Best Dog Food For German Shepherds: Gsds With Skin Allergies And Sensitive Stomachs Take Solace
Although the best dog food for German Shepherds may be a biologically appropriate raw food diet, I have tried different dry kibble for my picky eater.
My pooch sampled Blue Buffalo, Castor & Pollux, Fromm, Acana, Taste of the Wild, and Victor dog food.
He did well on all of them , but I found a few brands cost prohibitive and a few lacking quality. My favorite now is Victor dog food.
Personality Traits Of German Shepherds
There is perhaps no other dog breed in the world that is as instantly recognizable as the German Shepherd. These dogs have a long history of being widely used in the police force, the army, search and rescue teams, and as guard dogs, guide dogs, and family companions. Renowned for their intelligence, obedience, and confident demeanor, German Shepherds are loyal, affectionate, and protective toward their family and friends.
They can, however, come across as intimidating toward strangers,or those they perceive as potential threats. In general, they will not hesitate to turn aggressive if they think that they or their family are being attacked. Given their large size, this can take an unfortunate turn if the dog is not properly trained and socialized. If you own a German Shepherd, you need to take the time to train and socialize your pet from an early age so that they are able to remain calm and controllable in different kinds of situations.
Can I Feed My Dog Human Food Instead Of Dog Food
Its extremely unlikely that your dog will get the right balance of nutrients by eating human food, so feeding a 100% human food diet is not recommended. Take it slowly. If your dog is used to a diet of kibble, tipping a plate full of leftovers into his dinner bowl could quickly cause an upset stomach.
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.
Nutrition Guidelines For German Shepherd Puppies
Diet is very important in the growing months of a Sheps young life. Your pup will eat a lot of food from birth right up to about six months old and will require as much as four times more than your average GSD adult. After six months, you can start reducing their food intake to about to about two meals a day.
Thus, its important that you stick to puppy food as this is higher in protein, vitamins, minerals and fats all essential for your pups health and growth. However regular food which is labelled for all life stages will also equally work.
Ensure all foods meet the required AAFCO nutrient standards.
For GSD puppies experts recommend a diet specifically designed for large-breeds in order to help prevent the development of hip dysplasia and other joint issues. With this in mind we recommend premium dry foods for your German Shepherd puppy that have a good history of recall-free and customer advocacy.
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Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Food
Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Food caters to the nutritional needs of German Shepherd puppies 8 weeks to 15 months old. Like the adult version of Royal Canin, it is a breed-specific puppy food with ingredients that match the nutritional and health needs of the German Shepherd breed.
Royal Canin the best puppy food for German Shepherds with an overall balanced energy content to help puppies gain and maintain an ideal weight. It has a complex antioxidants including Vitamin E to support puppies immune system development along with a strong growing body. Other nutrients in the Royal Canin like Phosphorus, Calcium, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin develop healthy bones structure of German Shepherd puppies.
Royal Canin also features specifically designed kibble for German Shepherd puppy. The kibble is easy for puppy to pick and chew. Optimum kibble size help puppies breakdown their food before swallowing and promote good digestion.
- Contains potential allergens
American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
Caloric Content: 3,740 kcal/kg
Feeding Instructions: 3 2/3 4 ½ cups a day for an adult dog
Most Inexpensive If you are searching for a dry dog food for your German Shepherd that isnt super expensive, then American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 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.
And lets not forget everything is grain-free, corn-free, wheat-free and soy-free, which is perfect for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs.
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What Is The Average Price And How Long Will It Last
Blue Buffalo Freedom and Blue Buffalo Basics are sold in 4 lb, 11 lb, 24 lb bags, Blue Buffalo Wilderness is sold in 4.5 lb, 11 lb, 24 lb bags, and Blue Buffalo Life Protection is sold in 15 lb and 30 lb bags.
From my research, it seems that the largest-sized bag of any these lines currently costs between $45 – 50*, which I think is a very reasonable price for a premium dog food.
*all prices in this post are given approximately by looking on average at 5 of the top online retailers. The final price can vary.
Below I have drawn up a chart showing how long a 24lb bag of Blue Buffalo can last your dog, based on the daily feeding guidelines displayed on the majority of Blue Buffalos recipes.
Weight of adult dog, lb / kg
Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Formula
- Made specifically for sensitive stomachs.
- Veterinarian endorsed brand.
Does your German Shepherd suffer from sensitive skin or a sensitive stomach? Hills kibble for sensitive skin and sensitive stomachs is the perfect recipe for both problems. As the German Shepherd has a sensitive gut and digestive system this offers a gentle recipe of probiotic fibers.
It is also grain free which often is the best recipe for dogs with allergies, and it is packed full of omega-6 fatty acids and vitamins that nourish his skin and fur for a healthy coat. It is voted by Veterinarians across America as the best kibble for dogs with specific needs, as the recipe really is based on science. When you start feeding your pup food formulas specifically for sensitive skin, youll have a quick fix for many skin-related issues.
We love that Science Diets sensitive stomach formulas are well-liked by dog owners of many different breeds. If your pup has a sensitive stomach, its hard to go wrong with this formula in their golden years.
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Iams Proactive Health Large Breed
Large Breed Chicken and Whole Grains is one of 14 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!
The Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppies
Next, its worth taking a closer look at some of the best puppies foods for German Shepards, which should go a long way towards supporting the healthy development of your new puppy.
First of all, its important to keep in mind that a German Shepard puppy will greatly benefit from puppy formulas that are labeled as large breed formulas because these products will come with additional nutrition thatll assist the healthy development of your dog. However, the large breed label is less important when theyre fully grown.
Additionally, its usually best to feed your German Shepard puppy 3 to 4 times a day, rather than giving them all of their food in one go. How come? Well, a puppy will have a tendency to keep eating continually if theres a food supply available, and overeating can lead to vomiting. So if this is happening with your puppy, then smaller portions spread throughout the day may very well solve the problem.
With that said, lets take a closer look at some of the top puppy food products that are well-suited to a German Shepard.
To begin with, we have this fantastic food from Orijen, and while its certainly on the costly side, its definitely a high-quality formula that would benefit any German Shepard puppy.
The formula weve highlighted here is the large breed version, which gives your puppy the added joint protection that helps healthy development, as well as giving them adequate calories to fuel their growth carefully and steadily.
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Best Foods For Adult German Shepherds
Just like our puppy food recommendations above, the below choices for your adult German Shepherd are based on natural dry food ingredients, with the best overall nutritional content that follows the AAFCO guidelines.
Your Adult German Shepherd will need a higher calorie count than they did as a puppy, but the food shouldnt be as nutrient-dense. If you continue the puppy formula as an adult, youll be likely to have an overweight pup on your hand. As your Adult graduates, below are some of our favorite foods for your German Shepherd Adult.
The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
When looking for the best dog food for a German shepherd its important to choose a food thats safe for your pets age.
Thats because German shepherds are considered large breed dogs.
Which is not a problem for adult shepherds.
German shepherd puppies have a higher risk of developing a crippling form of canine hip dysplasia if theyre fed a dog food that contains too much calcium for their larger breed type.1
To help you make a safe choice
The Dog Food Advisor has selected the 12 brands below because they meet safe calcium levels and other nutritional needs of adult German shepherds and where notedshepherd puppies, too.2
Keep in mind, German shepherd puppies dont stop growing and arent ready to eat adult dog food until they reach 12 to 24 months of age.3
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Royal Canin Specialized Dog Food For German Shepherds
This Royal Canin formula is designed exclusively for pure-breed German Shepherds over 15 months old. German Shepherds can have finicky digestive systems this recipe is intended to combat that with highly digestible proteins including chicken and a selection of specific fibers, such as brewers rice and oat groats, to aid digestion and prevent soft stools. Its available in 17- and 30-pound bags.
Royal Canin Specialized Dog Food for German Shepherds
This dry dog food is tailored exclusively for pure-breed German Shepherds and includes easy-to-digest ingredients to help support their digestive system.
The Importance Of Raw Foods
It has been said that the German Shepherd is more like a wolf than any other dog breed. While this is debatable, there is no doubt that this statement is rooted in fact.
When we think about this, it makes a lot of sense that these dogs would do better with raw foods. After all, no wild dog ever built a fire to cook his meat, and that might make more of a difference than previously believed.
We took a look at this comprehensive study, which seems to have been very thorough. The researchers measured the incidence and effects of canine hip dysplasia and attempted to draw connections between this condition and the diet of the dogs involved.
On a more humorous note, raw food diets were abbreviated as BARF in this study, that being an acronym for Bone And Raw Food.
Anyway, the results of this study were pretty conclusive. All of the dogs that ate the BARF diet showed a much lower rate of hip dysplasia.
Of the dogs that were given commercial dry food, about 69% showed signs of the condition, while about 61% did not. Based on this, we can see that dogs in this category had roughly a 50% chance of developing hip problems.
On the other hand, the dogs that were fed the BARF diet had a rate of hip dysplasia that was only about 5%. Obviously, these numbers do not reflect the general population because the researchers specifically looked for dogs with existing problems.
As a compromise between the warring factions, we would suggest that you use raw foods as a supplement and a treat.
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Top 7 Best Foods For German Shepherd Puppies
German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. It’s not hard to see why. Not only are they beautiful, but these dogs are also smart, loyal, and energetic. When they’re puppies, German Shepherds are playful little creatures that are curious about the world around them.
During the first year or so of life, your little puppy is going to go through a major growth spurt. Puppies start out at around one pound when they’re first born. Yet, by the time they are a year old, they can weight over 60 pounds!
To support that growth, you need to provide your pup with a healthy diet that’s filled with beneficial nutrients.
As a large breed, you need to be extra cautious about what you’re feeding your dog. Poor nutrition at a young age can result in some serious health complications in the future.
For German Shepherds, those risks are even higher due to the many conditions the breed is susceptible to.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of great dog food options on the market. Here’s a collection of some of the best wet and dry dog food for German Shepherd puppies.
General Nutritional Recommendations For German Shepherds
All dogs require a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate in their diet, though dogs of certain sizes may require a slightly different ratio than smaller dogs. Large-breed dogs like the German Shepherd, for example, may require more protein than smaller dogs to help support their lean muscle mass. Smaller dogs usually require more fat than larger dogs to support their faster metabolisms. As a large-breed dog, your German Shepherds diet should provide high levels of protein with moderate fat and limited carbohydrate content. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, adult dogs need at least 18% protein and 5% fat while puppies need 22% protein and 8% fat. If you want your dog to be as healthy as possible, however, you should choose a diet that provides more than the minimum for these nutrients.
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Blue Buffalo Life Protection
In order for your German Shepherd to lose weight, or simply maintain it if he is less active, then feeding him a natural dry dog kibble with less fat content than normal kibbles is your best bet, and Blue Buffalo offers the perfect solution. Follow the package guidelines closely and be sure to continue his exercise as directed by the Veterinarian, as he still needs to be active to lose that extra fat.
Weight control will not only help to reduce the risk of heart disease, but it will also decrease the pressure on his hip and elbow joints. So, if he is a bit on the chunky side feeding him a less calorific diet will benefit his health significantly.
We love most of Blue Buffalos offerings. They are synonymous with high quality, while not taking up half your paycheck.