Thursday, October 25, 2012

Science of Food and Nutrition for German Shepherds

All pet food companies claim to offer perfectly balanced nutritional benefit through their commercial food brand, but not all of them do as they say. While most of them are engaged in ballooney talks, some ethical manufacturers try to offer perfect nutritional values in their foods. Most of the commercial dog food manufacturers use more fat and protein in their food, which helps them easily convince the owners by showing faster development. Most dog owners have been accustomed to believe in the myth that high levels of fat and protein is important for their dog's perfect growth. Big Mistake!

The science of choosing the dog food for your German Shepherds should neither be based on the higher level of fat and protein, nor on the cost. It is unwise to believe that higher the cost is, better the food. On the other hand, low cost food should not be considered economical. Higher levels of fats and proteins hugely magnifies the chance of dogs getting obese, and more prone to conditions - especially related to heart. Low cost foods, however, are mostly of low quality and lack in nutritional values and eventually lead to a series of nutritional deficiency disorders.

German shepherd Dogs were bred for working. But they have found their space in the drawing rooms in apartment. In most cases the amount of exercise that are given to the GSDs in families are much below the required level. It is hence important to understand how much fat, protein and carbohydrate does your German shepherd Dog need, based on the volume of calorie it burns each day. Germans Shepherds are easily prone to gain weight - especially if they are kept on high level of fat and protein and does not get enough exercise.

It is also important to understand the digestive system of German Shepherd Dog breed. German Shepherd has a short colon. Comparatively high fiber diet is a great option for this breed. This reminds me of William D. Cusick who published his first book - "Canine Nutrition & Choosing The Best Food For Your Breed Of Dog" in the year 1990 states: "The German Shepherd originated in the Alsatian Region of Germany..." He says, "The German Shepherd is unique because it has a very short colon in comparison to other breeds of the same body weight. For this reason a high fiber diet is required to slow the movement of food through this breed’s digestive track, thereby allowing more time for the nutrients to be drawn out. This high fiber diet will result in a larger stool but better assimilation of the food." In this context I would like to mention that high fiber is not always a very good option for your German Shepherds, or any other canine breed. Fiber, which is an insoluble carbohydrates, blocks enzymatic digestion in the small intestine of the animals. High fiber sources are almost the sources for carbohydrates too, such as soya, rice, oat etc. Hence, it is suggested not offering too much of high fiber diet - especially soybean, corn are not very good for dogs. Give him green! Veggies are also rich in dietary fiber and is important for dogs! okra (lady's finger), leafy greens like cabbage are important ingredients. Most important of all is Spinach that very high nutritional value. Spinach is the significant source of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin and most importantly omega-3 fatty acids. If you choose to pick a commercial food, it is important to choose the one that comes closest to the recommendations by AAFCO.

Correct food for a particular dog

With unlimited number of choices it becomes really tough and confusing to choose the right food for your German Shepherd. Remember the selection of food may vary from dog to dog within the same breed. If you have more than German Shepherds, it is not necessary that all dogs should have the same food, just because they are all GSDs. But the dog food should be "complete and balanced" for "a particular life stage", according to AAFCO. There is no standard for phrases like "good quality food" and "premium food". Choosing the correct food for a particular dog involves a series of factors to be considered.

  • Choose the food according to the body weight and overall health factors of individual dog
  • Evaluate your dog's weight, body condition, life stage and overall health
  • Most commercial dog foods have protein, fat, vitamins, and mineral levels more than what is actually required
  • Check if your dog is allergic to any specific ingredients in the food. Not all your dog may be allergic to a particular thing
  • Evaluate how much energy a particular dog burns during the exercise
  • Feeding diet with higher level of fat and protein will consequently lead to obesity and related problems, and German shepherds are highly prone to such conditions

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Unknown January 22, 2013 at 9:34 AM  

Thanks for sharing this article, its been very helpful. My little guy has been on me for the longest time to get him a German Shepherd. I don't know why he wants this dog impractically but I'm trying to learn as much about the german shepherd breeders Indiana and learn about the dog before I try and get one for my little guy.

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All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.

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