Best Dog Food for German Shepherds, An In-Depth Review Of 5 Options

April 7, 2022 // 7 minute read

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Need help finding the best dog food for German Shepherds? Well, in this article we dive into 5 top products and provide our ratings, pros & cons, product specifications, and ingredients list.

German Shepherds are a popular breed well-known for their courage, intelligence, and loyalty. They are excellent explorers and detectives and are skilled at investigating with their keen sense of smell and keen observation. They are medium in size, with pointy ears, short-medium fur, and muscularly built.

German Shepherds perform well in large, outdoor spaces, and they are easy to train. They are talented in many skills, including search and rescue tracking, and are frequently hired for police investigations.

If you’re looking for a great family dog, German Shepherds are protective, playful, active, and love to bond with humans. They make excellent guards and are very attentive, though they frequently bark when they are excited or warn when they spot an unfamiliar person or animal.

German Shepherds are very physically active and require frequent exercise. If you have a yard or access to a park and outdoor space for dogs, this is ideal for ensuring your dog gets the required activity to develop and maintain strong bones and muscles.

It’s crucial to support your German Shepherd’s diet with essential nutrients, including quality protein sources, calcium, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Healthy fats are also crucial for supporting your dog’s fur and skin.

You’ll find many fantastic, quality food options for your German Shepherd, from raw food blends to dry kibble and wet food. And, that is possible with our listing of the best dog food for German Shepherds!

5 Best Dog Food for German Shepherds

Best Breed-Specific Nutrition Dog Food for German Shepherds

Royal Canin Breed Nutrition

Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food, 30 lb bag
Price
88%
Quality of ingredients
96%
Nutrients
96%
Product size options
92%
Pet satisfaction
94%
  • Manufacturer: Royal Canin
  • Size: 5 x 20 x 26 inches, and a weight of 30 lbs.
  • Ingredients: Chicken, brown rice, brewers rice, pork, wheat gluten, psyllium seed husk, vegetable oil, pea fiber, calcium, fish oil, dried plain beet pulp, corn gluten meal, oat groats, vitamins E, B1, B6, D3, C, B12, A, marigold extract, copper, zinc, manganese.

Overall Score:

93

The Bottom Line:

Royal Canin Breed Nutrition is a specific formula designed for adult German Shepherds, providing essential nutrients and protein for strength and physical fitness.

What’s Good

  • This formula is suitable for active, large breed dogs
  • Provides protection with omega-rich fatty acids for your dog’s skin and coat health
  • Kibble is designed for easy chewing and healthy digestion
  • EPA and DHA from fish oil supports your dog’s skin barrier
  • It contains all the essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber for purebred German Shepherds 15 months and older
  • Available in three convenient sizes, 17, 28, and 30-pound bags

What’s Bad

  • It’s more expensive than other brands
  • Only available in one flavor blend
  • It contains grains, wheat gluten, and by-products that may cause reactions in dogs with food sensitivities or food allergies

Summary

Royal Canin Breed Nutrition for adult German Shepherds provides all the essential nutrients for a balanced, healthy diet. This product is breed-specific, so your dog will have all the vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and protein needed for proper growth and development through adulthood and into advanced age.

It’s essential to feed your dog at consistent times and portions every day to avoid overeating. This formula is ideal on its own or topped with protein-rich wet dog food or raw meat.

Related Article: Best Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppy

Best Dry Dog Food for Senior German Shepherds

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Large Breed Adult 6+ Senior, Chicken, Barley & Rice Recipe, 33 lb. Bag
Price
90%
Quality of ingredients
97%
Nutrients
97%
Product size options
92%
Pet satisfaction
95%
  • Manufacturer: Hill’s Pet Nutrition Sales Inc.
  • Size:38 x 16 x 6.75 inches, and 33 lbs.
  • Ingredients: Chicken, whole grain oats, corn gluten meal, chicken liver, soybean oil, whole grain corn, vitamins E, D3, B12, A, oat fiber, copper, zinc, potassium, flaxseed, oat fiber, carrots, broccoli, green peas, apples, cranberries.

Overall Score:

94

The Bottom Line:

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is an excellent formula for senior German Shepherds, offering essential nutrients to support digestion, heart, and kidney health.

What’s Good

  • Hill’s Science Diet offers veterinarian and science-backed formulas for dogs of all ages and breeds
  • Specially formulated to meet the unique health needs of senior dogs
  • Recommended by veterinarians
  • Supports joint and bone health with chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Provides excellent protection with omega-six fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • It contains high-quality minerals and vitamins to support heart and kidney health
  • Ideal for all senior large breed dogs
  • Available in two sizes, 15 and 33-pound packs

What’s Bad

  • Available in limited flavor options
  • It contains grains and gluten, which may cause allergic reactions
  • A bit more expensive than other dog food formulas

Summary

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food gives your senior German Shepherd all the nutrients they require for a healthy, well-balanced diet while helping prevent common ailments and medical conditions that occur with age.

Best High Protein Formula for German Shepherds

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Duck 4.5-lb
Price
95%
Quality of ingredients
95%
Nutrients
95%
Product size options
92%
Pet satisfaction
95%
  • Manufacturer: Blue Buffalo Company Ltd
  • Size:75 x 8 x 5 inches, and a size of 4.75 lbs.
  • Ingredients: Chicken, duck, dried tomato pomace, chicken fat, flaxseed, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B7, E, B5, B6, B9, D3, E, manganese, pea starch, calcium, tapioca, fish meal, peas, dried egg product

Overall Score:

94

The Bottom Line:

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dog Food features several sources of high-quality protein to support your adult German Shepherd’s diet.

What’s Good

  • It contains all-natural ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Available in a grain-free formula
  • Includes real duck, which provides all the protein and nutrients to support your dog’s muscle mass
  • Contains healthy carbohydrates, including sweet potato, peas, and carrots, to support your dog’s physical fitness
  • Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Contains no by-products, soy, wheat, or corn
  • Shelf-stable and easy to store
  • Ideal for medium and large breed sizes

What’s Bad

  • Some flavors and package size options may not be consistently available for purchase

Summary

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dog Food is an affordable, high-quality source of protein that supports medium to large-sized adult breed dogs with high muscle mass and strength. It’s an excellent choice for German Shepherds, who thrive on a high-protein diet.

Blue Buffalo products consistently offer exceptional products that meet the needs of your dog’s nutrition while supporting a healthy, active lifestyle.

Best Wet Dog Food for German Shepherds

Purina Pro Plan Wet Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Gravy Wet Dog Food for Large Dogs, Large Breed Beef and Rice Entree - (12) 13 oz. Cans
Price
95%
Quality of ingredients
94%
Nutrients
94%
Product size options
93%
Pet satisfaction
93%
  • Manufacturer: Nestle Purina Pet
  • Size: 3 x 3 x 4.1 inches, and a size of 9.75 lbs.
  • Ingredients: Chicken, beef liver, wheat gluten, calcium, vitamins E, D3, A, B12, C, zinc, rice, potassium, zinc, phosphate, beef.

Overall Score:

94

The Bottom Line:

Purina Pro Plan Wet Dog Food for adult dogs offers a pleasant meat and gravy meal for large breeds. It’s a protein-rich formula ideal for dogs that weigh more than 50 pounds.

What’s Good

  • It contains all the essential nutrients to support healthy bones, joints, and muscles
  • Supports overall health and wellness
  • Made with natural beef and high-quality protein
  • It contains EPA and glucosamine, which supports joint health
  • Includes natural prebiotic fiber, which supports digestion

What’s Bad

  • Some dogs may not prefer wet food or only eat specific blends

Summary

Purina Pro Plan Wet Dog Food is a fantastic protein-rich meal that makes a great alternative to dry food and an excellent topping.

Best Dog Treats for German Shepherds

Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bone

Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones Dog Treats, Beef & Barley Flavor, 11 Bones
Price
92%
Quality of ingredients
98%
Nutrients
96%
Product size options
92%
Pet satisfaction
90%
  • Manufacturer: JM Smucker Company
  • Size: 3 x 7.88 x 9.75 inches, and a size of 1.44 lbs.
  • Ingredients: beef, rice syrup, rice flour, dried plain beet pulp, wheat flour, rosemary extract, dried peas, phosphate, iron, barley, chicken meal

Overall Score:

94

The Bottom Line:

Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bone treats are high-protein, naturally prepared snacks ideal for large breed adult dogs. This brand offers long-lasting chewing and flavor.

What’s Good

  • Ideal for medium to large dog breeds
  • Sourced from US-based high-quality ingredients
  • No by-products, fillers, or artificial flavors
  • Available in mini and regular packages and may be purchased in packs of three, six, or eleven
  • Available in beef with barley, chicken with vegetables, and turkey with rice
  • It offers a long-lasting, satisfying flavor, with a meaty center that’s tender and easy to chew
  • Ranked in the top ten as a best seller in two categories, including dog bones, and dog treats and snacks

What’s Bad

  • Not suitable for a German Shepherd puppy and may be difficult to chew for smaller breeds

Summary

Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bone treats are high in protein and offer an excellent energy boost between meals. They are ideal as a snack during training and provide essential nutrients and a pleasant texture great for your dog’s dental health.

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds: Buyer’s Guide

A German Shepherd dog thrives on protein and nutrients that support its lean, muscular physique. They are naturally athletic and make excellent companions, making it easy to introduce various healthy foods into their diet.

It’s also essential to maintain a regular feeding schedule so that you’ll prevent your dog from overeating or skipping meals. Healthy snacks are an essential part of your pet’s diet, as they make excellent rewards during obedience training and further support your dog’s well-being.

Protein is a significant nutrient in your dog’s diet. They also require omega-rich fatty acids to support their thick coat and skin barrier, as well as vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to support their performance. They are highly active as puppies and adults, and consistent nutritional support is key to a long and healthy life. This is easy to find when you shop for the best dog food for German Shepherds.

Your Dog

German Shepherds are loyal, responsive, and love to play. Their high fitness level allows them to enjoy a rich diet of healthy fat, multiple protein sources from meat and vegetable-based sources, and human-grade food.

Whole grains are not harmful to your dog, and some diets are improved with gluten, soy, wheat, or corn are significantly reduced or eliminated.

A few important options to keep in mind when selecting a high-performance formula for your German Shepherd, including:

  • Any food allergies or sensitivities that may cause a reaction
  • Your dog’s size, age, and weight
  • If your dog trains regularly for work or competitions, it’s ideal to consult a vet nutritionist for recommendations on which foods are best, including the option of a custom meal plan

Suppose you’re concerned about your dog’s health or development and need professional recommendations on a quality brand. In that case, your vet can suggest excellent options and meal plan ideas support your dog’s individual health needs.

In most cases, a solid diet found with the best dog food for German Shepherds contianing all the essential nutrients and without additives or preservatives makes the best food option for your dog’s overall health.

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds FAQs

Which types of meat can my German Shepherd eat?

German Shepherds can safely eat various protein sources, from vegetables, peanuts, and meat. Since dogs are primarily carnivores, they typically eat most, if not all, types of meat.

The best human-grade foods to feed your German Shepherd include eggs, tuna, pork, turkey, chicken, salmon, and beef. You can also feed your dog roasted duck, venison, bison, and wild meats, provided they are not heavily salted or seasoned.

When you feed your dog meat, it’s essential to ensure that it’s fresh and from a quality source. Processed meats and cheeses should be avoided, as they often contain preservatives. You can easily offer cooked ham, turkey, and chicken slices. Canned tuna and salmon are also great options, and they provide valuable oils to support your dog’s fur and skin.

Do German Shepherds eat a lot of food?

Since they are a large breed dog, they typically should eat two cups daily, split into at least two meals. In some cases, where a dog is larger or weighs more, they may eat slightly more, though it’s essential to monitor how much your dog consumes, to maintain a healthy weight throughout adulthood. And weight control is also easier with the best dog food for German Shepherds.

Can German Shepherds eat fruit and vegetables?

Yes. Dogs can generally eat many types of vegetables and fruits, and these provide a significant boost in fiber to support your dog’s digestive system. The best foods to feed your German Shepherd include apples, bananas, watermelon, pumpkins, peas, carrots, and berries.

Is dairy safe for German Shepherds?

Generally, yes, though dairy products should be limited. If your dog enjoys a slice of cheese or yogurt, it’s essential to choose only foods with little or no processing. Yogurt should be unflavored and unsweetened, and the best cheese products to consider include cottage cheese and mozzarella.

If your dog doesn’t handle digesting dairy products well, it may be lactose intolerant. Ideally, cheese, milk, and yogurt are acceptable in small portions and occasionally.

Which foods should I avoid feeding my dog?

Some foods are harmful to dogs, including chocolate, caffeine, grapes, raisins, alcohol, avocados, and certain sugar alternative sweeteners, such as xylitol. Some fruits that contain pits or stones should also be skipped, as the stone is considered poisonous to dogs.

If you’re concerned that your dog may eat food accidentally, it’s best to store them separately or where your pet can’t reach them.

Is it safe to feed your raw dog eggs?

Cooked eggs are safe for dogs and provide a variety of essential nutrients, though there are safety concerns about feeding raw eggs. If your dog follows a raw diet, raw eggs may be suitable if fresh and stored in a cool place, such as the refrigerator, to avoid contamination.

Can German Shepherds eat rice?

Yes, and rice is good for digestion. While some grains may cause allergies or food-sensitive reactions, rice is mild in flavor and blends well with many meat and vegetables, which is ideal for dogs. If you’re reducing your dog’s caloric or carbohydrate intake, brown rice is a great alternative that adds fiber and nutrients to your pet’s diet.

Is raw meat safe for German Shepherds?

Yes. It’s safe and highly nutritious for dogs, and German Shepherds thrive on high-quality raw meat, a top source of protein and nutrients for their development. IF you’re considering a raw diet for your dog and uncertain of how to get started, a vet nutritionist can provide valuable information on which meats and products work best for your dog.

Some dog food formulas include a hybrid of dry kibble and freeze-dried raw meat, which is an excellent way to introduce your dog to a raw meat diet. You can also supplement your German Shepherd’s diet with lots of fresh vegetable fruits. It’s also vital to keep a fresh bowl of water available at all times for your dog.

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds Final Thoughts

We hope that you were able to find the best dog food for German Shepherds in this article. If you’d like us to review another product, please feel free to contact us!

4.9/5 - (7 votes)

Amazon Best Rated Products - Last Updated on 2022-09-24. DISCLAIMER: Some or all of the product links on this page are affiliate links. The operator of this website received a small commission if you purchase products through these links, HOWEVER, there is no added cost to you. These commissions help to fund the operation of this FurryFriendsGear.com

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