The Best German Shepherd Diet And Meal Plan For Every Age
The best German Shepherd diet needs the right formulation to support the breeds powerful strength, athletic abilities, and superior intelligence.
And the stores have no shortage of colorful marketing gimmicks and fancy product descriptions at your fingertips to entice you to part with your money at every turn.
Its enough to make your head spin and for you to turn running!
But, this article will more than explore the best German Shepherd diet
Itll be your comprehensive, easy-to-understand road map to choose an optimum diet with balanced nutrition.
Lets jump right in!
What Is The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
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German Shepherds are the second most popular breed of dog in America and for good reason. They are one of the smartest breeds making them easy to train. They also have a good temperament and are very friendly and known for having a sense of humor. Plus, with their wolf-like appearance, silky fur, and unique coloring they are a gorgeous breed. These wonderful dogs have very specific needs to help them happy and healthy, so finding the best dog food for German Shepherds can be a bit of a challenge, especially for new German Shepherd dog owners. Obviously, you want to make sure you are feeding them the best dog food for their specific breed. We love German Shepherds too, so weve put together a great guide to help you find the best dog food for German Shepherds. This guide will not only give you our own product recommendations, but it will help educate you on making the best decision for your dog on your own.
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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What Is The Best Diet For A German Shepherd Puppy
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When such an endearing pet like a German Shepherd puppy arrives home, it’s hard not to fall in love immediately. As a particularly affectionate breed, the German Shepherd will reciprocate this love in abundance. Since they will grow up to be a medium to large dog breed and their diet is an essential way to ensure they develop properly. Common mistakes when feeding a German Shepherd puppy include giving too much or too little food and giving them food of inferior quality. For this reason, many dog guardians ask what is the best diet for a German Shepherd puppy?
AnimalWised answers this by providing information on how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy, what type of food is best and how does this change as they grow. To do this we also provide a helpful German shepherd puppy food chart for when and how to feed these puppies properly.
Top 8 Recommended Best Foods For A German Shepherd In 2022
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In addition to being incredibly smart and trainable, the German Shepherd is also a very large dog. This breed typically stands between 22 and 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 50 and 90 pounds at maturity. Originally developed as a herding dog, the German Shepherd has very strong protective instincts but they are still very gentle and loving which makes them a wonderful family pet. As a large-breed dog, the German Shepherd has an average lifespan between 10 and 13 years which can be impacted by a number of health problems. This breed is prone to several musculoskeletal issues like hip dysplasia and various inherited health issues like degenerative myelopathy, epilepsy, and bleeding disorders. Responsible breeding practices including DNA testing are essential for this breed.
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Also Check: How To Maintain A German Shepherd Puppy
Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, PeasType: Dry
A DHA-fortified option that focuses on your GSD puppys development. Comes enriched with salmon oil for a boost in your pups immune system, heart health, and cognitive function.
Its a grain-inclusive product that doesnt use any GMO ingredients. Only the best for your little bud.
Breaking Down The Calories Into The Good Stuff
Do you think the caloric intake is all that you need to know?
Well, my friend, youre mistaken!
The things that also count are the stuff that the calories are coming from! And that means we need to take a look at the macronutrients as well as the micronutrients.
I mean, think of it this way. How healthy would you be if you eat just plain boiled pasta all day every day?
You wouldnt be healthy at all!
Thats because you need more than just carbs to be healthy!
Similarly, your dog needs a diet balanced in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to be fit, healthy and happy!
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Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe
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.
Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula
Top 5 Ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Ground White Rice, Dried Yeast, Egg Product
The Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula is a wonderful choice for your German Shepherd who is no longer a puppy.
This mix is enhanced with superfoods and probiotics to assist with overall health and development, as well as antioxidants, omega fatty acids for your furry friends coat and skin and nurturing minerals.
It includes protein, such as beef and fish, as well as fruit and vegetables such as blueberries, peas, kale and coconut. There has been some indication that this food is not suited to super picky eaters, however this dry food is generally a good choice for German Shepherds.
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Supplements For German Shepherds
The vast majority of commercially available dry kibble is complete and balanced for your dog, assuming its a high-quality food.
That means there is almost never a reason to supplement your dogs diet with additives, vitamins, or herbal supplements. In fact, adding these things to a healthy dogs diet can cause a lot of harm.
Never supplement your dogs diet unless directed by a veterinarian. In those cases, they will prescribe or suggest canine-safe products to cover your GSDs special needs.
Human supplements are often unregulated, minimally effective, and often contain substances harmful to animals. Never use a human supplement for your German Shepherd.
Taste Of The Wild Southwest Canyon
Southwest Canyon is one of 9 dry recipes included in our review of the Taste of the Wild product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Beef, peas, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil
- Type: Grain-free
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:German shepherd puppy or adult
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon derives the majority of its animal protein from fresh beef and lamb meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 17% fat and 43% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Its nice to find a recipe containing natural source preservatives which means Southwest Canyon contains no BHA, BHT or other toxic additives. A super-popular, grain-free brand and a healthy, all life stages option for any German shepherd. Easily recommended.
Sample buyer reviewMy dog loves this food! He eats it enthusiastically and it has really helped him thrive! He is energetic, has a gorgeous coat, and devours his meals!
For More Choices: Visit our Best Large Breed Puppy Food page
Orijen Puppy Large derives most of its animal protein from fresh chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 18% fat and 31% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.
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German Shepherd Feeding Guide: All You Need To Know
Like all dogs, German Shepherds have specific nutritional needs. While its possible to feed them the cheap, dry kibble found in your local grocery store, thats not the best diet for this loyal, graceful, obedient breed.
But the ideal food might not be the most expensive or fanciest either.
With all these options to choose from and enough slick marketing to make your head spin, how do you pick the right food?
Below, well cover the different types of diets available, the specific nutritional needs of the German Shepherd, and what you can do to ensure your GSD gets the delicious and nutritious food they need at every stage of life.
Foods To Avoid Feeding Your German Shepherd
Since German Shepherds have large appetites, we must always be mindful of what goes inside their mouths. They tend to eat whatever falls from the dinner table or even whatever food they set their sights on.
As we talk about food diets, we must not forget those foods you must avoid feeding your German Shepherd puppy. Generally, they may not be too sensitive to dog foods or ingredients, but other foods may be fatal to them.
Firstly, lets tackle food and ingredients that can be fatal to German Shepherds, even if its ingested in small amounts.
Coffee is one of the most toxic foods to dogs. They contain caffeine, which causes cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure, vomiting, tremors, and seizures.
If youre a coffee-lover, make sure you have a secure place to store it away from your pup.
Another toxic food German Shepherd owners should not feed their dog is chocolate. As yummy as this is, chocolates contain theobromine. All dog breeds cannot metabolize this substance. Thats why its poisonous to them.
Gums, peanut butter, and candies that contain xylitol are also toxic to dogs. It causes disorientation, hypoglycemia, seizures, and collapse.
This is much more threatening than coffee and chocolate, so you need to be extra careful with this.
Aside from those mentioned above, there are many other toxic foods you should avoid feeding German Shepherds. They may not be fatal, but they can cause discomfort and progress to severe diseases.
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Is My Puppy The Right Weight
You can also refer to German Shepherd puppy growth charts to see if you puppy is gaining weight and within the normal range.
However, keep in mind that some dogs will be unusually small or large but still be perfectly healthy.
Do not try to maximize growth rates as this can lead to health problems later.
But if you puppy is not showing a steady increase in size, or your puppy lacks appetite, consult with a veterinarian.
Ensure that you are familiar with how to assess the body condition of your puppy. You can ask about your puppys condition at veterinary wellness examinations.
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
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Choosing A Dog Food For German Shepherds With Health Problems
When choosing a brand or product for your sick dog, there are multiple factors to consider. What can exacerbate their problem and what can help them?
Dogs suffering from hip dysplasia will benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin.
For dogs with a sensitive gut, you can try formulas that feature limited ingredients and have probiotics that promote gut health and can boost your dogs immune system.
Our 2022 German Shepherds Feeding Guide
Average Weight Approximately 10lb to 30lb
Recommended Daily Food Intake 1-2 cups a day
Average Weight Approximately 60lb to 90lb
Recommended Daily Food Intake 3-5 cups a day
Average Weight Approximately 60lb to 90lb
Recommended Daily Food Intake When it comes to feeding your senior German Shepherd , you must consult your vet as to the suggested amount and type of food. There are a range of factors that can affect feeding, so ensure you have spoken to a professional.
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What Are The Best Meats For My German Shepherd
Here are the best meats for a German Shepherd:
Additionally, muscle meat and by-products such as hearts, livers, lungs, and kidneys are all good sources of protein, as well as the meat-meals made from them.
While you might turn your nose up at the thought of these animal organs, they contain essential nutrients your German Shepherd loves.
Blackwood 3000 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Everyday Diet Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb Meal, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Oat Groats, 4. Millet, 5. Chicken Meal
Your shepherd needs much more than the regular nutrients. This Blackwood 3000 recipe is nutritionally balanced for adult, large-breed dogs and therefore, serves as a perfect diet for your German Shepherd. The supreme-quality protein is derived from animal-based sources, mainly lamb. So if your dog is fond of a special flavor diet, hes surely going to fall for this one!
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A Little About Your Doggy & The Importance Of Food
Now, before we talk about dog foods and brands, you need to first learn about your doggy and his nutritional needs.
I promise I wont make this boring!
As you may already know, German Shepherds are basically active and smart doggys. They have an amazing sense of smell, they just love to work and can even work for a long time without even getting distracted!
German Shepherds are large dogs that weigh between 70 and 100 pounds when fully grown.
You must be wondering why Im telling you this. Ill explain
The thing is because of their size, your German Shepherd buddy requires healthy blends of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Natural Adult Wet Dog Food
Image courtesy Blue Buffalo
If you’re 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. It’s made with real beef and chicken, can be served as a delicious treat, or blended into your dog’s 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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The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds In 2021
We reviewed several of the current dog food for German Shepherds within the scope of this article. Our results point out that Dr. Garys Best Breed Holistic German Dry Dog Food is the best dog food for German Shepherds. This is a nutritionally dense food that is specifically designed for large breed dogs, including German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermans.
Dr. Garys ingredients are all-natural, and the formula uses absolutely no fillers, no grains, and no meat by-products. The food also incorporates nutrients for joint health as well as fiber to aid in digestion. This is important as German Shepherds are often prone to both digestive health issues as well as joint problems. Dr. Garys food is also specifically formulated for not just large breed dogs, but for German Shepherds! You can rest assured that your dog is getting everything nutritionally that he needs to be happy and healthy.