25 Best Dog Foods for German Shepherds in 2024

By Amber Smith
Jan 7, 2024 5:00 PMJan 7, 2024 8:59 PM
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Our team went out into the field looking for the best canine nutrition products in the world. Our winner for this year is Pupper, which topped our charts in terms of ingredient quality as well as science backed claims.

If you're the proud owner of a German Shepherd, you want to make sure that they are getting the best food possible. Not all dog foods are created equal, and some can actually be harmful to your dog's health.

That's why we've put together a list of the 25 best dog foods for German Shepherds in 2022. We'll discuss what makes these foods so great, and how they can help your dog stay healthy and happy!

Pupper Toppers

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Dog Diet

Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed Adult

Nom Nom Fresh

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe

Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Adult

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice

Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food

Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck

Victor Purpose Nutra Pro Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Large Breed

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon

Orijen Large Breed Puppy Food

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy

Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Food

Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Food

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food

Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Sensitive Stomach

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Wet Dog Food

Wag Dog Food

Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ground Wet Dog Food

Instinct Original Canned Dog Food

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy With Beef Canned Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula

What is the healthiest diet for a German Shepherd?

This is a question that many German Shepherd owners ask, as they want to make sure their beloved furry friend is getting all the nutrients they need. The good news is that there are plenty of healthy dog food options out there for German Shepherds.

You should eat foods that include high-quality animal-based protein sources like lamb, beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, and legumes. In addition, the meal should be plentiful in fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Are eggs good for German Shepherds?

Yes, eggs are a great source of protein for German Shepherds. In fact, they are one of the healthiest foods you can feed your dog. Eggs are packed with nutrients that are essential for a German Shepherd's diet, including vitamins A, D, and E.

They also contain omega-three fatty acids, which are important for a dog's coat and skin health.

What is the best food for German Shepherds with allergies?

If your German Shepherd has allergies, it's important to find a hypoallergenic best dog food for German Shepherds that will not trigger their symptoms. There are many brands of hypoallergenic dog food on the market that use alternative protein sources, such as duck or venison.

These foods are often grain-free as well, which is ideal for German Shepherds with allergies.

What is the best food for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs?

If your German Shepherd has a sensitive stomach, you'll want to find a dog food that is easy on their digestive system. There are many brands of dog food that offer formulas specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

These foods often have limited ingredient lists and use easily digestible ingredients, such as chicken or potato.

What is the best food for German Shepherds with joint problems?

If your German Shepherd has joint problems, you'll want to find a dog food that is rich in omega-three fatty acids. These essential nutrients help to reduce inflammation and pain in the joints.

There are many brands of dog food that offer formulas specifically for dogs with joint problems. These foods often contain ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin, which are known to help relieve joint pain.

Now let's chat in more detail about the best dog foods for your furry friend.

1.     Pupper Toppers

Image courtesy Pupper

Pupper Fuel is a great option for German Shepherds. It is made with all natural ingredients and has no fillers or preservatives. The kibble is also enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for dogs' skin and coat health.

Pupper Fuel All Natural Dog Food is our top pick for the best dog food for German Shepherds.

Image courtesy Dr. Gary’s

Chicken meal is the most common animal protein in Dr. Gary's Best Breed German Dog Food. Our dry matter analysis shows that the recipe has 36% protein, 22% fat, and 34% estimated carbohydrates... resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of 63%.

The addition of zinc proteinate and other chelated minerals to the formula is a plus, as it leads to better absorption and nutrition.

Image courtesy Amazon

Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed Real Chicken and Sweet Potato gets most of its meat-based protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. The formula includes 34% protein, 17% fat, and 41% estimated carbohydrates... resulting in a fat/protein ratio of about 50%.

We also note the inclusion of various probiotics for better digestion and salmon oil, which is beneficial to both skin and coat. Highly suggested!

4.     Nom Nom Fresh

Image courtesy Nom Nom

Nom Nom Now delivers fresh, human-grade dog food to your door. All of their recipes are made with whole ingredients and cooked in small batches. The meals are portioned according to your dog's weight and activity level.

Image courtesy Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon is based on salmon and chicken meal, which makes up the majority of its animal protein. The formula, according to a dry matter label analysis, has 38% protein, 17% fat, and 38% estimated carbohydrates.

Wilderness is a grain-free and protein-rich product with over a dozen options and recipes, which makes it ideal for people who want to rotate their diets. It's reasonably priced, and it gets high marks from consumers.

Image courtesy Holistic Select

Big dogs require big meals, and the bigger kibbles in Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food, Large and Giant Breed Adult Chicken and Oatmeal Recipe are perfect for enormous paws.

Probiotics, high-quality fiber, and digestive enzymes are included in this formula to aid your dog's digestive health. These components create mouth-watering, healthy food that will sustain your canine companion throughout the day.

Image courtesy Diamond Naturals

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice contains the most animal protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal.

The foods in this recipe include multiple probiotics for improved digestion, chelated minerals for maximized absorption, and nutrient-dense food. It's inexpensive to buy as well as simple to suggest.

Image courtesy Eagle Pack

The majority of the animal protein in Adult takes the form of fresh chicken and pork meal, as confirmed by the nutritional label. The recipe contains 33% protein, 21% fat, and 38% estimated carbohydrates, which translates to a fat-to-protein ratio of 63 percent.

The all-time classic, fully grain-inclusive design that is free of legume concentrates. Antioxidant preservatives are used in a safe and natural manner. There's no BHT or ethoxyquin.

Image courtesy Chewy

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Duck & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food is a better option for feeding kibble. It has high animal protein levels, as well as vitamins and minerals that have been boosted through the use of freeze-dried raw pieces.

It's designed to unleash your dog's potential to thrive and put the advantages of raw nutrition into every bowl, using cage-free duck as the first ingredient for powerful, lean muscles.

It also contains a probiotic boost for digestive health, greater amounts of omegas for healthy skin and coat, and more antioxidants for immune health—all from the highest-quality ingredients from all over the world.

Image courtesy Victor

With VICTOR Purpose Nutra Pro Dry Dog Food, you can keep your energetic dog healthy and happy. This high-protein, low-carb diet is designed for sporting dogs and plush animals with rigorous exercise requirements.

It's also perfect for growing pups and pregnant or nursing females. VICTOR Purpose Nutra Pro Dry Dog Food is a great alternative for dogs with moderate to high levels of activity on a daily basis.

Image courtesy Iams

Iams ProActive Health Large Breed is a complete and balanced diet dog food for German Shepherds, made with real ingredients like chicken and egg.

This formula has DHA to support cognitive development, as well as calcium for strong bones and teeth. Iams ProActive Health also has 22 essential vitamins and minerals to keep your puppy healthy and strong.

Image courtesy Taste of the Wild

The majority of the animal protein in Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon comes from fresh beef and lamb meal. Label analysis of the dry matter diet reveals that it includes 32% protein, 17% fat, and 43% estimated carbohydrates, for a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

It's nice to discover a Southwest Canyon recipe that includes natural preservatives, which implies the food does not contain any BHA, BHT, or other harmful chemicals. A major brand and a healthy all-age option for any German Shepherd.

Image courtesy Orijen

The Orijen Puppy Large contains the most animal protein from chicken, which is fresh. The label analysis revealed that the recipe has 43% protein, 18% fat, and 31% carbohydrates... resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of around 42 percent.

Champion Petfoods, the well-known maker of Orijen, has long promoted a meat-based "biologically appropriate" diet. This is a tried and true design that makes this particular dish an excellent choice for developing Shepherd pups.

Image courtesy Wellness

Get your little guy started on Wellness Complete Health Chicken, Salmon & Rice. This natural dry food is developed to give complete-body nutritional support for puppies of all sizes.

It's made with high-quality proteins and whole grains, all of which are complemented by omega fatty acids—such as DHA—necessary vitamins, antioxidants, glucosamine, and probiotics.

This balanced, nutritious dry dog food is intended to promote teeth and bone strength, healthy brain growth, general health, energy and vitality, optimal nutrient absorption, and healthy muscle development. It's free of GMOs, by-products from processing animals into pet food ingredients (meat meal), fillers, or artificial preservatives to ensure that your dog gets the healthiest food possible.

Image courtesy Purina

The most popular dog food for large breed puppies is Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy, which gets the majority of its meat protein from chicken. Our analysis of the dry matter label indicates that the recipe has 32% protein, 15% fat and 45% estimated carbs, for a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

This is a tried-and-true approach that has been developed and studied for decades. It includes controlled calcium and phosphorus ratios, making it ideal for German Shepherd puppies.

Image courtesy Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is a great option for your German Shepherd puppy. This large-breed dry food is made with high-quality proteins and whole grains.

It's free of chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula also includes DHA and ARA, two fatty acids that support cognitive development and healthy eyesight.

Image courtesy Hill’s Science Diet

Hill's Science Diet Puppy Large Breeds dry food is made with high-quality ingredients like chicken meal, whole grains, and vegetables.

This recipe is designed to support the health of large breed puppies with an optimal balance of calcium and phosphorus for bone growth. It also includes DHA from fish oil for healthy brain development.

Image courtesy Royal Canin

Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy is a dry dog food that's specifically designed for puppies up to 15 months old.

This recipe includes DHA for brain development, calcium and phosphorus for bone growth, and antioxidants to support the immune system. It's also free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Image courtesy Purina

Purina has been in operation for more than 85 years and produces a wide range of goods. The Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach is one of their most popular, with over 2,500 positive reviews.

You can feed your dog either dry or wet food, and he may sample two distinct flavor profiles: rice and oatmeal for salmon. This recipe is high in protein and has a total of 30% dry basis protein content, primarily from real meats with no poultry by-product meal.

Because it contains no allergens like wheat, corn, or soy, there's less of a chance that your dog will suffer an upset stomach. It also includes omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which help to promote skin, coat, and joint health.

Image courtesy Blue Buffalo

If you're searching for high-quality, all-natural wet dog food, Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a wonderful alternative.

This dog food is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for an entourage diet. It's made with real beef and chicken, can be served as a delicious treat, or blended into your dog's regular dry food.

The Blue Buffalo puppy food contains no chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or preservatives; making it a healthy choice for your dog.

21.  Wag Dog Food

Image courtesy Wag

Amazon's Wag Brand is a private label brand. All dishes are prepared in collaboration with veterinarians and come in a variety of delicious flavors, including beef, lamb, and turkey.

This meal is high in protein, with 39% real meat on a dry weight basis. All of the meats are imported from the United States, although only lamb comes from Australia. It's also gluten-free, so if you're allergic to grains, you'll be safe.

There is a large selection of carbohydrates, which are mostly in the form of potatoes, and there are numerous healthy vegetables and superfoods including lentils, peas, salmon oil, and flaxseed.

Image courtesy Purina

Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ground Wet Dog Food is a delicious and nutritious wet dog food. It's made with real meat, vegetables, and fruit.

This recipe is grain-free and free of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It's also high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

Image courtesy Instinct

Instinct Original Canned Dog Food is a delicious, high-protein wet dog food. It's made with real meat, vegetables, and fruit.

This recipe is grain-free and free of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It's also high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

Image courtesy Pedigree

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Beef Canned Dog Food is a delicious, high-protein wet dog food. It's made with real beef, vegetables, and fruit.

This recipe is grain-free and free of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It's also high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

Image courtesy Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula is a grain-free food made with bison, venison, lamb meal, and roasted duck. It also contains sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, and flaxseed.

This formula provides your German Shepherd puppy with the high protein diet they need for proper development and growth. It also has DHA and ARA, which are essential for cognitive development and retinal health.

Taste of the Wild is one of the most popular brands among dog food reviewers. It's included as our last on this list but has ranked high among some of the best dog foods for German Shepherds because it's high in protein and free of grains.

What foods are German Shepherds allergic to?

German Shepherds are known to be allergic to a variety of things, including wheat, corn, soy, and even some meats. If you're not sure what your German Shepherd is allergic to, it's always best to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to recommend the best food for your dog based on their specific allergies.

If your German Shepherd is having any sort of adverse reaction to their food, such as scratching, biting, or licking themselves excessively, then they may be allergic to something in their food.

Consult with your veterinarian if you're not sure what's causing the reaction. They will be able to recommend the best food for your dog based on their specific allergies.

What is the best dog food for German Shephard puppies?

Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, so it's important to find a food that's specifically designed for puppies. Look for a food that has high levels of protein and fat, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Puppies also need more calories than adult dogs, so make sure the food you choose has a high calorie content.

As your puppy grows, they will need less calories and protein, so you'll need to switch to a food that's designed for adult dogs. Consult with your veterinarian to find the best food for your German Shepherd puppy.

What is the best food for an adult German Shepherd?

The best food for an adult German Shepherd is a diet that is high in protein and fat. This breed of dog is known for its high energy levels and need for exercise, so a food that can help them maintain their energy levels is important.

A diet that is too low in calories can cause your German Shepherd to become overweight or obese, which can lead to health problems. When choosing a food for your German Shepherd, it is important to read the label carefully and choose a food that is right for their age, weight, and activity level.

Can a German Shepherd drink milk?

Yes, German Shepherds can drink milk. Milk is a good source of calcium and other nutrients that are important for this breed of dog. However, it is important to choose a low-fat or skim milk to avoid adding unnecessary calories to their diet.

What is the best way to feed a German Shepherd puppy?

The best way to feed a German Shepherd puppy is to start them on a diet that is high in protein and fat. Puppies need more calories than adult dogs, so it is important to choose a food that will give them the nutrition they need without making them overweight.

As your German Shepherd puppy grows, you can slowly transition them to an adult dog food. It is important to make sure that they are getting the right amount of calories and nutrients for their age, weight, and activity level.

What are some common health problems German Shepherds face?

Some common health problems German Shepherds face include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and allergies. This breed of dog is also susceptible to obesity, so it is important to choose a food that will help them maintain a healthy weight.

German Shepherds are also prone to joint problems, so a food that is rich in glucosamine and chondroitin is important for this breed of dog.

What is the life expectancy of a German Shepherd?

The life expectancy of a German Shepherd is between nine and thirteen years. This breed of dog is known for being a healthy and hardy breed, but there are some health problems that can shorten their lifespan.

It is important to feed your German Shepherd a diet that will help them maintain their health and keep them at a healthy weight to help ensure a long and happy life.

Is it OK to put a raw egg in dog food?

The answer is complicated. While some experts believe that raw eggs are perfectly safe for dogs, others believe that they can be dangerous. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

If you decide to feed your dog raw eggs, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, make sure the eggs are fresh. Second, only feed your dog eggs that have been properly refrigerated. Finally, don't forget to wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw eggs.

If you're still not sure whether or not to feed your dog raw eggs, talk to your veterinarian. They can help you make the best decision for your pet.

What are the benefits of raw eggs for dogs?

There are a few potential benefits of feeding raw eggs to dogs. Some people believe that raw eggs can help increase a dog's energy levels, improve their coat, and even help with joint pain. While there is some anecdotal evidence to support these claims, there is no scientific evidence that raw eggs offer any health benefits for dogs.

Our Criteria for Ranking the Best Dog Food

Choosing the right dog food is essential for your pet's health and well-being. With the plethora of options available in the market, it can be challenging to determine which dog food is best for your furry friend. To simplify this process and help you make an informed decision, we have established a set of criteria for ranking the best dog food products. These criteria are based on scientific research, expert opinions, and the specific nutritional needs of dogs.

  • Nutritional Balance:

    • Complete and Balanced: The dog food must meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for a complete and balanced diet, ensuring it provides all essential nutrients in the right proportions.

  • Ingredients Quality:

    • High-Quality Protein: The primary ingredient should be a high-quality animal protein source, such as chicken, beef, or fish, to support your dog's muscle development and overall health.

    • Whole Grains and Vegetables: Whole grains and vegetables should be included to provide essential carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

  • Absence of Fillers and Artificial Additives:

    • No Fillers: The best dog food should not contain fillers like corn, soy, or wheat, which offer limited nutritional value and may cause allergies.

    • No Artificial Additives: It should be free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which can harm your dog's health over time.

  • Meat Meal vs. Whole Meat:

    • Preference for Whole Meat: Whole meat sources are preferred over meat meals or by-products, as they are less processed and retain more nutritional value.

  • Digestibility and Allergen Consideration:

    • Hypoallergenic Options: For dogs with allergies or sensitivities, hypoallergenic options that avoid common allergens like poultry or grains should be available.

    • High Digestibility: The dog food should be highly digestible to ensure your pet absorbs the maximum nutrients from each meal.

  • Life Stage Appropriateness:

    • Age and Size-Specific Formulations: The best dog food should offer formulations tailored to your dog's life stage (puppy, adult, senior) and size (small, medium, large).

  • Transparency and Sourcing:

    • Transparent Labeling: Brands should provide transparent information about ingredient sourcing and processing methods.

    • Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing: A commitment to sustainable and ethical sourcing of ingredients reflects a brand's responsibility toward animal welfare and the environment.

  • Health Benefits and Special Considerations:

    • Support for Special Health Needs: The best dog food may offer formulations to address specific health concerns, such as joint health, dental care, or weight management.

  • Customer Feedback and Reviews:

    • Positive User Experiences: Customer feedback and reviews are valuable indicators of a product's performance, safety, and palatability.

  • Price and Value:

    • Affordability: The cost of the dog food should be reasonable and commensurate with its quality and ingredients, offering good value for pet owners.

  • Recall History and Safety:

    • Safety Record: Brands with a history of recalls or safety issues should be viewed with caution, as the safety of your pet is paramount.

Final Thoughts on 25 Best Dog Foods for German Shepherds

When it comes to finding the best food for your German Shepherd, there are a lot of factors to consider. But with our list of the 25 best dog foods for German Shepherds in 2022, you can rest assured that you're giving your furry friend the best possible chance at a long and healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Dog Food

  • What should I consider when choosing dog food for my pet?

    • When choosing dog food, consider factors such as your dog's age, size, activity level, any allergies or sensitivities, and consult your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations.

  • What is the difference between dry and wet dog food?

    • Dry dog food (kibble) is convenient, has a longer shelf life, and can help with dental health. Wet dog food contains more moisture and can be more palatable for picky eaters. Some owners choose to feed a combination for variety.

  • Is homemade dog food a good option?

    • Homemade dog food can be an option but requires careful research and balance to ensure your dog gets all the necessary nutrients. Consulting with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist is recommended.

  • How can I tell if a dog food is of high quality?

    • Look for high-quality protein sources, whole grains and vegetables, minimal fillers and additives, and adherence to AAFCO guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition. Checking customer reviews and consulting experts can also help.

  • Should I choose a dog food based on my dog's breed?

    • While some breed-specific formulas exist, it's more important to consider your dog's individual needs, age, and size when selecting dog food.

  • What should I do if my dog has food allergies or sensitivities?

    • If your dog has allergies or sensitivities, consult your veterinarian for advice. They may recommend hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient dog foods.

  • Is grain-free dog food a better choice?

    • Grain-free dog food isn't necessarily better. While some dogs may benefit from grain-free options, it's essential to ensure the food still provides balanced nutrition, as some grain-free diets have been associated with certain health issues.

  • How often should I feed my dog, and in what portion sizes?

    • Feeding frequency and portion sizes depend on your dog's age, size, and activity level. Puppies typically require more frequent meals. Follow the feeding guidelines provided on the dog food packaging and adjust based on your dog's needs.

  • Can I mix different brands or types of dog food?

    • Mixing different brands or types of dog food can be done, but it should be done gradually to avoid digestive upset. Consult your veterinarian for guidance on the best way to transition your dog to a new diet.

  • Should I be concerned about recalls when choosing dog food?

    • Yes, it's important to stay informed about recalls. Check the FDA and manufacturer websites regularly for recall information. Brands with a history of recalls may be worth avoiding.

  • What is the role of my veterinarian in selecting dog food?

    • Your veterinarian can provide valuable guidance on selecting the right dog food based on your pet's specific needs, health conditions, and dietary requirements.

  • How can I ensure my dog stays hydrated when feeding dry dog food?

    • Always provide access to clean, fresh water. Wetting the dry food or incorporating wet food into the diet can also increase moisture intake.

  • Can I give my dog human food as part of their diet?

    • While some human foods are safe for dogs, it's essential to know which ones are and to avoid potentially toxic foods. Always consult with your veterinarian before adding human food to your dog's diet.

Remember that each dog is unique, and their dietary needs may vary. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian and open communication about your dog's diet are key to ensuring their health and well-being.

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