Knowing all about the German Shorthaired Pointer feeding guide is essential in keeping this highly energetic and enthusiastic breed healthy. Diet also plays a big role in keeping the GSP fueled for its daily activities!
With that, every owner should know how much food to feed their athletic hunting dogs to help them maintain a healthy weight.
Feeding too much or too little can negatively affect your dog’s health. This is why a comprehensive guide on how much to feed your German Shorthaired Pointer is beneficial for all dog owners.
This feeding guide will help you determine how much food to feed your pup, the best diet, and which feeding habits you should adopt to keep your German Shorthaired Pointer healthy throughout its life. Let’s begin!
German Shorthaired Pointer Feeding Chart by Age: How Much to Feed Your Pointer?
Generally, adult German Shorthaired Pointers need around 2 to 5 cups of dog food a day. Meanwhile, puppies can eat between ½ to 5 ¼ cups, and senior dogs can be fed 2 ¼ to 2 ¾ cups. These feeding portions may vary depending on your dog’s weight, activity level, and the type of food you provide.
A German Shorthaired Pointer, also called GSP, will have varying nutritional needs as it goes through different life stages.
For instance, a growing German Shorthaired Pointer puppy may have different feeding requirements, such as bigger servings as compared to an adult dog.
As such, you can use this guide to determine the right amount of food to feed your dog, along with your vet’s recommendations.
German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 18 months)
German Shorthaired Pointer puppies rely on the milk from their mother dog as nourishment during their first few weeks. By the time they are around five weeks old, they are fully weaned and ready for puppy food.
Choose high-quality puppy food to feed your German Shorthaired Pointer puppy to aid in its proper development.
Puppy food that provides sufficient proteins, fats, calcium, omega-rich fish oil, and probiotics is recommended.
Below is the feeding chart of a German Shorthaired Pointer puppy:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|2 – 3 months||0.5 – 1.33||654 – 1,299||22 – 32%||10 – 25%|
|4 – 5 months||1.5 – 2.33||1,299 – 1,458||22 – 32%||10 – 25%|
|6 – 8 months||2 – 3.33||1,458 – 1,670||22 – 32%||10 – 25%|
|9 – 11 months||2.5 – 2.75||1,566 – 1,670||22 – 32%||10 – 25%|
|12 – 18 months||2.75 – 5.25||1,670 – 1,876||22 – 32%||10 – 25%|
You can use the guide above in feeding your German Shorthaired Pointer puppy to support the proper development of its bones and muscles and help build its immunity.
Adult German Shorthaired Pointer Feeding Chart (1.5 to 7 years)
Typically, the growth spurt of the German Shorthaired puppy ends once they reach adulthood. This usually begins upon reaching 18 months. By this time, they have already attained their final adult size.
As they are no longer puppies, you need to transition from German Shorthaired Pointer puppy food to good quality adult food.
Adult food contains specific amounts of nutrients targeted to fulfill the needs of active male and female GSP adult dogs.
Below is the feeding chart for an adult German Shorthaired Pointer:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|1.5 – 7 years||2 – 5||1,077 – 1,501||26%||5.5%|
In addition, how much exercise your pooch gets and its individual metabolism rate will affect the number of servings you need to feed your adult GSP daily.
Dog treats can sometimes lead to weight gain, so it’s best to be mindful of how much you give your canine and the quality of the ingredients the treats are made of.
Senior German Shorthaired Pointer Feeding Chart (8 years and above)
As your German Shorthaired Pointer moves on to its senior years, you need to adjust its dog food. Just like when they were puppies, maintaining a proper weight is crucial to avoid health complications.
The feeding chart below indicates the amount of daily food consumption of a senior German Shorthaired Pointer:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|8 years and above||2.25 – 2.75||1,077 – 1,501||26 – 32%||5.5%|
While many senior dogs become obese during their senior years, active GSPs tend to maintain their lean figure and weight even during these years.
Thus, it is important that senior GSPs get appropriate protein levels to ensure that they do not experience weakness, muscle loss, and compromised immune systems.
German Shorthaired Pointer Feeding Frequency: How Often Should You Feed Your Pointer?
In general, you should feed your German Shorthaired Pointer two to four times a day, depending on its age. Puppies should be fed as frequently as four times a day, while adult and senior German Shorthaired Pointers can be fed at most two meals a day.
A good feeding schedule ensures that your GSP has sufficient energy for its activities and has enough time to digest and metabolize its food.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends that puppies are fed more frequently to help with their development and growth. In the same manner, their small stomachs will not be able to hold food for too long.
For adult and senior GSPs, one meal in the morning and one in the evening is sufficient to keep them lean and maintain a healthy weight.
The table below shows the recommended feeding schedule for a German Shorthaired Pointer:
|0 – 3 months||Four times a day|
|4 – 6 months||Three times a day|
|7 months and above||Twice a day|
Stick to a consistent feeding schedule to establish a solid routine for your pooch. This is greatly beneficial for puppies as it makes housetraining easier.
For adult dogs, a consistent feeding schedule is a good way to help them cope with changes in the household. Likewise, consistency in diet habits helps owners easily notice the signs of health problems.
Optimal Feeding Times for German Shorthaired Pointers
German Shorthaired Pointer puppies must be fed at 4-hour intervals. The suggested times are 7 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. At 4 to 6 months old, they can switch to 6-hour intervals — 6:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. Once they are seven months or older, they can switch to a 12-hour interval.
Your feeding time, along with the feeding frequency, helps maintain stability for your German Shorthaired Pointer’s appetite and energy levels.
Not only does this keep your canine’s digestive system in check, but it also helps condition its mind when it is time to eat.
You can refer to the table below for the optimal feeding times for a German Shorthaired Pointer:
|Age||Optimal Feeding Times|
|0 – 3 months||7:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.|
|4 – 6 months||6:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m.|
|7 months and above||7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.|
Once German Shorthaired puppies reach the one-year mark, they would have already become accustomed to eating twice a day and developed a good appetite.
But because this breed is prone to experiencing bloat, you have to ensure that your pooch is not fed immediately for at least an hour before and after heavy exercise or physical activity.
And similar to other breeds, the ideal evening mealtime should allow your dog enough time to digest its food before going to bed.
As such, your pooch’s last meal of the day should ideally be around three hours before it goes to bed.
You can adjust the feeding times according to your own schedule. What is important is that you stick to the same feeding times for your dog every day.
Best Dog Foods for German Shorthaired Pointers
Choosing the best food for your German Shorthaired Pointer is highly essential for its overall health. As they are active dogs, they have specific nutritional needs that must be met in order to thrive.
The right food can help combat health conditions that are common among medium to large dogs like them, such as hip dysplasia.
These canines would also benefit from a diet that supports good eyesight as they are also prone to developing progressive retinal atrophy or PRA.
Below is a list of dog food choices for your German Shorthaired Pointer:
- Dry Food: Kibble or dry food is the easiest to store and is considered the most affordable option. Another benefit to feeding your pup with kibble is that it supports dental health by keeping your German Shorthaired Pointer’s teeth clean. Every brand has a different set of ingredients, so look for quality kibble that has been formulated with nutrients that meet the standards of The Association of the American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
- Wet Food: Wet food or canned dog food is more expensive than dry food but has higher moisture content and is more flavorful, making it a good option if your German Shorthaired Pointer is a picky eater. In addition, it contains a higher amount of fresh ingredients such as meat, fish, and poultry.
- Mixed Wet and Dry Food: You can opt to mix wet and dry food for your German Shorthaired Pointer. The combination of soft and crunchy textures offers your canine more variety during mealtimes. But, you need to be careful with the proportions of wet and dry food to ensure that your pup is attaining the correct amount of nutrients with every serving.
- Homemade Diet: Homemade food allows you to select the ingredients that go into your German Shorthaired Pointer’s food. This is a good way to avoid allergy-causing fillers like corn and wheat. When choosing to feed your canine a homemade diet, consult with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that you are preparing a balanced diet for your dog.
- Raw Food Diet: Raw feeding or raw food diet consists of feeding your German Shorthaired Pointer with raw bones, raw meat, raw eggs, vegetables like green beans, and dairy products. Some benefits of raw feeding include improved gut health, healthier skin, increased energy levels, and reduced bad breath.
Apart from striving to attain the most health benefits, choosing the best food for your pooch also entails factoring in your ability to commit the time, effort, and resources to sustain your chosen diet for your canine.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your German Shorthaired Pointer
German Shorthaired Pointers have a healthy appetite. Like most dogs, they are unlikely to pass up any opportunity to eat anything tasty, regardless of whether it may be good or bad for them.
Some foods are harmful to GSPs, like onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins. While safe for humans, these foods can cause anemia and kidney failure in your pup.
In addition, macadamia nuts, avocados, peaches, plums, and persimmons are also harmful to them.
Eating macadamia nuts and avocados can cause vomiting and diarrhea, while the seeds and pits in peaches, plums, and persimmons contain poisonous cyanide.
In addition, you should never give your pup chocolate, alcohol, and caffeine. These increase their blood pressure and cause rapid heartbeat, tremors, seizures, and even death.
Moreover, never give your pup any food that contains a sweetener called xylitol, as this causes low blood sugar and liver failure. This is usually an ingredient found in breath mints, gum, baked goods, and toothpaste.
Likewise, do not include milk and dairy products in your pup’s diet, as these can also cause allergic reactions like itchy skin and rashes. These can also negatively affect your dog’s digestion and cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Too much salt and sugar are also bad for your GSP. Dehydration, kidney damage, cavities, and diabetes are some health conditions associated with a high intake of salty and sweet foods.
Furthermore, fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis, so avoid giving your GSP bacon, fried chicken, and hot dogs.
Knowing which foods you need to steer clear of enables you to achieve good health and longevity for your GSP.
Watch the video below to get more information on what not to feed your German Shorthaired Pointer:
How to Transition Your German Shorthaired Pointer to a New Food
Changes in your German Shorthaired Pointer’s diet are inevitable. Going through different life stages or undergoing dog training for a specific sport will cause its dietary needs to change.
Switching to a new food requires making adjustments in small amounts to prevent an upset stomach.
Typically, the transition should be done in five to seven days to allow your pup to get used to eating its new food.
Below is a transition chart to guide you in transitioning your German Shorthaired Pointer to a new food:
|Day||Old Food||New Food|
|1 – 2||75%||25%|
|3 – 4||50%||50%|
|5 – 6||25%||75%|
Hopefully, the gradual change in your pup’s new food will allow its digestive system to adapt smoothly to the new diet.
Be watchful of any signs of adverse reactions to the new food, such as loss of appetite, allergies, vomiting, or diarrhea. If this happens, consult with your vet on how to proceed with the change.
Feeding an Overweight German Shorthaired Pointer
Having an overweight German Shorthaired Pointer is a serious concern. As owners, you want your pooch to remain as healthy as possible throughout its lifetime.
Obesity hinders your GSP’s chance of living a healthy and long life because it leads to more health concerns such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
With that, if you notice that your GSP’s stomach is sagging and you cannot feel its ribs, it needs to lose the extra weight.
You will first need to determine what is causing your canine to be obese. Usually, a dog becomes obese due to an imbalance in its calorie intake and the calories it burns.
It may also be lacking in exercise or given more food portions or too many treats. There are also instances when spayed/neutered dogs experience slower metabolism, leading to their weight gain.
Speak with your vet on how to safely reduce the food portions of your GSP. You also need to switch to more healthy foods and treats. Instead of commercial dog treats, you can give your GSP raw or steamed veggies.
Likewise, engage your canine in added physical activity such as long walks and playtime. The increase must be gradual to enable your canine to adjust without straining its muscles.
Everyone in the household should do their part in helping your GSP achieve its ideal weight. And remember to be consistent with maintaining good results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My German Shorthaired Pointer Not Eating?
Several factors like anxiety, illnesses, dental disease, and changes in eating habits can cause your German Shorthaired Pointer to refuse to eat.
It is usually not a cause for alarm if your GSP is not eating for a few days and shows no other symptoms like vomiting, coughing, diarrhea, or incontinence.
However, if you notice any of these symptoms and your pooch is not eating, speak with your vet immediately.
Do German Shorthaired Pointers Eat a Lot?
Yes, German Shorthaired Pointer dogs have healthy appetites and eat a lot. As they are active dogs, they burn a lot of calories and can easily go hungry. Likewise, physical activity stimulates their appetite, making them crave food.
As such, a healthy diet with balanced nutrients must be fed to them to ensure they get optimal energy levels for all their activities. Appropriate food portioning is also important to avoid having weight issues.
Can German Shorthaired Pointers Eat Bones?
Yes, a German Shorthaired Pointer can eat bones. But, brittle, cooked, and small bones must never be fed to your GSP. These can cause splintering and damage your GSP’s intestines, throat, and mouth.
To keep your GSP safe, only feed it with raw meaty bones, and if it is on a raw diet, you can feed them with ground bones.
Can German Shorthaired Pointers Be Vegetarians?
Yes, German Shorthaired Pointers can be vegetarians. GSPs can also get their protein requirements from plant-based sources.
As long as their nutritional needs, including the essential amino acids, are met by the vegetarian dog food, GSPs can do well with a vegetarian diet.
This is also beneficial for GSPs with meat allergies and those struggling to maintain a healthy weight.
Feeding your German Shorthaired Pointer is an important aspect of its proper pet care. Once you choose to get one from a rescue or responsible breeder, you are in charge of providing for its needs, including food.
What you feed, how much food you give, and the feeding times all play a part in your GSP’s overall well-being.
By sticking to a high-quality diet, regular meal habits, monitoring consumption of treats, and avoiding harmful foods for your GSP, you are building a solid foundation for the good health and longevity of your canine best friend.
Seeing your pooch healthy, thriving, and happy will make all the hard work worth it.
Are you a GSP owner? Share with us some German Shorthaired Pointer feeding tips that have worked well with your pooch in the comments below!