Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
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Originally bred in Germany as a breed of working dogs to oversee livestock, German Shepherds are highly intelligent, active, loyal, and easy to train breed.
When considering shopping for this breed, know that these canine friends belong to a family of large, active, energetic, and well-muscled dogs.
German Shepherd’s food should contain high-quality ingredients that are packed with essential macronutrients and vitamins.
In this article, we will discuss the German Shepherd’s nutritional needs and some tips for choosing the best dog food to meet them.
At A Glance Best Dog Food For German Shepherds To Buy:
Compare Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
BEST FOR ALLERGIES
2. Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
BEST FOR WEIGHT LOSS
3. Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food
BEST FOR SENIORS
4. Eukanuba Senior Lamb 1st Ingredient Dry Dog Food
BEST FOR PUPPIES
5. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food
Dietary Needs Of German Shepherds
All dogs have the same basic nutritional needs for protein, fat, and nutrients. What you may not realize, however, is that dogs of different sizes have different needs when it comes to the ratio of those nutrients.
German Shepherds also need more calories than smaller dogs but fewer per pound of body weight.
Here are some of the top things to look for in a large breed of dog food:
- High-Quality Protein – Protein is the most important nutrient for any dog, but it is particularly important for large breed dogs to maintain lean muscle mass. Look for premium animal sources for protein.
- Moderate Fat – Fat provides your dog with a concentrated source of energy as well as essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, but you want to keep the content moderate to avoid feeding your dog so many calories that he becomes obese.
- Joint Support – Large breed dogs have a higher risk for bone and joint problems than smaller breeds, so look for a recipe that contains joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Digestibility – Many large-breed dogs have sensitive stomachs, so you want to make sure that the recipe you choose is made with digestible ingredients and free from low-quality fillers and artificial additives that could upset your stomach.
Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best dog food for large breeds. Here’s what you need to know:
The Top 5 Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 32.0% Min
- Fat: 18.0% Min
- Fiber: 4.0% Max
- Calories: 370 kcal/cup
- Grain free dog food
- Reduces allergies in dogs
- Nutrient-dense and calorie-dense
- There are issues with stocking due to delay delivery
- No resealable strip or zipper to keep it airtight
It comes with a unique taste of the wild with roasted bison. Its number one ingredient is real meat with the optimal amino acid profile. This formula is a natural food full of essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, fruits and vegetables serve as superfoods for natural antioxidants.
It is also nutrient rich and highly digestible with guaranteed species-specific, probiotics that survive and thrive in the GI tract.
Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 26.0% Min
- Fat: 16.0% Min
- Fiber: 4.0% Max
- Calories: 429 kcal/cup
- Easy on the stomach
- Rich in animal protein
- High in healthy fats
- Inconsistent volume of food in the bags
The product also contains no corn, wheat or soy that may trigger allergies in German Shepherds. Some of its other ingredients such as rice and oatmeal give easily digestible sources of carbs. While fish oil serves as a source of EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid that offers support for healthy joints and mobility.
Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 21% Min
- Fat: 12% Min
- Fiber: 4% Max
- Calories: 382 kcal/cup
- Reasonably priced
- Single source of protein and carbohydrate
- Prevents stomach issues
- May not help with skin issues
Additionally, it is a clinically proven blend of antioxidants with adequate vitamins C and E that support a strong immune system in dogs. This Hill’s Science formula is also full of high quality, easily digestible ingredients that provide complete and balanced nutrition. This consequently helps maintain your pup’s body weight balance.
Eukanuba Senior Lamb 1st Ingredient Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 27.0% Min
- Fat: 12.0% Min
- Fiber: 3.5% Max
- Calories: 359 kcal/cup
- Has glucosamine and chondroitin for joints
- Low-calorie recipe
- Easy on delicate stomachs
- Some dogs do not like kibble size
It also delivers 100% complete and balanced nutrition for senior maintenance with 0% filler.
The product has a lot of antioxidants that promote a strong immune system. This Eukanuba formula comes with an excellent blend of fats, carbs, and vitamins that promote healthy sustained energy levels.
Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 29.0% Min
- Fat: 13.0% Min
- Fiber: 5.0% Max
- Calories: 366 kcal/cup
- Supports dental health
- Recommended by vets
- Chelated minerals
- Bag closure can be difficult
It is well made to contain an adequate level of protein, fat, carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals that help support puppy German Shepherds’ overall health and vitality.
This formula is prepared with natural and delicious ingredients to offer a guaranteed taste that your puppy will fall in love with. It generally supports growing puppy’s teeth and bone, healthy muscle growth, and optimum nutrient absorption.
How To Choose The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds?
The best place to start when looking for the best dog food for large breeds is a high-quality diet formulated for large-breed dogs.
This will help ensure that your dog gets the protein it needs to build healthy muscle without so much fat that it becomes overweight or obese. When it comes to protein and fat, your German Shepherd will be able to digest animal-based ingredients better than plant-based ingredients. In terms of specific nutritional needs, your German Shepherd requires at least 18% crude protein, 5% crude fat, and no more than 5% fiber in its diet. That is the bare minimum, however, so keep that in mind.
Meat, poultry, and fish are excellent sources of protein for dogs, and healthy fats include things like chicken fat and salmon oil. Your German Shepherd can digest certain carbohydrates as well, like whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes, but protein should be the star of its diet.
In addition to protein, fat, and digestible carbohydrates, your large-breed dog can benefit from certain supplements.
Probiotics, for example, help to ensure smooth and regular digestion, while chelated minerals provide a biologically valuable source of key nutrients. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also important for German Shepherd dogs to support their bone and joint health.
How Much Should You Feed Your German Shepherd By Age?
With the right amount of essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins, the best way to measure how much you should feed your dog is through the measure of calorie intake.
- Puppies grow so fast – This means that they need a high level of daily intake of calories. Ideally, they will need 40 calories per pound in a day. Thus, a puppy weighing 40 pounds will, on average, have about 1,600 calories per day.
- Adults are very active both physically and mentally – It is therefore important that they are fed adequately. An average adult of this breed will need a large amount of calories, at least 1,500 calories, in his diet. Moreover, a very active adult will need 30 calories per pound, meaning around a total of 2,100 calories.
- Seniors need fewer calorie intake due to less activity and poor body metabolism – Pet nutritionists often recommend that your German Shepherd eat less than 20 calories per pound of weight, meaning they should be eating, on average, about 1,200 calories per day.
German Shepherd Food-Related Health Issues to Watch For
German Shepherds are usually very strong and healthy dogs. However, there are a number of health challenges that may affect this breed. Here are some of the common health issues that your dog may be prone to:
- Food Allergies – German Shepherds are a breed known for having food allergies. Some of the symptoms that they often exhibit as a result of this health condition are dry and itchy ears, skin, and/or paws.
- Hip Dysplasia – Larger dogs like German Shepherds are normally prone to hip Dysplasia. In fact, it is the primary health concern for this particular dog breed. People describe is as the malformation of the joint. It often gets worse for dogs that are obese. The best way to manage this health issue is by feeding your dog with food that uses a weight management recipe.
- Bloat – As part of deep-chested breeds, German Shepherds stand a high risk of having bloat. This condition occurs when their stomachs or intestines get twisted, thereby trapping gasses in. One cause of bloat is the gulping of food down the throat. That is why it is advisable to train your canine friend how to eat slowly.
- Perianal Fistulas – These are small tunnels that are found around a German Shepherd’s anus linking the anal glands to the exterior. They can be very painful to these dogs and are also quite common among this breed.
Selecting the best dog food for your German Shepherd should be simple with the right information. Understanding your dog’s breed and health can help choose the right food for your pup. As mentioned, German Shepherds are extremely active and energetic; therefore, sticking with a high-quality ingredient food is best.