the second-worst breed affected by hip dysplasia, with the problem affecting 19.1% of the breed. 

Therefore, it is crucial to choose the right food to ensure they stay healthy and active.

Best German Shepherd Puppy Foods for Healthy Growth and Weight Gain

If you’re a new German Shepherd puppy parent, feeding them the right food is crucial for healthy growth and proper weight gain. Here are our top recommendations for optimal nutrition tailored to meet your furry companion’s dietary needs:

  • High-quality protein sources- Puppy food that contains meat as the first ingredient provides optimum protein levels that are necessary for muscle development and healthy growth.
  • Whole grains and vegetables- Fiber, vitamins, and minerals from whole grains and veggies help ensure proper digestion, nourish their immune system and support vital organ function.
  • Avoid corn-based fillers- Standard dog foods are often bulked up with corn-based fillers. However, when it comes to puppies, you need to avoid them since they’re susceptible to digestive upset or allergic reactions.
  • Natural preservatives- Natural preservatives like Vitamin E can help keep dog food fresh without the use of harmful chemicals that could harm your pup’s wellbeing.

To give your German Shepherd pup the best start in life requires selecting the correct puppy food suited to their unique needs. 

Focusing on nutrient-rich ingredients while avoiding artificial additives like preservatives or flavors will enhance their overall well-being throughout adulthood. 

Ensure your furry friend receives adequate hydration by keeping a freshwater bowl available at all times.

Click here to learn more about what it’s like to have a German Shepherd dog as a furry companion for your family.

What Affects How Much Your German Shepherd Should Eat?

Several factors can influence how much your German Shepherd should eat. Here are some key factors to consider:


German Shepherds have different nutritional requirements at various life stages. 

Puppies require more frequent meals and higher calorie intake for their growth and development, while adult dogs have lower energy requirements. 

Adjusting the portion sizes accordingly is important.

Size and Weight

The size and weight of your doggy will influence their food intake. Larger dogs generally require more food than smaller ones to meet their energy needs.

Activity Level

The activity level of your dog plays a significant role in determining its calorie requirements. 

Highly active dogs or those engaged in regular exercise or work will need more food to sustain their energy levels, while less active dogs may require fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.


Each dog has a unique metabolic rate, which can vary even within the same breed. 

Some German Shepherds may have a faster metabolism and burn calories more quickly, while others may have a slower metabolism and require fewer calories.

Health Conditions

Certain health conditions, such as allergies, digestive issues, or obesity, can affect your pup’s dietary needs. 

In such cases, consulting with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet and portion sizes is important.

To see if your German Shepherd is at the right weight below is a table where you can find the average weight depending on your dog’s gender and age.

Average Weight & Height By Age For Male German Shepherds

Male German Shepherd Height & Weight According to its Age.

The average weight and height of male German Shepherds can vary depending on factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health. 

However, I can provide you with some general guidelines for the average weight and height by age for male German Shepherds:

Average Weight & Height By Age For Female German Shepherds

Female German Shepherd Height & Weight According to its Age.

It’s important to note that these ranges are averages and individual German Shepherds may fall outside these ranges. 

Here’s an in-depth guide about German Shepherd growth stages which covers their standard height and weight as per their age.

Factors like genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health can contribute to variations in weight and height. 

Monitoring your specific German Shepherd’s growth and consulting with a veterinarian can provide more accurate information tailored to your dog’s development.

Name Brand Puppy Food vs. Boutique Formulas

Choosing the right type of German Shepherd puppy food requires a little research and consideration. 

Whether you opt for a trusted name brand or an exclusive formula is up to you. 

Ensuring your pup receives high-quality nutrition will help set them up for a long, healthy life.

  • Name brand puppy food is mass-produced and widely available.
  • Boutique formulas are often more expensive and made with premium ingredients.
  • Name brand foods may contain more fillers, while boutique formulas often have higher protein content.
  • Specialty brands may cater to specific health concerns, such as grain-free or limited ingredient diets.
  • The choice between name brand and specialty food is ultimately up to the pet owner’s preferences and budget.

Different Types Of Puppy Food

raw diet vs regular food for german shepherd pup

When it comes to feeding your puppy, there are several different types of food options available. 

Each type has its own advantages and considerations, and it’s important to choose the right option based on your puppy’s needs and your personal preferences. 

Let’s explore the various types of puppy food commonly available:

Dry Food 

Dry food, also known as kibble, is one of the most popular options for puppy owners. It is convenient, easy to store, and has a longer shelf life compared to other types of food. 

Dry puppy food is formulated to provide a balanced diet and typically contains a combination of meat, grains, vegetables, and essential nutrients. 

It helps promote dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup. 

However, some puppies may find it harder to chew or may require more water intake when consuming dry food.

Wet Food

Wet or canned puppy food is characterized by its high moisture content. It often contains more meat and fewer carbohydrates compared to dry food. 

Wet food is palatable and can be easier for puppies to chew and digest, making it a good option for picky eaters or those with dental issues. 

However, it can be more expensive, has a shorter shelf life after opening, and may contribute to dental plaque if not supplemented with dry food or proper dental care.

Fresh Food

Fresh food options for puppies have gained popularity in recent years. These diets typically consist of human-grade ingredients, including lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

Fresh food is minimally processed and free from preservatives, artificial additives, or fillers. 

It offers high nutritional value and can be customized to meet specific dietary needs. 

However, it can be more time-consuming to prepare or more expensive to purchase commercially prepared fresh food.

RELATED: What Fruits Can German Shepherds Eat

Home Cooked

Some puppy owners prefer to prepare homemade meals for their furry friends. This option allows complete control over the ingredients and ensures a fresh, balanced diet. 

Home-cooked puppy food usually consists of lean meats, vegetables, and grains. 

However, it’s important to work with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure the diet meets the specific nutritional requirements of your puppy and to avoid nutrient deficiencies or imbalances.

Raw Diet or BARF

raw diet for german shepherd

The Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet, also known as a raw diet, is based on the principle of feeding puppies a diet similar to their wild ancestors. 

It consists of uncooked or minimally processed ingredients like raw meat, bones, organs, fruits, and vegetables. 

Proponents of raw diets claim benefits such as improved coat condition and dental health. 

Interestingly, there is time-tested advice that suggests old GSDs thrive better on a raw meat diet. 

This was enforced in a dog study by Dr Ian Billinghurst who found that dogs fed with raw meat had lesser illnesses than those fed with store-bought food.

However, raw diets require careful handling to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination and must be properly balanced to provide all necessary nutrients. 

It’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian to ensure safety and prevent nutritional deficiencies.

What Nutrients Do German Shepherd Puppies Need?

German Shepherd puppies, like all puppies, have specific nutrient requirements to support their growth, development, and overall health. 

Here are some essential nutrients that puppies need:


Protein is crucial for the growth and development of muscles, tissues, and organs. 

German Shepherd puppies require a high-quality, easily digestible protein source in their diet. 

Look for puppy foods that contain animal-based proteins like chicken, beef, or fish.


Fat provides energy and aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. It also helps support healthy skin and coat. 

Puppies need moderate amounts of healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These can be found in sources like fish oil, chicken fat, and flaxseed.


While not as crucial as protein and fat, carbohydrates provide energy for active puppies. 

Look for high-quality carbohydrates like whole grains (such as brown rice or oats), sweet potatoes, and vegetables in your puppy’s food.

Calcium and Phosphorus

These minerals are essential for the development of strong bones and teeth. 

German Shepherd puppies have a rapid growth phase, so it’s important to provide them with balanced levels of calcium and phosphorus. 

However, excessive amounts of these minerals can lead to developmental issues, so it’s crucial to follow feeding guidelines and consult with a veterinarian.

Vitamins and Minerals

Puppies require a variety of vitamins and minerals to support their overall health and development. 

These include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and others

A well-balanced puppy food will usually provide these essential micronutrients, but it’s important to check the ingredient list or consult with a veterinarian if you have specific concerns.

Remember, the specific nutrient requirements may vary depending on the individual puppy’s age, size, activity level, and overall health. 

Should You Feed A German Shepherd Puppy Supplements?

In general, if you are feeding your German Shepherd puppy a complete and balanced diet formulated specifically for puppies, supplements may not be necessary. 

High-quality commercial puppy foods are designed to meet the nutritional needs of growing puppies, including German Shepherds. 

These foods are formulated to provide the appropriate balance of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

However, there are some situations where supplements may be recommended or necessary. 

It’s important to consult with a veterinarian before adding any supplements to your puppy’s diet. 

Here are a few scenarios where supplements might be considered:

Specific Health Conditions

If your German Shepherd puppy has a specific health condition or dietary requirement, such as a diagnosed deficiency or a known absorption issue, your veterinarian may recommend targeted supplements to address those needs. 

Examples might include specific vitamins, minerals, or joint-supporting supplements.

Growth Disorders

Large breed puppies, like German Shepherds, are prone to certain growth disorders, such as hip dysplasia. 

In some cases, supplements containing joint-supporting ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may be recommended to support healthy joint development. 

However, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before starting any joint supplements.

Vegetarian or Homemade Diets

If you choose to feed your German Shepherd puppy a vegetarian or homemade diet, it may be more challenging to provide all the necessary nutrients. 

In such cases, your veterinarian may recommend specific supplements to fill any potential nutrient gaps.

It’s important to note that excessive or unbalanced supplementation can be harmful to your puppy’s health. 

Some nutrients can have toxic effects when given in excess. Additionally, some supplements on the market may not be regulated or proven effective, so it’s crucial to seek guidance from a veterinarian.

Should You Feed Treats To Your German Shepherd Puppy?

Yes, you can feed treats to your German Shepherd puppy, but it’s important to do so in moderation and choose treats that are safe and appropriate for their age and size. 

Treats can be a useful tool for training, rewards, and bonding with your puppy. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

1. Treat Size and Frequency

German Shepherd puppies have specific dietary requirements, and treats should only make up a small portion of their overall caloric intake. 

Avoid overfeeding treats, as excessive calorie intake can lead to weight gain and potential health issues. 

Choose treats that are appropriately sized for your puppy and limit the number of treats given each day.

2. Healthy and Nutritious Treats

Opt for high-quality treats that are made with wholesome ingredients. Look for treats that are formulated for puppies or are specifically designed to support their growth and development. 

Avoid treats that contain excessive amounts of fillers, artificial preservatives, or additives. 

Natural, single-ingredient treats like freeze-dried meat or small pieces of fruits and vegetables can be a healthy option.

3. Training Treats

For training purposes, it’s often helpful to use small, soft, and highly palatable treats that your puppy can easily consume and enjoy. 

These treats should be low in calories to prevent overfeeding during training sessions. 

Consider breaking larger treats into smaller pieces to avoid excessive calorie intake.

4. Dental Health

Some treats are specifically designed to promote dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup. 

These treats are typically chewy or have a texture that helps clean the teeth. 

Regular dental check-ups and a proper dental hygiene routine, such as brushing your puppy’s teeth, are also important for maintaining good oral health.

Remember, treats should complement your puppy’s balanced and nutritious diet, not replace them. 

By selecting appropriate treats and feeding them in moderation, you can provide your German Shepherd puppy with positive reinforcement and enjoyment while maintaining its overall health and well-being.

Week-by-Week German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Guide

German Shepherd puppies require proper nutrition for optimal growth and development. Here is a guide to ensure their feeding needs are met week-by-week:

Week 1-2: Puppies rely on their mother’s milk for nutrition during this time.

Week 3-4: Introduce small amounts of solid food, such as soft kibble or puppy wet food, and gradually increase the amount over time.

Week 5-6: Offer small, frequent meals throughout the day to help with digestion and energy levels. Feed a mixture of solid food and mother’s milk, if available.

Week 7-8: Increase the portion size of solid food and implement a regular feeding schedule. Monitor their weight and adjust portion sizes accordingly.

Week 9-12: Feed three meals a day and start transitioning to adult dog food. Ensure they are receiving a balanced diet with proper amounts of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

14-Week-Old Puppy: Ensure your puppy stays fit by monitoring their food intake and body condition. Track their eating habits and adjust the portions to maintain a healthy weight for your German Shepherd. Stay alert for upcoming growth spurts when their appetite may seem insatiable. Feed them three meals a day.

4-Month-Old Puppy: During growth spurts, your puppy may eat quickly and seek more food. It’s fine to offer a small extra portion of kibble. Pay attention to treat intake as they can add calories. Train your German Shepherd puppy to walk politely on a leash before their strength surprises you. Feed them three meals a day.

18-Week-Old Puppy: Keep in mind that when your German Shepherd puppy reaches 16 to 20 weeks of age, they experience a significant growth spurt. It becomes crucial to avoid overfeeding them during this period, as excess weight can harm their developing joints and bones. Ensure your puppy’s well-being by feeding them three meals per day.

5-Month-Old Puppy: As your puppy reaches around 5 months of age, you may observe their height increasing and their bodies gradually becoming more robust. While it’s normal for German Shepherd puppies to fill out during this stage, it’s important to note that they should not have a rounded belly. German Shepherd puppies should exhibit a sleek waistline. Remember to feed them three meals per day to support their healthy growth.

22-Week And Older Puppy: Transition to adult dog food around 12-18 months and establish a feeding schedule of two meals per day, morning and evening. Practice portion control to prevent overfeeding and choose healthy treats while consulting with a vet for any necessary supplements. Provide fresh water at all times to ensure proper hydration.

It is important to note that these are general guidelines and may vary based on individual puppies’ needs. 

Consult with your veterinarian for personalized feeding recommendations. Remember to provide clean water at all times, and avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity.

Feeding Your Senior German Shepherd

Feeding a senior dog requires special attention and care, as their nutritional needs change with age. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Quantity of Food

The amount of food senior dogs need depends on their weight, activity level, and overall health.

Generally, they require fewer calories than younger dogs, as they are less active and their metabolism slows down.

A good rule of thumb is to feed them smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, rather than one or two large meals.

A senior dog typically needs around 2-3 cups of food per day, divided into 2-3 meals.


As mentioned above, feeding a senior dog smaller, more frequent meals is ideal.

This can help prevent digestive issues and keep their blood sugar levels stable. Ideally, they should be fed at least twice a day, with a maximum of three times a day.


On average, a senior German Shepherd dog needs around 1,200-1,500 calories per day, but this can vary. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate number of calories for your dog.

In addition to the above guidelines, it’s important to choose a high-quality dog food that is specifically designed for senior dogs.

Look for a food that is lower in calories and higher in fiber, to help with digestion. Also, make sure to provide plenty of fresh water throughout the day.

Five Facts About How Much To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy:

  • ✅ German Shepherd puppies typically need to be fed three to four times a day until they are six months old. (Source: American Kennel Club)
  • ✅ The amount of food a German Shepherd puppy needs depends on its age, size, and activity level. (Source: Hill’s Pet)
  • ✅ Overfeeding a German Shepherd puppy can lead to obesity and other health problems. (Source: PetMD)
  • ✅ A German Shepherd puppy’s diet should consist of high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and fats to support proper growth and development. (Source: Chewy)
  • ✅ It is essential to provide plenty of fresh water for your German Shepherd puppy at all times. (Source: Purina)


In conclusion, feeding your German Shepherd puppy is a critical aspect of ensuring they grow up healthy and strong. It’s important to provide them with a well-balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Whether you choose to feed them commercial dog foods or a homemade diet, it’s important to ensure the food contains high-quality sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals.

By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can be confident in providing your German Shepherd puppy with a healthy and well-balanced diet. With the right nutrition and care, your furry friend can grow up to be a happy and healthy adult dog.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much should I feed my German Shepherd puppy?

The amount of food your German Shepherd puppy needs depends on their age, weight, and activity level. As a general guideline, feed them 3-4 times a day with 1-1.5 cups of high-quality puppy food per meal. Make sure to consult with your veterinarian for specific feeding recommendations for your puppy.

Can I free-feed my German Shepherd puppy?

It is not recommended to free-feed your German Shepherd puppy. This means leaving food out all day for them to graze on as they please. Overeating can lead to obesity and other health problems. Stick to a regular feeding schedule and portion control to maintain a healthy weight.

When should I switch my German Shepherd puppy to adult food?

Most German Shepherd puppies can be switched to adult food around 12-18 months of age, depending on their breed, weight, and growth rate. Consult with your veterinarian for the best timing for your puppy’s specific needs.

Should I feed my German Shepherd puppy wet or dry food?

Both wet and dry food can be suitable for German Shepherd puppies. Dry food is convenient and can help keep their teeth clean, while wet food can provide additional moisture and flavor. Choose a high-quality food that meets their nutritional needs.

What should I do if my German Shepherd puppy is overweight or underweight?

If your German Shepherd puppy is overweight or underweight, consult with your veterinarian for a proper diet plan. They may recommend adjusting the amount of food and the type of food you feed your puppy. Regular exercise is also important for maintaining a healthy weight.

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