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Top Rated Dog Food For German Shepherds

How To Feed A German Shepherd Dog

Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds

Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet, including this one, can replace a consultation with a vet.

German Shepherd dogs tend to require more calories than the average large-breed dog. This is attributed to their high energy level which we’ve discussed above. Even at rest, the GSD isnt a couch potato hes going to be where the action is.

However, it is possible for some German Shepherds to be lazy and prone to obesity. This is especially true if the dog is older or has an underlying health condition that causes excess weight gain. It is important to not overfeed GSDs and feed the best dog food diet for German Shepherds that is appropriate for their life stage and health condition.

Below, I will take a look at the three life stages and two common health conditions of German Shepherds and the type of dog food they will require at that point. These are my most recommended brands, but we’ll also take a look at the best German Shepherd dog food reviews from pet owners to see what they have to say after switching to a new diet.

Purina Pro Bright Mind

Purina Pro is well known for their higher quality grain-inclusive kibbles. This pro formula is in the Bright Minds line of dog foods. It includes botanical oils which can improve mental clarity and sharpness for older pups. As mentioned, this formula includes grain, so its best to avoid if your aging German Shepherd has a sensitive stomach thats intolerant to grains.

This senior-appropriate dog food also contains additional glucosamine support to help prevent joint deterioration. The additional probiotics do support gut health, which is also important for aging dogs. Purina pro rounds out this formal with additional fatty acids to keep your seniors coat and skin soft and nourished.

We love most of Purina Pros recipes, despite their higher price tag. The added botanical oils in this formula will keep your aging pups mind bright and agile for the long term.

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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Victor Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy Dog Food

Best For Puppies

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Blood Meal, 3. Whole Grain Millet, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Yeast Culture

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content : 3,774 kcal

Made from gluten-free grains, this balanced diet by VICTOR is ideal for large breed dogs with moderate to high levels of daily activity. You will find all the high-quality nutrition for your German Shepherds diet while steering clear of unnecessary fillers like soy and corn. The impressive nutrient profile with chicken meal as a primary ingredient ensures a delicious blend for your Shepherd.

Analysis: Protein min. 38% | Fat min. 18%, | Fiber max. 3.5% | Moisture max. 9%

Senior German Shepherd Diet

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds (Top 10 Picks )

Senior German Shepherds need a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat in their diet.

These are only the minimums and research indicates these figures are far too low to provide the optimum nutrition for an elderly dog with unique needs.

German Shepherds over 7 years of age benefit from a diet formulated for their needs. Senior dog diets often have lower calories, higher protein, lower sodium, and fewer carbohydrates. Many also contain ingredients such as prebiotics to maintain healthy intestinal microbial populations, increased omega-3 fatty acids, and other antioxidants to combat inflammation.

As an added supplement senior formulas usually contain glucosamine to promote joint health.

Focus on giving your senior German Shepherd the best dog foodfor their life stage if you have an older dog.

Look for a senior dog food diet that is not only easily digestible but contains antioxidants, and prebiotics and has at least 25% protein. For example, Iams ProActive Health Healthy Aging Large Breed Senior Dry Dog Food meets all these standards.

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What Is The Best Food For German Shepherds With Joint Problems

If your German Shepherd has joint problems, you’ll want to find a dog food that is rich in omega-three fatty acids. These essential nutrients help to reduce inflammation and pain in the joints.

There are many brands of dog food that offer formulas specifically for dogs with joint problems. These foods often contain ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin, which are known to help relieve joint pain.

Now let’s chat in more detail about the best dog foods for your furry friend.

Choosing A Good Brand

There are a lot of well-known dog food brands out there, and its hard to know which ones are worth it.

One of the best things to do is to talk to your vet about brands they recommend for the best dog food for German shepherds. If your dog has a health condition and requires special food, your vet will be able to tell you what your dog needs. If your dog is healthy, its still worth asking the vet for their opinion to help narrow down your choices.

Look at online reviews to make sure other people who have used the food are happy with their results. There are also some brands that offer a satisfaction guarantee so theres nothing to lose if you try it and your dog doesnt like it.

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Blue Buffalo Natural Puppy Formula

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient.
  • Contains no by-product meals.

Blue Buffalo created this puppy food with the finest natural protein ingredients to promote strong muscle growth, and it is 100% grain-free for German Shepherd puppies who suffer with grain allergies.

This formula also includes fatty acids such as DHA and ARA, which are also found in his mothers milk, which supports cognitive development and eye health. Its ingredients also include Taurine and L-carnitine, which support cardiac health.

We love that Blue Buffalo has infused this kibble with their own Lifesource Bits that not only add extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are great for your puppys health, but they are packed full of flavor too!

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain

Dog Reviews Food with German Shepherd Brother – Part 2

When looking for a limited ingredient and grain-free food for your German Shepherds delicate stomach, you dont have to choose between flavorful taste and your dogs sensitivities. Thats because Blue Buffalos Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula is a scrumptious, limited-ingredient diet made with fewer ingredients for food sensitivities in dogs.

This tasty formula contains a single animal protein source, real salmon, and incorporates pumpkin and easily digested carbohydrates for a simple, yet mouthwatering, meal.

And, dont forget

This food contains BLUEs exclusive LifeSource Bitsa combination of handpicked antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. These select pieces reinforce your dogs overall health and wellness.

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The 8 Best Dog Food For German Shepherds In 2022

  • OnApril 10, 2022

PS: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

This is our review of the best dog food for German Shepherds in 2022.

German Shepherds are among my favorite patients, I have a special love for this breed. They are smart and loyal, and they can be easily trained.

Sadly, they are prone to some health problems such as hip dysplasia, crippling at an early age if they were fed dog food that contains more calcium than they need, plus you need to take care of that thick coat.

All this means that youll need to be more careful with what you feed your furry friend. Thats why I reviewed 8 dog foods I believe are the best dog food for German Shepherds.

My favorite dog food and the one I always recommend for most German Shepherds is Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, it contains high-quality protein, Glucosamine to support the hips and joints health, and the Omega-fatty acids necessary for German Shepherds to maintain a healthy thick coat.

But, every dogs condition is different, thats why Ive included 7 more dog food that I believe can be the best pick for a German Shepherd.

Keep reading.

German Shepherd Dog Daily Feeding Guide

Muscular large-breed dogs like German Shepherds have some particular feeding guidelines to follow.

Although the number of cups per day will vary slightly depending on what brand of dog food you pick, these dog food feeding guidelines for German Shepherds are reasonable estimates for how much food you should be feeding your GSD.

For a more accurate estimate, simply look at the back of your dogs kibble bag.

Note that these are daily suggestions, not per meal. You should split the number of cups per day into as many meals as you need.

Body Weight
Increase amino acids which can be found in protein
Concurrent GI Signs Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats try a simple ingredient food trial
Chronic Itching and Dermatitis Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil add a dog probiotic try a simple ingredient food trial
Dull Coat and Scaling Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet try a food that has added zinc
Dandruff and Crustiness Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels

Pro Tip: If your German Shepherds develop coat or skin problems such as dry skin, a dull shedding coat, hot spots, or itching and irritation, you can add a couple of squirts of fish oil to their food. Doing this will provide relief and nourishment to keep skin and coats healthy.

Also, never supplement extra calcium into a large breed puppys diet. Too much calcium encourages hip dysplasia earlier in life.

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Can German Shepherds Eat Regular Dog Food

Yes, GSDs can eat a wide range of foods that are generic in nature.

However, because of their large size and their activity levels, they might require a special diet. For instance, they need 18%-22% protein in their meals, with their caloric levels ranging from 1,200 to 2,100 calories per day. This also depends on your dogs activity levels and overall health.

What Are Some Common Health Problems German Shepherds Face

Iams Proactive Health Adult German Shepherd Dry Dog Food, Chicken ...

Some common health problems German Shepherds face include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and allergies. This breed of dog is also susceptible to obesity, so it is important to choose a food that will help them maintain a healthy weight.

German Shepherds are also prone to joint problems, so a food that is rich in glucosamine and chondroitin is important for this breed of dog.

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Choosing The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds: What To Look For

German Shepherds are some of the most brilliant and lively dogs youll ever meet. However, German Shepherds are also known for having weak stomachs, and introducing new dog foods to their diets must be done as carefully as possible. Here are a few things to consider when buying dog food for German Shepherds.

German Shepherds With Normal Body Condition

If you or your vet have assessed your German Shepherd’s body condition and it’s somewhere around Normal/Standard, then a great place to start for the best dog food for German Shepherds with normal body weight is this brand:

6. Royal Canin German Shepherd Breed Health Nutrition Adult

This adult formula for health nutrition is not the same as the one I’ve mentioned above from Royal Canine, but it’s one of the best dog foods for German Shepherd that’s aged between 15 months of age to 7-8 years of age.

Royal Canin provides the right balance of nutrients to optimize a lean body condition over a lifetime.

Once again, the unique design of the kibble has a harder texture than most other similar dog food brands, therefore, its shape and size encourages chewing in German Shepherds. Similar to the above mentioned Royal Canin formula, this dog food is also formulated to support proper digestion and maintain the health of the skin, coat, bones and joints.

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How Much Food Should My German Shepherd Eat

Understanding what to feed your German Shepherd is one thing understanding how much and how often you should feed your dog is another. The amount of food you give your dog depends on several factors: your dogs age, activity level, and ideal weight.

Puppies need to eat three times per day between the ages of eight and 12 weeks old. After this period, you can begin feeding it twice per day, which is how often you should plan to feed an adult. When youve just brought your puppy home, you should plan to give it whatever the breeder fed it to prevent any stomach problems. You can gradually mix new food into the old food over the course of about a week until your dog is eating all new food. Make sure not to overfeed your puppy, as growing too fast or becoming overweight can lead to problems like hip dysplasia, which is common in large breeds like German Shepherds.

In order to determine how much you should be feeding your dog, you can utilize feeding guides such as this one. According to the chart, if your German Shepherd is 70 pounds, you should feed him 3.5 cups of food per day. However, if your dog is very active, he may need more. If he is old, he may need less. Talk to your veterinarian to create an eating plan that will work for your dog.

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What To Look For In Dog Food For German Shepherds

The Best Dog Food That I Have Found For My German Shepherd.

All dog food brands claim to be the best option for your dog. If you know what to look for, you can see past marketing tactics and focus on the most important elements to pick the dog food thats right for your German Shepherd.


Make sure to select foods that contain a high percentage of protein from fish, meat, or poultry ingredients. Puppies need at least 22 percent protein in their diets, while you can cut back the amount for adults to 18 percent.

While protein is a requirement for your dog, you should be wary of high protein dog food products. Protein is calorie-dense and can cause your dog to gain weight more easily. As you probably know, putting on too much excess weight can lead to health problems for your dog down the line.

Fatty Acids

Choose a dog food that contains fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-3. These contribute to a healthy coat and healthy skin.


Look for products with fiber from natural, easily digestible carbohydrates such as vegetables and whole grains.

AAFCO Guidelines

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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.

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 her 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, and 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 her health.

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Great Ingredients At A Great Price: Iams Proactive Health

  • Specifically formulated for large dogs
  • Offers digestive fiber and probiotics to promote your dogs digestion system
  • Relatively low-priced for the ingredients


  • Some owners state their dogs were gassy after a few feedings of this brand

Iams is a name that many pet parents trust, and for good reason. Iams has had a long history of providing quality food to pets, and they have one of the best prices for the ingredients. The first ingredient of the Iams brand is real chicken however, there are some grains in this food. There are also a few by-products included in the food chicken by-product meal, for instance. So if your dog has any type of allergy, you might want to choose another food on our list. Also, where many other foods include glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, Iams adds Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, and some others instead. There are also some preservatives in this food, so, if you dont want your dog eating food with any kind of chemicals or preservatives, choose a different food. Otherwise, Iams offers a quality product that many German Shepherd owners swear by. Its a dog food thats good for German Shepherd adults.


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