Best Dog Food for German Shorthaired Pointers — Rated by Discriminating Noses

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German Shorthaired Pointers, or GSPs to those in the nose (Ha! Dog puns…), are always up for an adventure. Gorgeous, fun-loving, and intelligent are just a few adjectives we’ve heard enthusiasts use to describe this amazing breed.

They’re probably best known for their superior hunting and tracking skills — hence that amazing sense of smell and on-point ability to, well…point. Did we mention they’re marathon sprinters and swimmers with webbed feet?

These guys were born to do their jobs but they also look forward to snuggling with their pack on the sofa after a long day working.

GSPs need a food optimized to fuel their boundless energy and keen senses- so we did some looking into the best food for German Shorthaired Pointers:

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health is our top choice because it’s got everything a super active large-breed dog like a GSP needs in a formula they love to eat. Deboned chicken and brown rice keep their bellies happy while ample sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants do their job and keep your GSP up and running!

The Best Dog Food for German Shorthaired Pointer Dogs Are…

ProductDetails
1. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health

  • Recipe specially formulated for large-breed dogs
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Chicken and brown rice recipe
  • Dry kibble blend
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2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Specifically formulated for large-breed dogs
  • Delicious salmon recipe
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble blend
  • This is a grain-free food, make sure to consult your veterinarian about whether or not this is the right food for your German Shorthaired Pointer.
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3. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains

  • Beef and brown rice flavor
  • Dry kibble blend
  • Blended for adult dogs
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4. Hill's Science Diet Adult Large Breed

  • Formulated for large-breed dogs over 55 pounds
  • Dry kibble recipe
  • Chicken and barley blend
  • Intended for adult dogs
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5. Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

  • Formulated for large-breed dogs over 50 pounds and giant-breeds over 90 pounds
  • Intended for adult dogs over 1 year and giant-breed adult dogs over 2 years
  • Dry kibble consistency
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6. Diamond Naturals Large Breed

  • Intended for large-breed dogs
  • Formulated for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble consistency
  • Lamb meal and rice flavor
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7. Purina ONE SmartBlend

  • Canned food formula
  • Lamb and brown rice in gravy flavor
  • Intended for adult dogs
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8. Stella & Chewy's

  • Chicken flavored recipe
  • Freeze-dried food can be fed on its own or mixed with dry kibble
  • Suitable for all breeds
  • Suitable for adult dogs
  • This is a grain-free formula, consult your vet to make sure grain-free foods are right for your GSP.
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9. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed Formula Dry Dog Food

  • Intended for large-breed puppies who will weigh over 50 pounds when they grow up to be big and strong
  • Chicken and rice formula
  • Dry kibble texture
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1. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health — Overall Best Dog Food for German Shorthaired Pointer

Wellness foods have been looking after your pet by feeding him nutritious, delicious foods with a simple blend of ingredients they’ll love. With chicken as the first ingredient, this food is protein-focused and perfect for large breed dogs.

Ingredients like phosphorus, calcium, and minerals specially designed to support healthy bones and joints pair with moderate fats to keep him svelte and active.

Specs

  • Recipe specially formulated for large-breed dogs
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Chicken and brown rice recipe
  • Dry kibble blend

Pros

  • Ingredients like glucosamine promote healthy joints
  • Balanced fat and superior proteins give him lean muscle and keep him fit and healthy
  • Contains the ingredient yucca schidigera extract which helps control stool odors for a more pleasant back yard
  • Calcium and minerals support healthy bones

Cons

  • Some dogs didn’t like the flavor
  • Some dogs reported itchy allergies after eating this food
  • Some owners didn’t appreciate cleaning up the runny poops it gave their doggos after they ate this food

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2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This Blue Wilderness formula is grain-free and packed with delicious salmon — your dog will finish every bite.

All BLUE kibble formulas contain LifeSource bits to give an added boost of specifically blended vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which provide an array of healthy benefits big dogs need including bone and joint support, immune support, and lean muscle development.

Specs

  • Specifically formulated for large-breed dogs
  • Delicious salmon recipe
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble blend
  • This is a grain-free food, make sure to consult your veterinarian about whether or not this is the right food for your German Shorthaired Pointer.

Pros

  • Antioxidants, vitamins, and chelated minerals provide immune support and overall health
  • Healthy joints and mobility provided courtesy of chondroitin and glucosamine
  • L-Carnitine, quality proteins, and just the right amount of carbohydrates provide robust muscle growth and fuels the energy your busy dude needs to keep on fetching
  • Essential vitamins, calcium, and phosphorous support strong bones
  • The optimal balance of Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids helps promote a shiny coat and healthy skin

Cons

  • Some dogs didn’t love it.
  • Some dogs had tummy problems after eating this food
  • Some dogs developed self-esteem issues after this food gave them skin problems and a dull coat.

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3. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains

Real beef is the first ingredient of this delicious blend, so you know they’ll love it. Follow up with quality fruits, veg, and ancient grains, and you’ve got a food that supports your workin’ dog’s complete health.

Lots of omegas, chondroitin, and glucosamine give him a beautiful, shiny coat and support those joints.

Merrick is really into keeping it simple. It’s produced in small batches in the same kitchen where Garth Merrick started feeding his beloved fur baby over 30 years ago in Hereford, Texas.

Each blend still contains the same balanced, wholesome ingredients and is closely monitored to get it right each time.

Merrick foods contain no preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, corn, wheat, soy, or gluten. It also contains zero protein by-products.

Specs

  • Beef and brown rice flavor
  • Dry kibble blend
  • Blended for adult dogs

Pros

  • Natural fiber sourced from quality whole grains like quinoa, barley, and brown rice help support healthy digestion and plenty of energy.
  • Omegas 3 and 6 support healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin promote healthy joints
  • Contains a rainbow of fruits and veg such as blueberries, carrots, and apples just to name a few, providing the essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals he needs to stay optimally healthy
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support your pal’s healthy skin and coat, while glucosamine and chondroitin promote optimal hip and joint function.

Cons

  • Some GSP’s reported they really weren’t in love with the flavor.
  • Some owners said they think the formula changed without notice and now their doggos have runny poops.
  • Kibble may be too small for some large-breed dogs

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4. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed

Hill’s Science Diet foods are popular with veterinarians, largely because their blends are carefully crafted by a team of veterinarian dieticians, scientists, and behaviorists in order to ensure the best quality food for your dog.

It’s also taste-tested by a team of dogs to make sure it’s delicious — because all that quality nutrition won’t help if he won’t eat it…

The quality ingredients begin with real meats as the very first ingredient on each formula, but it doesn’t stop there.

Naturally sourced chondroitin and glucosamine promote healthy joints and a host of added nutrients, vitamins, and minerals provide overall health.

Hill’s Science Diet foods are made in the US with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Specs

  • Formulated for large-breed dogs over 55 pounds
  • Dry kibble recipe
  • Chicken and barley blend
  • Intended for adult dogs

Pros

  • Real, quality chicken promotes healthy lean muscle growth
  • Antioxidants delivered by vitamins and minerals support overall health and a strong immune system
  • Omega fatty acids promote healthy skin and a beautiful, shiny coat
  • Chondroitin and glucosamine from natural sources support the joint and cartilage health that large-breed dogs need

Cons

  • The kibble was too crunchy for some doggies.
  • Some owners weren’t happy when Science Diet switched to kibble too small for their large-breed dogs.
  • Some dogs didn’t like the way it tastes.

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5. Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Large-breed dogs need their people to pick a food that supports joint health, and protein-based nutrition to give them the energy they need for running and swimming all day.

Eggs and chicken deliver that protein, while chondroitin and glucosamine support those joints. It’s also got an array of added vitamins and nutrients to supply the antioxidants he needs for overall health and a robust immune system.

This formula’s kibble is formulated to clean his teeth with every crunch, reducing plaque and tartar build-up.

IAMS also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if your athlete isn’t happy with it, just send back what’s left for a full refund (if you don’t want to donate it to a shelter, that is).

Specs

  • Formulated for large-breed dogs over 50 pounds and giant-breeds over 90 pounds
  • Intended for adult dogs over 1 year and giant-breed adult dogs over 2 years
  • Dry kibble consistency

Pros

  • Healthy digestion, strong immune systems, and good gut-health provided by prebiotics
  • A balanced formula containing quality ingredients provide your big boy with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients he’ll need to outrun you
  • Kibble texture formulated to clean teeth and gums as they crunch

Cons

  • Some doggos ended up gassy after eating this food
  • Some dogs didn’t like the flavor
  • Some dogs ended up with soft or runny stools after eating this food

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6. Diamond Naturals Large Breed

This Diamond Naturals blend delivers protein in the form of lamb for lots of lean muscle and energy, and fiber from whole grain brown rice for healthy digestion.

Kale, blueberries, peas, and a host of other natural fruits and veg deliver the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants he’ll need for optimal health.

Add in Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and glossy coat, and you’ve got a balanced diet for your bestie!!

Diamond Naturals also offers their patented K9 strain probiotics, and naturally sourced prebiotic fiber from pumpkin, chicory root, and more for super healthy digestion and immune support.

Specs

  • Intended for large-breed dogs
  • Formulated for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble consistency
  • Lamb meal and rice flavor

Pros

  • Made with no fillers, wheat, corn, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin support healthy joints.
  • Made in the US using scientifically advanced methods and rigorous food testing protocols.
  • Added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants sourced from an array of superfoods provide robust immunity and overall health.
  • Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids give him a glossy coat and healthy skin

Cons

  • For some doggos, this food wasn’t good for the belly.
  • Picky eaters said no and walked away.
  • Some owners said it didn’t agree with their besties after an abrupt formula change.

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7. Purina ONE SmartBlend

We had to throw in a wet food or two in here because many owners say their dogs, even their large-breed besties, get more complete nutrition with a mix of both dry kibble and wet foods.

Well, they definitely didn’t have a hard time getting their active GSP’s to take a time out and eat Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb & Brown Rice in Gravy.

It’s made from quality ingredients packed with nutrition, giving your on-the-go guy all kinds of energy and great overall health to keep him active longer.

When feeding canned food alone, it’s suggested to feed the same amount you would feed regular kibble at mealtimes. If mixing, a half-and-half ratio of canned to dry is recommended.

Specs

  • Canned food formula
  • Lamb and brown rice in gravy flavor
  • Intended for adult dogs

Pros

  • Robust levels of antioxidants provided by natural sources of vitamins and minerals promote healthy immunity and overall health.
  • Quality proteins from real lamb and carbs from brown rice keep him going and builds lean muscle.
  • Easily digestible formula courtesy of natural sources of healthy fiber
  • Contains an abundance of vitamins A and E as well as zinc and selenium

Cons

  • Some dogs experienced stinky digestive issues after eating this food.
  • Some dogs didn’t dig the gravy.
  • Some owners reported it’s not immediately apparent that this formula had chicken as an ingredient — which didn’t agree with their sweeties who are allergic.

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8. Stella & Chewy’s

Also a popular pick among GSP’s and their humans, freeze-dried meal mixers are a great way to get some extra flavor and nutrition either alone or mixed in with dry kibble. If you’ve got a finicky dog lots of owners say this will do the trick!

Made from wholesome, all-natural ingredients, Stella & Chewy’s foods are packed with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and probiotics your dog needs to stay healthy and happy for a long time to come.

Blended with the belief that dogs need to be eating the way their ancestors did, these blends contain 95% cage-free meats, organs, and bone. Throw in 100% organic fruits and veg and you’ll have the well balanced, raw food nutrition you want for your big baby.

Stella & Chewy’s foods are made in the US with carefully sourced, organic ingredients.

When feeding freeze-dried foods alone, feed the same amount you’d ordinarily feed with kibble. If mixing with kibble, a half-and-half mixture is recommended. 

Specs

  • Chicken flavored recipe
  • Freeze-dried food can be fed on its own or mixed with dry kibble
  • Suitable for all breeds
  • Suitable for adult dogs
  • This is a grain-free formula, consult your vet to make sure grain-free foods are right for your GSP.

Pros

  • Hormone, antibiotic-free, and cage-free chicken composes 95% of this food’s ingredients
  • Made with 100% organic fruits and veg
  • Freeze-dried nuggets provide a convenient, easy-to-store way to add a little extra flavor and nutrition to your dog’s kibble
  • Provides enhanced probiotics for digestive support

Cons

  • Some owners said the amount of food you get in the bag isn’t consistent with the amount listed on the bag.
  • Some owners reported their bits arrived crushed and stale.
  • Some dogs didn’t like it.

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9. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed Formula Dry Dog Food — Best Puppy Food for German Shorthaired Pointer

FOCUS Chicken & Rice Formula provides your little fella all the nutritional support he needs to grow up happy and healthy.

Packed with protein, DHA, probiotics, and lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants — this food will not only nourish him but keep him coming back enthusiastically for every meal!

Purina foods have a great reputation and are lovingly formulated by veterinary and nutritional experts to make sure your new baby gets everything he needs to feel his best and play for hours.

Specs

  • Intended for large-breed puppies who will weigh over 50 pounds when they grow up to be big and strong
  • Chicken and rice formula
  • Dry kibble texture

Pros

  • Live probiotics for optimal digestive and immune health
  • Fish oil provides the omega fatty acid DHA to support your baby’s neurological development and help his vision
  • Protein-forward, this food touts chicken as its first ingredient for steady lean muscle growth and ample energy (not that your baby GSP has a problem with finding his energy…)

Cons

  • Some owners weren’t pleased when their puppy had a hard time with the formula after it changed abruptly without warning.
  • Some puppies don’t want to eat it.
  • Some pups had leaky behinds after eating this food, ruining carpets everywhere.

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Best Dog Food For German Shorthaired Pointer — Buying Guide

German Shorthaired Pointers need high-quality food that supports his high-energy lifestyle, which means lots of wholesome sources of lean proteins and healthy carbs.

This is true for lots of doggies, particularly large breeds, so when looking at foods for your GSP, consider some of the same things you’d consider when choosing any quality food for dogs:

Basic Nutritional Requirements

  • Choose a food with quality-sourced ingredients. Look for ingredients sourced from countries with rigorous standards like the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc. Countries like China don’t have the same kinds of regulation we do, so they may include ingredients that aren’t so good for your pooch. Speaking of what it shouldn’t have…
  • Pick food with no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, fillers, animal by-products, etc. All of this stuff is commonly responsible for allergies and tummy troubles in pets. (Also in humans.)
  • Feed him foods that include a variety of naturally-sourced fruits and veg rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for good overall health.
  • Make sure your food is suitable for your doggos age and breed type. While there are plenty of foods out there that are one-size-fits-all foods, you should consult your veterinarian about what’s best for your individual bestie’s needs. They deserve to be treated like the one-of-a-kind loved ones that they are.

Specific Nutritional Requirements For German Shorthaired Pointers

So GSP’s have a lot of the same nutritional requirements that large-breed dogs have, but because of health issues specific to the breed, they also need a little extra attention to some specifics:

  • German Shorthaired Pointers are active dogs, so he needs an optimal blend of fats and protein in his diet to support that. He needs lean muscle mass to keep his metabolism humming like a finely-tuned machine, and the fats will help him maintain his energy.

Animal-sourced forms of protein like those found in fish, red meats, and poultry are preferable, and fat sources from fish oils and chicken fat are great too. Plant sources just aren’t as efficient or easy to digest, but some are a good source of omegas as well. 

  • Foods with Glucosamine and chondroitin are especially helpful for GSP’s because due to their breed, and level of activity, they need a little boost in the joint and hip support department. Like many other large-breed dogs, they’re prone to conditions like hip dysplasia and joint problems, so be sure to pay attention to those food labels and choose wisely.
  • The omega fatty acid DHA is particularly good for GSP’s because of their tendency to develop eye issues, particularly later in life. Foods rich in natural sources of DHA, omega 3, and omega 6 like those found in fish oils are preferable.
  • Deep-chested breed dogs like the Germain Shorthaired Pointer have a tendency toward a condition called gastric dilation volvulus, or bloat, so paying attention to his digestive health is important.
Timing his meals around exercise so that he’s not eating immediately after exercise, or so that he doesn’t get vigorous exercise for at least an hour after mealtimes are vital — but also making sure he’s got ample sources of natural fibers, prebiotics, and probiotics in his food are also super important.

Breed-Specific Medical Issues

German Shorthaired Pointers are pretty healthy pups overall, but again, each breed, particularly pure-bred dogs have their share of specific health issues. Responsible breeders will have their dogs screened for issues specific to their breed.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip’s ball and joint socket don’t grow properly or doesn’t fit together properly, causing it to grind together painfully. Over time, this can mean the joint will cease to function well or cease to function completely.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy, or PRA

A degenerative disease, PRA causes deterioration of photoreceptor cells over time, and can eventually lead to blindness if not treated promptly.

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, or Bloat

Bloat is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach suddenly swells and distends, and can twist in the body cavity.

Symptoms of bloat include, but aren’t limited to, a distended belly, restless pacing, inability to lie down, signals of distress or panic, shallow and rapid panting, and vomiting with only foaming saliva.

If you see these symptoms, take your dog to an emergency vet clinic immediately.

Health Tests Recommended by the National Breed Club:

  • Ophthalmologist evaluation, including cone degeneration DNA test
  • Hip and elbow evaluation
  • Cardiac exams

How Much Should I Feed My German Shorthaired Pointer?

Puppy GSP’s need more proteins and fats than their grown-up counterparts, so be sure to feed him 22% or more protein and at least 8% fat to fuel healthy growth and metabolism.

Like many other large-breed dogs, GSP’s can be prone to “overgrowth”, a condition where your doggo will grow too quickly. This can contribute to joint and heart problems later on in his life. 

Adult GSP’s should consume a minimum of 5% fats and 18% protein. Be sure not to feed your GSP, whether a pup or an adult, more than twice a day to help prevent bloat and overgrowth.

General Feeding Guide for GSP’s (Vol. by 8 oz cup)

For Puppies Who Will Grow to 50 Lbs or Less

  • 1½-3 Months = ½ – 1 ¼
  • 4-5 Months = 1 ¾ – 2 ⅓
  • 6-8 Months = 1 ¼ – 2
  • 9-11 Months = 2 ¼ – 2 ½
  • 1-2 Years = 2 ⅓ – 3½

For Puppies Who Will Grow up to 75 Lbs

  • 1½-3 Months = ⅔ – 2
  • 4-5 Months = 1 ¾ – 3 ⅓
  • 6-8 Months = 1 ½ – 3 ¼
  • 9-11 Months = 2 ¾ – 4
  • 1½ -2 Years = 3 – 5 ¼

For Puppies Who Will Grow up to 100 Pounds

  • 1½-3 Months old = 1 – 2 ¼
  • 4-5 Months = 2 ¼ – 3 ¼
  • 6-8 Months = 3 ⅓ – 5 ⅓
  • 9-11 Months = 4 ½ – 5 ¾
  • 1-2 Years = 6 ½ – 9 ¼

For Puppies Who Will Grow up to 130 Pounds

  • 1 ½ – 3 months = 2 ¼ – 3
  • 4-5 months = 3 ¼ – 4 ⅓
  • 6-8 months = 5 ⅓ – 6 ½
  • 9-11 months = 5 ¾ – 7
  • 1-2 years = ¼ – 10 ⅓

For Adult Dogs

  • 50 – 70 pounds = 3 ¼ – 5 ¼
  • 71 – 100 pounds = 5 ¼ – 9 ½
  • Over 100 pounds = 9 ½ plus ½ cups for each additional 20 pounds

A Final Word

These dignified dogs are also dopey and fun-loving around their families, especially the kids who are able to keep up with them. A happy-go-lucky dog like this deserves the best food around.

Our top pick for the best dog food for German Shorthaired Pointers is Wellness Large Breed Complete Health. It contains all the great things your big baby needs to help him live a long, healthy, and happy life.

Once you decide to adopt one of these special dogs, you and your family will want him around for as many epic games of fetch as possible!

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