How Much Food Should a German Shepherd Puppy Eat

Hey there, German Shepherd owners!

Let’s talk about something really important – feeding your adorable new furball.

In this guide, we’ll break it down for you, week by week, so you’ll know just how much food your German Shepherd puppy needs at different stages of their growth.

So grab a treat (for yourself!) and let’s dig in!

How Much Food Should Your German Shepherd Puppy Eat – Feeding Chart By Age

Feeding your German Shepherd puppy the right amount of food is crucial for their healthy growth and development.

As your adorable pup grows older, their nutritional needs change, and it’s essential to adjust their food intake accordingly.

To help you understand how much food your German Shepherd puppy should eat at each stage of their life, we’ve created a handy feeding chart by age.

Here’s the feeding chart, which shows the recommended amount of food (in cups) per day for different ages of German Shepherd puppies:

Age (in weeks)Amount of Food (cups)
Week 1 Puppy1/4 to 1/2
Week 2 Puppy1/2 to 3/4
Week 3 Puppy3/4 to 1
Week 4 Puppy1 to 1 1/4
Week 5 Puppy1 1/4 to 1 1/2
Week 6 Puppy1 1/2 to 1 3/4
Week 7 Puppy1 3/4 to 2
Week 8 Puppy2 to 2 1/4
Week 9 Puppy2 1/4 to 2 1/2
Week 10 Puppy2 1/2 to 2 3/4
Week 11 Puppy2 3/4 to 3
Week 12 Puppy3 to 3 1/4
6 months3 to 4
10 months3 to 4
1 year2 3/4 to 4
18 months2 1/2 to 3 3/4

How Many Calories Should A German Shepherd Puppy Eat?

Calorie intake is another important factor to consider when determining the right amount of food for your German Shepherd puppy.

Calories provide the energy your puppy needs to grow, play, and learn.

Let’s take a look at the recommended daily calorie intake for German Shepherd puppies based on their age:

Age (in months)Calories per day

How Often Should You Feed A German Shepherd Puppy?

Feeding your German Shepherd puppy at the right frequency is essential for their overall health and digestion.

As a puppy, their stomachs are smaller, and can’t handle large amounts of food in one sitting. 

So, it’s important to divide their daily food intake into multiple meals throughout the day.

Let’s explore how often you should feed your German Shepherd puppy:

  • Up to 3 months old: From the age of 8 weeks until around 3 months old, your German Shepherd puppy should be fed 4 meals a day. This helps ensure they are getting enough nutrients and energy for their rapid growth.
  • 3 to 6 months old: Once your puppy reaches 3 months of age, you can gradually reduce the number of meals to 3 a day. This is because their digestive system is becoming more developed, allowing them to handle larger portions.
  • 6 to 12 months old: From 6 to 12 months, your German Shepherd puppy can be transitioned to 2 meals a day. This allows for better digestion and helps maintain a healthy appetite.
  • Over 1 year old: Once your German Shepherd puppy reaches the age of 1 year, you can switch to feeding them once or twice a day, depending on their individual needs. Some adult dogs prefer one larger meal, while others may benefit from two smaller meals.

Remember, it’s important to establish a consistent feeding schedule for your German Shepherd puppy.

This helps regulate their metabolism and prevents hunger-induced behavior issues.

When Should You Switch Your German Shepherd Puppy To Adult Food?

As your adorable fur baby grows up, you may be wondering when it’s the right time to switch them from their puppy food to adult food.

It’s an important milestone in their nutritional journey, so let’s find out when is the right time to make the switch!

Generally, the transition from puppy food to adult food happens around the age of 12 months. 

By this age, your German Shepherd puppy would have gone through their rapid growth phase and is approaching their adult size.

This is typically a good indication that they are ready for a change in their diet.

However, every dog is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Some German Shepherds may reach their adult size earlier, while others may take a bit longer. 

It’s important to assess your individual puppy’s growth and consult with your veterinarian for their professional advice.

Switching to adult food too soon can lead to an imbalance in their nutritional needs, while delaying the switch excessively might make them miss out on the specific nutrients required for their development.

To make the transition smooth and comfortable for your pup, consider gradually mixing adult food with their puppy food over the course of a week or two.

Start by adding a small portion of adult food to their puppy food and gradually increase the ratio until they are solely eating the adult food.

Remember, high-quality dog food suitable for German Shepherds is crucial during this transition.

Look for adult formulas that offer balanced nutrition and are designed to meet the needs of your breed.

What Do You Feed A German Shepherd Puppy?

When it comes to feeding your adorable puppy, you want to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. So, what exactly should you be feeding your German Shepherd puppy? Let’s dive in!

1. High-quality puppy food

It’s important to choose a puppy food that is specifically designed for the unique needs of German Shepherds.

Look for a high-quality brand that includes essential nutrients, such as protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

These nutrients are crucial for supporting your puppy’s growing muscles, bones, and overall health.

2. Balanced diet

Ensure that the puppy food you choose offers a balanced blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

This will provide your furry friend with the energy they need to be active, strong, and playful.

A balanced diet also supports their immune system and promotes healthy brain development.

3. Controlled portions

Avoid overfeeding your German Shepherd puppy, as this can lead to weight gain and potential health issues.

Follow the feeding chart we discussed earlier or consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion sizes based on your puppy’s age, weight, and activity level.

4. Treats in moderation

Treats can be a great way to reward your German Shepherd puppy during training or as a special snack.

Just make sure to choose high-quality, puppy-friendly treats and use them in moderation.

Too many treats can disrupt the balance of their diet and contribute to unwanted weight gain.

5. Fresh water

Don’t forget to provide your puppy with a constant supply of fresh, clean water.

Hydration is key to their overall health and helps with digestion and proper bodily functions.

Remember, as your German Shepherd puppy grows, their nutritional needs will change. 

It’s important to monitor their growth, consult with your veterinarian, and adjust their diet accordingly.

Regular check-ups with the vet will help ensure your furry friend is staying healthy and getting the right nutrients for their breed and age.

What’s The Best Time To Feed A German Shepherd?

If you’re wondering about the best time to feed your furry friend, let’s talk about finding that ideal moment to nourish your German Shepherd and keep those tails wagging!

Consistency is key when it comes to feeding your German Shepherd.

Establishing a regular feeding schedule is important for their overall well-being.

Dogs thrive on routine, so try to feed your pup at the same times each day.

In the morning, many German Shepherd owners find it beneficial to provide their furry friends with a hearty meal.

This kick-starts their day with energy and provides fuel for their daily activities and exercise

Just make sure not to feed them immediately before exercise to avoid discomfort or gastrointestinal issues.

Allow some time for digestion before engaging in physical activities.

For the evening meal, it’s best to offer it a few hours before your German Shepherd’s bedtime. 

This allows for proper digestion and reduces the likelihood of discomfort or potential nighttime accidents.

Plus, they might sleep better with a satisfied tummy!

Avoid free-feeding, where food is constantly available for your pup to graze on throughout the day.

German Shepherds have a tendency to overeat, which can lead to obesity or digestive issues. 

Instead, provide measured meals at specific times to help maintain a healthy weight and appetite.

As your German Shepherd puppy grows, you can transition them to two meals per day, spaced evenly apart.

This helps maintain their energy levels and prevents hunger bouts.

By establishing a consistent feeding routine and providing meals at appropriate times, you’ll help keep your German Shepherd happy, healthy, and excited for mealtime!

Different Types Of Puppy Food

photography of a brown dog puppy food

When it comes to choosing the right food for your German Shepherd puppy, you’ll come across various options.

Let’s explore some of the different types of puppy food available and why each one can be a good choice for your furry friend:

Dry Food

Dry food, or kibble, is a popular choice for several reasons.

First, it is convenient and easy to store, making it a practical option for busy owners. 

Additionally, dry food promotes dental health by helping to reduce plaque buildup due to its crunchy texture.

Look for high-quality dry food that is specifically formulated for puppies to ensure they receive the right balance of nutrients for their growth and development.

Wet Food

Wet food, available in cans or pouches, can be a tasty and highly palatable option for your German Shepherd puppy.

The higher moisture content in wet food helps keep your puppy hydrated, especially if they are not drinking enough water.

Additionally, the soft texture is suitable for puppies with dental issues or those who prefer a variety of flavors and textures in their meals.

Fresh Food

Preparing homemade meals with fresh ingredients can be a great way to provide your German Shepherd puppy with a special diet tailored to their needs.

Fresh food allows you to have full control over the ingredients used and can be an excellent choice for puppies with specific dietary requirements.

It also offers the opportunity to introduce a wider range of nutrients and flavors compared to commercially prepared foods.

Home Cooked

Similar to fresh food, home-cooked meals give you the freedom to create customized meals for your puppy.

It allows you to ensure the quality of the ingredients and offers a personal touch in your puppy’s diet.

Home-cooked meals can be beneficial for puppies with sensitivities or those who require a specific balance of nutrients.

However, it’s important to work with a veterinarian or canine nutritionist to ensure the meals provide the necessary nutrients for proper growth and development.

Raw or BARF

A raw or BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet is based on the idea of feeding dogs a diet that resembles what they would eat in the wild.

Advocates of this diet believe it provides optimal nutrition for dogs.

Raw food can include raw meat, bones, organs, and vegetables.

It can be a good option for owners who want to prioritize a natural and minimally processed diet for their puppies.

However, it requires careful handling and preparation, as well as a deep understanding of your puppy’s nutritional needs.

When choosing the type of food for your German Shepherd puppy, it’s important to consider their individual needs, any dietary restrictions, and consult with your veterinarian.

They can provide guidance on the best choice for your puppy’s specific requirements, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients for a healthy and happy life.

Remember, the most important factor is providing your German Shepherd puppy with a balanced and nutritious diet, regardless of the type of food you choose.

Whichever option fits your lifestyle and meets your puppy’s needs, ensuring they are receiving the right nutrients is essential for their overall well-being.

Puppy Food vs. Adult Dog Food

When it comes to feeding your German Shepherd, one question that often arises is whether to feed them puppy food or adult dog food.

Let’s explore the differences between puppy food and adult dog food to help you make an informed decision for your furry companion.

Puppy Food

Puppy food is specifically formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of growing puppies.

It is designed to provide the right balance of nutrients for their rapid development, including higher levels of protein, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals.

Puppies require these nutrients to support their growing muscles, bones, and organs, as well as their developing immune system.

Puppy food also typically contains a higher calorie content to accommodate their energy requirements as they are more active and playful compared to adult dogs. 

It promotes proper brain development, healthy coat growth, and strong teeth.

Feeding your German Shepherd puppy a high-quality puppy food until they reach their adult size, typically around 12 months of age, can help ensure they receive the necessary nutrients during this critical growth period.

Adult Dog Food

Once your German Shepherd puppy has reached their adult size, transitioning to adult dog food is generally recommended.

Adult dog food is formulated to meet the specific needs of fully grown dogs.

Adult dog food usually contains fewer calories than puppy food to support a stable weight and prevent obesity.

It also provides balanced nutrition to maintain muscle tone, support overall health, and address the specific needs of adult dogs.

Adult dog food may have different ingredient ratios, as puppies require higher levels of certain nutrients. By switching to adult dog food at the right time, you’ll be ensuring your German Shepherd receives the appropriate nutritional balance to sustain their adult life stage.

Making the Transition

When switching your German Shepherd from puppy food to adult dog food, it’s best to do so gradually. Introduce the new food slowly, mixing it with the old food over the course of about a week.

This allows their digestive system to adjust and minimizes any potential digestive upset.

Consulting with your veterinarian is important to determine the right timing and ensure a smooth transition.

They can provide guidance on selecting the appropriate adult dog food based on your specific German Shepherd’s needs.

Remember, choosing the right food for your German Shepherd, whether it’s puppy food or adult dog food, plays a significant role in maintaining their optimal health.

Providing them with a well-balanced and age-appropriate diet will help keep them happy, healthy, and full of vitality throughout their life.

The Importance Of High-Quality Food

The Importance Of High-Quality Food

When it comes to nourishing your beloved German Shepherd, the quality of their food plays a crucial role in their overall health and well-being. 

Providing them with high-quality food is essential, and here’s why:

  1. Proper Nutrition: High-quality dog food is formulated to provide the optimal balance of essential nutrients that your German Shepherd needs. It contains the right amounts of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to support their growth, development, and overall health. A nutritious diet helps promote healthy bones, muscles, organs, and a strong immune system.
  2. Digestive Health: Lower-quality, heavily processed dog foods often contain fillers, artificial ingredients, and additives that can be hard for your German Shepherd’s digestive system to process. High-quality food, on the other hand, tends to have more easily digestible ingredients. This promotes proper digestion, reduces the risk of digestive issues like stomach upset and diarrhea, and ensures that your furry friend is absorbing the nutrients they need from their food.
  3. Skin and Coat Health: A shiny, lustrous coat and healthy skin are signs of a well-nourished German Shepherd. High-quality food provides the essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6, that contribute to a healthy coat and skin. These nutrients help maintain moisture, prevent dryness, and reduce issues like itchiness or excessive shedding.
  4. Longevity and Disease Prevention: Providing your German Shepherd with a high-quality diet can potentially contribute to their long-term health and a reduced risk of certain diseases. Nutrient-rich food helps support their immune system, reducing the likelihood of infections and making them better equipped to combat health challenges.
  5. Weight Management: Obesity is a common issue among dogs, including German Shepherds. Feeding your furry friend high-quality food can help them maintain a healthy weight. High-quality food often has an appropriate balance of nutrients and portion sizes, making it easier to control your German Shepherd’s calorie intake. This reduces the risk of weight-related health problems, such as joint issues, heart disease, and diabetes.

Investing in high-quality dog food may initially seem more expensive, but it can greatly benefit your German Shepherd’s health in the long run.

Look for trusted brands that use real, wholesome ingredients without excessive fillers or artificial additives.

Why Is Large Breed Puppy Food Important?

If you have a lovable large breed puppy like a German Shepherd, you might be wondering 

Well, let me break it down for you!

One key reason why large breed puppy food is essential for your furry friend is because it promotes healthy growth and development.

You see, large breed puppies, including German Shepherds, have unique nutritional needs. 

Their bones and joints are growing rapidly, and they require a diet that supports proper bone development and helps prevent skeletal issues.

Large breed puppy food is specifically formulated with controlled levels of calcium and phosphorus to promote healthy bone growth and reduce the risk of developmental problems.

Not only does large breed puppy food support healthy bones, but it also provides a balanced blend of nutrients. 

Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (we’ll talk about those in a minute) are included in the right proportions to support overall health, energy levels, and muscle development.

It offers the perfect nutrition needed for your puppy without overloading them with excessive calories or nutrients that might be more suitable for smaller breed puppies.

Now, let’s talk about calories.

Since large breed puppies have slower growth rates compared to smaller breeds, feeding them regular puppy food with higher calorie content can lead to excessive weight gain. 

This extra weight can put strain on their developing bones and joints, leading to potential health problems.

That’s why large breed puppy food is often lower in calories.

It helps maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of joint issues and other health problems often associated with obesity.

Speaking of joints, German Shepherds are prone to conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia. 

Providing your puppy with the right nutrition is crucial for maintaining healthy joints.

Large breed puppy food is often enriched with specific nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which promote joint health and mobility. 

These goodies help develop strong cartilage, buffering the joints and reducing the risk of degenerative conditions.

Last but not least, large breed puppies need higher nutrient density compared to smaller breeds due to their larger size. Large breed puppy food is formulated to provide exactly that.

It offers higher nutrient density to meet the specific needs of your growing German Shepherd. 

This ensures your puppy receives all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for optimal development and overall good health.

By choosing a high-quality large breed puppy food, you’re setting your German Shepherd up for a healthy start in life.

So let’s keep those big paws healthy and those tails wagging with a diet tailored to our incredible large breed pups.

With the right food, we can support their growth, happiness, and well-being every step of the way!

What Nutrients Do German Shepherd Puppies Need?


German Shepherd puppies require a well-balanced diet to support their growth and development.

Let’s explore the essential nutrients that play a vital role in keeping your furry friend healthy and happy!


Protein is a crucial nutrient for German Shepherd puppies as it helps support the development of strong muscles and tissues

It aids in cell repair and growth, ensuring your puppy’s body can adapt to the demands of growing and playing.

High-quality protein sources, such as chicken, beef, fish, and eggs, provide the necessary amino acids for optimal muscle development and overall body function.


While fats sometimes get a bad rap, they are actually essential for your German Shepherd puppy’s well-being.

Fats provide a concentrated source of energy and help with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

They also contribute to healthy skin and coat, ensuring your puppy’s fur remains shiny and lustrous.

Look for healthy sources of fats, such as chicken fat, fish oil, and flaxseed, to provide your puppy with the necessary fatty acids.


Carbohydrates are an important energy source for German Shepherd puppies.

They provide them with the fuel they need for daily activities and growth.

Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains (like brown rice and oats) and vegetables, offer valuable fiber and nutrients.

They help regulate blood sugar levels, support digestive health, and provide a steady release of energy throughout the day.


Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system in German Shepherd puppies.

It aids in regulating bowel movements, preventing constipation, and promoting overall gut health.

Incorporating fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help ensure a smooth digestion process for your puppy.

Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids, particularly Omega-3 and Omega-6, play a crucial role in German Shepherd puppy health.

They promote healthy brain development, support a strong immune system, and contribute to the overall well-being of your puppy.

Sources of Omega fatty acids include fish oil, flaxseed, and certain types of fish.

Vitamins And Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential for a wide range of bodily functions in German Shepherd puppies.

These micronutrients support immune function, bone development, nerve signaling, and many other vital processes.

A balanced diet incorporating a variety of nutrient-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, and high-quality dog food, ensures your puppy receives the necessary vitamins (such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E) and minerals (such as calcium, phosphorus, and zinc) for optimal growth and health.

By providing your German Shepherd puppy with a diet that includes the right balance of these essential nutrients, you’ll be giving them the best chance to thrive, grow strong, and enjoy a healthy life by your side.

Don’t forget to consult with your veterinarian for personalized feeding recommendations based on your puppy’s specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much food should my German Shepherd eat?

    The amount varies, but a general guideline is about 1 to 1.5 cups per day for puppies and 2 to 3 cups for adults.

  2. How much food does a German Shepherd eat per week?

    For puppies, it's around 7 to 10 cups per week, while adults typically consume 14 to 21 cups per week.

  3. How many grams is 1 cup of dog food?

    It varies, but on average, 1 cup of dry dog food weighs approximately 100-120 grams.

  4. What is a German Shepherd's diet?

    A German Shepherd's diet should consist of high-quality dog food that meets their nutrient needs. Consult your vet for specific recommendations.

  5. Can I feed my dog once a day?

    It's best to split daily food into multiple smaller meals to aid digestion and prevent hunger. Consult your vet for guidance.

  6. How big is a cup of dog food?

    A cup of dog food can vary, but it's typically around the size of a standard measuring cup.

  7. How much is 100g of dog food?

    Approximately half a cup of dog food is roughly 100 grams.

  8. Is 2 cups a day enough dog food?

    The portion depends on your dog's age, size, and activity level. Consult your vet to determine the right amount.

  9. How many cups is 50 grams of dog food?

    Roughly 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dog food weighs around 50 grams, but it can vary depending on the kibble's density.


Feeding your German Shepherd puppy the right amount of high-quality food is vital for their growth and overall health.

By following a proper feeding schedule, providing age-appropriate food, and considering their unique nutritional needs, you’ll ensure that your furry friend has the essential nutrients they need for a happy and healthy life.

By nourishing your German Shepherd puppy with care, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of well-being.

So, enjoy watching your puppy grow, savor their mealtime moments, and cherish the special bond you share.

With the right nutrition, your German Shepherd will be your loyal and vibrant companion on all of life’s adventures!

I have been fortunate to have German Shepherds as my beloved companions for the past decade. I trained , cared for them, and formed an unbreakable bond with each fluffy butt that I came across. Inspired by my profound love for German Shepherds, I decided to start a website dedicated solely to these magnificent dogs
Zara Hawkins

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