Best Dog Food For German Shepherds (Puppy) – 2018 Brands

A German Shepherd is a breed of working dogs created in Germany in order to herd livestock all day. This is an extremely intelligent, easy to train, active and loyal breed and besides being great pets, they are used as police K9 units and dogs for people with disabilities.

This is a large breed that has plenty of energy and needs a diet that is specially tailored to meet its needs. But not all German Shepherds lead the same life, the dog that lives on a farm and is all day outside, and a dog in a city have different needs.
This is a large and well-muscled breed that needs high-quality ingredients in order to stay active and healthy, and we are here to provide you with choices for the best dog food for German Shepherds.

Name Image Best For Main Ingredient Grain Free Protein Count Price
BLUE Wilderness BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food Skin allergies, adult active dogs Deboned Chicken Yes 34%
Taste Of The Wild Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food Digestive problems Lamb Yes 25%
Earthborn Holistic Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Active dogs, sensitive stomach Bison Meal Yes 34%
Wellness Simple Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food Skin allergies, food sensitivities Salmon Yes 25%
NUTRO Ultra NUTRO ULTRA Adult Dry Dog Food Healthy joints Chicken No 23%
Natural Ultramix Natural Ultramix Adult Dry Dog Food Sensitive skin and stomach Chicken No 25%
Nulo Adult Grain Free Nulo Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Healthy skin and coat, lean muscles Lamb Yes 31%
EUKANUBA Breed Specific EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food Skin and coat, digestion problems, strong teeth Chicken No 23%
Fromm Family Foods Gold Nutritionals Fromm Famaily Foods 33 lb Gold Nutritionals Dog Food Digestive and skin problems Duck No 26%
Orijen Adult Orijen Adult Picky eaters, digestive problems Chicken Yes 36%

How To Find The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds?

This is a large breed and as such doesn’t have the same nutritional needs as for example Poodle. In order to keep your pooch full of energy, healthy and happy his special nutritional requirements must be met and that can be done with best German Shepherd dog food.

What Are The Nutritional Needs Of This Breed?

Being a highly energetic breed, German Shepherds need a lot of exercises and proper nutrients in order to stay active and healthy. It is a common belief that all dog food is the same and equally made for all pooches, but this isn’t the case and like other breeds, German Shepherds can benefit from a targeted diet.

Always look for food that has named meat-based protein as the first ingredient. Since this is a very active breed they need to eat food that has 20% proteins for inactive dogs, and 30 to 40% for very active dogs.

This is the main source of energy this is an important nutrient for this breed, and it will also support a healthy and shiny coat. With that being said look for food that has 12-18% of fat.

For this breed, it isn’t so much important to look for carb content as much the type of carbs included. This breed has tendencies to develop allergies so look for foods that are grains free or have wholesome grains.

Best Dog Food For German Shepherd

How Many Calories German Shepherds Need?

Since this is a high energy breed they need a lot of calories to function properly and to be mentally stimulated. But these dogs can become overweight so it is important to know exact calorie requirements of your pooch.

Puppies have a lot more energy and they grow rapidly so they need more calories than an adult dog. German Shepherd puppies need 40 calories per lb per day, so if your puppy has 10 lb he will needs 400 calories daily.

For adult German Shepherds it is important to consider their activity level in order to find out how many calories they need. Less active dogs will need 20 calories per lb, which translates into 1500 calories, and highly active adults need 30 calories per lb, which is 2100 calories in total.

Older dogs are less active so in order to keep them on their ideal weight they need less than 20 calories per lb. Ideally, they should eat 1200 calories every day.

Remember that every dog is different and that the best way to know exact calorie requirements of your dog is to use calorie calculator.

What Are Health Concerns With This Breed?

Unfortunately, like other breeds, German Shepherds can be affected by some health problems due to their genetics and bad food choices. Some of these problems can be better managed or completely avoided with proper diet.

  • Bloat: Is usually seen a in deep-chested dog like German Shepherds. This condition causes the stomach to fill with gas and twist ending the blood supply to other organs. The easiest way to prevent this is to feed your dog with 2-3 smaller meals and limit his activities for an hour after the meal.
  • Poor nutrient absorption: German Shepherds have shorter colons compared to other breeds and this causes them to have a harder time absorbing all the necessary nutrients. The best way to deal with this problem is to include plenty of easily digestible fiber like oats, fruits, and leafy greens into your dog’s diet.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a very common condition for large breeds and can be caused by genetics or factors like poor diet, obesity or lack of exercise. In order to keep your dog’s bones and joints strong, he needs to eat food that contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin for joint health and mobility.

Now that you know a little bit more about nutritional requirements and health problems caused by poor diet, you may be wondering what is the best food for a German Shepherd? We found 10 great options, that are suitable for this breed and it is up to you to choose which one your pooch will love the best.

High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Brand Name: BLUE Wilderness
  • Calorie: 409 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Main Indgredient: Deboned Chicken

Your dog’s ancestors were wolfs, and this food is inspired by wolf’s diet in order to provide only the greatest tasting nutrients to your pooch. Beside this formula, Blue Buffalo has more flavors appropriate for adult dogs and all of them contain LifeSource bits for an optimal amount of nutrients.

The main ingredient in this food is Deboned Chicken followed by Chicken Meal and Menhaden Fish Meal. Together they create 34% crude protein, that is a suitable amount for active dogs.

This is a grain free formula with Peas and Sweet potatoes and our choice for best dog food for German Shepherds with skin allergies caused by grains. These are easy to digest and provide 6% crude fiber, for a feeling of fullness.

The main source of fat is Chicken fat, followed by Flaxseed, for a great looking coat and skin. Together they provide a minimum of 15% crude fat, which is an optimal amount for energetic dogs.

Carrots, Parsley, Blueberries, and Cranberries are fresh vegetables and fruits included, for necessary vitamins and minerals. They will keep your dog’s immune system strong and his organs functioning properly.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are included to support healthy skin and coat and are necessary for dogs who are recovering from skin allergies. Glucosamine is included to support healthy joints and mobility which is very important for large breed dogs.

Pros

  • High in protein
  • An optimal amount of fat
  • Grain free
  • For skin allergies
  • Supports joints and mobility

Cons

  • Can cause stomach problems
  • Some dogs don’t like it

Natural Dry Dog Food

  • Brand Name: Taste of the Wild
  • Calorie: 388 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Main Indgredient: Lamb

This is one of the most popular food brands and they have a variety of different flavors to suit the needs of every dog. They make their food to mirror the ancestral diet of dogs using only high-quality ingredients.

The main ingredient in Sierra Mountain canine formula is Lamb, followed by Lamb Meal and Roasted Lamb. Combined they create a minimum of 25% crude protein, that provide a variety of meaty flavors.

Sweet Potatoes, Lentils, and Peas are easily digestible carbohydrates that won’t cause stomach upset. They create a maximum of 4% crude fiber, that is completely grain free.

The main source of fat is Canola oil, followed by Salmon oil as a support for a shiny and healthy looking skin and coat. They provide a minimum of 15% crude fat, as an optimal source of energy for active dogs.

Fresh fruits like Blueberries and Raspberries are included as natural sources of vitamins for a strong immune system. Minerals like zinc and calcium are included for healthy bones and organ function.

This is a complete and balanced food suitable for daily feeding of large breed dogs.

Pros

  • High in protein
  • Grain free
  • Easy to digest
  • Supports skin and coat
  • For active dogs

Cons

  • Can cause stomach problems

Great Plains Feast Dry Dog Food

  • Brand Name: Earthborn Holistic
  • Calorie: 430 kcal/cup
  • Protein:34%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Main Indgredient: Bison Meal

Earthborn Holistic creates their food to mirror the ancestral diet of dogs providing them with lean meat and premium quality ingredients. This is a grain free food that is suitable for this breed since it has problems absorbing necessary nutrients.

The main ingredient is Bison Meal followed by Beef Meal, these are dehydrated meats that contain much higher protein content. Together they provide a minimum of 32% crude protein, which is a great amount for working dogs.

Peas, Tapioca, and Chickpeas are grain free sources of carbohydrates that are easy to digest and won’t cause gastrointestinal upset. Combined they provide a maximum of 4% crude fiber, that will keep your dog’s stomach full.

The main source of fat is Canola oil, followed by Flaxseed as main sources of energy for active breeds like German Shepherds. Combined they create a minimum of 18% fat, that will support healthy skin and coat.

Fresh fruits and vegetables like Cranberries, Apples, Carrots, and Spinach are healthy sources of vitamins and minerals. They will keep your dog’s immune system strong and his organs working properly.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are included to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and shiny. Overall this is a complete and balanced formula for adult dogs and daily feeding

Pros

  • High in protein
  • Grain free
  • Easy to digest
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Good for skin and coat

Cons

  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Can cause diarrhea

Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

  • Brand Name: Wellness Natural Pet Food
  • Calorie: 446 kcal/cup
  • Protein:25%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Main Indgredient: Salmon

Wellness created this formula in order to provide a high-quality choice for owners of dogs with food sensitivities. Made with only natural and premium ingredients this formula is our choice for the best dog food for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs.

The main ingredient is Salmon followed by Salmon Meal for that fishy flavor some dogs love. Combined they make a minimum of 25% crude protein, which is an optimal amount for this breed.

Since this is a grain free limited ingredient food, it contains Potatoes and Peas that are easy to digest and won’t cause any stomach upset. They create a maximum of 5% crude fiber, that will keep your dog’s stomach full without causing diarrhea or vomiting.

The main source of fat is Ground Flaxseed followed by Canola oil for healthy and good looking skin and coat. Together they create a minimum of 12% crude fat, which is on the downside, and suitable for less active German Shepherds.

All the necessary vitamins and minerals are included to keep your dog’s immune system strong. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are included to support soft and radiant coat.

This is a complete and balanced food suitable for daily feeding for dogs who suffer from stomachs sensitivities. And there is a variety of other grain free flavors if your dog isn’t a fan of salmon.

Pros

  • For sensitive stomachs
  • Grain free
  • High in protein
  • Good for skin and coat

Cons

  • Some dogs don’t like it

Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Brand Name: Nutro
  • Calorie: 346 kcal/cup
  • Protein:23%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Main Indgredient: Chicken

Nutro specially formulated this food to meet the nutritional requirements of large breed dogs. With the use of premium quality and natural ingredients, this is one of the best dry dog foods for German Shorthaired Pointer.

The main ingredient is Chicken followed by Chicken meal as an appropriate source of proteins. Combined they create a minimum of 23% crude protein, which is a good amount for this breed.
This isn’t a grain free formula but contains wholesome grains like Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, and Whole Grain Oatmeal. Together they make a maximum of 4% crude fiber, that is easy to digest and won’t cause stomach problems.

The main source of fat is Chicken fat, followed by Whole Flaxseed and Sunflower oil. Combined they make 12% crude fat, that supports healthy skin and coat and serves as the main source of energy.

This formula contains Dried kale, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Spinach, Dried Carrots, Dried Apples, and Dried Blueberries as sources of vitamins and minerals. They will keep your dog healthy and his organs functioning.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are included to support healthy skin and coat. And Glucosamine and Chondroitin will support joint health and mobility.

This is a well-balanced and complete food that contains 346 kcal/cup, that is suitable for daily feeding of adult large dogs.

Pros

  • Appropriate amounts of protein
  • Good for skin and coat
  • For adult large dogs
  • Supports joints and mobility

Cons

  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Can cause stomach problems

Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Brand Name: Natural Ultramix
  • Calorie: 375 kcal/cup
  • Protein:25%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Main Indgredient: Chicken

This formula is made bearing in mind active adult dogs and uses only premium quality ingredients to provide all the necessary nutrients. Castor & Pollux don’t use artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, wheat, corn, or soy in their formulas.

The main ingredient is Chicken, followed by Chicken Meal, and Turkey Meal for a variety of poultry flavors most dogs love. Combined they create a minimum of 25% crude proteins, that support healthy muscles and tissues.

Ground Whole Oats, Ground Whole Barley, and Brown rice are easy to digest carbohydrates that won’t cause stomach problems. Combined they make a maximum of 3% crude fiber, that is a suitable amount for this breed.

The main source of fat is Chicken fat that is also the main source of energy for your active dog. It provides a minimum of 15% crude fat, that also supports healthy skin and coat.

Dried Bananas and Dried Cranberries are sources of necessary vitamins that support a strong immune system. This formula also contains all the essential minerals like Calcium and Phosphorus for strong bones and teeth.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are also present and will keep your dog’s coat radiant and shiny and his skin in optimal health. With 375 kcal/cup, this is a well-balanced food for adult large breed dogs.

Pros

  • High in protein
  • Easy to digest
  • For large active dogs
  • Supports healthy skin and coat

Cons

  • Can cause diarrhea
  • Has a strong smell

Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Brand Name: Nulo
  • Calorie: 426 kcal/cup
  • Protein:31%
  • Fat: 17%
  • Main Indgredient: Lamb

The Freestyle formula is made of 81% meat which will give all the necessary nutrients to very active dogs like German Shepherds. Nulo uses only high-quality ingredients in order to provide only the best for your pooch.

The main ingredient is Lamb, followed by Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, and Lamb Meal for a variety of different protein sources. Combined they make a minimum of 31% crude protein, which is the perfect amount for highly active and working dogs.

Yellow Peas, Chickpeas, and Sweet Potatoes are grain free carbohydrates that are easy to digest and won’t cause stomach upset. Combined they make a maximum of 4.5% crude fiber, that will keep your dog’s tummy full of right ingredients.

The main source of fat is Chicken fat that is also the main source of energy. It provides a minimum of 17% crude fat, that also serves as a support for healthy skin and coat.

Dried Blueberries, Dried Apples, Dried Carrots, and Dredi Tomatoes are sources of vitamins and minerals. They will keep your dog strong and his organs functioning normally.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are also present in this adult formula and will keep your dog’s coat soft and shiny, just the way it should be. With 426 kcal/cup, this is a well-balanced food suitable for daily feeding and optimal energy levels.

Pros

  • Rich in protein
  • Grain free
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • For active adult dogs

Cons

  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Can cause stomach problems

Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Brand Name:Eukanuba
  • Calorie: 313.72 kcal/cup
  • Protein:23%
  • Fat: 13%
  • Main Indgredient: Chicken

Eukanuba is a great brand that uses high-quality ingredients and they created a targeted food for this breed. So this is our choice for best dry dog food for German Shepherds.

The main ingredient is Chicken combined with Fish Meal. Together they create a minimum of 23% crude protein for lean muscles and healthy tissues.

Ground Whole Grain Sorghum and Brewers Rice are easy to digest carbohydrates for a sense of fullness. They provide a maximum of 5% crude fiber, that is easy to digest.

The main source of fat is Fish oil combined with Chicken fat for great looking skin and coat. As main sources of energy, they are present in the amount of a minimum 13% crude fat.

All the necessary vitamins and minerals are included with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a strong immune system and shiny and soft coat.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are also included to support joins and mobility. And this food is made to help better nutrient absorption since this breed has a shorter colon.

Pros

  • Breed targeted
  • High in protein
  • Better nutrient absorption
  • Supports joints and mobility

Cons

  • Contains grains
  • Some dogs don’t like it

Large Breed Puppy

  • Brand Name:Fromm
  • Calorie: 389 kcal/cup
  • Protein:26%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Main Indgredient: Duck

This is a family owned brand that uses only premium ingredients in order to provide what is best for your dog. This formula is made for large breed puppies and it is our suggestion for the best dog food for German Shepherd puppy to eat.

The main ingredient is Duck, followed by Chicken Meal and Chicken for a variety of poultry flavors. Combined they make a minimum of 26% crude protein, that is enough for a still-developing puppy.

Pearled Barley, Brown Rice and Potatoes are easy to digest carbohydrates that won’t cause stomach upset. Together they create a maximum of 3.5% crude fiber, that will keep your pup’s tummy full.

The main source of fat is Chicken fat, followed by Salmon oil and Flaxseed for great looking and healthy coat and skin. As main sources of energy, they make a minimum of 14% crude fat.

All the necessary vitamins and minerals, probiotics and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are included. They will support a strong immune system, good digestion and great looking coat and skin.

This is a complete and balanced food that is suitable for daily feeding and has all the nutrients a still growing puppy needs. With 389 kcal/cup, you can be sure that this is the best food for German Shepherd puppies to eat.

Pros

  • Puppy formula
  • High in protein
  • Easy to digest
  • Supports coat and skin
  • High in calories

Cons

  • Can cause stomach problems
  • Shipping takes too long

Dry Dog Food

  • Brand Name:Orijen
  • Calorie: 409 kcal/cup
  • Protein:36%
  • Fat: 35%
  • Main Indgredient: Chicken

Orijen is a Canadian pet food brand that uses only regional ingredients to make the great tasting and nutritious food for dogs. This adult formula is gently freeze dried and very easy to prepare.

The main ingredient is Chicken, followed by Turkey and Whole Herring for a variety of meaty flavors. Combined they make a minimum of 36% crude protein, which makes this food an excellent choice for very active or working dogs.

Spinach greens, Pumpkin, and Butternut Squash are sources of grain free easily digestible carbohydrates. Combined they make a maximum of 5% crude fiber, that will give your dog a sense of fullness but won’t cause stomach problems.

The main source of fat is Ground Whole Sunflower seed that supports healthy skin and coat. It creates a minimum of 35% crude fat, that will give enough energy to working or highly active dogs.

All the necessary vitamins and minerals are included for a overall health and well being. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, Glucosamine and Chondroitin will keep your dogs skin and coat flawless and support healthy joints and mobility.

Pros

  • High in protein
  • High in fats
  • Grain free
  • For active and working dogs
  • Supports joints and mobility

Cons

  • Some dogs don’t like it

Conclusion

Despite common beliefs, dogs are supposed to get breed targeted nutrition, and best dog food for German Shepherd has exactly that. This is a highly active breed, and it doesn’t matter if you live on a farm or in the city your dog has unique nutritional requirements.

Like all breeds, German Shepherds have common health problems but some of them are easily fixable with the right food. So don’t compromise your dog’s health and choose the food that contains the right amounts of quality ingredients he needs.

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