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.

American Kennel Club Breed Classification: Herding Dog

Recommended Daily Exercise Amount: 1-2 hours/day

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.

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:

blue buffalo Grain Free Puppy food

Blue Buffalo Red Meat Puppy Food

purina chicken puppy food

Purina Healthy Puppy Food

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:

Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food

blue buffalo duck flavored dog food

Blue Buffalo Duck-Based Dog Food

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:

Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food

blue buffalo duck flavored dog food

Blue Buffalo Duck-Based Dog Food

Related Dog Breed Nutritional Guides:

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