Do Adult German Shepherd Dogs Need Special Nutrients
German Shepherds often develop digestive problems due to a shorter colon. This can lead to a sensitive stomach. Therefore, it is important to give a very precise diet to avoid triggering sensitivities and also contribute to optimal health maintenance. Provide your adult German Shepherd a balance of meat protein, fiber, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, and vitamins.
Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula
Image courtesy Taste of the Wild
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula is a grain-free food made with bison, venison, lamb meal, and roasted duck. It also contains sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, and flaxseed.
This formula provides your German Shepherd puppy with the high protein diet they need for proper development and growth. It also has DHA and ARA, which are essential for cognitive development and retinal health.
Taste of the Wild is one of the most popular brands among dog food reviewers. It’s included as our last on this list but has ranked high among some of the best dog foods for German Shepherds because it’s high in protein and free of grains.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherds 202: Our Top Picks
What sets this product apart from the rest?
- Rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
- Suitable for dogs of all life stages
- Australian sourced protein
Petzyo – 5 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Sustainable Kangaroo, Sweet Potato, Peas, Lentils, Carrots, Broccolli & Broccoli Stem, Tomato, Spinach, Kelp, Blueberries, Rosemary, Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Turmeric, Chicken Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Fish Oil, Vitamin and Minerals .
- Named Protein First: Yes.
- Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive.
- Recipe Range: Kangaroo, Sweet Potato & Superfood Extras or Salmon, Ocean Fish & Green Lipped Mussels or Chicken, Turkey & Superfood Extras or Petzyo Raw Food Range
- Suitable For: All ages, depending on the recipe
- Australian Owned: Yes.
If you want to be sure your dog is eating only the best stuff, you cant go wrong by choosing Petzyo . This Australian brand offers premium formulas that are AAFCO and PFIAA compliant, meaning theyre suitable for dogs of all ages.
Among three different recipes, the Kangaroo & Sweet Potato has everything you need in a German Shepherds diet. The first ingredient is a kangaroo, which is red meat with the highest protein level. Its hypoallergenic, so even the most sensitive pooches can enjoy this food.
The Petzyo Kangaroo & Sweet Potato Dog Food being tested by our independent expert team.
Related: Petzyo Dog Food Review.
Verified Review – 4/11/2021
The Meals For Mutts Salmon and Sardine Gluten Free Dog Food being tested by our independent expert team.
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Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ground Wet Dog Food
Image courtesy Purina
Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ground Wet Dog Food is a delicious and nutritious wet dog food. It’s made with real meat, vegetables, and fruit.
This recipe is grain-free and free of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It’s also high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
Hills Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Dog Food
Best For Weight Loss
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Cracked Pearled Barley, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Chicken Meal, 5. Dried Tomato Pomace
- Life Stage: Adult
- Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
- Caloric content : 291 kcal
If your dog has put on some pounds recently and is unwilling to try new foods, then Hills Science Diet Perfect Weight is perfect for them. The food is packed with whole fibers that make your dog feel satisfied after each meal, while still maintaining their muscles with protein from chicken meat.
Its also highly appetizing and a favorite of picky eaters. The formula is infused with essential vitamins and minerals that promote general wellness and increase energy levels. It is a popular choice among owners who have reported steady weight loss after switching their dogs to the food and offers decent value for the price and quality.
Analysis: Protein min. 24% | Fat min. 9%, | Fiber max. 5% | Moisture max. 13%
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The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
The best diet for your German Shepherd is one thats rich in high-quality animal protein with plenty of healthy fats and the optimal balance of essential nutrients. To help you choose the best dog food for your faithful companion, weve compiled a list of our top picks for puppies and adult dogs.
Like other Blue Buffalo recipes, this formula for large-breed puppies puts high-quality animal protein first. It also includes LifeSource Bits to provide a rich blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for balanced nutrition.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large-Breed Puppy Recipe
A great option for puppies, this dry dog food is packed with deboned chicken, healthy grains, and antioxidant-rich ingredients.
Featuring farm-raised chicken, whole-grain brown rice, and sweet potatoes, this formula is designed to support your German Shepherds health and wellness.
Nutro Natural Choice Large-Breed Adult Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
For large breeds like German Shepherds, this recipe boasts ingredients like real chicken and brown rice to help support a dogs whole health.
Senior German Shepherd Nutritional Profile
As a general guideline for estimating daily protein needs for a German Shepherd, provide ~1 gm protein/lb of body weight . This level of protein intake will minimize the risk of protein deficiency by providing a minimum intake level.
But, heres the important part
Applying that formula will just give you the minimum level of protein, not the level needed for your dog to thrive.
Senior dogs may need up to 50% more protein than this calculated amount!
50% more protein than the general guidelines.
This is due to the fact that protein requirements increase with age due to increased protein turnover and reduced protein synthesis. Therefore, healthy senior German Shepherds dont benefit from protein restriction and may be harmed by limiting their dietary protein.
Low-protein diets are NOT in your senior German Shepherds best interest.
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Benefits Of Feeding Your Dog Dry Dog Food
The most apparent reason why most dog owners prefer kibble to their canned and fresh counterparts is convenience.
Dry dog food is easier to store, prepare, and serve. Plus, it doesnt require any refrigeration, and it doesnt spoil easily or become infested with bacteria. Dry dog food is also generally less expensive per serving, and there are more varieties to choose from.
Apart from costs and convenience, dry dog food is also generally better for your German Shepherds dental health. Through friction, kibble reduces plaque and tartar. That leads to cleaner teeth, healthier gums, and fresher breath. Plus, they tend to love the crunch.
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Dog Food
Best Budget Option
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Whole Grain Brown Rice, 4. Ground White Rice, 5. Rice Bran
- Life Stage: Adult
- Suitable for: Large, Giant breeds
- Caloric content : 3,499 kcal
For what it costs, Diamond Natural Large Breed is an excellent value food thats equally nutritious and high-quality as the more expensive options. Its made from a handful of premium ingredients like cage-free chicken, brown rice, and veggies that provide a holistic diet for your Alsatian.
After switching to this dog food, many owners said they saw an improvement in digestion and coat health. The formula is also enriched with probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin nutrients that are crucial for German Shepherds as they are prone to digestive and joint problems. Moreover, the recipe is free from common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy, so the diet sits well with your dogs stomach.
Analysis: Protein min. 23% | Fat min. 13%, | Fiber max. 3.5% | Moisture max. 10%
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Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy
Image courtesy Royal Canin
Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy is a dry dog food that’s specifically designed for puppies up to 15 months old.
This recipe includes DHA for brain development, calcium and phosphorus for bone growth, and antioxidants to support the immune system. It’s also free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Choosing The Best Fresh Dog Food
The best fresh dog food will be different for every dog. Look at the benefits of all the brands mentioned above to help you decide which one will be the healthiest and most appealing for your German Shepherd pup.
Fresh dog food is great for your furry friend because it has natural ingredients you can feel comfortable giving your pup. Many brands will make the process even easier by shipping customized meals right to your door.
If youve been thinking about improving your German Shepherds diet, consider switching them to a fresh dog food brand to reap the health, taste, and convenience benefits.
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Ollie Fresh Dog Food Best Overall
Our favorite dog food for German Shepherds is Ollie Dog Food. Having an eager, active breed like the German Shepherd means finding an adequate diet that supports and satisfies their busy lifestyle. Ollies recipes do just that. Each fresh and baked recipe uses whole, locally sourced ingredients and lists hardy, real meat proteins like chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb, as the first. Whichever meal you decide on, you can be sure that your dog is getting the essential nutrients they need to grow up strong and stay in tip-top shape.
With Ollie, you customize your dogs meal plans according to their weight, age, and dietary needs. You can also choose how frequent shipments are sent so you never run out of food.
Although some dog owners may be reluctant to sign up for a subscription, we highly recommend it for the convenience and knowing were feeding our dogs top-of-the-line dog food.
Several customers report that the food gave their dogs bloat and gas, likely due to the inclusion of grains in the recipe. Some also said the food gave their dogs loose stools, again likely due to the grains, which are an unnecessary addition. This keeps Iams from the top position.
While this food is ideal for German Shepherds, it is comparatively expensive food. The kibble also has a high-fat content, around 17%, so be sure to not overfeed this food to your Shepherd.
- Kibble is too small for large breeds
Best Dry Dog Food For Healthy Weight Maintenance Reduced Calories And Overweight Senior Dogs
Your German Shepherd can get a head start toward a healthy weight with American Journeys Healthy Weight Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe reduced-calorie kibble in every meal.
To help your dog reach their goal weight, this kibble is formulated not only for weight reduction but with L-carnitine to support fat metabolism and keep lean muscle mass strong. With added fiber, your dog will feel fuller while not packing on the pounds.
And every meal supports a complete and balanced diet featuring real chicken as the first ingredient. Along with essential vitamins and minerals, nutrient-dense carbohydrates keep your dog happy and satisfied in the stomach.
- Grain-free and reduced-calorie food is crafted to help dogs reach a healthy weight while they enjoy a lip-licking flavor.
- With natural sources of fiber to help your dog feel fuller this research-backed recipe supports a healthy weight.
- Contains L-carnitine to help maintain an active lifestyle so your senior can enjoy their adventurous days.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin support joint health and general mobility, so your companion can keep up with his day-to-day exercise regime and training.
- Prepared using only nutrient-dense ingredients never any grains, wheat, corn, soy, chicken, or poultry by-product meals.
- Absolutely no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors just wholesome ingredients.
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Taste Of The Wild Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe
The Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe by Taste of the Wild is best for active dogs because it has some of the highest protein and calorie content amongst premium dry dog food brands.
Although its top protein sources are buffalo, pork, and chicken, this variant also contains roasted venison and bison, which imparts a unique flavor that German Shepherds love.
For fiber and carbohydrates, this dry dog food uses ancient grains. That includes quinoa, millet, sorghum, and chia seeds. For that reason, it is highly digestible and is naturally high in omega fatty acids and antioxidants. Additionally, it is rich in probiotics that support your GSDs gut and boost their immune system.
|Nutrition Facts Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe|
Things To Look For In A Dry Dog Food For German Shepherds
Although German Shepherds can live on almost any kibble, their large and agile bodies thrive on high protein formulas. These allow them to build and maintain lean muscle mass.
Generally, you should avoid any brand that doesnt have an animal source of protein listed at the top of its ingredients list.
The needs of every GSD will be different but, generally, this is the nutritional content you should look for in dry dog food:
|> 25||> 23|
Additionally, you should look for a brand that doesnt have any filler carbohydrates. Deciding on whether or not you should feed your German Shepherd a grain-free diet is up to you. Generally, dry dog food containing digestible carbohydrates like vegetables and whole grains is sufficient.
When youre looking for a kibble brand for your GSD, take the time to look at the additional ingredients. Some variants contain supplements like omega 3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to your dogs skin and coat. Others have probiotics for a healthy gut while several contain glucosamine for optimum joint health.
Of course, your German Shepherds specific health conditions will affect the type of food they need as well. If they have food allergies, make sure you scrutinize the label to keep your dog safe.
If theyre not hitting their weight milestones, they might need to consume high-calorie kibble to gain weight. If your dog has a health condition that might require a special diet, its always best to get dry dog food recommendations from your vet.
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German Shepherds Exercise Requirements
German Shepherds require regular exercise to fulfill their mental and physical needs. Theyre fast learners thanks to their high IQ and theyll excel if given a task to complete.
Most GSD will be satisfied with around 60 minutes of exercise a day, whether thats a long walk, a brisk jog, trip to the dog park or training in the garden.
Meal Plan And Feeding Guide
|Current ADULT Weight|
|3 3/4 4 1/2 cups per day|
|90 pounds||4 1/2 5 1/4 cups per day|
The diet of a German Shepherd must take into account the size of the dog, her level of activity and exercise, along with any preexisting conditions that might need special consideration.
Therefore, if you want to know how much your German Shepherd needs to eat, youll need to know their age, weight, and activity levels. Typically a full-grown German Shepherd should eat at least 3 cups of food per day, but may eat upwards of 5 cups of food per day or more if they are fairly large and routinely active.
Let these cup measurements be your guide, but dont let them dictate the exact cups of food to feed your German Shepherd.
Your dogs health will flourish if you adjust the cups based on your dogs specific nutritional and caloric needs.
Now, lets take a look at what really is the best food to feed a German Shepherd.
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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
The Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe by Blue Buffalo offers the same excellent benefits as the adult variant. But apart from a smaller kibble size suited from smaller jaws, it also contains slightly more protein and crude fat. This makes it more beneficial for dogs in the critical stages of development.
Among the most important benefits of this dry dog food is the inclusion of LifeSource Bits, which is Blue Buffalos exclusive blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals formulated to support your dogs overall health.
In addition, it doesnt contain any wheat, corn, or soy. Instead, it uses brown rice, barley, and oatmeal as its source of energy and fiber. Lastly, it is enriched with probiotics to ensure proper digestion and gut health.
|Nutrition Facts Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe|
What Are The Nutritional Requirements For German Shepherds
The six basic nutrients are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.
These essential nutrients are required as part of the dogs regular diet and are involved in all of the basic functions of the body. Good nutrition plays a large part in the appearance and vitality of your dog.
The minimum dietary requirement has been established for many nutrients. Keep in mind, these are the minimum requirements, and not what will give your German Shepherd optimal health.
To understand more, lets focus on the two most important building blocks of your German Shepherds nutrition: proteins and fats.
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What To Look For In A High
Before discussing the specific characteristics that are desirable in a German shepherd food, it is important to outline some of the ingredients and traits that characterize all high-quality dog foods and are desirable when selecting a food for any breed.
Select dog foods made in the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as dog food made in these countries are usually subject to stricter dog food safety protocols than those made in other places. By purchasing foods from these western countries, youre less likely to see it show up on a recall list or make your dog ill.
Look for a high-quality protein as the first listed ingredient. A few high-quality dog foods list a carbohydrate as the first ingredient, but most of the best dog foods for German shepherds feature a whole-protein source first.
Its always a good idea to avoid dog food with unnecessary and potentially harmful additives, such as artificial colors and flavors, but it is especially important to avoid feeding such foods to breeds prone to food allergies and intolerances, such as German shepherds.
Meat-meals are not necessarily poor ingredients, despite the claims of some. Many of the products used to make meat-meals provide great nutrition for your dog even if some of them seem gross to humans. However, it is important to avoid dog foods that do not indicate the species from which the meal was obtained.