Best Dog Food For German Shepherds

As with most dog breeds, German Shepherds require a specially formulated diet to support their unique physical characteristics and health considerations. Our informative guide will help you make the best decision in pet nutrition for your German Shepherd from puppyhood to adulthood. It is important to provide your dog with the best possible nutrition and to have an understanding of their potential health risks that need to be avoided.

Dog Age:Recommendation:Rating:Ingredients:
Puppy:Blue Buffalo Red Meat Puppy Food4.8 / 5.0Beef, peas, pea protein, fish meal, eggs, flaxseed, tomatoes, fish oil.
Adult:Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food4.9 / 5.0Yeast protein, chickpeas, oats, peas, potatoes, canola oil, sweet potato, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, fish oil.
Senior:Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food4.9 / 5.0Yeast protein, chickpeas, oats, peas, potatoes, canola oil, sweet potato, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, fish oil.

Average Healthy Weight of German Shepherds

Healthy Male Weight: 60-100 lbs

Healthy Female Weight: 45-75 lbs

German Shepherd Breed Summary

Originally bred for their herding and guarding instincts within the German countryside, the “wolf-like” shepherding dog was created by Max von Stephanitz in the late 1800s. Stephanitz crossbred various shepherding breeds found throughout Germany that fit his ideal personality traits of intelligence, loyalty, and diligence the physical attributes required for working.

The German Shepherd Dog gained more popularity in Hollywood with the likes of Strongheart and Rin-Tin-Tin taking center stage on silent screens. They are now most used by police and military task forces, as well as serving an important role in home protection. With enough space to run around for playtime, a balanced diet, this active dog breed can also be a great family dog. They are intensely loyal towards their family but because of their size and appearance, it is vital that you train them accordingly.

Because of their size and genetic history, German Shepherds are susceptible to a few different health issues. Feeding your German Shepherd the best possible dog food for the nutritional needs can help to them healthy and happy.

American Kennel Club Breed Classification: Herding Dog

Recommended Daily Exercise Amount: 1-2 hours/day

Physical Traits of German Shepherds

German Shepherds are known for their large, muscular, and athletic body shapes. They can come in a wide-variety of different fur colors that range from brown, black, to golden.

Personality Traits

Incredibly intelligent, loyal, and protective.

Potential Health Considerations for German Shepherds

German Shepherds are susceptible to have plaque forming on their teeth and gums from food particles and other bacteria. They probably don’t care about having white teeth – but it’s important for dog oral health! Bacteria in the mouth can affect a range of internal organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys, so it is important to feed your German Shepherd food that is safe for their teeth.

Potential Dental Issues For German Shepherds

German Shepherds are susceptible to have plaque forming on their teeth and gums from food particles and other bacteria. They probably don’t care about having white teeth – but it’s important for dog oral health! Bacteria in the mouth can affect a range of internal organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys, so it is important to feed your German Shepherd food that is safe for their teeth.

Potential Gut Health Issues

German Shepherds have a community of bacteria and other microbes that work together to keep the body healthy. Keeping this balanced is very important for overall health, including digestive, mental, and immune well-being. For these reasons, we prefer food with digestive enzymes/benefits to ensure our German Shepherd’s gut remains in good shape. Picking the right dog food is vital for keeping your dogs gut healthy.

Joint & Bone Pain

Although we can’t always prevent joint or bone pain, proper nutrition and weight management help significantly. We want to provide our beloved pets with food that includes some of the following ingredients.

  • Glucosamine
  • Methylsulfonymethane
  • Chondroitin
  • Omega-3 from Fish Oil
  • Green Mussel
  • Taurine
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin E
  • Antioxidants

Cognitive Health

Puppy and senior German Shepherds both need a bit of extra brain power to help them grow strong. In the early years, puppy brains are developing quickly and need healthy flow of vitamins to do so. Once they hit senior years, their brain function can deteriorate and we supplement their diet with nutrients that will keep them sharp. Below are a few of the recommended vitamins, nutrients, and supplements to improve cognitive health.

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • L-carnitine

Future Eye Health

If you love your German Shepherd, then you’ll want to give it healthy eyes. All dogs are prone to eye degeneration and other problems with vision, but a balanced diet of beta carotene, lutein, EPA and DHA can help maintain their quality vision. Below are a few ingredients and nutrients that can benefit the health of your German Shepherd’s eyes:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Anthocyanins
  • Astaxanthin
  • Beta-carotene
  • Carotenoids
  • Glutathione
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids
  • Phytonutrients

Healthy Skin & Coat

Skin on a German Shepherd’s largest organs and as one of the main defense mechanisms against things entering the body. The skin’s outer layer is vital for preventing irritants from entering which would possibly cause infection. Take notice also to the condition of their coat, bad healthy coats can indicate underlying problems. To maintain healthy skin and coat, the following nutrients should be found in food and treats:

  • GLA
  • ALA
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamins and choline
  • Flaxseed/fish oil
  • Antioxidants
  • Probiotics

Potential Heart Health Issues

German Shepherds have a higher probability of acquiring heart disease than other breeds. Proper exercise, weight management, and good nutrition are vital to their health. Below are recommended nutrients and vitamins to include in the diet of your German Shepherd:

  • Taurine
  • Carnitine
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Complete protein
  • Low sodium

Immune System Health

There is a powerful little army inside your German Shepherd (the immune system) that protects the body from bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins and countless other microscopic predators. As pet parents, our job is to keep this army strong and well-supplied with antioxidants and probiotics.

  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Fish oil
  • Coconut oil

Weight Management & Obesity

Dogs are at increased risk of health complications when they are too heavy, and many dogs in the US need to lose weight. One way that you can help your German Shepherd to maintain a healthy weight is to speak with your vet about the proper serving sizes and exercise levels for your dog.

Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppies

Age of German Shepherd Puppies:

10 weeks – 12 Months old

German Shepherds have to grow quickly in their younger years, so as a parent it is your duty to make sure they get all of the nutrients they need. This means that when you are feeding them it should be high in protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals – especially water! Make sure not to over-feed puppies with treats and snacks.

Below are the dog foods we recommend for German Shepherd Puppies:

Recommended Dog Food:Key Benefits:Shop Now!
Blue Buffalo Red Meat Puppy Food

blue buffalo puppy food
- High protein red meat recipe crafted with beef to help build lean muscle.

- Grain-free blend specifically designed for puppies that contains healthy antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals selected by veterinarians.

- 32% Protein Content.

- 16% Healthy Fat Content.
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Purina Healthy Puppy Food

purina healthy puppy food
- U.S farm-raised chicken based puppy food with additional vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.

- Contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals with included DHA to support brain and vision development.

- 28% Protein Content.

- 14% Healthy Fat Content.
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Best Dog Foods For Adult German Shepherds

Age Range of Adult German Shepherds:

1 year old – 7 years old

German Shepherd reach adulthood at around 90% of their expected weight. Upon becoming adults, our two primary goals are balance and maintenance. Balance is desired because a dog’s metabolism is responsible for many tasks; digestion, fighting infection, as well as maintaining muscles and chasing squirrels. To maintain health, German Shepherds need to be fed enough to provide sustenance for the whole body while maintaining a healthy weight.

Recommended Dog Food For Adult German Shepherds:

Recommended Dog Food:Key Benefits:Shop Now!
Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food

wild earth dog food
- Clean protein recipe designed with prebiotics and probiotics for optimal digestion and allergy health.

- Crafted with recognizable superfoods such as spinach, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, pumpkin, oats, and no fillers or additives.

- 31% Protein Content.

- 10.5% Healthy Fat Content.
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Blue Buffalo Duck Blend

blue buffalo adult dog food
- High-protein formula with lean protein duck blend to help maintain healthy lean muscle mass.

- Contains healthy carbohydrates such as green peas and sweet potatoes as well as additional omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.

- 34% Protein Content.

- 15% Healthy Fat Content.
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Best Dog Food For Senior German Shepherds

Age range of senior German Shepherds:

7+ years old

As seniors age, their metabolism slows and they require fewer calories. To help seniors maintain weight, senior dog diets are created to cut down on calories without diminishing their need for protein. However, as seniors age they often require more or less calorie consumption depending on individual needs.

Recommended dog food for senior German Shepherds:

Recommended Dog Food:Key Benefits:Shop Now!
Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food

wild earth dog food
- Clean protein recipe designed with prebiotics and probiotics for optimal digestion and allergy health.

- Crafted with recognizable superfoods such as spinach, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, pumpkin, oats, and no fillers or additives.

- 31% Protein Content.

- 10.5% Healthy Fat Content.
Shop Now
Blue Buffalo Senior Dog Food

blue buffalo senior dog food
- A high-quality chicken protein blend with additional vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help support your senior dog.

- Contains additional omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to improve the joint health and cognitive health of your dog.

- 30% Protein Content.

- 12% Healthy Fat Content.
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German Shepherd Dog Food Buying Guide

For many pet parents it can be difficult to pick the best food for their german shepherds and they ask many different questions. For this reason, we have compiled all of the questions we have received about different types of dog food for german shepherds and given our answers below. This will help you understand what the best dog food for german shepherds is and what important details are essential to remember.

Frequently asked questions about dog food for german shepherds:

Do German Shepherds Need Special Dog Food?

No, your german shepherd doesn’t need a special type of dog food as they require similar nutritional needs compared to other large dog breeds. But it is important to understand that some dog foods will provide your german shepherd with a cleaner nutritional profile and more protein that can be beneficial for their lifestyle. German Shepherds are large dog breeds that require enough calories to grow and maintain their weight. They should also receive a dog food that includes essential fatty acids such as omega-3 to help promote healthy joints.

When Can I Safely Switch My German Shepherd Puppy To Adult Dog Food?

German Shepherd puppies will typically continue to grow until they are anywhere from 12 months old to 24 months old. It is important to keep your german shepherd on a healthy puppy food until your veterinarian recommends you switch. This is because the puppy food will have an increased amount of nutrients that will help your puppy grow compared to adult dog food which is used mostly for maintaining size. From some german shepherds they will be ready around 12 months of age but for others it could be closer to 24 months of age. Typically the average range for a german shepherd puppy to switch to adult food is 12 months to 18 months old.

Is Blue Buffalo Dog Food Good For German Shepherds?

Yes, Blue Buffalo is one of the largest and most well loved dog food brands on the market and their food can be a great option for your GSD. Blue Buffalo provides many different types of puppy food as well as adult dog food that will provide different ingredients and nutrition to your dog. We have found that most German Shepherds love the red meat dog food but we recommend testing it out to see which flavor your dog prefers.

Is Purina Pro Plan Good For German Shepherds?

Purina Pro Plan is another well respected dog food brands that can be a great option for German Shepherds. Since German Shepherds will typically be categorized as large breed dogs it may be the best option to opt for a Purina Pro Plan large dog breed dog food. This will provide them with the nutritional requirements that best matches their physical size and active lifestyle.

What Foods Are German Shepherds Allergic To?

German Shepherds as well as any breed of dog can be allergic to any variety of different types of foods. This will vary from breed to breed as well as from dog to dog. Your German Shepherd may be allergic to one type of food but that doesn’t mean all German Shepherds are allergic to it. From our studies, German Shepherds are most likely to be allergic to a source of animal protein. For some dogs it could be chicken, fish, beef, or other type of protein. This is why it is important to monitor how your dog behaves when they try a new type of food.

If you see that your German Shepherd is constantly scratching, is itchy, has hot patches, red skin, or other symptoms then it could mean that your dog is allergic to something that eat or they are suffering from environmental allergies.

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