13 Best Dog Foods for German Shorthaired Pointers

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

This Updated Guide lists all of the Best Dog Foods for German Shorthaired Pointers.

If you are the owner of a German Shorthaired Pointer, you are probably aware that finding a dog food that’s both good for them and is something they like isn’t easy.

GSPs aren’t particularly picky and are absolute sweethearts when it comes to obedience and manners.

While the GSP is a sturdy, strong, and muscular breed, they do not have the best digestion. Plus, they are susceptible to several other problems as well.

Often, the health of your GSP boils down to what you put in its bowl.

Below are my top 8 picks. See the remaining dog foods later in the post…

The Best Dog Foods for German Shorthaired Pointers

1. Taste of The Wild — High Prairie Grain-Free Adult Dry Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Buffalo, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas

Taste of the Wild High Prairie is a perennial favorite and, indeed, a premium dog food created to fulfill the nutritional needs of almost every dog. Every ingredient comes from high-quality sources. It has novel proteins from bison and buffalo.

Besides the protein, it is full of nutrition from sweet potatoes and many other superfoods. You get minerals, vitamins, as well as antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system and improving digestion. This recipe is formulated to enhance the absorption of nutrients. And for a GSP with a sensitive tummy, the proprietary K9 strain probiotic in this grain-free recipe is the literal cherry on the top.


2. The Honest Kitchen — Whole Grain Chicken Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Dehydrated Chicken, 2. Organic Barley, 3. Dehydrated Potatoes, 4. Organic Flaxseed, 5. Organic Oats

This whole grain recipe from The Honest Kitchen contains Free Range Chicken along with other organic ingredients. The ingredients are human-grade, which means it contains fewer things to mess with your pup’s sensitive tummy.   

It is a dehydrated recipe you need to add water before serving. Otherwise, it is minimally processed and does not contain harmful preservatives. Generally labeled for adults, it makes for a good recipe for puppies as well.


3. Merrick’s Grain-Free — Real Buffalo, Beef, and Sweet Potato Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Buffalo, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Deboned Beef, 5. Sweet Potatoes

This real buffalo and beef recipe is grain-free and is great for picky eaters and packs on the nutrition as well.

It contains glucosamine and chondroitin for older adults or dogs with weaker joints and bones, and it includes enough fatty acids to keep your friend happy and active.


4. Blue Buffalo — Basics Grain-Free LID Lamb & Potato Large Breed Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Potatoes, 3. Pea Starch, 4. Peas, 5. Lamb Meal

A Limited Ingredient Diet is a good option for your German Shorthaired Pointer because they tend to have sensitive stomachs. This Blue Buffalo’s Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free has only the best ingredients and nothing else.

First of all, lamb is a non-allergenic ingredient most dogs, especially GSPs, tend to enjoy. Carbs from pumpkins, potatoes, and peas make it even easy to digest. It also includes taurine, chondroitin, and glucosamine for the overall health and wellbeing of your baby. It is a quality kibble that will keep your dog happy and healthy.


5. Stella & Chewy’s — Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken With Ground Bone, 2. Chicken Liver, 3. Chicken Gizzard, 4. Pumpkin Seed, 5. Organic Cranberries

Raw is a solid option for a well-built, athletic breed like German Shorthaired Pointers. Whether your baby is already on BARF or you wish to start the transition, Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Patties are perfect for any dog. These delightful treats serve as a balanced meal for your GSP. It has all the nutrients it needs – plus, a lot more.

This recipe is made from free-range chicken, bones and all, and contains good fats for your furry friend. It accurately mimics the ancestral diet of your dog and does not contain allergens such as grains or preservatives. In simpler words, Stella & Chewy will give you all the reasons to choose raw.


6. American Journey — Chicken & Brown Rice Large-Breed Adult Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Peas, 5. Rice Bran

American Journey may not be everyone’s top favorite, but when it comes to large breed recipes, they’ve got the formula right. It is a highly recommended option for dogs that prefer chicken and poultry. It isn’t wholly grain-free, but brown rice and barley are safer and healthier options. Real deboned chicken offers quality protein for GSP’s muscle growth. The recipe has all the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for your baby’s overall health.


7. Nutro Ultra — Duck, Lentil & Pear Grain-Free Adult Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Duck, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Lentils, 4. Lamb Meal, 5. Dried Potatoes

Nutro Ultra is yet another poultry-based recipe, but this one has farm-raised duck as its first ingredient. It tastes great and provides balanced nutrition – plus a lot more. It has a unique set of ingredients, including orchard-grown pears, lentils, and thyme that add a nutritious boost. It’s a grain-free recipe that works great for sensitive tummies.


8. Victor— Yukon River Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), 2. Peas, 3. Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), 4. Garbanzo Bean, 5. Dehydrated Salmon

Victor Select River Canine will give your German Shorthaired Pointer a bowl full of goodness in every meal. This fish-based recipe contains plenty of lean protein for your GSP’s muscles and enough good fats to keep it active and playful. It is indeed a complete recipe that will take care of your baby’s overall health from nose to tail. This recipe is packed with probiotics and mineral complexes for sensitive tummies.


FAQ

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a unique breed with slightly different needs and requirements, and it is essential to know what makes it different so you can give them the best care. 

How much should a German Shorthaired Pointer Eat?

A German Shorthaired Pointer is a medium to large-sized dog, but its an active hunting breed with lean muscle. An adult can eat 2-3 cups of high-quality food per day, which provides it a good amount of nutrition, but it may need 4-5 cups if the dog food has more filler in it.

Are German Shorthaired Pointers Prone to Digestive Issues?

GSP generally have sensitive tummies, but they are also prone to other diseases of the digestive tract. Dogs with a deep narrow chest like German Shorthaired Pointers may also suffer from gastric dilatation or bloating, which is a very serious condition.

What should I feed my German Shorthaired Pointers puppy?

A puppy German Shorthaired Pointer needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat since it is in a growing stage. Protein should come from animal sources. Three meals per day are well enough for a  German Shorthaired Pointer pup until it reaches the adult stage.

Which meat does German Shorthaired Pointers prefer?

A GSP’s diet must be comprised of quality meat, which is the ideal source of animal protein. Although they eat all kinds of meats,  novel options such as venison or lamb are preferable due to your pointer’s sensitive tummy.

When can my German Shorthaired Pointers start with adult dog food?

You can transition your German Shorthaired Pointer from puppy food to dog food when it is 12 months old or reaches his adult weight, i.e., 45 to 70 pounds for males and 45 to 60 pounds for females.

How many calories do German Shorthaired Pointers need in a day?

A healthy and active German Shorthaired Pointer weighing in about 55 to 60 pounds needs to consume around 1,500 calories per day. However, if it is engaged in activities like hunting or sports, a GPS about the same weight will need 3,340 calories per day. Puppies need an average of 1,250 calories a day.

How much should my German Shorthaired Pointers weigh?

Adult, healthy German Shorthaired Pointer male weighs anywhere from 55 to 70 pounds while an adult female can be around 45 to 60 pounds. While it is considered a medium-sized breed by weight, GSP’s muscular built puts it in a large/giant breed category.

Can German Shorthaired Pointers get fat?

A German Shorthaired Pointer is a highly active and athletic breed. It burns the calories it consumes by keeping itself busy. It’s unusual for a GSP to get fat with such an active lifestyle, and it should remain lean throughout its lifespan.

Are German Shorthaired Pointers medium or large breed dogs?

German Shorthaired Pointers are usually categorized as a medium-sized breed due to their height and weight. But because of their muscular build and metabolism, their dietary needs are similar to that of larger breeds.

Should my German Shorthaired Pointers eat Large Breed dog food?

Yes, German Shorthaired Pointers can eat large breed or giant breed dog food. Since it is an athletic breed,  GSPs need more nutrients and calorie-dense foods as compared to most medium-sized breeds.

Which health problems are common in German Shorthaired Pointers?

Problems common in German Shorthaired Pointers include gastric torsion, hypothyroidism, canine hip dysplasia, Osteochondritis Dissecans, von Willebrand’s Disease, entropion, and pannus, and significant issues such as lymphedema.

Which exercises do German Shorthaired Pointers enjoy?

German Shorthaired Pointers are bred to hunt out in the field. They are incredibly agile and high energy dogs that love to run, swim, and play. Its best for them and their health to exercise at least 1 to 2 hours daily.

Can my German Shorthaired Pointer get overweight?

A German Shorthaired Pointer is a hunting breed and is a highly energetic and active dog. It’s unusual for such a breed to put on extra weight, get fat or overweight. Just a little padding around the ribs does not count for being overweight. However, sometimes excess weight is just a symptom rather than a problem.

Is a raw food diet good for German Shorthaired Pointers?

A fresh and raw diet is always the best option over the processed food, no matter how nutritious the latter claims to be. However, you will have to try a few options to find out the safest raw dog food for your German Shorthaired Pointer.

Is grain-free dog food good for German Shorthaired Pointers?

Yes, grain-free dog food is good for German Shorthaired Pointers since the breed has a sensitive stomach. Grains are known allergens, and it is best to avoid them.

Buyers’ Guide: Best Dog Food for German Shorthaired Pointers

Medium Breed or Large Breed

I have covered this in the FAQ section, but this topic warrants more detailed discussion since this is the one factor that often confuses GSP parents.

Many journals categorize German Shorthaired Pointers as a medium-sized breed, while others say it is a large breed dog.

Interestingly, neither is wrong.

While German Shorthaired Pointers are generally shorter than Pointers, they can vary in size like most crossbred dogs. They can be medium or large-sized, and sometimes even close to giant-sized dogs.

Now, this particular fact plays a vital role in finding the right dog food for your German Shorthaired Pointer.  Many veterinarians would recommend a large or giant breed dog food – but the size isn’t the only reason.

Daily Calorie Requirements

Another reason your German Shorthaired Pointer will need large or giant breed dog food is that the calorie requirement is higher than other medium-sized breeds.

That is because of two main reasons:

a. your dog has a muscular and athletic build

b. your dog is highly active and playful

More activities mean your dog burns more calories in a day. Also, a lot of calories are burned in building lean muscle rather than accumulating fat. That is why an average GSP will need somewhere between 1,500 to 3,000 calories a day. Dogs that engage in strenuous activities such as hunting or swimming may need even more.

More Proteins, More Fat

Now that I’ve established that your GSP is a muscular and athletic breed, it is no surprise that it needs a lot of protein. That protein should come from animal sources, preferably from novel ones such as lamb and venison.

As for fat, dogs need fat for energy.

That’s right.

Unlike other animals, dogs don’t get their energy from carbohydrates. They get it from fat. The more active they are, the more fat they will need. It also takes care of their skin and coat.

However, the fat should also come from quality sources. Salmon, flaxseed, fish oil, and canola oil are good sources of good fat for your GSP.

What you need to maintain is the right balance of protein and fats according to your dog’s lifestyle and activity level.

Other Ingredients to Look for

Aside from protein and fats, your dog will need a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals. These should be sourced from vegetables, fruits, and superfoods. Superfoods also add a boost of antioxidants. Since GSPs are susceptible to several health issues, an antioxidant-rich diet can help them stay healthy.

Probiotics are also an excellent addition to your GSP’s diet. Many premium dog foods contain probiotics in the form of a live culture of healthy bacteria. These bacteria maintain a healthy gut environment to ensure easy digestion and better metabolism.

Ingredients to Avoid

I would recommend you to avoid anything likely to cause tummy troubles for your German Shorthaired Pointer. They have a sensitive tummy, and won’t be able to digest fillers like soy, wheat, and corn. Besides fillers, grains are also a common cause of indigestion and other stomach related problems in GSPs.

Your GSP can also do good without a lot of carbs in its diet. Carbs aren’t the main source of energy for dogs. There are only a handful of carbs that are safe for dogs with a sensitive tummy. Potatoes and peas might not agree with your dog’s stomach.

To sum it up, it is a good idea to go for hypoallergenic food for the large or giant breeds for your GSP. Keep in mind that every dog may have different needs, and you will still have to try a few options to find the best dog food for your German Shorthaired Pointer.


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More of Best Dog Food for Adult German Shorthaired Pointers

9. Purina Pro Plan — SPORT Life Stages Performance 30/20 Formula 

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Corn Gluten Meal, 3. Brewer’s Rice, 4. Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols (Form of Vitamin E), 5. Poultry By-Product Meal

I recommend Purina Pro Plan Sport for the highly active German Shorthaired Pointers because of 30/20 protein to fat ratio. While it is marketed for all life stages, it is best for older adults just coming into their senior years.  It will take care of their muscles as well as their joint, ensuring active and healthy senior life for them. Your dog will get all the nutritions plus glucosamine, DHA, EPA, and fatty acids.


10. Nature’s Recipe — Grain-Free Salmon Sweet Potato Pumpkin

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Garbanzo Beans, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Salmon Meal

This offering from Nature’s Recipe has high-quality proteins, good fats, and healthy carbs. Real Sweet potatoes and pumpkin not only add carbs and fiber, but they also give this recipe mouthwatering irresistible flavor. Red salmon, the first ingredient in this formula, will provide quality proteins along with healthy fatty acids to keep your active GSP’s joints running. Plus, carefully chosen antioxidants make it a good boost for the immune system.


Best Puppy Food for German Shorthaired Pointers

11. Nature’s Variety — Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Chicken Large Breed Puppy Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Egg Product, 5. Tapioca

When it comes to GSP pups, I prefer large and giant breed dog food. Instinct remains my top favorite for active breeds with the tendency to grow faster and bigger. It is one of the best raw puppy foods out there that doesn’t upset your baby’s tummy. It is grain-free, easy to digest, and delicious. Made from cage-free chicken, this is a high-protein formula that takes care of your puppy’s physical and mental development.


12. Nulo — Freestyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Salmon Meal, 4. Chickpeas, 5. Chicken Fat

Nulo FreeStyle is a protein-packed delicious treat for your German Shorthaired Pointer puppy. Eighty percent of those proteins come from animal sources such as turkey and salmon. It doesn’t have chicken or egg, which makes it best for sensitive stomachs. What it has is quality proteins and enough fat to keep your pup active without joint problems. Plus, it’s a low glycemic option for puppies susceptible to diabetes.


13. Blue Buffalo — Life Protection Formula Chicken & Brown Rice Large-Breed Puppy Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Oatmeal, 5.  Barley

German Shorthaired Pointers are not just an athletic breed; they are also a smart breed. I like this puppy formula because it has DHA and ARA for a healthy mind and vision. If you wish to train your pup for a competition, you need a recipe just like this one. With chicken and brown rice as the main ingredients, Blue Buffalo Life Protection has ARA, DHA, and L-carnitine. The formula is delicious enough for picky puppies.


14. Victor — Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy Formula 

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Blood Meal, 3. Whole Grain Millet, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Yeast Culture

Victor Select Pro-Active is yet another formula for highly active and energetic pups like your German Shorthaired Pointers. Aside from protein sources, the first five ingredients include chicken fat. It will allow your little one to play as much as it wants without feeling tired and lethargic. The recipe is so balanced that it is equally good for adults and puppies. It is a grain-free formula that is low on carbs.


15. Royal Canin — Large Puppy Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Corn, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal, 3. Wheat, 4. Wheat Gluten, 5. Chicken Fat

Royal Canin is one of my favorite brands because there is a lot of research behind every product they launch. It is why most products are approved and recommended by veterinarians – This one is no exception. It is a high protein high-fat formula that provides all the necessary nutrients, and more, without upsetting your GSP’s tummy. It has prudently picked probiotics that can aid digestion and improve nutrient absorption.


Best Dog Food for Senior German Shorthaired Pointer

16. Nutro — Wholesome Essentials Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Large Breed

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), 3. Whole Brown Rice, 4. Brewers Rice, 5. Split Peas

For senior GSPs, Nutro’s Wholesome Essential recipe for the large breed is a perfect formula because it takes care of all the nutritional needs without triggering sensitivities. It is a fortified formula with a good amount of fatty acids to keep your old friend’s joints strong. It is free of the ingredients that can upset digestion, and it has all your GSP needs to stay active in its senior year.


17. Solid Gold— Young At Heart Chicken, Sweet Potato & Spinach Senior Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Chickpeas, 5. Peas

A GSP needs to stay young at heart, and that is what this recipe delivers. With real chicken as the first ingredient, this formula has just the right amount of fat and protein for your old mate. Since GSPs are prone to digestive issues and sensitivities in later years, this one is free of all the ingredients that can trigger troubles. Plus, it has superfoods that strengthen your pet’s immune system as well.

Now you have the ultimate list of dog foods your GSP needs and desires. Try different recipes and don’t forget to follow proper transition process to help your baby get used to their new diet.

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