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Hello, I'm new not only to the site, but to life with a German Shepherd. I'm in the process of adopting a lovely year old female from her previous owner, and while I plan on asking him what he's been feeding her, I thought it would be wise to ask the masses of experianced owners what tends to be the healthiest diet.

For some extra info -

She will be an indoor dog, particularly in winter, and I've been told that cuts down quite a bit on portion size, since she doesn't need as much food to moniter her core body temp. Is this actually true?

She will be exercised regularly - That is, at the very least once a day, even in winter. Summer she will be even more active, since we have a huge yard and the temperatures will be reasonable again. (I live in Alaska, so in many of the winter months, leaving an indoor dog outside for extended periods of time is simply unreasonable, since they're adapted to warmer temps.)

Specific questions -

How often should I feed her? Most sources say German Shepherds eat only once a day, but I've found several owners here that feed their dogs several times a day.

How much should be a serving? This is a major question I haven't been able to find an answer to. I want my dog to be happy and healthy, not starved or over-weight.

There have been mentions that German Shepherds need a very specific diet - is this true? If so, what should it entail? I know most new owners go out and buy the cheapest large dog kibbel they can find, but is that really a smart way to go?

I know that the owners here have probably faced these questions a thousand times, but I appreciate you all taking the time to look over my questions and give me the help I need. I'm hoping to keep my new baby with me for many years to come and I want to her to be the healthiest she can be.
 

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Welcome!

I think it depends on the dog and what you feed. We feed Canidae and both pups are doing well on it, neither being starved or overweight. We try to follow the guidelines on the food bag. Chevy is 6 months and gets 3 cups in the morning and 2 cups at dinner time. Shya is 2 months and gets one cup in the morning and one at dinner time. Chevy gets a few treats per day and will occasionally get "people" food but only vegetables and the occasional ½ cup of plain white rice. Shya has not had any "people" food or treats.

Good luck!
 

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Hi, and welcome to this board!

* How often should I feed her?
Well, can you find what she is used to? Most people feed their dogs once or twice a day. If you don't know, I would start with twice a day (breakfast and dinner). You can of course feed her once a day, but * personaly * I am always weary of bloat so I prefer to feed twice a day.

* How much should a serving be?
This depends on what you feed. If it's kibble, follow the feeding instructions on the pack/bag, and take that as a guideline, After a week or 2, you can feed a bit more or less, as required.

If you feed raw, I would keep the general BARF-guidelines: around 2% or 3% of her body weight. That means that if she weighs 30 kilo's you feed her about 600 to 900 grams per day.

(Don't forget to halve the portions if you feed her twice a day).

Best of luck with your new girl!
 

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Congratulations on getting a German Shepherd. They are the most wonderful companions. Lilly is my second and a rescue of 2 years old. I feed her Orijen Six Fish in the morning and Honest Kitchen Force for supper with some cottage cheese and 4 ounces lightly cooked meat [ground chicken,turkey and steak]. I follow the serving size on the bags. Adjust as you monitor her weight . You want to feel the ribs but not see them.
I walk Lilly twice a day for 45 minutes each. She is quite calm in the house after that. Enjoy your new pup.
 

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There is a ton of information on here and every one has an opinion on diet. I follow a couple of general rules. I do not feed any kibble with grain in it. Rice can be okay for some dogs but I would steer clear of wheat and corn. I do no feed any kibble that has by-products or does not clearly state the kind of protein. By-products are left over parts and I want to know if I'm feeding beef, chicken or salmon etc.....not just "meat" A good place to do some research is http://www.dogfoodproject.com/

Good luck and enjoy your new baby!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for all the help! I'm always up for new and helpful information if anyone has anything else to add and I really appreciate the hands on knowledge you guys have shared.
 

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My very favorite dog food (and many health issues as well) page:
http://www.dogaware.com/

Congrats on your new addition!!
 
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