Caring for a German shepherd is not an easy task; requiring some knowledge and experience. Regardless of where you live – in a private house or apartment of a multi-storey building, keep your dog indoors or outdoors, it is important to remember that you follow the basic rules. Before you have a German Shepherd puppy at home, you will have to go through at least a short course of an educational program, which will include the following:
How to choose a pet.
How to care for a different German shepherd puppy at different stages of growing up.
What you need to buy before you have a German shepherd puppy.
When you can bathe a puppy.
How to feed the baby, etc.
It is important to understand that caring for German Shepherd puppies implies a great responsibility, which the owner takes on for the life and health of the pet.
Basic rules for choosing a pet
Before you choose a puppy from a litter, decide for what purpose you decided to get it. If you need a winner of contests and exhibitions, then his parents must also have awards. Try to choose a baby from a uniform litter, which is evidence that his breeder is responsible for the continuation of the line.
If you need a faithful friend and a service dog, you can make a choice less meticulously, but attention to the pedigree is still necessary. By inheritance, shepherds get all the most important qualities:
After you have made sure that everything is in order with your parents, proceed to inspect the litter – your chosen one should not have the following symptoms:
Jaw with the wrong bite.
A light shade of eyes.
Standing ears – when a puppy is less than three months old, this is a sign of a disturbance in calcium-phosphorus balance and a lack of vitamin D.
German shepherd puppies should look like this:
Brilliant savvy eyes.
The pink colour of the oral cavity.
Where to keep a pet As practice shows, it is better to keep dogs of this breed on the street – a German shepherd puppy will be comfortable in a spacious aviary in the courtyard of a private house. A wooden platform, a roof and walls, a booth where he can sleep comfortably and wait out the weather, are perfect.
If you live in an apartment – equip the puppy with a corner away from the passage, where it is warm, and there are no drafts. Take care of the soft litter – it can be a bed or a special mattress laid with a pillowcase. You will need several pillowcases – once a week, they need to be changed for hygienic purposes.
When thinking about how to care for a German shepherd puppy, keep in mind that from the very beginning he will walk on need right in the house – so start to teach him to do this on the street during a walk. Do not hit or humiliate the pet during training – use voice intonations and encouragement to treat for positive reinforcement.
In the early days, the baby will yearn for his mother, whine and complain – try to calm him down. Stroke the baby, hug him, give him an interesting toy to distract him from his sad mood – this is very important for him to recognize his friend and master in you.
Dog specialists, explaining how to care for a German shepherd puppy, always talk about the importance of hygiene procedures. Always monitor the condition of your pupil’s eyes – if redness or tearing occurs, frequent blinking, take immediate action. It is recommended to consult a veterinarian, purchase eye drops and rinse the dog’s eyes with a cotton pad soaked in chamomile infusion.
Teeth are cleaned once every three months – for this purpose it will be necessary to stock up with special toothpaste or powder. To strengthen your baby’s teeth, buy artificial bones containing fluoride or from the skin – they are suitable for cleansing fangs and developing jaws.
In addition, babies need to clean their ears monthly – for this, you can use a cotton swab and a special drug, which is sold in veterinary pharmacies. At the same time, conduct a detailed examination of the ears for redness and inflammation – if something like this is found, you must consult a veterinarian.
Often the question arises from the owners, why a puppy of a German shepherd’s ear fell – this fact is alarming for many. Most often, there is nothing to worry about, since this happens to many Germans during the period when their teeth grow. Continue to take care of the pet, balance the diet correctly instead of worrying about writing to all forums questions about why a German shepherd puppy had his ear dropped – soon everything will return to normal.
As for the baby’s bathing, you don’t need to do this without a special need – washing too often violates the natural protective layer on the dog’s skin and coat. You can completely bathe your pet, starting at the age of three months – it is recommended to wash the shepherd dog no more than three times a year.
If we are talking about removing dust or dirt from a walk, you can rinse the dog with warm water. But it would be best if you did not abuse bath procedures – this will negatively affect the health of the shepherd.
Dog handlers, talking about how to care for a German shepherd puppy, pay a lot of attention to proper nutrition. This is not surprising – a dog of any breed grows strong and healthy only if the owner feeds it, observing the existing rules:
Immediately after the purchase, you can not transfer the baby to a new type of food. To relieve stress caused by weaning from a mother and moving to a new home, it is necessary to temporarily leave as many factors as they are. Therefore, you should find out from the breeder what kind of food the baby received in the first weeks, and give him exactly the same. After a couple of weeks, you can gradually begin to change the diet, closely monitoring how the body reacts to changes. If you see warning signs – malaise, nausea, upset stools – return the old way of eating and consult your veterinarian.
In the first month, the number of meals is about five times a day – up to six months of age they are reduced to two, while increasing the size of the servings.
The dog is given a bowl of food for fifteen to twenty minutes, after which it should be removed even in cases where the food is not completely eaten. This accustoms the baby to a certain schedule – he knows that you can eat at clear intervals, after which access to the bowl will no longer be.
Check the growth table of this breed regularly and make sure that your pet’s parameters are generally accepted. If you see that the growth dynamics are above or below the average, you should adjust it as much as possible by drawing up a diet.
In no case, do not give your baby food from the table, do not feed it and do not respond to manipulations aimed at asking for food. Such handouts are fraught with excess weight, which is extremely harmful to the health of your pupil.
Do not forget that the dog needs to drink – it should always have a bowl of clean drinking water, which must be changed regularly.
Ways to feed the baby
Caring for a German shepherd puppy involves three different ways of eating – each of them has its opponents and supporters:
Dry food is the most convenient option, saving the owner from the need to cook food and stand for a long time at the stove. Besides, dry mixes are made, taking into account the needs of a particular breed and age – they guarantee that the baby will receive the full range of vitamins and minerals due to him. However, ersatz remains ersatz – dogs like dry food much less than fresh, natural meat or other natural products.
Natural nutrition – this approach takes a lot of time because you have to cook the pet meat, grind vegetables, cook broths, mix various components. Also, this will require certain knowledge from you, without which it will not be possible to draw up a diet with the full content of the entire vitamin and mineral complex. However, this method has many supporters who assure that natural products for a pet are much tastier and healthier than dry mixes.
The combined method is a combination of the two approaches described above when the dog is given both dry mixes and natural products. From a sound approach, like any reasonable balance, this method is most preferred due to its diversity.
About the diet of the German breed,
We also give a few important rules regarding the preparation of the menu for a German Shepherd puppy. Owners who want to raise a strong and healthy dog should follow these guidelines:
Protein should make up one-third of the diet – it is found in meat, dairy products and eggs.
Every day, the dog should be given raw meat in the form of finely chopped pieces. Stuffing is not good, because the stomach may not digest it, so you should not give it.
Before the month of age, give the baby 50 g of meat per day, after a month, increase the portion to 100 g, after two – to 200 g, etc. At the same time, divide the daily rate into several meals and do not give all at once.
The dog should not eat pork – this meat contains too much fat. The best option is veal, beef, horse meat.
From the age of four months, add garbage to the baby’s menu – they should be given to him in a boiled form to avoid the possibility of infection with parasites. This can be done three to four times a week – however, remember that garbage is not able to replace meat?
Twice a week, the dog is given raw egg yolks mixed with porridge.
Every day, the pet should be given cottage cheese mixed with whey – 350 g each, as well as milk and kefir.
Twice a week it is necessary to give him boiled fish, cleansing it of bones – otherwise, it is strictly forbidden to give it. Also, marine breeds should be preferred – river ones are often infected with parasites.
Do not forget about the porridge for the pet – buckwheat, rice, oatmeal. They cook him in a meat broth and give them a little, without getting carried away.
Give him grated vegetables – an excellent source of vitamins and fibre for the baby.
Prohibited foods that should not be given to a pet
Sharp tubular bones.
Spices, salty foods.
Sweet and pastry.
Legumes and peas.
Onion and garlic.
Stale spoiled food.