We’ve got Nala, an extremely gorgeous eight months old German Shepherd puppy. So far we have been trying Taste Of The Wild (high prairie puppy formula with Bison and roasted venison) and Royal Canine for german shepherd puppies. I have subscribed to this wonderful website and now learned that Royal Canine is a poor dogfood, so we’re about to change the food again.
I have a couple of questions, would love to get your help:
1. Many say that changing the food frequently does good. What’s he major opinion on it here?
2. Nala never eats the suggested quantity of the food. Some say she’s just not an eater. She looks healthy, though. Should we aim at increasing the quantity or just leave her alone with it?
3. Would you suggest any specific brand of food for this breed from your experience?
Thanks in advance.
1) changing food is good! Some people feed a variety of dry, canned, raw , dehydrated and freeze dried. Some change their kibble with every bag, some go a few bags.
2) feeding guidelines are just a guide and IMO, mine eat less.
3) brands I like are Farmina, Dr Tim’s, Annamaet, Brothers Complete
I am a rotator also. I believe rotating foods supports a healthy variety of friendly bacteria in the gut, which is where the majority of our immune system resides. Changing foods periodically also avoids prolonged exposure to less desirable ingredients and results in a wider variety of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
When I change foods, I prefer to change animal proteins and binders. This round might be duck and peas and next might be venison and tapioca. Switching foods, but staying within a specific brand often results in a change in a single protein only. Look for several brands you like. Are you aware of the unique Calcium needs your LBP has and feeding accordingly?
Be grateful your pup is a self-regulating eater! I have two who would probably eat anything they were offered and end up obese as a result. Let her body condition be your guide as to how much to eat. Here’s a scale you can use to score her: http://www.stateofpethealth.com/state-of-pet-health/overweight-obesity/dog/body-condition. If she’s too thin and failing to thrive, but eating properly, that’s a different story.
There are so many brands I really like. I have a dog with food intolerance issues who does great on Nature’s Variety Instinct LID, so I give NVI a big thumbs up. I think very highly of Dr. Tim’s, Go!, Now Fresh, Wellness, Brother’s Complete, Horizon Legacy, Earthborn Holistic and Victor.
I will second Marie on her comments:
1. Rotation is great, just make sure you do it over a few days. You can also add some canned/dehydrated/freeze-dried/air-dried/raw as toppers every once in a while, as well as maybe some coconut oil or fish oil (for Omega 3s), raw or lightly cooked eggs, and canned sardines, salmon, or jack mackerel (not tuna). Those are really good for dogs. For my 15lb terrier mix I feed one raw egg/week, 1/2 small can of sardines, and coconut oil every other day. I also use dehydrated/air-dried/freeze-dried as toppers on every dinner meal. I used to feed yoghurt too, but Bruno decided he’s had enough of it apparently, lol. But if your dog likes it, it is good stuff too. Kefir also.
2. Many dogs self-regulate, and many don’t. As Marie said, the bag directions are just guidelines, and many dogs require less than the recommended amounts. You should gage by body condition: https://dogchow.com/articles/1871/body-condition and adjust food amounts accordingly. My dog is at the caloric intake of 3/4 cups of food total, 1/2 cup dry and 1/4 cup (or so, calorie-wise) additives (“toppers”). This is within the recommended amounts, but when we used to exercise a lot, twice a day in the hot summer Georgia days, he would eat 3/4 cup of dry with similar amounts of additives. He was lean and mean even though he ate more.
3. As I have a small dog, I can’t tell you about good brands for large dogs, but this thread can: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/ Page 15 should have a link to a google doc with all brands written out, how they score, etc. It is an overall great resource for large breed owners.
Good luck, seems like Nala is in good hands! 🙂
Thanks a lot to all of you – you have helped us a bunch!
We sure will go and try some good and tasty foods now and see how Nala responds.
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