Diet

Feeding

This is a subject that will yield a different opinion from everyone that you ask. There are some excellent dog foods on the market we can give you some suggestions, but bottom line is getting a high quality  food and see if your puppy/dog does well on it. We suggest you do not go hoping around from one food to another. If you find a quality food that your puppy/dog enjoys, and he is doing well on it, stay with that food.

DO NOT use raised feeders for your puppy or dogs. Raised feeders increase the risk of bloat.

Check with your Breeder what food your puppy/dog is eating. Do not change the puppy's diet which has been recommended by the Breeder. Make sure you have a supply ready if your breeder has not arranged for a bag of food to go home with you.

Here at Shephaven we take great care in choosing the best nutrition for our Shepherds; after all you are what you eat!

Shepherds, like all dogs, are descendants of the wolf and although now they may look and behave differently their digestive system has changed very little. In the wild, wolves live off prey, often eating the whole carcass. This is why we feed our  Shepherds biologically appropriate food. This means that our Shepherds diet consists of high protein meat and minimal carbohydrates, with no artificial chemicals, colourings or flavourings.    

All our Shepherds are given natural, healthy treats to keep the entertained and stimulated

At Shepheven our Shepherds are feed a high quality kibble and raw meat mixes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Bones

Frequently, while shopping at pet stores, I often overhear shopkeepers tell pet owners that dogs in the wild eat bones and therefore, it is not only necessary but also essential to give them to our pets. I cringe every time I hear this false myth.
Feeding your dog bones is an extremely dangerous practice for the following ten reasons:
 

  1. Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.
  2. Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.
  3. Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.
  4. Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.
  5. Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!
  6. Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.
  7. Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.
  8. Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian. Bones also contain a lot of calcium, which is very firming to the stool.
  9. Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It’s time for a trip to see your veterinarian.
  10. Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.

 
Why do people believe that our domesticated dogs need bones? Is it because they believe that this is the best way to clean their teeth? Chewing on hard objects is not the correct solution to our pet's dental problems. Chewing bones may decrease tartar on pet's teeth, but they also can fracture teeth and cause many problems as previously mentioned above that are simply not worth the risk.

Sure, dogs love bones, but it doesn’t mean they should be allowed to eat them. The risks associated with feeding bones to dogs apply to bones from all kinds of animals, whether they are raw or cooked. However, the risks are highest with cooked bones, especially those from poultry because they tend to splinter.

Animal hooves and antlers can be equally dangerous. The bottom line: even if you have given bones to your dog in the past without complications, it does not mean that everything will turn out fine the next time you feed a bone. Is it really worth the risk?

Chewing is instinctively necessary for dogs. To help satisfy your dog's need to chew, look for safer alternatives to bones. No matter what you give your dog to chew on, ALWAYS be certain that you supervise your dog