Top 5 Best Dog Food For German Shepherds (2022 Review)

Looking for the best dog food for German Shepherds?

Great! We’ve got you covered.

German Shepherd’s high energy levels need adequate nutrition, with a proper diet plan to help them develop at an optimal pace.

image of dog food in silver dog food bowl

Underfeeding, overfeeding, or feeding inferior quality will not help your German Shepherd the least bit and instead, hinder its mental and physical prowess. 

They expend heaps of energy a day and need an excellent diet plan to upkeep their physique.

Improper nutrition can lead to health problems such as a lifeless coat, hair loss, infections, and a lack of energy. 

In this Digdoggy.com article, we’ll explore:

  • Dietary requirements of a German Shepherd Dog (GSD)
  • Potential health problems
  • Types of food
  • How to feed according to age
  • Our favorite dog food brands for German Shepherds 

Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to read our detailed reviews. 

ImageProduct
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Blue Buffalo Dog Food Large Breed Diet 
  • Potent antioxidants included LifeSource Bits
  • No artificial flavours, preservatives, or fillers. 
  • Inspired by the natural diets of wolves
  • Potent antioxidants included LifeSource Bits
  • No artificial flavours, preservatives, or fillers. 
  • Inspired by the natural diets of wolves
View on Amazon
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Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food
  • Chicken by-product meal
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Chicken by-product meal
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Corn gluten meal
View on Amazon
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Wellness Complete Health For Large Breeds 
  • 30 lb bag
  • Glucosamine to support joint and bone health
  • Made in the USA
  • 30 lb bag
  • Glucosamine to support joint and bone health
  • Made in the USA
View on Amazon
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Now Fresh Large Breed 
  • Large ridged to slow eating
  • No grains or by-products
  • 22 lb bag
  • Large ridged to slow eating
  • No grains or by-products
  • 22 lb bag
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Merrick Backcountry Large Breed
  • Real deboned chicken
  • Grain free
  • Big-sized kibble
  • Real deboned chicken
  • Grain free
  • Big-sized kibble
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On January 30, 2022

From its inception in 2003 in California, United States, the company has a reputation for only using the highest quality natural ingredients with real meat. 

Fillers like corn, soy, or wheat will never be used. All their products go through a strict 6-point check in accordance with US laws. 

In addition, Blue’s exclusive, patented LifeSource Bits are a mix of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that vets and nutritionists developed to maintain a healthy immune system and oxidative balance. 

LifeSource Bits are formed cold to help maintain the effectiveness of their components.

The company minimizes the amount of heat LifeSource Bits are exposed to during production.

It’s similar to when you cook veggies at high heat. The longer they’re cooked, the more heat-sensitive nutrients are destroyed.

What's In This Guide?

      What Are The Dietary Requirements For German Shepherds?

      The amount of food you should give your German Shepherd depends on age, size, activity level, health condition, food type, and brand.

      Only feed top-quality dog food without any cheap fillers like grain or soy. Puppies can stay on puppy food until they are 12 months old.

      And adult German Shepherds should be fed high-quality dog food meant for large breeds with an excellent protein source like chicken or lamb. 

      If your GSD is a low-energy couch potato, you’ll get away with feeding way less than if your dog was a working dog in activities like agility or Schutzhund. 

      Highly active GSDs weighing around 60 to 90 pounds should get around 1,750 and 2,000 calories per day. 

      The most essential ingredient on the nutrient list should be protein, an essential mineral for strong muscle and bone healing and development.

      Excellent sources of protein are eggs, fish, poultry, and beef. 

      Including fish oils would provide healthy omega 3 fatty acids, which will maintain your GSD’s lustrous coat and strengthen your immune system. 

      Stay away from cheap fillers like corn, soy, and wheat that are usually found in low-quality pet foods.  

      Read More: >> What’s the best dog food for GSDs with Skin allergies?

      dog food in a bowl on wooden table

      What Are The Different Types of Dog Foods For German Shepherds?

      Dried Food 

      Kibble is by far, the most popular meal for German Shepherds because it is less expensive, easy to store, and ideal for larger and older dogs.

      The two most common forms of dry dog diets are cold-pressed dog food and kibble. Cold-pressed dog food is a whole meal made at a lower temperature.

      Cooking the food at a lower temperature preserves the nutritional content of the natural ingredients. These nutrients are essential for digestion, growth, and overall health.

      Kibble is a dry dog meal made of grains, vegetables, meat, and other components that are formed into pellets. 

      Unlike cold-pressed dog food, most dog food brands use an extrusion process to make kibble at high temperatures. 

      The ingredients are cooked in a liquid state and then pushed out through an extruder. Both dry meals can be served dry or with water added to make gravy. 

      Canned Wet Food 

      Canned wet foods are ideal for puppies and German Shepherds that have trouble chewing.

      Canned food also hydrates dogs who do not drink a lot of water because it contains 70 to 75 percent moisture. They have a longer shelf life than dry goods when unopened. 

      Because wet meals are diluted with water, they are costlier and contain fewer nutrients. Your GSD will need to eat more canned food to receive adequate amounts of proteins and fat.

      If your dog is a finicky eater or suffers a loss of appetite for whatever reason, switching from kibble to wet canned food might do the trick. 

      A Mixture of Dry and Wet Foods 

      What about the best of both worlds? Your GSD will love you for it! You can add a small amount of wet food to kibble as a topping or a special treat. 

      During mealtimes, a spoonful of wet food could be just the thing to pique appetite and interest for picky eaters. 

      You can also feed kibble as a first meal, and canned food as the second to switch things up a little. 

      Home-Made Diet  

      If you’re not sure about the quality or nutritional content of the commercial foods available in your area, a homemade meal might be the best option.

      Getting the appropriate balance of lipids, protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and vitamins, on the other hand, can be difficult.

      It is also more time-consuming and costly than commercial foods.

      If you want to stick to home-cooked foods, you should work with a certified veterinarian or a pet nutritionist to create a balanced diet for your pet.

      Bones and Raw Food (BARF) Diet 

      The BARF diet simply means giving your dog raw materials or food that they would have eaten in the wild. BARF diets are commercially available in most pet stores. 

      BARF diet supporters frequently report increased energy levels and physical improvements when switching their pooch to this diet. 

      However, formulating raw meals can be challenging, particularly if your pet is old, pregnant, breastfeeding, or unwell, as they are at their most vulnerable at these times. 

      Adult German Shepherds should be fed high protein and low-fat food such as raw meat and meaty bones or cooked fish, semi-boiled or baked meat, and organs such as the liver.

      Excellent sources of fish protein include mackerel, sardines, salmon, and trout.  

      In contrast to processed foods, raw diets provide a danger of bacterial contamination and other food safety concerns.

      Food poisoning and bacterial infections, such as Salmonella, E.coli, and Tuberculosis, can be a risk for your GSD. 

      Always handle raw food with care and observe food safety rules. If you want to feed your pet BARF, a chat with your veterinarian or a pet nutritionist might help send you on the right path. 

      Read More: >> What are the best dog foods for GSDs with sensitive stomachs?

      Our Reviews Of The Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds

      Pick #1: Blue Buffalo Dog Food Large Breed Diet 

      Blue Buffalo’s food is inspired by the natural diet of wolves.

      With an optimal blend of calcium, phosphorus, and essential vitamins, this food brand contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, grain, corn, wheat, or soy. 

      In addition, Blue’s exclusive LifeSource Bits are a mix of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that vets and nutritionists developed to maintain a healthy immune system and oxidative balance. 

      LifeSource Bits are formed cold to help maintain the effectiveness of their components.

      The company minimizes the amount of heat LifeSource Bits are exposed to during production.

      It’s similar to when you cook veggies at high heat. The longer they’re cooked, the more heat-sensitive nutrients are destroyed.

      Pros

      Cons

      Pick #2: Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food

      Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food is formulated to complement the specific needs of purebred German Shepherds 15 months and older.

      Large dogs chew larger kibbles to get the nutrients they need.

      Digestive health is maintained through high-absorbing carbohydrates and specialized fibers.

      Fish oil’s EPA and DHA preserve the skin and coat health while glucosamine and chondroitin, help reduce the risk of joint problems.

      Pros

      Cons

      Pick #3: Wellness Complete Health For Large Breeds

      One of the best grain-inclusive kibbles on the market and coming in highly recommended is the Wellness Complete Health for Large Breeds. 

      The Wellness Core Large Breed formula is a grain-free, high-protein dish with big kibbles to encourage long chewing times in bigger mouths.

      Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are also beneficial for bone and joint health in these bigger dogs.

      A higher-quality food that has more animal protein and nutritious vegetables like spinach and kale.

      Chicken makes up the majority of this Wellness Complete Health completer’s meat protein.

      The dry matter analysis shows that the product has 27% protein, 13% fat, and 52% estimated carbs, for a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

      First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley, peas

      Type: Grain-inclusive (oatmeal, barley, brown rice)

      Pros

      Cons

      Pick #4: Now Fresh Large Breed  

      This tasty kibble is large-ridged to help slow chewing and increase the eating time, reducing the risk of bloat and over-eating.

      With added glucosamine and chondroitin for hip and joint support, this brand provides minimally processed food with perfectly balanced nutrition.

      Including nutrient-rich superfoods like probiotics and pumpkin for optimal gut health. This food is as well, free from grains, cheap fillers, and by-products. 

      Pros

      Cons

      Pick #5: Merrick Backcountry Large Breed

      Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed Recipe is a nutritious and hearty recipe for big breed dogs that features big-sized kibble to match their bigger bite size.

      This natural, grain-free formula gives your dog the nutritional benefits of a raw diet they may have discovered in the wild while still being safe and easy to serve.

      The first component and primary source of protein are always deboned chicken, providing high-quality protein that promotes muscle growth and energy levels. 

      Freeze-dried raw pieces are combined into the kibble in a pure form to provide easily digestible, tasty nutritional components.

      The raw inclusion is subjected to extensive testing and a tried technique known as High-Pressure Processing (HPP) to assure food safety.

      All Merrick Backcountry recipes are rich in Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat and contain leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy hips and joints.

      Pros

      Cons

      Frequently Asked Questions 

      Which dog food is best for a German Shepherd puppy

      Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

      What is the healthiest food for a German Shepherd?

      • Blue Buffalo Large Breed 
      • Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food 
      • Wellness Complete Health For Large Breeds 
      • Now Fresh Large Breed
      • Merrick Backcountry Large Breed

      Our Top Pick: Blue Buffalo Dog Food

      Inspired by the natural diet of wolves, the Blue Buffalo Large Breed diet is an exceptionally high-quality diet with loads of antioxidants to support the immune system of your beloved GSD. 

      In addition, the food is prepared with a minimal amount of heat to preserve the nutrients that it could have been exposed to during production.

      The most heat-sensitive nutrients are destroyed, the less the food would be of benefit to your German Shepherd. 

      It kinda works the same way as veggies. The quicker you fry them, the more they retain all that nutritional goodness!

      Read More: >> What’s the best dog food for Golden Retrievers?

      Final Thoughts On Choosing Dog Food For German Shepherds 

      So now that you know all about the best dog food for German Shepherds, it’s time to hit the grocery store and stock up! 

      Remember to only feed top-quality food. As a general rule, you’ll want to feed the best food you can afford. 

      Try throwing in a nice big bone every now and then to keep them chewing and clearing the plaque out from their teeth. Plenty of freshwaters should be made available at all times. 

      And don’t forget to spoil them rotten with some delicious doggy treats – they deserve it!

      Thanks for reading, and we hope this article has helped you learn more about what to feed your beloved GSD.

      Adeline Ee

      Adeline Ee

      Adeline holds a BA in Mass Communication from the University of Washington. She is a certified canine behaviorist, marine conservationist, rock climber, and scuba diving instructor. Originally from Singapore, she now lives on Gili Air, an island off Lombok, Indonesia.

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      Adeline Ee

      Adeline Ee

      Adeline holds a BA in Mass Communication from the University of Washington. She is a certified canine behaviorist, marine conservationist, rock climber, and scuba diving instructor. Originally from Singapore, she now lives on Gili Air, an island off Lombok, Indonesia.

      About Dig Doggy

      DigDoggy® is a free resource for dog owners, with everything from expert product reviews to trusted pet care advice.

      All of our reviews and recommendations are based on unbiased research by our editorial team. Read more about us.

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