Best Dog Food for German Shepherds: Guide and Reviews 2017

We all want the best nutrition for our pet because they are regarded as part of our family and should be treated the same as any other member. For dog owners, German shepherds are a fantastic addition to the clan, which means that you want the best dog food for German shepherds so that your furry friend can be eating well and staying healthy.

Since this breed is different than any other dog, it's imperative that you get only the right dog food for your German shepherds, rather than generic food. Today we'll be talking about why this breed has different needs than others, as well as show you some of the best food brands you can buy.

We feed them well as possible so that they can lead a fulfilling and happy life.

What to Feed German Shepherds?

This breed is unlike any other, so you should be feeding your dog accordingly. From birth to adulthood, German shepherds are active and rambunctious dogs, meaning that you have to feed them enough calories and protein to allow for such activity.

If you don't give your pet all of the nutrients that he needs, he will suffer from a lot of different problems. As such, here are some guidelines for this breed.​

Adults: Once your dog has reached full maturity, he won't be eating as often or as much. However, you still want to confirm that he is getting enough calories to satisfy his needs, which means that the food he eats should be packed with nutrients and protein. This breed is carnivorous (more so than other breeds), which means that meat should be a primary source of his diet.

Puppies: During this stage of life, German shepherds need a lot of calories and protein. As such, you should be feeding your dog up to three times a day. You have to ensure that you are giving him food that is specially formulated for puppies as his nutritional needs will be different than those of an adult.

Also, make sure to regulate the amount of food as puppies will gorge themselves which could lead to vomiting. After six months, you can reduce the amount of food that your puppy eats, but you should continue with puppy formula until it reaches about 15 months or so.​

1. Taste of the Wild Dry - Dog Food Review

Taste of the Wild Dry - Dog Food Review

Editor Rating:

First on our list is Taste of the Wild. I like this brand because they have some of the best protein sources out of any dog food. Protein is an important thing for German shepherds; this brand does an excellent job of providing enough to help your dog feeling good.

Most of the customer says that it is the best dog food for German shepherds with sensitive stomach.

What I also like about this particular food is that it uses meat and vegetables to provide a complete and balanced diet, rather than using fillers or artificial ingredients. This blend also comes with a right amount of antioxidants for immunity, and it is packed full of vitamins and minerals. Finally, I like that it comes in different sizes so you can get just enough for your dog.

Pros:

  • Uses real wildfowl as ingredients
  • Vegetables and meat are the main sources of nutrients
  • Includes antioxidants for better immunity
  • Comes in five different sizes
  • Full of extra vitamins and minerals

Cons:

  • Pieces may be too large in some cases
  • Your dog may not prefer the taste of this blend

2. Royal Canin Adult Dry Dog - Food Review

ROYAL CANIN HEALTH NUTRITION - Adult Dry Dog Food Review

Editor Rating:

When it comes to dog food brands, I love the fact that Royal Canin formulates its food to match the particular breed. In this case, your dog gets extra protein and nutrition that is designed to support digestive health as well as stronger bones.

This particular food also helps those with extra sensitive skin, which is perfect for this breed.

The Royal Canin shapes its kibble for a specific purpose. In this case, it's designed to encourage as much chewing as possible so that your dog won't have large pieces getting stuck in his throat. Finally, I like that this brand comes in multiple sizes so you can get just enough.

Pros:

  • Specific blend for this particular breed
  • Specially formulated to aid digestion
  • Perfect for German shepherds with sensitive skin
  • Supports bone and joint health
  • Enriched with EPA and DHA
  • Comes in three sizes
  • Molded shapes to appeal to this breed

Cons:

  • Not grain free
  • Your dog may not prefer this flavor

3. Hill's Science Diet Large Breed - Dry Dog Food Review

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed - Dry Dog Food Review

Editor Rating:

When it comes to dog food, most of the time I would suggest that you buy food for a particular breed, rather than generic "large breed" formula.

However, in this case, Hill's does a fantastic job of providing all the right nutrients, even if it is not designed particularly for German shepherds. As far as generic blends go, Hills Diet is one of the best choice.

I like this food because it promotes healthy bones and joints, which is especially important for this breed. I also appreciate the fact that it uses all natural ingredients, meaning that you don't have to worry about fillers or artificial coloring.

Finally, because Hill's offers a satisfaction guarantee, you can buy it with impunity because even if your dog doesn't prefer the flavor, you can return it with no questions asked. Also, it comes in a variety of sizes so that you can get as much as you need.​

Pros:

  • Scientifically formulated for large dogs
  • Helps with bone and joint health
  • All natural ingredients
  • Comes with antioxidants
  • No artificial ingredients
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed
  • Comes in five different sizes

Cons:

  • Some times it may cause digestive problems
  • The product may arrive with mold or other growth
  • May result in loose stool in some cases

4. EUKANUBA Breed - Specific Adult Dry Dog Food Review

EUKANUBA Breed - Specific Adult Dry Dog Food Review

Editor Rating:

When talking about the big brands of dog food, I find that Eukanuba is one of the better options out there. Thus, if you're trying to find a brand-name food for your German Shepherd, this could be your best bet.

I like that this blend is unique to the breed, meaning that it helps with digestion, bone health. And I must say it is the best dog food for German shepherds with skin allergies.​

This food also is formulated to prevent tooth decay, which is a fantastic bonus. Finally, some proteins that your dog gets with this food are incredible, as well as some fatty acids for its coat.

Pros:

  • Formulated for German shepherds
  • Contains ingredients to help combat tooth decay
  • High-quality proteins to build lean muscle
  • Specialized ingredients to aid with digestion
  • Fatty acids to provide a thick, shiny coat
  • Comes in three sizes

Cons:

  • More expensive than other brands
  • Some dog may not like the taste of this food

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry - Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Rice Review

Editor Rating:

As far as dog food goes, if you're one of those who want the best for your pet, Wellness is an excellent way to go.

I have found that this brand has the best ingredient lists and shows a commitment to quality that you don't find with some of the other brands.

That being said, though, this particular blend is not unique to German shepherds, meaning that it might not give your dog as complete nutrition as other combinations on this list. Nonetheless, I love that this food is all natural and comes with balanced nutrition.

While it doesn't necessarily aid in digestion, it does provide extra support for bones and joints which are essential for this breed. I like about Wellness is that it comes with a satisfaction guarantee and it is made entirely in the USA, meaning that all the ingredients are locally sourced.

Pros:

  • Balanced nutrition for your dog
  • Specially formulated for large dog breeds
  • Includes ingredients for healthy bones and joints
  • Larger kibble to encourage chewing
  • All natural ingredients
  • No artificial fillers or flavors
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Backed by satisfaction guarantee
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Does not last as long as other food brands
  • Some buyers reported that the food arrived with past expiration date

Recommended 5 Food For Puppy German Shepherds

1. ROYAL CANIN German Shepherd Puppy - Dry Dog Food Review

ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION - German Shepherd Puppy dry dog food Review

Editor Rating:

As I mentioned above, I like that this brand pays attention to the breed more so than others, meaning that you are sure to get all of the nutrition that your German shepherd needs

Usually, puppies are more sensitive than the adults. So, this food is the right food for your little puppy.

Because this is puppy formula, it comes with extra protein and helps with your dog's digestion as well as healthy bones and joints. This blend also gives your dog a thick, luscious coat of fur, and gives it a better immunity.

Pros:

  • Specially formulated for German shepherd puppies
  • High-quality proteins and ingredients
  • ​Aids in digestion
  • ​Supports healthy bones and joints
  • Kibble is shaped to encourage chewing
  • ​Help boost immunity
  • Aids in skin and fur health
  • Full of antioxidants

Cons:

  • Not grain free
  • Your dog may not like the flavor

2. Taste of the Wild Grain - Free Dry Dog Food for Puppies Review

Taste of the Wild Grain - Free Dry Dog Food for Puppies Review

Editor Rating:

We've already seen Taste of the Wild for adults, so it makes sense that we would feature the puppy version as well.

Everything that I said about the brand still stands, including how it provides some of the best protein you can find anywhere.

I like that this blend uses natural meats and veggies to give a balanced diet to your puppy and that it comes with a boost of antioxidants to support his immune system. Finally, I appreciate that it comes in three sizes, so you get just enough for your puppy.

Pros:

  • Grain-free food
  • Specially formulated for puppies
  • High-quality proteins and vitamins
  • Mixed fruits and vegetables for balanced nutrition
  • Comes in three sizes
  • Rich source of antioxidants
  • Strengthens your dog's immune system

Cons:

  • The food may arrive with contaminants
  • In rare instances, it might result in diarrhea and indigestion

3. Wellness CORE Natural Grain - Free Dry Food for Puppies Review

Wellness CORE Natural Grain - Free Dry Food for Puppies Review

Editor Rating:

As I mentioned above, Wellness is one of the better dog food brands out that contains all the natural ingredients and no fillers. If so, this grain-free blend is perfect for your growing puppy, even though it is not specific to German shepherds.

I like that this has extra protein as well as nutrients to improve your dog's immune system and digestion. Finally, I like that Wellness is made entirely in the USA.

Pros:

  • Grain-free food for your puppy
  • Specially formulated for growing dogs
  • High-quality proteins for healthy nutrition
  • Boosts immune system
  • All natural ingredients, nothing artificial
  • Full of antioxidants
  • Helps with digestion
  • Results in shiny coat
  • Comes in three sizes
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Your dog may not like the flavor
  • Some buyers claims that the food may arrive past its expiration date
Merrick Grain - Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food Review

Editor Rating:

Next, we have Merrick Puppy food, which is great for a few reasons. First, I like that it is grain free. And it comes with extra glucosamine and chondroitin to help your puppy get a more balanced diet.

Furthermore, I appreciate that this blend aids with digestion and immunity, which is essential to your puppy's overall well-being.

Finally, I like that this has no fillers and it is made entirely in the USA, meaning that all ingredients are locally sourced. 

Pros:

  • Puppy food, totally grain free
  • Specially formulated for growing dogs
  • High levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Helps with digestion and immunity
  • Comes in three sizes
  • Designed for the best flavor
  • No corn, wheat, or soy included
  • ocally sourced ingredients
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • It may cause diarrhea or vomiting
  • Too expensive dog food
  • Made of tiny pellets and seems to have a bit harder to get a chew on it.

5. Orijen Puppy - 5lb Review

Orijen Puppy - 5lb Review

Editor Rating:

Puppies are vastly different than adult dogs. Accordingly, you have to get food that matches.

First up is Orijen Puppy mix, which is a decent generic food that will work for your German shepherd. I wish that the bag was a little bit bigger.

I like that this particular blend doesn't include any filler ingredients and that it has a lot of extra protein. The formula promotes healthy and shiny coats, while the nutrients give your dog's immune system a boost. Overall, this is a balanced dog food.

Pros:

  • Specially formulated for growing dogs
  • Balanced mixture of vitamins and minerals
  • No fillers or extra ingredients
  • Chock full of high-quality protein
  • Promotes healthy, shiny coat
  • Boosts immune system
  • Helps control plaque and tartar buildup

Cons:

  • Bag size is rather small, meaning you will go through it quickly
  • Your dog may not like the flavor
  • Kibble might be too small for your puppy

Why Trust Our Review?

Since we're on the internet, you can find all kinds of reviews and information regarding pets and pet products. So why should ours be any different than a dozen other posts talking about the best dog food for German shepherds?

Well, as the owner of one of these dogs, I have made it my mission to find out as much as I could make sure that my pet was looking and feeling his best. He is a purebred dog, and I take him to shows and competitions around the country.​

Because the competition is fierce, my dog is well taken care of, lest he under performs. As a result, I have to do all kinds of research into the breed so that I know he is getting all of the right nutrients to make him look his best at all times. Everything starts with the food, so if that's done wrong, then nothing else will matter.

So, take advantage of my experience so that you can get the most for your dog. Even if you don't want to take your German shepherd to any kennel clubs, I'm sure that he'll appreciate getting the best food.​

German Shepherd Nutrition Facts

If you have a purebred shepherd, then you will want to know how this breed differs from others. German shepherds are obligate carnivores, which mean that they need a lot of meat to thrive. Even if you aren't a meat eater yourself, your dog needs most of his protein from animal sources.

The bare minimum is 22%, but I would suggest at least 45% of the protein in his diet comes from meat. Ideally, this will be complete proteins rather than animal by-products. Avoid fillers as much as possible.

German shepherds also have sensitive skin, so fat and fatty acids are an essential part of his diet. While too much can lead to intestinal problems, you want to make sure that he's getting enough to provide a thick, shiny coat.

This breed has an undercoat as well as a natural fur coat, need feeding enough to cover both. These dogs shed a lot during the year, so fat can help replace the hair more efficiently. Moreover, you can talk to your veterinarians about your German shepherd to ensure that it gets the exact nutritional needs and caloric requirements.

Feeding Schedule

It will depend on its age and activity level. As puppies, German Shepherds are voracious eaters. This means that you should spread out meals three or four times a day. Again, minimize the amount of food eaten each time as your dog can overeat, leading to stomach problems.

After the year mark, you should be able to reduce feedings to twice a day. If your dog is getting older, then you will have to make sure that each meal is packed with extra nutrients. You can feed him in the morning and at night to keep the schedule simple and efficient.

Dry vs. Wet Dog Food​

Let's look at the comparisons of wet and dry dog food as they pertain to German shepherds. With this breed, you can mix different types of food without any significant problems.

Dry food is ideal for many reasons, including:​

  • More cost effective
  • Promotes healthier teeth
  • Easy to store
  • Long lasting
  • Helps control chewing habits

The disadvantages of dry food, however, are that they have a lot of carbohydrates, which can adversely affect your dog's stomach. Also, German shepherds need plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, and dry food can cause dehydration if you don't give your dog enough water. Finally, kibble may get caught in the throat if your dog doesn't chew properly.

As for wet food, it comes with these benefits:

  • Help keep your dog hydrated
  • Usually, has higher fat and protein content
  • Easier to digest
  • Benefits urinary health
  • Can have more nutrients packed in overall

Although wet food can be beneficial, you want to limit the amount that you feed your dog as it can lead to tooth decay and chewing problems if you do it too often. An excellent rule is to give your dog wet food once or twice a week to give it the best of both worlds.

Common Food Related Problems for German Shepherds

This breed is different than others, which means that it suffers from various problems that you won't find in other dogs. First of all, German Shepherds have a sensitive stomach, which means that if you don't give them the right kind of food, they will have diarrhea or vomiting as a result. Excessive carbs and fat will lead to indigestion, as well as some ingredients like corn.

This breed also has sensitive skin which means that they need extra protein and fatty acids to help regulate how much they shed. If your dog isn't getting balanced nutrition, then it will have patchy fur and could lose more than normal. If you're finding more hair than usual, it could mean that it's not getting the nutrients.

Finally, bone and joint health are crucial with these dogs as they can get hip dysplasia much more frequently than other breeds. As a result, you want to ensure that your pet is getting enough calcium and minerals to support strong bones.

Final Verdict:

When it comes to picking food for German Shepherds, there are so many great brands from which to choose. On the one hand, I have to say that Taste of the Wild is a fantastic company because it formulates its food based on breed, rather than the size of the dog.

Generic food can be great for a lot of reasons; it will cater to your dog's specific needs. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food, it is grained free as well as high quality dog food. And ROYAL CANIN HEALTH NUTRITION Adult Dry Dog Food is my second choice because it is specifically made for this breed sothis food is the best dog food for German shepherds to gain weight.

On the other hand, if you want all-natural and high-quality ingredients only for your little puppy, then I would highly recommend ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION German Shepherd Puppy dry dog food, 30-Poundfor German shepherdswith sensitive stomachandfor gaining proper weight.

You can also try this hearty formula Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food for Puppies which offers a taste sensation like no other.

I find that these companies have the best food around, and your puppy will probably love them.

Mary Ann
 

Mary Ann is a Pet Care consultant from Pleasant, SC. She is very much passionate writing on pets especially the dog, cat and much more!

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