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Grain Free Dog Food For German Shepherds

What To Look For In A Good German Shepherd Dog Food

Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds

When it comes to choosing the best German Shepherd dog food, you need to make sure it is complete and balanced for your dogs minimum nutritional requirements. Look for a recipe that is protein-rich with moderate fat and calorie content, unless your dog is highly active in which case, he may need more calories. Digestible carbohydrates provide fiber and essential nutrients with vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure nutritional balance.

Here are some things to look for in a good German Shepherd dog food:

Now that you know more about your German Shepherds nutritional needs, youre ready to start shopping for the best food for German Shepherd dogs. Keep reading to see our top 10 picks.

Instinct Raw Boost Grain


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

  • First 5 ingredients: Duck, chicken meal, peas, egg product, turkey meal
  • Other recipes: Adult, weight loss, puppy, skin and coat, large breed puppy, small breed, senior
  • Price: $$$
  • See all 14 available recipes

This Instinct recipe derives the bulk of its meat protein from fresh duck and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 23% fat and 31% estimated carbs resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

A protein-rich recipe. Confidently recommended.

Sample buyer reviewThis was a first for me in ordering this product, but WOW, I am glad that I did. My Chow Chow is a picky eater, so I was a bit skeptical about whether or not she would eat it but it turns out that she LOVES the stuff, and she loves taking out the small raw pieces, and eating them as if they were a treat! I am pleased with this purchase, because it is nutritious for my pet, and she loves it!

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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The Modern German Shepherd

When you think of a German Shepherd, a canine with a wolf-like appearance comes to mind. Most people find German shepherds to be an intimidating breed, fierce in looks and personality. In truth, there are many different types of German Shepherds and make for very faithful companions that love to lead. They are a very zealous and energetic breed. Your German shepherd pup will play, bounce, run and fetch all day long if you will allow it.

Its a breed of dogs that starts with being a little over one pound. But, by the first year, they can gain weight up to 60 pounds. They are not a breed prone to obesity, either. They are a very active breed of dogs. Besides, GSDs have such a superior aptitude for training and are so intelligent that you will find them performing many different jobs.

German Shepherds make superb search and rescue dogs. Youll find them providing disability help as well as working with the police and in military roles.

What To Look For In A High

best grain free dog food for german shepherd

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.

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Buyers Guide: Selecting The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds

German Shepherds are big, powerful dogs and will benefit greatly from a diet that consists of a high amount of good-quality, animal-based protein. German Shepherds should have a caloric intake of around 2,000 calories a day, depending on their activity levels and age. It is important to remember that German Shepherds have different dietary needs at different growth stages puppys nutritional needs are different to senior dogs. With that in mind, there are a few important points to consider when buying food for your Shepherd.


The ingredients of the dog food that you choose are naturally the most important aspect. A diet consisting of mostly protein and fat is highly recommended for these powerful animals.

The food should ideally be free from grains, or they should at least be kept to a minimum. Grains can cause gas and bloat and other digestive issues in large dogs. They are most often used as fillers and other than dietary fiber, have little beneficial nutrition for your dog. The most commonly found grains in dry dog foods are wheat, corn, and soy. There is controversy around whether to feed dogs grains, as they have evolved to eat an omnivorous diet and are not strictly carnivores. Each breed and each dog is different, and the best thing to do is to assess how your pooch reacts to different food and go from there.

Related Read:Wet or dry food?

What Protein Sources Are Best For A German Shepherd With Skin Allergies

If your GSD has allergies, then choosing novel proteins may help.

Food allergies in German Shepherds are usually to a specific protein in the food. This is commonly gluten, beef, or dairy.

Food allergy treatments generally involve avoiding the offending protein. Diets based on novel proteins might help provide allergy relief for itchy skin problems.

  • venison
  • kangaroo

These meats are usually found in hypoallergenic diets for German Shepherds to reduce inflammatory skin and keep sensitive stomachs soothed.

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What Are Some Ingredients I Should See In My German Shepherds Grain

First, you should always seemeat as the number one ingredient on the dog food label. Your GSD needs meat primarily, so this is an important thing to pay attention to. Most grain-free recipes have this, but be wary of those that have too many carbs like potatoes.

While some carbohydrates are suitable for your dogs diet, they should never be the majority of the ingredients. Watch out for dog foods that list multiple carbs, such as various ingredients related to potatoes, like sweet potatoes. This can also create a weight problem for your German Shepherd.

Try to stay away from complex or exotic foods. Grain-free dog foods are best when theyre simple, as most dogs have issues breaking down things that arent basic foods. Chicken and cranberry may sound like an appealing pair for your pup but buy the simpler chicken-only recipe instead.

Here is a list of some appropriate vitamins and additional ingredients for your dogs food:

  • DHA: helps in brain development
  • Omega-3: good for skin and coat
  • Probiotics: help the digestive system
  • Antioxidants: immunity booster

All of the above are perfect for any dog, whether theyre puppies, adults, mature, or pregnant.

At A Glance: Our Choices Of Best Dog Food For A German Shepherd

How to feed a pack of German Shepherd dogs
  • Ideal choice for German Shepherd puppies
  • The core ingredients include lamb meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, and chicken meal
  • An all-natural dog food
  • The primary ingredients are chicken meal, oatmeal,ground brown rice, chicken,and chicken fat
  • Best organic dog foodfor German Shepherds
  • The foods calcium andphosphorous levels havebeen adjusted for dogsthat have already attainedfull size
  • Main ingredients include real beef, chicken, and salmon meat products
  • Top choice of wet dog food for yourGerman Shepherd
  • All-natural ingredients and infused with additionalvitamins and minerals
  • Grain- and gluten-free
  • Key ingredients are chicken by-product meal,brewers rice, chicken fat,brown rice, and driedplain beet pulp
  • Best choice for dry dog food
  • Supplemented with glucosamineand chondroitin
  • Kibble size and shape ensures easy digestion
  • Contains delicious and protein-rich bison, halibut, quail, rabbit,and venison
  • Best choice for GermanShepherds with foodallergies
  • Supplemented with antioxidant-rich kibblecalled LifeSource Bits

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Best Dog Food Brands For German Shepherds

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.

The Fda Gets Involved

Freeman collaborated with several veterinary cardiologists and alerted the Food and Drug Administration . In July 2018, the FDA announced it had found sufficient evidence to investigate. In November 2018, Freeman and her collaborators issued a commentary published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. It would become one of the most downloaded articles in the history of that publication.

The FDA has since issued several updates. From January 2018 through April 2019, the FDA received reports of 553 dogs with DCM compared with previous years that ranged from zero to three dogs. These included 95 Goldens, 62 mixed-breeds, 47 Labrador Retrievers, 25 Great Danes, and more than 50 additional breeds with more than one report.

The FDA report lists 16 dog-food companies that had 10 or more cases of DCM associated with their food, but many more foods are involved. The brands themselves are probably not the important part of the report, but rather what these foods have in common.

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The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Grain

Besides the fact that The Honest Kitchen offers great dog food at affordable prices, the company has been around for over 15 years. That’s why they’ve made my list for the best grain-free dog foods for German Shepherds.

THK offers different flavor and choices within their grain-free range. But today I’ll share details with you on their regular grain-free dog foods.

The food they offer is dehydrated which has a few benefits. Firstly, it’s has a lot of the same benefits as raw food without the hassle. And it’s less processed than regular kibble which is a great health benefit.

Also, it means good value for money. Because in the case of The Honest Kitchen’s selection, 10 lbs will give you 40 lbs of food just by adding water!

Your German Shepherd will have choices between four different flavors Turkey, Chicken, Beef and Fish.

Each one is prepared with its own special recipe

The turkey is made with spinach, potatoes, flaxseed, coconut, carrots, eggs, apples, celery, bananas, cranberries and kelp.

The chicken is free-range and is made with flaxseed, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, apples, pumpkin, honey, cabbage, green beans, bananas, papayas, kelp, and garlic.

The beef selection is made with potatoes, sweet potatoes, coconut, flaxseed, papayas, parsley, pumpkin, honey, cranberries, and kale.

And the fish is lovingly made with MSC certified Whitefish, salmon, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, eggs, coconut, cabbage, bananas, apples, cabbage, cranberries, and garlic.

Wellness Complete Health Whitefish & Sweet Potato

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds (2020)

Best Fish-Based LID Food

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Whitefish, Ground Barley , Rye Flour, Menhaden Fish Meal, Ground Pearled Barley,

Sweet Potatoes, Canola Oil , Tomato Pomace, Natural Fish Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Minerals , Vitamins , Mixed Tocopherols , Choline Chloride, Taurine.

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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.

Other Allergies In German Shepherds

Your dog can have other allergies besides those to foods they eat.

One or more different things can cause an allergy in your German Shepherd.

Allergens are categorized into three main groups. Within each group, your GSD might have an allergy to something very specific but, generally, the groups overlap. This means your dog might have an allergy to things from one or all of the three main groups.

The main groups are:

  • and atopic dermatitis

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Acana Singles Lamb And Apple Detailed Review

Acana and Orijen are sister companies. Acana offers a wide selection of different dog foods, all of them grain-free and biologically appropriate.

But the thing I really like about Acana is they’re not just switching up grain for potato. They’re actually increasing the amount of meat protein.

Although, the protein content in Acana is not as high as you’ll find in Orijen. It’s still way up there at 50 percent with the most protein-rich foods on the market.

Although I feed my dogs a raw diet, I sometimes use Acana for training treats when I’m low on my homemade stash. And the most popular one in our house is the Singles Formula Grass-Fed Lamb. It might be a kibble, but my dogs are willing to work hard for them, so they’re a definite winner!

The first thing I like is that the food contains no potato, grains or tapioca. Okay, so potatoes aren’t bad, but they do have a moderate glycemic index.

Its carb percentage is 34.5 percent which is pretty low considering the richness of lamb meat.

Of course, there are no grains either. And the Grass-Fed Lamb range is made up of 50 percent meat and 50 percent vegetables, fruits, and lavender which provides healthy antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

So essentially, a 2 kg bag of food contains 1 kg meat.

I also love the fact that there’s only one type of protein. That means the muscle meat, organs, meal, and cartilage is all from lamb.

What Should I Do If I Think My Puppy Or Dog Has A Sensitive Stomach And Diarrhea

First Looks at Wag Dry Dog Food for our German Shepherd

A vet can help you figure out why your dog is sick or having diarrhea.

It is always advisable you speak with a veterinarian when dealing with frequent, excessive diarrhea or bought of vomiting due to a sensitive stomach.

While an elimination diet that you diligently monitor can be started at home, youll still need the help of a vet to determine if there are any underlying health concerns. The diet should help eliminate what foods your dog or puppy may have sensitivity to such as beef, dairy, or wheat .

Once youve picked your new diet, introduce it gradually and give it a try as the only food that your German Shepherd receives. If they improve, then you can keep them on that diet.

Especially schedule a check-up if your dog or puppy is not recovering from mild diarrhea at home. German Shepherds with frequent bouts of diarrhea may become dehydrated which complicates their health further.

Dont wait to seek help when in doubt.

Speak to your veterinarian in situations where:

  • the diarrhea is increasing and is accompanied with bouts of vomiting
  • there are bloody mucous or blood in the stool

Most vet clinics have 24-hour emergency service so dont delay in seeking treatment. Some stomach problems cant be solved with food changes alone and need medications to help resolve them.

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