Best Dog Food for German Shepherd

Best Dog Food for German Shepherd

German shepherds are a large breed that was bred to work. This high-energy dog has a lot of muscle and a healthy appetite. Choosing the best dog foods for German shepherd is an important part of helping it maintain a healthy weight and avoid some of the health problems this breed is prone to developing. 


What is the Best Dog for German Shepherd?

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about your German shepherd’s diet and some options for the best dog food for German shepherds. 


German shepherds are a large dog breed, usually reaching between 70 and 90 pounds. Daily caloric requirements depend on the age and activity level of your dog. Older, less active German shepherds need between about 1,300 and 1,550 calories a day, while active young adults need between 1,750 and 2,100. 

Protein and Fat

Protein should make up between 18 and 22 percent of your German shepherd’s diet; fat, about five percent. 

Whole meat, like chicken or beef, should be the primary ingredient in the best food for German shepherd dogs. The ingredients on the label are listed according to weight, which means that the very first listed ingredient should be a source of whole protein. If the ingredients are listed as chicken, oats, peas, carrots, and chicken meal, the ingredient that makes up most of the recipe is chicken.

You may see a meat meal listed, too. A lot of people think that meal is not a good source of nutrition, but that’s not exactly true. Meal made from whole protein, like lamb meal, chicken meal, or salmon meal, is fine, but it’s best to avoid anything that has something like a chicken by-product meal listed in the ingredients. 

Carbs, grains, fats, and vegetables should follow. Vegetables and fish oils provide healthy fats and omega-3s that your German shepherd needs for healthy skin and a shiny smooth coat.


Look for grains that are easily digestible, like oats, barley, and rice. Avoid corn, soy, and wheat, especially if your dog has a sensitive stomach as these grains are difficult to digest. Carbohydrates provide the quick energy this active breed needs. Some grain free food options are okay, too, if they make up for the fiber and carbs in other ways.

Look for All Natural Ingredients

Stay away from any German shepherd food with artificial ingredients, especially preservatives, colors, or flavors. Synthetic preservatives can cause health issues, and artificial ingredients can’t compare with the real thing. Large breeds need whole, nutritious food like brown rice, deboned chicken, or high-quality chicken meal.

Healthy Weight

A German shepherd is extremely active, so if you make sure they get enough daily exercise, they should have no problem maintaining a healthy weight. If the dog eats too much or doesn’t get enough exercise, it can gain weight and become obese, which poses numerous health risks. 

This breed is prone to developing joint conditions, like arthritis, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia. When a German shepherd is overweight, it puts a lot of excess stress on the joints which can affect mobility. 

A German shepherd is also at risk for developing absorption issues, which can cause weight loss and excess hunger even though the German shepherd is eating normally. In this case, it’s best to talk to your vet. Treatment often includes a low fiber, low-fat diet with easily digestible carbs, and a high-quality protein as the main ingredient. Some of the best dog foods for German shepherds meet these requirements, and high protein, grain free large breed best of food is easy to find.

What Is the Best Dry Dog Food to Feed a German Shepherd?

What Is the Best Dry Dog Food to Feed a German Shepherd

Dry dog food has a few benefits over wet dog food. For one thing, it’s more economical. You can measure out the exact portion you need without having to worry about anything spoiling or going to waste. It’s also more economical. Some dry dog foods come in large bags that can be stored for a really long time. 

Dry dog food is also best for your dog’s dental health. Some kibble is shaped so that it scraps plaque and tartar off your dog’s teeth as they chew. If you’re looking for great dry dog food for your German shepherd, here are the best options. 

1. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

The first ingredient in Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is real chicken. This protein-rich recipe has a blend of tender, meaty chicken morsels and crunchy kibble that your dog is going to love. 

It also features a special dual-defense antioxidant blend to help support your German shepherd’s immune system and natural sources of glucosamine for optimal joint health. Each high-quality ingredient is chosen carefully to deliver well-balanced nutrition with no added fillers. 

2. Nulo Adult Grain-Free Dog Food

This 100 percent natural dog food from Nulo is the best choice if you’re looking for a grain-free diet for your German shepherd. Not only does it contain no wheat, corn, or soy, but there are no artificial flavors, colors, or additives. Nulo leaves out eggs and chicken, too, opting instead for recipes using lamb and chickpeas, salmon and peas, and turkey and sweet potato. If your dog isn’t a fan of chicken-based food, this is a good one to try. These animal-based protein sources provide essential amino acids that work together to build lean muscle and a healthy heart. 

Each recipe also contains probiotics to encourage regulated digestion and omega fatty acids to improve skin and coat health. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to ease joint pain and stiffness, while omega-6 regulates metabolism and supports brain health.

Every batch of Nulo adult dog food is carefully mixed and made in Austin, Texas. It’s available in multiple sizes, too. We recommend the 24-pound bag for a large breed like a German shepherd.

3. CRAVE Grain-Free With Protein from Lamb and Venison Dry Adult Dog Food

CRAVE is inspired by the diet of the wolf and made with high-quality animal proteins like lamb and venison. This high-protein dog food contains 34 percent protein, with real lamb as the first ingredient. It supports strong, lean muscle growth, and grain-free carbohydrate sources provide energy without affecting digestion. This recipe also contains no wheat, corn, soy, or artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors. 

4. Eukanuba Breed Specific German Shepherd Dry Dog Food

This German shepherd dog food from Eukanuba is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of the breed. The high-quality animal-based proteins support optimal conditioning, building strong, lean muscles and helping maintain a healthy weight. It also contains L-Carnitine and taurine for a healthier heart.

This brand uses a special fiber system that promotes healthy digestion and nutrient absorption, making sure your German shepherd dog gets the best nutrition without stomach upset. Omega fatty acids support skin and coat health, and glucosamine and chondroitin help maintain agile joints to keep your dog active as long as possible.

An optimal balance of fats and carbs provides the energy this active breed needs, while DHA and vitamin E contribute to healthy brain function and mental acuity. That’s not all, this dog food also features Euanuba’s 3D Dentadefense System which is designed to improve teeth and gum health, reducing tartar buildup in only 28 days. 

Eukanuba doesn’t use any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors and there are no fillers so you can trust your dog is getting optimal nutrition, made specifically for this breed.

5. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin has a breed-specific formula made for German shepherds 15 months and older. The kibble is shaped and textured specifically for the German shepherd’s long mouth and made to encourage chewing. This recipe contains healthy proteins and essential nutrients that are easy to digest and carefully chosen fibers to optimize digestion. 

The breed-specific formula also contains fish oil for optimal skin and coat health, and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health to support the German shepherd’s large, muscular bodies. Best of all, if you or your dog aren’t satisfied, Royal Canin offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. 

6. ORIJEN High-Protein, Grain-Free, Premium Quality Meat, Dry Dog Food

ORIJEN uses the best fresh and raw animal ingredients, including organs, meat, cartilage, and bone to deliver a grain-free diet that’s biologically appropriate for German shepherds. They use fresh, regional ingredients from local suppliers that they know and trust to deliver high-quality nutrition. It’s made in Kentucky, close to rolling grasslands, fertile farms, and Appalachian ranches, giving them access to uniquely high quality ingredients, responsibly farmed and delivered to the kitchen at the peak of freshness. 

Ingredients include free-run turkey and chicken, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs and it’s appropriate for adult German shepherds and senior dogs. It contains 85 percent protein and 15 percent vegetables, botanicals, and fruit.

7. Wellness Complete Health Natural Large Breed Dry Dog Food

This Wellness Complete food for large breeds features high-quality proteins and wholesome grains and delivers a diet packed with quality ingredients your German shepherd needs. A variety of antioxidant-rich ingredients like spinach, tomatoes, and carrots provide immune system support, and it’s loaded with omega fatty acids to ensure coat and skin health. 

One of the great things about this dog food for German shepherds is that it provides nutrition for the whole body, including glucosamine for joint support, taurine for cardiac health, and probiotics to maintain healthy digestion.

Wellness Complete contains no fillers, meat-byproducts, or artificial preservatives. It’s made in the USA using globally sourced non-GMO ingredients, chosen specifically for their nutritional benefits.

8. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Bison and Venison

Another best dog food for German shepherds is this Taste of the Wild High Prairie recipe. It features roasted bison and venison that not only taste amazing for your dog but also provide 32 percent protein that’s easily digestible. Plus, there’s vegetables, fruits, and legumes to round out your pet’s nutrition. 

Taste of the Wild includes K9 Strain Probiotics, a specially developed strain for dogs that is added after the cooking process to maintain its effectiveness. Every pound of this dog food contains 80 million active cultures, ideal for supporting your dog’s immune and digestive systems. 

Omega fatty acids are included for skin and coat health, and antioxidants from ingredients like legumes, fruits, sweet potatoes, raspberries, and blueberries add necessary supplies of nutrients like vitamin E, selenium, and zinc. Taste of the Wild is hands down a best dog food for large breed dogs.

9. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Another great natural dog food is this recipe from Whole Earth Farms. It’s crafted to support all life stages from adult to senior and has added vitamins and minerals to meet all of your dog’s nutritional needs. 

This recipe features protein-rich beef, pork, and lamb and apples, flaxseed, and sweet potatoes. It contains no corn, wheat, poultry by-product, soy, or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. All of Whole Earth Farms’ products are cooked in the USA. 

The unique mix of natural ingredients helps give your pet healthier skin and a shiny coat. It’s easy to digest, so it’s a great choice if your dog has stomach issues. 

What Is the Best Wet Dog Food to Feed a German Shepherd?

Wet food has its benefits, too. For one, it has greater water content, so if you live in a hot climate or your dog isn’t getting enough water, wet dog food can help them stay hydrated. (Of course, it’s still important for your dog to get fresh water every day, so make sure they have access to it at all times.) The higher moisture content also helps dogs feel more satisfied and may be helpful when it comes to weight management. 

Dogs that have trouble chewing can also benefit from wet dog food. There are a lot of reasons that dogs might have a hard time with kibble, whether they’re missing teeth or have a misaligned jaw. 

When dogs get older, they often start to lose their sense of smell and may find kibble unappetizing. Wet food has a richer smell and flavor that may encourage a dog with a poor appetite to eat a little more. 

1. Purina Pro Plan Large & Giant Breed Adult Wet Dog Food

Purina is a well-known pet food brand, and its Pro Plan wet dog food for large and giant breeds is a great choice for a German shepherd. It’s formulated for dogs over 50 pounds and made with real beef and other high-quality proteins and brown rice for easy digestion. 

Each ingredient in this canned dog food was chosen for a specific nutritional purpose, giving German shepherds and other large breeds 100 percent of the nutrients they need to thrive. This recipe supports every part of your pet’s body, supporting bone and muscle growth, healthy joints, and a strong immune system. It also contains omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. 

2. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Wet Dog Food

This homestyle food recipe from Blue Buffalo is a plate style meal your German shepherd will love. Real deboned chicken is the first ingredient in Blue Buffalo, and the high-quality protein supports healthy muscles and has a taste your dog will love. The real deboned chicken provides essential amino acids, and healthy whole grains like barley and brown rice deliver complex carbohydrates for energy.

The Blue Buffalo homestyle recipe also includes whole carrots, blueberries, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and more, all things that your German shepherd. There’s no poultry by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy and no artificial preservatives or flavors in Blue Buffalo.

3. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Loaf in Sauce Dog Food

This breed-specific recipe from Royal Canin has just what your German shepherd needs. It’s ideal for purebred dogs older than 15 months, and they’re sure to love the loaf in sauce pate style meal. 

German shepherds benefit from the specific B vitamins and amino acids that support healthy skin and a shiny coat and glucosamine and chondroitin to support bone and joint health. This food can be fed alone or added to dry food to make it more palatable or to give your dog a special treat. 

One of the best things about Royal Canin is its breed-specific health formulas are 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed. If you or your pet aren’t happy, give them a call and they’ll take care of you. 

4. Natural Balance Ultra Premium Wet Dog Food with Real Meat & Brown Rice

This canned food from Natural Balance contains the ultimate blend of premium protein from premium-quality beef to maintain muscle mass and help your German shepherd maintain strength and agility. Other ingredients include brown rice, oat bran, and potatoes, all highly digestible carbohydrates that help maintain good GI health and give your dog the fuel it needs to stay active. Omega fatty acids support a soft, silky coat and healthy skin. 

Natural Balance performs nine safety tests on every batch of food to make sure that each one lives up to its quality standards. These tests are performed by chemists and microbiologists, and they share the results right on their website. 

They use only the tastiest ingredients to make sure your German shepherd likes what it’s eating. Best of all, if it’s not happy, they also provide a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

How to Choose the Best Food for Your German Shepherd

There’s no single dog food that’s great for all German shepherds across the board. Each German shepherd is different, and there are a lot of things to consider to make sure you’re choosing the best food for your pet. 


A German shepherd puppy requires special nutrition, so if you have one, look for breed-specific puppy food. Most adult food is not meant for dogs younger than 15 months. Puppy foods have twice the amount of protein and fat than most adult foods because they have higher energy requirements and are actively growing. So. the best dog food for a German shepherd puppy is different than what is best for an adult. They usually have concentrated proteins, like chicken meal, and other ingredients to support the puppy as it grows into a large breed.

Large breed puppies need less calcium and phosphorus to support bone development. Their bones mature at a slower rate than smaller breeds because they have so much more growing to do.

Adult foods for German shepherds should have enough protein, carbs, fat, and fiber to support the breed. All store-bought dog foods meet the minimal requirements, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is right for your dog.

As your German shepherd gets older, their energy needs change and their metabolism slows. They need about ⅕ fewer calories than they did as a healthy adult. Older dogs are also more prone to cognitive decline and arthritis, so look for something that supports joint and brain health. 

L-carnitine was shown to improve cognitive function in a small study done on beagles, and some feeds meant for seniors have this additive. 

Breed Size

German shepherds have unique needs, just like every breed. Look for diets that support them, especially joint and bone health, skin health, and GI support. The best food for this large breed contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which are thought to improve joint and cartilage health, helping to maintain mobility. That said, the dosages of these supplements have been unproven, but they can’t hurt. Chicken and chicken meal have some of these nutrients naturally.

Pregnant or Nursing Dogs

If your German shepherd is pregnant or nursing a German shepherd puppy, it needs food that is higher in protein and contains a lot of water. Chicken meal may not be a good choice because it has the water and fat removed, but deboned chicken is fine. This will provide the nutrition the mother needs for the German shepherd puppy and support adequate breast milk production after delivery. 

Choosing a Good Brand

Choosing a Good Brand

There are a lot of well-known dog food brands out there, and it’s hard to know which ones are worth it. 

One of the best things to do is to talk to your vet about brands they recommend for the best dog food for German shepherds. If your dog has a health condition and requires special food, your vet will be able to tell you what your dog needs. If your dog is healthy, it’s still worth asking the vet for their opinion to help narrow down your choices. 

Look at online reviews to make sure other people who have used the food are happy with their results. There are also some brands that offer a satisfaction guarantee so there’s nothing to lose if you try it and your dog doesn’t like it. 

Wet vs Dry

Both dry and wet dog food provides your dog with adequate nutrition as long as you follow the feeding instructions. 

Wet dog food is good for dogs with urinary problems because they contain more water and can help hydrate the dog. They also taste a lot better than dry food, so if you have a picky eater, we food may do the trick. 

The downside to wet dog food is that it’s more difficult to store. If you’re feeling a 70-pound German shepherd, finding enough room for all of the cans of dog food you’ll need to keep on hand can be difficult. 

Grain Free or Not Grain Free

Some people think that grains aren’t good for dogs because they believe ancient wolves didn’t eat anything but meat in the wild. Other people believe that it’s highly unlikely that wolves ate only meat because they had to scrounge for food at times and probably would have eaten whatever they could find. 

If you are okay with a food that has grain, choose something with brown rice or some other whole grain as opposed to wheat, corn, or soy.

Ultimately, this one is up to you. Talk to your vet if you think your pet has GI issues because those dogs usually do a little better with grain-free food, but the best dog food for German shepherds is ultimately the one that is best for your pup.

Look at the Label

Knowing how to read the label tells you everything you need to know about the dog food you’re choosing for. this large breed. 

The most important thing to look at is the first five ingredients. They’re listed in weighted order, so the one that is first is the one there’s the most of. For German shepherds, the best choices will have a high-quality protein listed as the top ingredient, like deboned chicken or lamb meal. 

Some people avoid anything with the word “meal”, but it’s important to know what that means before writing it off completely. Full protein meal is just concentrated protein, which delivers the necessary nutrients without any extra water. Anything that has a chicken meal, lamb meal, or salmon meal is fine. On the other hand, by-product meals of any kind should be avoided. If the label included chicken by-product meal instead of chicken meal, stay away. They can contain just about any part of the animal, which is not something you want to feed your dog. 

Some dog foods also have added probiotics, which are great for German shepherds because they help promote good digestion and get health. If you’re looking at dry dog food, make sure it states that the probiotics were added after baking, otherwise they will be ineffective.

Best Dog Foods for German Shepherds

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a large breed dog food for your German shepherd, but the most important thing is that your dog wants to eat it, so try to choose something you know your dog will like. Remember, meal isn’t necessarily bad. Whole protein meals like chicken meal or salmon meal are great for this large breed.

If your German shepherds don’t like chicken, try food with beef or salmon. If it doesn’t like dry food, try adding some wet food into it or switch to wet food altogether. If it has GI issues, maybe stick with grain free.

It doesn’t matter how much time you spend choosing a great German shepherd food, if your dog won’t eat it, it isn’t getting any of the benefits. This is why it’s a good idea to consider food with a satisfaction guarantee.

Our Top 5 Food Choices For German Shepherds:

A German Shepherd is a breed of working dog originating from—you guessed it—Germany. Highly intelligent, athletic, and relatively easy to train, the German Shepherds are trained as police dogs, drug sniffing dogs, and dogs for the blind. The chances are, your German Shepherd’s job is a little less strenuous and involves mostly lounging around the house and being your best friend.

Whether it is dry food or dog meat, like all dogs, German Shepherd puppies and adults alike benefit from high-quality dog food that has specific protein, fat, Omega fatty acids, and fiber content, as well as being enriched with particular vitamins and minerals. So, why don’t we feed them that way?

Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds Comparison

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Many dog owners unknowingly take a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to feeding their pets, especially if they have multiple ones, but German Shepherds and other breeds can really benefit from more targeted nutrition. So, what does that mean exactly? Well, let’s take a look!



German Shepherds: What Nutrient Does Your Regal Pet Need?

Being a high-energy breed, German Shepherds need to not only get enough exercise and mental stimulation to keep them healthy, but they also need to be consuming enough calories to sustain that energy.

  Having said this, German Shepherds are a breed that can pack on a few pounds, especially in their golden years, so you should get a dog food with high protein levels to support those energy levels but a more moderate fat content is ideal.

German Shepherds are also really prone to hip dysplasia, due to their Hip Dysplasiabeing bred to have an extremely sloped back. This
makes weight management really important for your regal pup. You should also look for a food that contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which support joint health or other supplements like calcium or l-carnitine to keep bones healthy.

As always, steer clear of cheap fillers such as wheat, corn, and soy. Although German Shepherds are less prone to allergies than some other breeds, they can have sensitive stomachs so it never hurts to steer clear of chicken as well.

Crushing Calories, One Bite at a Time

Calories intake is important to consider for an active breed that can be prone to weight gain such as a German Shepherd. Always talk to your vet to determine what he thinks is best for your pup.

Puppies need to consume twice as many calories as an adult of the same breed. Not only do puppies have way higher energy levels (have you ever met a puppy?), but they are also growing at a very quick rate. Puppies have to do in 1-2 years what humans do in 20 years when it comes to growing!

Your German Shepherd puppy probably requires about 40 calories per lb per day. Therefore, if your puppy weighs 10 lb, he needs to be consuming about 400 calories a day. This might seem like a lot for your bouncing baby, but if you are feeding your puppy actual puppy food, it is an easily attainable feat.

An adult German Shepherd’s calories intake will mostly depend on his activeness. A dog that sleeps in a crate all day will obviously require fewer calories than a dog who lives on a farm and spends all day running around outside.

The typical adult will need about 20 calories per lb per day, half of what a puppy requires. So, for an average dog, you should ensure his diet provides around 1,400-1,500 calories per day.

An active dog, such as one that lives on a farm or is “employed” as a Police Dogpolice or search or rescue dog will require more
than the average dog
, but not as much as a puppy. Somewhere between the two is about 30 calories per lb per day. So, an active dog needs about 2,100 calories a day to sustain his energy levels, as well as for physical and mental stamina.

An older, more sedentary dog will probably self-moderate, but you should ensure that he is not over feeding. To prevent weight-related health problems, an older and slower dog probably only needs about 1,200 calories a day.

A Matter of Macro-Nutrients

All quality dog food will give you a breakdown of proteins, fats, and carbs in the crude analysis. No matter the breed, the first ingredient should ALWAYS be protein. Your dog may be a domestic little snuggle monster now but he descended from the gray wolf and is by nature a carnivore.

Any biologically appropriate food will feature protein as the first ingredient on that Crude Analysis and if it doesn’t don’t buy it, no matter what fancy marketing is used to try to entice you.

  Since German Shepherds are high energy breeds, the protein should be around 20% for a fairly sedentary dog and between 30% and 40% for a more active working dog. Protein not only gives your dog energy, but will also assist in the development of strong, lean muscle. 

The next ingredient on that crude analysis is likely fat. Despite our warnings about your German Shepherd being prone to a little weight gain, don’t shy away from this ingredient. Your dog needs it. Not only does fat provide energy, but fatty acids will also help create a lipid barrier, for healthy skin and a smooth shiny coat.

Fatty acids are also important for heart health and essential for your smart pooch’s cognitive function. You are ideally looking for a fat content between 12% and 18% for a German Shepherd.

When we talk about carbohydrates in a dog’s diet, it is not as important to look at the amount of carbs but the source of the carbs. Although not as prone to allergies as some breeds like boxers or bulldogs, German Shepherds can still suffer from allergies.

Therefore, it is important to look for a food that is ideally grain-free but definitely does not include wheat, soy, or corn. When we spoke about biological appropriateness earlier, we mentioned that in nature, your pup would be carnivorous. Wheat, soy, and corn are ingredients that your dog would never encounter in the wild and are mostly just used as cheap filler.

Instead, look for high-quality ingredients like chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. OK, so now you might be wondering why your dog even requires carbs in his diet. Carbs are a fantastic source of fiber, which helps keep your dog’s bowel healthy, as well as promoting a healthy weight. It also helps keep your dog feeling satisfied between feeds.

An Extra Nutritional Punch

Like us, dogs need a variety of vitamins and minerals to thrive. Important ones for German Shepherds definitely include glucosamine and chondroitin for bone and hip support. This is essential for preventing the painful aforementioned hip dysplasia that may plague your German Shepherd.

Omega-3 and 6 essential fatty acids are also great to include in your dog’s kibble. Not only will they aid in cognitive function but they also promote heart health and healthy skin and coat.

Prebiotics and probiotics ensure that your pets gut flora is balanced. They can also help him break down difficult ingredients, allowing your pooch to absorb all the nutrients your dog’s food is providing.

  Finally, fruit and vegetable sources of antioxidants will give your German Shepherd’s immune system a helping hand and keep him healthy and resistant to disease and infections.

Good Ol’ H2O

Like all living creatures, your German Shepherd will thrive from being properly hydrated. Make sure he always has access to a nice, fresh bowl of cold water and to change it out regularly.

Beware of… These Ingredients!

As previously stated, your German Shepherd (and, in fact, all dogs) does not need any wheat, soy, or corn filler in his food. These are cheap fillers that companies use to make more dog food without increasing the nutritional value. You can compare it to a bartender watering down drinks.

You should also avoid any artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. First of all, your dog doesn’t care what his food looks like. Secondly, it’s a dog parent’s responsibility to ensure that there are enough natural quality ingredients in their choice of food that the flavor doesn’t need to be enhanced with artificial flavoring.

Most dogs aren’t that picky after all—they will eat a dead animal! Finally, you actually don’t want a food that will last indefinitely.

 Lots of different foods are made up of fresh or flash frozen real meats and you want a product that features as many real ingredients as possible.  

Some companies will also include ingredients that are not fit for human consumption, such as expired meat. You shouldn’t feed it to your dog if it is potentially dangerous to humans.

Health Woes for Your Hound

German Shepherds are prone to their own set of unique health problems. We’ve mentioned it a couple of times because, sadly, it is a very prevalent condition in German shepherds. The well-known slope in a German Shepherd’s back causes hip dysplasia.

Unfortunately, many breeders will try to enhance this “look” through breeding, which is only detrimental to the animal. Hip dysplasia is painful and can really take away from your dog’s quality of life. To attempt to avoid this problem, ensure your German Shepherd maintains a healthy body weight and try to include glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM in some form in your dog’s diet.

  Like other large breeds with a deep chest, German Shepherds can suffer from bloat. Bloat is a serious, life-threatening condition that is frighteningly unknown among pet parents. If you notice you dog attempting to throw up but being unable to, pacing, and seemingly in general distress along with thick, stringy drooling, your dog’s stomach may have twisted, causing bloat. See a vet immediately.
  To help avoid bloat, feed him in as many small meals as is realistic. Also, restrict exercise before and after meals and ensure access to fresh, cold water. Finally, if you have a dog that really “wolfs” down his food, buy a special bowl that forces him to slow down, or spread his kibble out on the floor to make it a little more difficult to eat.

The Best Dog Food for German Shepherds


1. Orijen Adult Dog Food

Orijen Adult Dog Food 28.6lb bag
  • Orijen Adult Dog Food 28.6lb bag
  • 28.6 pounds

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Orijen is a big name in the dog food business and for good reason: Orijen uses real, high-quality ingredients. In fact 2/3 of the quality meats used in Orijen are either fresh or raw (which just means flash frozen). This grain-free food is composed of 85% meat and 15% fruits and veggies, which makes it biologically appropriate for your dog, which is a carnivore by nature.

In fact, the first 10 ingredients in any Orijen food are meat or meat-based foods. Crafted in Canadian kitchens, Orijen utilizes every part of the animal, from flesh to organs to cartilage to ensure that your dog is consuming and absorbing the most nutrients possible. Because of this, Orijen only feels the need to include one supplement, which is Zinc.

Zinc helps support the immune system, as well as promoting skin health for timely wound healing and finally helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. Orijen dog food also provides your dog with superior complex carbohydrates, such as squash, pumpkin, and beetroot which help keep his digestive system on track, as well as providing slow-burning energy to help him feel full and maintain energy levels between feedings.

This dog food is also well-balanced for a German Shepherd: Ultra-high protein levels provide fuel and energy to keep your pup bouncing around and able to focus with reasonable fat content to ensure your dog maintains his healthy body weight.

Check Price & Availability

The Bottom Line? This dog food is expensive, but it’s worth the money for your German Shepherd. Not only is it made of the freshest and most high-quality ingredients, but it is also based on your dog’s ancestral diet, which means it naturally contains everything you need for a healthy dog.

  • Made in Canada
  • 85% protein, 15% fruit and vegetable matter
  • Grain-free
  • Supplements Zinc
  • High-quality, fresh ingredients
  • Very high protein, moderate fat
  • Expensive
  • Contains chicken

2. Taste of the Wild, Canine Formula

Taste Of The Wild Grain Free High Protein Dry Dog Food High Prairie Adult - Venison & Bison 30Lb
  • 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

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This grain-free dog food is based on your dog’s ancestral diet. High protein levels with more moderate fat content provide the energy your dog needs for his active lifestyle without putting him at risk of obesity or unhealthy weight gain. Variety is the spice of life and this dry dog food is available in several different flavor options and package sizes.

On the subject of flavor, any pup is sure to scarf this tasty food down as it is made with real roasted meats, as well as high-quality sources of fiber such as sweet potatoes and peas. Not only does this help keep your dog’s tummy happy and operating smoothly, but it also ensures that your dog is able to sustain his high energy levels and activity between meals!

Antioxidant ingredients such as blueberries help ward off disease and keep your pup’s immune system working at maximum capacity. This formula also contains Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, which not only protect your best friend against heart disease but also keeps his skin and coat healthy. Finally, this formula contains naturally occurring probiotics, which will help keep their gut flora balanced and will help them digest.

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The Bottom Line? Taste of the Wild is an inexpensive brand you can count on. Their high-quality food is grain-free, as well as being high in protein with moderate fat content. Lots of flavors will keep your dogs palate healthy while antioxidants and probiotics will keep the rest of his body working at maximum capacity. Taste of the Wild dog food is an excellent option on a budget.

  • Biologically appropriate
  • Grain-free
  • High protein
  • Moderate fat content
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Contains fatty acids
  • Contains probiotics
  • Contains chicken

3. Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain Free Dry Dog Food, 28 Lb.
  • Grain Free, Gluten Free, 28 Lb. Resealable Bag
  • Lean Red Meat Bison Protein Important For Optimal Health

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This grain-free dog food is also chicken-free and gluten-free, making it a great option for an allergic German Shepherd or one with a sensitive stomach. This holistic, yet affordable dog food brand also contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These acids are helpful in maintaining a healthy heart and also help to keep skin moisturized and your pup’s coat shiny, healthy and manageable.

This dog food is high in protein derived from red meat, namely bison and lamb meals that contain up to 3 times the protein content that regular meat does. It also contains egg proteins. Lots of protein and more moderate fat content will help your dog develop strong, lean muscle and help him shed extra weight if he needs to!

Every gulp of this tasty food will provide your dog with fruit and vegetable-based fiber as well as antioxidants, which help your pup, fight off disease and infection and keep his immune system functioning properly. The addition of l-carnitine also allows your dogs to easily turn excess fat into muscle, which will help him keep off extra pounds and benefit his overall health.

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The Bottom Line? If your dog has a sensitive tummy or suffers from allergies, this food may rock his metaphorical socks off! Not only is it delicious but also it is also grain, gluten, and chicken-free. It contains high protein to sustain an active dog but lower fat to help keep the weight off as your pup ages and high-quality complex carbs to keep your dog energetic all day and feeling satisfied between meals. Beyond that, it’s enriched with lots of extra nutrients to benefit your pup’s overall health.

  • Grain-free, gluten-free and chicken-free
  • Contains fatty acids
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Contain l-carnitine
  • High protein, moderate fat content for weight maintenance
  • Some users reported that the kibble is crumbly

4. Natural Ultramix Adult Dry Dog Food

Natural Ultramix Adult Dry Dog Food, 30-Pound
  • Ideal For Active Adult Dogs Through Their Golden Years
  • Chicken With Other Protein Sources And Pieces Of Fruits And Vegetables For Antioxidants, Vitamins, And Fiber

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ultramix dog food is made in the USA, so you can be sure that your pup’s food meets American standards. This food is corn, wheat, and soy-free, as well as being free or artificial flavoring, colors, and preservatives. This formula has a moderate protein level to sustain your active dog, as well as having a low-to-moderate fat content for weight control.

Added Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids promote heart, skin health, promise a silky, and a luscious coat, while prebiotics aid in digestion, and help keep your dog’s gut flora balanced.

Fruit and vegetable antioxidant super foods, in the kibble but also in whole pieces in the food, not only protect your dog from disease and boost its immune system but also provide fiber and the complex carbohydrates your dog needs to feel full and satisfied and maintain energy levels throughout the day.

The addition of calcium and phosphorous keep bones strong and healthy well into old age and, combined with the hardness of the kibble, it will maintain good oral health as well.

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The Bottom Line? This dog food is reasonably priced but will meet your dog’s nutritional needs. Free of harmful additives that your dog would never encounter in the wild, this food also promotes healthy body mass with a lower fat content than other foods. Added nutrients, such as fatty acids, live cultures, and calcium will help your dog maintain good all around health while real chunks of fruits and vegetables with antioxidant properties will do wonder for your pup’s immune system.

  • Made in the USA
  • No wheat, soy, or corn
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Contains fatty acids
  • Lower fat content
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Enriched with calcium and phosphorous
  • Contains chicken, a common canine allergen

5. Nulo Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Nulo Adult Grain Free Dog Food: All Natural Dry Pet Food For Large And Small Breed Dogs (Lamb, 24Lb)
  • 100% All Natural - Feed Your Furry Family Right. Nulo Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Is Made With Clean Ingredients To Help Your Pup Maintain A Balanced Diet, Healthy...
  • Grain Free - Nulo Doesn'T Include Allergy-Triggering Grains, Corn, Wheat Gluten, Soy, Fake Additives, Colors, Or Flavors; We Even Left Out Egg And Chicken...

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This grain-free dry dog food from Nulo also contains no chicken or egg proteins, so if you’re the parent of an allergenic pet, listen up! These yummy morsels are also wheat, corn, and soy-free and are biologically appropriate for your carnivorous canine.

This tasty dog food comes in three different flavors and is coated in a probiotic solution to help keep your dog’s tummy happy and aid him in digesting his food. This process also ensures that your pet is fully absorbing nutrients from his food. Zinc and iron from lean, red meat protein sources help support immune system health with an extra boost from natural antioxidants like blueberries.

Real meat protein sources also contribute amino acids, which work toward improving heart health and controlling weight by promoting lean muscle growth. High-protein content but moderate fat ensures your dog isn’t packing on the extra pounds, but has enough energy to sustain him throughout his active day.

Slow-burning complex carbs like carrots and apples also help him feel full and remain energetic while providing fiber to help keep his bowels in tiptop shape. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids guarantee a healthy coat and will make itchy flaky skin a thing of the past. Finally, you can rest assured that Nulo meets the same standard you have for your pet as it is made in the USA.

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The Bottom Line? This dog food is expensive but is also virtually hypoallergenic. It also contains no harmful fillers and is enriched with a variety of different nutrients for optimal all-around health. If you’re looking for a safe dog food option for your sensitive pet or pets, you may have found your dream food with Nulo.

  • Made in the USA
  • Contains no wheat, soy, or corn
  • Contains no chicken or egg proteins
  • Contains probiotics
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Contains high-protein but moderate fat
  • Contains fatty acids
  • Expensive



Which dog food you choose truly depends on you and your dog. Consider budget and your German Shepherd’s taste buds while shopping. Also, use your judgment. If your dog is not allergic to chicken and has no adverse reactions, of course, you shouldn’t discriminate against the products on this list that contain chicken. It may take some trial and error because every dog is different, but we are confident that this list will set you on track for finding the best food for your German Shepherd!

15 thoughts on “Best Dog Food for German Shepherd”

  1. Where can I purchase small quantities/samples of these foods? I don’t want to experiment by spending a lot of money on a whole (26 lb) bag only to discover it’s not the right food because the dog is allergic or doesn’t like it. We have a tight budget, but want to do right by our rescue. I don’t have money to waste or to donate to a shelter.

    • Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.
      Veterinarians offer free dog food samples of certain dog food brands that help with specific health conditions like kidney disease and digestive problems. Dog food manufacturers can also be contacted, and offer dog food samples. Social networking pages often promote new dog food products, and will provide an online coupon to use at stores or online. Pet stores will also offer samples if you ask them. Newspaper coupons will promote a brand and offer free trial sizes. It’s best to always consult with your veterinarian for advice if your dog suffers from a health condition, prior to switching over to a new brand of dog food. That said, when switching over, do so slowly, by adding in a small amount of the new dog food, to the one that your dog is currently on.

    • Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.
      Foods that are high in zinc include red meat,seafood,poultry,and dairy. Zinc deficiencies in dogs often show up as zinc responsive dermatosis. There are also some breeds that have hereditary zinc deficiencies like German Shorthaired Pointers, Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. This condition is responsive to supplemental zinc. Symptoms may include thickened skin on the legs, and pustules within the mucous membranes. Females may seem as if they are going into heat or have similar symptoms associated with lactation and whelping. With zinc deficiencies, it is common to have secondary infections. Your veterinarian will do a skin biopsy. It is always best to work together with your veterinarian to get the best dietary advice for your dog.Some brands are better suited for certain dogs. Your veterinarian understands your dog’s current medical needs, and should be able to advise you on the best dog food or home- cooked recipes for your dog.

  2. Are there any other comments from thos consumers of Origen dog food since they have moved their manufacturing plant from Canada to Kentucky? I have read on other sites, amazon consumer comments which say that their pets have been sick with the diarrhea, vomiting and anorexia along with changes in the appearance of their coats since they tried this food from the new location!

    • Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.Please consult with your veterinarian. Your dog could have food allergies, or be allergic to something else within your household. Your Shepherd may also be shedding, and some breeds like the Shepherd shed more excessively than other dog breeds. If the hair is falling out in small patches, it may be due to ringworm. If in large patches, this could be due to hyperthyroidism. There is also the possibility of sarcoptic mange, fleas, and other parasites that could be causing hair loss in your dog. Please visit your veterinarian for a check-up.

      Thnaks again for reaching out! Please keep us updated.

  3. how much is a large bag oftast of the wild cainine formula and compare of a large bag of earth holtstic great plains feas grain feed dry dog, which one is better and is this in cans and what is better cans or dry for puppy and adult

    • Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.A large 30 pound bag will generally run between $48.00 to $56.00. You can search for prices if you click on the link provided within the blog. This dog food brand is very affordable, and rates between a 4 or 5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

    • Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.Thanks for reaching out. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine with Smoke Salmon is a high-quality dog food formula.For those dog lovers wishing to ensure digestive health in their dogs, Taste of the Wild uses guaranteed probiotics. This is a great product for dogs suffering from digestive health issues. With sweet potatoes – a good source of dietary fiber- as its third ingredient, this dog food is packed with antioxidants, and offers a high source of vitamin E. Sweet potatoes contain many important nutrients, and include vitamins A, B6 and C, calcium, folate, copper, thiamine, iron and potassium. The first five ingredients listed are salmon, ocean fishmeal, sweet potatoes, canola oil and salmon meal, so your dog will be consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids. This is also excellent for anxious or stressed out dogs. It does contain canola oil which some may consider an unhealthy fat. The salmon formula contains no chicken for dogs that have demonstrated a chicken allergy. Keep in mind that there is no best diet since each each individual dog will have different dietary needs. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian for the best nutritional advice.

  4. Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.At we review dog foods and dog products. The “Top 5 Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds,” reviews Orijen, Taste of the Wild, Natural Ultramix, and Nulo among others. Like people, dogs have unique needs, and we reviewed the best nutritional dog foods after hours of research. Dogs, like people, have individual needs, and every dog’s nutrition requirements are unique depending on the breed, age, weight, and activity level of the dog. A dog food that works for one dog may not work for another.

    A Border Collie who trains for agility needs many more calories than the Chihuahua that enjoys cuddling next to you.All dog foods are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Individual State Department of Agriculture. That said, it’s The Association of American Feed Controls (AAFCO) that provides guidelines for the manufacturing, selling, and labeling of pet foods to ensure pet safety. AAFCO also dictates the levels of nutrients that should be used for each life stage.

    A well-balanced dog food should use real meat as its first ingredient. It should also not use harmful preservatives, flavors or artificial colors.

    As usual always consult with your veterinarian before switching dog food formulas.The dog food formula should indicate what life stage it is intended for. AAFCO provides nutrient profiles for all different life stages, all but for one, the senior geriatric dog.

    For dog food recalls, visit:
    For more on my article on how do dogs recognize other dog breeds, visit:

  5. I am in no way connected to the content written within this website, most especially the German Shepherd blog. This website hires other writers for their blogs.Please do not contact me regarding website content. I only write content within the comments section.I have two months with Null freestyle to my German shepherd … I have only one question, Null medalseries has special food for large breeds and freestyle does not …. The latter contains the ingredients and vitamins for mobility of the German shepherd and avoid diseases in a future

    • I am in no way connected to the content written within this website, most especially the German Shepherd blog. This website hires other writers for their blogs.Please do not contact me regarding website content. I only write content within the comments section.

      General ingredients that include whole meats, fruits or vegetables in their top 5 ingredients are considered good foods. Those that also incorporate antioxidants like blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates and pumpkin are also becoming popular. With that said, organic, natural and preservative- free with no artificial ingredients, are also key to a well- balanced, and high quality dog food.Always ask yourself these questions: Is my dog suffering from any health problems? What life stage is he or she at? Veterinarians recommend that pet parents have a better understanding of their dog’s health issues and life stage before choosing a dog food. That said, there is no “best diet”- dogs are all individuals. A diet that works for one dog, may not be great for another.

      Age, energy level and individual medical concerns play a large role for each dog. Dog food formulas that offer glucosamine and chondroitin for hip and joint wellness are beneficial to dogs. Just as we choose different diets to suit our own lifestyles and life stages, the same should be done for our dogs.

      It’s also wise to examine the nutritional benefits of the dog food that you’re currently feeding. Jot down all the ingredients, caloric content, protein and fat levels, and question whether your dog is currently suffering from any health problems like itchy skin, bloat or diarrhea. Your next step will be to find the ideal food for your dog. That said, always consult with your veterinarian as to the best nutritional advice.

      Even if you’ve been feeding your dog the same dog food formula for years, you’ll probably not notice the changes, like using chicken meal instead of whole chicken, or changes in the type of carbohydrates used.You should always read the ingredients list to note changes, if any in the formula. This could affect your dog in many ways, triggering allergies and sensitivities that he or she may have never had before.

      Protein percentages can also drop when formulas are changed. This happens often, and does affect the quality of the food. The addition of cellulase and cellulose as fillers can be problematic. For those unaware, cellulase breaks down cellulose. Many dogs have problems with both because it causes digestive problems.

      For more on my article about hip dysplasia visit:
      For my article about doga, and how to find your dog’s inner zen, visit:

      Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.

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