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Feeding: The Adult German Shepherd Dog

The adult shepherd will eat approximately 40 pounds of dry dog food per month. Naturally, this will vary depending on the metabolism of each individual animal and it's activity level. Because dogs are born carnivores, many people supplement their dogs diet with meat protein, at least a few times per week. With today's commercial dog food prices, the cost of feeding an adult shepherd will run about $30 per month for a good quality dry dog food. Vitamin supplements, meat, coat conditioners etc. may increase that cost. Young active dogs will require more fuel than older or inactive dogs. Life expectancy is 12-14 years with quality care.

When caring for any new animal in your household, it is important to talk with whomever you obtained the dog from and your veterinarian to ensure that you are using the best food for your animal. It costs just as much to feed a mixed breed as it does a show champion, and the nutritional requirements will be the same! In the long run it does not pay to feed a lesser quality food, as usually the dog will have to eat more to get the nutrients he/she will instinctively crave. Your veterinarian and breeder or breed rescue representative will be able to discuss what is best, and still affordable. Most will recommend staying away from the grocery store brands, including the big name brands. They simply do not use consistent quality ingredients, but rather those that are cheapest at the time the lot is being manufactured (the equivalent of junk food).

There are several good brands offered at local vet clinics, feed stores and pet supply houses that are only slightly higher in price. Because the dog will eat less (satisfying his nutritional needs with a smaller amount), use more of his food for fuel (and produce less manure!), it is more economically sound to purchase a higher quality food, supplementing with a small amount of meat at least 2-3 times per week. Offer the dog about 2 measured cups twice per day and remove uneaten portions after 30 minutes. Again amounts will vary with each animal and levels of activity.