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Old 11-11-2012, 12:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need Some Nutrition Information

Hi guys,

I don't own a GSD but I am a student presently and I have a case study based on a hypothetical situation about a group of 6 week old GSD pups. My school book is very vague when it comes to the specifics and my googling hasn't amount to anything so I am here to ask for your help.

This is what I have so far and any information I could use to answer the other few questions would be greatly appreciated.

1. Scenario chosen:
The scenario I have chosen is “Six week old German Shepherd puppies”.
2. Discuss the specific nutritional requirements for this animal in this situation:
i. Life stage
These puppies would have just been weaned off their mother so they may require a supplement. They food the puppies are offered should be designed for puppies and reflect their nutritional requirements like more energy and protein than an adult animal.
ii. Seasonal factors affecting the animals
In winter, to help maintain body heat, the animals should be fed foods with higher fat or carbohydrate content to allow for extra energy to regulate their body temperature. This may not be necessary if inside temperatures remain warm. Extra Vitamin D will also help.
iii. Captivity factors
iv. Specific factors for the animal’s situation
v. Ensure you discuss in terms of nutrients to show your understanding
3. Discuss the feeding schedule required by this animal
i. Ensure you discuss:
a. How often the animal should be fed and in what quantities
I believe these animals should be fed three times a day in quantities that allow it to get the recommended intake of all the important nutrients, without the risk of obesity.
b. How the animal should be fed and how food is best presented
The puppies should be fed using a feeding toy such as a Kong toy that is suitable for their size. The food should be presented by showing the dog how to play with the toy and that if they keep playing with it; they get food out of it.
c. The reasons for the required feeding schedule
I believe this feeding schedule should be used because the puppies will not only be getting the nutrition they need, but they will also be getting mental and physical stimulation by having to play with the toy get their meals. Feeding them three times a day in smaller amounts will prevent boredom.
ii. Give information for any techniques you could implement to make the feeding process an enriching one for the animal eg hiding food, incorporating into exercise, using toys or equipment to mimic natural hunting behaviours
I would offer the puppies food in Kong toys appropriate for their size for mental and physical stimulation. I would also offer the puppies a size appropriate bone each or toy that takes a long period of time to eat for added nutrients and to stimulate them mentally.
4. Detail any monitoring techniques you would use for recording this animal’s feeding
i. How would food consumption be monitored
Food consumption would be monitored by measuring the food before it is offered and then after a period of time, measured again so we know how much the puppies are eating and if over a period of a week they are consistently not finishing all the food offered, the average amount left will be subtracted from the original amount of food.
ii. What else would need to be monitored
Weight would also need to be monitored to ensure the puppies are growing at a normal rate, as well as the overall health of the animal to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they require.
iii. Provide an example chart or log book for this situation


Thanks for all your help.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What exactly are you asking? This is very confusing.

Also, why would you be feeding 6 week old puppies out of a kong and only 3 times a day?
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I gather you are asking us to do your homework.
The feeding our puppies section has all kinds of information to help you.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I in no way was asking you to do my homework. I was asking for specific nutritional information and for you to critique what I had already written. You do not have to write a whole paragraph for me to copy and paste, all I was asking for is information from owners of the breed, and any links or book titles that I could get from a library, because I haven't been able to find anything.

Elaine, that is the suggested way of feeding in my supplied school material for dogs of most breeds after weaning. This is why I asked a forum about GSDs, so I could make sure my work is correct and I'm not learning incorrect things.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok, 6 weeks is too young to take a puppy from the litter so it would be the breeder doing the feeding.......so a much smaller group of folks can answer and it is really not a breed thing but a puppy thing.

At 6 weeks they will be eating with their littermates out of a pan and the food will be taken up after so much time. It is important to their social development that they have this time with the litter and in many states it is illegal to sell a puppy less than 8 weeks.

At 8 weeks, I always gave about 15 minutes but any pup I have had pretty much ate like a little fiend and was done very quickly. Not sure of the frequency at 6 weeks but at 8 weeks about 3-4 times a day.

If kibble is used, most would use a large breed puppy food (actually lower in protein and calcium than an adult food. See sticky note on feeding pups). - many will feed a raw diet (see raw diet section). Following the directions on the bag then adjusting to ensure an active but lean puppy as it grows. Usually pups have a little layer of fat but you want to see the last rib or two but not the spine or hip bones.

I would not feed out of a kong. A food toy is find for keeping a mostly housebroken pup busy but eating encourages defecation so I would be feeding in a pan and taking the pup out right after each meal, as well as taking up any uneaten foood-that way they also get the idea to eat aftewards.

When the pup is awake I will be providing simulation/interaction and the pup will be in my house. I think I can honestly say most folks are not keeping the puppy outside and alone and interacting with it a lot during its waking hours. I may have an age appropriate chew toy or bone in the crate -- something it gan gnaw on but not chew up. Nothing with a lot of meat or fat on it.

I have raised several puppies over the years and never precisely measured food nor weighed them. The vet will though when they to to get shots.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As I see it, you have two questions in your post that you hope that feeding the right food the right way will help answer: 1) providing proper nutrition and proper amounts of food, and, 2) meeting the pups' requirement for mental stimulation through feeding activity.


In nature, mothers would be bringing back food to the den to feed the pups and regurgitating for them. So the most natural diet that will meet all the nutritional needs of six week old pups is a well-designed raw diet (raw meat, bones, internal organs of various animals, ground up to make it easier for the pups to eat.) As pointed out, there is a raw feeding forum you can read through and check out various links from there to learn more about feeding this way. Many breeders wean their pups right onto raw.

The other part about using feeding time for mentally stimulating the pup is, in my opinion, not appropriate for six week old pups. If the reason for doing this is to mimic natural demands on the development of wild canids, six week old pups would not be working for their food. They would be staying at home, chasing each other around, harassing the adult baby-sitter dogs, and then just throw themselves on whatever the hunter dogs would have brought home, gorged themselves, then fallen asleep. I believe the early competition for food among a litter is important to develop their food drive, which in turn will help them later in life when having to work hard to track, hunt, chase, catch, and defend their own food. Giving such young dogs Kong and making them work this hard for every meal may be discouraging for them and counter-productive.

As a case study, I'm not sure what outcomes you are looking for with your questions. A bigger impact on a dog's development is the genetic temperament they have inherited. Sometimes dogs from the worst possible upbringing turn out to be stellar once put into a solid and positive environment, and often if a pup is born with a fearful, timid, and sickly disposition, then no amount of appropriate early feeding or mental stimulation will help overcome those issues. So when comparing development in pups, their inherited background is a stronger influence than the manipulated human environment.
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