Here is everything you need to know about the growth of 4 week old german shepherd puppy.
German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds around the world. Like every dog, German Shepherds also have a cute puppy stage that is adored by many. A German shepherd normally gives birth to 4-9 puppies at one time. At the time of birth, they are very vulnerable and need extra care in order to develop properly.
Usually the mother GS takes care of her puppies and doesn’t like humans meddling in. But taking care of the puppies can get overwhelming for the mother sometimes. That’s where you can come in and lend a hand.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF A 4-WEEKS OLD GERMAN SHEPHERD PUPPY
German Shepherd puppies start to develop at a rapid rate around 5 weeks of age. Before that, they need a little extra care as they are quite vulnerable and prone to diseases or infections. Here is a step by step guide on how you can take care of a 4 week old GS puppy:
Newborn German Shepherd Puppies:
Newborn puppies are very vulnerable, so while caring for them you should always keep a vet on speed dial. Some of the most important things to take care of in newborn GS babies are:
Breathing: Most newborn puppies have difficulty in breathing. You should keep checking on them and use the bulb syringe to remove any blockage in the airway.
Walking: Moreover, newborn puppies can not walk properly. They only crawl because their eyes are closed at this stage.
Temperature: Newborn puppies mostly sleep and eat only. The temperature of their living space should be warm enough because puppies can’t regulate their body temperature.
Bathing: Mother GSD lick its puppies and keep them clean, so you don’t need to bathe them. But if mother GSD is absent, you can clean them with a warm and moist towel.
Bedding: Owners should keep their beddings neat and clean as they are very prone to infections and diseases.
1-2 Week Old German Shepherd Puppies:
At this stage, their eyes and ears are still closed. Puppies start to gain weight and wag their tails. At the end of the 2nd week, they will start opening their eyes. They try to use their legs but still shake. Owners should keep a keen check on their body temperature and maintain clean bedding.
3-4 Week Old German Shepherd Puppies:
By the time puppies are 1 month old, their legs will and still be shaky but they try to move more often. At this time, don’t try to separate the puppies because they try to explore their surroundings. The teeth start to grow. Owners can start semi-solid foods. Now, they can defecate and urinate by themselves and you have to clean their wastes.
At the end of the 4th week, puppies can walk well. Puppies will start socializing with their mother, siblings, and even their handlers. At this stage, their teeth are also fully formed but you cannot start weaning until the 6th week.
FEEDING A 4 WEEK OLD GERMAN SHEPHERD
Since a 4 week old german shepherd puppy has to grow from a small to a large animal, the owner should be extremely careful about their diet. A high-quality diet is recommended to ensure the proper growth of the canine.
Let’s peep at some of the tips you should keep in mind while feeding your young 4 week old german shepherd puppy:
FATS AND PROTEINS:
As German Shepherds are carnivorous animals, they should have a high content of protein in their diets. Protein is highly essential as it provides energy and keeps the dog healthy and strong. There should be 20% protein in GSD’s diet and that too in pure form. Artificially prepared foods that contain proteins should be avoided as they are harmful to a dog.
Another nutrient that is required by GSD is fat. The fat content in a dog’s diet should be balanced. Too low amounts or too high fat-containing diets can be dangerous for GSD puppies. Too much fat can cause harmful effects on a puppy’s health whereas too low fat can cause skin problems in GSD puppies.
The owner should add raw meat to the GSD puppy’s diet as it largely helps in its rapid growth. Raw meat also aids in making the bones strong as well as combats many other diseases. The fatty diet also promotes healthy fur in dogs. Though the individual needs of GSD puppies are dependent on different ages, sex, size, and lifestyle but proteins and fats are a must for both young and adult German Shepherd dogs.
You should eliminate milk from their diets as milk can cause diarrhea.
TYPES OF FOOD FOR GSD PUPPIES:
There are two types of food for puppies that are as follows:
- Dry Food
- Wet Food
DRY FOOD FOR GS PUPPIES
Owners should shift their puppy’s diet from wet food to dry food. There are many dry food products available in markets that can fulfill the nutritious needs of your puppy. Following are
Some of the best products that can be beneficial for your puppy:
- Hill’s Science Diet large puppy food
- Eukanuba Puppy dry dog food
- Diamond Naturals large breed puppy food
- Purina One Large puppy food
- Royal Canin German Shepherd puppy food
ADVANTAGES OF DRY FOOD:
Dry food or Kibble has the following advantages:
- It makes teeth strong.
- Kibble is more convenient to feed.
Dry kibble largely reduces plaque and tartar from the dog’s teeth.
- Kibble is considered best for the oral health of dogs.
- Kibble declines the urge to chew as well as reduces the stress of your dog.
- Dry food is easy to store and preserve.
- Dry kibble is considered more affordable as compared to wet or canned food.
WET FOOD FOR GS PUPPIES:
Along with dry food, you should also continue wet food. There are several varieties of wet food available in markets that have a range of combinations of ingredients. While selecting wet food, you should keep in mind the breed of your dog as these foods are breed-specific foods. Some of the best-wet food brands for dogs are as follows:
- BLUE wilderness high Protein puppy.
- BLUE buffalo wet dog food
- Pedigree puppy dinner
ADVANTAGES OF WET FOOD:
Wet food largely fulfills the water requirements of GS dogs. Wet food is delicious in taste as well as contains a high level of proteins.
Following are the advantages of wet food:
- Wet food has 80% water content. This much water content prevents dehydration in GS puppies.
- Canned foods contain a high level of protein and fat.
- Canned foods have a low amount of carbohydrates. The high carbohydrate content is bad for GS puppies. So canned foods are ideal for them.
- Wet foods are easily digested.
- Wet canned foods fulfill all the nutritional needs of a 4 week old German Shepherd puppy.
- Canned foods proved to be a complete diet for GS puppies.
- Canned foods are considered beneficial in maintaining urinary functions and the urinary tract.
ALTERNATE DIET FOR YOUR PUPPY:
If you are not liking the idea of cooked or dry food for your puppy, then there is another option. You can give a raw diet to your dog. This raw diet is packed with carbohydrates, vitamins, energy, and other important nutrients.
The owner can include meat in baked form or raw as well. Other ingredients can be added but they should be dog-friendly.
Raw meat is largely beneficial for your puppy’s growth as well as for bone strengthening. This raw diet also helps in fighting against several diseases.
HOW MUCH YOU SHOULD FEED YOUR PUPPY?
There is no rule of thumb that tells how much you should feed your German Shepherd puppy. Owners must know what food should be given at which stage of life.
Smaller Portion Sizes:
Little feed or too much feed, can be detrimental for young puppies. However, it is recommended to divide the whole day’s diet into 3-4 smaller meals.
But the owner should be careful not to overfeed the young puppies as overfeeding can cause vomiting in a 4-week old puppy. A young puppy’s diet is greatly different from an adult’s diet.
Young puppies need a more nutritious diet because they have to develop muscles or a skeletal system. By the time your puppy reaches the 6th month, these 3-4 meals a day can be further divided into 12 meals a day.
Moderation is the Key:
Moderation should be kept in mind in every aspect. Make sure not too much fat in their diets as it can cause hip dyslexia. On the contrary, a diet that is too low in fat content can cause skin dryness and poor muscle development.
The first 12 months of a German Shepherd’s life are very important as they grow rapidly.
At 1-month of age, the puppy needs to have easy access to fresh and clean water. As they grow old, owners should increase their food supply. An owner should be careful to maintain the amount of nutrition that is crucial for their proper development.
WHAT DOES A 4-WEEK OLD GERMAN SHEPHERD LOOK LIKE?
At 4 weeks old, the German Shepherd baby looks much like an adult dog. Get ready to be on your toes as they are super active at this stage. Also, you will observe some cute changes in their appearance.
Do not compare your german shepherd puppy’s appearance with any other puppy of the same age. All dogs grow at their individual pace and there is nothing to worry about if your friend’s GS puppy’s ears have stood up before your puppy’s.
Height: At 4-weeks, the German Shepherd ranges in height from 6 to 9 inches.
Weight: A 4 week old German Shepherd puppy’s weight ranges from 10 to 15 pounds which are 10% of their body weight throughout the life cycle.
Ears: At 4-weeks, your German Shepherd pup’s ears will lay flat but they must become erect in the coming weeks.
Teeth: At this stage, the puppy has most of their teeth developed if not all.
Sound: At 4 weeks of age, the little pups become really noisy. They start barking and growling and greet their mother with a loud noise.
German Shepherd puppy goes through various stages during their life cycle. Just like that their traits and habits also change over time. As a dog owner, you should enjoy each phase and make sure you are equipped with knowledge in order to care efficiently for your fur baby.