Verified Review: User Experience
Many German Shepherd owners find it difficult to purchase dog food that is safe enough for their fur babies and tasty enough to keep them interested. The trick is to study your puppy, as each dog has a unique personality. This comprehensive review can help dog owners narrow down their list of dog foods to buy and try, as many options are out there.
Best Food For German Shepherd Puppy Reviews & Buying Guide For 2021
When youre particular about what you feed your pet, ACANA is the best dog food for a German Shepherd puppy.
ACANA provides a complete list of puppy food ingredients so you know that youre making an excellent choice for your pets health.
ACANA comes up as the best overall winner in this mini-review due to its quality. It also provides the best dry food for German Shepherd puppy because of all the delicious flavors available.
Package sizes also ensure that you can cater to your pets tastebuds by allowing your pup to test various flavors in small 4.5 oz. sizes.
In this way, you can quickly discover what is the best food for my German Shepherd puppy.
- Size: 4.5 oz., 12 oz., 13 lbs., 25 lbs.
- Flavor: Duck, Fruits & Berries, Pumpkin, Turkey, Veggie
- Dry/Wet: Dry Food
- The one drawback of this ACANA product is that it is only available in poultry flavors.
- This product is quite expensive because it has no fillers or additives that can cause harm to pets with sensitive digestive systems.
Diamond Naturals Premium Large Breed Formulas
Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Puppy, Large Breed Lamb and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag
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Heres a power-packed meal to provide antioxidants, probiotics, essential vitamins, and added minerals. The superfoods in the meal promote a long and hearty life for your fluffball. Diamond Naturals formula is specifically for large breed puppies. They need more nourishment to sustain their bone development.
GSDs tend to suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia. So, it is imperative to fortify their immune systems as well as ossein buildout. That will make sure that your pooch does not suffer from joint pains in their adult life.
Furthermore, the antioxidants in the blend prevent cancer. The probiotics in the mix keep the gut flora flourishing, and the omega fatty-acids keep the skin, coat, and vision healthy.Diamond tops it all up with a great price tag to give you the ultimate value for your money.
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Do They Have Any Special Dietary Needs
All dogs require a healthy, balanced diet rich in protein and healthy fats. The German Shepherd is a large-breed dog, so protein is even more important to help him maintain lean muscle mass. As a puppy, youll need to control your German Shepherds fat and calorie intake to keep him from growing too fast because overgrowth in large breeds can lead to an increased risk for musculoskeletal problems.
Generally speaking, the German Shepherd is a fairly healthy breed. As is true for all dogs, however, poor breeding practices can increase the risk of genetic health problems. This, combined with the fact that the German Shepherd is a large breed, means that he is at risk for things like hip dysplasia, though responsible breeding can help keep that risk to a minimum.
Here are some of the other health problems to which the breed is prone:
- Elbow dysplasia
- Cardiovascular disease
- Eye problems
When it comes to dietary needs, most of the conditions on this list dont have any special dietary implications. You do, however, need to be mindful of how much and how quickly your dog eats. Eating too quickly or too much at once puts your dog at risk for bloat, a life-threatening condition in which the stomach twists, cutting off blood flow to the organs.
Feeding Treats To A German Shepherd
You can include small portions of fresh components to your puppys dry kibble for taste and flavor. But dont add more than a spoonful or two so your dog doesnt eat only the fresh ingredients and ignore the healthy kibble!
These components shouldnt make up over 10% of their daily calories to avoid them gaining excess weight.
GSD puppies enjoy eating:
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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.
The Best German Shepherd Puppy Food For Healthy Growth And Weight Gain
The following dog foods are all recommended for large breed puppies and meet and exceed regulated nutritional standards. Feeding a high-quality kibble from a name-brand company that uses feeding trials ensures the best quality and nutrition.
Here are some of the best German Shepherd puppy foods that are research-backed.
The better the food, the healthier your pup will be inside and out. Dont feed your German Shepherd puppy the cheapest food you can buy. Cheaper GSD puppy food lacks quality proteins that are essential for your working breed dog.
These premium foods cost more initially, but because theyre calorie and nutrient dense they feed your puppy for longer than cheaper foods. They can also help your German Shepherd puppy gain weight in a healthy way, so they dont bulk-up too quickly.
Adding too much weight to your German Shepherd too soon can cause lifelong joint issues that are painful to your pet and expensive on your wallet.
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Orijen Large Breed Puppy Food
Image courtesy Orijen
The Orijen Puppy Large contains the most animal protein from chicken, which is fresh. The label analysis revealed that the recipe has 43% protein, 18% fat, and 31% carbohydrates… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of around 42 percent.
Champion Petfoods, the well-known maker of Orijen, has long promoted a meat-based “biologically appropriate” diet. This is a tried and true design that makes this particular dish an excellent choice for developing Shepherd pups.
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:
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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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Transition: How To Switch From Puppy To Adult Dog Food
Making the transition between puppy to adult food or from one brand to another is not as hard as you think. All you need to do is replace the original food with the new kibble gradually.
You can do this slowly or over the course of a month, depending on how much of the old kibble you still have.
The most common method is adding 20% of new dog food daily, so by the 5th day, your dog will have transitioned to the new food.
What I like to do is mix their new and old kibble together in a container and serve.
Adjust the radio until all the old dog food is used up, so when youre nearing the end of the bag, just throw a handful into the container!
Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Adults
Adult GSDs often have digestive problems and might have sensitive stomachs. To prevent this, they will need a well-balanced diet.
They are also built for hard work and have certain caloric requirements to keep their minds and bodies fit and healthy.
An inactive GSD might only need 1,200 cals per day, whereas an average adult will need 1,500 cals. For working dogs or those that are always on the go, youre looking at close to 2,000 calories a day.
Take a look at Sniper trying out some raw dishes and veggies:
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Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy
The Wholesome Essentials Puppy kibble by Nutro uses farm-raised chicken as its main source of protein. It is rich in omega fatty acids that support overall development, which is critical while your dog is growing.
Additional essential fatty acids come from its fish oil content. This kibble is also enriched with calcium to support your puppys bone development.
This Nutro variant of dry dog food uses oatmeal as its main source of carbohydrates and fiber. This is a gluten-free grain that is especially beneficial to dogs with food sensitivities.
Additionally, oats are rich in B vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates into energy more efficiently.
|Nutrition Facts – Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy|
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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Protein And Fat From Quality Sources
German Shepherd puppies should eat a diet that is approximately 22% protein and 8% fat. As adults, German Shepherds should have 18% protein and 5% fat.
Whats the importance of this? You might think that more protein is better. However, with large dog breeds like German Shepherds, too much protein is actually a bad thing.
You see, protein helps German Shepherd puppies grow. However, too much protein can cause a puppy to grow too quickly.
Why is that a bad thing?
Large breed dogs who grow too quickly are far more prone to bone and joint problems. German Shepherds are highly prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis. Growing too quickly may not cause the conditions, but it can certainly make them worse.
So, you dont want a puppy food that is too high in protein. However, you should feed a food where the protein comes from quality sources.
Many cheap puppy foods get their protein from animal meal or by-products. By-products are the worst protein source. By-products are the parts of the animal with the least nutritional value. That includes things like beaks, feet, and hooves.
Meat meal is somewhat better than meat by-products. Meal is made primarily from ground bones. While its better than meat by-products, it isnt as nutritious as a whole meat.
In short, you should look for a puppy food for your German Shepherd that gets its protein from whole meat sources.
Instinct Raw Boost With Real Duck
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..
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German Shepherd Breed Summary
Originally bred for their herding and guarding instincts within the German countryside, the wolf-like shepherding dog was created by Max von Stephanitz in the late 1800s. Stephanitz crossbred various shepherding breeds found throughout Germany that fit his ideal personality traits of intelligence, loyalty, and diligence the physical attributes required for working.
The German Shepherd Dog gained more popularity in Hollywood with the likes of Strongheart and Rin-Tin-Tin taking center stage on silent screens. They are now most used by police and military task forces, as well as serving an important role in home protection. With enough space to run around for playtime, a balanced diet, this active dog breed can also be a great family dog. They are intensely loyal towards their family but because of their size and appearance, it is vital that you train them accordingly.
Because of their size and genetic history, German Shepherds are susceptible to a few different health issues. Feeding your German Shepherd the best possible dog food for the nutritional needs can help to them healthy and happy.
American Kennel Club Breed Classification: Herding Dog
Recommended Daily Exercise Amount: 1-2 hours/day
Physical Traits of German Shepherds
German Shepherds are known for their large, muscular, and athletic body shapes. They can come in a wide-variety of different fur colors that range from brown, black, to golden.
Incredibly intelligent, loyal, and protective.
Merrick Grain Free For Large Breed Adult Dogs
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey MealType: Dry
With the first ingredient as deboned chicken, you know youre getting a high-quality feed.
Their recipe touts a 60% protein and fat inclusion, with the remaining 40% for fat, fiber, and other necessary ingredients which are both natural and beneficial to your adult dogs health.
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Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs
Finding the best dog food for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs can be a nightmare.
You always hope with every new food you pour into their bowl that this will finally be the one.
Your beautiful dog is in discomfort and pain with stomach problems again.
But, it doesnt have to be this way!
In the next few minutes, Ill show you the best dog foods for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs.
Ill guide you through what you can do to help calm their bellies. so you can finally bring them the sorely-needed relief they deserve.
Lets get started right away.
What Types Of Food Are Appropriate For German Shepherd Dogs
The most popular type of food for your German Shepherds is dry kibble. However, for puppies and senior dogs, you should consider a variety of wet food options too. Other varieties you can serve include semi-moist form and freeze-dried food. For owners who dont mind preparation and handling, frozen-then-thawed food is a viable option too.
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Kibble Vs Wet Food For Mini Australian Shepherd Puppies
You can feed your Mini Aussie kibble or wet food depending on your vets recommendation. Both types of food have their advantages and disadvantages.
Generally, dogs like wet food because they are more appetizing, smell more like meat, and contain more water content.
However, wet food is expensive, high in calories, and has a higher chance of causing dental issues as your Mini Aussie grows.
Also, wet food need refrigeration once opened and if it is not handled with the proper care and sanitation, it may cause food poisoning.
On the other hand, kibble is cheap, easy to store, and can help clean your dogs teeth, hence preventing dental issues.
If you have concerns about which type of food your puppy needs to eat, speak to your vet about it.
What Food Do German Shepherds Need
The German Shepherd is an Olympic athlete at heart!
They love to exercise, play, run, and generally stay in motion most of the time. Giving them the best food is essential to their natural drive.
Due to its convenience and ease of feeding, dry kibble is the most common way to give a German Shepherd their dietary requirements. Common commercial foods are made with chicken, beef, lamb, or fish products and by-products, grains such as corn, wheat, rice, barley, or oats. They contain added vitamins and minerals to ensure that the final diet is balanced.
These foods may be formulated for specific life stages such as puppy, adult, senior, or for all life stages.
Some owners prefer to mix dry kibble with wet food, make their own homemade food, only serve a raw diet, or any combination they feel is the right fit for their dog and lifestyle.
Any mixture of food you feed your GSD must meet their dietary requirements.
Its vital to understand your German Shepherds diet, as this is the main fuel for your dog and the foundation of their health.
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