Best Dog Food for German Shepherds
If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best food for German Shepherd Dogs is, then we recommend Fromm Four-star German Shepherd Dog Food Beef Frittata Veg as the best one.
German shepherds dogs (GSD) play a vital role in society. You’ll find them as part of police rescue units, disability guides, and as part of our families.
By the very nature of their work and high levels of activity, they have special nutritional requirements. They have bigger bodies, more advanced nervous systems, and denser bones than most other breeds of dogs.
It is your role to provide the best nutrition for your dog. With this in mind, we have compiled this review to act as your guide.
Here’s a quick overview of the recommended formulas we’ll review in this article:
- Merrick Classic Adult Real Beef
- Royal Canine Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd
- Taste of the Wild Canine Formula
- Fromm Four-star Dog Food Beef Frittata Veg
- Redpaw X-Series Fitness
Important Facts about German Shepherds (GSDs)
German Shepherds are known for their distinctive black and tan coat. In addition, they have features akin to those of their wilder cousins, the wolves.
They are courageous, fiercely protective, and highly trainable. It is no wonder, then that they are a favorite with security units and the more active families.
It is important that you understand the unique personality of your GSD so that you can be responsive to his nutritional need.
However, here are some things that are common to most GSDs.
- Their skins are sensitive
- Have sensitive digestive systems
- Are prone to gastrointestinal distress
- Are susceptible to dysplasia
- They are very muscular
This last fact means that you must feed them a diet that is rich in proteins and fat. In fact, animal experts contend that the best food should constitute not less than 20% protein and 5% fat.
Settle only for a product that suits the large physique of your GSD.
German Shepherd Food and Nutrition
According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, a German Shepherd requires a caloric intake of between 1740 and 2100 on a daily basis.
But, you and I know that each dog is unique. As such, its dietary needs can vary depending on a number of factors. This includes their sensitivities, health status, level of activity, and age.
All the same, whatever diet you settle for must take into account the following:
What’s the Source of Meat Proteins?
Protein is the most important component of your GSD’s meal. Thus, ensure that the manufacturer of your product offers a high-quality source of proteins.
Check for lamb, fish, beef, and chicken meat in the ingredients. Another good source is meat meals. This meat has very little moisture content.
The AAFCO is of the opinion that you should feed your German Shepherd puppy a diet with at least 22% protein content. On the other hand, the adult GSDs should eat a diet with at least 18% protein.
To get the percentage of protein in a diet, just check the guaranteed analysis on the package of the product.
What’s the Source of Fat?
Fat is an integral component in your dog’s meal. According to AAFCO, GSD puppies should eat food with 8% fat, while for adults it’s 5%
As such, ensure that you use products with reputable sources of fat.
You can get good quality fat from products that have Chicken fat, flaxseed, and canola oil as part of their ingredients.
Does the Diet Contain Omega-3’s
Fatty acids are equally important for their general wellbeing. They are responsible for their healthy, shiny skin and coat.
The DHA Omega-3 helps your dog develop sharp eyes and a robust brain.
Ensure Adequate Phosphorus to Calcium Ratio
Both Calcium and phosphorous are crucial as part of dog food. However, an excess or shortage of either can have a detrimental effect.
For example, the dog might develop bone spurs and such other painful orthopedic challenges.
Your GSD needs a diet with a phosphorus-Calcium ratio of 1:1.2.
Avoid any products that have the following:
- Preservatives, fillers, and animal by-products
- A history of recalls
- Allergens like wheat, soy, and grains
Our German Shepherd Dog Dietary Recommendations
Your GSD is unique in its own way. You need to consider its peculiarities as you look for the products to purchase. Whenever in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult your vet for guidance.
We have made a compilation of some most recommended dog food for your German Shepherd Dog.
THE TOP 5 BEST FOOD FOR GERMAN SHEPHERDS
This product boasts of having carrots, barley, and real beef as part of its ingredients. Its ingredients are made up of 60% meat protein.
The remainder 40% is divided equally between whole grains (20%) and fresh produce (20%).
Its key ingredient is deboned beef. This means that your dog will find it easy to digest the meal. Also, it has both chondroitin and Glucosamine, which is important for healthy fur and joints.
The best news is that the product does not use any fillers and allergens. No wheat products, corn, and soy. As such, you can rest easy as far as allergies and inferior quality go.
The minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants present complete the list of what your dog needs for a healthy, nutritious meal.
- No.1 Ingredient Is Deboned Beef
- 60-Percent Meat Proteins/20-Percent Fresh Produce/20-Percent Whole Grains
- No Ingredients From China
- It has a great taste, which is much beloved by dogs
- Its flavor is approved for use on dog products
- Rich in nutrients – has all the nutrients your dog needs, right from amino acids to fatty acids
- Easily digestible – its great recipe will be easy on your German Shepherd’s digestive system
- Rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 – these fatty acids will give a rich look to your dog’s skin and coat
- Allergic reactions
Some dogs have suffered cases of loose stool. We can attribute this to the presence of vegetables and grains in the product.
Different brands of dog food target different kinds of dog breeds. The producers of this product make it with the various needs of German Shepherds in mind.
This brand meets our criteria as far as the issues and nutritional requirements of GSDs go. For example, it’s recipe includes antioxidants and vitamins. These are in enhancing the strength of your dog’s immune system.
Since GSDs have very active lifestyles, they require foods rich in high-quality protein. This brand contains the right amounts of protein to help your dog maintain its lifestyle.
The proteins in this package are soluble. These, together with soluble and insoluble fibers, ensure that your dog does not experience any hiccups in its digestive system.
The presence of glucosamine and chondroitin in this recipe is impressive. These are important in maintaining your dog’s healthy joints. As such, you need not fear them suffering from hip dysplasia as they age.
- Supports The Breed'S Sensitive Digestive System
- Helps Support The Breed'S Sensitive Skin With An Exclusive Complex Of Nutrients
- Helps Support Healthy Bones And Joints; Enriched With Epa And Dha
- The product is very good in maintaining proper health of the heart
- Its rich taste makes it a favorite with many dogs
- It’s rich in fatty acids, which are good for a healthy skin and coat
It is quite pricey – but this depends on your budget
Although this particular manufacturer has had recall issues in the past, their comeback in the market has been remarkable. They retain the confidence of many pet owners in the United States and across the world.
This product targeting German Shepherd Dog owners had done remarkably well for two reasons.
One, the manufacturers must have learned from their previous mistakes. Two, they relate well with pet owners and are able to incorporate the needs in the manufacturing process.
There’s another reason we felt this product deserves to be on this list. It has in its ingredients high-quality meats such as venison and bison. These are blended with the vegetables and fruits that your dog would ordinarily eat if they were in the wild!
Also, the manufacturers are keen to keep the brand grain free. It uses a formula that will not cause your GSD any undue gastro-intestinal distress.
Finally, we are impressed by its probiotics that are a big boost to the dog’s immunity and digestive system.
- A taste of the wild with ROASTED BISON; REAL MEAT is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, protein rich for LEAN, STRONG MUSCLES
- High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS; fatty acid blend for SKIN & COAT
- Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made With No Grain, Corn, Wheat, Filler; No Artificial Flavors, Colors, Preservatives Added
- Ingredients sourced from high-quality, roasted meat
- Has vegetables and fruits that meet your dog’s needs
- A great taste that your GSD will fall in love with
- Has a history of a recall due to salmonella contamination issues
This product is specifically formulated for dogs that are allergic to grains. It has amongst its key ingredients farm fresh vegetables, fruits, peas, eggs, potatoes, and beef.
The beef is the source of your dog’s protein requirements. The company considered the sensitive nature of GSD’s digestive system to include easily digestible carrots and potatoes.
These help smooth the way as the food making its way through your dog’s intestinal tract.
To take care of your dog’s skin and coat, the product has salmon oil – this is rich in the Omega fatty acids.
To cap it all, this recipe is suitable for German Shepherds of all sizes and ages – right from the pups, through the adults, and seniors.
So, no matter how choosy your dog is, we are certain they’ll give this diet a chance.
- Great taste – the beef flavor will capture the attention of your GSD
- Its Grain free – this means you don’t have to worry about any allergies
- Easily digestible – the presence of digestible carbohydrates aid in proper digestion
- The pieces are too small. This exposes your dog to the risk of choking during feeding time
The makers of this product are very keen on the micro and macronutrient value of each ingredient. As such, each serving delivers the required punch.
The best candidates for this recipe are GSDs that have moderate to highly active lifestyles. Since most of GSDs fall in this category, we believe it will do just fine for your dog.
Active dogs require something better than just ordinary food. It is with this in mind that the manufacturers ensure that all the nutrients support your dog’s active service, fitness levels, and levels of physical activities.
At the core of its formulation is the need to support the development of muscles. As your dog’s fitness levels increase, the stronger the muscles it requires.
To support this, the manufacturers have used the right quantities of proteins, carbs, fats, fibers, minerals, and vitamins.
- Formulated For Moderately-Active To Active Dogs Exercising 5+ Times Per Week
- Exceptional Energy, Stamina And Recovery
- Lean, Athletic Body
- It’s very good for helping your dog retain a healthy, shiny coat
- Has pork blood, which is a rich source of important minerals
- The product has Brewer’s Yeast. This is dangerous for dogs that are allergic to yeast
Our Recommended Food for German Shepherds
This product makes it to the top of our list for the simple reason that it has unbeatable rave reviews.
Most pet owners agree that its high-quality beef recipe makes it an obvious favorite with their dogs. It is much beloved by even the picky eaters.
What ’s more, it’s nutrient-rich ingredients provide your dog with all its needs in terms of nutrition.
And, the product is quite affordable!
Common GSD Health Concerns Related to Food
Developmental Orthopedic Disease
German Shepherds are some of the fastest growing breeds of dogs. In fact, you should use puppy-specific diet for only the first six months of your dog’s life.
After this, it is time to introduce the pup to adult food.
Feeding your puppy baby food for too long can cause a myriad of negative health effects. For example, your pup will be susceptible to Developmental Orthopedic Disease when they are older.
This condition comes about due to the exponential growth in bones and joints the dog experiences.
Also, as the dog grows into an adult, remove all products that have grains from its menu. Grains cause some of the common allergies that German Shepherd Dogs suffer from.
This is the more technical term for bloat. A German Shepherd – or any other dog for that matter – gets this condition when they retain too much food, water, or air in their stomach.
The stomach fills up, and this often puts a lot of pressure on the surrounding organs and blood vessels.
What many pet owners fail to realize is that this condition is often fatal, if untreated.
Your dog will experience a dangerous fall in blood pressure, and most of the internal organs won’t be able to carry out their functions.
Should you suspect your puppy or dog of suffering from bloat, don’t hesitate to get expert assistance.
It is easy to maintain the fitness levels of your GSD. This is because they are naturally active.
However, if you have a history of overfeeding and denying your dog exercise, it can become overweight. You’ll know this when you can no longer feel his/her ribs with your fingers.
Most German Shepherds are predisposed to suffer hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and arthritis. If the dog gets obese, these conditions can be so bad that he/she will hardly walk.
The good news is that you can reverse obesity. Of course, your veterinarian can come in handy to advise you on the best course of action to take.
But, on the more basic level, you can cut back on your dog’s caloric intake. Add some sweet potatoes, carrots, and other such healthy vegetables to help the dog compensate for the loss of the extra calories.
Some dogs are prone to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). This condition hinders their ability to absorb minerals meaningfully. If this condition goes untreated for long, the dog will reduce weight drastically.
If you realize that your dog’s weight is dropping, in spite of your feeding them well, be quick to contact your vet. In all likelihood, he/she will point to small intestine disease or EPI as the culprits.
You can combat these conditions by feeding your GSD foods that are low in fat, unusual proteins, and fiber. This is best administered under the supervision of your vet.
A caring pet owner wants the best for their German Shepherd Dog. To maintain your dog’s healthy lifestyle, you need to choose foods that are responsive to your dog’s nutritional needs.
Of course, we are not saying that it’s easy to find the right diet. But, with some effort on your part, it is doable.
The market today is full of all kinds of options. You may not have the time to go through them all in your search.
We hope that the information we have provided for you in this article has made things much easier. Feel free to share with us your thoughts!