Choosing a great dog food is one of the most important things you can do as a pet owner. Not only should you take into account the quality of the food, but you should also consider your breed’s specific needs. German Shepherd Dogs have different nutritional needs than other dogs. Dietary concerns also include the age and your dog’s overall health.
Look for a food that is Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) compliant and made with high-quality ingredients. The primary ingredient for your puppy should always be an animal-based protein and any “filler” ingredients should be dog-friendly and offer additional nutrition. You don’t want to feed your German Shepherd empty calories.
Finally, choose the food that your dog likes and that you can afford. Medium to larger breeds like GSDs eat a lot, so you need to know you can meet their caloric needs, in addition to choosing high-quality food.
High-Quality Dog Food for German Shepherd Dogs
Dog food companies in the United States must meet AAFCO requirements. Never give your dog food that has not been evaluated by the AAFCO because it has not been evaluated and might not contain the ingredients you think it contains. There’s also a risk that ingredients are not sourced from safe sources.
In addition to feeding high-quality food, it’s also important to know how much your dog needs to eat. If you aren’t sure how much your German Shepherd Dog needs to eat each day, a food calculator can help you estimate its caloric needs based on weight, age, and activity level. Most dog food brands also offer a recommendation for feeding or you can contact your dog’s vet.
As with many large breed dogs, these health issues, especially in the adult German Shepherd, can include:
- allergies (especially food allergies)
- sensitive stomach
- Hip dysplasia
There are mixed opinions on what makes up the “best” or “healthiest” food for your puppy—not to mention what one breed needs might not be right for another. Add to that the fact that different specific dogs, even if they are the same breed, have varying nutritional needs. Choosing the best food for your German Shepherd can feel overwhelming.
The best place to begin is to narrow down your list of choices to a few of the best foods for GSDs. From there you can evaluate what is going to work best for your specific dog.
Our Top Three Picks for Best Foods for GSDs
So, whether you are looking for the latest grain-free dog food, semi-wet food, wet food, dry food, puppy food, or some other high-quality dog food, just what dog food for German Shepherds is best to ensure a well-balanced diet? Read on to find out our top three best dog food reviews.
Orijen makes a breed-specific food for GSDs that contains high-quality proteins such as chicken, turkey, eggs, wild-caught fish, and fruits and vegetables. 85% of the makeup of the food is animal-based ingredients, including bone, bone marrow, muscle, and organ meat. This ensures your GSD is eating a food that provides adequate amounts of amino acids, as well as calcium, phosphorus, glucosamine, and chondroitin, fatty acids, and vitamins A, B, and D, and minerals including iron and zinc.
This food also contains ingredients that might seem a little unorthodox, but are actually quite healthy for German Shepherds including butternut squash, blueberries, cranberries, and licorice. It also contains fenugreek which is good for the health of your dog’s kidneys.
Orijen Adult Dog food uses no preservatives or artificial additives in its food.
Benefits of Orijen
- Ingredients are freshly farmed and fished on a daily basis
- Protects kidney health
- Colon cleansing
- Insulin regulating
- No ingredients come from China
- Some GSDs are picky about foods and might prefer another option
- There are mixed opinions on feeding wheat, so you if you are concerned you should speak to your vet about your specific GSD’s health.
Royal Canin has a reputation for producing high-quality foods that are breed specific. This option is based on the needs of German Shepherd Dogs and includes a mix of vitamins and antioxidants that help them maintain immunity and overall good health.
It’s also an easily digestible food option and contains specific fibers to helps GSDs with intestinal health. This ensures food moves through the digestive system properly and allows for proper nutritional absorption and healthy digestion.
GSDs are prone to sensitive skin and coats, so this food is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which promote healthy coats for this large breed.
This food is also high in glucosamine and chondroitin, which promotes healthy joints. This is important for GSDs because they are prone to hip dysplasia especially as they age. Finally, it promotes brain health because it contains DHA for cognitive development.
Benefits of Royal Canin
- Maintains and supports proper heart health
- Supports stronger bones and joints
- Formulated specifically for GSDs, so it meets your dog’s nutritional requirements
- Tends to be a pricier option, especially when you’re feeding a larger dog like a GSD
Blue Buffalo dog food was created based on the ancestral lineage of dogs. It considers the diet of the wolf and what dogs ate prior to being domesticated and combines that with the needs of today’s domestic dogs.
Blue Buffalo contains LifeSourceBits, which are made up of the exact antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs to support a healthy immune system.
This Blue Buffalo food contains a mix of animal proteins, as well as apples, spinach, pumpkin, and blueberries, so your dog is getting vitamins A and C, lutein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, as well as the protein it needs to stay healthy and active.
This food also contains calcium and phosphorus which promotes strong, healthy bones, as well as glucosamine which reduces stress on joints. This is especially important for breeds that are prone to hip dysplasia. Blue Buffalo is grain free and contains no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
Benefits of Blue Buffalo
- Ingredients are GMO-free
- Contains LifeSource Bits
- Might cause gastric or digestive issues for some dog’s with sensitive stomachs
Choosing the right food for your dog’s diet can go a long way in promoting good health for this large breed. Finding the right food will enhance your dog’s life and increase the odds you’ll have many happy years together.