Understanding German Shepherd’s Needs
The German Shepherd Dog is a large-breed canine with a long back, erect ears and large eyes. They are one of the most recognizable breeds on the planet, are known for their excellence in military and are often fed like a canine athlete .
GSDs are jack of all trades. They excel as loyal family dogs, service dogs, and are the most famous police working dogs. On average, a German Shepherd dog lives about 12 years.
In order to extend their lifespan as long as possible, you need to pick the best dog food for German Shepherds that will cater to this canine’s individual needs, ensure preventative health care plan is in place, and have a general plan for their physical and mental stimulation.
There are a lot of best German Shepherd dog food reviews online, but the problem with some of those is that they do not address the specific requirements of this breed, which is mostly due to their resting metabolism and activity level as working dogs.
As with any breed, you’ll have to update your German Shepherd’s diet depending on his age, activity level and health condition. German Shepherd puppies require much different nutrients than senior dogs, and GSDs that are working dogs need to eat more calories per day with a specific protein to fat to carbohydrate ratio with added vitamins and minerals.
READ MORE: German Shepherd Dog Breed Profile
What Should I Look For In A German Shepherd Dog Food
When looking for the best dog food for German Shepherds, you should consider several factors:
- Ingredients. Make sure that the constituent ingredients are obtained from a reliable source. Additionally, there should not be any fillers, additives, dyes, and flavors that have been added artificially. The food can also contain beneficial ingredients, including sweet potatoes, blueberries, and carrots, among others.
- Nutritional Needs. German Shepherds are large dogs that have specific nutritional needs. Make sure that the food you opt for offers these dietary supplements. You can also consult a vet for the best results.
- Shelf Life. Make sure that the brand you opt for has a decent shelf life. Otherwise, your food might expire early, and you will be left buying it over and over again. It should, however, be kept in mind that too much of a shelf life could indicate the presence of preservatives that are not considered healthy.
- Cost. Since food is a lifelong commitment, make sure that the product is cost-effective and easy on your pocket. Most premium brands will have cheaper counterparts that you can opt for.
What Types Of Food Are Good For German Shepherds
German Shepherds can thrive on all kinds of dog food. Dry kibble is the most popular option because it is convenient.
If you dont mind going through a bit of trouble, theres the option of dehydrated or frozen-then-thawed dog food.
The ingredients matter much more than the type of dog food it is, whether dry or moist. However, older dogs and puppies might deal with wet food better.
Also, unless your dog has certain allergies, you dont have to feed organic or grain-free food.
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How To Store Reheat And Freeze
This homemade dog food will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. We usually make a weeks worth of food at a time and store it in the refrigerator. We store all of the meals in simple Tupperware containers and we ALWAYS save our plastic take-out containers and re-use them for Rascals Dog Food.
When eating time rolls around, simply nuke it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds and cool slightly before serving.
For freezing, I recommend freezer-safe containers or freezer zip-top bags. Thaw overnight in the fridge before feeding and reheat as directed.
German Shepherd Homemade Food Tips
Once you pick a recipe for your GSD or GSD puppy, its time to prepare it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
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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|
German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy dry dog food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred German Shepherds 8 weeks to 15 months old As a result of increased demand, you may experience difficulty purchasing certain products in the coming months. If you need an alternative diet recommendation or help locating a product, please contact our Nutritional Advisors at 800-592-6687 or via our Live Chat function.
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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%.
Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health Dog Food
The Holistic Select pet food company has been around for more than a decade. One of the tenets that Holistic Select thrives on is in creating dog food that is 100% natural, high-quality, and that support the digestive health systems for dogs.
We gave the Holistic Select Puppy Dog Food a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Unique Health Support
Why we choose this as the best food for the German Shepherd puppy is because of its exceptional health support. Many puppies find it challenging to digest foods during the first couple of days. The Holistic Puppy Health Dog Food is built with this in mind. It has a blend of probiotics and enzymes that make it easy for your puppy to digest.
Healthy Fat Sources
While Holistics advertising stresses on the merits of the digestive systems, its also worth noting that this dog food is a source for healthy fats. These are obtained from the whole grains and lean meat of lamb instead of chicken fat. Chicken fat is not unhealthy per se, but lamb is way more nutritious.
Considering how big or quickly your German Shepherd puppy grows, a single bag of food may run out rather fast. If you have a small budget, this could pose a challenge given the high price of the Holistic Select Puppy Health Food.
A majority of people are beginning to embrace a holistic lifestyle and this includes the food they eat. Precise believes that dogs should not be left behind in this movement.
We rated this dog food product 4.4 out of 5 stars.
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Royal Canin Specialized Dog Food
Royal Canin Specialized Dog Food is specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred adult German Shepherds aged 15 months and older.
It offers a unique kibble shape which is particularly designed for a German Shepherds long, strong mouth and teeth to encourage chewing.
Moreover, it also includes highly digestible proteins and specific fibers that promote healthy digestive performance and optimal stool consistency, as this breed is inclined to have poor stool quality.
The healthy nutrients, such as EPA and DHA, from fish oil, reinforce the skin barrier and help to maintain skin and coat health. This adult German Shepherds dog food contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support big dogs healthy bones, joints, and cartilages.
- Formulas are 100% satisfaction guaranteed.
- Kibble is designed with a specific shape, size, and texture for the dogs facial and jaw structures.
- Added glucosamine and chondroitin maintain bone and joint health and support large breed bodies
- It promotes a healthy heart due to the addition of fish oil.
- It is great in taste.
- Not suitable for dogs with allergies
This dog food for German Shepherd is applauded for its nutrient-rich formula that supports bone and joint health, maintains healthy skin and coat, and supports digestive health. However, few buyers criticized it for its inflated price.
Royal Canin Specialized Dog Food
Best Quality Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppy
German Shepherd puppies grow quickly and hence require nutrition that has ample amount of protein. This helps in building lean muscle mass and strength in them. A moderate amount of fat in their diet proves beneficial for an active breed like the German Shepherd. Here at PetsWorld, you can find specially formulated diets for puppy German Shepherds from leading brands like Royal Canin, Pedigree, Fidele, Hills Science etc. to give them the highest quality nourishment.
Royal Canin German Shepherd is a complete meal exclusively designed for German Shepherd puppies to support overall growth and development. It consists of essential Omega 3 fatty acids to make their skin and coat healthy and also has minerals like calcium and phosphorus for strengthening bones and joints.
Arden Grange Puppy Junior Large is a fitting diet for German Shepherd puppies as it offers a large kibble size which is perfect for puppy German Shepherds to chew and digest. It consists of highly delicious chicken meat having a protein content of high biological value.
Royal Canin Maxi Junior is another diet that completely nurtures the German Shepherd puppies. The food contains a good blend of anti-oxidant complex and manno-oligo-saccharides which fortifies the puppys natural defences.
Other diets available at PetsWorld that provide quality top quality nutrition to puppy German Shepherds are Pedigree Puppy Chicken and Milk, Fidele Puppy Large, Hills Science Diet Puppy Large Breed etc.
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How Much Should A Yorkie Puppy Eat
While Yorkies are one of the smallest breeds of dogs that you can get, they still require a consistent and healthy feeding schedule.
A Yorkie puppy should be having meals 3 to 4 times a day, with amounts divided equally throughout the day.
A puppy will only eat between ¼ and ½ cups of food throughout the day. This might not seem like much, but remember that these are small dogs and do not need much to eat.
Best Dry Dog Food For German Shepherds
What you feed your dog has a significant impact on their overall well-being. Their health and longevity depend on a proper diet. If you have a GSD, you should really look into the kibble they consume.
The best dry dog food for German Shepherds are easily digested and dont irritate their typically sensitive stomachs. Plus, they are formulated with the right ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to maintain their robust bodies and support their athleticism. For most owners, dry dog food is the best choice, but some owners feed a mixture of wet and dry dog food.
*This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you .
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American Journey Senior Formula
For senior dog parents on a budget, American Journey offers a grain-free formula thats great for older dogs with sensitive stomachs. This formula includes Medium Chain Triglycerides derived from coconut oil, which are great for brain health and alertness.
This American Journey formula also includes an antioxidant blend that helps boost immune health in older dogs. The added Glucosamine and Chondroitin levels also help support aging joints and tendons. This formula is not only grain-free, but it its free of wheat, corn, soy, and all by-products and fillers.
We love that this American Journey formula has all the ingredients your senior needs. Its also available at a price point that wont empty your bank account.
Orijen Adult Dog Food
This protein rich recipe is one of the richest around, with 85% of the ingredients being poultry, fish or egg products. Approximately two thirds of the meat content in this recipe are all fresh or raw, meaning that your German Shepherd will be getting his nutrients in the most nourishing form.
It is 100% grain and gluten free and it is packed with a variety of fruit and vegetables to provide your German Shepherd with his vitamins and minerals. It also comes in three different flavors the Original, Regional Red and Six Fish, so if you have a fussy pooch then there a few choices for him to choose from, and all of their recipes have whole fish in which helps to maintain a healthy heart.
We love that this is biologically appropriate, in that the recipe is based on a whole prey diet that mirrors the ratio of a wild diet. It incorporates a balance of meat, organs, bones, and cartilage. While that might not sound too appealing to you, your German Shepherd will love it!
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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.
How To Calculate The Carbohydrates In Grain Free Dog Food
There’s a simple formula you can follow to determine the carbohydrate percentage of any dog food. It’s based on the guaranteed analysis provided by the manufacturer, so it’s not an exact science. But in my opinion, it’s a good gauge to go by.
You’ll need the percentages of the protein, fat, moisture and ash in the guaranteed analysis. You can find this on the back of any bag. If ash is not reflected, then use a figure of 6 as an estimate.
You won’t need to include the fiber in this formula since it’s indigestible and doesn’t break down into sugar.
Here’s a shot of the guaranteed analysis of a bag of Acana Singles Formula Grass-Fed Lamb where you can
Guaranteed Analysis of Acana’s Grass-Fed Lamb Grain Free Dog Food
So considering 100 percent is the total of each of these including the carbs, here’s the math
100 % protein % fat % moisture % ash = % carbs
100 31 17 12 6 = 34% carbs.
In an ideal world, you’ll want a carb percentage of between 10 and 15. Although, that’s only possible if you’re feeding a raw diet.
But if you’re feeding kibble, you’ll never get close to this. So aim as low as you can get, so, for example, Orijen’s Tundra grain-free dog food has a carbohydrate percentage of 21.
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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.