The 5 Best Canine-Approved Dog Food For German Shepherds

Your handsome German Shepherd dog needs more than just regular dog food to stay healthy and strong. Being muscular, smart and highly active, their nutritional requirements are not the same as other dogs. Add to this the fact that, despite their rugged appearance they have a fussy digestive system. So choosing the right kind of dog food for them is extremely crucial to keeping them healthy and happy.

Don’t go crazy looking at the plethora of dog food sitting on the shelf of the pet food store. We have simplified this task for you by reviewing the top 5 best dog food for German Shepherd.

**Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

German Shepherd Diet & Nutrition Needs

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Older Dogs
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Typical Adults
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Active/Working Dogs

Facts about GSDs

Every breed of dog is different and so it is important to know your dog’s food requirements to give him the right food. Here are some facts about GSDs

  • They have a sensitive intestinal tract
  • They tend to overeatwhich can cause gastro-intestinal distress in GSDs
  • They are more prone to hip dysplasia
  • They have sensitive skin
  • As they are very muscular, the major portion of their diet should include proteins and fat. Make sure that the dog food you choose has at least 18% protein and 5% fat.
  • Choose a brand that makes dog food to suit large breeds like German Shepherds
  • Puppy food is recommended for GSDs only till they are six months old.

How to choose dog food?

1. Type of pet food

Pet food come in different forms and textures. Choose what suits your convenience and your dog’s preference.

  • Dry - Dry pet food is among the most popular form of dog food due to the convenience it offers. It have the following advantages​
    • Nutritionally stable
    • Prevents plaque formation on the teeth
    • Helps build stronger jaws

Dry food come in different types and the common ones are explained below.

    • Kibble – These are dry food that come in different shapes and sizes. They are the easiest to use.​
    • Dehydrated – This is simply dog food from which moisture has been removed. The food is rehydrated by simply adding water upon which they closely resemble real food.
  • Canned – They have a very long shelf life but get easily spoilt once opened. But canned food can be expensive and can also be messy to use if you are travelling or are outdoors. They also do not promote dental hygiene like dry food. [1]
  • Semi-moist – These are good for chewing but do not have a good shelf life like dry foods. They also contain sugars and food coloring that are not good for dogs. [2]
  • Wet – Wet dog food is good for senior dogs that have trouble chewing.

2. Allergens

A very important factor to consider is if there is anything in the dog food that your dog is allergic to.Here is a list of top allergens​

  • Corn
  • Wheat and gluten
  • Seafood
  • Soy

3. Ingredients

No matter how a company might advertise its dog food, you should read the ingredients list. Look for a single ingredient which should make up 95% of the recipe [3]. For e.g. Look for beef or chicken instead of meat.​

4. Proximate Analysis​

On the label look for proximate analysis details which will give you the amount of protein, fat and fiber per serving. This will help you decide if it is the right formulation for your dog. German Shepherds need more protein than other breeds due to their muscular bodies.​

5. AAFCO label​

Finally, look for a label that say that the dog food has been prepared in accordance with the AAFCO’s (Association of Amercian Feed Control Officials) nutritional requirements.​

Why only dog food? Can’t I give my food to my dog?​

Many make the mistake of feeding their dogs with Human food which can be dangerous to the health of German Shepherds and all dogs in general. Here are the things that are a strict no-no when it comes to your canine buddies.​

  • Caffeinated products
  • Chocolate, Gum and candies
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Garlic
  • Avacados, Apple seeds, Cherry, peach and apricot pits
  • Onions
  • Nuts like walnuts, macadamia nuts
  • Salt
  • Certain variety of Mushrooms
  • Dairy products

The list is not an exhaustive one, but in general it is safe to say that it is best to avoid Human food for dogs. Find the right dog food that suits the age and breed type of your fur-friend. You can see the video on human foods that are poisonous to your dog by clicking on the link below.

Review of Top 5 dog food for German Shepherd

1. Merrick Classic Adult Real Beef

Merrick-Classic-Barley-Carrots-30-Pound

Viva: Amazon.com

This dry dog food recipe from Merrick has all the goodness of real beef, barley and carrots. The beef gives the required protein as 60% of the food contains meat proteins. The other 40% is divided equally between fresh produce and whole grains. So you can see that there are absolutely no fillers and every scoop is completely made of all the nutrition your dog needs.

Don’t worry about any bones as only deboned meat is used which is easy to digest for your German Shepherd. It also has Glucosamine and chondroitin which is required for healthy joints for your active fur-pal.You can forget about allergies as there are no soy, corn or wheat products which dogs are usually allergic to. With the necessary vitamins, mineral and antioxidants your dog will always have the energy she needs.​


Pros

  • Easy to digest – The easy-to-digest recipe is especially good for breeds like German Shepherds who have a finicky digestive system
  • Dogs love it –Your dog will love its lip-smacking flavor which is canine-approved
  • Nutrient-rich –This recipe is full of essential nutrients from fatty acids to amino acids
  • Good for the coat –The Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the recipe is extremely good for your dog’s coat

Cons

  • Allergy – Some dogs might develop an allergic reaction or have loose stools to this particular recipe as it has grains and vegetables. In these cases a meat and rice recipe would be a good and a safer substitute.

2. ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Dog Cuisine

ZiwiPeak-Lamb-Dog-Cuisine-11lb

Viva: Amazon.com

If you make sure that everything you eat is only organic or free-range, then naturally you would do the same for your dog too. The best feature of Ziwipeak’s range of dog food is that they are prepared using only free-range meat that is grass-fed.

It is available in a range of meat options from Beef to lamb to Venison and Venison-Fish. So it gives you the option of changing the flavors from time to time. It has a good mix of both raw meat and organs for a well-balanced diet.Therefore, it is rich in protein and fat.

This special recipe from New Zealand has 98% meat, organs and bones for a power-packed food. It also contains 3% green-lipped mussels. This is a rich source of omega fatty acids and works wonders for your dog’s coat and skin.


Pros

  • Less is more –The recipe is nutrient and energy rich so your pet gets more even though the portions are much smaller than raw food or kibble
  • Easy to use – Simply scoop and add to your pet’s dish without the need for any thawing or rehydrating
  • Safe – All germs in the meat are killed during the two-stage air-drying process making the food safe for your pet
  • Non-allergenic –You can feed your dogs with complete peace of mind as there are no allergy causing ingredients like grains, soy, corn, potatoes or sugar.

Cons

  • Sea-food allergy – As it contains mussels, it can cause allergic reactions to dogs that have sea food allergy.

3. Fromm FourStar Dog Food Beef Frittata Veg

Fromm-FourStar-Food-Beef-Frittata

Viva: Amazon.com

Is your dog allergic to grains? Then the Beef Frittata Veg from Fromm is what you need. Every scoop is a hearty meal that is full of the goodness of beef, potatoes, eggs, peas, fruits and farm-fresh vegetables.

The beef provides the protein needed for your German Shepherd while carrots and potatoes give an easy digestible form of carbohydrates.This is just perfect for German Shepherds who have a fragile digestive system. It is perfect for German Shepherds of all ages from pups to adults to elderly dogs. The salmon oil in the recipe has the necessary omega fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat in its best health.

Even if your dog is a picky eater, he will love the flavors of this beef recipe. What’s even better, since it is packed with nutrients and the required calories, your dog will be fed well even if you don’t see a fully clean bowl.

Pros


Cons

  • Grain-free – If your dog is allergic to grains, you can opt for this completely grain-free energy-dense food for your canine friend
  • Tasty – Dogs love the taste of the beef version and will leave shiny clean bowls every time
  • Easy to digest – Not only do carrots and potatoes give easily digestible carbohydrates but the recipe contains added probiotics to aid proper digestion

  • Small pieces – This dry food has tiny pieces which can cause a choking hazard for some dogs that eat voraciously.

4. The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic Grain Dog Food

If you want to give your fur-friend all the goodness of a home-made preparation but without the hassle, then this is for you. The dehydrated dog food from the Honest Kitchen truly gives you boxed dog food minus the extensive processing that some pet food are subjected to.

Only free-range beef is used and the fact that it is human grade speaks for the quality of the food.Whole grains are used for the right amount of protein and calories that are required for adult and senior dogs.

The natural color of the ingredients are preserved during the dehydration process, so the food not only smells good but also looks like real food. Simply add the required amount of water to the food and you are good to serve a warm meal to your fur-friend. It doesn’t get any closer to the real thing.

Pros

  • Easy to digest – German Shepherds can benefit from minimally processed foods such as this as they are easy to digest
  • Non-allergenic – It is completely free of any corn, soy, GMO or wheat products that cause allergies in dogs
  • Real food – Unlike kibbles and other such processed food, dehydrated food are very close to real food and smell like it too when rehydrated
  • Age-specific – The recipe is specifically prepared to suit adult and senior dogs of all breeds and sizes

Cons

  • Rehydration – Though rehydration is as simple as just adding water to the food, you will have to deal with the slobber created by your hungry pet during the process.

5. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Adult dry dog food

HEALTH-NUTRITION-German-Shepherd-30-Pound

Viva: Amazon.com

German Shepherds are known for their sensitive digestive systems. But if you have a particularly extra-sensitive one, then you need food that is specifically made for your dog. Royal Canin’s dry dog food is excellent for senior and adult dogs.

It has proteins that are easily digestible and fiber that prevents fermentation in the gut. German Shepherds also need food that promotes healthy skin and coat as they have an extremely sensitive skin. The nutrients in the recipe ensure that your dog has a healthy skin and coat. What’s even better, it also has the specific nutrients that keep their joints strong.

The kibbles are easy to pick and have a unique shape that promote strong jaws. Your dog will love this recipe made from ranch raised beef, carrots, eggs, greens, potatoes and fruits like cranberries and apples.

Pros

  • Easy to digest – This recipe is specifically formulated to promote digestion in German Shepherds with digestible proteins and fiber
  • Kibble shape – As German Shepherds have strong jaws, the kibble has been shaped to promote chewing and therefore strong jaw bones and muscles
  • Good for skin – The recipe is enriched with EPA and DHA both of which are essential for good skin and coat
  • Healthy joints – As German Shepherds are more prone to hip and joint problems, the recipe has nutrients that promote joint health

Cons

  • Adult dog food – The recipe is suitable only for German Shepherds who are over 15 months of age and so cannot be fed to puppies

Conclusion

Dogs, especially large and sensitive breeds like German Shepherds suffer from digestive issues, joints issues and skin problems due to the food they eat. A carefully prepared food that addresses these specific needs will keep both you and your canine friend.

Many food brands are popular but may not be the best for your dog. That is why we have reviewed 5 of the best dog food for German Shepherd with pros and cons to help you choose the right one for your fur-friend.

The winner of this top 5 roundup is the one from The Honest Kitchen which is as close to real food and is great for adult dogs. The one by Royal Canin is the runner up as it is specifically formulated for GSDs. For a grain-free recipe choose the recipe from Fromm. But if you want something to carry with you on your travel, then the pet food by Ziwipeak packs organic goodness in smaller scoops. Simply grab a pack of Merrick’s dog food for a classic beef recipe that your dogs will love. So which one will you pick?