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What is the best dog food for German Shepherds?
This guide will show more than just what dog food is good for your GSD, but you will learn the unique nutritional requirements large-breed dogs like German Shepherds have.
Sit tight as we show you what to look for in GSD dog food, food-related concerns, GSD nutrition tips, and everything in between!
Before we give you our top dog food for german shepherds recommendations, we encourage you to read the first few sections of this article so you can make a more informed decision when it comes to buying kibble for your GSD. Let’s get started!
If you are new to German Shepherd food and nutrition or looking to learn more, we highly encourage you to read Chapter 1 before other Chapters. Already familiar? Jump straight to Chapter 2, where we’ve reviewed the best dog food for German Shepherds by category and needs. For more in-depth information about this topic, visit Chapter 3.
- Best GSD Food Reviews
- Best GSD Food For Specific Needs
- Best Fresh (Chemical-Free)
- Best Raw Food For GSD
- Best Wet Food
- Best At Stores
Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
Here are just three of our top picks for best dog food for German Shepherds by category! You can click here to go straight to the reviews.
Learn all about GSD food-specific needs, nutrition, and health concerns.
What Dog Food Is Best For German Sheprherds?
With so many different types of dog food out there, you are probably confused as to which one is best.
While most dog parents feed their dog’s commercial dry food or wet canned food, sometimes your GSD will require a different type of dog food depending on his unique needs such as health, age, lifestyle, or other determining factors.
These are the different main types of dog foods that you can feed your GSD:
[We covered everything about a German Shepherd’s Homemade Diet in a serape post]
Which Type of Dog Food Is Best For German ShepherdS?
Generally, the best dog food for German Shepherds is a high-quality wet, dry food or fresh dog food formulated for an active large-breed dog.
However, in the event you need to make any adjustments to your pet’s diet, you need to understand each type of dog food for GSDs.
Dry Dog Food
It is usually made of protein and carbohydrate content with low-fat content. Dry dog food is packed full of carbs and protein, and it tends to be more energy-dense than wet dog food.
The health advantages that come with feeding kibble to your GSD include keeping your dog’s teeth healthy by reducing plaque, stains, and tartar buildup. Dogs who consume tend to have better breath than those who eat canned wet dog food.
Kibble requires no refrigeration, and it rarely goes bad. Remember, canned wet dog food is perishable and can only be left open and out of the refrigerator for a short time. Unlike kibble, wet foods exposed to the environment can easily grow bacteria and quickly become contaminated. Kibble is easier to store and pack if you are traveling with your GSD. Kibble is usually less expensive than wet foods.
You can also find dry dog food that’s vegan-based. Learn all above it here.
Canned Wet Dog Food
It’s made primarily of protein and fat, with few carbohydrates. Many dogs prefer wet food as it tends to be more flavorful and more closely resembles meat.
According to PetMD, a canned wet dog diet contains more moisture and may benefit dogs with urinary problems or dogs that don’t tend to drink a lot of water. Wet dog food is also great for GSDs who have trouble breaking up kibble for various reasons, such as loss of teeth, teeth decay, misaligned jaws, or digestion impediments. The higher added moisture content in canned dog food often helps dogs feel full and satiated faster than kibble. This can aid with weight management in GSDs.
If you exclusively feed your GSD wet food, you may need to be more vigilant about their oral health. The higher moisture, protein, and fat content in wet food can sometimes cause upset tummies, especially while transitioning off kibble.
Dry & Wet Mix
Many dog parents choose to combine wet and dry foods because it provides the best of both worlds! You can feed your GSD dry dog food in the morning and wet in the afternoon (or vice versa). You can also choose to use wet dog food as a topping or special treat for your German Shepherd dog. Consult with your vet to determine the right approach to mixing both types of food.
A raw diet or “BARF diet” means uncooked meat (often muscle and organ meat), whole or crushed bones, fruits, vegetables, raw eggs, and dairy. A raw diet has potential upsides for German Shepherds and more veterinarians are starting to recommend it. Read our guide on raw dog food for German Shepherds.
Speak with your vet or a veterinary nutritionist before making this decision.
German Shepherd Dog Food Nutritional Guidelines
Now that you know which type of dog food best fits your German Shepherd’s needs, you need to make sure the food meets all the nutrients requirements established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
A GSD’s complete and nutritionally balanced formula in line with AAFCO nutrient profiles will need to have water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.
Whether you are feeding commercial dog food or homemade food to your GSD, these six essential nutrients must be present in his diet.
Check the table below for a more detailed explanation of each nutrient and its importance.
|Protein||Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggs||Builds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
|Carbohydrates||Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat||Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
|Fat||From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others||Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
|Minerals||Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.||Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
|Water||Water||Hydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
|Vitamins||A, B, C, D, E, and K||Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.
If these six components are present, your German Shepherd should grow up strong and healthy.
Pro Tip: If you choose to feed commercial dog food, always check the packaging for what is known as ‘The Nutritional Adequacy Statement’ or ‘AAFCO Statement.’ This statement ensures the dog food you are buying meets nutrient profiles established by the AAFCO.
What To Look For In German Shepherd Dog Food
Here are the specific characteristics that are desirable in a German shepherd dog food.
- German Shepherds are at a high risk of developing food hypersensitivity, so it may be helpful if your GSD’s dog food is free from common allergens, such as corn, wheat, chicken, and beef.
- German Shepherds often suffer from bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus bloat (sudden and life-threatening swelling of the abdomen); it’s vital to pick GSD dog food that’s easily digestible. Pick large kibble. A large size kibble will incentivize chewing rather than gulping.
- To help further avoid food allergy problems, provide your GSD with dog food that’s free from ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction. For this, you will need to test your German Shepherd with an at-home dog allergy test to find out what foods he or she is allergic to.
- Look for a dog food that adds probiotics to its formula. It’s a great way to boost your German Shepherd’s digestive and immune systems. Probiotics also help to reduce your GSD’s inflammatory responses to allergens and immunological attacks.
- Commercial dog food often loses the essential nutrition that your dog needs to be healthy and allergy-free. Look for Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in your GDS’s formula. These essential fatty acids help promote joint health and good coat condition, as well as reduce inflammatory responses by the body.
- Foods that include healthy fats from sources like sunflower oil and fish oil will help keep your German Shepherd’s coat and skin healthy and fight inflammation from allergens.
- 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.
- As a rule, avoid that contain fillers, byproducts, or artificial additives.
Food & German Shepherd Helth Concerns & Risks
So, why is it important to feed your German Shepherd the right food and understand the breed’s specific nutritional requirements and health risks associated with poor nutrition?
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.
GSDs tend to suffer from Gastric dilatation and volvulus bloat. Monitor your GSD’s eating habits. Fast eating and gulping can increase the risk of these health problems. Feeding 3 smaller meals a day instead of one large one can also prevent this problem. Making sure your GSD does not do any strenuous physical activity after eating is also necessary. A slow-down dog bowl can also help.
Furthermore, a study published in BMC Veterinary Research Journal found that German Shepherds are at a high risk of developing cutaneous adverse food reactions (CAFR)1, or in simpler terms, dog food allergies.
Because GSDs are prone to food allergies, we highly recommend doing an at-home food allergy test like 5Strands food allergy test. This particular kit can test for up to 255 ingredients and tell you which ones may cause allergies or sensitivities in your dog. After receiving the results, you can use the list to avoid dog food formulas with these potential allergens.
Other significant German Shepherd dog food health-related risks to be aware of include:
- German shepherds tend to develop food allergies that manifest as dry, itchy skin, ears, or paws.
- Food intolerances in German shepherds difficult protein digestion some. This can lead to vomit or experience diarrhea.
- Inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal issues can make life doubly uncomfortable.
From weaning to maturity, following proper nutrition is vital to your GSD’s health. That is why, before recommending the best dog food for German Shepherds, we wanted you to understand the relationship between nutrition/food and your GSD. Proper nutrition will provide the best opportunity for the successful aging of your German Shepherd.
Now you should know why selecting the right dog food for your GSD is essential.
So, what is the best dry dog food for german shepherds? Find out below!
The best dog food for german shepherds reviewed.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
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 German Shepherd Dog Food (Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Dog Diet)
Dr. Gary’s Best Breed dog formula for German Shepherds is our top pick for best all-around German Shepherd dog food.
This dog kibble provides an AAFCO balanced nutrition for your GSD, with chicken and menhaden fish as the first proteins.
It’s been formulated to tackle most of the food-related and nutritional health risks associated with GSDs. That’s why 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.
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.
Most GSD dog parents report only positive reviews about this dog food, including helping with loose stool, food allergies, coat health, sensitive tummies, and other benefits.
Other Best Dry Dog Food For German Shepherds
Here are our runner-up options for the best German Shepherd dry food.
Best German Shepherd Puppy Food (Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Food)
Feeding dog food to German Shepherd puppies is a whole different ball game!
So, what’s the best food for a german shepherd puppy? Our favorite is Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy food.
This kibble is specially formulated for pure breed German Shepherd puppies from 8 weeks to 15 months.
Young GSD puppies are very active. This lifestyle can stress their joints, which ultimately leads to more significant skeletal problems without proper nutrition. That is why glucosamine and chondroitin are included in this food to support healthy bones and joints.
This brand of dog food is the best to feed your German Shepherd puppy because it keeps their bodies growing strong by adding highly digestible proteins and fibers for digestive health and antioxidants for immune system health.
It’s a breed-specific dog food brand exclusively for GSD puppies. Royal Canin even designs the kibble’s shape, size, and texture based on German Shepherd puppies’ facial and jaw structures and biting patterns to provide the most optimal experience for your GSD pup. This will encourage chewing and not gulping.
This German shepherd puppy food has mostly positive reviews among GSD puppy parents.
Another vet recommended dog food for German Shepherd puppies is Best Breed Puppy Diet.
Best Cheap Dog Food For German Shepherds (IAMS GSD Food)
If you are looking for the cheapest dog food for German Shepherds, IAMS Protective Health kibble is your top choice.
For a fraction of the price of other GSD dog foods, this dry food is formulated to provide your GSD pup with sustained healthy energy from a blend of wholesome grains, carbohydrates, and a power-packed trio of proteins (chicken, turkey, and eggs) for strong muscles.
It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for strong bones and joint development.
Omega 3 & 6 from chicken fat is added to help with supper cost and slot health. We also found beet pulp and natural probiotics for healthy digestion.
Best German Shepherd Food For Specific Needs
Best Food For German Shepherd With Sensitive Stomach
Does your German Shepherd suffer from sensitive stomach issues?
Having a German Shepherd with a sensitive stomach can feel hopeless, but Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach can help!
Sometimes our German Shepherds need specialized nutrition for sensitive tummies. You can give your sensitive pup the complete, holistic nutrition he craves with this dog formula.
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.
It has great positive reviews, and GSD parents report it has helped their GSDs.
What else makes this dog food great for your GSD with a sensitive stomach? It’s fortified with prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion to keep all your dog’s vital systems working as they should. It also comes with antioxidants for immune support, glucosamine, and EPA for joint health, which we know is essential in GSD nutrition.
We are sure your GSD will love the rich salmon flavor of this food, and he’ll be able to enjoy it safely without experiencing more stomach issues.
If you are looking for the best food for German Shepherd puppies with a sensitive stomach, Purina Pro Plan Dry Food For Sensitive Stomach is the way to go.
Best Food For German Shepherd With Allergies
What is the best dog food for German Shepherds with allergies?
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 a pup with allergies.
It’s specifically formulated for dogs that have an intolerance or allergy to certain ingredients.
Talk to your veterinarian if your GSD has allergies to certain foods and see if this formula is the best fit. You can also do an at-home dog allergy test to determine which ingredients you should avoid feeding your dog.
So why is this food good for my German Shepherd with allergies?
If you didn’t know, animal protein in dog food is the most common allergen that can result in itching, hair loss, and digestive upset. That is why this vet-exclusive formula uses hydrolyzed soy protein (non-animal protein).
What’s a hydrolyzed protein? Hybridization is a process that makes proteins smaller so they don’t trigger an immune response (allergies).
This vet-exclusive formula helps dogs with itching, hair loss, and digestive upset by using smaller proteins to avoid the immune response that causes these issues. It’s also highly digestible and supports gastrointestinal and dermatological health.
Its limited ingredients also make it great for GSD with allergies. They use one single source of carbohydrates. This product requires veterinary authorization.
Blue Buffalo Blue Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed dog formula is another great option that doesn’t require vet approval, but it’s more expensive.
Best Food For German Shepherd To Gain Weight
If your German Shepherd needs extra calories, Purina Pro Plan Sport is your best option.
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.
It 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.
But is it suitable for GSDs? GSD dog parents report it’s worked well on their pups. 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.
Its antioxidant-rich recipe nourishes your dog’s immune system and helps defend it against free radicals.
Best Grain Free Food For German Shepherd
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 dog food is made to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO. Its multi-protein, nutrient-dense recipe is developed for German Shepherds with allergies to grains.
It’s made with premium-quality beef, pork, and fish meals and is ideal for highly active adult dogs susceptible to joint issues later in life. This diet also has glucosamine and chondroitin for long-term joint health. Keeps your GSD friend going strong and free of grain allergies
Best Food For German Shepherd Coat
Need a dog formula that promotes Healthy Skin & Coat on your German Shepherd? AvoDerm Natural Dry & Wet Dog Food, For Skin & Coat, is specifically designed to improve poor dog coating and skin.
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.
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.
For added nutrition, it contains ingredients like oatmeal, dried tomato pomace, flaxseed (source of omega 3), natural flavor, alfalfa meal, and other vital vitamins and minerals.
It’s pressure cooked to ensure your dog receives the optimum nutrition and energy from each ingredient to keep your companion active and strong. A lot of dog parents report their dog’s coat improved after eating this food.
Best Food For German Shepherd To Lose Weight
Whether you are looking for a weight-loss dog food formula for your German Shepherd or just 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 GSD get back to their ideal weight.
Full of healthy ingredients, a delicious taste, natural ingredients, plus vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Hill’s reports over 70 % of adult dogs lost weight within 10 weeks when fed this formula.
It contains 291 calories per cup. That’s almost 100 calories lower than the average calorie count per cup for regular dog kibble. Formulated with an optimal protein level to help dogs lose fat, not muscle, and feel satiated with less food per serving.
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.
Best Food For Senior German Shepherd
Most veterinarians consider a dog a senior once it reaches 7 years old. If your German Shepherd is in that stage of his life, it might be time to make the 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. This brand has an exclusive blend of antioxidants made for healthy aging.
With this dog food for old German Shepherd, you get precise nutrition specifically made for large dogs 8 years and older weighing 56–100 lbs.
This formula comes with wholesome ingredients: pea fiber, dried tomato pomace, beet pulp, fish oil, and added Vitamins E, B12, B6, C, D, and more. This breed-specific blend of nutrients comes enhanced with Glucosamine and Chondroitin for joint health and mobility.
It contains easy-to-digest proteins for easy digestion and a balanced supply of fiber. Kibble comes in large-sized rehydratable pieces that are easy to chew and ideal for senior dogs’ jaws. You can mix in warm water for an easy-to-chew meal your dog will love to eat.
If your German Shepherd is a mature adult of 5 years but not older than 8, this is the better option.
Best Fresh Dog Food For German Shepherds (Homemade, Human-Grade, Chemical-Free: No Additives, Preservatives Or Harmful Chemicals)
Can German Shepherds eat human food?
Yes, but only if it’s human-grade dog food. The best human food for German Shepherds is Nom Nom dog food.
Fresh homemade dog food companies like Nom Nom deliver vet-designed, fresh-prepared homemade dog food tailored to your dog’s dietary needs straight to your door. They cater to your dog’s unique nutritional profile so 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.
Everything is made from real, human-grade, all-natural ingredients (meats, veggies, grains, etc.) and cooked in human-grade kitchens, and packaged as daily portions for easy serving.
Your GSD will love the freshness of the ingredients and added health benefits that come from eating a fresh diet.
Fresh dog food is the best option for GSDs with food allergies, sensitive tummies, or other dietary concerns because they avoid cheap fillers, additives and are not processed. Unlike traditional kibble, Nom Nom is dog food cooked from scratch that provides the healthiest, cleanest diet and ensures ingredients keep all their nutritional integrity.
This dog formula uses only human-grade ingredients (which means all components are edible for humans). It contains no animal feed grade ingredients and is made in a human food production facility but is intended for your dog, not you!
Feeding your GSD fresh homemade food offers the highest quality, most natural nutrients available.
All recipes are made by board-certified veterinary nutritionists that comply with AAFCO standards. They only source from reputable food suppliers, local farms, and other human food purveyors that meet USDA standards.
Nom Nom never uses feed-grade ingredients, processes ingredients to be shelf-stable, ensuring your dog is getting the most balanced and nutritious meal possible.
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.
Check out Canine Bible’s GSD Khaleesi trying out Nom Nom homemade dog food. She definitely recommends it!
Best Raw Food For German Shepherd
Instinct Frozen Raw Bites Real Beef Recipe formula emulates a dog’s carnivorous ancestral diet. Satisfy your German Shepherd’s instinctual cravings with this raw dog food.
It is believed that raw dog food is beneficial for a shinier coat, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, more energy, and smaller stool.
This formula is protein-packed with 85% meat and organs and 15% non-GMO fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals, so you can give your GSD friend the nutrition her ancestors intended.
It’s minimally processed, never cooked, pure, natural nutrition to keep your best friend strong. With this commercial raw dog food, you can feed your German Shepherd just as nature intended.
Raw dog food companies like this one state that raw dog nutrition can promote strong, lean muscles and keep your pup energized. They also say it can help promote healthy teeth and gums.
Best Wet Dog Food For German Shepherd (Canned)
Are you looking for the best wet food for German Shepherds? Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Canned Dog Food is our favorite choice.
Why is this canned wet dog great for my GSD?
It starts with real deboned chicken that provides essential amino acids your GSD needs every day. 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 and veggies, whole carrots and sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, etc.
It is enhanced with vitamins and minerals to keep your GSD feeling active and energetic.
You can serve this wet dog food as a special treat, mixed with dry food, or all on its own
Best At Stores
Best Dog Food For German Shepherd At Walmart
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 up strong and healthy.
Made with farm-raised chicken, brown rice, and sweet potato, this recipe contains all the ingredients your GSD needs to grow up 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 carry this dog food.
Best Costco Dog Food For German Shepherd
The best dog food for German Shepherds we found at Costco is KIRKLAND Nature’s Domain Grain-Free.
Made with salmon meal and ocean fish meal for quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, this formula offers great nutrition for the overall health of your German Shepherd.
It offers a digestive support system for your GSD thanks to dried chicory root, a natural prebiotic and probiotic that helps support a healthy digestive system. The fiber from dried chicory root helps maintain the proper balance of beneficial bacteria in your German Shepherd’s intestines.
Active9™probiotics are canine-specific probiotics developed just for Kirkland Signature dog food formulas. You will find these probiotics in this formula. Each pound of food provides 100 million live, active cultures that help support healthy digestion and help your dog maintain an active lifestyle.
If you regularly shop at Costco and like the Kirkland brand, this is your best choice at the store. You can also find it on Amazon.
Calories, transition & other GSD food tips.
German Shepherd Calorie Requirements
Inactive or older dogs in this range should consume between 1,272 and 1,540 calories per day, according to the National Research Council of the National Academies. An active GSD, on the other hand, needs between 1,740 and 2,100 calories per day.
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 many calories does a puppy German Shepherd need?
German Shepherd puppies should have 500 calories per day at an increasing level as they grow.
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 proceed to increment 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 dog food feeding guidelines for German Shepherds are reasonable estimates for how much food you should be feeding your GSD.
For a more accurate estimate, simply look at the back of your dog’s kibble bag.
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 10||1/4 to 3/4|
|11-23||3/4 to 1-1/4|
|24-36||1-1/4 to 1-3/4|
|37-49||1-3/4 to 2-1/4|
|50-62||2-1/4 to 3|
|63-75||3 to 3-1/2|
|76-89||3-1/2 to 4|
|90 or more||4 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.
|Condition||Dietary 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 (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial
|Chronic Itching and Dermatitis||Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, 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 (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc
|Dandruff and Crustiness||Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels
Pro Tip: If your German Shepherds develop coat or skin problems such as dry skin, a dull shedding coat, hot spots, or itching and irritation, you can add a couple of squirts of fish oil to their food. Doing this will provide relief and nourishment to keep skin and coats healthy.
Also, never supplement extra calcium into a large breed puppy’s diet. Too much calcium encourages hip dysplasia earlier in life.
Dog Food & German Shepherds
We hope you were able to find the best dog food for your German Shepherd and learn a little bit about GSD nutrition and the relationship between dog food and raising a healthy German Shepherd.
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