Best Dog Food For German Shepherds In 2021

by dogfoodreviews

German shepherds are a very common breed, and their appeal is easily understood. Shepherds with impressive builds are intelligent, obedient, and easily trained dogs. Just like all other breeds, in order to live a safe and long life, they require foods of high quality (as well as good veterinary care and plenty of exercises). Read on for our guide on finding the best dog food for German Shepherds in 2021:

In this Article:

Best Dog Food For German Shepherds In February, 2021 That Are Currently In Stock:

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Recipe

The Taste of the Wild High Prairie recipe is one of the best in the GSD industry, crafted to imitate the diet of wild wolves, the ancestors of your dog. This high protein recipe has new sources of protein such as bison, venison and buffalo, plus the regular chicken, lamb and fish meal, offering a full profile of amino acids to help the growth and maintenance of your dog’s muscles.


In addition to delicious meat, the recipe also includes antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, including sweet potatoes, blueberries, raspberries, and tomatoes, providing the essential nutrients for a healthy immune system and overall well-being. As well as species-specific probiotics for gentle digestion, vitamins and minerals are also added. One of the healthiest, most nourishing dog foods for German Shepherds, certainly!

Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach Dry & Wet Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Emphasis Sensitive Skin & Stomach is excellent for the sensitive stomach and skin of the German Shepherd. The primary source of protein and ingredient #1 in the list is real meat, salmon. A variety of choices, including dry and wet dog food, are available.


German shepherds are susceptible to developing allergies to food. Their skin can display signs of inflammation and become red and itchy. It is essential that dog food is nutrient rich and has nutrients which enhance the health of  the coat and skin of German Shepherds.


Purina Concentrate has prebiotic fiber, a highly digestible solution that nourishes the beneficial bacteria in the intestine of the dog to support its digestive health. Carbohydrates such as rice are also included in the ingredients that are soft on the stomach and easy for German Shepherds to digest.


Although Linoleic acid and zinc nourish the skin and the coat of German Shepherds in nutrient-rich Purina. After a few weeks of Purina Focus dog food, you will find that your German Shepherd has smooth and healthy skin.

Eukanuba Breed Specific Dry Food

This Eukanuba recipe, developed specially for GSDs, comes with a specific blend of chicken, brewer’s rice, sorghum, and fish meal to offer the right amount of nutrients required for energy and health to your adult German shepherd. 

In order to facilitate nutrient absorption and safe digestion, the formula contains a specialized fiber complex, as well as a “3D DentaDefense System” to minimize tartar build-up and improve dental health. The diet is suitable for GSDs which struggle with weight management, as well as indoor animals who are not as safe as they should be because it includes a lower amount of calories and fat.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Dry Dog Food for German Shepherd

There are two sizes of Royal Canin German Shepherd Dry Dog Food, a 17-lb and a 30-lb pack. Royal Canin has an outstanding nutritional value of 22% protein and 17% fat. There are also maximum values for food, which are 10 percent for humidity and 5.5 percent for fiber. It should be noted that this form of dog food is intended for adult German shepherds, especially those 15 months of age or older.


The specific benefits of this dog food are the custom-designed kibble form for quick chewing and plaque avoidance. Due to quickly digestible proteins and fibers found in the ingredients, it promotes enhanced digestive health.


To encourage the large and strong body of the German Shepherds, high levels of Glucosamine and Chondroitin are also included. Glucosamine and chondroitin both encourage good joint health and protect against hip dysplasia and arthritis.

Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult Canned Dog Food

With this wet food, Purina delivers flavor. Texas Beef, Alaskan Cod, Chicken/Carrot/Pea, Beef/Potato/Green Bean, Spinach/Chicken/Lamb, Salmon/Ocean Whitefish/Sweet Potato, Spinach and Beef, Sweet Potato and Turkey, Sweet Potato and Chicken, Green Bean and Turkey, Chicken/Pacific Cod/Carrot and Chicken and Pea are all available flavors. The range of flavors, full of vitamins, minerals, and protein, will be enjoyed by your German Shepherd.

Purina Beyond analyzes 9 percent crude protein, 6 percent crude fat, 1.25 percent crude fiber, and 390 kcal/can.


The only downside to this wet food is the risk of older German Shepherds getting soft stools.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for Senior German Shepherds

Blue Buffalo is a company that focuses on the production of 100 percent natural ingredients for high-quality dog food. Their Life Security Formula Senior Dog Food is the fourth product on our list. There are ingredients in the product line that can protect the health of senior German shepherd dogs and boost their quality of life as they get older.

True meat is still used in Blue Buffalo dog food, and there are no chicken byproducts in it. It is even more remarkable that Blue Buffalo explicitly excludes from their dog food items maize, wheat, and soy, all of which are important for German Shepherds suffering from food allergies. Also there are no preservatives or artificial flavors added. Many dog owners have commented that after moving to Blue Buffalo senior dog food, their elderly German Shepherd stomach dilemma was fixed.


Glucosamine and chondroitin are also found in Blue Buffalo to help joint stability and agility in older dogs. For German shepherds with hip dysplasia and arthritis, it is the safest dog food. The Blue Buffalo ingredients include a high proportion of bone and joint supplements.

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Chicken & Oats

Looking for the perfect German Shepherd dog food? Hill’s Diet of Science has you covered. The right combination of proteins and fats is included in the Large Breed Puppy formulation to help your young pup grow and develop to its optimum. This recipe gives your dog plenty of protein in an easily digestible shape, paving the way for stronger muscles and a more powerful immune system, with chicken meal as the first ingredient.


This German shepherd pup food includes a healthy blend of DHA-rich fish oil, antioxidant-filled fruits and perfectly-cut kibble, rendering this one of the best dog food for German Shepherds.

Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Food

This is best for dogs from 8 weeks – 15 months old and caters to the dietary requirements of German Shepherd puppies. It is a breed-specific dog food, like the adult version of Royal Canin, with ingredients that meet the nutritional and health requirements of the German Shepherd breed.


For German Shepherds, Royal Canin is the best puppy food with an overall balanced energy content to help puppies achieve and sustain an optimal weight. It has complex antioxidants such as vitamin E to encourage the growth of the immune system of puppies along with a healthy growing body. Phosphorus, Calcium, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin are other nutrients in the Royal Canin that develop the healthy bone structure of German Shepherd pups.


For German Shepherd puppies, Royal Canin also features specially made kibble. For a puppy to pick and chew, the kibble is easy. Until swallowing, the optimal kibble size helps puppies break down their food and encourage healthy digestion.

BLUE Wilderness Adult Large Breed Grain Free

The large-breed adult recipe of BLUE Wilderness® contains virtually no grains or by-products. The high-protein formula offers the strength and stamina for your German Shepherd to remain active and balanced for his entire life. 

The protein source is provided by chicken meal, deboned chicken and fish meal. Good carbs come from sweet potatoes and peas. For a strong immune system, blueberries, carrots and cranberries encourage antioxidant-enrichment.


The Blue Wilderness study breaks down to 32% of crude protein, 13% of crude fat, and 7% of crude fiber. Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint protection are both included in the recipe.
Overall, for German Shepherds, Blue Wilderness is one of our favorite dry foods.

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health Dog Food

For more than a decade, the Holistic Select pet food business has been around. One of the values on which Holistic Select thrives is to produce dog food that is 100% safe, high-quality, and that respects dogs’ digestive health systems.


It is because of its excellent health service that we chose this as the best food for the German Shepherd puppy. During the first couple of days, many puppies find it difficult to digest food. With this in mind, the Holistic Puppy Health Dog Food was built. It has a combination of enzymes and probiotics that make it easier to digest for your puppy.


Although the advertisement by Holistic emphasizes the merits of the digestive systems, it is also worth remembering that this dog food is a source of good fats. These are derived, instead of chicken fat, from the whole grains and lean meat of lamb. Chicken fat per se is not unhealthy, but lamb is far more nourishing.

Orijen Original Dry Dog Food

With 85 percent of its ingredients mainly consisting of animal proteins such as turkey, chicken, yellowtail flounder, whole eggs and Atlantic mackerel, among others, this specific Orijen Original formula may well be the best dry food for active German shepherds. Vegetables and fruits are just 15 percent of the ingredients and almost none of the grains, plant proteins and even high glycemic potatoes. This food contains the highest protein content due to its special ingredient composition, making it a great choice for highly active GSDs.


However you may find that this formula may be a little too much for your GSD (and your budget!) if you’re not either teaching or thoroughly exercising your pet every day. You can opt for recipes that are lower in calories and protein in this situation, which are also usually more affordable. On the other hand, this is a great choice if your pup is very busy and you don’t mind spending a little extra on their food.

Precise Holistic Complete Large Breed Adult Formula

A majority of individuals are starting to adopt a holistic lifestyle, including the food they consume. In this campaign, Specific believes that dogs should not be left behind.


The best GSD dog food is, preferably, organic food. That’s because there are zero contaminants and zero meat by-products in products like the Exact Holistic Full Adult Formula. This mix of features ensures your pet’s digestion is smooth.


The Specific Holistic Adult Formula consists of glucosamine and chondroitin in addition to the natural ingredients. For the development of the bones of your dog, these compounds are essential. Often, they keep the joints of your pet lubricated.


There is an abundance of fruit and vegetables such as blueberries and peas in each bag of Precise. This way, to stave off the diseases, your German shepherd has all the essential vitamins and minerals.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Dog Food

The Blue Buffalo food made with quality ingredients such as chicken, wholesome vegetables, fruits and legumes, provides the highly-active adult German Shepherd in your life with plenty of energy and essential nutrients. Your dog will live to its fullest with a bevy of antioxidant-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes, peas, flaxseed,carrots, blueberries, and more.


The kibble also ensures to take care of the coat and skin of your German Shepherd, thanks to the addition of the menhaden fish meals which offer maximum EPA and DHA amounts. This formula can be a great choice for dogs which suffer from different food allergies, since there are no soy, grains, meat by-products or chemical ingredients, although any adult German Shepherds can thrive on it as well.

Purina Beyond Grain-Free Adult Canned Dog Food

If you are concerned about the well-being of your German Shepherd, then you can invest in Purina’s wet food line. While the recipe on the market is relatively fresh, it has already received raving reviews from pet owners.


Many dog breeds are grain-sensitive, including the German Shepherd. Fortunately, canned dog food from Purina is completely grain-free. Alternatively, it is filled with high-quality protein that your pet needs to sustain its healthy muscles.


A variety of recipes and flavors are provided by Purina, all of which contain no preservatives or chemical additives. Purina has in-house nutritionists who before launching the product, run each formula through a test panel of animals.

Nutro Ultra The Superfood Plate

For the majority of German Shepherd breeds, the Superfood Plate by Nutro, packed with veggies and antioxidant-rich fruits plus the nourishing lean protein, is an optimal choice. This recipe, like most contenders, is also free from soy, wheat, and maize.


Instead of carbohydrate content, your pup will get protein chicken, chicken meal and salmon meal, and brown rice, oatmeal, coconut, chia seed, kale, squash, blueberries and many more super-healthy fruits and veggies. This is a low-calorie moderate-protein formulation that is suitable for indoor German Shepherds, while having an assortment of nutritious ingredients.

Royal Canin Giant Junior Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin is a far cry from the mainstream dog food firms, who only seek to make additional money. This company, instead, competes for formulas and excellent taste.


It has a mixture of glucosamine and chondroitin, ingredients that are known to support spine growth. Hip dysplasia is a disease in which many dogs of large breeds are affected. To combat this the Royal Canin Giant Junior has been created.


The fact that it has a complicated mix of antioxidants and vitamins C and E is another benefit of depending on this dog food. These nutrients, along with taurine, not only allow your dog to age healthily, but also improve her immune system.


Your dog will never suffer from heart attacks due to the added L-carnitine. This compound for his nervous system is also excellent.

Merrick Classic Real Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe

Made with basic and natural ingredients, including the first two lamb and salmon meals, plus whole grains such as brown rice, barley and quinoa, the Merric Classic recipe includes all that needs to thrive for your adult German Shepherd.


Apples, carrots, and chia seed are other ingredients, all filled with vitamins and antioxidants needed for a healthy immune system. The formula does not have high levels of protein in it but it is offset by the addition of omega-3s and omega-6s and also a variety of prebiotic ingredients in order to give your German Shepherd an interesting combination of immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory and cardio-enhancing nutrients and supplements. They’re still free of maize, wheat and corn.

Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Wetlands was our top pick due to the wild game proteins in the recipe. Roasted duck, quail and smoked turkey have a rich flavor and easily digestible protein. K9 Strain Probiotics are made especially for dogs and are added to ensure viability during the cooking process. The dried chicory root provides the prebiotic fiber to fuel the energy supply of your German shepherd.


32% crude protein, 18% crude fat, and 4% crude fiber are broken down by the Taste of the Wild Wetlands review. 375 kcal/cup is included in this food.


Many of our strong points for adult German Shepherd food are struck by Taste of the Wild Wetlands.

Tuffy’s Pet Food Nutrisource

Tuffy’s NutriSource, built for large breeds such as the German Shepherd, gives a fresh perspective on what the right German Shepherd food should look like. With its moderate-protein, high-calorie and reduced-fat recipe, it should cater most to pet owners whose dogs are extremely active.


Instead of opting for wholesome barley and rice to give GSDs more readily available energy without spiking their blood sugar, the diet is totally free of soy, maize, and wheat, too. Probiotics and prebiotics, which also help enhance nutrient absorption and overall health and well-being, further promote their digestive health.

Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free

Wellness Total includes a formula for adults equivalent to the formula for puppies. A combination of protein, healthy fats, grain-free carbs, and fuel for energy is found in the grain-free natural recipe. Solid joints are made with glucosamine and chondroitin. Calcium and vitamin A develop healthy teeth and sharp eyes. The digestive system is kept safe and productive by fiber and probiotics. Key chicken, tomato, and flaxseed ingredients include the protein, vitamins, and carbohydrate base that each German Shepherd requires.


The Wellness Full Health analysis breaks down to 30% of crude protein, 12% of crude fat, 6% of crude fiber, and 402kcal/cup. Overall, with the formula and the business as a whole, we are very happy.

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy

Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice formula, specifically made for large breed puppies, including German Shepherd puppies, is guaranteed to help your pup develop into a solid, healthy adult dog.


This recipe only includes high-quality ingredients, including lamb and fish meal for protein content, and whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies as carbohydrate sources, competing for the title of the best food for the German Shepherd puppy. The recipe includes fish meal, brown rice, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, coconut, spinach and many more ingredients filled with antioxidants that help improve immunity, aside from lamb.

Orijen Adult Dog Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Orijen meets all our criteria for German Shepherds for a top-quality adult meal. For solid protein, freeze-dried free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught herring and flounder, and nest-laid eggs top the ingredient list. New fruits and vegetables that are low-glycemic preserve good digestive health and reduce carbohydrates. There is no synthetic protein in the recipe or added fat. Biologically, the recipe is suitable and all ingredients are regional and new. Orijen is never externalized.


The freeze-dried grain-free Orijen contains 36% crude protein, 35% crude fat and 5% crude fiber. 800 mg/kg of glucosamine and chondroitin keeps the joints of your dog solid and stable. Dried chicory root, ginger root, peppermint leaf, dandelion root, and savory summer represent the instinct for grass and weed forage. Orijen is certainly our favourite German Shepherd food for adults.

Things That You Should Consider When Picking The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds

To choose your Shepherd’s best, healthiest food, pay attention to the following things:

The Life Stage of Your Dog

Owing to the unique variations in their physiological processes, adults, puppies, seniors, pregnant and lactating dogs have various dietary requirements. In order to grow properly, a puppy will need more calories, fat and protein, whereas an adult German Shepherd will usually need lower-calorie food that is high to moderately protein rich. Senior dogs may benefit more from a low-calorie moderate protein diet that is supplemented with glucosamine, while German shepherds can benefit more from consuming a high-calorie diet that resembles that of puppies while pregnant and breastfeeding.

Activity Level

On average, around 1,700 to 2,100 calories a day would be needed by an adult active German Shepherd, but a GSD working or participating in very strenuous exercise may need to be bumped to 2,500 calories or even 2,800 calories. About 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day will be needed by GSDs with sedentary lifestyles. When buying dog food, how healthy your pet is is an important thing to consider since you want your pup’s diet to support their needs, not to work against them.

Potential Health Issues

German shepherds can look great, but they are susceptible to some health problems, including hip dysplasia, obesity, bloat, spondylosis deformans, degenerative myelopathy, lupus, and insufficiency of the pancreas, like any other breed. Such health issues should always have to be taken into consideration when it comes to the well being of your dog.


For instance try out foods enriched with chondroitin and glucosamine if you know that your dog is prone to hip dysplasia. With recipes improved with probiotics and prebiotics, bloat prevention can be controlled, whereas with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics, immune-related diseases can be treated. On the other hand, dogs who suffer from different food allergies would do better with simple recipes that include a small number of ingredients.

Unique Health Concerns for German Shepherds

best dog food for german shepherds: Unique health concerns. Picture shows a german shepherd staring at the screen.

Most of the German shepherds in general are healthy pets, but the breed is much more susceptible than other breeds to a variety of minor health issues.


Many of the issues concerning German shepherds are congenital, and are thus beyond your influence. Other health conditions, however, grow in reaction to the environment or lifestyle of your pup, and you may be able to treat these in part by choosing appropriate foods for your pup.

Some of the most frequent ailments affecting German shepherds include:

Perianal Fistulas

Tiny tunnels that form around the anus of a dog that attach the anal glands to the outside world are perianal fistulas. They are incredibly painful, susceptible to infection, and they sometimes exude puss (let’s hope you don’t eat while reading this). In German shepherds, these fistulas are more common than any other breed.

Food Allergies

For having food allergies, German shepherds are infamous. Food allergies usually manifest as dry, itchy eyes, ears or paws, although there are also gastrointestinal signs in certain pets. Canine food allergies arise when a dog’s body misidentifies an inoffensive protein as a pathogen, triggering an unpleasant reaction from within the immune system.

Food Intolerances

Food allergy makes it impossible for German shepherds to digest certain proteins as they should, unlike food allergies, which normally cause skin problems. This may cause them to vomit or have diarrhea.

Hip Dysplasia

Among many large dog breeds, hip dysplasia is prevalent, and German shepherds are no exception. It can be very uncomfortable with hip dysplasia, making it difficult for your dog to get around.

Osteoarthritis

German shepherds, like many other big breeds, also experience osteoarthritis as they age. Joint discomfort induces osteoarthritis, which may limit the mobility of your dog.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A vast majority of German Shepherds suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, which like Crohn’s disease in humans, manifests itself in these dogs. There is some research that shows that the breed could be interconnected with inflammatory bowel disease and perianal fistulas.

Bloat

As most other deep-chested breeds are, German shepherds are at high risk of developing bloat. Bloat is a potentially lethal illness that happens when the stomach or intestines of your dog are bent, trapping gasses inside. While the precise causes of bloat remain poorly known, instead of gulping their food down, it is probably best to allow your dog to eat slowly.


If you think your dog is suffering from either of these problems, please contact your veterinarian. But whether or not your dog suffers from these issues, choosing a dog food that can help you prevent them from developing makes sense.

The Most Frequently Asked Questions In Regards To Feeding German Shepherds

3 German shepherds sitting on a field

How Many Calories Does a Puppy German Shepherd Need?

German Shepherd puppies require the right protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus balance. Ideally, puppy formula would have 18 percent to 22 percent protein content and 8 percent to 12 percent fat content. The formula should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1/1 as well. As they grow, German Shepherd puppies should have 500 calories a day at an increasing pace. He can eat 1,500 to 1,700 calories a day until the pup is a young adult.


Be cautious of formulations that are too high in protein. Puppies can be weak and may have a disturbed stomach or loose stools. In addition, never apply extra calcium to a large breed puppy’s diet. Hip dysplasia early in life is encouraged by too much calcium.

What Nutrients Do German Shepherd Puppies Need?

Until they reach 8 months of age, German Shepherd puppies develop quickly. When they become 18 months old, puppies will continue to develop, but their rate of growth will not be as fast. Therefore to promote bone and muscle development, a healthy immune system, and a good digestive system, German Shepherd puppies need high-quality nutrients. Proper nutrition will decrease common health problems later in life during its puppy stage, such as hip dysplasia, obesity, arthritis, allergies and bloat.


Be sure to feed the food specifically formulated for its breed type: big breed puppy formula, to your German Shepherd puppy. In order for puppies to develop strong and healthy, large breed puppy formulations are formulated with calorie, carbohydrate, and calcium content ratios. Tiny breed formulas, which would leave your German Shepherd puppy malnourished, will have decreased calorie and fat content. Similarly, adult formulations have lower calorie and calcium levels for large breeds (again, making your puppy malnourished) and are made into larger kibbles that your puppy will not be able to comfortably consume or digest. It is vital that you feed the large-breed puppy formula of your German Shepherd puppy.

How Often Should I Feed My German Shepherd Puppy?

Every day, puppies younger than 4 months can eat 4 small meals. Puppies can eat 3 small meals a day for 4 months to 9 months, and puppies will eat 2 to 3 meals per day for 9 months. The total amount of food per day will differ according to the food brand, so read the label and verify to be sure of the right amount with a veterinarian.


DO NOT feed your German shepherd puppy free of charge! This means not filling their bowl with the sum of the whole day and making them eat as much as they want. Puppies do not understand how to contain themselves or the effects of consuming such a large quantity of food and they will consume the whole cup. Eating too much at once can lead to vomiting or worse, bloating.


Be sure to carefully track his weight and overall appearance, no matter what brand or type of food you feed your puppy. When the puppy is very young, a little baby fat is appropriate, but he should slim down and begin to develop muscle tone as he reaches 5 months. If he stays chubby as he grows nearer to 6 months of age, reduce your puppy’s feeding. Additionally, he could have had a food allergy and might require a new formula if your puppy starts to develop itchy skin, patchy hair or loose stool.

How Many Calories Would an Adult German Shepherd Need? 

1,700 – 2,400 calories per day should be consumed by an active adult German Shepherd, whereas only 1,300 – 1,600 calories per day should be consumed by an older adult German Shepherd or ones that are less active. There should be 18 to 24 percent protein and 14 percent fat levels in a good quality food. The protein is expected to come from meat; fish, pork, beef, lamb, chicken or meat (For a higher level of protein, real meat minus the actual moisture). Chicken, canola oil, or flaxseed should also provide food with 5 percent healthy fat. 

Carbohydrate levels should be minimal or a low-glycerin carbohydrate substitute, such as sweet potato, should be used to maintain stable blood sugar levels. For brain and eye growth, DHA is fine. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus, respectively, should be 1.2 parts to 1 part.
In active and working German Shepherds, carbohydrate and fat concentrations are less of a concern because they quickly burn energy and prevent weight gain. Arthritic, senior, overweight and inactive German shepherds should consume dog food with a reduced carbohydrate and fat content.


In general, grain-free food is better for German shepherds, as many have grain allergies. You would know whether your German shepherd seems to have a grain allergy because if he is allergic, then he will pass loose stools after consuming food containing grains.


Look for a food solution containing glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and omegas 3 and 6 for inflammatory management, arthritic pain, trainability, mood enhancement, heart and kidney boost, and maintenance of skin and coat for a good boost.


You can offer your dog essential oil gel caps or Cosequin capsules to improve joint health if you find food that you and your pet want, but it does not contain chondroitin or glucosamine.

What Nutrients Do Adult German Shepherds Need?

German Shepherds have a smaller colon than other dogs of large breeds, which makes it harder to ingest food. Therefore to prevent sensitive stomachs, asthma, hip dysplasia, or bloating, German Shepherds need a specific diet. A combination of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals should be consumed by adult German Shepherds. A high-quality dog food will have the requisite balance of any nutrient, regardless of form.

How Often Should I Feed My Adult German Shepherd?

DO NOT feed a cheap formula of maize, wheat, oats, or rice to your German shepherd. The possibility of Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (commonly known as bloat) caused by these ingredients is high for German Shepherds. Bloat can be lethal. Feeding your dog a formula of maize, wheat, oat, or rice is not worth the expense of the food.


Generally, 2.5 to 3 cups of food a day, twice a day, should be eaten by an active adult German Shepherd. This is a solid starting point, but to get the most precise calculation, consult with your veterinarian and the food brand guidelines.

What Food Should a German Shepherd Never Eat?

You should never feed your German Shepherd animal by-products, fillers, preservatives, grains, soy, or wheat, as mentioned previously. These ingredients will make your dog sick or allergies grow. Do not feed bone meal or corn syrup food to your dog, either.


Check to make sure that expired meat, animal innards, or protein not suitable for human consumption is not fed to him. This is particularly important for a frozen diet that is raw.
Be careful of untrustworthy firms! Check the history of food recalls for your brand. Additionally, to make them look better, some businesses break down bad ingredients into different categories. Ask a vet to make sure that your choice of dog food is appropriate.


Lastly, search for bad ingredients or potential allergens if you encounter any digestive problems such as hair loss, itchy skin, or lack of appetite. Consult a veterinarian at all times, too.

Do German Shepherds Need Special Dog Food?

That depends upon your dog’s age. Adult German shepherds can consume just about ANY quality dog food brand. But shepherd puppies should eat a diet that is suitable for large-breed puppies to help reduce the risk of debilitating hip disease. Check out our perfect dog food for big breeds here.

What Causes Hip Disease In German Shepherds?

In German shepherds, hip dysplasia is caused by up to 3 factors:

  • Overfeeding
  • Genetics
  • Too much dietary calcium

How Can I Lower My German Shepherd’s Risk of Hip Disease?

To further minimize your dog’s risk of hip disease, there are 2 things you CAN do. Don’t overfeed your puppy first. A contributing factor to canine hip disease could be too many calories in the diet. First, pick dog foods for large breed puppies that contain a healthy amount of calcium.

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

German shepherd puppies do not stop growing and are not prepared until they reach 12 to 24 months of age to eat adult food.3 Moving your puppy to adult food too soon may increase the risk of permanent damage to your dog’s hip and joint.

What About Grain-Free Dog Food?

Some dog owners falsely assume that dogs do not digest grains, since wolves are carnivores. There is also a common misconception that some of the best dog food for German Shepherds are grain-free are somehow better than dog foods that contain grains.


Whole grains can be a highly nutritious source of energy, fiber, and important nutrients for most dogs. The time to recommend a grain-free diet is if your dog is diagnosed with an allergy to one or more grains by your veterinarian. And then by having a limited ingredient diet that includes a grain that your dog can handle, you can get around the allergy problem.


A 2018 study by the FDA, which was subsequently revised, indicated a link in dogs between grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). DCM is a genetic heart condition that affects large breeds, including the German shepherd, most generally. For that reason, before feeding your dog a grain-free diet, it is a good idea to check with your veterinarian to get their approval.

Does a Certain Type of Food Help With Gastric Bloat?

Gastric bloat is a benign condition which, without any warning signs, can quickly turn into a deadly complication. Several hypotheses about the production of bloat have been raised, including rapid food intake, feeding pets on high food bowls, drinking too much water right after eating, and doing a very strenuous workout right after a meal. If your German shepherd is susceptible to bloating, then consider to feed them probiotic-enhanced foods. At the same time, try avoiding recipes like broccoli, cabbage, lentils, kale and soy which contain ingredients that could lead to gas formation.

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds: Final Thoughts

a german shepherd looking at you

German Shepherds make for amazing pets. They are wise and trustworthy protectors who are also able to double up as outstanding cuddle-buddies. The least we humans can do is to connect them to the best dog food for German Shepherds that are nutrient-rich and tasty.


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