German Shepherds spend most of their time with their mother and litter-mates for the first four weeks of their lives. In this neonatal stage, German Shepherd puppies get all the nutrients they need from their mother’s milk. At around four weeks, the breeder can introduce solids into their diet by offering them small well-mashed beef pieces. By about eight weeks, German Shepherds should be fully weaned.
German shepherd puppies can eat apples and a wide range of fruits and vegetables, as long as they are only offered occasionally. GS puppies need a nutritionally complete diet to match their age and activity levels, which they mostly get from high-quality, commercial dog food.
Life with a German Shepherd puppy is pretty hectic. They are always on the go and need lots of protein and fat to give them the energy to be active and healthy.
A high-quality diet will help them develop a healthy immune system, support strong bone growth, and develop healthy eyes, skin, and teeth.
We will discuss the diet they need at each growth stage and look at the “human foods” they can eat as treats, including apples.
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Nutrition For German Shepherd Puppies
German shepherd puppies get all their nutrition from their mother’s milk for the first four weeks of their lives. Their mother’s milk provides them with the antibodies they need for their health and immunity.
The first milk they receive is called colostrum, and it is rich in proteins and antibodies. At four weeks old comes the weaning stage, where they begin eating solids.
The breeder can introduce mashed protein like beef, including a nutritionally-balanced diet to suit their age and size.
You can also offer your puppy vegetables along with their commercial feed, as long as you don’t give them human leftovers or foods containing sugar, salt, and other seasonings. Let’s look at your German Shepherd puppy’s nutritional needs month by month:
One Month Old
When your GS puppy is about three to four weeks old, he can begin tasting new foods and getting used to new flavors. Wet puppy food is the best choice for your GS puppy until he is about six to eight weeks old, then you can start feeding him dry food.
From eight weeks and beyond, GSDs should be weaned entirely, and they should eat solid food. Your puppy will also need fresh water instead of milk.
He will also need a special puppy feed, and the best one for German Shepherds is breed-specific, although this may not be available in some locations. In which case, your vet can develop a suitable food plan for your puppy.
Two Months Old
When your GS puppy is two months old, you can gradually decrease the moistening of your pet’s dry food, as he must get used to eating his food completely dry.
GS puppies generally eat four or five times a day from two to four months, but you must stick to feeding your puppy at specific times. German Shepherd puppies’ foods should be richer in fats, calories, calcium, and protein than food for adult German Shepherds.
Beyond Four Months Old
You should begin reducing the number of meals to three times a day for your puppy between the ages of four and six months of age. However, you should increase the quantity of the food and offer an extra few minutes to their eating time.
You can start mixing fresh foods like meat, fish, and veggies in with their dry feed. Learn what the forbidden foods are and void giving them to your dog.
For example, some GS owners choose to give their dogs raw meat, but it’s safer to cook the meat first. Avoid giving your dog raw meaty bones as this could harm his teeth.
Begin lessening the amount of wet food you give your puppy, as excess amounts can cause plaque development and other dental issues.
After Six Months Old
When your GS puppy is six months old, you should reduce his daily food intake to twice a day. However, you can increase the food portions and feeding time accordingly.
You should discuss a tailored diet to suit your German shepherd puppy, accounting for his age, size, and lifestyle. At this stage, you can give your GS puppy shatter-proof bones to gnaw on. These bones strengthen your pup’s gums and teeth.
Can German Shepherd Puppies Eat Apples?
Yes, German shepherd puppies can eat apples; they are a safe and inexpensive treat. However, be sure to remove all of the seeds and cut them into slices. You don’t need to remove the peel. Apples contain the following health benefits for dogs:
- FIBER – Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers support nutrient absorption, and insoluble fibers promote gut health.
- PHYTOCHEMICALS – Phytochemicals like quercetins, catechins, chlorogenic acid, and anthocyanins boost immunity including cancer protection, healthy aging, and cardiovascular and eye health.
- VITAMIN C – Vitamin C will boost your pet’s immune system, offering a good defense against bacteria, toxins, viruses, and allergic reactions.
- DENTAL HEALTH – Chewing on apple slices will help keep your GSD’s teeth clean as long as you don’t rely on it as your pet’s only means of dental care.
Can German Shepherd Puppies Eat Bananas?
Yes, German shepherd puppies can eat bananas as long as you remove the peel, it’s a safe treat, and it has many nutritional benefits for your puppy:
- FIBER – Fiber consumption is essential for gastrointestinal health; it aids digestion and supports healthy gut bacteria.
- VITAMIN B6 – Vitamin B6 balances electrolytes in your dog’s body, and it is essential for heart health. It also plays a crucial role in protein synthesis.
- VITAMIN C – Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant; it boosts your puppy’s immune system and helps to fight allergies. It also works alongside Vitamin E to help maintain your dog’s coat and skin.
- MAGNESIUM – Magnesium directly impacts your dog’s muscular health and is needed for muscle contraction and regeneration.
- POTASSIUM – Potassium helps the body regulate fluids and, like magnesium, aids proper muscle health.
Can German Shepherd Puppies Eat Carrots?
Yes, German shepherds can eat carrots; they are safe and benefit your GSD’s health. Carrots are an excellent addition to your dog’s diet, both cooked and raw.
Carrots aid canine dental health and are high in fiber and antioxidants like beta-carotene. Beta-carotene changes to Vitamin A inside the body, and it is crucial for proper eye, bone, and reproductive health. It also strengthens the immune system.
Can German Shepherd Puppies Eat Boiled Eggs?
Yes, German Shepherd puppies can eat boiled eggs. They are an excellent treat, especially for owners who prefer to feed their pets fresh food rather than kibble.
Eggs are highly nutritious for dogs and a rich source of Vitamin A and a wide range of B Vitamins. Eggs are also an ideal source of selenium and iron.
Technically speaking, dogs can eat raw and cooked eggs. However, it is not safe to feed raw or undercooked eggs as they could contain salmonella or E.coli. Make sure you give cooked eggs to your German Shepherd.
Can German Shepherd Puppies Drink Cow’s Milk?
Most German shepherds are lactose intolerant, and ingesting milk could cause vomiting, loose stools, and diarrhea. It’s perfectly safe to offer milk alternatives like lactose-free milk, almond milk, cashew milk, etc.
Dairy products like yogurt and cheese should be off-limits to your German Shepherd as well.
When puppies mature and leave their mothers, they lose an essential enzyme known as lactase. Lactase helps break down the sugary substance lactose contained in milk products.
So, you must avoid giving milk or any dairy product to your dog as it could cause numerous distressing side effects.
Can German Shepherd Puppies Eat Peanut Butter?
Yes, German Shepherds can eat peanut butter, as long as you choose the right one, as some brands contain toxic additives to dogs. Since nut butters are high in calories and fats, only offer the spread in moderation.
However, it can be an ideal source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that are vital to your GS puppy’s health.
The benefits of feeding peanut butter to your German Shepherd go beyond physical health; peanut butter can help your dog remain calm when it comes to bath time, nail clipping, a visit to the vet. It can also help with separation anxiety.
Can German Shepherd Puppies Eat Lamb Bones?
There is contradictory information about feeding bones to dogs. Many say bones are great for dogs, while others say bones can be dangerous for dogs.
However, bones, including lamb bones, can be safe for your German Shepherd puppy. Avoid cooked bones, especially those from table scraps, as they can easily splinter or break and cause your dog illness or injury.
As with all bones, there is always a risk of choking. However, if you follow some straightforward rules, your GS puppy can enjoy his bone safely:
- Supervise chewing
- Discard gnawed-down bones
- Do not give bones to a GSD who has had corrective dental work done
- Do not give bones with marrow to a GSD who gets pancreatitis
- Give a bone after a meal
- Avoid pork or rib bones
- Only allow your GSD to chew for ten to fifteen minutes at a time
- Put the bones in the fridge when not in use and discard them after three days to reduce the chances of contamination
German shepherd puppies can indeed eat apples along with other human foods, as long as they are an occasional treat, as they need a vet-approved nutritionally complete dog food. However, when you offer your German Shepherd any of the foods mentioned above, keep an eye on him to ensure he doesn’t develop any bad reactions.