The 17 Best Dog Foods for German Shepherds

By Kevin Myers

This guide covers all of the best german shepherd dog foods available.

I spent weeks researching for the best foods, keeping a lot of factors into account; such as ingredient analysis, consumer reviews and more.. (here’s my 40-point checklist)

If you are changing your german shepherd’s diet, I highly recommend you check out this guide on the proper way to switch dog food.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in…

The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds – My Top 5 Picks

1. Taste of the Wild — Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3600 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 29%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Peas, 3. Garbanzo Beans, 4. Lamb Meal, 5. Canola Oil
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Science proves that our beloved four-legged buddy shares DNA with wolves, and Taste of the Wild brand takes this fact very seriously when crafting the perfectly balanced meal recipe for your large breed dog. The nourishing, grain-free dinner prepared using lamb, boar, and beef as primary protein sources work wonderfully even for the pickiest dogs. Give your German shepherd a nature-intended diet.

Buy on Chewy

 

2. VICTOR — Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult, Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3774 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 38%, Fat (min.) 18%, Fiber (max.) 3.5%, Moisture (max.) 9%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Blood Meal, 3. Whole Grain Millet, 4. Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), 5. Yeast Culture
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Made from gluten-free grains, the balanced diet by VICTOR is ideal for large breed dogs with moderate to high levels of daily activity. You will find all the high-quality nutrition for your German shepherd’s diet while steering clear from unnecessary fillers like soy and corn. The impressive nutrient profile with chicken meal as a primary ingredient ensures a delicious blend for a large breed dog.

Buy on Chewy

 

3. Instinct — by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Duck Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4337 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 34.5%, Fat (min.) 21%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 9%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Duck, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Egg Product, 5. Turkey Meal
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Your German shepherd dog needs a rich and balanced diet with nutrition extracted only from supreme-quality, natural sources. And if you are looking for a suitable meal, this option by Nature’s Variety will not disappoint you. The grain-free formula with real duck, chicken meal, and turkey meal is loaded with high-quality protein that’s great for your dog’s core strength and optimal health maintenance.

Buy on Chewy

 

4. Merrick — Grain-Free Large Breed Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3656 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 31%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 3.5%, Moisture (max.) 11%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Potatoes
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Almost all large and giant breed dogs thrive on high-protein, grain-free diets, and that includes your German shepherd dog. Fulfill their special nutritional needs and help them stay healthy and active with food rich in protein and various other essential nutrients. The kibbles are carefully crafted for large breed dogs with real chicken to offer your best friend complete and balanced nutrition.

Buy on Chewy

 

5. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed — Holistic German Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per cup): 456 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 25%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 4.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Oatmeal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Dried Beet Pulp, 5. Chicken Fat
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

The nutritionally dense kibbles are specially crafted for your German shepherd dog and include highly digestible ingredients that support maximum nutrient absorption. The wholesome diet is not only a delicious blend that your dog will crave but includes supreme quality proteins that come from eggs, chicken, and menhaden fish to support health maintenance and muscle development for maximum activity.

Buy on Chewy

 

Related Posts:

German Shepherd Food FAQs

Do German shepherd puppies need special nutrients?

To keep up with the distinctive growth pace of German shepherd puppies, it is important to offer them a diet that is specifically designed with large-breed puppy formula. German shepherd pups require an appropriate combination of calorie, calcium, carbohydrate, fat, and protein to ensure maximum nourishment. This keeps them from developing common health issues later in life, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, bloat, obesity, and allergies.

Do adult german shepherd dogs need special nutrients?

German shepherds often develop digestive problems due to a shorter colon. This leads to a sensitive stomach and bloat. Therefore, it is important to give a very precise diet to avoid triggering the sensitivities and also contribute to optimal health maintenance. Provide your adult German shepherd a balance of meat protein, fiber, balanced carbohydrates, fat, minerals, and vitamins.

How many calories do I need to feed my German Shepherd?

German shepherd puppies should be fed 500 calories in a day, with an increase in the calorie levels as they grow. For adult dogs, calorie consumption should be between 1700 and 2400 calories per day, keeping their activity level into account.

How often should I feed my german shepherd puppy?

Serve puppies younger than 4 months four small meals every day. Reduce the meals to three between 4 and 9 months. From 9th month onwards, your puppy can eat two to three large meals during the day. Consult your vet or read the labels for calorie content to ensure you are serving the right amount.

What types of food are appropriate for german shepherd dogs?

The most popular type of food for your German shepherds are the dry kibbles. However, for puppies and senior dogs, you should consider a variety of wet food options too. Other varieties you can serve include semi-moist form and freeze-dried food. For owners who don’t mind preparation and handling, frozen-then-thawed food is a viable option too.

What types of food should never be given to german shepherd dogs?

Avoid foods with animal by-products, preservatives, artificial coloring, fillers, soy, and wheat in them. Always check the labels before buying the best dog food for German shepherds.

What’s the best form of protein for your German Shepherd?

German shepherds require a diet dense in protein content at all stages of their lifecycle. This breed can eat almost every type of protein. Meat from birds is considered a healthier option. Foods with eggs as one of the primary ingredients is a good option too.

Is salmon good for feeding a German shepherd?

Salmon is great for German shepherd dogs. Foods that contain salmon as a primary ingredient are often recommended by veterinarians.

What are the best food choices for German shepherds?

To pick the best option from the variety available in the market, learn to read the labels. The best food choices for German shepherds include rich animal protein, moderate fat content, wholefood ingredients, digestible carbohydrates, and beneficial supplements.

What fruits can I feed my German shepherds?

The fruits allowed include coconut, blueberries, mango, papaya, melon, bananas, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, and pineapple. Apples, apricots, and oranges can be given in moderation. Completely avoid plums, persimmons, grapes, and avocados.

Can I give all types of vegetables to my German Shepherd dog?

Almost all the common vegetables can be fed to your German shepherd. However, it is best to avoid onions, chives, garlic, and leeks.

Are nuts healthy for German shepherds?

Nuts are often used as treats that dogs love. They are also nutritious in terms of protein content. However, nuts are extremely high in calories and not recommended for dogs in the weight maintenance stage. Also, they pose a risk of choking and should only be given in strict moderation.

How long should I wait to switch my puppy to adult food?

The recommended time to switch your puppy to adult food is around 12 weeks. Keep the transition smooth by keeping the process slow and gradual. It is okay to stick to dry food and avoid canned food during the transition.

Can I give milk to my German Shepherd?

Milk shouldn’t be given to any dog, let alone a German shepherd breed. Most dogs have sensitive digestive systems and are unable to digest milk with lactose as they grow. Drinking milk can cause GI issues like vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Do German Shepherds have food allergies?

It is very common for German shepherds to have allergies to grains. Also, dogs with a sensitive digestive system can be intolerable to a number of foods. It is best to always pick a grain-free food option and visit a vet to have comprehensive detail about what you can feed your German shepherd.

 

The Best Dog Food For Adult German Shepherds only

6. Eagle Pack — Power Adult Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3840 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 19%, Fiber (max.) 4.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Pork Meal, 3. Ground Brown Rice, 4. Peas, 5. Chicken Fat
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

The powerpack recipe is balanced with nutrition derived from an excellent combination of high-quality ingredients. The proportions of protein, fat, and carbs in these crunchy kibbles do not only help your Germen shepherd maintain a healthy weight but also helps in developing stamina and muscle tone for sustained endurance. The flavor-dense formula ensures excellent nutrition for active adult dogs.

 

7. Wellness — Grain-Free Complete Health Large Breed Adult Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: large, giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per cup): 402 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 32%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Potatoes, 5. Chickpeas
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Always ensuring the prime wellness of your tail-wagger, this particular recipe by the brand is my personal favorite for all the nutritious ingredients it includes in the blend. The natural grain-free diet is perfect for large breed dogs, including German shepherds, for the delicious protein it offers through deboned chicken with essential minerals and vitamins. The additional omega acids ensure healthy skin and manageable fur of your dog.

 

8. Blue Buffalo — Wilderness Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3592 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 34%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Truly inspired by the natural diet of wolves, this recipe by the Blue Buffalo Wilderness features grain-free ingredients and other protein-rich sources to balance the nutrition for large-breed dogs. Feed your German shepherd dog a bowl filled with wholesome goodness and nourishment loaded with antioxidant-enriched ingredients for ultimate development and maintenance.

 

9. Taste of the Wild — Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3750 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 32%, Fat (min.) 18%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Duck, 2. Duck Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Give your big-breed German shepherd a wholesome diet that combines the goodness of grain-free and a variety of other nutritional ingredients. The tempting flavors do not only serve as a savory option for your big pooch but the balanced nutrients ensure healthy overall development and a great level of activity. The recipe is free from by-products and fillers and features just the right amount of nutrition perfect for your German shepherd dog.

 

10. Earthborn Holistic — Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3780 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 32%, Fat (min.) 18%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Bison Meal, 2. Peas, 3. Pea Protein, 4. Tapioca, 5. Dried Egg
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

The holistic diet is a powerful blend of nutrition and great flavor. This Earthborn’s recipe is formulated by animal nutrition experts to ensure your German shepherd dog receives the best protein-rich food. The formula has an excellent taste for your big precious pooch along with the perfect balance of nutrition your dog needs for weight maintenance and great health. Made free of gluten and grain, the kibbles are enriched with guaranteed levels of antioxidant for optimal wellbeing of your dog.

 

11. Blackwood — 3000 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Everyday Diet Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3723 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24%, Fat (min.) 14%, Fiber (max.) 4.2%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb Meal, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Oat Groats, 4. Millet, 5. Chicken Meal
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Your big bowwow needs much more than the regular nutrients. The Blackwood 3000 recipe is nutritionally balanced for adult, large-breed dogs and therefore, serves as a perfect diet for your German shepherd. The supreme-quality protein is derived from animal-based sources, mainly lamb. So if your dog is fond of a special flavor diet, he’s surely going to fall for this one!

 

12. Holistic Select — Large & Giant Breed Adult Health Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3766 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24%, Fat (min.) 14%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, Rice, 2. Oatmeal, 3. Oats, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Pork Meal
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

The extraordinary chicken meal and oatmeal recipe for your German shepherd dog is special for a number of reasons. First, it by the Holistic Select, a brand known for offering one of the best ranges of high-quality dog food, and second, it includes natural L-Carnitine and taurine, nutrients that are rarely present in the variety available in the market. The high-quality protein does not only guarantee great flavors but supports the maintenance of your active dog’s muscle mass.

 

13. Purina Beyond — Grain-Free Ground Entree Variety Pack Adult Canned Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe 1098 kcal
    Chicken, Carrot & Pea Recipe 1180 kcal
    Beef, Potato & Green Bean Recipe 1179 kcal
  • Analysis: Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe: Protein (min.) 8%, Fat (min.) 5%, Fiber (max.) 1.5%, Moisture (max.) 78%
    Chicken, Carrot & Pea Recipe: Protein (min.) 8%, Fat (min.) 6%, Fiber (max.) 1.5%, Moisture (max.) 78%
    Beef, Potato & Green Bean Recipe: Protein (min.) 8%, Fat (min.) 6%, Fiber (max.) 1.5%, Moisture (max.) 78%
  • Form: Wet
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe: 1. Ocean Whitefish, 2. Chicken, 3. Fish Broth, 4. Liver, 5. Turkey
    Chicken, Carrot & Pea Recipe: 1. Chicken, 2. Water Sufficient for Processing, 3. Liver, 4. Carrots, 5. Peas
    Beef, Potato & Green Bean Recipe: 1. Beef, 2. Chicken, 3. Water Sufficient for Processing, 4. Liver, 5. Potatoes
  • Grain-free

If you want to pick a wet-form variety for your German shepherd, look nowhere else! This canned trio by Purina has every variety your dog needs for great health. The three different recipes packed here features a variety of wholesome, highly-nutritional ingredients you can trust for the nourishment of your big-breed dog. Every blend is a premium choice made from trusted sources to ensure a complete, delicious selection. Give your dog flavors he can’t resist!

 

The Best Food For German Shepherd Puppies Only

14. Royal Canin Giant Junior Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3649 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 29%, Fat (min.) 14%, Fiber (max.) 3.4%, Moisture (max.) 9%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken By-Product Meal, 2. Brewers Rice Flour, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Corn, 5. Wheat Gluten

Offer only the best to your German shepherd breed right from his first meal! This Royal Canin option is specially designed for your large-breed puppy with all the essential nutrients they need for excellent growth and development. The crunchy munchies include DHA and EPA for great joint health for you growing darling as well as digestible protein to ease digestive issues that are very common in pups. Your little baby will turn into a large dog soon. Make sure you provide him with the nutrition he requires!

 

15. Holistic Select — Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health Lamb Meal & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Large, giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3665 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 25%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 4.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb Meal, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Brown Rice, 5. Barley
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

This dry food option by Holistic Select is a popular choice amongst German shepherds pup owners – thanks to the vital nutrients present in the blend specially crafted for large breed puppies. The formula isn’t only great for pups with sensitive digestion but also contains quality sources of nutrients to nourish little puppies right from the start so that they grow into big, beautiful hounds!

 

16. Purina Pro Plan — Focus Puppy Large Breed Formula Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Large, giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3922 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28%, Fat (min.) 13%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 12%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Brewer’s Rice, 3. Corn Gluten Meal, 4. Whole Grain Corn, 5. Poultry By-Product Meal
  • Omega-6 fatty acids

Don’t worry about your little one’s first meal when you have Purina to save your day. This Pro Plan Focus Puppy recipe is created to keep your German Shepherd puppy fully nourished without any digestive complications. The high-level of proteins extracted from the best and most natural sources ensure a high level of activity in your little pup. Keep their tummy safe and offer nutrients for great optimal growth.

 

17. Wellness — CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per cup): 417 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 36%, Fat (min.) 18%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Fill your German shepherd pup’s bowl with an incredible mix of great ingredients to guarantee cognitive growth and great physical health as they grow. The grain-free recipe includes deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal as the primary ingredients to ensure your pup gets high-quality protein nutrition to grow up into a healthy, active big dog!

Further Reading: