Beyond all doubts... there's nothing more important than immunization and diet during the growing phase of your puppy. The two most important things regarding this that should be kept in the forefront of your mind are:
a) The puppy's diet should be nutritionally beneficial having all components to promote growth
b) The puppy's diet should be in correct quantity based on age
Your German Shepherd puppy should get a balanced diet. Any highly reputed commercial dog food brand that "meets the nutritional requirements of puppies established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)" is recommended. Your vet should be the best person to give you a proper guidance about the brand of dog food for your puppy. Remember that all dog food brands that are hugely advertised may not be good for dogs. There's nothing like home made foods if they are prepared keeping in mind your puppy's nutritional requirements.
Whether or not you are using a commercial food but here are certain foods that you should consider giving your GSD pup...
Chicken neck: Properly cooked chicken neck is highly beneficial for your puppy because chicken neck is rich in natural calcium. There is no risk developing splinter with chicken neck. Moreover, necks are easy to digest for your dogs.
Pure Chicken: Apart from just neck, pure chicken meal is very rich in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein and production of RBC and strengthens the immune system.
Chicken gizzards and hearts: Both chicken gizzards and hearts are rich source of natural zinc which helps in strengthening the ligaments. Apart from zinc these are are rich sources of iron, which is one of the most essential components for puppies during its growing phase. Both heart and gizzard provide all B vitamins - especially vitamin B12. Heart and gizzard are also very decent source of riboflavin, folate and pantothenic. Chicken hearts are good for your dog's heart too.
Chicken liver: Chicken live is a nutrient-rich organ that is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, protein and essential minerals like phosphorus, zinc, iron, niacin and copper. Liver is a decent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and amino acids that are essential for your growing GSD puppy. Feeding too much of liver may lead to constipation. Give your pup small quantity of it daily or moderate quantity for at least 4 days a week, giving gaps in between.
Give him green: I have purposefully and consciously used this phrase "give him green" in many of my articles across the web. Remember that puppies that are kept only on meat and egg do not get balanced diet. Vegetables like asparagus, broccoli florets, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, edamame, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, potatoes, pumpkins, green papaya, gourd, spinach.
Here is why these veggies are important for your growing GSD:
- Asparagus - Good source of vitamin K. Good source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E, folate, iron copper, fiber, manganese and potassium
- Broccoli florets - Good source of Vitamins C and K. Good source of Vitamin A, folate, manganese and fiber
- Brussels sprouts - Good source of vitamins K and C. Good source of manganese, folate, fiber, potassium and vitamins A, B1 and B6
- Carrot - Good source of vitamins A, K and C, and fiber and potassium
- Cauliflower - Good source of vitamins C, K and B6, folate and choline
- Edamame - Good source of vitamin B2, vitamin K, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, magnesium and fiber
- Green beans - Good source of vitamins C, K and A, manganese and fiber
- Peas - Good source of vitamins B1, A, B6, B3, B2, C and K, manganese, fiber, folate, phosphorus, protein, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, potassium and vitamins
- Sweet potatoes - Good source of vitamin A, C, B6 and B5, manganese, potassium and fiber
- Potatoes - Good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, manganese and fiber
- Green papaya - Promotes cardiovascular functionality and enhances the immune system, prevents constipation
- Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds - Pumpkin effectively prevents constipation. Pumpkin seeds are rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants that are good for a growing puppy. According to many vets pumpkin is good for overall healthy skin and fur and also promotes urinary health.
- Gourd: Gourds are rich source of water and helps keep your puppy cool from within. It prevents dehydration.
Eggs: Eggs are rich source of protein and even water. Many dog owners have misconception that raw eggs are good for your puppy. the fact is that raw eggs block the absorption of biotin and hence is not recommended. Always feed your pup cooked eggs that are good source of digestible protein. Boiled eggs are rich in riboflavin and selenium, which are beneficial for your growing pup.
Your growing German Shepherd puppy need more than just balanced food.
Water: Last but not the least Water is one of the most essential nutrient for all animals. Healthy puppies regulate their consumption of water as long as they are provided with fresh and clean drinking water. Water is the only thing that helps flush off the toxins from your puppy's body. Water aids your pup in proper digestion of food and helps its body to absorb all nutrients. Puppies that are kept mainly on dry food, may need more water than they may consume naturally. Consider giving them soup prepared with all greens and meat products.
Correct measurement: Quantity is as vital as quality. Overfeeding your GSD pup will eventually lead to a series of health disorders including skeletal as well as digestive problems, thereby checking the growth process. It is important to break the meals in small quantity to be given 5 to 6 times a day keeping enough gap in between for proper digestion.
Play: Free play is associated with proper digestion, and mental and physical stimulation, which are hugely important for your puppy's growth. Free play also increases the water intake that has already been marked as important for your puppy. However, don't let your puppy to drink water immediately after the play.
Last of all remember that your German Shepherd puppy may be allergic to one or more components here that have been discussed. If your pup is allergic to any of the compenent(s) consider giving it to your pup.