Meal Plan / Feeding Guide By Weight
There are lots of German Shepherd food brands out there. However, you need to look for foods that meet your pet’s unique dietary requirements.
A few great recommendations from Hungry Bark include:
- Superfoods with Chicken, Turkey + Brown Rice
- Superfoods with Turkey + Duck
- Superfoods with Lamb + Turkey
- Superfoods with Salmon
If you doubt how much food your dog needs, you should check the meal pack. Most dog food brands provide feeding calculators to help you work out how much your pet needs.
Hungry Bark recommends these daily serving amounts for your German Shepherds.
- 3lbs: 29-43 grams daily
- 80lbs: 431-517 grams daily
- Above 36kg : You should add half a cup for every additional 7kg .
Lactating German Shepherds need more calories than other adults. So If your female pet is lactating, you should visit your vet or pet nutritionist to recommend the best feeding schedule and amounts for your pet.
Puppies typically need three times the amount of food as adults. And Hungry Bark recommends thrice of daily adult servings for German Shepherd puppies. However, if your puppyâs activity level is low, you should stick to twice the daily adult servings to avoid obesity.
If you are transitioning to Hungry Barkâs dry food, you should feed your pet 75% of the old food and 25% of the new food in the first three days. Within the next 4-6 days, you can serve your pet 50% of the new food and 50% of the old food.
Wet Canned Foods
Dog Nutrition For German Shepherds
While all dogs require a healthy diet that provides the right blend of protein, fat, calories, and essential nutrients, muscular large-breed dogs like German Shepherds have some special nutritional requirements.
German Shepherds generally grow to an adult size of 50 to 90 pounds. Though theyre fairly active, this breed has a slower metabolism than dogs that weigh under 20 pounds at maturity. That means youll want to control the amount of fat and calories they consume to prevent unhealthy weight gain. The same goes for puppies. If your German Shepherd puppy grows too quickly, they may have a higher risk for developing bone and joint problems in adulthood. When buying food for your German Shepherd puppy, select large-dog recipes specifically designed for slower, steadier growth.
Every German Shepherd is unique, and your dogs age, body weight, and activity level will determine their calorie needs. But generally speaking, the active German Shepherd requires a more calorie-dense diet than many large-breed dogs. And protein is extremely important to help these dogs build and maintain lean muscle mass.
Here are some key elements to look for when selecting dog food for your German Shepherd:
- A high percentage of animal proteins like meat, poultry, and fish
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
- Up to 5% fiber, with digestible carbohydrates like whole grains and vegetables
- A complete and nutritionally balanced formula in line with AAFCO nutrient profiles
Can You Free Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
Free feeding is leaving food out for your German Shepherd puppy to eat at whatever time they want. The following are reasons why free-feeding is not good for your puppy:
- It puts your puppy at risk of becoming overweight Puppies typically cannot control their eating. When they are bored, they can overeat which leads to obesity causing serious health issues.
- Free feeding allows the dog to access food all the time, making him find the food less appealing.
- Free feeding prevents you from keeping track of the amount of food you are feeding your dog.
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Best Dog Food For German Shepherds 202: Our Top Picks
What sets this product apart from the rest?
- Rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
- Suitable for dogs of all life stages
- Australian sourced protein
Petzyo – 5 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Sustainable Kangaroo, Sweet Potato, Peas, Lentils, Carrots, Broccolli & Broccoli Stem, Tomato, Spinach, Kelp, Blueberries, Rosemary, Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Turmeric, Chicken Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Fish Oil, Vitamin and Minerals .
- Named Protein First: Yes.
- Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive.
- Recipe Range: Kangaroo, Sweet Potato & Superfood Extras or Salmon, Ocean Fish & Green Lipped Mussels or Chicken, Turkey & Superfood Extras or Petzyo Raw Food Range
- Suitable For: All ages, depending on the recipe
- Cost: $$$
- Australian Owned: Yes.
If you want to be sure your dog is eating only the best stuff, you cant go wrong by choosing Petzyo . This Australian brand offers premium formulas that are AAFCO and PFIAA compliant, meaning theyre suitable for dogs of all ages.
Among three different recipes, the Kangaroo & Sweet Potato has everything you need in a German Shepherds diet. The first ingredient is a kangaroo, which is red meat with the highest protein level. Its hypoallergenic, so even the most sensitive pooches can enjoy this food.
The Petzyo Kangaroo & Sweet Potato Dog Food being tested by our independent expert team.
Related: Petzyo Dog Food Review.
Verified Review – 4/11/2021
The Meals For Mutts Salmon and Sardine Gluten Free Dog Food being tested by our independent expert team.
Wellness Complete Health Large Breed
The Complete Health Large Breed by Wellness uses deboned chicken and chicken meal as its main source of protein. It also contains salmon meal, which adds to the omega fatty acid content provided by flaxseeds.
Apart from providing optimum amounts of protein for lean muscle mass, these ingredients boost skin and coat health.
This dry dog food is further an excellent choice for German Shepherds because of its fiber and probiotic content. It boosts their digestive system and promotes optimum gut health.
Additionally, it is enhanced with antioxidants for heart and eye health as well as chondroitin and glucosamine, which are essential for strong joints.
|Nutrition Facts – Wellness Complete Health Large Breed
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Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Food
Puppy Large Breed is one of 14 dry recipes rated in our review of the Purina Pro Plan Puppy product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:German shepherd puppy or adult
Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy obtains the major portion of its meat protein from chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 15% fat and 45% estimated carbs which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
A classic, field-tested formula with controlled calcium and phosphorus ratios making this option ideal for German shepherd puppies.
Recommended with confidence.
Sample buyer reviewMy puppy absolutely loves this food! She can never wait to get her next meal! Her coat is soft & shiny! Highly recommend this product!
Eukanuba Senior Large Breed Dry Dog Food
If your German shepherd is aging, and you are looking for the best dog food for senior German shepherds, you should choose the Eukanuba Senior Large Breed Dry Dog Food as it wont disappoint.
While at that, all the ingredients in this food for German shepherds are of high quality with no artificial preservatives or flavors that can be harsh on your dogs sensitive stomach.
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken, a meat protein. With high-quality animal protein, your German shepherd will have lean muscle mass.
This recipe has 50 % more glucosamine than other Eukanuba recipes as dog food for senior German shepherds. The glucosamine combined with chondroitin ensures your dog has strong joints more crucial if your German shepherd has osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia.
Additionally, this senior or adult dry dog food is a rich source of antioxidants that support your dogs natural defense.
Also, the docosahexaenoic acid plus the antioxidants in this dog food for German shepherds ensure your dog has a healthy brain function.
Furthermore, this dry dog food has optical levels of fats and carbs to provide your senior GSD with the needful energy. Now, your lackluster aging dog will be lively and playful like a puppy.
A key ingredient included in this food for German shepherds is fish oil. This fish oil preserved with Tocopherol is a key source of vitamin E. This vitamin E supports the health of your dogs skin.
- Quite a pricy dog food
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What Is The Best Dog Food For German Shepherd
German Shepherds are a popular breed in the United States, coming in at second right behind Labradors.
They look imposing and are great guard dogs, but they are also a wonderful family pet and service dog. The first guide dog in America was a GSD called Buddy.
The best you can do for these gorgeous animals is by offering them the best dog food for German Shepherds. Read more below!
Purina One Smartblend Natural Puppy Dog Food
Crafted with love and care, Purina ONE SmartBlend is an epic meal for your dog. The yummy chicken flavor satisfies your poochs taste buds, and the nutrient-rich formula will keep you happy, too. Purina believes that your canine deserves only the best. So, they give you dry dog food for large breed puppies that is free from preservatives. There are no artificial colors, fillers, or flavors.Purina simply does not do meal fillers.
Vets across the globe recommend Purina, and they are so sure of their high-quality that Purina offers you to take the 28-day Challenge. If you dont see a visible improvement in your dogs coat, skin, energy levels, and well-being, they are satisfied to give you your money back.
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German Shepherd Feeding Guide: Adult Years
Once your German Shepherd has ended his puppy stage and transitioned into adulthood, hes ready to eat a balanced adult diet.
Adult dog food will have a different ratio of calcium, protein, phosphorus, and other nutrients than puppy food does.
Feeding an adult dog a puppy formula can cause obesity as well as put too much strain on kidneys and other vital organs. Long term use of inappropriate food for an adult dog can have catastrophic consequences.
That said, there is no need to panic if your adult GSD eats a bowl of puppy food now and then.
Adult German Shepherds should be fed twice a day. They can get by on once per day, but its always better to split daily caloric intake between smaller meals instead of feeding it all at once.
Again, bloat is a real problem for large breed dogs, and large meals seem to be a big cause of this.
If youre not home for twice-daily feedings, you can use an automatic feeder. These will dispense the proper amount of food at set times each day so your dog isnt left waiting for meals.
Throughout the years, Ive fed a number of different high-quality dog foods to my German Shepherds.
One of my consistent go-tos is Royal Canin Adult Breed German Shepherd dry dog food. I feed my adult dogs this particular blend for a number of reasons.
In addition, this blend also uses optimal levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to make a GSDs coat pop, so to speak. You really can see the difference.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart
6 Week Old German Shepherd
- At this age, it is crucial to ensure your puppy is receiving the same nutrients as if they were being fed by their mother
- Ideally, a 6 week old puppy should still be feeding from their mother
- It is tricky to replace the micro and macro nutrients that a puppy receives from their mothers milk, as well as any antibodies
- They are growing very fast, so they need enough nutrients to sustain their growth
10 Weeks Old
- As puppies are weaned off, the amount of puppy food they require increases
- They need to be fed at least 3 times a day
- To help their little bodies with the transition from mothers milk to puppy food, it is best to start with wet food
- Using wet food helps to prepare their digestive systems for whole food, which will be introduced to a puppys diet in time
- Again, they are growing very fast, so they need enough nutrients to sustain their growth
12 Weeks Old
- Around 12 weeks of age, the transition from wet to dry food begins
- Ensure the transition is in small steps, to avoid causing any upset to the puppy
- As a guide, start with a 10% dry food, 90% wet food mix and increase the dry food by 10-15% each week after that
- They need to be fed at least 3 times a day
- Still growing!
3 Months Old
5 Months Old
- Additionally, around 4-5 months of age introduce some live animal products into their diet such as actual bone, raw eggs and liver
- They need to be fed at least 3 times a day
- As a guide, feed them a total of 1-2 cups of dry food a day
1 Year Old
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Eukanuba Breed Specific German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Corn Meal, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Dried Beet Pulp, 5. Fish Oil
Building on the belief that dogs thrive on a carnivorous diet, Eukanuba has made a breed-specific dog food for German Shepherds to fulfill their nutritional needs in all ways possible. Their recipe uses high-quality animal proteins to provide essential amino acids for muscle nourishment and contains both taurine and L-carnitine to support heart health.
Apart from that, the special diet also includes beet pulp and FOS to encourage better digestion. Another unique feature of this dog food is that it uses a DentaDefense System that prevents tartar buildup for up to 28 days, significantly improving your German Shepherds dental hygiene.
Here Are The Dog Food Advisors Best Foods For A German Shepherd Puppy For January 2022
What food to feed german shepherd puppy. Taste of the wild high prairie formula Some more toxic foods are grapes and raisins, bones, yeast dough, moldy food, and raw tomatoes. The dog food you choose must provide at least 22% protein and 8% fat for puppies or at least 18% protein and 5% fat for adult german shepherds.
The principal toxic foods include: Feeding your young gsd a puppy variant of dry dog food is essential not just because of the smaller kibble size but because puppies have very specific health requirements. Your gsd puppys food should be comprised of between 40% and 50% carbohydrates.
This is because they have different requirements as they are growing and are much more active than older dogs. Coffee, tea, and other caffeine Best dry dog food for german shepherd puppy reviews.
What are the best dog foods for german shepherds? Purina pro plan focus how much to feed a german shepherd puppy? Royal canin german shepherd puppy food 2.
Foods your german shepherd should avoid include avocados, chocolates, onion and garlic, artificial sweeteners, and raw potatoes. Being fed the same kibble every day can leave your gsd feeling a little bored with their diet, so theyll want to try some of the foods you eat. Once your german shepherd has ended his puppy stage and transitioned into adulthood, hes ready to eat a balanced adult diet.
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Can You Afford It
Simply put, cooking a nutritionally complete diet for your dog at home is not cheap, and significantly more expensive than even the highest quality dog food. You cant beat the low cost of mass production.
Ingredients like meat are not cheap and the serving requirements pound for pound are much higher than they are for a person. Also, home-cooked meals for your dog will require supplements in addition to basic store-bought ingredients, adding to the cost even more.
You can realistically look at this expense like feeding another person with expensive tastes. If you are financially prepared to do that, then perhaps home-cooked meals for your GSD are something that you may want to consider.
Senior German Shepherd Diet
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, 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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Dr Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet
German Dog Diet is one of 13 dry recipes covered in our review of the Dr. Garys Best Breed product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, dried beet pulp, chicken fat
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:German shepherd puppy or adult
Dr. Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 22% fat and 34% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
We like the fact the formula also includes zinc proteinate and other chelated minerals which provides superior absorption and nutrition. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewOur german shepherd has had a lot of itching problems since she was about 1 year old. We have tried different foods, supplements, sprays and shampoos. Nothing has seems to work as well as when we switched to this food. Scabs that were on her for months due to her itching them open all the time have finally healed over. She is still a little itchy, but significantly better than before. And she loves the food too! We used to leave her food bowl full all day because she would only pick throughout the day. With this food we are only doing 2-3 cups morning and night because she scarfs it all down in minutes! Glad we finally found something that she loves and works so well!