Best Dog Food For German Shepherds 2024: Adult, Senior, Skin Allergies, Sensitivities & More

best dog food for german shepherds

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This is the ultimate guide to finding the best dog food for German Shepherds.

I have always been a dog lover, and when I brought home my first German Shepherd, Khaleesi, I wanted to ensure I was providing her with the best nutrition possible. However, I quickly realized that selecting the right dog food for Khaleesi was no easy task. I was overwhelmed and unsure where to begin with so many different brands, formulas, and ingredient lists.

After doing extensive research and consulting with my veterinarian, I was able to narrow down my options and find a high-quality dog food that was specifically formulated for German Shepherds. Since then, I have made it my mission to help other dog owners make informed decisions about their pet’s nutrition. In this article, I provide my recommendations for the best dog food for German Shepherds based on my research and my German Shepherd’s experience.

We also give you an overview of the relationship between food and how it can affect your German Shepherd’s health, along with breed-specific tips to pick the best food for German Shepherds. Let’s dive right in!

Best Dog Food For German Shepherds — At A Glance

Scroll to the right to see all our recommendations for the best dog food for German Shepherds.

You can click this link to go to the reviews, but we encourage you to keep reading to make a more educated decision about picking the GSD Dog Food for your dog.

Why You Should Trust Us

Chapter 1: The Research

German Shepherd dog food health & nutritional needs

Ch 2 | Ch 3

What Is The Best Food For German Shepherds?

From weaning to maturity, feeding the right foods to your German Shepherd is vital for their health and happiness. Before recommending our top picks for the best dog food for German Shepherds, you must understand the relationship between food and your German Shepherd’s well-being.

German Shepherds are a large breed of dog and have unique nutritional needs. The best food for German Shepherds is high-quality dog food that takes into your German Shepherd’s specific nutritional requirements and factors such as:

  • Health
  • Activity level
  • Age
  • Weight (size)

Food & German Shepherd Health

Generally, German Shepherds are healthy dogs, but like any breed, they are susceptible to several health concerns.

While some health concerns affecting German Shepherds are congenital (meaning you don’t have control over them), other health problems can stem from environmental and lifestyle factors such as diet. Providing German Shepherds with a well-balanced and nutritious diet is vital in keeping them healthy and avoiding or preventing some health problems associated with poor nutrition.

Some of the most common health issues faced by German Shepherds include the following:

  • Skeletal diseases (Hip Dysplasia & Osteoarthritis). According to a study on nutritional risks of large-breed dogs, large dogs like German Shepherds have a higher risk of developing skeletal diseases such as hip dysplasia due to improper nutrition. Over time, skeletal disorders and obesity can lead to osteoarthritis.[1]
  • Food allergies. Research published in BMC Veterinary Research Journal found that German Shepherds are at a high risk of developing cutaneous adverse food reactions (CAFR), also known as food allergies.[2] German shepherds tend to develop food allergies that manifest as dry, itchy skin, ears, or paws.[3]
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This is a common health concern for German Shepherds, which can cause symptoms similar to Crohn’s disease in humans. Recent studies have indicated a possible link between IBD and perianal fistulas in this breed.[4]
  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus (bloat). This is a serious condition where the stomach becomes distended and twists on itself, cutting off the blood supply. It’s common for German Shepherds.[5] Feeding smaller, more frequent meals instead of one or two large meals can help reduce the risk of bloat. Fast eating, gulping, and strenuous physical activity can increase the bloating risk. A slow-down dog bowl can also help.
  • Perianal fistulas. A condition where the area around the tunnel opening of the anus is inflamed. The exact cause of perianal fistulas in dogs is not fully understood, but some veterinarians recommend a low-fat, high-fiber diet to help manage the symptoms. A high-fiber diet can help regulate bowel movements and reduce inflammation in the anal area.
  • Food intolerances. Unlike allergies that cause skin problems, some German Shepherds have food intolerances, making it difficult to digest proteins and other ingredients. This can lead to vomit or experience diarrhea. We highly recommend doing an at-home dog food allergy test like the 5Strands. This particular kit can test for up to 255 ingredients and tell you which ones may cause food intolerance in your dog. After receiving the results, you can use the list to avoid dog food formulas with these potential allergens.

Food & German Shepherd Activity Level

German Shepherds are a breed of dog that is known for its high energy levels and muscular physique, which means they require a balanced diet that provides them with the right amount of nutrients to support their physical demands.[6]

Food & German Shepherd Age

As German Shepherds age, their nutritional needs change. Proper nutrition will provide the best opportunity for the successful development, maintenance and aging of your German Shepherd.

German Shepherd-Specific Dog Food Qualities To Look For

Here are the specific characteristics that are desirable in German shepherd dog food.

  • Avoid common allergens. German Shepherds often develop food allergies or intolerances, so it may be helpful if your GSD’s dog food is free from common allergens, such as corn, wheat, chicken, and beef.
  • Easy-to-digest food. German Shepherds often suffer from bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus bloat (sudden and life-threatening abdomen swelling); it’s vital to pick GSD dog food that’s easily digestible. Pick large kibble. A large size of kibble will incentivize chewing rather than gulping.
  • Bone and joint health support. Because German Shepherds have larger frames, they can benefit from foods that nourish bone and joint health. German shepherds are likely to develop osteoarthritis and other joint health issues. Dog food containing glucosamine and chondroitin may help treat or prevent such problems.
  • Food that soothes the digestive system. GSDs can have sensitive digestive systems. Look for a dog food that adds probiotics to its formula. It greatly boosts your German Shepherd’s digestive and immune systems. Probiotics also help to reduce your GSD’s inflammatory responses to allergens and immunological attacks.
  • Anti-inflammatory ingredients. Look for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your GDS formula. They help promote joint health, maintain good coat condition, and reduce inflammatory responses by the body. They also help regulate metabolism and support the immune system.
  • Healthy fats for allergies. Sources like sunflower oil and fish oil will help keep your German Shepherd’s coat and skin healthy and fight inflammation from allergens.
  • Ingredients for high activity level breed. As highly active dogs, German Shepherds need a high-quality source of protein to help build and repair their muscles.

Other General Tips To Pick The Best Food For German Shepherds

  • AFFCO approved
  • High-quality protein as the first ingredient
  • Avoid meat meals or meat-byproducts
  • Made in the USA
  • Avoid food that contains fillers, by-products, or artificial additives.

Remember, each German Shepherd has unique dietary requirements. Consulting with a veterinarian can help ensure that you provide your German Shepherd with the best food tailored to its needs.

Chapter 2: The Reviews

The best dog food for german shepherds reviewed.

Ch 1 | Ch 3

Best German Shepherd Dog Food

Here are Canine Bible’s top picks for the best dog food for German Shepherds. 

Our research team chose all dog foods listed below based on AAFCO’s nutrient guidelines, GSD’s exclusive nutrition needs, customer reviews, price, and more. This German Shepherd food list also includes food for specific needs such as weight loss, allergies, and other commonly searched food for GSDs.


Best Overall — Nom Nom

Our rating: 4.9

Why We Picked & Recommended It

Nom Nom dog food wins the spot for the best dog food for German Shepherds. Nom Nom gets the number one spot because they use human-grade, restaurant-grade ingredients to create their recipes, which are then portioned and delivered straight to your door. Feeding fresh dog food like Nom Nom offers many health benefits, including longer lifespans, betters digestibility, higher energy levels, and much more. It’s also an ideal option for dogs with food allergies, sensitive tummies, or other dietary concerns because they avoid cheap fillers, additives and other harmful chemicals. Unlike traditional kibble, Nom Nom is dog food gently cooked from scratch, effectively keeping all nutritional integrity. This means that your German Shepherd is getting the healthiest and most nutritious meal with every serving.

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

Nom Nom stands out from other dog food brands by taking a personalized approach to nutrition. Many dog food brands offer one-size-fits-all recipes, but Nom Nom takes the time to create a custom recipe for each dog, taking into account factors like age, weight, and activity level to ensure that your dog is getting the perfect balance of nutrients for their unique needs. You can tell them about your dog’s food allergies, nutritional goals, tear stain issues, and they will cook and personalize your dog’s meals to meet your pet’s requirements.

Key Features

  • Vet-designed. All recipes are made by board-certified veterinary nutritionists that comply with AAFCO standards.
  • Restaurant-grade ingredients. Coked in human-grade kitchens
  • Excellent ingredient sourcing. They only source from reputable food suppliers, local farms, and other human food purveyors that meet USDA standards.

Pros

  • Level of customization is unmatched
  • Packaged as daily portions for easy serving
  • Non-processed food
  • Nom never uses feed-grade ingredients nor processes ingredients to be shelf-stable

Cons

  • It’s on the expensive side

Our Video Review

Check out Canine Bible’s German Shepherd Khaleesi, trying out Nom Nom homemade dog food. She recommends it!

Our readers have access to save 50% off your first order of Nom Nom. Just use this link to get your GSD’s first homemade meal.


Best Dry Dog Food For German Shepherds — Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Dog Diet

Our rating: 4.8

Why We Picked & Recommended It

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed dog formula for German Shepherds is our top pick for the best all-around dry dog food for German Shepherds. It’s perfect for this breed because it’s been formulated to tackle most food-related and nutritional health risks associated with German Shepherds. They’ve added a balanced ratio of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for a vibrant coat, quality fiber to help maintain gastrointestinal functions, and glucosamine to support joint and connective tissue. Most German Shepherd dog parents report only positive reviews about this dog food, including helping with loose stool, food allergies, coat health, sensitive tummies, and other benefits. 

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

Unlike most kibble for large dog breeds, this brand’s kibble is highly digestible, which helps avoid typical large dog-bred problems such as bloating. They’ve also added a synergistic blend of soluble and insoluble fiber to keep your dog’s sensitive digestive system active and healthy.

Key Features

  • Superfoods. Featuring the highly nutritious New Zealand Green-lipped Sea Mussel, this food boasts an abundance of minerals, amino acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients. Its delicious taste will leave your pet asking for more.
  • Enriched with taurine. Added for heart health.
  • Slow-cooked cooking. This recipe is made by a slow-cooked, low-temperature extruding process, ensuring that natural vitamins, minerals and proteins are not compromised. The slow cook process ensures carbohydrates are conditioned for easy digestion and maximum nutrient absorption.

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Chicken, menhaden fish and eggs as the first proteins
  • Formulated specifically for German Shepherds
  • EU approved
  • U.S.-raised natural ingredients
  • Pea-free

Cons

  • Only one flavor

Best German Shepherd Puppy Food — Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Food

Our rating: 4.7

Why We Picked & Recommended It

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food is the best choice for feeding your German Shepherd puppy. This breed-specific formula provides the necessary nutrients for the optimal growth and development of German Shepherd puppies. It contains high-quality, easily digestible proteins and fibers for digestive health and antioxidants to support a strong immune system. The kibble’s shape, size, and texture have been specifically designed to fit German Shepherd puppies’ facial and jaw structures and biting patterns, promoting healthy chewing habits and reducing the risk of gulping.

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

This formula is designed specifically for German Shepherd puppies aged 8 weeks to 15 months. These young and active pups can put a lot of stress on their joints, leading to larger skeletal problems without proper nutrition. To help support healthy bones and joints, Royal Canin includes glucosamine and chondroitin in its formula. This ensures that your German Shepherd puppy receives the best nutrition for their age and activity level.

Key Features

  • Prebiotics. Added prebiotics for digestive support and a balanced intestinal flora, promoting optimal stool quality.
  • Immunity support. Antioxidants complexes to support immune system health

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Calcium and phosphorus content for bone and joint health
  • Mostly positive reviews among GSD puppy parents.

Cons

  • A little expensive

Cheapest Dog Food For German Shepherds — Eukanuba 

Our rating: 4.8

Why We Picked & Recommended It

This formula is designed to unleash the full potential of your German Shepherd companion. EUKANUBA Breed Specific German Shepherd Adult is great if you are looking for the cheapest dog food for German Shepherds. For a fraction of the price of other brands, this dry food is formulated to provide your GSD pup with sustained healthy energy from high-quality animal-based proteins. This dog food helps build strong, lean muscles and maintain optimal body conditions. To ensure that your dog receives all the necessary nutrients, EUKANUBA includes a specialized fiber system to promote nutrient absorption and healthy digestion.

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

This recipe features the innovative 3D DENTADEFENSE System, which has been proven to reduce tartar build-up in 28 days. In addition, it has DHA and vitamin E for mental acuity and healthy brain function.

Key Features

  • Bone and joint health. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for strong bones and joint development. 
  • Omegas. This dog food is also packed with omega-6 and -3 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and a radiant coat.
  • Prebiotic FOS. Contains beet pulp and natural prebiotics for healthy digestion.
  • Muscle support. L-Carnitine to help burn fat while preserving lean muscles

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Helps keep teeth clean & healthy
  • Support agile joints
  • No artificial preservatives or flavors
  • Promotes healthy heart

Cons


Raw Food For German Shepherds — Instinct

Our rating: 4.8

Why We Picked & Recommended It

As more dog parents opt to raw feed their dogs, it’s important to understand the ins and out of a raw diet for dogs. If you are in the market for raw dog food for German Shepherds, Instinct Frozen Raw Bites Real Beef Recipe formula is one of our top picks for the best raw dog food delivery brands. This formula is protein-packed with 85% meat and organs and 15% non-GMO fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals to give your German Shepherd a complete BARF diet. It’s minimally processed, never cooked, pure, natural nutrition to keep your best friend strong. 

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

Raw dog food benefits a shinier coat, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, more energy, and smaller stool. Instinct Raw states that raw dog nutrition can promote strong, lean muscles and energize your pup.

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Never cooked
  • Non-GMO vegetables, fruits, and wholesome ingredients
  • All ingredients are frozen in their prime to maintain the highest level of nutrients
  • Cold-pressure processing to keep the nutrients and taste intact

Cons

  • Needs to be kept frozen until it’s your pet’s mealtime

Best Food For German Shepherd With Sensitive Stomach — Purina Pro

Our rating: 4.7

Why We Picked & Recommended It

If you are looking for the best food for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs, Purina Pro Plan Dry Food For Sensitive Stomach is a top choice. This kibble is formulated to protect sensitive tummies and skin. It’s made with easily digestible ingredients, including real salmon and oatmeal, and contains no soy, wheat, or artificial that can cause upsets or skin flare-ups on your German Shepherd. 

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

Specialized formula fortified with prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion, sensitive stomachs and immune health. Prebiotic fiber nourishes healthy intestinal bacteria.

Key Features

  • Glucosamine. It has antioxidants for immune support, glucosamine, and EPA for joint health.
  • Omega-6. Sunflower oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Real salmon Salmon is the number one ingredient. It promotes muscle conditioning when combined with exercise
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Oatmeal provides a gentle & easily digestible source of calories

Cons


Best Food For German Shepherd With Allergies — Royal Canin

Our rating: 4.7

Why We Picked & Recommended It

Whether your GSD suffers from skin allergies, food allergies, or food intolerance to certain ingredients, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein is the best hypoallergenic dog formula you feed an allergic German Shepherd. This vet-exclusive formula helps dogs with itching, hair loss, skin allergies and digestive upset. It’s also highly digestible and supports gastrointestinal and dermatological health.

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

This formula uses hydrolyzed soy protein (non-animal protein). Hydrolyzed protein is made by a process known as hybridization, which breaks down proteins to a size less likely to be recognized by the immune system, effectively stopping allergic reactions.

Key Features

  • Limited ingredients. Its limited ingredients also make it great against allergies. They use one single source of carbohydrates.
  • Supports GI health. Contains a special blend of fibers and prebiotics.

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Specially designed for canines with food intolerances or allergies
  • Helps to reduce skin and GI reactions caused by proteins
  • Support healthy skin and help reduce inflammation
  • Best dog food for german shepherds with skin allergies
  • Best dog food for itchy skin german shepherd

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • Requires vet authorization

Best Food For Senior German Shepherd — Royal Canin

Our rating: 4.6

Why We Picked & Recommended It

Most veterinarians consider a dog a senior once it reaches seven years old. If your German Shepherd is in that stage of his life, it might be time to switch to a high-quality senior dog food diet. If you’re concerned about keeping your German Shepherd healthy during his older years, Royal Canin Size Aging Dog Food will support long-life vitality.

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

This recipe is made with an exclusive complex of antioxidants that supports cellular health to help reduce the signs of aging. With this dog food for old German Shepherds, you get precise nutrition specifically for senior German Shepherds weighing 56–100 lbs.

Key Features

  • Wholesome ingredients. Pea fiber, dried tomato pomace, beet pulp, fish oil, and added Vitamins E, B12, B6, C, D, and more.
  • Bones and joint health support. Made with a breed-specific blend of nutrients comes enhanced with Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
  • Senior-designed kibble. Kibble comes in large-sized rehydratable pieces that are easy to chew and ideal for senior dogs’ jaws. You can mix it in warm water for an easy-to-chew meal your dog will love to eat.

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Specifically designed for senior large-breed dogs
  • Easy-to-digest proteins for easy digestion
  • L-carnitine to promote ideal body weight
  • Facilitate intestinal transit with an adapted fiber content
  • EPA, DHA, and antioxidants for cellular health
  • Contributes to good stool quality

Cons


Best Food For German Shepherd To Gain Weight — Purina Pro

Our rating: 4.8

Why We Picked & Recommended It

Purina Pro Plan Sport is your best option if your German Shepherd needs to gain weight. Perhaps your German Shepherd is underweight, needs to bulk up, or is a highly active dog that burns many calories, and you need to replenish them to maintain a healthy weight— whatever the reason may be, this formula contains 496 calories per cup to help your GSD gain weight by building lean muscle.

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

This recipe has almost 100 calories more than your standard kibble calorie count per cup. Packed with 30% protein and 20% fat to help metabolic fuel needs, avoid calorie deficiency, and maintain lean muscle.

Key Features

  • Promotes strength and endurance. This formula is also enhanced with amino acids to support muscle development, fish oil, vitamin E, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and other essential vitamins and minerals that support healthy joints, maximum mobility, and overall mobility health.
  • Antioxidant-rich. The recipe nourishes your dog’s immune system and helps defend it against free radicals. 

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Formulated to optimize oxygen metabolism
  • All-natural, meat-based formula
  • No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or hidden ingredients that may harm your GSD

Cons


Best Grain-Free Food For German Shepherds — Victor

Our rating: 4.7

Why We Picked & Recommended It

Does your German Shepherd dog suffer from grain allergies or intolerances? If so, VICTOR Purpose Grain-Free Hero Canine Dry Dog Food is your best bet. This formula is gluten-free, made with premium-quality beef, pork, and fish meals and is ideal for highly active adult dogs susceptible to joint issues later in life.

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

Its multi-protein, nutrient-dense recipe is developed for German Shepherds with grain allergies.

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Composed of 79% meat protein
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for long-term joint health
  • Fortified with vitamins, minerals, amino acids & proteins

Cons


Best Food For German Shepherd Coat — AvoDerm

Our rating: 4.6

Why We Picked & Recommended It

Need a dog formula that promotes Healthy Skin & Coat on your German Shepherd? AvoDerm Natural Dry & Wet Dog Food, For Skin & Coat, is designed to improve poor dog coating and skin. This dog food will help keep your German Shepherd’s coat healthy and shiny all year round. The high-quality protein and omega-rich components in this kibble support healthy skin and coat even for dogs with sensitive skin. 

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

It’s made with Omega-rich, California-grown avocados and avocado oil to promote healthy skin, coat, immune system, and overall health in your GSD. Many dog parents report their dog’s coat improved after eating this food.

Key Features

  • Pressure cooked. This ensures your dog receives the optimum nutrition and energy from each ingredient to keep your companion active and strong. 
  • Wholesome ingredients. Contains ingredients like oatmeal, dried tomato pomace, flaxseed (source of omega 3), natural flavor, alfalfa meal, and other vital vitamins and minerals.

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants to support immune system health
  • No corn, soy, wheat or by-product meals, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

Cons


Best Food For German Shepherd To Lose Weight — Hill’s

Our rating: 4.5

Why We Picked & Recommended It

Whether you are looking for a weight-loss dog food formula for your German Shepherd or want him to maintain a healthy weight, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight can help you achieve this. This formula is clinically proven for weight management and designed to help your German Shepherd get back to their ideal weight. An overweight German Shepherd can develop joint problems, diabetes, liver problems, and other related issues due to obesity. Giving your GSD food for weight management or weight loss will keep him away from unwanted vet visits.

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

Hill’s reports over 70 % of adult dogs lost weight within 10 weeks when fed this formula. Full of healthy ingredients, a delicious taste, natural ingredients, plus vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Key Features

  • Lowe calories. It contains 291 calories per cup. That’s almost 100 calories lower than the average calorie count per cup for regular dog kibble.
  • Balanced protein level. Formulated with an optimal protein level to help dogs lose fat, not muscle, and feel satiated with less food per serving.

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Formulated to help your dog maintain a healthy weight.
  • Clinically proven for weight management
  • No.1 veterinarian recommended
  • L-carnitine to promote ideal body weight, support healthy mobility and a healthy heart

Cons


Best Wet Dog Food For German Shepherds — Blue Buffalo

Our rating: 4.5

Why We Picked & Recommended It

Are you looking for the best-wet food for German Shepherds? Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Canned Dog Food is our favorite choice. It starts with real deboned chicken that provides essential amino acids your GSD needs daily. Additionally, it comes with hearty whole grains like brown rice and barley supply the complex carbohydrates for healthy energy. The formula is also packed with garden fruits, veggies, whole carrots and sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, etc. 

What Sets It Apart From Competitors

Paté style wet dog food. You can serve this wet dog food as a special treat, mixed with dry food, or all on its own

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • No by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Enhanced with vitamins and minerals to keep your GSD feeling active and energetic.

Cons


Best Dog Food For German Shepherd At Walmart

Our rating: 4.4

The best dog food for German Shepherds we found at Walmart is NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Dry Dog Food. This formula has all the ingredients your GSD needs to grow strong and healthy.

It has natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints in your GSD. It tastes good and is crafted with essential antioxidants for healthy immunity. Next time you are at Walmart looking for the best dog food option for your GSD, you know what to pick. Amazon & Chewy also carry this dog food.

What We Like & Don’t Like

Pros

  • Vitamins, Minerals & Other Nutrients
  • Includes essential antioxidants like vitamin E
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients

Cons

Chapter 3: Tips, FAQs & More

Calories, transition & other food tips.

Ch 1 | Ch 2

German Shepherd Food Calorie Requirements

The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight. An adult German Shepherd usually weighs between 50 and 90 pounds, meaning most GSDs need between 1165 and 1808 calories daily. You can use our dog calorie calculator to find the exact caloric needs of your dog based on his weight.

GSDs with hip dysplasia or any skeletal condition will benefit from a reduced-calorie diet to avoid putting on weight that could cause pressure on painful joints.

How to Switch German Shepherd Dog Food

If you decide to switch your GSD’s dog food to a new dog formula, it’s advised to adhere to the following recommendations by vets:

Pro Tip: Never change your dog’s food abruptly. It could cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.

  • Week 1: 25% new food and 75% old food
  • Week 2: 50% new food and 50% old food
  • Week 3: 25% new food and 75% old food
  • Week 4: 100% new food

Only increase your dog’s new food percentage per week if your German Shepherd seems to be doing well during each transition. Monitor closely, and if you notice any adverse reaction to his new food, stop feeding it to your dog.

German Shepherd Dog Daily Feeding Guide

Muscular large-breed dogs like German Shepherds have some particular feeding guidelines to follow.

Although the number of cups per day will vary slightly depending on what brand of dog food you pick, these German Shepherds feeding guidelines are reasonable estimates for how much food you should feed your GSD. Look at the back of your dog’s kibble bag for a more accurate estimate.

Note that these are daily suggestions, not per meal. You should split the number of cups per day into as many meals as you need.

Body Weight (lbs.)Cups Per Day
Up to 101/4 to 3/4
11-233/4 to 1-1/4
24-361-1/4 to 1-3/4
37-491-3/4 to 2-1/4
50-622-1/4 to 3
63-753 to 3-1/2
76-893-1/2 to 4
90 or more4 Cups Plus 1/2 for every 10 lbs. over 90
Source: Dr. Gary

Health Dietary Changes In German Shepherds

If your German Shepherd is struggling with the following health conditions, adopting a new diet or adding supplements can be beneficial to get these dog-related issues under control.

Never supplement extra calcium into a large breed puppy’s diet. Too much calcium encourages hip dysplasia earlier in life.

ConditionDietary Needs & Adjustments

Coat Color Changes


Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)
Concurrent GI Signs

Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats. This includes bacon. Try a simple ingredient food trial.

Chronic Itching and Dermatitis

Fortify the diet with vitamin E, vitamin B, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Add a dog probiotic. Try a simple ingredient food trial.
Dull Coat and Scaling

Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet. Adding fish oil can promote healthier coats by reducing itchiness and flakiness in the skin due to its omega-3 fatty acid content.
Dandruff and Crustiness

Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels

Best Dog Food For German Shepherds — Conclusion

Selecting the best dog food for your German Shepherd is crucial for ensuring their health, happiness, and longevity. By considering the unique needs of this breed, such as their high energy levels and potential for joint issues, and carefully reviewing ingredient lists and nutritional information, you can make an informed decision when choosing a dog food that will provide optimal nutrition and support their overall well-being.

Based on our research and experience, we have recommended Nom Nom as the best overall dog food for German Shepherds. However, it’s important to remember that every dog is unique, and what works well for one pup may not be the best fit for another. Check out the best fresh dog food recipes for other great options similar to Nom Nom. You can also choose to cook homemade dog food for your German Shepherd. It’s not as convenient, but it’s a bit less expensive.

Be sure to consult with your veterinarian and monitor your dog’s health and well-being when making any changes to its diet. With the proper nutrition, your German Shepherd can live a happy, healthy life by your side for years.

We hope you can find the best dog food for your German Shepherd and learn a little about GSD nutrition and the relationship between dog food and raising a healthy German Shepherd.


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Canine Bible uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

[1] PubMed, [2] BMC Veterinary Research Journal,  [3] Nom Nom [4] IBD, [5] ACVS, [6] Best Diet For A German Shepherd Dog

Editorial Team at Canine Bible | + posts

Canine Bible authorship represents the unified voice of our entire editorial team and our in-house veterinarians rather than a single author. Each article, blog post, and review published under the Canine Bible name undergoes a rigorous review process, involving all team members to guarantee accuracy and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research. This collaborative effort is an integral part of our editorial process and aligns with our four pillars of content creation. This approach ensures our content is backed by expert knowledge and factual information, offering our readers reliable, actionable, and trustworthy content.


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