Our German Shepherds add so much to our lives, it’s hard to know how to repay them for everything they do – it’s just not possible! If only they could understand all our words so we could express our gratitude to them. But since they can’t, one of the best ways to show your Shepherd how much you love her is by keeping her happy and healthy. Wondering if you are doing all you can to provide excellent care to your best friend? Here are 3 ways to keep your German Shepherd happy and healthy.
#1 – Keep Him Trim
German Shepherds are notorious for bad hips. Keeping your German Shepherd in good shape can really make a difference. Access weight adds stress to joints, making any type of genetic or age-related issue worse. In addition, active joints that are kept in motion tend to have less problems later. Just be sure to talk to your vet to make sure your excise regimen is not too strenuous, especially if your Shepherd already has hip issues.
#2 – Give Her A Job
German Shepherd Dogs were bred for a lifelong career tending sheep. This was something they would do for 8 plus hours of the day, every day. Even though your Shepherd may never see a sheep, that desire to do a job is still within her. Giving her a purpose will make her a happier and better behaved dog. This could be a dog sport like agility or disc. But it can also be something as simple as learning a new trick each week or learning to help you around the house by turning on lights and opening/closing cabinets. Shepherds are smart, so use that brain!
#3 – Use a Slow Feeder & Feed Multiple Meals
Since German Shepherd Dogs are a larger breed, they can bloat. Bloat has a high mortality rate and the surgery to try and repair it is expensive. While the exact cause of bloat is unknown, veterinarians agree that dogs should not eat too quickly, be given only one large meal, or exercise right after eating. These seem to increase the chance of bloat. Using a slow feeder bowl or a food toy, like a Kong, can help. So can feeding your dog two or three meals instead of just once a day. Finally, don’t go for that long run right after eating. Just like us, your Shepherd needs time to digest that food first.