Best Dog Food for German Shepherd


German Shepherd Dog Food—Top-Rated Products and Our Suggestions

The German Shepherd pups are fitness trainers of the dog world. You know, the ones that always see one more push up in you. Well, these pups are hard-working dogs that enjoy any physical activity. They can run around all day long and still wish for more mentally-stimulating exercises.

Their great activeness requires that these dogs receive adequate nutrition. In this article, we’re going to talk about the perfect ingredient ratio for their diet, and you’ll see the best dog food products for this lovely breed.

The choice of formulas is the result of our desire to provide you and your pooch with the best. We are not affiliated with any dog food product line, and we do not receive sponsorship. The brands and products you find below are the fruits of our thorough search.

How We Chose Our Top Picks

Food products for German Shepherds that you’ll see below were carefully picked out. We followed certain criteria that we consider are highly important when choosing dog food. These criteria include:

  1. Naming specific meat sources on the top of the ingredient list
  2. Low presence of meat or vegetable by-products, as well as grain
  3. Being rated as “complete and balanced” by The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)

What Is The Best Dog Food for German Shepherd

Are you ready to hear your Shepherd howl with happiness? Give them some of the formulas we suggested below, and you’ll see what pure joy looks like.

In the table below, you’ll see the five dog food products that we selected for you. We have chosen these yummy formulas after our detailed investigation and according to the advice we received from our vets.

TheDogDigest Picks

BrandRating
Best overallBlue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

4.9

Runner-up

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Field Dry Dog Food4.8
Best for senior dogsVICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

4.7

Best for puppies

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food4.8
Best for sensitive tummyNatural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Large Breed Bites Dry Dog Food with Grains

4.8

Best Overall: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Source: blue wilderness

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a formula tailored for large breed pups. It is rich in high-quality protein, which comes from real chicken. This grain-free product also offers an excellent balance of carbohydrates and fat, perfect for active and vigorous dogs. Carbohydrates come from healthy ingredients—sweet potatoes and peas. This yummy product doesn’t contain:

  • Poultry by-product meals
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial preservatives
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Wheat

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids present in this recipe promote your pup’s shiny coat and strengthen their immune system. These acids come from fish and flaxseed, and they protect dogs from infections.

This mix is full of useful vitamins needed for your hairy friend’s balanced diet.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

34.0% min

Crude Fat

15.0% min
Crude Fiber

6.0 % max

Moisture

10.0% max
Calcium

1.4% min

Phosphorus

0.9% min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids

0.5% min

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

2.75% min
Glucosamine

400 mg/kg min

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal (Source Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, DL-Methionine, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride,Copper Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice For Color, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil Of Rosemary, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract.

Runner-up: Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Field Dry Dog Food

Source: best breed

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Field Dry Dog Food provides your pooch with high-quality protein that comes from eggs, premium chicken protein, and wholesome grains.  Both meat-based and plant-based protein give your furry one balanced nutrition that they require.

The formula doesn’t contain any:

  • Artificial flavors
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial preservatives
  • Wheat
  • Corn

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids promote their shiny coat.

In case your pup suffers from hip dysplasia or joint issues, glucosamine is there to offer them relief from the pain and keep your dog’s joints healthy.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

28.0% min
Crude Fat

13.0% min

Crude Fiber

3.0 % max
Moisture

10.0% max

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat [Preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E)], Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Chicken Flavor, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lecithin, Menhaden Fish Oil, Kelp Meal, Sea Salt, Flax Seed, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Canola Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Glucosamine, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine, New Zealand Sea Mussel, Dl Methionine, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Garlic Powder, Vitamin E Supplement, Biotin, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Citric Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Oxide.

Best for Senior Dogs: VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Source: victor

VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food is a perfect product for your Grandpa Shepherd as it provides them with glucosamine and chondroitin that keep your dog’s joints lubricated and relieve the pain. This breed is known for their joint problems, so even though your senior isn’t showing any signs of joint issues, this formula will protect them from future problems.

Crude fat is low, which is recommendable for senior, less active doggos.

Protein comes from high-quality nutrients—beef, fish, chicken, and pork meals.

Lean muscle development is supported by L-carnitine.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

27.0% min

Crude Fat

11.5% min
Crude Fiber

4.5 % max

Moisture

9.0% max
Omega-6 Fatty Acids*

2.6% min

Omega-3 Fatty Acids*

0.4% min
DHA

0.1% min

Zinc

150 mg/kg min
Selenium

0.35 mg/kg min

Vitamin E

150 IU/kg min
L-carnitine

150 mg/kg min

Glucosamine

800 mg/kg min
Chondroitin

300 mg/kg min

Ingredients:

Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Yeast Culture, Chicken Meal, Pork Meal, Peas, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Blood Meal, Natural Flavor, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Selenium Yeast, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Potassium Chloride, Carrot Powder, Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Taurine, Salt, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Dried Seaweed Meal, Zinc Methionine Complex, Vitamin E Supplement, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Copper Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride,Spearmint Extract, Lecithin, Fructooligosaccharide, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Folic Acid, And Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Powdered Cellulose, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Tetra Sodium Pyrophosphate, Vegetable Oil.

Best for Puppies: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food

Source: blue wilderness

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food product is made to meet all your puppy’s wolfy diet needs. Deboned chicken and chicken meal provide them with high-quality protein. This diet has 36% of protein, and it’s perfect for growing and active lil’ Shepherd.

Sweet potatoes are the main source of carbohydrates. Cranberries, blueberries, and carrots contain antioxidants that protect them from infections.

This grain-free formula is good for digestion. Its kibble is small, and puppy pups have no problem to gobble them up.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

36.0% min

Crude Fat

16.0% min
Crude Fiber

5.0 % max

Moisture

10% max
DHA

0.15% min

Calcium

1.2% min
Phosphorus

1.0% min

Choline

2,750 mg/kg min
Ara

0.05% min

Omega-6 Fatty Acids*

3.0% min
Omega-3 Fatty Acids*

0.9% min

Ingredients:
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Peas, Tapioca Starch, Pea Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, Dried Tomato Pomace, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Fish Oil (source of ARA-Arachidonic Acid and DHA- Docosahexaenoic Acid), Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Dried Yeast, Cranberries, Salt, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Choline Chloride, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate,  Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Calcium Iodate, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Carnitine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract.

Best for Sensitive Tummy: Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Large Breed Bites Dry Dog Food with Grains

Source: natural balance

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Large Breed Bites Dry Dog Food with Grains provides your pup with high-quality protein that comes from lamb. This product is tailored for dogs who struggle with tummy issues.

  • Artificial flavors
  • Colors
  • Preservatives
  • Fillers
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Soy

Amino acids promote your furry friend’s skin and coat.

Your cute beastie will adore the crunchiness, which also maintains their oral hygiene. If you are looking for some other way to help your pooch with stinky dog breath, take a look at our list of top ten best dog dental chews.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

24.0% min

Crude Fat

12.0% min
Crude Fiber

4.0 % max

Moisture

10.0% max
Calcium

1.2% min

Phosphorus

1.0% min
Taurine

0.25% min

Omega-6 Fatty Acids*

1.5% min
Omega-3 Fatty Acids*

0.12% min

Ingredients:

Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran, Brewers Dried Yeast, Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Iron Proteinate, D-calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate).

German Shepherd—Dietary Requirements

These large canines have a hearty appetite. This should not come as a surprise, given how much energy they can spend in a single day!

An adult Shepherd should get two larger or three smaller meals per day. Make sure there’s always a bowl of fresh water nearby.

The old saying “you are what you eat” also refers to our hairy friends. Your canine should get ingredients that meet their nutritional needs. If you miss out to provide them with any important ingredient for a longer period, your pup will show signs of poor nutrition, such as:

  • Lifeless coat
  • Hair loss
  • Frequent infections
  • Lack of energy

Here, you’ll find some guidelines on important aspects of German Shepherd nutrition:

  1. An active Shepherd who weighs between 60 and 90 pounds should get around 1,750 and 2,000 calories per day. If your pup suffers from any illness, their activity levels will be reduced, which means that you need to cut back on their calories. The same goes for senior and inactive doggos
  2. The first ingredient on the list should be a high-quality protein source. Lots of ingredients can provide your pup with protein, but you’ll find the healthy protein in eggs, fish, poultry, and beef
  3. Use fish oils. These oils give your dog healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, which maintain your pooch’s lustrous coat and boost their immune system
  4. Avoid corn, soy, and wheat. While these ingredients provide your pup with protein, they are usually used in lower-quality products. Dogs who eat too much of these grains often suffer from digestive problems
  5. Include fat and carbohydrates. Vigorous and active dogs need a higher intake of fat and carbohydrates in their diet than less active pups

What Is the Best Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppies

Shepherd puppies switch to adult food when they are six months old, even though other breeds eat puppy food until they are 12 months old. The owners often do this to prevent sudden growth in puppies, which can lead to joint issues.

The owners of this prestigious breed need to find products with high-quality protein that will support their growth. The best formulas for German Shepherd little ones are tailored for large breed puppies.

Don’t give them food for adult dogs, as it contains less calcium than your little munchkin needs. Bear in mind, too much calcium can cause hip dysplasia. Don’t add it as a supplement if their formula already contains enough of it. Food for adult Shepherds is also made with larger kibble, which is difficult for puppies to chew and swallow.

Up to 500% calories a day is safe to feed your little wolfy. Puppy Shepherd should get small but frequent portions. Below, you’ll find their feeding schedule.

Age

Meals per day
Two to four months

Four

Four to nine months

Three
Nine months or older

Two to three

German Shepherd—Common Health Issues Good Nutrition Can Help Prevent

Responsible dog owners like to investigate what illnesses their pooch is prone to so that they could prevent them on time. If you don’t feed your furry Shepherd with the best food that meets their requirements, they will be susceptible to illnesses. There are several health problems that these canines could suffer from. The most common ones are:

  1. Bloating
  2. Hip dysplasia
  3. Elbow dysplasia
  4. Diabetes
  5. Allergies

Bloating

Bloating is a frequent health issue that larger breeds with deeper chest usually suffer from. The dog’s tummy gets filled with food or gas and then rotates, blocking the gas from coming out. The pressure of the bloat can make their breathing difficult and turn into a life-threatening situation.

There are some things that you can do to prevent your canine from bloating. Take a look at our suggestions:

  1. Don’t let them eat too much per meal. You can put some food in the bowl, wait for them to eat it, hold on a few minutes, and then give them the rest
  2. Don’t allow them to do physical activities immediately after the meal. Wait for their food to settle, then let them play or work
  3. Avoid causing stress or anxiety to your furry friend, especially after the meal

Hip Dysplasia

This is another common health issue with Shepherds. Hip dysplasia is a congenital condition that makes your pup’s joints weaker. Exercising, excessive eating, or injuries can lead to hip damage. This is why it’s essential that you provide your Shepherd with food that is rich in calcium and manganese, as they strengthen the bone structure.

Elbow Dysplasia

Similar to the previous one, elbow dysplasia is an inborn condition that can affect your pup’s life significantly. You can help your pooch by providing them with nutrients such as glucosamine, that help reduce the pain and keep the joints oiled.

Diabetes

Our beloved ones can get diabetes due to their genetic predisposition. With proper nutrition and exercise, it can be easily controlled. For dear Shepherds who suffer from diabetes, it’s essential to find the food that is high in fiber and low in fat.

Allergies

Allergies can come from food. This breed is known for their food sensitivities, which can be caused by some ingredients in their diet. The first step is to try to find the allergen. Once you figure out what’s been triggering the allergy, you can search for food products that don’t contain that specific ingredient. Avoid buying the food that contains lots of grains, as they are usually the main culprits behind the food allergies.

Let’s Learn More About Shepherd Cuties

If you’re planning on adopting this breed, prepare yourself for lots of outdoor activities and exercise.

They are prone to aggressive behavior only if they aren’t trained properly. We advise you to socialize them from a young age. Shepherds tend to assault other dogs and people if they are not used to the company.

They are extremely intelligent, so the training sessions probably won’t be too challenging for them. Shepherds are multitalented beasties, and their resume speaks for them. These pooches are trained members of policy service, skilled herding pups, as well as search and rescue candidates, and they don’t take their tasks lightly.

Lots of people know what a privilege it is to own a German Shepherd, and that’s why this breed is one of the most popular ones today.

These pups have an athletic build that makes them strong and agile. Your powerpuff bud is a brave guard dog, as well as a terrific and loving companion.

Healthy Dog Food is Essential for Your GSD

These five formulas that we have chosen for you will provide your pooch with the best nutrition they require.

If you pick any of them, sleep tight, your furry companion is safe.

In case you need more ideas, take a look at our list of the best large breed dry dog food on the market. As for the wet formulas, scan through the best canned dog food, we hope you’ll find something you like.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Shepherd
  2. https://www.quora.com/Are-german-shepherd-dogs-loyal
  3. Santarossa, Amanda, et al. “Body Composition of Medium to Giant Breed Dogs with or without Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease.” Veterinary Surgery, 2020, doi:10.1111/vsu.13434.
  4. Robertson, Debora. Bone appétit: 50 Clean Recipes for Healthier, Happier Dogs. Harper Design, 2019.

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