Keeping a German Shepherd puppy happy and healthy into adulthood isn’t the easiest task. While they are strong, intelligent dogs, this breed is prone to health problems including food allergies and a sensitive digestive system. Considering the ever-growing variety of dog food options, choosing the right one for your pet isn’t a no-brainer. Each product’s label will make the same promises for your dog’s coat or energy or all around health with statistics that all start to look the same. With an appropriate amount of research and a consultation from your veterinarian before shopping, you’ll be prepared to choose the right option for your dog whether it’s dry, cheap, canned, hypoallergenic, homemade or bought online.
German Shepherds suffer from a pancreatic enzyme insufficiency which results in poor nutrient absorption, regular diarrhea and eventual weight loss without appropriate food or medicine. But that isn’t the only health concern they face. Similarly, German Shepherds are vulnerable to an immunoglobin deficiency that leads to food allergies among other problematic results. They are also prone to bloating, which occurs when their intestines or stomachs twist within their torsos. This can be an extremely painful experience for your pet and would need to be corrected by surgery.
One obvious choice for selecting a dog food for your German Shepherd is to browse the cheap and dry dog food available in the grocery or big box stores. Not every selection is made the same and often has dramatically different ingredients. Most of these popular dry dog food choices are full of grains like corn, wheat and soy which are difficult for a German Shepherd to process. Even beyond the breed, these ingredients are hard on an animal’s digestive system.
With regards to dry food, some brands have taken to developing specific formulas for German Shepherds. Some of these companies and brands include Royal Canin, Canidae, Taste of the Wild, Timberwolf and Innova. If you are looking for a popular dry dog food or canned dog food, look for these options either online or in a store or any other specialized formula food. If nothing else, you can search online to get a gauge of how expensive these options will be.
Ingredients to look out for on your pet’s dog food are cooked meat or left over animal parts. If the canned or dry dog food you select for your pet has meat in it, make sure the label says that it has passed inspection making it healthy for anyone to eat, including humans. Ideally there should be no animal byproducts in an animals’ food. Often, cooked meat or byproducts add little value to a dog’s diet, which should be rife with protein and fat to power this strong breed.
One growing trend is to make homemade dog food recipes. Understanding a little bit about the physiology of a dog will help ensure that you make healthy and even hypoallergenic dog food. Dogs have evolved to look the way they do, which includes sharp teeth for tearing and ripping apart chunks of meat. They were designed to eat raw meat, which should be a primary ingredient in homemade dog food.
German Shepherds can eat a variety of raw meat from beef to tripe to fish to chicken—there isn’t much they can’t eat. The big watch-out is to keep bone chunks out of their food. Adding a marginal amount of dairy (like cottage cheese or yogurt), crushed fruits and vegetables can help add needed nutrients to your dog’s diet. These ingredients can go a long way towards providing the vitamins and minerals that the breed often lacks due to their health concerns. The ingredients to watch for are the grains as mentioned earlier—these will be the hardest for your pooch to digest.