The German Shepherd is a powerful dog with a muscular body and a large appetite for food. Having German origins, it first grabbed the popular imagination during the first World War for its incredible strength, courage, intelligence and loyalty. In fact, by the time the war was over, the German Shepherd had already cemented its position as the most popular dog in the world –it still remains one of the most popular dogs in the world. Its extremely fun-loving and playful nature makes it a great companion and a darling. Also, since it is a quick learner and responds to training well, owners are more than assured of a well-trained dog.
But owning a German Shepherd is not the easiest thing to do, as for all its strength, it has a fragile digestive system and therefore requires constant monitoring. You just can’t feed it any dog food blindly you would otherwise feed other dogs. There are certain foods that you must avoid while there are others that you must include for its well being.
What to feed
1. Ragi and rice are good for your dog Make it a point to include ragi in your dog’s diet. It is a mild food that suits the weak stomach of the German Shepherd helping it keep its digestion-related problems under control. You can even serve it boiled rice which is easy to chew and digest; white rice is better than red or brown rice.
2. Porridge It is one of the favorite food of dogs, and the German Shepherd is no different. Give it a bowl of plain oat porridge once in a week; remember not to add any sugar or salt to the meal, though.
3. Milk helps maintain the calcium level Include milk in the diet as it provides protection against tooth decay. Also, the calcium requirement of the German Shepherd is to a large extent obtained from milk.
What not to feed
1. Keep raw meat away from your dog If you have been serving your dog raw meat, stop it today. Raw meat has the tendency to cause indigestion and stomach infections.
2. Nuts cause hair fall in dogs Nuts and German Shepherds don’t make a great combination, so better to break the combination before it can harm the dog. The high concentration of salt in dried nuts induces hair fall in dogs, and this effect is more pronounced in the case of German Shepherds.
3. Say no to corns, soy and wheat If you don’t want your dog to get constipation, avoid giving it corn, soy, wheat and maize. These foods have high levels of starch, which causes constipation. Continuously feeding such food to the dog can make it lethargic and pave the way for more serious diseases.
4. Beware of lentils The less, the better. Lentils are known to do more harm than good to the German Shepherd, so flush it out of its diet. You must be particularly wary of Channa and rajma which on many occasions have proved to be disastrous for dogs.
What points to consider when feeding commercial dog food
When buying commercial food for your dog, your first concern should be whether it has the recommended protein level or not. If it is a puppy, pregnant or lactating females, then they have special protein needs for growth and reproduction – the AFFCO recommended protein level for them is 22%. In case of adults, this level is 18%. Fat is also an important ingredient with the recommended levels being 8% for growth and reproduction, and 5% for an adult.
Commercial dog food comes in dry, wet and semi-moist types, with the dry type considered to the best and most cost-effective. Dry food contains very little water, just about 10%, making them good value for money. Wet funds, in contrast, may contain up to 75% water, and you have to feed your dog large volumes of food to compensate for the deficiency in nutrition. Semi-moist food are the most unhealthy of the lot, for they contain high concentrations of sugar that causes tooth decay and many other diseases like obesity and diabetes. So, if you feed the German Shepherd semi-moist food, feed it in small quantities.
Royal Canin for German Shepherds: An ideal food for dogs of all ages
Among the commercial dog food available in the market, the Royal Canin for German Shepherds is the preferred choice. These are tailor-made food for this dog breed, be it a puppy or an adult dog. If your dog is over 15 months old, then you can give it Royal Canin German Shepherd 24 which are custom-made kibbles good for digestion. The X-shaped kibbles are designed to fight plaque and tartar keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. Ingredients like omega 3, amino acids, chelated copper and zinc ensure healthy skin and smooth coat. Meanwhile, the fragile digestive system of the German Shepherd gets a layer of protection with the inclusion of green tea polyphenols, vitamins E & C, lutein and taurine – these ingredients work towards improving the immune system of the dog by producing antibodies.
The German Shepherd Puppy 30, as its name suggests is meant for puppies and is a good food that will help in its normal growth. Considering the age of the puppy, these X-shaped kibbles are miniature in size designed to boost digestion and fight tooth and gum related problems. The food also incorporates powerful antioxidants that improve the immune system while ingredients like brown rice and egg protein prevents indigestion.