A special diet for german shepherds.
Why a special food for German Shepherd?
According to the manufacturer, GSDs are predisposed to suffer from chronic pancreatic deficiency or a defect of secretion of immunoglobuline A. Both diseases are responsible for digestive disturbances: impaired digestion in the the first case, allergic disease in the second one.
It is true that GSDs are likely to suffer from this type of problems, but is it enough to consider that all the GSDs shoud be fed as if they were sick?
The great majority of GSDs are healthy, and a large number of them either work or practise a sporting activity. Then, they require a diet that allows them to show the maximum of their potential abilities.
What are the characteristics of this “ special GSD product”?
Only 8 % fats
This very low level would be adapted to pancreatic deficient dogs, whose enzymatic deficiency does not allow a correct digestion of the fats.
Experimentally, it has been shown that a low-fat diet does not bring any real improvement in the clinical status of dogs with pancreatic deficiency. In most cases, dogs can easily stand a high fat level in their diet, providing that the food is highly digestible and that an enzyme supplementation comes with each meal (cf Q/A n° 65).
A working GSD cannot make it with a diet that provides less than 3300 kcal/kg. It would forces it to eat at least 25 % more than with Maxi Adult 1 or 35 % more than with Maxi Energy ! Such a volume is able to induce digestive troubles in dogs that have a relative low digestive capacity.
In addition, this product contains 54 % carbohydrates (plus fibers):this is a too high level for dogs that often suffer from a deficiency of amylasic secretion.
Only 2 fat sources : coconut and sunflower oils
The first one provides middle chain fatty acids, easily digestible; the second one ensures a supply in unsaturated fatty acids.
None of these oils provides a sufficient quantity of omega 3 fatty acids. But they are important to limit the inflammatory reactions, especially in GSD that often show cutaneous problems. So the fatty acids supply is very much disbalanced.
We must say also that the complete absence of animal fat and the use of coconut oil as the first fat source are negative factors concerning the palatability.
Finally, let’s remember that Maxi Energy also contains coconut oil (cf Q/A n° 94).
A single source of proteins: poultry (with a low protein level: 22 %)
Theoritically to minimize the risk of allergy…
One one hand, such a low level of proteins does not stimulate immunity (antibodies are proteins). On the other hand, a dog can get sensitized to any kind of proteins, including poultry.
The association poultry/fish/egg that exists in Maxi Adult 1 is more interesting concerning the protein digestibility and the composition in indispensable amino-acids.
And when the GSD gets older?…
The product claims for an anti-oxydant supply, to stimulate the defence of the organism.
If the vitamin E level is effectively interesting,there is no vitamine C, that works in synergy with vitamin E. The marigold, lucern and tomato extracts bring some beta-carotene, but this supply is not quantified…
In addition, fighting against ageing effects in a GSD, does not consist only in supplying anti-oxydants. It also includes dietary phosphorus restriction, joint degeneration prevention, chelated trace-elements supply, improvement of the quality of proteins, palatability boosting…
This product is not adapted to a GSD puppy, neither to an active adult GSD (too restrictive formulation), nor to a mature GSD (all the problems linked to ageing are not taken into account).
As for the GSDs that really suffer from pancreatic deficiency or a defect of secretion of immunoglobulines A, they can be fed a more energetic, higher protein diet. This will help to maintain their optimum bodyweight more easily.
Donated by the Borg Cardona and Co. Ltd. visit Borg Cardona website