Proteins are the building blocks of our body, we all have grown up reading this line. Interestingly, these are not the building blocks of our body only but of all living beings including your German Shepherd dog. This puppy breed is quite agile, sharp learner loves staying outdoors, and looks forward to training and activities. Therefore, its diet should be full of proteins.
Why proteins are essential for dogs?
Proteins are quite essential for dogs, especially during their growth phase. German Shepherds show the maximum growth rate in the first year of their life. Thus, at the puppy stage, these dogs should be fed with protein-rich food. Proteins help a growing German Shepherd following ways:
- Promotion of muscle development
- Supports healthy skin and hair
- Repair and regeneration of cells (this is what exactly the phenomenon working behind growth)
- Offer a better alternative to calorie-rich foods that may accelerate growth leading to joint problems in German Shepherd.
Now that we know how essential protein is for the German Shepherd dog, let’s find all about the rich sources of proteins that should be included in the dog’s diet.
- Beef and other animal foods based on lamb, chicken. Eggs also offer a rich supply of protein. – these are very easily digestible food options for dogs.
- Granular meat meal is another good source of pure protein. Meat is dried and powdered into coarse granules which can be further mixed with the dog food before serving.
- Grains like wheat and soya beans can be prepared in dog food form and mixed with dried meat to load your pooch’s diet with protein.
- Foods based on internal organs like the liver is considered one of the richest sources of protein; muscle meat also supplies ample protein especially for the growing German Shepherd.
- Some fishes like sardines and salmon also provide protein as well as antioxidants that help the dog stay disease-free.
A few best protein-rich dog foods that you can consider for your German Shepherd
Dog food available in malls and pet stores is prepared to keep the dog’s natural food tendencies in mind. Barring a few instances where you consider treating the pet with something different like papaya or ham, the daily diet of your dog must include these dog foods. Some of the best options available in the protein-rich dog food category are:
Some safe ways to reduce processed protein foods from dog’s diet
Many researchers have warned about the sodium content of processed foods and their harmful effects on the dog such as dogs exposed to the threat of shock and brain-related problems. So, safer alternatives can be achieved by:
1. Replacing some portion of processed dog food with dried meat and eggs, some vegetables like carrots and cucumbers may also be mulled over.
2. Adding eggs and broccoli to the dog bowl instead of filling it to the brim with processed dog food
There are certain homemade recipes of dog foods also, which you can prepare to ensure the cutting of sodium content from the pet’s diet.
How much protein should your dog’s diet contain? – age-wise requirement
Dogs growth pattern changes with age. Accordingly, the protein content and diet requirement change. Take a look at these protein requirement pointers according to the growth phase of the dog.
- Puppy stage: Protein – 56 g ( weighing approx. 12lb)
- Adult stage: Protein – 25g (weighing approx. 33lb)
- Pregnant stage: 69g
- Nursing stage: 158g (feeding litter of 6 puppies)
Choosing dog food wisely is important to ensure that the protein requirements of German Shepherd are met optimally. Mostly, it is recommended to feed dry dog food rich in protein to your pet as it allows you to measure the food correctly. Secondly, the coarse texture produces a brushing effect that helps maintain mouth hygiene and prevent tooth decay.
- Veterinary Information Sheet, German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia