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Best Dog Foods For German Shepherd

Instinct Raw Boost With Real Duck

Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds


Real Duck is one of 14 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Instinct Raw Boost product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Duck, chicken meal, peas, egg product, turkey meal
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best for:German shepherd puppy or adult

Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck obtains the bulk of its animal protein from fresh duck and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 23% fat and 31% estimated carbs creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

This formula also gets its antioxidants from natural fruits and veggies for healthy immunity and thus, greater resistance to disease. A top pick for German shepherds and other large breeds.

Sample buyer reviewI recently switched from a dehydrated raw product to Instinct Raw Boost. This is a great quality grain- free food and my guys are loving it. I have a multi dog house hold and most of them have allergies of one kind or another. This food is working well for all..

Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach

As the name suggests, Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach is a specialized recipe that helps to protect your dogs sensitive skin and delicate stomach. It contains nutrient-rich salmon as the first ingredient which is also a high-quality source of protein in this formula.

This German Shepherd food for sensitive stomachs boasts a highly digestible formula with live probiotics that nourish the beneficial bacteria found in your pets intestine for proper digestive health. It also includes ingredients such as rice and oatmeal that aim to provide easily digestible sources of carbohydrates for your dog.

Moreover, it contains sunflower oil, rich in EPA, which helps support healthy joints and agility in dogs, while omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin A nourishes your dogs skin and keeps his coat looking glossy.


  • It is made without corn, wheat, or soy.
  • No artificial colors or flavors, no poultry by-product meal
  • Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics for digestive and immune health
  • Antioxidants for a healthy immune system
  • Fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids for joint health and mobility


  • It is veterinarians # 1 choice for severe skin and stomach issues.
  • It is great in taste and suitable for picky eaters.


  • Very few complaints of bugs were found in the product.

Our Verdict

If youre looking for a safe option to deal with your dogs skin and stomach sensitivities, It is commended for its freshness, ingredient quality, flavor, and scent.

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy


Complete Health Large Breed Puppy is one of 13 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, ground brown rice, salmon meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best for:German Shepherd puppy

Complete Health Large Breed Puppy derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh chicken as well as chicken meal and salmon meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 14% fat and 45% estimated carbs with a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

Sample buyer reviewMy almost year old GSD loves this food! I transitioned him to this at 9 weeks. He was on another grain free puppy food but was not large breed. This food for high marks and I wanted to have a food that contained grains and was formulated for large breeds. My dog had no issues transitioning and loves his food. Like a lot of GSDs he does have a sensitive tummy and most treats dont agree with him so we use this as a training treat as well and he still loves it.

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Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Food


Large Breed Puppy is one of 21 dry recipes covered in our review of the Blue Buffalo Life Protection product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best for:German Shepherd Puppies

Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy gets most of its meat protein from chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 17% fat and 46% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

An exceptional formula with a wide variety of recipes you can use when its time to switch your puppy to an adult food. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer reviewSo far this has been a good dry puppy food for my 3 month old Doberman Pinscher pup. His coat is really shiny and so soft. He has a lot of energy and his stools are firm. I would recommend this for your large breed puppy for sure!

Chewing Rather Than Gulping:

Best dog food for german shepherd

German Shepherds often also deal with bloating, which is why you should encourage your pup to chew his food instead of eating it. In addition, make sure that your dog is not eating hastily, since that might not allow the teeth to sufficiently break the food down, and cause digestive troubles. Since it is likely that your dog will chew larger pieces of kibble, you could try and draw size comparisons between various options before choosing a particular food.

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What Is The Best Way To Feed A German Shepherd Puppy

The best way to feed a German Shepherd puppy is to start them on a diet that is high in protein and fat. Puppies need more calories than adult dogs, so it is important to choose a food that will give them the nutrition they need without making them overweight.

As your German Shepherd puppy grows, you can slowly transition them to an adult dog food. It is important to make sure that they are getting the right amount of calories and nutrients for their age, weight, and activity level.

What To Look For In Dog Food For German Shepherds

All dog food brands claim to be the best option for your dog. If you know what to look for, you can see past marketing tactics and focus on the most important elements to pick the dog food thats right for your German Shepherd.


Make sure to select foods that contain a high percentage of protein from fish, meat, or poultry ingredients. Puppies need at least 22 percent protein in their diets, while you can cut back the amount for adults to 18 percent.

While protein is a requirement for your dog, you should be wary of high protein dog food products. Protein is calorie-dense and can cause your dog to gain weight more easily. As you probably know, putting on too much excess weight can lead to health problems for your dog down the line.

Fatty Acids

Choose a dog food that contains fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-3. These contribute to a healthy coat and healthy skin.


Look for products with fiber from natural, easily digestible carbohydrates such as vegetables and whole grains.

AAFCO Guidelines

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American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes

If you are searching for a dry dog food for your German Shepherd that isnt super expensive, then American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe is a great choice for you.

It is on the lower end of the price spectrum however, it is still a good dry dog food from a reputable brand that is manufactured in Kansas, USA.

This mix comes in a 4lb, 12lb or 24lb bag, offering the option to choose a smaller bag to begin with to see if your furry friend likes it and then move on to a bigger bag later on.

A 4-pound bag holds about 17 cups, a 12-pound bag holds about 52 cups and a 24-pound bag holds about 104 cups that should last for a while! It can have a strange smell though, which can be off-putting to humans and dogs alike, and can be a little hard for senior dogs to digest sometimes.

This Salmon & Sweet Potato blend offers protein and amino acids through real, deboned salmon, ensuring leaner muscles while still tasting great.

The addition of both chickpeas and sweet potato allow for slow-release energy, which means your best friend will have endless energy all day long.

This recipe also includes heaps of fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, blueberries and dried kelp for fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients, as well as offering immune support and lots of vitamins and minerals.


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Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe

How To Choose The Best Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppies

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes

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There is also chondroitin and glucosamine, which assists with a German Shepherds mobility, as well as both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help with a shiny coat and healthy skin.

There has been some suggestion however that the kibble size is too small for some dogs, however this is not necessarily a negative for all dogs.

Additionally, this dry food is gluten free and does not contain any artificial colors, preservatives or flavors, as well as being poultry-free for any dogs that may have poultry allergies.

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Exercise Requirements For German Shepherds

Before we get into the best German Shepherd dog food reviews, one thing I must mention, as its common for pet owners to ignore. While food is one of the keys to a healthy GSD, play time and exercise are especially important for this dog breed.

Dog owners looking to adopt a GSD should know is that a German Shepherd is a very high energy animal that requires daily exercise its non-negotiable if you want to have a healthy dog. Because GSDs are a smart breed, like other herding breeds, they require a job to live life to the fullest, which provides them with sufficient mental stimulation.

The GSD will keep you on your toes, ready for anything. Playing dog Frisbee, fetching balls, performing in obedience training and agility trials, or even just playing on the beach if youre game, theyre game. And you better be game!

With this out of the way, lets talk about how to feed a German Shepherd for health, what is the best dog food for a German Shepherd dog, and what are their nutritional needs.

The Following Are Ways To Help Your German Shepherd Work On Their Appetite Again:

  • Go for long walks with your puppy before you feed them to work up their appetite.
  • To help prevent bloat on your puppy, do not feed them an hour before or after exercise.
  • Ensure your puppys bowl is always clean.
  • Use an interactive dog feeder to make the mealtimes fun.
  • Take your puppy to the vet for examination.

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe


Wilderness Salmon is one of 18 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Blue Buffalo Wilderness product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned salmon, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, menhaden fish meal
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for:Adult shepherds only

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh salmon and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 17% fat and 38% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

A grain-free, protein-rich formula available in over a dozen flavors and recipes which makes Wilderness ideal for those who appreciate the benefits of diet rotation. Fairly priced and highly recommended.

Sample buyer reviewI have a 3 year old husky and ever since she was a puppy i had her on blue wilderness. Ive got her every flavor if not almost every flavor, and this salmon one is the one she has loved the most! Ieave her food bowl full at all times she so can eat whenever she wants. And she eats this salmon one more than every other flavor. Now i know salmon is her favorite protein (:

Best Dog Food Brands For German Shepherds

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Dog food can be confusing because there is food for large breeds, toy breeds, seniors, and puppies.

Sometimes youll come across maintenance dog food. What does all of this mean and does it really matter?

Yes, it does. Every dog breed and dogs of all ages require different nutrition. Giving a Chihuahua a Golden Retrievers food can cause them to have fatty liver or become obese due to the high calories.

Conversely, large breed dogs like German Shepherds need special nutrition to keep their joints and bones healthy and strong, something that smaller breeds dont have to worry about.

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Best Dry Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppies

Dry dog food is one of the easiest options for any dog owner. It is typically very widely available and there are excellent options available these days that can promote your German Shepherd puppys health.

One of the biggest draws to dry dog food is convenience. High-quality dog food will meet all of the requirements your puppy needs, meaning all you need to do is follow the serving suggestions based on their current weight.

Always check dry food to see what the first ingredient is. This will always be a source of whole protein in high-quality kibble.

American Journey Active Life

The American Journey Active Life Formula Large Breed Dry Dog Food is a well-rounded, balanced diet that provides 24% high-quality protein from real, deboned salmon as the first ingredient.

It includes fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants and healthy nutrients like sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, and carrots. It also contains natural fiber from wholesome, easy-to-digest grains like brown rice and barley.

This large breed formula features a larger kibble size and is formulated to meet specific nutritional requirements for a large breed dog. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also added to support and maintain healthy joints, bones, and muscles.


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Iams Proactive Health Large Breed


Large Breed Chicken and Whole Grains is one of 12 dry recipes covered in our review of the Iams ProActive Health product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, ground whole grain barley, ground whole grain corn, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for:Adult shepherds only

Iams ProActive Health Large Breed derives the majority of its meat protein from chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 25% protein, 14% fat and 53% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

This classic, grain-inclusive large breed design has been made by Iams for years and is a nutritious fit for adult German shepherds. Calcium levels are a bit high for shepherd puppies. Easily recommended.

Sample buyer reviewIAMS is a product that I have turned to for complete nutrition for my dog as well as my cats! In fact, I have been feeding IAMS to my cats for over 20 years! Sure there are higher priced pet foods, but why would you want to pay more when you get the proper nutrition and a quality product at a reasonable price!

What Is Fresh Dog Food

5 Best Dry Dog Food for German Shepherds

Fresh dog food usually refers to pet food thats made with natural ingredients cooked at a lower temperature to preserve the nutrients. Thus, it doesnt contain the additives and preservatives that are often in kibble.

Most fresh dog food brands will make a custom formula for your German Shepherd based on its lifestyle, and itll get delivered right to your door. Most formulas are made from scratch shortly before shipping, which is why its called fresh food.

Some German Shepherd parents are hesitant to try fresh dog food because it can be pricier than processed dry or wet food, but it makes up for it because of the quality ingredients and the personalization.

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Holistic Select For Large & Giant Breed Puppies

Top ingredients: Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, OatmealType: Dry

Each kibble is jam-packed with digestive enzymes, active probiotics, and healthy fiber which will keep your pups digestive health at its finest.

The kibble is also of a larger variety, made for large breed pups. An American product with quality ingredients sourced from all over the world.

Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Grain

Top ingredients: Lamb, Salmon, Chickpeas

Specially made for puppies, these wholesome bite-sized treats come in a resealable bag. Formulated with all-natural products.

You also wont find meat by-products, corn, wheat, or dairy in this treat! While its specially formulated for puppies, it is fortified with DHA and omega-3.

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Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin And Sensitive Stomach

Image courtesy Purina

Purina has been in operation for more than 85 years and produces a wide range of goods. The Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach is one of their most popular, with over 2,500 positive reviews.

You can feed your dog either dry or wet food, and he may sample two distinct flavor profiles: rice and oatmeal for salmon. This recipe is high in protein and has a total of 30% dry basis protein content, primarily from real meats with no poultry by-product meal.

Because it contains no allergens like wheat, corn, or soy, theres less of a chance that your dog will suffer an upset stomach. It also includes omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which help to promote skin, coat, and joint health.

Image courtesy Blue Buffalo

If youre searching for high-quality, all-natural wet dog food, Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a wonderful alternative.

This dog food is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for an entourage diet. Its made with real beef and chicken, can be served as a delicious treat, or blended into your dogs regular dry food.

The Blue Buffalo puppy food contains no chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or preservatives making it a healthy choice for your dog.


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