Feeding, Nutrition and Grooming Schedule, Why we feed Life's Abundance Pet Food Products and more.....
Dog food diets are constantly changing. We all know there are many good diets and treats out there and many more bad ones! We feed Life's Abundance so we can provide superior, balanced nutrition for our German Shepherd family to help them live happier, healthier, longer lives and we couldn't be happier with Life's Abundance. No more Artificial Colors, Propylene Glycol (a petroleum based product that helps preserve foods and keeps treats soft), unknown byproducts or unknown time that the food is sitting in warehouses losing valuable nutrients. Life's Abundance products are made in small quantity with high quality ingredients, drop shipped directly to the end user, not sitting in warehouses and if you order from our website we will provide ALL of the products at our cost simply by you setting up a FREE account and auto ship. You can change, postpone or cancel your autoship at anytime too! Although it is a little bit more expensive, you get a 40# Adult bag in comparison to most companies 30#'s so the cost is actually less per pound when compared to most other diets and the nutritional benefits are hands down better.
Here's the difference we have seen with Life's Abundance: 1) Healthier Coats 2) Eating smaller portions - saving $$$$ Our adult dogs eat 4 cups per day as opposed to 6 cups per day of our previous food. So although at first Life's Abundance appears more expensive it's actually less expensive per meal. We have done the math! 3) Smaller Poops - means better absorption of the nutrients and less fillers 4) Less smelly poops! Wow! This is my favorite benefit. 5) Although the package says no more than 10% added moisture the actual added moisture is only 4% 6) Life's Abundance is NOT one of the Dog Foods being Investigated by the FDA for potentially causing HEART DISEASE!
WE HAVE INCLUDED A VIDEO LINK AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE TO SHARE WITH YOU WHY WE FEED LIFE'S ABUNDANCE PRODUCTS. BE SURE TO TAKE A LOOK AT IT WHEN YOU HAVE TIME.
DIET: Did you know Hip & Elbow Dysplasia can be caused by feeding a poor diet? Only 20% of Hip Dysplasia is from Genetics. The other causes are environmental! FEED A QUALITY FOOD to your German Shepherd! For more info on Hip Dysplasia and causes, refer to the "Hip Dysplasia" & "Life Saving Info" page under the "Health Risks" tab above.
We feed and recommend Life's Abundance Puppy food until 15 months of age! Then transition to Life's Abundance All Stages. Due to the quality of Life's Abundance, you will feed smaller portions at each meal than a lesser quality food. You can order your dog and puppy food in different size packaging but we recommend the large bag 40 lb size for Adults and 35 lbs for Puppy. Most dog and puppy foods that you will find locally are typically 26 - 30lb bags. Although we don't recommend it, if you should decide to put your puppy on an alternative diet, it is very important that you do not make this change drastically. You must mix the current diet with the new diet to avoid diarrhea and gradually reduce the amount of current diet each feeding. It is best if you purchase your puppy food prior to bringing your puppy home. There are many great dog foods on the market and many more very poor quality foods. It is important that you feed your new puppy a high quality food to help him grow properly. Poor diet can have an impact on the increased chance of environmental Hip Dysplasia. EPI is a autoimmune disorder sometimes found in German Shepherds and a poor quality diet may be a strong contributing factor since lack of quality nutritional support is known to weaken the immune system. Play it safe, feed your new puppy a quality diet of Life's Abundance Puppy Food until 15 MONTHS and then All Stages Life's Abundance.
German Shepherds are known to have sensitive digestive systems. Although we don't recommend you change your puppies diet, you must take a very gradual process to complete a diet change if you do. Here is our recommended process: Diet Change Schedule: Days 1 - 4 Feed 75% your Current Diet with 25% the New Diet 5 - 9 Feed 50% your Current Diet with 50% the New Diet 10-13 Feed 25% your Current Diet with 75% the New Diet Day 14 100% the New Diet.
Do not worry about a missed meal: Some pets pick out their former diet in the mix, leaving the new diet, while others may pick out the new food! In either case, continue mixing the two diets. Some especially sensitive dogs may initially consume only a portion of their meal or refuse to eat. A healthy dog can miss one or two meals or eat a little less with no ill effects. If more than two meals are refused, first remove the food if they refuse to eat it and re-present it at the next meal. If your pet has his food in front of him all the time he may decide he can graze all day long instead of eating at meal time. This is not healthy for your dog. If you are concerned about your pet’s health, contact your veterinarian.
Monitor Response of a diet change Certainly, the best judge of a new food is the pet himself. Once your dog has accepted the new food and is eating it exclusively, feed the food for at least six to eight weeks before evaluating its effectupon your pet’s health and well-being. A food that provides optimal nutrition will support ideal body weight and condition, will promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat, and will result in normal stool volume and consistency. If you have switched to a therapeutic diet to manage a health condition, schedule regular visits with your veterinarian to monitor your pet’s response. Regardless of the food that you choose, dogs and cats always should be provided with free access to fresh, clean water. It is also important to maintain a consistent feeding schedule and to regularly check your pet’s body weight and condition. Adjust the amount of food that you offer accordingly. And remember, dogs and cats need to visit their veterinarian regularly to keep them happy and healthy!
IS GRAIN FEE ALL THAT IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE? The FDA is investigating 16 pet food companies that may be linked to the increased incidents of DCM - Non Genetic Heart Disease. Please be careful about considering grain free or exotic meat diets.
IS YOUR DOG/PUPPY CONTINUALLY SCRATCHING? First of all, check for fleas. Your Central Coast German Shepherd Puppy will be free from pests and worms when he goes home with you. If you notice your dog or puppy scratching and you have looked closely at their coat and body by spreading the hair to see the skin and there is no evidence of fleas then your dog may have allergies. A very small percentage of allergies are food related! The best course of action is take a look at what you are feeding. You should not have allergies with a high quality diet however, we have found that a small amount of COLD PRESSED Coconut Oil (start with a 1/2 tsp & work up to a full tsp. within 3-4 days) mixed into their food daily will assist with a dry coat. Any dietary changes will take several weeks to get results, be patient. Your puppy / dog may be scratching more during the spring and fall due to the blowing (shedding) of their undercoat. Please be sure you are brushing your dog / puppy more during these times. We use the Furminator (deshedding comb) during these times to shorten the time it takes for your puppy or dog to naturally release their entire undercoat.
We are no longer suggesting ALTERNATE Food Options: The FDA is currently investigating 16 pet foods for causing Heart Disease in Dogs (DCM-Dilated Cardiomyopathy). The investigation is ongoing and though the FDA. Just consider: LIfe's Abundance Puppy until 15 months of age Life's Abundance All Stages from 15 months on
Please don't rotate your dog foods! It can cause your german shepherd to become a picky eater, cause intestinal upset and diarrhea!
Please Note: If you purchased your puppy from Central Coast German Shepherds and you are making a diet change, please contact us PRIOR to making the change in order to keep your Puppy Warranty in effect. Understanding that diet plays a critical role in unnecessary risk to hip and elbow dysplasia, we do realize that every dog is different and in a few cases they may require a different diet so, please discuss this with us in advance of changing your puppies diet.
SUPPLEMENTS: For your convenience there is are links under our "STORE" page for easy access to this supplement. Each item will indicate in RED that we supplement for our puppies. We supplement our puppies and adult dogs with Pro-Pets hyperbiotics. The tiny little beef flavored pearl work to promote nutrient absorption, supports intestinal health, offers immune system support, metabolism, and energy levels in addition to reducing the impact of stress and supporting bone and joint health.
Life's Abundance Wellness Food Supplement for Large Dogs. Supplementing your dog’s diet can play a crucial role in maintaining overall health. We know that some dogs require additional nutritional intake to help them maintain a healthy body, due to age, breed, environment and other factors. The Wellness Supplement is a natural whole food product so you don't have to worry about too much calcium or phosphorous as you may need to be concerned about with vitamin supplements. 60 Count as low as $23.42 is an affordable option for increased health.
We also supplement our ADULT dogs (AGE 2 YEARS +)with Dasuquin with MSM for Joint Health. Your puppy is on a strict feeding schedule. This is the feeding schedule as of 8 weeks of age. Ideally, food quantity should be based on the growth curve of your breed of dog. Overfeeding can cause excess weight gain, diarrhea, obesity in adulthood and joint and bone issues in the large breed puppy. Be sure to review the feeding guidelines recommended on the packaging of your puppy food formula and measure each serving accordingly. As your puppy gets older and bigger, you have to adjust the volume of food. NOTE: These feeding guidelines on the packages are suggestions! An 8 week old puppy from our kennel eats 3 times daily and has plenty of fresh water at all times. Having your puppy on a schedule will assist in house training too by making it more predictable when your puppy will need to eliminate. Just like children need structure, your puppy does too. Your puppy is currently on the following feeding schedule: **** 7:30 a.m. Breakfast ~ 12:30 Lunch 4:30 p.m. Dinner ****
Your puppy is growing rapidly at this time. By 8 weeks of age he should be eating approx. 2 1/4 cups per day ( 3/4 cups at each feeding) and so on. Your puppies digestive system is very sensitive. Overfeeding can cause diarrhea. Remember to adjust the amount you feed him as he grows! If you choose a different food, read the recommended amount to feed for the weight of your puppy on the back of the food bag (these are just guides, every dog / puppy has different energy needs). Be careful, your puppy can dehydrate very quickly if you overfeed him and he gets diarrhea. Feel free to adjust your feeding schedule to work within your schedule but he should eat 3 times a day until he is 15 months old. Just try to be consistent. Plan your feeding times with the time needed for play and elimination. By feeding your puppy 3 times a day he will have better nutritional absorption of the nutrients than if you are feeding only twice daily. If your puppy gets Pano (growing pains) you may have to feed 4 times a day (same amount of food just smaller meals spread out to 4 meals per day). This has been found to spread the energy he gets from his diet further throughout the day allowing for slower growth. Eating 4 times a day also provides 65% more nutrient absorption. Pano can cause significant growing pains when the bones grow too fast. It also puts stress on the bones. If your puppy gets growing pains, contact us immediately and refer to the Health pages on this site that explain Pano.
HOUSE TRAINING: Do not leave your puppy loose in your home and expect him to know where to go. Your puppy will always need to eliminate immediately when waking up from a nap, 30-45 (usually closer to the 45) minutes after eating and 30 minutes or so after playing. There are many great books on training your new puppy that you can find at your local pet stores or library. You can also refer to the House training page on this website. We have litter trained your puppy! What this means is when your puppy has been CONFINED in an X pen in our home ( kept in a controlled space) he's been provided a place to potty. He has been provided a similar place to potty outside and is taken there immediately after waking up in the morning, after eating, after playtime to encourage potty place is outside. They have been transitioned from the litter box to the front lawn for elimination however, still offered the litter pan when inside.
GROOMING: We love our Furminator. German Shepherds have a double coat, some Long Hair otherwise known as Coated German Shepherds have a single coat and have less shedding while other long hair coats will still have a double coat. They will generally shed their entire under coat twice a year (the first 6 months of the year and the second six months of the year....LOL) Actually, once in the spring and again in the fall. You will know when they are shedding their coat as you will see lots of extra hair around. We use the Furminator during shedding seasons every 3 - 4 days for about 2 weeks. That will eliminate about 90% of the natural shedding process and shorten the shedding period. In between the furminator, we use a Furminator brand soft bristle brush to keep our dogs well groomed and healthy all throughout the year. We clip their nails bi-weekly and bath our dogs every 6 - 8 weeks or more frequently, if needed. If you are brushing regularly, your german shepherd will not need frequent bathing. There are many great shampoo products on the market. Be careful about Oatmeal shampoos if your dog has allergies as oatmeal can also dry the skin. Brushing will bring the natural oils into the coat. Be sure to brush and comb your dog PRIOR to bathing as well as after the bath. Too much bathing takes the natural oils out of their coat. We use a once a month flea control and heart wormer. Bravecto is our preferred. We DO NOT USE ADVANTAGE FLEA AND TICK! It is also important to clean your dog or puppies ears regularly. Simply gently put 8-10 drops of Ear Cleaner into each ear and massage at the base of the ears to loosen wax and dirt in the ear. When you release the head they will shake. Take a tissue or cotton ball to wipe the outer part of the ear clean. Do not stick anything down into the inner ear such as a cotton swab. Simply wipe the outer ear and your done.
SOME OF OUR FAVORITE GROOMING PRODUCTS: Life's Abundance Ear Care Formula Excellent for everyday ear care after bathing, playing in the water or just to clean your dogs ears. Great for ear infections too!
Life's Abundance Revitalizing Shampoo, Bath Fresh Mist for between bathing and Soothing Mist great for skin irritations.
OUR FAVORITE TOYS: The Kong Toys, The Fire Hydrant Treat Holder and the Peanut Butter Filled Bones from Lemos (peanut butter only!). Some dogs are gentler than others. Some will play gentle and others will tear every toy you have up and then some. We like these toys for all of our dogs and puppies. These are difficult toys to destroy and we provide plenty of them so they learn what is theirs. Also, rotate you toys. Your puppy will get bored with the same toys but, if you take them away and exchange them for other toys when you re-introduce the old toys they will have interest in them again. If you have problems with your puppy chewing on things that he is not supposed to...be sure he is getting plenty of exercise. We don't allow our dogs to rough play in the house. If you do it today, they think it's o.k. all the time. If you don't want your dogs on the furniture later, don't invite him up on the couch while he is a puppy! Create good habits that you can all live with and be happy for many years to come.
TREATS: NO RAWHIDE OR GREENIES. Rawhide can swell in the intestines and can kill your dog. Feed natural treats only. We also use our dog food kibbles as treats during training. We train on an empty stomach whenever possible to make the treats even more attractive. The Life's Abundance Turkey Hearts are a very desirable treat. Our dogs and puppies can't get enough of them so, if you are training your dog and want their full attention, try the Life's Abundance Turkey Hearts. We cut them into smaller pieces when using them for training. If you are going to use other treats, try to use All Natural Treats. Please read the labels on treats!
Central Coast German Shepherds is providing this information as a courtesy. The information is deemed reliable however, not guaranteed. This information should not be a substitute for your Veterinarian Recommendations.