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There often comes a time when German shepherd owners wonder whether they’re providing the right kind of food for their dog’s diet. After all, German shepherds are among the more high-maintenance breeds out there. The recommended food for German shepherds tends to be on the pricier side, for one thing. But what if I told you that you can give your German shepherd a high-quality balanced diet with homemade raw foods?
Scores of dog owners have given their testimonies on raw feeding dogs, citing everything from general improvements to their dog’s body and health, to even avoiding serious illnesses. Some German shepherd owners also say that they respond well to Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or BARF diet. Granted, most of these testimonials are in regards to raw dog food delivered by subscription-based dog food delivery services like We Feed Raw, but you can also achieve comparable success with homemade. In fact, homemade raw dog food recipes for German shepherds can be one of the most cost-effective ways to make your dog’s food as high-quality as can be. Here’s how you can get started with that.
How Different Are German Shepherds’ Dietary Needs From Other Dogs?
The German shepherd is a working dog, bred to herd large groups of sheep over vast distances. As such, it is highly limber and athletic, the better to circle around such large herds and chase them for extended periods of time. This means that its metabolism is quite fast, and it needs a lot of protein to stay healthy.
Adult German shepherd dogs (Or GSDs as they’re endearingly called) are said to need 3 and a half cups of kibble daily, which comes up to 1,500 to 2,100 kcal depending on activity level. This is as opposed to the general average for most dogs of about 1000 kcal. So if you ever get into raw feeding with your GSD, make sure to get calorie-dense ingredients to keep up their caloric needs.
Being shepherd dogs, they’re also well-adapted to eating grains, so it’s less beneficial for them to go grain-free. That being said, they also tend to be more susceptible to food allergies than other dogs, particularly canine atopic dermatitis  or CAD. So it would be a good idea to try cutting out grains if your German shepherd is experiencing skin irritation. This is one of the reasons why a raw diet can work so well for them, compared to commercial dog food which incorporates a lot of grains. Similarly, lightly cooked fresh dog food is also a good option. See how it fares against the BARF diet in our raw vs fresh dog food comparison.
Raw Dog Food Recipes for German Shepherds: 3 Meals To Try At Home
Here are a few raw food recipes you can try in order to improve your German shepherd’s health.
Raw Turkey Stew
This raw dog food recipe is a stew only in name, but if done right, it can have comparable taste and texture to a stew while still being raw. You can make this with either ground turkey or chopped into bite-sized pieces (make sure to get bone-in for chopped to get those raw bones).
- Ground turkey or chicken breasts (can be chopped instead of ground): 3 lbs
- Carrots, sliced or shredded: 2 cups
- Spinach, chopped or shredded: 2 cups
- Bone meal: 2 tbsp
- Peas or beans: 1/2 cup
- Water: 2 cups
Add all ingredients to the water and mix thoroughly until it thickens into a paste-like consistency. Portion and serve or freeze. Makes about two days’ supply.
Fruity Beef Patties
This one is great for active dogs and German shepherd puppies. The beef will give them a calorie-dense source of high quality protein, And the sugars from the fruit will give them the energy boost they need to maintain their fast metabolisms, especially if their activity levels are high.
- Ground beef: 5 lbs
- Ground beef liver: 1 lb
- Carrot, shredded: 3 cups
- Apple: 1 cup
- Spinach: 1 cup
- Eggs, with shells: 3 pcs
- Flaxseed: 2 tbsp
- Cod fish oil: 5 tbsp
Put all non-meat ingredients in a food processor and chop finely. Then mix all ingredients in a bowl and form into patties. Makes about a 3-day supply for an average German shepherd dog.
Beef and Venison Medley
This hearty meal is great for German shepherds who aren’t experiencing any food sensitivities.
- Venison, chopped (make sure to get bony parts): 3 lbs
- Venison organ meats (heart and kidneys preferred): 2 lbs
- Ground beef: 1 lb
- Spinach or lettuce: 1 cup
- Fresh eggs: 2 pcs
- Mixed beans (green beans and kidney beans preferred): 1/2 cup
- Mixed berries (blackberries and raspberries preferred): 1/2 cup
- Flaxseed oil: 1 tbsp
Toss everything together and portion. Remember to drain the beans if purchased canned, or soak them if purchased dry. If you don’t have access to venison organ meats, beef will do as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What raw food can I feed my German Shepherd?
German shepherds have fast metabolisms and fairly high protein requirements, so make sure to give them a raw meat diet dense in calories, while still ensuring that every meal is a balanced meal.
Is a raw food diet good for German Shepherds?
Considering how German shepherds can be more susceptible to skin issues and other food sensitivities, a raw dog food diet can be very beneficial as it allows you to avoid the most common allergy-inducing ingredients.
Can I feed my German Shepherd dog raw chicken?
As long as the raw chicken is sourced from a provider that takes steps to remove pathogens, yes. Raw chicken can be a great addition to your German shepherd’s raw diet, thanks to its high amount of lean protein.
What homemade food can German Shepherds eat?
German shepherds are served best with homemade food that has plenty of calories and protein to keep up with the physiology they evolved with as shepherd dogs.
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