How Much Should A German Shepherd Eat?

Want to know how much German Shepherds should eat?

You’ve come to the right place!

This article is focusing on commercially available dry dog food, which is what the majority of pet owners choose for their German Shepherds.

Dog eating from silver bowl

If you wish to feed your canine with an alternative diet, you will want to speak with your vet.

In this Dig Doggy article, you will learn:

  • How much to feed German Shepherds by age
  • How often you should feed your German Shepherd
  • How to manage your dogs eating

And much more!

What's In This Guide?

      How Much Do German Shepherds Eat?

      The German Shepherd is a powerful breed with an equally impressive appetite.

      Being aware of the nutritional needs of this breed will help to avoid overfeeding and reduce the chances of dietary-related health issues.

      Puppies

      The recommended calorie intake for a German Shepherd puppy starts at 500 calories and the amount increases as he grows.

      Age of Puppy Estimated Quantity of Food Per Day Number of Meals Per Day
      2 months 4 oz. (1/2 cup) 3
      3 months 6 oz. (3/4 cup) 3
      4 months 8 oz. (1 cup) 3
      5 to 6 months 10 oz. (1 1/4 cup) 3
      7 to 8 months 12 oz. (1 1/2 cup) 3
      9 to 10 months 16 oz. (2 cups) 3
      10 to 12 months 24 oz. (3 cups)  2

      Feeding your GSD pup involves evaluating and tracking its weight on a regular basis.

      As Pupper moves from puppyhood through young adulthood, his caloric requirements can move as high as 2, 250 calories daily based upon his activity level and body mass.

      Adults

      For a full-grown GSD weighing 70 to 90 pounds, he will need 2 1/2 to 4 cups of high-protein dog food per day that you would split in half; breakfast and dinner. 

      According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, active dogs will need anywhere between 1, 740 and 2, 100 calories daily.

      Less active German Shepherds, such as those living in an apartment, lounging most of the day, and only getting two to three short walks should not exceed 1, 540 calories.

      Activity Level Estimated Quantity of Food Per Day Number of Meals Per Day
      Highly Active 28 to 32 oz. (3.5 to 4 cups) 2
      Less Active 16 to 24 oz. (2.5 to 3 cups) 2

      Take note; an active GSD working all day may require more than the numbers in this table.

      Seniors

      German Shepherds, age eight years and older, are less active. The daily calorie intake drops to around 1, 200 to 1, 400.

      Since the calories in senior formulas have already been adjusted, you will likely feed the same measured amount based on your dog’s activity levels.

      But because dry food is not created equal, it is best to confirm this with your vet.

      Read More: >> What are the best foods for GSD weight management?

      What Should You Know About Feeding German Shepherds?

      When deciding how much food German Shepherds eat, you should always be aware of your dog’s body size, shape, condition, and activity level.

      In my experience, this works far better over micromanaged charts and graphs.

      While weight charts are useful, every dog is different and these guides do not account for an individual dog’s variations from the norms. 

      If your puppy eats well but fails to gain sufficient weight, consult your veterinarian.

      Notice your dog on the heavy side? Reduce calorie intake!

      Conversely, if you see your dog showing ribcage, then encourage more eating.

      Increase the amount of food by small increments and see if there is any progress. Otherwise, seek professional veterinary advice.

      Never make drastic changes to the amount or feeding schedule and do not forget to include the treats in your calculations for your dog’s daily food allowance.

      german shepherd eating food from a silver bowl

      Read More: >> How much should A golden retriever eat? 

      When and How Often Should You Feed Your German Shepherd?

      Many pet parents rely on the food bag as a starting point in deciding how much and how often they should feed their canines.

      However, simply following the fine print on commercial food is often the quickest route to obesity or malnourishment.

      Puppies

      Generally, puppies do better with three feedings.

      • For 9 months or younger: Feed your GSD pup three times per day in equal intervals. 
      • For 9 months to 12 months: Slowly transition to two meals per day, particularly in the morning and evening after walks.

      Adults

      Young adults will now eat twice a day. If your German Shepherd doesn’t eat, take the food away and put it down again the next time.

      Eventually, your dog will get into a disciplined habit of eating in the appropriate schedule.

      Seniors

      A lot of GSD owners have seen success in dividing their senior dogs’ daily ratio into three equal amounts.

      Unless your vet specifies otherwise, feeding your old pooch three meals per day helps him stay full for a longer period of time as well as prevent bloat.

      How Long Should a German Shepherd Take To Eat Each Meal?

      The average German Shepherd normally finishes its meal within 10 to 15 minutes.

      If your dog refuses to eat his food, then remove his dish and put it down again for the next meal.

      Consider seeing a vet if this goes on for a few days, especially if you see signs of discomfort.

      As German Shepherds are known for experiencing digestive issues.

      A quick solution could be to try specially made dog food for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs.

      Final Thoughts On the amount German Shepherds Should Eat

      Whether you choose to provide kibble, canned food, raw food, or a combination of these, you must feed your pooch according to its age, size, and energy levels.

      Begin feeding adult food once your puppy turns a year old. Move to senior food when Doggo winds down for his golden years.

      Good food and a consistent feeding schedule are the way to go to keep your furry sidekick healthy for long.

      While this article aims to provide you with a good benchmark, getting a personalized recommendation from your vet is still the best.

      Read More: >> What are the best dog supplements for weight management?

      Lara Writes

      Lara Writes

      Lara, a.k.a Alpha Mama, is a great dancer and belter singer, although the world tells her otherwise. However, her greatest pleasure is working with animals. If the Alpha Mama is not being delusional, she manages to create informative articles and clear-cut buying guides. She also likes to share her personal experiences that may ignite your soul or possibly change your life!

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