Often the German Shepherd is a very healthy breed that is capable to living an average of 12 to 16 years. For those with a well-bred German Shepherd it is unlikely that they will have any major health problems. However, all German Shepherds are susceptible to certain health conditions. This includes Canine Hip Dysphasia or CHD in which the skeleton has a developmental problem and the femur doesn’t sit correctly within the hip socket. Another condition is Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a blood disease that affects the ability to the dog’s blood to form clots. Without proper care and regular baths a German Shepherd can also develop skin allergies.
An important part of caring for your German Shepherd’s health is a balanced diet. You need to give them fresh food in order for them to have a long and happy life. Fresh meats such a turkey, chicken and beef are okay. Although you should also mix in some vegetables, rice and eggs for a balanced diet.
By feeding a good and healthy diet, brushing the teeth as often as possible, regular grooming and providing plenty of exercise and attention you can make sure you keep your German Shepherd in excellent health. In order to spot any common German Shepherd health conditions before they become serious it is a good idea to perform a weekly home health exam. This can also help you to easily detect any changes that can occur due to injury, disease or dog related emergencies because you will be aware of your dog’s body.
Taking your dog to the veterinarian on a regular basis is the best way to care for your German Shepherd. All vaccinations should be current and you should have a regular physical and health exam done. It is best to choose a veterinarian that is familiar with the health problems specific to a German Shepherd and can deal with any specific hereditary disease of the breed.
Maintaining good German Shepherd health relies greatly on diet. An adult German Shepherd can eat at least forty pounds of dry food a month, although this amount can change for a dog with a higher metabolism or a dog with an increased activity level. For example, a younger dog that is more active will require more fuel in the form of food than an older dog or one that is more inactive.
Most owners choose to feed a high quality commercial food and then supplement it two to three times a week with a little bit of meat. Again the amount of food you feed depends on the dog’s activity level but most will take two cups of food a day and you should take away any uneaten portions after thirty minutes.
You want a food that will be high in protein so it should focus on lamb, fish or chicken rather than wheat, rice or corn. Meat based foods will benefit your German Shepherd in the long run even though they are more expensive. It is also best to avoid feeding your dog anything that has additives if possible.
Jan Ryan has written hundreds of articles on all things canine, including dozens about German Shepherd Dogs. The German Shepherd has a great personality, which is better than most humans. New dog owners should know basic German Shepherd information before bringing home a German Shepherd rescue dog.
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