When it comes to feeding your German Shepherd, choosing the right dog food is crucial for their health and well-being. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know which dog food is best. German Shepherds are a large, active breed that requires a nutrient-dense diet to support their physical activity and maintain their muscle mass. In this context, it is important to select a dog food that meets their specific nutritional needs. In this article, we will discuss some of the factors to consider when choosing the best dog food for German Shepherds and provide some recommended brands to help you make an informed decision.

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German Shepherds are an enormous breed of dogs known for their wolf-like highlights. They are beautiful dogs with a tan or dark coat. They are exceptionally faithful to their owners making them one of the great dog pets. in addition they are a favorite of law enforces because they can be trained without much effort plus their big size is also an added advantage.

This breed weighs approximately 60 to 80 pounds (27 to 36 Kg). Most of their weight comes from their muscles and solid bones. besides the fact that the German Shepherds are athletic and very active dogs. They are also possessed unusual strength and intelligence.

Best Dog food for German Shepherds

Best Dog food for German Shepherds
Photo by Utopix Pictures
  1. Look for high-quality animal protein sources

Protein is an essential component of a dog’s diet, and it plays a critical role in supporting their overall health and well-being. In particular, protein is important for building and maintaining muscle mass, supporting healthy immune function, and helping to repair tissues and cells throughout the body. German Shepherds are a large, active breed that requires a nutrient-dense diet to support their physical activity and maintain their muscle mass. As such, it’s important to choose a dog food that provides a high-quality source of animal protein.

High-quality animal proteins are typically derived from sources such as chicken, beef, lamb, fish, or eggs. These animal-based proteins contain all of the essential amino acids that your dog needs for optimal health, which are the building blocks of protein. Additionally, animal-based proteins are more digestible for dogs than plant-based proteins, which are often lower in quality.

When selecting a dog food for your German Shepherd, it’s important to check the ingredients list to ensure that the first few ingredients are high-quality animal protein sources. This is because ingredients are listed in order of weight, with the heaviest ingredients listed first. If the first few ingredients are plant-based or low-quality animal proteins such as by-products or meal, this may indicate that the dog food is of lower quality.

  1. Choose a dog food formulated for large breed dogs

German Shepherds are considered a large breed of dog and therefore have different nutritional needs compared to smaller breeds.

Dog food formulated for large breed dogs is designed to meet these specific nutritional needs. For instance, large breed dog food contains a lower calorie and fat content compared to regular dog food. This helps to prevent obesity, which is a common issue in large breed dogs. In addition, large breed dog food contains a higher protein content to support their muscle mass and physical activity.

One of the most significant benefits of choosing dog food formulated for large breed dogs is that it usually contains ingredients that support joint health and mobility. German Shepherds, like most large breeds, are susceptible to joint problems, such as hip dysplasia, which can lead to pain and discomfort in your dog.

 

 

Therefore, the joint-supporting ingredients in large breed dog food are essential in maintaining your dog’s mobility and preventing joint problems. These ingredients include glucosamine and chondroitin, which help to keep your dog’s joints healthy and strong.

It is also worth noting that large breed dog food is designed to be easier for your dog to digest. Large breeds often experience digestive issues such as bloating, which can be life-threatening. Therefore, large breed dog food has a balanced blend of ingredients that are gentle on your dog’s digestive system.

It’s important to note that not all dog food formulated for large breed dogs is created equal. You should still read the ingredients list and nutritional information on the packaging to ensure that the dog food is high-quality and meets your dog’s specific nutritional needs.

In summary, when choosing a dog food for your German Shepherd, it is important to select a brand that is specifically formulated for large breed dogs. These dog foods have a lower calorie and fat content, a higher protein content, and contain ingredients that support joint health and mobility. Choosing dog food formulated for large breed dogs can help prevent obesity and joint problems, keep your dog’s digestive system healthy, and promote overall health and well-being.

  1. Avoid fillers, artificial preservatives, and additives

Fillers are ingredients in dog food that are added to increase the volume of the food without adding any nutritional value. Common fillers include corn, wheat, and soy. These ingredients are not easily digestible by dogs and can lead to digestive issues, including diarrhea and bloating.

Artificial preservatives and additives are used to extend the shelf life of dog food and improve its taste and texture. However, some of these ingredients can be harmful to your dog’s health, especially when consumed over an extended period. For example, some preservatives, such as BHA and BHT, have been linked to cancer and other health problems.

It is essential to read the ingredient list on the packaging carefully. A high-quality dog food should contain meat as the primary ingredient, followed by other protein sources, such as fish or eggs. Look for dog food that has whole food sources listed as ingredients, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and blueberries.

When selecting dog food, you should also be aware of any allergens your dog may have. Common allergens for dogs include wheat, corn, and soy. If your dog has a food allergy or sensitivity, you should choose dog food that does not contain those ingredients.

In summary, it is essential to avoid dog food that contains fillers, artificial preservatives, and additives. These ingredients can cause digestive problems, allergies, and potentially harm your dog’s health over time. When selecting dog food, you should choose high-quality dog food that has meat as the primary ingredient, whole food sources, and does not contain common allergens. It’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations on dog food brands that are appropriate for your German Shepherd.

  1. Consider a grain-free diet for dogs with sensitivities or allergies

Some German Shepherds may have food sensitivities or allergies, and grains can be a common allergen. In these cases, a grain-free diet may be a good option to alleviate symptoms such as itching, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Grain-free dog food is made without any grains, including wheat, corn, and soy. Instead, these dog foods use alternative sources of carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, peas, and chickpeas. This makes grain-free dog food easier for some dogs to digest and can reduce the risk of digestive issues.

In addition to being beneficial for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies, grain-free dog food can also be beneficial for dogs with high energy levels. The alternative sources of carbohydrates used in grain-free dog food provide long-lasting energy that can help maintain your dog’s high activity level throughout the day.

 

 

It’s important to note that not all dogs need a grain-free diet. While some dogs may have food sensitivities or allergies, the majority of dogs can digest grains without issue. In fact, grains can provide important nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants.

Before switching to a grain-free diet, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. They can help determine whether a grain-free diet is necessary for your German Shepherd and recommend a high-quality grain-free dog food that meets your dog’s nutritional needs.

In summary, a grain-free diet may be a good option for German Shepherds with food sensitivities or allergies. Grain-free dog food is made without any grains and uses alternative sources of carbohydrates. Grain-free dog food can also provide long-lasting energy, making it a good option for high-energy dogs. However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before switching to a grain-free diet to ensure that it is necessary and meets your dog’s nutritional needs.

  1. Look for essential vitamins and minerals

Like humans, dogs need essential vitamins and minerals to maintain optimal health and well-being. A balanced diet that includes these nutrients can help keep your dog healthy and prevent health problems.

Here are some essential vitamins and minerals that your German Shepherd needs:

  1. Vitamin A: This vitamin is essential for healthy vision, immune function, and skin and coat health.
  2. Vitamin D: This vitamin helps your dog’s body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for strong bones and teeth.
  3. Vitamin E: This vitamin is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. It’s also important for immune function.

  4. Vitamin B12: This vitamin is important for healthy nerve function, red blood cell production, and energy metabolism.
  5. Calcium: This mineral is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
  6. Phosphorus: This mineral works with calcium to maintain healthy bones and teeth. It’s also important for energy metabolism.
  7. Iron: This mineral is important for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body.

When selecting dog food for your German Shepherd, look for high-quality dog food that includes these essential vitamins and minerals. Many dog foods will list the vitamins and minerals that they contain on the packaging, so be sure to read the label carefully.

It’s also important to note that some dog foods may include too much of certain vitamins and minerals, which can be harmful to your dog’s health. For example, too much calcium can lead to skeletal problems, while too much vitamin D can lead to toxicity. It’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals for your German Shepherd.

  1. Consult with your veterinarian

Your veterinarian is an important resource when it comes to making decisions about your dog’s nutrition. They can help you select a high-quality dog food that meets your dog’s nutritional needs and ensure that your dog is getting the right balance of nutrients.

Here are some reasons why it’s important to consult with your veterinarian:

  1. Your veterinarian knows your dog’s health history: Your veterinarian knows your dog’s health history and can help identify any health problems or conditions that may impact your dog’s nutritional needs. For example, if your dog has a history of kidney problems, your veterinarian can recommend a dog food that is low in protein to help prevent further damage to the kidneys.
  2. Your veterinarian can recommend a specific dog food: Your veterinarian can recommend a dog food that is appropriate for your dog’s age, breed, and activity level. They can also recommend a dog food that is free from common allergens, such as chicken or grains, if your dog has food sensitivities or allergies.
  3. Your veterinarian can help monitor your dog’s weight: Obesity is a common problem in dogs and can lead to a variety of health problems. Your veterinarian can help monitor your dog’s weight and make recommendations about the appropriate amount of food to feed your dog to help maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Your veterinarian can monitor your dog’s overall health: Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help ensure that your dog is healthy and receiving the appropriate nutrition. If your dog is not getting the right balance of nutrients, your veterinarian can recommend dietary changes or supplements to help address any deficiencies.

In summary, consulting with your veterinarian is an important step when selecting dog food for your German Shepherd. Your veterinarian can help identify any health problems or conditions that may impact your dog’s nutritional needs and recommend a dog food that is appropriate for your dog’s age, breed, and activity level. They can also help monitor your dog’s weight and overall health to ensure that your dog is healthy and receiving the appropriate nutrition.

 

What are the Nutritional Needs of a German shepherd?

What are the Nutritional Needs of a German shepherd?
Photo by Kalisson
German Shepherds are an active breed of dog that requires a balanced and nutrient-dense diet to maintain their health and well-being.

With strong and solid muscular bodies that the German Shepherds have, they need high-quality nutrition to keep up their energy requirements.
There is no wonder that they need a high-quality protein diet that supports their overall energy requirement.  They also need protein for muscle strength and development and additional fat to supply energy.
German Shepherds needs a minimum of 22% of protein for their growth while adult dogs need a maintenance protein of 18%.  They also need 8% of fats for puppies and 5% for adults to support their energy requirements.
Typically, German Shepherds needs an average of 1740 and 2100 caloric intake per day.  While less active and older dogs may require a lesser calorie count.
Here are some of the nutritional needs of a German Shepherd:
  1. Protein:

    Protein is one of the most critical components of a dog’s diet, as it is essential for building and repairing tissues and muscles. German Shepherds are an active breed and require a higher amount of protein than some other breeds to maintain their muscle mass and support their physical activity.

    A diet with a protein content of around 22% to 24% is generally considered ideal for adult German Shepherds. The protein should come from high-quality sources such as meat, fish, and poultry. It’s important to note that some dogs may have specific protein requirements due to health conditions or other factors, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best protein sources and amount for your dog’s individual needs.

  2. Fat:
    Fat is essential for providing energy and supporting healthy skin and coat. A diet with 12% to 18% fat content is ideal for adult German Shepherds.

  3. Carbohydrates:
    Carbohydrates provide energy for the dog’s daily activities. It is essential to ensure that the carbohydrates in the diet come from quality sources such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and peas.
  4. Vitamins and minerals:
    German Shepherds require a variety of vitamins and minerals to support their overall health. Some essential vitamins and minerals include Vitamin A, B complex vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Zinc.
  5. Water:
    German Shepherds need access to clean and fresh water at all times.

It is essential to feed your German Shepherd a diet that is specific to their age, weight, and activity level. Additionally, it is always advisable to consult with your veterinarian for guidance on your dog’s specific nutritional needs.

One of the great things about German Shepherds is that they grow fast so you don’t have to invest too much on puppy’s specific dog foods.  Usually, you can switch to an adult diet within six months’.  Changing to adult formula after they reach the age of 6 months will prevent any joint and bone issues that are usually seen in animals who grow rapidly.

Best Dog food for German Shepherd Puppies?

 

Best Dog food for German Shepherd Puppies?
Photo by Artūras Kokorevas
German shepherd puppies also need the same consideration as their dad and mom.  They grow fast so they also need high-quality proteins.  As much as possible, but you should avoid exposing them to common irritants and allergens.
Selecting the best dog food for German Shepherd puppies is important for their growth and development. German Shepherd puppies have unique nutritional needs that differ from adult dogs, so it's important to choose a dog food that is specifically formulated for puppies. 
Here are some factors to consider when selecting dog food for your German Shepherd puppy:
  1. Protein: Protein is important for the growth and development of your German Shepherd puppy’s muscles, bones, and organs. Look for a dog food that contains high-quality animal protein sources, such as chicken, beef, or lamb. The Association of American Feed Control Officials – AAFCO recommends a minimum of 22% protein for puppies.
  2. Fat: Fat is important for your German Shepherd puppy’s energy levels and brain development. Look for a dog food that contains moderate levels of fat, around 8-12%. Avoid dog foods that contain excessive amounts of fat, as this can lead to obesity.
  3. Calcium and phosphorus: Calcium and phosphorus are important for the development of strong bones and teeth. Look for a dog food that contains appropriate levels of these minerals, with a calcium to phosphorus ratio of around 1.2:1.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are important for your German Shepherd puppy’s brain development and can help reduce inflammation. Look for a dog food that contains a source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil.
  5. DHA: DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is important for your German Shepherd puppy’s brain and eye development. Look for a dog food that contains a source of DHA, such as fish oil or algae.
  6. Vitamins and minerals: Your German Shepherd puppy needs a balanced diet that contains essential vitamins and minerals. Look for a dog food that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and iron.

Here are some recommended dog food brands for German Shepherd puppies:

  1. Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food
  2. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe Dry Dog Food
  3. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
  4. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food
  5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe

Remember, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian when selecting dog food for your German Shepherd puppy. They can help you determine the appropriate type and amount of food for your puppy’s specific needs.

Recommended Dog Food Brands for German Shepherds

Every dog is unique. So you need to look for a dog food that provides for their individual needs.  Some of the recommended foods for German Shepherds include:
  • Orjen Adult Dog Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The Orjen Adult Dog Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is one of the high quality and most respected brands on the dog food market.  There may be lots of premium brands in the market but what sets this brand apart is that it features a meticulous preparation and care in each of its products.
This brand is highly recommended for adult German Shepherds because it targets every nutritional requirement of this breed.  It offers high protein content from quality sources, lots of essential vitamins and minerals, and grain-free to prevent the onset of allergy.  With Orijen, you can be assured that your dog will achieve their optimum health.
Orijen may be a bit pricey compared with other brands but you can be assured that every dollar you pay for this product is worth it.  German Shepherds may consume approximately 2 cups of food a day depending on their weight and activity level. So one bag of Orijen may usually last for about a month.
  • Taste of the Wild, Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

⚬ The Taste of the Wild, Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is one of the best-selling dog food brands online.  Dog owners love this product because of its great quality at a reasonable price. The product is made in the USA and it is also grain-free.
⚬ This is perfect for your German shepherd with a sensitive stomach and skin allergies because it doesn’t contain typical ingredients that cause bloating and itching. The best thing about this product is that you are not sacrificing the quality of the product at a fair price.
Some say that this brand is a suitable competitor to Orijen.  The price is nearly half when you compare it with other premium brands.

  • Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food

The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food is best for all-life stages meaning in both puppies and adult dogs.  It has limited ingredients so it won’t cause any allergic reactions to your dog.  This product is also made in USA so it is of high and premium quality. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, skin allergies, and other skin issues, you may try this out!

 

Bottom line

Selecting the best dog food for your German Shepherd is crucial for their health and well-being. German Shepherds have unique nutritional needs that require careful consideration when choosing a dog food. Some important factors to consider include protein sources, fat content, calcium and phosphorus levels, omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and essential vitamins and minerals. It is also important to choose a dog food that is appropriate for your German Shepherd’s life stage, whether it be a puppy, adult, or senior.

When selecting a dog food for your German Shepherd, it’s important to choose a high-quality brand that uses premium ingredients and avoids fillers, artificial preservatives, and additives. Additionally, it’s recommended to choose a dog food that is specifically formulated for large breed dogs, as this will help ensure that your German Shepherd is getting the appropriate balance of nutrients.

Ultimately, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian when selecting dog food for your German Shepherd. They can provide guidance on the appropriate type and amount of food for your dog’s specific needs, and can also help monitor your dog’s health and make adjustments to their diet if necessary.

By taking the time to carefully select the best dog food for your German Shepherd, you can help ensure that they live a healthy, happy life.