Best Dog Food for German Shepherds | Top Picks for Puppies and Adults

If you own a German shepherd dog, you must agree with me that they have an extremely sensitive digestive system. Investing in the best dog food for German shepherds is never out of the question.

Unless you wish to spend a better part of the year in a veterinary clinic seeking medical treatment, I would suggest you read this article up to the last sentence.

This breed of dogs is typically used for service that involves physical activities. Because of that, you should always give them foods with a high nutritional value.

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The Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food is our number one choice because it was specifically designed for German Shepherds. This food contains all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein, and antioxidants that this dog breed needs in the right proportion.

The Best Dog Food for German Shepherds Are:

ProductDetails
1. Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Soy-Free
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2. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Breed-specific diet
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3. Gentle Giants Natural Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free
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4. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free
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5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Special Diet: Grain-Free, gluten-free
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6. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Special Diet: High-protein, no wheat, no corn, no soy
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7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Grain-Free, high-protein, no soy, no corn, no wheat
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8. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Pea-free, no corn, no soy, no wheat
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1. Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food — Best Dry Dog Food for German Shepherds

EUKANUBA has specially formulated this food to give your dog a high source of protein. The chicken flavor is well received by most dogs, and the food provides an optimal defense system for your dog’s teeth.

This brand is a great choice for you if your dog suffers from malnutrition with other brands. It is fully packed with nutritious ingredients.

However, it is too strong for puppies. You need to buy a special dog food ideal for puppies.

The main ingredient is chicken which is a high source of protein. As a result, your dog builds up very lean yet strong muscles.

That is exactly how a German shepherd dog should be for optimal performance. The fiber content, which aids in the digestion of food, is also optimized.

In addition, because German shepherds tend to have a sensitive tummy, EUKANUBA brand of food will get digested and absorbed without causing any discomfort.

This dog food for German Shepherds also contains a good amount of fatty acids and Omega 3 and 6. These ingredients combined enhance healthy skin for your dog.

Consequently, their coat becomes radiant. Finally, this food is enriched with natural taurine and L-carnitine.

These two are best known for promoting a healthy heart. Overall, it provides a well-balanced diet, which means you do not need to add supplements.

Specs

  • Blade: Stainless Steel
  • Handle: Plastic handles
  • Item Weight: 2.24 ounces

Pros

  • 3D dental defense system
  • Helps your dog to remain full
  • Easy to digest
  • Reduces tartar build-up in dogs

Cons

  • Contains by-product meal

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2. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin brand focused on providing energy for your dog. The brand is fully packed with fats and carbohydrates.

If your German shepherd tends to get tired after a short exercise, the Royal Canin brand is your ideal choice. However, for an overweight dog, you will need to consider a brand that has a lower fat value.

Brewer’s rice is a very nutritious ingredient. It helps with the maintenance of strong joints and healthy bone structure. The additional minerals and vitamins support the overall well-being of your dog.

The kibble consistency comes in size, shape, and texture that are easy for your dog to grab. They are designed in a way that they encourage your dog to chew.

Therefore, the chances of swallowing big chunks of food are minimal. Furthermore, the food is rich in fiber, which helps your dog in its digestion.

The food is rich in fiber in addition to LIP proteins that are highly digestible. This limits intestinal fermentation, which is a common characteristic of the German shepherd breed of dogs, due to their long colons.

As a result, your dog’s food nutrients are highly absorbed, and very little waste is excreted.

If you realize that your dog excretes very little stool with the Royal Canin brand, there is no need to worry. Because now you understand why!

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Breed-specific diet

Pros

  • Contains DHA and EPA
  • Helps with food digestion
  • Easy for dogs to grasp and chew
  • Promotes a strong immune system
  • Promotes a healthy coat for your dog

Cons

  • Contains gluten and grains

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3. Gentle Giants Natural Dog Food

Gentle Giants dog food for German Shepherds contains real food baked and resized into palatable chunks. If you look keenly, you can see the pieces of fruit in there too.

It does not include grains that would otherwise affect a German shepherd’s digestive system. If your dog loves the natural taste of food, they will like this brand.

However, due to the little fat content, do not give this food to a thin dog trying to add weight. You might not notice any significant change.

This is yet another protein-packed food. With lamb as the primary source of protein, your dog will have an excellent source of muscle.

The fat content is not very high as compared to the other foods reviewed above. Because of that, it is the best option for German shepherds.

It is also the best food to give to an overweight dog if you want them to lose excess fat faster.

The food is enriched with vegetables that are a high source of fiber. This ensures your dog can digest the food without complications.

Finally, the dried fruits are an excellent source of vitamins. Vitamins enhance your dog’s immunity. As a result, they can fight minor illnesses without the need for medication. Vitamins also contribute to a healthy coat.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free

Pros

  • Made with baked lamb bites
  • Contains dried fruits and veggies
  • Very enjoyable for most dogs
  • Contains natural ingredients
  • GMO-free

Cons

  • Not ideal for dogs trying to add weight

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4. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food

The Wellness large breed puppy food is designed nutrient-packed for your dog’s growth requirements. It transitions well from the puppy stage to an adult dog.

The brand promises to improve your puppy’s vision and brain development by using important key ingredients.

This is great dog food for German shepherds if you are looking for a well-balanced and energy-packed diet. It will transition well into adulthood.

However, for very weak puppies, consider adding more calcium supplements in this brand. Alternatively, go for a brand with a higher percentage of calcium.

The flavors of this brand are a beautiful combination of brown rice, chicken, and salmon. Most dogs find it tasty and you will not have trouble with them eating.

The food composition is great. There are key ingredients such as DHA fatty acids that promote brain and vision development.

This is excellent with puppies because they are at their most critical stage of growth. The fat at 12% is ideal for a puppy’s stage of growth.

Not only do you get a lean puppy, but your puppy will also develop strong muscles at a tender age.

This is an excellent rate of growth if you intend to use your German shepherd for physical activities as opposed to being just a pet.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Special Diet: Gluten-Free

Pros

  • Easy to chew and digest
  • Rich in calories
  • Lower fat content for leaner puppy growth
  • Contains essential vitamins and minerals

Cons

  • May cause running stomach for some puppies

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5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

If your German Shepherd is allergic to grains, we highly recommend you go for the Taste of the Wild Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.

The formulation of this food is great for this dog breed and it does not contain any ingredient that could upset their tummy. Taste of the Wild designed this dog food to mimic the diet of wild wolves.

It contains a very high protein level from novel protein sources such as venison, bison, and buffalo. This food also contains protein from other sources such as lamb, chicken, and fish meal.

The top five ingredients of this diet are buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, and peas. It is also loaded with vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables such as raspberries, blueberries, and tomatoes.

The formulation of this food provides a complete and balanced diet for your German Shepherd. It also provides a complete amino acid profile that helps with the development and maintenance of muscle.

The food is very tasty and your GSD will find it hard to resist. The fruits and veggies in this food are also rich in antioxidants, and this helps to boost the immune health and overall well-being of your GSD.

There are some species-specific probiotics in this diet, and they help with gentle digestion. It contains adequate levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to cater to the skin and coat health of your German Shepherd.

The protein content of this diet is 32 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 18 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 4 percent with a caloric content of 370 kcal/cup.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Special Diet: Grain-Free, gluten-free

Pros

  • Ideal for German Shepherds with allergies
  • Nourishes the skin and coat
  • A blend of probiotics and antioxidants
  • Contains fruits and vegetables

Cons

  • Some dog parents said it made their dog feel weak

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6. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food — Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy

If you are looking for the best dog food for German Shepherd puppies, we recommend you opt for the Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food.

This dog food is formulated for large breed puppies like German Shepherd puppies, and it comes with all the nutrition and vitamins they need to grow strong and healthy.

It features the right blend of proteins and fat to support proper growth and development.

This food is rich in protein and it is easily digestible. It contains chicken as the major protein source, and it is a great option for German Shepherd puppies that are not allergic to chicken.

The top five ingredients of this diet are chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain oats, whole grain sorghum, and corn gluten meal.

It also contains flaxseed, chicken fat, and fish oil, which are great sources of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These acids help to make the skin of your puppy healthier and its coat shinier.

This dog food contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to boost the joint and muscle health of your German Shepherd puppy.

There are no traces of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives in this food. It is also free from wheat, soy, and corn. This food contains adequate levels of calcium to support optimal bone development.

The protein content of this diet is 24 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 11 percent. The maximum crude fiber content is 3 percent while the caloric content is 394 kilocalories per cup.

It also contains DHA, which is great for growing puppies, as it helps with the development of the brain and eyes.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Special Diet: High-protein, no wheat, no corn, no soy

Pros

  • DHA to boost cognitive function
  • Supports healthy joints and muscles
  • Supports optimal growth and development
  • Natural ingredients, no additives

Cons

  • Contains wholesome grains

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7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is another great dog food for German Shepherds.

This dog food contains virtually all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that GSDs need. It contains only high-quality ingredients like chicken, fruits, veggies, and legumes. If your German Shepherd is very active, then this is great dog food for it.

The dominant ingredients in this food are deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, and tapioca starch.

The chicken meal also serves as a great source of glucosamine, and this helps to boost the joint health of your dog. It contains menhaden fish meal and flaxseed, which are great sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids respectively.

The omega 3 fatty acid also contains DHA for enhanced brain and eye development.

This diet is also rich in antioxidants from sources such as sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, blueberries, flaxseed, and more.

This helps to boost the immune system of your dog. It is completely from grains, with no traces of soy, artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors.

It is also free from meat by-products. If your German Shepherd is having food allergies or a sensitive stomach, this is a great pick for it.

The protein count of this food is an impressive 34 percent with a minimum crude fat content of 15 percent. It contains a maximum fiber of 6 percent, which is pretty high, with a caloric content of 409 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Grain-Free, high-protein, no soy, no corn, no wheat

Pros

Cons

  • Some fussy eaters may reject it

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8. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food

If your German Shepherd is not allergic to grains, then the Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food is another great option to consider.

This food is formulated to keep the body, skin, and coat of your dog nourished, as it contains many antioxidant-rich veggies and fruits.

The Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food contains wholesome gains, which are super healthy for your dog, except your dog is allergic to grains.

It is free from corn, soy, and wheat, which are just fillers that could make your German shepherd sick.

The top ingredients used to make this food are chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, and rice bran.

 Other protein sources in this diet include a salmon meal and lamb meal. This food also contains a long list of super healthy veggies and fruits such as blueberries, pumpkin, kale, coconut, chia seed, and more.

Despite containing all these top ingredients, the calorie content of the food is relatively low. It also contains moderate protein, which is great for less active German Shepherds.

It is formulated to boost the immune system and overall well-being of your dog. The formulation of the food also supports a healthy heart and mind.

It contains sunflower oil, which is rich in linoleic acid, and this acid helps to make your dog’s coat shinier and skin healthier.

It does not contain any artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives. The protein content of this food is 25 percent and the minimum crude fat content is 14 percent.

The maximum crude fiber is 4 percent while the caloric content is 341 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Form: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Special Diet: Pea-free, no corn, no soy, no wheat

Pros

  • Antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies
  • Supports a shiny coat and healthy skin
  • Promotes lean, strong muscles
  • Free from fillers and additives

Cons

  • Not ideal for dogs with allergies

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German Shepherd Nutrition

German shepherds are dogs that weigh over 50 pounds at maturity. It is important to give them food rich enough to provide them with their daily energy needs.

So what exactly makes up good dog food for German Shepherds? Below is a list of the primary dog food ingredients and their impact on your German shepherd breed:

Carbohydrates In The Form Of Starch

This is the main source of energy for your German shepherd. Starch is present in grains and potatoes.

Though it is not advisable to feed dogs grains like wheat, most German shepherds are allergic to wheat.

However, to be on the safer side, look for alternative ingredients such as rice and oats. Your dog can digest them better.

Protein

Protein is extremely essential in muscle building for your German shepherd- so make sure your choice for dog food contains that.

You need around 30 to 40% protein content in your dog’s food. Proteins are found in animal-based sources such as chicken, lamb, and fish.

Proteins are also present in nuts and grains such as peas and beans. If possible, avoid by-products of processed meat.

Fat

This is another great source of energy. In addition, fat is responsible for the shiny and smooth dog coat. 15 to 30% of fat content is recommended for your dog.

Fat is available in most dairy products. However, if your dog is lactose intolerant, avoid them. Omega fats are found in fish oil. They are a great immunity booster.

Additional Nutrients

These will be in the form of fibers, vitamins, and sugars. Fibers are readily present in vegetables, while vitamins and sugars are found in fruits.

The Age of Your Dog

By now, you understand that not all adult dog foods can be fed to puppies and vice versa. Make sure you choose dog food for German Shepherds suitable for your dog’s age.

For more information on puppy food for large breeds like German Shepherds, read this post.

Note that you should never introduce or withdraw your dog’s food suddenly. It might cause a fatal complication to their digestive system- most especially with German shepherds.

As a general rule, start by introducing a small portion of the new food mixed with the old food. Gradually increase the amount over a period of at least one week.

If you don’t notice any reaction, you can give the new food without mixing after the seventh day.

The Final Word

To get the best experience with your big baby, you need to invest in the best dog food for German shepherds. Food that will give your dog loads of energy and enough protein for muscles to build up.

Ideally, you should focus on food with a high content of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Ultimately, you need a strong dog to handle physical activities such as hunting and police duties without looking dull and gloomy.

Our top pick for the best dog food for German Shepherds is the Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food because it was specifically formulated for German Shepherds and contains all they need to grow and remain strong.

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