Top 8 Best dog food for German Shepherd puppy and adult dogs
I know, you are here to find out the best dog food for German Shepherds.
But before knowing the best dog food for German Shepherd puppy and adult dogs, let’s learn a bit about German Shepherd. That will help us to understand this breed much better.
The German shepherd also fondly called GSD is a dog breed that’s energetic, smart, hardworking, and one of the most incredibly beautiful pup around.
Thanks to their thick, luxurious, black-and-tan furs.
It’s no wonder that it is among American’s most loved dogs.
In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, the German shepherd is ranked among the top three breeds in the US, and that’s for a good reason.
For those of us, privileged to own a German shepherd, one thing we all can agree on is that they don’t enjoy lazing about.
They’d instead run around the house, prefer mentally stimulating activities, and of course, enjoy human interactions.
One other thing that’s evident also is that there are a plethora of dog foods on the market professing to be the best for your canine friend. Now, that’s quite a tricky place to be – I know, I’ve been there.
I can tell you, from experience, that it becomes supremely tricky selecting the best dog meals for your pup.
But hey, I’ve got your back, I’m going to share my tricks for selecting food formulas that have served me well, and the best part is, I will show you the specific dog foods I’ve been feeding my dog.
So if you’re ready, let’s get started…
What is the best dog food for German Shepherd?
Thankfully, German shepherds aren’t as prone to allergies as other dog breeds, which are a good thing by the way, since there are a lot more options open to you when it comes to feeding your pet.
You have an ease of mind when introducing new products to your dog without so many concerns about how they would react to it – that’s a real blessing, I can assure you.
The list of top 8 best dog food for German Shepherd
Top 8 best dog food for German Shepherd
Recommended Dog Food Products
From my experience with several dog food products, I’ve whittled down my selection to these 8 products and they cover every stage of the GSD development, so I believe you’ll find a product that’s suitable to your dog no matter their needs.
Orijen Adult Dog Food (Is this the best dog food for German Shepherd?)
The Whole grain Orijen Adult Dog Food is by far the most widely recognized dog food brand on the market today, and it is for a good reason.
Formulated with whole natural ingredients the diet is packed full of all the essential nutrients and in the right quantity that ensures your pets are well nourished.
The food is a source of high-quality proteins as they are meat-based and made from fresh topnotch meat such as cage-free Cobb chicken, a mixture of eggs, and a mesh of sea caught fishes; which makes them biologically suitable for adult dog breeds.
Also, the meal is choked full of vitamins and minerals from the veggies and fruits component of the food.
In fact, an ingredient breakdown of the food shows that two-thirds of the meal is raw meat, it is grain-free to prevent allergies and the remaining 15 percent made of vegetables and fruits.
Another thing going for Orijen is the fact that it is made in Canada, where the standards are strictly enforced.
However, what really stands out for me is that the food is nutritious and has all the essential elements for a German shepherd.
Final Verdict: Though the price is on a high end compared to other GSD foods, Orijen dog food has all the nutrients your German Shepherd need.
Taste of the Wild dog food
Taste of the Wild grain free premium meat dog food surely lives up to its name of providing the wild flavor the furry pets craves for.
Gradually introduced the Taste of the Wild into my GSD’s diet due to how pricey Orijen is, I was initially concerned that she wouldn’t like it; boy was I wrong!
Made from premium wild meats such as roasted Bison, lamb meat, chicken, beef, ocean fish and other rich, high-quality protein sources; sweet potatoes, peas for complex digestible carbs; tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, and other vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals; canola oil as a source of fats.
Other features that make this dog food one of my favorites is the addition of species-specific probiotics that ensure healthy guts and active immune system – this means that your pup gets probiotics that are unique to her system.
And if you’re worried about allergic reactions due to grains, you can rest easy knowing that this product is grain free; also it contains well-balanced omega fatty acids to ensure shiny, healthy skin and coat.
The presence of chelated minerals helps in the absorption of nutrients by your pet; hence helping your canine friend to maximize the benefits this food has to offer.
Precise Holistic Complete Large and Giant Breed Adult Formula
The Holistic lifestyle is the trend now, with many people embracing whole diets. It makes sense then to switch dogs to the holistic lifestyle.
And come to think of it, it’s even better for your pets since their meals are prepared from ingredients that are organically formulated with no chemical additives and no meat by-products.
The Precise dog food is prepared according to the AAFCO adult dog food profile, which means this diet is suitable for mature dogs weighing 50 pounds and above.
Each bag of Precise dog food is rich in glucosamine and chondroitin; these compounds play a crucial role in the absorption of calcium which is essential for the formation of strong bones. They also, help in the production of lubricants to keep the dog’s joints lubricated.
The presence of fruits and vegetables means the food is bursting with vital minerals that are crucial in maintaining shiny coats and also help your German Shepherd fight off illness by improving the immune system.
Nulo Adult Grain-free Dry Dog Food
The German Shepherd thrives when fed with dog food rich in high-quality proteins, fats, essential minerals and vitamins and a dash of carbohydrates.
Nulo Adult grain-free dry dog food is formulated for convenience which means you can prepare quickly and serve your dog without much hassle. And also, to provide a sumptuous nutritious meal.
So you can be sure your canine friend is getting all the nutrients she needs including the amino acids for muscle and cell building, fats for lubricating the joints, carbs for the supply of energy to fuel her active lifestyle, and the vitamins and minerals to boost immunity.
A breakdown of the nutritional content of the food shows that 80 percent of the meal is protein from meat-based sources. A well-balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for brilliant coat and of course, grain, gluten free so you don’t have to worry about allergies.
The manufacturers of this dog food pride themselves in crafting a pet food that’s fillers free doesn’t have preservatives, zero food colorings, and other chemical additives.
Finally, you may be surprised to find that this dog food doesn’t contain any chicken or egg protein; this is because many dog breeds react negatively to egg and chicken products, and others may develop allergies if consumed for a long time.
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Adult Dry dog food
Breed specific dog foods like Royal Canin are designed to cater to the unique needs of a particular dog.
In this case, this product is made especially for the German Shepherd, a large breed that requires an enormous amount of protein, energy pumping foods, and vitamins for developing healthy bones.
This dog food features a unique kibble design, texture, and taste that are tailored to make your GSD run to you for more portion.
Packed full of protein from meat by-product that is 300 times richer in protein than fresh chicken hence ensuring that your pet is well nourished and energetic.
Features of Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult Dry dog food
- Formulated to maximize the inner digestive tract makeup of the GSD hence ensuring improved absorption while also maintaining a balance of the gut fauna.
- Choke full of essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, zinc, Vitamin E, B6, C, B1, and much more which help ensure a healthy skin and brilliant coat.
- Enriched with DHA, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which aid in the production of lubrication for healthy joints.
Orijen Dry Dog Food for puppy
The Orijen dog food brand is widely known for the biologically appropriate pet food they make. It’s unsurprising then that they dominate the premium dog food market.
If you are considering switching to dry foods or intend introducing it into your pet’s diet then, the Orijen original dry dog food is your best bet; that is if you don’t mind the steep price of the product.
In keeping with their reputation of using fresh regional meats and other ingredients, this dry dog food is packed with raw fresh beef for top-quality protein, ocean caught fish, eggs, and chicken that makes the dog satisfied and full of energy all day long.
An analysis of the nutrient content of the food shows that it contains 70 to 80 percent meat with 40 percent fresh meat while containing a mere 18 to 22 percent complex carbohydrates from whole sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, and peas.
Hence, providing an easy to digest, quick to absorb meal the German shepherd can enjoy. Since the feed is grain-free with zero gluten, you can confidently feed your canine friend without fear of risking an allergic reaction.
Blue Wilderness High Protein Dry Adult Dog Food
This dog food Blue wilderness adult dog food is inspired by the idea to provide a meal as close as possible to the ones eaten by dogs in the wild which of course is made up of majorly raw fresh meat, a splash of high fiber complex carbs, and fruits.
That’s designed to satisfy the wild cravings of your German shepherd, keep it feeling full all day and fuel it’s active, energetic activities.
Every pack of these dry dog food recipes is a unique two-part food that’s made of the purest natural ingredients enhanced with a finely blended mix of minerals, vitamins, and a proprietary anti-oxidant rich kibble, prepared under a mild heat to preserve its potency.
No matter the life stage of your pet or whether it’s a large or small breed dog, there’s undoubtedly a recipe formulated for the specific breed. Each containing real high-quality protein source like salmon, chicken, duck.
Also, topnotch well-balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are present to support the development of your German puppy, the inclusion of these two essential nutrients – glucosamine and chondroitin ensure joint mobility while also strengthening the bones to prevent dysplasia.
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food For Healthy Weight and Weight Management
As your furry friends get older they become less active, more sedentary and from my experience taking of dogs, they’d begin to get a bit heavier, gaining more weight, and becoming more prone to illness and injury.
To manage your GSD weight gain, you’d incorporate all of these into your canine companion’s life: take it out for more physical activities and introducing healthy weight management food to combat weight gain.
Here’s where dog foods like Hill’s Science diet dog food come in handy. Gently add a small quantity of the dog food to your pet’s portion until you face out the old food, however, keep a close watch on your dog to identify any changes or discomfort.
The food is designed to help your dog achieve weight loss, maintain optimal weight and improve quality of life and it is made from delicious real lean meat like chicken.
It also includes prebiotic fibers to aid digestion while maintaining the gut fauna balance, a precise blend of vitamins and antioxidants enhances the immune system and primes the dog to fight off illness.
Things to consider before choosing the Best dog food for German shepherd puppy and adult dogs
Before selecting the best dog food for German Shepherd, there are certain things to consider, and they include:
- How old is the dog?
The thing is, age plays a significant role in determining what nutrients and what quantity your dog will need them.
Young growing puppies are more active. They expend more energy and are, of course, still growing.
This means they’d need more high calories than older dogs to supply them with the fuel they need, and a lot more protein to aid in their growth.
Older GSDs add weight more easily, are less active, and hence it’s imperative to cut back on the level of carbs they consume.
Hence, taking into consideration the age of your pet is essential if you must purchase the right dog formula that’s best suited to them.
- What is the Dog’s size?
German shepherds are a generally big breed, which means they can grow to be anything between 70 to 100 pounds.
Fueling and maintaining this massive body size requires a perfect healthy blend of nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
So you see, it is not just enough to feed your GSD any food – it’s vital that you research the nutritional value of the dog foods you intend purchasing to be sure it contains all the nutrients your dog needs and that they are in the right quantity.
- How active is the dog?
The last point to consider before making your purchase is considering how active your German shepherd is.
The reality is if your puppy spends way too much time lying down and sleeping, then she doesn’t require as many calories as a GSD that’s running across the farm field or a service dog.
In a nutshell, I’m saying that the nutritional needs of your pet depend to a large extent on how active they are.
So now you are familiar with some of the factors to consider when deciding on the type of dog food to get for your German shepherd, let us take a look at what actually makes a dog food the best for your pet.
The fact of the matter is, not all dog foods are created equal.
And as far as I can tell, you want the best of the best for your companion, so here are some of the nutritional values to check out before handing out your bucks.
- Protein Content
According to the Association of American Feed Control Organization (AAFCO) recommendations, dog foods for large breeds like GSD should contain between 30 to 40 percent high-quality proteins, with a minimum of 22 percent.
Now the trick is in identifying what’s a high-quality protein. Well, that’s why you’re here, isn’t it?
High-quality proteins are in essence from actual meat based sources, not from those expired meats from the grocery, neither is it those animal by-products nor meats that aren’t fit for human consumption.
Also, the AAFCO recommends that your German shepherd’s food contain between 15 percent to 30 percent animal-based fats.
Due to their health benefits and the vital roles they play in boosting your dog’s metabolism, they are a must-have.
Fats help in the development of healthy bones and joints, the provide lubrication for the internal systems and are crucial in the production of fatty acids that enhance digestion.
- Vitamins and minerals
Though a small portion of your dog’s diet, they are as equally important as the other nutrients.
A well-balanced diet choked full of essential minerals and vitamins ensures that your dog is able to build up a robust immune system to fight off diseases, maintain the shiny, beautiful coat, and ensure they are good-natured.
Also read: Fruits German Shepherds can and cannot eat
There’s a raging debate as to whether carbs should be part of dog’s food due to the different sources they can be obtained.
Some argue that some sources of carbohydrate are harmful to the dogs in the long term.
However, regardless of which side of the debate you’re on, one thing remains, GSD need about 5 to 8 percent of their diet to be carbohydrate.
So for me, I have found carbohydrates from sweet potatoes, rice, barley, and oats particularly good.
While at it, avoid as much as you can carbs from wheat-based products, corn, and soy.
How much should I feed my german Shepherd puppy?
If you are the proud new owner of a puppy, congratulations. You will have an enjoyable time filled with hugs, snuggles and kisses. But let’s get real for a moment.
The first thing that pops in your mind at this moment is, what can I feed my beautiful, cute puppy? And how much food is good enough for a puppy in a day?
In this article, we look at how much food you should feed your puppy every day, and what you need to be looking at in terms of nutrition?
You might be under the misguided assumption that “a dog is a dog” and so the food you feed your puppy should not matter, as long as it is labelled dog food.
Nope! Food specially planned for puppies is very different to dog food that is fed to older dogs.
As the food you feed your puppy in the initial growth phase sets up the foundation for the complete development and transformation into a strong and healthy dog.
Your puppy needs essential nutrients in its food, which will help in the development of its brain, organs and bones.
When compared to adult dogs, puppies need more proteins, fat, calcium and phosphorus, and it needs to get them in proper dosages spread out in the appropriate time.
If a puppy gets too little of a nutrient, it will cause deficiencies, but if it gets too much, it can result in complications that will last it a life-time.
The appropriate amount of food that you need to feed a puppy every day is based on its weight.
When you look at adult dogs, they are fed based on their daily activity, and their current body condition, and you can easily calculate the number of calories that they burn every day.
But with a puppy, most people think that since they are constantly growing, that the quantity of food that they are fed everyday must constantly change.
But that is not entirely true. A puppy must be fed the same quantity of food from around 4 months till a year, because the puppy uses the same amount of calories to grow, and so even as a young dog, will use the same amount of calories to mature.
So, how can you determine how much you need to feed your puppy?
You need to determine the estimated adult weight for your puppy. You can consult your local veterinarian doctor to get the estimated weight for your puppy’s breed, or if you are sure about the calculation, you can do a search on the internet.
Once you do that, you will able to find the required calorie intake for your puppy, for that estimated weight.
Since you know that a young dog will consume the same calories as your puppy, you can estimate the amount of food needed to feed your puppy today.
But remember, don’t just feed your puppy to satisfy some calculated number. Make your judgment based on the amount of food required to maintain its body condition.
How Much Should I Feed My German Shepherd Adult Dog
In the first 12 weeks you can feed your dog as a puppy but once he crosses 12 weeks, you can switch him to an adult dog’s diet.
If you are giving your adult dog a puppy feeding, then it is important to reduce it however if the case is opposite the feeding should be increased.
The feeding requirements heavily depend on the mass and weight of the dog.
If your adult dog weights 60 to 90 lbs then it is important that you provide him with 3 to 4 cups of food every day two times a day that is morning and evening.
The second most important thing to keep in mind is that now your puppy has grown up in to an adult dog and so does not require the same quantity of food that was previously needed to help him grow and get bigger.
It is for this reason you must be careful enough to ensure that you provide your adult dog less food than the amount of food you used to give him as a puppy.
As an adult dog they only need to be fed twice but at least in one meal they should be provided with some egg, cheese, yogurt, milk and some amounts of canned food to ensure better health and nutrition.
Another important thing is to make sure that the quality of food provided is excellent. One great way to check the quality is to smell it.
A Good quality food is most likely to smell like meat and not like corn flakes.
Apart from food, right amount and quantity of water given to your dog is also very important to help ensure the dog is hydrated well and has a healthy digestive system.
Moreover, if you wish to make your dog bigger, then you can feed him 3 times a day and give him plenty of water and milk every day.
Final Verdict on Best dog food for German Shepherd puppy and adult dogs
German shepherds are a joy to have – their endless energy, intelligence, and fierce loyalty are a few of the attributes that have endeared them; however, it’s not all fun and rosy trying to cater for their upkeep.
To many owners figuring out the best dog food for German Shepherd that’s ideal for their pet is indeed a significant source of concern.
I hope though that this article addresses those concerns, from helping them identify the vital nutrients that must be present in any diet they choose for their pet, to the recommended quantity of each nutrient even to elements to avoid.
So let’s take a peek into some of the products I have used over the years and my thoughts on them.