With his head up, checking the surroundings, he looks quite majestic now. Pretty I'd say, do you agree?
Ah, you're concerned about his left ear?
His ears are fine, he's developing. A puppy at age three months is far too young to mess with the ears! Unless you know of an inherited defect or that damage has been done that makes you believe in your individual circumstances that your pup's ears cannot come up anymore, don't mess with German Shepherd ears. I've seen GSD puppy ears that only came up at age 9 months, and then very nicely. Also, note that each ear grows based on its own genetic code, therefore it is entirely normal that the ears look different until both have finished growing.
In my individual circumstances, damage may have been done by passers-by and neighbors who have been so happy to cuddle a puppy that their excited hand movements may have broken the cartilage in the left ear. However, a) I am not sure they have, and b) ear cartilage in a puppy has an incredible healing power naturally - therefore I am not doing anything about the puppy's ears. Conversely, just last night my pup was playing intensely with a five months old Labrador puppy, and the only safety for his ears that I required was: both dogs have to be off-leash. Never let your dog play with other dogs when any dog is on-leash, too much damage can be done when a leash is involved.
Despite the above, I would love to tell people off when their affection is inconsiderate for German Shepherd ears. Only problem: I can't say that in Portuguese, and I don't want to deny them their affection for my puppy either. So, during the first weeks I said nothing. But now at age 3 months it's getting critical to be strict, and so I have started saying to people: "Please don't touch the ears" (in English yes, but surprisingly more than a few seem to understand what I want). When you have a GSD puppy, just make sure you control a bit the socialization and play with people and dogs.
Anyway, do you now agree that my new puppy looks pretty?
New topic now. The food this puppy has been getting, starting at age 4 weeks 5 days:
- courgette/zucchini (steamed/roasted, in meals and in Kong, seems his favourite veg; I stopped it though for now, I saw how much they cost here at the moment: a kilo is €3.69/$4.20 - note that this kilo is 95% water!)
- aubergine/eggplant (steamed/roasted)
- butternut squash * (cooked/steamed, without the hard skin, in meals and in Kong; is great: very healthy and costs only €0.95/$1.10 a kilo here; is 88% water in case you wondered)
- sweet potato (cooked/steamed; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €1.65/$1.84, net raw ready for cooking only 83%, steamed 90% weight left)
- cassava (once, bought out of curiosity, horrible to prepare and not good enough healthwise)
- carrot (cooked/steamed; but a piece of raw uncut carrot occupies my puppy longer than a Kong! - raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €0.65/$0.73)
- celery (cooked/steamed; but a small piece raw is fine; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €1.78/$1.98)
- sweet pepper * (first I always gave it raw in meals and in Kong, he loves it, me too; but it really needs to be well cooked/steamed to be digestible!)
- cucumber (raw but cut small, in meals and in Kong)
- turnip (raw, in meals and as treat, only two fat slices; but this too apparently needs to be cooked/steamed to be digestible)
- broccoli (cooked/steamed)
- cauliflower (cooked/steamed, seems to like least, so do I; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €1.69/$1.88, net raw ready for cooking only 74%, steamed no weight loss at all!)
- leek (cooked/steamed; must mix with kefir or such to prevent clogging the esophagus, and must not be much as it has anemic properties if fed in bulk!)
- spinach (first I always gave it raw, but fine-cut; then I learned that spinach must be cooked/steamed)
- champignons (steamed/roasted)
- sweetcorn (cooked/steamed; did not digest it at age 7w but at age 11w)
- red cabbage (cooked/steamed, and from a jar - then must not be too sour, try it yourself first; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €0.65/$0.73, steamed ~ 825 g / 1.82 lb left)
- green cabbage (cooked/steamed)
- kale (cooked/steamed)
- green beans (cooked/steamed)
- asparagus (cooked/steamed)
- green lettuce
- beetroot/red beet (raw from a jar, must not be too sour, very healthy and he likes it, so do I)
- egg (fried without or little oil)
- pear * (seems his favourite fruit)
- banana (only a few slices in meals, if a larger piece, he doesn't eat it; must be ripe to aid digestion, but not old)
- honey melon (loves it)
- water melon * (loves it)
- mango * (loves it)
- plum * (tried a small piece, seems to like it)
- apple * (I only started with a bit of an apple at age 11w 5d because apple's pH is too low for small puppies)
- little bit of fresh orange juice in his water (seems not to like it though; little bit because of low pH)
- pasta (cooked, in meals and in Kong)
- rice (both white and brown, cooked/steamed; did not digest it at age 5w but at age 9w)
- pork chunks (roasted or steamed; in meals and in Kong; locally best value for money: raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €4.00/$4.50, steamed ~640 g / 1.41 lb left; may last 2 to 3 days for up to 11 weeks old GSD puppy when mixed with veg etc)
- chicken breast (roasted or steamed; in meals, as snack/treat, and in Kong; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €5.28/$5.87, steamed ~720 g / 1.58 lb left)
- turkey breast (roasted or steamed; in meals, as snack/treat, and in Kong; raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €5.73/$6.37, steamed ~625 g / 1.38 lb left)
- beef chunks (roasted or steamed; in meals, as snack/treat, and in Kong; most expensive: raw 1 kg / 2.2 lb for €6.53/$7.30, steamed ~630 g / 1.39 lb left)
- beef liver (only introduced at age 17 weeks, see later)
- salmon (roasted or steamed)
- hake (roasted or steamed)
- tuna (once out of can; seems not to like it, nor do I)
- cottage cheese (loves it, both in meals and as stuffing/binder in Kong)
- cheddar cheese (as treat/in Kong)
- local goats cheese (as treat/in Kong)
- kefir (he loves kefir, both in meals and as binder in Kong, also he always gets to lick out my kefir cup; I mix up to 4 heaped teaspoons into most meals, also helps him to eat rice grains, leek etc; if kefir with fruit, don't give much of the fruit part as this typically has added sugar!)
- curd (the zero fat one, thus not much as it's "sticky")
- ham leg slices (as treat/in Kong, reason: locally least salt and best value for money: 200 g / 7.05 oz for €0.95/$1.22; his favorite treat overall!)
- cornflakes (in meals and as treat: gets a small handful when I have my cereal; loves them, particularly with strawberries, like me; and I love the noise when he crunches them )
- black olive * (tried a small piece, seems to like olive)
- one peanut puff (wanted to see his reaction: he played with it for an hour before he ate it! Next time "only" for say 5 min)
- Frankfurter sausage (similar to hot dog; got one when I came out of supermarket and one later, then I read the label how salty they are!)
- Ziwi Peak lamb (bought one 2.5 kg bag for €55/$70 - thus a kilo at €22/$28.20!! - for when I can't cook/emergencies; though, I notice I am handing out a lot of that to dogs in the neighborhood locked out on the terrace! - this puppy clearly prefers all home-made food over kibble, even if Ziwi Peak)
- olive oil (for what gets roasted)
- parsley and oregano spices (because I use them on my foods)
- dried coconut snack (a few pieces when I was eating them myself)
- ice cube in water (seems not to like it yet, but when I make ice cubes from sausage water he loves them, and from age 20w he's unfortunately taking them out and swallowing them!)
* Note: I never give kernel/pit/stone/seeds to a dog; though some seeds are healthy, the short digestion time of dogs negates that. Plus, kernel/pit/stone/seeds can lead to stomach ulcers, kidney failure, etc.
- no tomato yet (pH too low for young puppy; but introduced at age 15w)
- no garlic yet (strong spices not for young puppy; but introduced at age 15w)
- obviously no milk (will not be introduced: unfermented dairy products should be avoided)
- no bred (bred contains dough, and industrial bred typically is not fully baked; dogs don't ferment thus they should not be given any dough!)
- no nuts (small amounts are not toxic, but nuts can give stomach cramps)
- the poultry listed above was only introduced at age 13w (first it did cost more here than pork, but for me they lowered the price; poultry is helpful health-wise, see later)
- the beef listed above was only introduced at age 15w (because I don't eat beef; also, pricey here!)
- the fish listed above also was only introduced at age 15w - except for a "teaser" of tuna (which he didn't like at all)
- no innards - I don't like that; remember, my puppy generally shares the foods that I eat (or at least would be willing to eat)
- no onions (can produce lots of gas if the puppy doesn't relieve soon)
- no Madras paste (I carefully put it only on my meat, not his)
- no peanut butter (peanut butter is risky: like people, some dogs are allergic to peanuts, and peanut butter is highly concentrated)
Since age 6 weeks this puppy has been getting three or four meals a day, plus a never ending supply of treats whenever I go in the kitchen, because this puppy is always hungry - no surprise, given how fast German Shepherd puppies are growing!
Since age 22 weeks this puppy has been getting FIVE meals a day (plus treats) because he didn't gain enough weight in my opinion (was too slim). Obviously each meal was a bit smaller then - which health-wise is much better anyway (indeed I was getting worried that the ever larger meals could lead to Gastric Torsion).
Each meal is about 1/3 meat/poultry, 1/3 vegetables, and 1/3 fruits and other items (particularly rice or pasta, plus cottage cheese or yoghurt or kefir).
With all the watery veg and fruit he's getting, most days this puppy is drinking only 1 liter (34 ozUS) water a day (to measure it I've been using the small bowl for now which you see on the photos, it takes 400 ml and the pup drinks two-and-a-half of these on average). I try to motivate him to drink more, but mostly unsuccessful.
Added to Added: A few weeks later I am remembering a trick to get the puppy to drink as much as I deem healthy: I then buy glasses with Frankfurter sausages of a different brand that don't contain salt, and when I want the pup to drink more, I add a bit of the sausage water to the drinking water. One day I added too much, and the puppy emptied the 400 ml/ 13.5 oz in one go! Soon thereafter I promptly had to absorb a LOT of watery pee from the living room floor.
Added to Added to Added: Another few weeks later, our spring - your summer - brings melons onto the biggest shelves, now I am buying those. My new puppy loves them, and obviously melons hydrate best, so now I am no longer worried how little this puppy is drinking.
(End of all Added)
Remember that the first rice served at age 4 weeks 5 days he didn't digest (rice grains visible in stool). Basically, in the first week I mainly served this puppy small pieces of pork with courgette/zucchini (he digested best), broccoli, sweet potato, and pear (his favorite fruit from the start). The large variety above only started at age 6 weeks. Even at age 11 weeks I still cut all foods small to aid digestion.
You got "no time" to feed a varied diet like this?
- No need to go that much varied! It's just that we try to eat a varied diet too, and the pup ... shares in the foods that we eat (you remembered, good!)
- You do have the time to feed a fresh homemade diet: In the Interview Review of the fourth Dog Expert Interview (purely on dog health) I show how. - If I can do it, you can do it easily!!
This is a diary (My New Puppy Diary), but maybe you welcome a tip nonetheless? A multi-layered steamer does MAGIC in the kitchen: It gifts you TIME, and taste, and health.
I am currently considering to get another one of these three-layered steamers, so helpful they are! And the coolest thing about a steamer: They cost less than one quality pot.
Added: I did get another steamer (you'll see later), and it makes food preparation a breeze!