Best Chew Toys for German Shorthaired Pointer Dog and Puppies: What are the Best Treats?
German Shepherds are known for their love of bones. They enjoy eating bone marrow, which they chew on while lying down or sitting up. These puppies need to have a variety of different types of bones so that they get used to chewing them all over their bodies. If your German Shepherd puppy doesn’t have any bones, then it will not learn how to chew properly. You can give him some bone scraps when he wakes up in the morning and again at night before bedtime. When he gets older, you can start giving him real bones such as chicken necks or rabbit feet.
The same goes for other kinds of meaty foods like beef ribs, lamb chops, pork chops etc.
As for vegetables, carrots, turnips and parsnip are good choices. Some people feed their dogs raw veggies but I don’t recommend it because the risk of food poisoning from bacteria is higher than with cooked vegetables. Also, feeding raw veggies might cause your dog to lose weight since he won’t have enough calories to maintain his body temperature if he eats too much raw vegetable. Cooked vegetables are OK since you can feed a lot of them to your dog without worrying about him gaining too much weight.
As for fruits, most dogs aren’t all that interested in them but it’s OK to give your dog an apple slice or some strawberries once in awhile. Watch out for seeds though since they might get stuck in his teeth and cause dental problems down the road. Once again, these fruit snacks are mainly intended to be eaten as a treat and shouldn’t make up more than 5% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
Make sure that you’re giving your dog lots of different kinds of food so that he doesn’t get bored of eating the same thing all the time. It’s also best to mix things up in terms of the form that you give him his food. You can prepare his food all at once and refrigerate or freeze some of it so that you’ve got food ready for every day of the week. You can also give him his food raw, cook it for him or even give him people food so long as it’s not junk food and it’s not too much.
How about Supplements?
If you feed your dog only kibble then you probably don’t need to add any supplements to his diet. Most good quality commercial dog food has all the vitamins and minerals that your dog needs. Some people like to add a little probiotic powder to their dog’s food every once in awhile but this isn’t really necessary.
If your dog is eating people food along with his commercial dog food then you’ll need to supplement his diet with some extra vitamins and minerals. You can also add extra calcium and vitamin D3 since these are nutrients that are commonly lacking in most people foods.
The rule of thumb is that if your dog is getting a variety of different types of human food and he also eats some dog food as well, then you’ll need to add a calcium supplement and a vitamin/mineral supplement. Dogs that get nothing but kibble don’t need any extra supplementation.
Just a few more thoughts on feeding your GSP…
It’s perfectly fine to feed your dog just typical grocery store food so long as you’re supplementing it properly. Most of the “premium” dog foods found in pet stores are complete crap. You’re far better off buying a big bag of generic brand dog food from Wal-Mart. If you’re looking for something a little better quality than that, try looking for a local dog bakery.
They make fresh dog biscuits using quality ingredients and they can be quite nutritious and tasty. If you’re really looking to go all out in terms of quality, you can try doing some research on dog foods made by certain human organic food manufacturers.
Even if you are feeding your dog quality food, you should still consider adding some raw meat, bones, eggs and other nutritious goodies to his diet plan at least a few times a week. Not only is this good for their digestive system but it’s good for keeping them interested in their food. Dogs (just like people) can quickly get bored of eating the same plain food every day. By adding different meats, cheese, eggs and other foods you can prevent your dog from getting bored and developing a dietary deficiency.
Remember when feeding your dog people food, just because a certain food is good for you does not automatically mean that it’s good for your dog. While most people food is safe for your dog in small quantities, you still need to take into consideration that your dog’s digestive system is designed to efficiently process meat rather than the various plants and carbohydrates that humans digest better. For this reason, you’ll want to feed your dog people food only sparingly and instead focus on raw meat, eggs and high quality canned foods as the mainstays of his diet.
And finally, be aware of the salt content in your dog’s food. Some cheaper dog foods are extremely high in salt as a way to keep the dog coming back for more (dogs naturally prefer meat over other foods and high salt content makes the food taste better to them). This is bad for any dog but especially for older dogs as it can lead to all sorts of medical problems. If you’re buying a cheap food, make sure it’s not overly high in salt.
If you’re making your dog’s food at home, make sure you’re not over-doing the salt when mixing in meat since dogs tend to naturally prefer salty foods.
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Sources & references used in this article:
A practitioner’s guide to working dog welfare by N Rooney, S Gaines, E Hiby – Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 2009 – Elsevier
Opinions of veterinarians regarding aggression in different breeds of dogs by KJ Stafford – New Zealand Veterinary Journal, 1996 – Taylor & Francis
A new technique for feeding dogs with a congenital cleft palate for surgical research by E Martínez-Sanz, I Casado-Gómez… – Laboratory …, 2011 – journals.sagepub.com
Complete Puppy & Dog Care: What every dog owner needs to know by B Fogle – 2014 – books.google.com
Dog’s Best Friend: Annals of the Dog-Human Relationship by B Brevitz – 2009 – Workman Publishing
Personality traits in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) by M Derr – 2004 – books.google.com