Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Do you know how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy for the best growth and health?
And what foods will supply your active puppy the energy he needs to stay strong?
By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll learn the right amounts to feed your pup to grow strong and fit and keep you on the right track to a lifetime of health.
Let’s get started and find out how much, how often, and what foods your GSD pup loves.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Amount
How much you should feed a German Shepherd puppy really depends on a number of factors that you have control over. Your GSD pup should eat enough to maintain their growth and energy, while not carrying any extra fat.
Consider the following factors for how much to feed:
number of calories in the kibble, which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer
the daily energy expenditure of your pup
how sedentary your pup is
Refer to the following charts as a starting point. Adjust how much you feed your GSD based on your pup’s energy needs and growth. These formulas are a recommendation.
How Much to Feed a German Shepherd Puppy per Day
Knowing how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy helps you to keep track of their growth and habits. It’s good to chart how much you’re feeding them so that you can monitor their weight gain and appetite.
This chart is a guide for how much food a German Shepherd puppy gets fed.
1 – 1.5 cups
1.5 – 2 cups
2 – 3 cups
3 – 3.5 cups
Offer your dog their food and if they don’t eat their meal in 10 to 15 minutes remove their dish. Wait an hour and offer them the same meal to see if they’ve changed their mind about eating.
Always offer fresh water during their meal times.
How Often Should You Feed a German Shepherd Puppy
Feedings Per Day
6 to 12 weeks
12 weeks to 6 months
6 months to 1 year
1 year and older
How often you should feed a German Shepherd puppy depends on their age and their activity level.
Feeding smaller meals throughout the day also supports your puppy’s blood sugar and energy level which helps them grow steadily and behave better in your home.
When you know how many times to feed a German Shepherd puppy per day it’s easy to see the need for a regular feeding schedule to keep track of his meals!
When should you stop feeding your German Shepherd puppy food?
Puppies can begin adult kibble when they are approximately 80 percent of their adult weight. This usually occurs around 8 to 10 months of age, but you can safely feed puppy food up to one year old or longer as long as they are not putting on excess weight. Some German Shepherds don’t reach their full growth until 18 months of age and can be switched over to adult food during this later time.
It isn’t harmful to keep a German Shepherd on puppy formula until their growth plates have fused over (which is generally around 12 to 18 months of age).
What to Feed a German Shepherd Puppy
Your German Shepherd’s athletic body, as well as its energy, health, and condition, depend in part on what you choose to pour into its bowl and knowing how much to feed your German Shepherd puppy.
This means choosing what to feed a German Shepherd puppy is even more serious and intimidating!
Most dog foods on the market will adequately sustain your dog’s life. But you don’t want adequate. You want your dog to bloom with health!
Your GSD pup eats nearly double the amount of an adult in order to maintain growth rate and their higher daily energy needs.
Controlled levels of calcium for sustained, steady growth to keep joints healthy.
Feed a high-quality kibble from a name-brand company. Don’t buy boutique formulas, as these companies don’t always quality check or feed test their formulas, and many have been found linked to DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy).
The brands recommend meet the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) criteria and have no reported cases of DCM. Purina and Hill’s all have boarded Diplomates of ACVN on staff, and Ph.D. Animal Scientists and Ph.D. Nutritionists that work to ensure quality control and exceed nutritional standards.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Guide
Mostly the mother’s milk with small introductions to soaked kibble
Hard kibble mixed with warm goat’s milk that has soaked for 10 minutes, a small spoonful of natural no-sugar Greek yogurt added to entice the appetite
Hard kibble with or without warm goat’s milk, a small spoonful of natural no-sugar Greek yogurt, a small spoonful of cooked, plain oats, canned pumpkin without spices
Hard kibble on its own, small portions of cooked eggs, pieces of minced, plain Greek yogurt, a small spoonful of cooked, plain oats
What Food Does a German Shepherd Puppy Need?
Your pup should be with its mother nursing during this stage. Tiny portions of canned, wet foods are introduced.
But they still derive the bulk of the nutrients from their mother’s milk. The mother’s milk contains colostrum, antibiotic milk that protects the young pup during the first 8 to 10-weeks of their lives.
At 8-weeks-old, your GSD pup should be fed hard kibble moistened with warm goat’s milk left to sit for 10 minutes.
Are you making the mistake of letting your pup free feed all day? Do you let them eat until they are too full and their bellies are plump and round?
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your little pup needs a plump round belly by overfeeding him. Your growing dog needs more food than an adult, but watch your pup’s waistline.
Monitor the weight of your puppy during the rapid growth period of 3–6 months. It’s crucial you don’t overfeed during this stage.
A veterinarian study also confirms that puppies who are overfed and overweight develop later obesity-related health conditions in adulthood.
Rapid growth is one of the contributing factors known to increase this risk of hip dysplasia in German Shepherds. You must understand how much to feed your German Shepherd puppy to avoid any health issues.
It’s crucial that you don’t encourage your dog to gain a lot of weight for rapid growth.
You don’t want fast growth. You want steady growth.
Food and Your German Shepherd Puppy’s Health
Once you select a quality premium food your job isn’t done.
You still need to keep close watch over your dog’s response to the food. Watch their body condition closely, especially given the nature of this breed.
Watch their food intake and monitor their body condition for optimal maturity. Understand how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy to maintain steady growth, and don’t overfeed them.
You need German Shepherd training to get the best behavior from your dog and enjoy a happy life with them. Read these posts to find out what type of German Shepherd training works the best for your breed.
Your German Shepherd’s health, as well as your dog’s specific breed history, contributes to their overall life span. These posts will help you become aware of your dog’s health problems and how to help solve or improve them.