What Nutrients Do German Shepherd Puppies Need?

What nutrients do German Shepherd Puppies need

When you adopt a German Shepherd Puppy, one of the first questions that are bound to arise in your mind is What nutrients do German Shepherd puppies need?

Or, “What is really a healthy and proper diet for German Shepherd puppies?”

Below is a complete guide to answer all such questions regarding the nutritional requirements of a German Shepherd Puppy!

What nutrients do German Shepherd Puppies need?

German Shepherd Puppies need the following nutrients to be healthy:

  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Water

Some important points-

  1. The main nutritional requirement for German Shepherd puppies is protein. They require a minimum of 22% of the protein in their prepared diet.
  2. The second vital nutrient for your German Shepherd dogs is fats.
  3. The recommended healthy fats nutritional content for growing German Shepherd puppies is 8%.

Are German Shepherd dogs Omnivores?

Yes, German Shepherd Dogs are Omnivores and have proved to thrive on a variety of products to obtain nutritional value from fruits as well as vegetables.

What can German Shepherd Puppies Eat?

  • Proteins- Beef, Pork, Lamb, Venison, Chicken meal, Turkey
  • Grains- Wheat, Corn, Rice, Oats, Maize, Barley
  • Nuts- Peanuts, Cashews, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Chestnuts
  • Dairy- Milk, Cream, Ice-cream, Yoghurt, Cheese
  • Fruits- Apple, Apricot, Banana, Kiwi Fruit, Mango
  • Vegetables- Asparagus, Carrot, Eggplant, Sweet Potato, Peas

What can’t German Shepherd Puppies Eat?

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Caffeine
  • Cherries
  • Chives
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Hops
  • Horse Chestnut
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Moldy Food
  • Mushrooms
  • Nutmeg
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Leeks
  • Raisins
  • Raw Potato
  • Rhubarb Leaves
  • Salt
  • Starfruit
  • Tomato (Green)
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast Dough
  • Walnuts (Black)

And finally…

Tea and Coffee!!

Which commercial dog food is best recommended for German Shepherd Puppies?

  1. Merrick Puppy Dog Food
  2. Royal Canin Puppy Dog Food
  3. Blue Wilderness Puppy Dog Food
  4. Taste of the Wild

Always Remember- Any Commercial Dog Food you opt for should be completely balanced, and you should select the food offering the highest nutritional benefits.

What type of dog food is best for German Shepherd Puppies?

  • Complete raw diets
  • Wet Canned foods
  • A mix of dry and wet
  • Home produced diets
  • Complete dry foods

Let’s discuss each dog food type in details.

  • Dry Dog Food- These mainly consist of 2 types-
  1. KIBBLE DOG FOOD- It is dry dog food made either through oven baking or an extrusion process. Even high-quality dog food is prepared using the same process which uses human-grade ingredients.
  2. COLD-PRESSED DOG FOOD- They are made using much lower temperatures and retains more nutritional value.


  • Wet Canned Foods- They contain around 75% moisture content. Wet Canned Foods are advantageous if you have a picky eater who doesn’t eat his/her appropriate diet and finds wet canned foods more palatable.

CAUTION- Higher the water content, the lower the nutritional value.

  • Dry and Wet Foods- Either mix the foods in the same bowl and give in a wet form for the morning feed and dry form for the afternoon feed (or vice-versa). Owners of large dog breeds who usually feed dry dog food, like to use wet food as a special treat. It’s advisable to select a high-quality brand if you choose to feed dry and wet foods to your larger breed.
  • Home Produced Diet- Home produced diets are difficult to cook, but can correctly address the nutritional needs of German Shepherd puppies if cooked properly.

Recommendations –

  1. Cook all animal products to kill any bacteria that can hamper your German Shepherd Dogs’ healthy immune system.
  2. Consult your veterinary nutritionist to prepare a large size dog’s recipe, rather than relying on any recipe found online which doesn’t have good nutrient profiles.


  • Raw Dog Foods- The Natural Dog Food consisting of the natural ingredients that the German Shepherd puppies would have rather consumed in the wild are known as Raw Dog Foods. The biggest concern relating to Raw Dog Foods is food safety issues regarding parasitic contamination, bacterial contamination, and food poisoning. You can either prepare Raw Dog Foods at home or purchase any food brand products, which are usually frozen.

Secret Tip- Complete Dry Foods are the best type of dog food for you if you have a large breed dog such as a German Shepherd Dog.

How many calories do German Shepherd puppies need?

German Shepherd Puppies need an intake of 500 daily calories at an increasing level as they grow.

Precautionary Tips:

  • The balanced calcium: phosphorus formula should be 1:1
  • Be wary of food formulas with too high protein content.
  • Never supplement extra calories of calcium in a large breed puppy’s diet.

How often should a German Shepherd Puppy be fed?

  • 6 weeks – 12 weeks: 4 meals (daily intake)
  • 12 weeks – 24 weeks : 3 meals (daily intake)
  • 24 weeks + : 2 meals (daily intake)

Can German Shepherd Puppies eat Bones?

German Shepherd Puppies can eat bones as they consist of proper nutrients such as phosphorus and calcium.

Cooking Tip: Never feed cooked bones to your German Shepherd Puppy.

Does your German Shepherd Puppy need supplements?

According to Veterinary Nutrition, vitamins and nutrients are not recommended for your German Shepherd Puppy, if they are eating a balanced and complete commercial pet food.

Health Tip- Veterinary Nutrition also suggests that healthy dog treats should be limited to 10% of your German Shepherd Puppy’s daily calories.

How much water should your German Shepherd Puppy drink in a day?

Generally, a dog should drink 30 ml (one ounce) of water every day for each pound of their healthy weight.

Normally, a German Shepherd Puppy weighs anywhere between 7 pounds – 20 pounds in the first 2 months. That makes 210 ml – 600 ml of water every day.

Final Words

The Final 2 bits of Advice:

  1. Choose a dog food that suits your German Shepherd Puppy’s lifestyle
  2. Your German Shepherd Dog will live longer with a good overall health condition if you invest in the best quality dog food that you can afford.

Any questions or concerns regarding German Shepherd Puppies’ nutritional content are welcome in the comments.

What Nutrients Do German Shepherd Puppies Need?

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