A German Shepherd can be an excellent breed to keep as a pet. They are fun-loving, energetic, and are very fond of humans. But to keep your dog energetic and lively, you need to take good care of them and ensure they are in sound health.
This article will be your ultimate guide to everything you need to know for proper German Shepherd care.
Where to get a German Shepherd?
You can get a German Shepherd or any dog from two sources, either from a dog breeder or a dog shelter.
If you are an experienced dog owner, live by yourself, and have no family yet, get yourself a dog from the dog shelter. Dog shelters have many rescued dogs ready for adoption. There are also specific shelters for German Shepherds.
Rescue dogs might have some tragic past and need special care. This is why you should get a dog from the shelter if you have experience of handling one.
If you are not experienced and about to be a first-time dog owner, then you need to get a dog from a breeder. Getting a dog from a breeder will ensure that it came from healthy parents, and the dog is healthy as well. You also need to spend some time with your dog.
Understand your dog’s age
German Shepherd care needs will be different based on the age of your dog. If your dog is still a puppy, extra care will be needed, which is expected. However, if the dog is an adult, it will already be grown and does not require any special care.
A puppy will take time to be trained and will need a few months to learn bite inhibition, potty manner, and obedience. This is why special care is required. They are incredibly energetic and playful, so you also need to keep a keen eye on them so that they do not get hurt.
Adult dogs, on the other hand, are well-trained and obedient. They can be befriended quickly. However, one downside about getting an adult German Shepherd is that you will not know about the dog’s past.
It might have some bad memories that you might remind him of through some activity. This will hurt the dog without you even knowing.
German Shepherd care: Feed a healthy diet
To make sure your pet stays strong, healthy, and nutritious, you need to provide them with the best dog food for German shepherds.
Dogs can eat many foods that you eat. However, some foods may be delicious to humans but deadly to dogs. Chocolate is the most common example.
So, a healthy diet for your dog should include 18-22% High-Quality Proteins (Lamb, Chicken, Beef, Fish, Turkey, Venison) and 5-8% Healthy Fats (Fish oil. Flaxseed oil, Walnut Oil, Pork Fat).
Apart from chocolate, there are other foods that you need to avoid too. They include Corn, Corn Syrup, Wheat gluten, all grains, food dyes, Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), rendered fat, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Soy, Nitrates, Vegetable Oil, Brewers rice, and Pea protein.
Provide enough space
German shepherds are big, energetic dogs so they need a spacious living area. Therefore, if possible, give your Shepherd a large open space.
They tend to get aggressive if confined to a small area like a kennel. Giving them extra space will also help drain that extra energy and keep them calm during the night.
Create an exercise routine
Like mentioned before, German Shepherds are energetic pets, and they need to spend their energy to remain calm and happy. Walks in the local park with your dog could be an excellent way to spend some time and energy.
Another good way is to let your dog run around and have some exercise by going to the dog park. You can either play with your dog to train or to play with other dogs, so it can learn how to socialize.
Groom your German Shepherd
German Shepherds are double-coated dogs, meaning they have two layers of fur. So they need to be groomed at least two to three times a week. Young puppies who run a lot get dirtier too. So for little puppies, grooming them every day is your best option.
Grooming can also be an excellent way to create a better bond with your dog. And as for bathing, bathe your German Shepherd at least once a month. But do not wash the dog too much. Frequent bathing can damage the fur and cause skin irritation.
Understand diseases that can affect your dog
Although German Shepherds are healthy dogs, they too can fall sick. If your dog feels sick, take him to the nearest vet immediately.
Here is a list of diseases and their symptoms so that you can easily spot them to know if your dog is sick-
Your dog will look irritated, and the skin will turn red and swell. Hair loss, ear infections, sneezing, coughing, and continually licking paws and belly are common symptoms.
Constant pacing, aggression, and being destructive are symptoms of getting anxious.
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
To prevent this common disease for German Shepherds, provide a high-quality diet consisting mainly of raw food to avoid digestive disorders.
Intervertebral Disc Diseases
Symptoms of intervertebral disc disease include holding the neck low, unable to raise the head. Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you see these symptoms.
Final thoughts on German Shepherd care
German Shepherds can be an excellent pet that will keep you company and energize your day. But to make sure your dog is in perfect health and can accompany you regularly, you need to take care of your dog. Through this article; you have gained a general idea about proper German Shepherd care so you understand how to keep your dog in perfect shape.