Every GSP owner wants to be sure their dog is getting the best food and the right amount. Are you feeding your GSP enough, or perhaps too much? And how can you make sure your GSP is getting the best diet for their health and wellbeing?

Walking through any pet food store can be overwhelming. Food is one of the cornerstones of your dog’s health and something you have absolute control over.

So let’s explore your options so you can make the right choice of food for your German Shorthaired Pointer, and provide the right quantity for optimal health!

*EDIT We have great news; our dog feeding calculator is now LIVE. Not only that, but it works perfectly for all GSP’s. You can now use it by clicking here: Dog Feeding Calculator

How Much Per Day to Feed Your GSP?

There are food calorie calculators that can help you determine this, but these only offer a rough estimate. To get a more accurate answer, we have to look deeper at the individual German Shorthaired Pointer.

The more accurate answer will depend on a lot of variables, such as:

  • Is your German Shorthaired Pointer a puppy or full-grown?
  • Are they overweight, underweight, or just right?
  • Do they eat kibble, raw, or fresh food?
  • Do they get exercise every day?

We have to consider all of this information before making even a general suggestion. Just like people, the best diet and calorie intake depends upon the circumstances of their life!

But it is important to figure out your GSP’s ideal weight and strive to reach it. The proper weight will help them to live longer and healthier lives. In fact, it is said that dogs that maintain their ideal weight can live 1.8 years longer!

How-much-to-feed-GSP-infographic

How you can determine your GSP’s ideal body weight

The American Kennel Club says the ideal weight for a German Shorthaired Pointer is 55-70 pounds for males and 45-60 pounds for females. But that is too wide a range to make a determination for your individual GSP.

So looking at your German Shorthaired Pointer’s body, look at their ribs. If you can see them clearly, your dog is too thin. You should be able to feel them easily. If it is tough to feel them, your GSP is likely overweight.

You can also look at their waistline and tummy. There should be a slight waist when you view your dog from over his body. If it is severe, your GSP likely needs to put on weight. Their tummy should be slightly arched up toward their rear. If there is no tuck, your GSP is likely overweight.

If you still aren’t sure, check with your veterinarian, who will be sure to put you on the right path.

How often per day to feed GSP

A German Shorthaired Pointer that is over 6-months-old should be fed twice per day. If they are younger than this they will require 3-4 meals a day. When your GSP eats, it only takes a few hours for the digestion process and will leave their stomach completely empty after about 8- 10 hours.

Two meals each day will help your dog from becoming hyper acidic, which can cause symptoms such as vomiting, lip licking, painful swallowing, decreased appetite, and restlessness.

If you have ever seen a dog regurgitate yellow bile, that is hyperacidity. It is a sign of an empty stomach. So if your GSP does this, it is time to readjust their meal times.

Feeding Chart for GSP Puppy

The amount you feed your German Shorthaired Pointer will depend on two things; their age, and their weight. The following chart is a good guide for how much to feed your GSP depending on their age.

The chart is an average of male and female GSP’s, and so if you have a girl, err on the side of giving less, and if you have a boy, then feed a bit more.

This is just a guide for you to use, and as we’ll keep reiterating in this article, your GSP is different from everyone else’s, as their daily intake of calories depends upon their exercise output.

And remember, treats count towards calories as well. So if your puppy is going through training with lots of treats, then less food should be given.

GSP-Feeding-Chart

GSP Puppy Diet

German Shorthaired Pointers are active dogs, so they need a high-quality diet to support their puppy antics! You want to be sure that the food you choose to feed is not full of fillers or sugars.

Fillers are ingredients used to add bulk at a low cost but have little nutritional value. Sugars make your puppy want more, so you may think they are still hungry when they are just craving the sweetness of the food.

When you decide on the right food for your GSP, you want to divide the right amount up into three meals a day. A regular schedule will help you with potty training. Schedule the last meal early enough to make sure your dog is empty for the night.

When you first bring your puppy home (around 8-10 weeks), these meals will be about ¼ – ½ cup each. Around 12 weeks your German Shorthaired Pointers growth will take off, with an increased need for calories.

Slowly start to add more to each meal. You don’t want a big jump in food intake to be done too quickly, or it can cause gastrointestinal distress.

Also, do account for training treats, too. If your GSP puppy has earned a lot of treats in a day, just reduce the number of calories they get with their meals.

To ensure you’re not overfeeding your puppy, be sure to read our post on that subject here: Can You Overfeed Your Puppy? (Yes or No)

GSP Raw Diet

Raw diets, also known as the BARF diet, are controversial. But many German Shorthaired Pointer families swear by it. So it is worth investigating to see if it is a good choice for your GSP.

BARF stands for Bones and Raw Food, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, and the theory is that our dogs are eating what they would have before canines were domesticated. This has been studied in-depth by a veterinarian from Australia, Ian Billinghurst.

Proponents of the diet report cleaner teeth, shinier coats, and less stool.

And if you are wondering about salmonella, dogs, in general, have a digestive tract that will typically disarm the bacteria.

A much bigger concern when feeding your dog a raw diet is to make sure the diet is properly balanced.

Dr. Billinghurst has a book, Give Your Dog a Bone, (not an affiliate link), that can help guide you through creating a well-balanced menu for your German Shorthaired Pointer.

In addition, there are now commercial raw diets, such as freeze-dried raw and kibbles with raw boosters that help make balancing the diet easier.

But how much should you feed if feeding raw? The average suggestion is to feed between 2-3% of your GSP’s body weight, split up between two meals each day. So if your dog is 50 pounds, they would get between 1-1.5 pounds of food each day.

GSP-eating

GSP Fresh Diet

In a fresh food diet, you can choose to feed your dog raw meat, or cooked meat. Or mix it up!

The way you feed your German Shorthaired Pointer protein with this diet is usually dependent on your comfort level with raw meat.

Like the raw diet, the biggest concern about a fresh diet is making sure it is correctly balanced.

But when cooking for your dog, you need to make sure all of the ingredients you’re using are safe for your GSP.

And be aware of the recipes you use. Recent studies have shown that many dog food recipes that are found online were low on calcium, and other nutrients needed to keep your German Shorthaired Pointer healthy.

So find recipes from a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to be sure you are getting the best guidance.

Another option is to use a fresh food service for your GSP, which delivers fresh meals to your door that have the ideal nutrients and calories for your dog. We recommend Pet Plate.

GSP Kibble

Kibble is a great choice to make sure your German Shorthaired Pointer is getting balanced nutrition. But it is a healthy option? Well, that depends!

Manufactured dog food is a relatively new invention, with the first dog biscuit being produced in 1860.

We have learned a thing or ten since that first bold step. And now our selection is better than ever.

Like in the human food industry, there are the good, the bad, and the ugly. But if you don’t have the time to be sure you are balancing your dog’s food correctly, researching the best kibble for your GSP is a safe bet.

Look for meat to be high up on the ingredient list. Whole grains are better than refined. And avoid sugar, fillers, and food coloring.

But also make sure that the kibble you pick works for your individual German Shorthaired Pointer. If your GSP seems to have consistent gas, runny stools, or seems to have any stomach pain, you may want to choose something different.

Adult German Shorthaired Pointers will typically eat 2-4 cups a day (in two meals).

We recommend Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, and if your GSP is particularly active, then Dr. Tim’s Active Dog Pursuit Formula is a good choice.

Final Word

Keep in mind that these are general recommendations. And as your German Shorthaired Pointer is an individual, sometimes the protocol needs to vary.

So if your dog seems to be gaining more weight, slowly reduce the amount you give them.

And if they seem underweight, add some more calories. All changes to their feeding habits need to be done gradually.

And if you find your dog losing or gaining weight when you haven’t made any dietary changes, be sure to consult your veterinarian for a customized nutrition plan for your German Shorthaired Pointer.

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