What am I doing wrong? And why am I not seeing results even after feeding my German shepherd with high-quality kibble?
Such questions can be bothering to a German shepherd owner who is not seeing any weight changes from his dog week by week.
In the absence of any underlying health condition, your German shepherd should add weight gradually from its puppyhood to adulthood.
Consequently, a large dog breed like the German shepherd will require quality food and a proper feeding schedule to keep up with its fast metabolism rate.
Last, quality food will help your German shepherd maintain an ideal healthy weight.
That said, this article entails guides and recommendations on what and how to feed your German shepherd to grow big.
German shepherd Weight Chart
Here is a chart illustrating how big your dog should be or weigh in different stages of its life. Additionally, consider consulting your vet if you note a huge discrepancy from what is outlined on this chart.
|1 month||5.5lbs-9lbs ,2.5 kg-4 kg||4.5-8lbs,2-3.5kg|
|2 months||16-20 lbs,6-9 kg||11-17 lbs,5-7.5 kg|
|3 months||22-30 lbs,10-14 Kg||17-26lbs,8-12 kg|
|4 months||35-40 lbs., 16-18 kg||31-35lbs,14-16kg|
|5 months||40-49 lbs,18-22 kg||35-44lbs,16-20kg|
|6 months||49-57lbs,22-26 kg||44-49lbs,20-22kg|
|7 months||57-62 lbs,26-28 kg||49-53 lbs,22-24 kgs,|
|8 months||62-66lbs,28-30 kgs||53-57lbs,24-26kgs|
|9 months||64-71 lbs,29-32 kgs||55-60lbs,25-27kgs|
|10 months||66-73 lbs,30-33 kgs||57-62lbs,26-28kgs|
|11 months||66-75 lbs,30-34 kgs||60-64lbs,27-29kgs|
|12 months||71-75 lbs,32-34 kgs||60-64lbs,-27-29kgs|
|1 year 6 months||71-79 lbs,32-36 kgs||60-66lbs,27-30kg|
|2 years||71-84 lbs,32-38 kgs,||62-66lbs,28-30kg|
See also: German Shepherd growth chart.
What and How to Feed a German shepherd To Grow Big (The Ultimate Guide)
Are you worried about your healthy German shepherd who seems not to add any weight? It is frustrating! Right? Here are some proven strategies that will help your German shepherd grow big.
Let’s dive in!
Feed Your German shepherd With Food High in Protein and Fat
If you want your German shepherd to pack up more mass, consider adding food products high in fat and proteins.
According to dog food experts, a dog should get 20-25% of daily calories from proteins and 25-50% calories from fat.
The rest of the calories can be sourced from carbohydrates.
Using dog food with high protein and fat content is a noble idea as the dog gets vital calories necessary for putting up more weight.
Additionally, refrain from dog food with filler ingredients that will offer less nutritional help to your German shepherd.
Consider Puppy Food
It can be frustrating when your adult/senior shepherd can’t add weight even after purchasing expensive dog food.
However, have you tried puppy food? Yes, puppy food has been proven to help small or underweight German shepherds to grow big.
The reason being puppy food has a high caloric percentage that helps puppies to pack up more weight as they transition to adulthood.
To monitor if there will be any changes, consider giving an adult half puppy food and half adult food in its daily servings. Consequently, if there is no change, consider substituting the entire adult’s diet with puppy food.
Nevertheless, consider consulting your vet before you decide to use puppy food over adult food on your senior German shepherd.
Include another Feeding Session in a Day
Has your dog been eating twice a day, and he seems not to grow big? Then consider adding another session in its feeding schedule.
To prevent food wastage or stomach discomfort on your dog, consider spacing the meals times.
For example, let the dog eat in the morning and late afternoons. Lastly, add another feeding session before your dog sleeps.
By doing so, each meal will have ample time to get digested.
Adopting such a methodology will come in handy if you want your German shepherd to grow big.
So why not try such and see the results?
Fun read: Foods German Shepherd must avoid.
Consider Free Feeding
What is free feeding? Free feeding, entails letting your dog eat any time he feels like it. Such that the dog doesn’t have a fixed feeding schedule. Any time is eating time!
Often applicable to dogs who are picky about when to eat. As a fact, it’s noted that dogs in a free feeding schedule add more weight as compared to dogs with a fixed eating schedule.
Additionally, to prevent wastage, let your dog feed on dry kibble, not wet food that may get stale over time.
Treats Help Your German shepherd To Grow Big.
Did you mean I should substitute my normal dog’s diet with treats? No, that’s not the case. Treats should never be your dog’s source of calories; they are subsidiaries that help add a small percentage of your dog’s daily caloric needs.
Treats with a high percentage of fat and proteins contain enough calories that help add more weight. However, excess treats may predispose your German shepherd to obesity.
Note: Treats should not take over 10% of your dog’s daily caloric needs.
Highlight: don’t substitute your dog’s diet with treats.
Include Natural Home Cooked Foods
Commercial foods can be at times be frustrating as they may lack necessary nutrients that will help your German shepherd to grow big. Hence why I propose, you should include natural food sources in your dog’s diet.
Here are some naturally healthy foods you should include, pumpkins, steamed carrots and vegetables
Consequently, including these nutritious home-cooked natural foods will not only make your dog healthy but still make it add more weight and become big.
However, consider consulting your dog’s nutritionist or a vet before you try home-cooked food.
Are You Giving Your Dog The Right Food For Its Age?
Perhaps it has been your fault that your German shepherd is not growing big. Thus consider giving your dog food according to its age and weight. You will probably see positive results.
The good thing is that most processed foods have labels indicating what group and age of the dog should be fed on the packed food. Additionally, they include the daily servings that your dog should consume.
Highlight: unless otherwise, a dog should eat food according to its age.
Visit a Vet
If all seems not to be working, consider visiting a vet. A qualified veterinarian will be in a better position to give you a detailed overview of the next step you should take.
Also, a vet will tell you whether your dog has an underlying condition that is inhibiting your dog from becoming big.
Disadvantages of Having a Small/Underweight Dog
There are a handful of health consequences of having an underweight dog. Check them out.
- Weakened immunity
- Decreased quantity and quality of life
- Slow wound healing
- Reduction of bone mass
- Muscle loss
Concurrently, you can check this article on why you should not let your German shepherd become fat.
The above shows how you can feed your German shepherd to grow big. However, as you do everything, remember to be moderate and patient. However, don’t overfeed your dog to make it grow big. You will be disappointed, as you will probably get an obese German shepherd instead of a well-built dog.
Ultimately, be patient and follow the above guides diligently to help your lovely canine companion add more weight.