German shepherd Health & German shepherd diet:
A prerequisite to good GSD care is that your German shepherd will have fresh water available at all times. We have plenty of fresh water available in the grass yard, and in their kennel. I regularly use bleach to disinfect the dishes and eliminate possible giardia organisms, before replacing the water. I daily clean whatever poo is on the grass, to keep their feet clean, and so that they do not get a taste for faeces (poo). The water dishes are cleaned many times a day and new fresh water added. We must clean the dishes many times a day, because German shepherd puppies will step in the water. (Also, water which has stood for overnight will lose its oxygen content, and develop a bacterial “slime,”as well as perhaps cause giardia.) Click this link to learn more about guardia in dogs: www.canismajor.com/dog/giardia.html You will likely only have to clean the water dish once a day.
I feed the German shepherd puppies first thing in the morning; at eight weeks of age, they eat outside, unless it rains, which gives them a chance to immediately take a pee / poo break. Many of them will grab a bite to eat, then run off to pee / poo, then return to eat more.
At nine weeks of age, each German shepherd puppy will eat 3 cups (more or less) of Purina Pro Plan "Large Breed" Puppy, Chicken and Rice . He eats his German shepherd puppy food three times a day; this three cups is divided into three meals: first thing in the morning, at lunch time, and after dinner time. The Large Breed Formula has less calcium and reduces the risk of overly accelerated growth that can cause joint issues in German Shepherds.
As they grow, you will feed them more. But, be careful not to overfeed a growing German Shepherd puppy!!!
Most experts think that overfeeding causes too rapid growth (at a time when his epipheses (- growing ends of growing bones -) are not fully developed in the German shepherd pup.) This creates hip/elbow problems even in a young German shepherd dog who was not genetically predisposed to developing a problem. Follow the guidelines on the chart on the back of the bag of German shepherd dog food for the daily amount to feed, as your German shepherd puppy grows. Whatever German shepherd food you choose to feed your puppy, look where the ingredients are listed to ensure that the food has been tested and approved by AAFCO or at least formulated using AAFCO guidelines. Check out
A young German shepherd dog (5 to 18 months) may develop panoestitis (pano) which manifests as temporary soreness in the joints, and is not a precursor to hip dysplasia. Many vets think that it is caused by overfeeding or overexercise. So far, none of my clients have reported an occurance of pano. If you see evidence of this, you should try feeding adult dog food, as opposed to the puppy food, which encourages growth. Click this link to read an excellent article on the topic: http://www.total-german-shepherd.com/Panosteitis-in-the-GSD.html
German shepherd Exercise and German shepherd Potty training:
Also, over exercise or under exercise (& too many stairs) for a German shepherd puppy can also be an impediment to developing the skeletal structure that he is genetically predisposed to have: the old rule of thumb is to have each session of exercise be no more than 5 minutes for each month of his age. For example, a 3 month old puppy, should have each exercise session of no more than 15 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Puppies shouldn’t be going up and down stairs also.
When the weather permits, starting at 5 weeks of age, our German shepherd puppies stay outside under the covered porch, for an hour after eating, to be sure that they have had a chance to pee/poo after their latest eating, drinking. This is done to condition them to habitually doing their business outside, and facilitate German shepherd potty training.
They are brought outside about every 4 hours, or when they actively ask to be let out of their kennel. They seem to know that outside is where they do their business. I walk outside around on the grass, to encourage them all to join on the grass, which seems to stimulate the need to poop; then, praising them, and rubbing their tummy after they do their job. These procedures are recommended as how to potty train a German shepherd puppy.
Teething and the need to chew:
As your German shepherd puppy's teeth develop he will be starting to want to chew on wooden stuff. They are starting to understand a sharp “NO”. I give them nylabones, and hard rubber dental chew toys (dumbells) to satisfy their need to chew, both in their large kennel, and at play time on their bed outside by the door. Dirty rubber toys and nylabones are cleaned in the dishwasher. A rolled up damp facecloth, placed in the freezer, will result in a cold, "chew relief" teether for those growing sore teeth.
I would never give a puppy anything made of rawhide, which can swell after the puppy ingests it and cause a problem.
Note: ALL Puppies go through a period of time when they like to chew on people's hands, ankles, etc. They need to be taught bite inhibition. There are countless articles on the internet on the topic: how do I teach my puppy bite inhibition. Basically, they learn this from their mother and their littermates as well. Do NOT let the situation become a habit. Consistent correction and offering an alternative to bite will virtually eliminate the problem by the time the puppy is 10 - 12 weeks old.
Your German shepherd nails:
The German shepherd fur / German shepherd hair does not require much care other than regular brushing, especially at the turn of the seasons when they may shed more hair. Grooming a German shepherd does not require a lot of time and is rather simple. To prepare our German shepherd puppies for grooming and nail care, I start to do each puppy's nails with a dremel, around 3-4 weeks of age. At this age, the puppy has no fear whatsoever, and quite accepts everything new. The advantage of starting to trim German shepherd puppy nails at this time, is to ensure that the sharp nails do not dig into mommy's teats and cause her to want to avoid nursing the puppies. Also, we are getting them used to having their German shepherd nails done, which will make your care of your German shepherd puppy much easier. We wrap the puppy securely in a large towel or blanket to help keep the pup feel more secure while the nails are being trimmed with the Dremel. We use a Dremel 8000 to trim the nails about once a week, from the third week till they leave our home.
I wait till the German shepherd puppies are tired (after play time, and after each German shepherd puppy has had his daily 5 - 7 minute train / play session with me) before doing their crate time; then I gently put the sleepy GSD puppy in his own crate, which is covered with an old blanket to create a “cave” feeling, and hide distractions. The crate is an excellent tool to help with potty training. Most puppies will not relieve themselves in a crate, providing he is not in a crate that is too large for him. Remember your crate will need to be 30 inches high to accommodate the puppy when full grown; there are crates available with a wire divider that will allow the crate to “grow” as the puppy grows. Many GSD dogs like to sleep in their crates, even as adults. Also, having a crate big enough for your German shepherd dog as an adult may be necessary if you take him on a long car ride, or he is ill, or you need to contain him for some other reason, such as if you have a number of visiting guests.
The stress of all the excitement and newness of everything, can cause loose stools or diarrhoea:
Going for a long car ride, then a new home and the excitement of all that happens can stress out a puppy. If the puppy gets mild diarrhea (loose stools but not watery), it may likely be a result of all the stresses of the last few hours or the change from the type of water he was used to. An old fashioned remedy for diarrhoea is to give him a little canned pumpkin instead of his meal. If this does not clear up his diarrhea or it gets more watery, call your vet. Three days in a row of soft pudding poop may indicate coccidia or giardia lambia.. see your vet.
If the GSD puppy ever gets really watery poo, take him to a vet as soon as possible. If the German shepherd puppy gets watery poo mixed with blood, you have a medical emergency. Take him to the vet immediately. I never give a puppy anything made of rawhide; it swells after the puppy ingests it and may cause a problem.
There is a single celled parasitic organism that is naturally found in soil, no matter how clean you keep your area. It is more prevalent in the southern states (where the soil does not freeze deeply to kill off organisms). It can be detected by the vet by microspopic examination of faeces. Coccidia cells are immune to wormings. It is also transmitted by mice, squirrels, other rodents and even insects. Coccidia can cause serious damage to a young puppy's G.I. system. Read a good article about coccidia at this website: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_coccidia.html. A sign that your puppy may be infected is watery stools. Your vet will likely prescribe "Albon" and / or an antibiotic to treat the problem. After six months of age, German shepherd dogs usually develop an immunity to it.
German shepherd puppy Wormer and German shepherd puppy Vaccination details
Vaccination: Duramune Max (intended for puppies) is given on at 6 weeks, to protect against Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza, Parovirus Type 2b.
Your German shepherd puppy is due for two more vaccinations at 3-4 week intervals after the first vaccine. (2nd vaccine due at 9-10 weeks of age. Vaccinate at 3-4 week intervals till 16 weeks of age. You will be given the labels from the vials that were used for his vaccinations at our home, to show your veterinarian. Your vet will like to know the "Lot number" of the vaccine that was used on your German shepherd puppy in case of a vaccine recall. In addition to the labels from the vials being posted on your 5 weeks of daily notes; we record notes on weight gain each week, nail trimming, vaccinations, worming and temperament observations. Save the 5 weeks notes which have the labels from the vaccinations given; show them to your vet. In case of a recall of any vaccine, it is helpful for him to know the Lot number of the vaccine that your German shepherd puppy was given. Your local veterinarian is expert in the vaccines that are most necessary for growing puppies in your area. It is he whose advice you should follow!
Wormer: We give liquid pyrantel pamoate to the 2 week old German shepherd puppies. Puppies are wormed at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 8 weeks. At 10 weeks of age, we recommend the chewable form of Worm-X Plus, which has the pyrantel pamoate with praziquantel added for tapeworms. See inside your notes that you will get with your German shepherd puppy for details of wormer used. Ideally worm at 10 weeks and 12 weeks, then worm once a month, thereafter, or as your vet instructs. Again, your vet knows what parasites are common to your area; take his advice.
Heartworm medicine for puppies is only available at the vet. They will give it as early as 9 weeks (some vets start it later), usually monthly after that. Your vet will also need to give him his first rabies shot; this varies according to the schedule that he/she prefers, usually the rabies shot is given at 3 months.