Your dog is special! She is your best friend, companion, and a source of unconditional love. Chances are, you chose her because you like German Shepherds and expected her to have certain traits that would fit your lifestyle:
Loyal and easygoing with the people she knows
Protective; an excellent guard dog
Intelligent and easy to train
Highly active and eager to have a purpose
No dog is perfect, though, and you may have noticed some of these characteristics as well:
Overprotective of family and territory if not socialized properly
Aloof toward strangers
Needs to be exercised and groomed regularly
May be aggressive toward people and dogs
Is it all worth it? Of course! She has her own personality, and you love her for it.
Your German Shepherd’s Health
We know that you care so much about your dog and want to take good care of her. That’s why we’ll tell you about the health concerns we’ll be discussing with you over the life of your shepherd. Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they’re related to your pet’s breed. That doesn’t mean your dog will have these problems, but it does mean that she’s more at risk than other dogs.
Routine Care, Diet, and Exercise
Build your routine care into your schedule to help your shepherd live longer, stay healthy, and be happier during her lifetime. We cannot overemphasize the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine. Overweight German Shepherd dogs are more prone to cancer, back pain, arthritis, and other problems.
Here are some tips for caring for your German Shepherd:
Brush her coat at least weekly.
Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—we’ll show you how!
Brush her teeth at least three times a week.
Keep your dog’s diet consistent and don’t give her people food.
Avoid high-fat and high-sodium dog treats, such as pig ears.
Don’t let your dog chew on bones, ice cubes, hooves, or tennis balls.
Feed a high-quality diet appropriate for her age.
Exercise your dog regularly, and don’t overdo it.
What to Watch For
Give us a call immediately if you notice any of these signs in your shepherd:
Vomiting or chronic diarrhea
Weight loss or weight gain
Lumps, bumps, and moles
Lethargy, mental dullness, or excessive sleeping
Fearfulness, aggression, or other behavioral changes
Limping or lameness
Coughing or difficulty breathing
Episodes of weakness
Inability or straining to urinate
Cloudiness, redness, itching, or any other abnormality involving the eyes
Itchy skin (scratching or licking)
Change in appetite or water consumption
Scratching or shaking the head or discharge in the ear
Signs of bloat: retching or heaving (but nothing comes out), acting restless, pot belly, or lying in a prayer position (front feet down, rear end up)
Weakness in the hind legs
Discharge or bleeding from the anus, licking the anal area, constipation, or fecal incontinence
Sudden inability or unwillingness to jump, go up stairs, or walk