The German Shepherd dog holds the distinction for being the second most popular breed in the AKC registered list. It’s also the second most popular all over the world with around 10 million of these dogs thriving globally.
These dogs are high-energy breeds with a powerful working drive and incredible intelligence. An adult German Shepherd dog weigh anywhere from 30 to 40 kg for males while females weigh around 22 to 32 kg. German Shepherd puppies are just as big, weighing around 7kg by the time they get to 8 weeks of age. It’s important to know exactly how much your dog weighs so you’ll know the right amount for making a healthy diet. Be prepared for how active these dogs can get, and all that energy needs to be replenished through their food.
Many pet parents choose to try raw dog food recipes for German Shepherds. The Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) raw diet is believed to provide a balanced meal for dogs. But is this actually good?
Benefits of a Raw Food for German Shepherds
Raw feeding actually comes with many benefits. Compared to commercial dog food, raw dog food comes with zero preservatives. This means that the dog gets whole and unadulterated raw meat diet which allows them to absorb as many vital nutrients as possible from the food. Not only that, but raw diet is open to customization, making it perfect for dogs with food allergies. You can eliminate certain organ meats or cooked chicken, depending on your dog’s food triggers. Most dog food delivery service companies will ask you questions to create a special profile for your dog and base a customized diet.
See our raw vs fresh dog food comparison to know how these two types of dog food differ from one another.
Making Raw Food for German Shepherd Owners
If you’re a German Shepherd puppy owner, then you should know that offering raw dog food is best done following the BARF diet. This particular approach to dog’s meals gives the dog a healthy balance of muscle meat, organ meat, vegetables, and fruits for your pooch.
When feeding raw dog food, look into the dog’s weight. Ideally, you should feed the German Shepherd around 2 or 3 percent of its total weight per day. For adults, the meal should be served twice a day. We Feed Raw is one of the few companies that does raw pet food delivery that’s appropriately proportioned for the convenience of busy pet parents.
Note that raw diets may still be incomplete since there are simply some nutrients that’s hard to introduce through whole foods. Fortunately, there are vitamins that can be added directly into the food to supplement your dog’s overall health. For example, you can try putting in fish oil, some essential amino acids, calcium, folic acid, and other minerals that can give your pup a more rounded diet.
Some Recipes to Try
Tuna with Veggies
- 3 lbs of tuna
- 1 lb of carrots
- 1 lb of spinach
- 1 lb of mixed berries
- 6 eggs
Mix all these ingredients in a bowl and run through a food processor. The tuna can come from the canned variety if you cannot get the fresh one.
- 3 lbs of ground beef muscle meat
- 2 lbs of beef organ meat
- 1 lb of cut spinach
- 1 lb of broccoli
- 1 lb mixed berries
To prepare this food, simply mix together the ingredients in a food processor and serve. You can try to swap the recipe with other ingredients like raw potatoes or sweet potatoes. Some owners like to top off the recipe with olive oil or fish oil to supplement the dog’s diet.
Turkey and Vegetables
- 5 lbs of ground turkey
- 2 lbs of turkey organ meat or beef liver
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 lb broccoli
- 1 lb of carrots
- 1 lb mixed berries
To prepare this dog food, cut up the protein sources into bite sized pieces and set aside. Puree the remaining ingredients and mix it with the sliced meat. Serve to your pet, making sure you maintain the proper amount depending on the dog’s weight.
Getting Professional Input
Of course, the recipes you find online is just the starting point of a raw diet. Ideally, dog owners should continue to perform research and observe their dog’s response to the new diet. You want to watch your dog’s overall energy levels, the health of his coat, and the firmness and frequency of his bowel movements. Not all dogs respond well to raw meals especially during the first few days or even weeks of the diet. If you want, you can also try offering a mix of high quality dog food and raw food just to give your dog some variety in his day to day. If you want to resolve the risks of contamination of raw meals, gently cooked fresh dog food will offer the closest nutritional value.
There are also raw dog food diet products today that you can purchase for dogs. Using these meals, you can skip the hard part of cooking yourself while still getting AAFCO-compliant food products .
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I feed my German Shepherd?
It depends on whether you’re feeding an adult dog or a puppy. For adult dogs, make sure to feed around 2% of your dog’s body weight. For puppies however, you might want to increase the raw meal weight to around 4% of your puppy’s body mass. Puppies need more dog meal since they have growing bodies that need all that extra calories.
Can German Shepherds eat raw meat?
Of course! Keep in mind though that the quality of the raw meats really matter here. Whether you’re giving ground turkey or chicken bones, raw meat is perfectly okay for dog that came from reliable sources. The real fear in in cooking meat is to prevent the passage of pathogens or bacteria through the food. With quality sources however, raw foods should be fine.
Can German Shepherds eat raw chicken?
Yes. You can feed raw with chickens but make sure that you’re serving high quality chicken meat to the dogs. The muscle meat should come from reliable sources to guarantee food safety. Note though that these active dogs may need more than just pure raw chicken. Their meals should be a composite of protein, vitamins, and minerals to guarantee continued growth.
Is a raw food diet good for German Shepherds?
Yes, as long as you’re giving a species appropriate diet. If you’re feeding a balanced nutrition based on the Association of American Feed Control Officials, then everything should be fine. The dog’s immune system should be at its peak as the dog’s health is kept good by the healthy diet.