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Best Dog Food for German Shepherds: Top 10 Picks (2024)

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best dog food for german shepherdsWhen it comes to finding the best dog food for your German Shepherd, you don’t just want good nutrition; you also want peace of mind. After all, a healthy diet is an important part of keeping this beloved breed happy and strong.

Luckily, there are plenty of options available that can provide both nutritional balance and safety for your furry friend. According to recent research by The National Canine Hip Dysplasia Institute (NCHDI), certain brands have been found to reduce the risk associated with canine hip dysplasia in large breeds like German Shepherds – making them great options when selecting the perfect kibble for your pup’s needs.

With so many high-quality choices on offer today – from Dr Gary Best Breed Dry Dog Food through to Orijen Puppy Large Breed Food – we’ve narrowed down our top 10 picks here so you can find exactly what works best for your four-legged family member!

Key Takeaways

  • High-quality proteins and balanced nutrition are important considerations when selecting dog food for German Shepherds.
  • Safe calcium levels should be maintained to prevent hip dysplasia.
  • Allergy management can be achieved by avoiding common allergens in the dog food.
  • Providing safe chewing options and interactive toys is crucial for the mental and physical stimulation of German Shepherds.

Top 10 Best Dog Foods for German Shepherds

Are you a German Shepherd owner looking for the best food to feed your pup? We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 dog foods specifically formulated for German Shepherds: Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken Sweet Potato Dog Food, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Dog, Holistic Select Large Giant Breed Adult Dog Food, Diamond Naturals Large Breed Dog Food, Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food, Victor Nutra Pro Dog Food, Iams Adult Large Breed Chicken Dry Dog Food, Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon, and Orijen Puppy Large Puppy Food.

1. Dr Gary Best Breed German Dry Dog Food

Dr. GaryView On Chewy
You can trust Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Dry Dog Food to provide your German Shepherd with balanced nutrition and joint health support! This holistic formula is formulated specifically for large and giant breeds, featuring premium proteins such as chicken, menhaden fish, and eggs.

Quality fiber helps promote gastrointestinal function while New Zealand green-lipped sea mussels supply glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. Essential vitamins are included to help boost the immune system while omega fatty acids nourish the coat of your GSD pup or adult dog.

Customers have reported positive experiences with improved stool quality as well as dogs enjoying the taste of this food along with its smaller kibble size that many canines appreciate more than other brands’.

However, some customers do have concerns about rising prices when it comes to buying in bulk, which could be a consideration when selecting a food option for their dog.

  • Balanced nutrition & joint health support
  • Premium protein sources – chicken & menhaden fish
  • Quality fiber promotes GI function
  • Contains New Zealand green-lipped sea mussels
  • Dogs enjoy the taste & small kibble size
  • Essential vitamins support immunity
  • Some customer concern over price increases

2. Real Chicken Sweet Potato Dog Food

Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed DryView On Chewy
If you’re looking for a real treat for your furry friend, Real Chicken Sweet Potato Dog Food will hit the spot. Crafted in Hereford, Texas and cooked in the USA, this complete and balanced food is made with deboned chicken as its first ingredient.

It also contains healthy fats to fuel your German Shepherd’s body, plus glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain hip joint health. This 5-Star rated food is grain-free without artificial colors or flavors, nor preservatives, making it suitable even for those with sensitive stomachs.

Many customers have noticed positive results, such as improved allergies or yeast conditions, when switching their dogs over to this dog food. They have also seen healthier skin condition, ear maintenance, and odor reduction.

Although some customers have reported that the kibble size may be too small for extra-large breed pups, no worries because requests are heard loud and clear!

  • Made from real deboned chicken as the first ingredient, plus 70% animal sources protein content
  • Healthy fats included, plus glucosamine & chondroitin support joint health
  • Grain-free recipe without any artificial additives/preservatives
  • Kibble size not adequate for very large breeds (requests heard!)
  • Opinionated smell upon opening the bag, according to customer feedback

3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Dog

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon AdultView On Chewy
With its high-quality proteins, diverse vitamins and minerals, and a lack of artificial additives or fillers, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Dog is an excellent choice for adult dogs of all breeds. This grain-free meal contains real salmon as the main ingredient with added antioxidants to support overall health.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are also included to promote skin and coat health, while glucosamine supports joint function.

Additionally, this food is free from chicken byproduct meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives, making it ideal for those sensitive to certain ingredients or allergies.

Though many customers report positive experiences with improved temperament in their herding breeds after switching to this food, there have been mixed reviews about the formula change itself. Some users have experienced digestive issues such as gas, diarrhea, vomiting, skin problems, hair loss, insect infestation in bags, and rejection of the new recipe due to lack of lifebits, etcetera.

The company’s acquisition has raised questions about whether the listed ingredients still match what’s actually being used in production, but most customers remain satisfied that they’re feeding their pet a premium quality product tailored towards larger breed dogs’ needs.

  • High-quality proteins & diverse vitamins & minerals
  • Free from fillers/artificial additives
  • Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids & glucosamine for health benefits
  • Formula change led to various health issues
  • Insects found in some bags
  • Dogs rejecting new recipe

4. Holistic Select Large Giant Breed Adult Dog Food

Holistic Select Large & GiantView On Chewy
Designed for large and giant breed dogs, Holistic Select Large Giant Breed Adult Dog Food provides a small kibble size suitable for bigger mouths. It contains digestible probiotics, healthy fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat health.

Additionally, it includes antioxidants to support heart health. Many owners have noted improved stool consistency in their dogs after switching to this food, and it has received positive reviews. This food is made in the USA with global ingredient sourcing, providing optimal nutrition for your German Shepherd to thrive.

It also offers natural sources of glucosamine to help promote joint flexibility.

  • Smaller kibble size suits larger breeds better
  • Contains probiotics that aid digestion
  • Omega 3s provide skin and coat health benefits
  • Kibble may be smaller than expected by some customers
  • Recipe changes have been noted since company acquisition

5. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Large Breed AdultView On Chewy
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Dog Food offers real cage-free chicken as the main ingredient, plus glucosamine, chondroitin, omega fatty acids, and K9 strain probiotics for your pup’s optimal health. This complete and balanced nutrition formula is made without corn or wheat in the USA.

Superfoods such as blueberries and oranges are included to provide additional nutritional benefits to large breed dogs of all ages.

The reviews about this food have been largely positive. Customers have reported improved health for their dogs after switching to Diamond Naturals’ formula, including better skin appearance and coat sheen.

Many owners appreciate how affordable yet nutritionally beneficial this food is for their furry companions. It comes in a 40-pound bag suitable for both adult large breeds and puppies with moderate activity levels.

  • Dogs’ improved health & appearance after switching
  • Affordable & healthy choice
  • Dogs love taste & eagerly eat it
  • Suitable For Adult Large Breeds Puppies With Moderate Activity Levels
  • Allergic reactions (itching/vomiting/diarrhea)
  • Some dislike taste
  • Gas loose stools reported

6. Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food

Eagle Pack Power Adult DryView On Chewy
Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food is perfect for the active pup, offering joint-supporting glucosamine and improved digestive health with probiotics. This complete and balanced nutrition formula contains higher protein and fat levels to provide sustained energy, free from corn, wheat, by-products, artificial colors, or flavors.

It’s suitable for both puppies with a 30/20 balance as well as adult dogs of all breeds.

Reviews praise its benefits including soft coats that are odorless due to improved digestion plus joints supported by the glucosamine content. Some users have experienced minor systemic inflammation when switching from their grain-based food, while long-term customers report great health in their pets.

However, there have been recent complaints about bags containing mostly dusty crumbs, which some dogs dislike because of its powdery texture.

  • Joint support provided through glucosamine content
  • Improved digestion through probiotics
  • Sustained energy sources from high protein & fats
  • Suitable for puppies & adult dogs
  • Recent reports of bags containing mostly crumbs
  • Powdery texture may be disliked by some pups
  • Grain-based food has caused minor systemic inflammation

7. Victor Nutra Pro Dog Food

VICTOR Purpose Nutra Pro DryView On Chewy
Victor Nutra Pro Dog Food packs a punch with 92% meat protein and fortified vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to keep your pup at peak performance! This nutrient-dense recipe is made in the USA from gluten-free grains suitable for dogs of all breeds who have moderate to high activity levels.

It contains a unique VPRO Blend that aids digestion while also supporting the immune system.

Customer reviews are mixed – some have experienced digestive issues after switching their dog’s food, while others report improved energy levels and coats. However, concerns about recent batches causing problems have caused some users to switch brands entirely.

  • Made in USA
  • Gluten-Free Grains
  • High Protein Content
  • Unique VPRO blend for Digestibility & Immune System Support
  • Mixed Reviews – Some Experienced Digestive Issues
  • Recent Batch Concerns Causing Users To Switch Brands

8. Iams Adult Large Breed Chicken Dry Dog Food

Iams Adult Large Breed RealView On Chewy
Iams Adult Large Breed Chicken Dry Dog Food provides great muscle support for active large-breed dogs with its high protein content and blend of fibers and prebiotics. The 30-pound bag is suitable for adult large and giant breed dogs, making it an ideal choice to keep them energized throughout the day.

This food also contains special ingredients such as glucosamine hydrochloride to help maintain healthy bones, joints, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. It also includes a unique VPRO Blend that enhances digestibility and immune system health.

Customers have had mixed experiences with this dog food. Some praise the product, while others experience issues after switching their pup over from another brand or complain about incorrect orders being sent out by sellers on third-party websites.

One long-time user reported severe diarrhea in their pooch, leading to vet bills upon changing recipes recently. This has caused dissatisfaction among customers who were loyal fans of Iams previously.

  • Contains real farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient
  • High protein content for muscle support
  • Bone and joint support
  • Promotes healthy digestion and immune system
  • Available in a 30lb bag
  • Some customers experienced issues after switching from other brands
  • Incorrect order sizes received through 3rd party websites
  • Recent formula changes caused digestive problems

9. Taste Wild Southwest Canyon Dog Food

Taste of the Wild SouthwestView On Chewy
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Dog Food offers a unique combination of novel proteins, legumes, and real fruits and vegetables for optimal nutrition. Formulated with wild boar as its primary protein source, this grain-free recipe is packed with nutrient-rich legumes like peas and garbanzo beans to provide your four-legged friend with energy throughout the day.

Natural antioxidants are included from real fruits such as blueberries and cranberries, while dried chicory root functions to support healthy digestion.

  • Novel proteins including wild boar
  • Nutrient-rich legumes like peas & garbanzo beans
  • Real fruits & veggies providing natural antioxidant support
  • Mixed reactions among dogs regarding flavor
  • Not suitable if your dog has chicken allergies
  • May need extra incentives for some picky eaters

10. Orijen Puppy Large Puppy Food

View On Chewy
Orijen’s Puppy Large formula is a grain-free, high-protein meal made with five fresh or raw poultry/fish and contains no added soy, corn, tapioca, or wheat – perfect for your pup’s nutrition needs!

The 23.5-pound bag of kibble is suitable for large breed puppies and includes ORIJEN WholePrey ingredients to ensure they get all the vital nutrients their growing bodies need.

Many customers have reported positive experiences with Orijen food – dogs love the taste and do well on it even if they’re sensitive to other foods. It’s also been found cost-effective compared to other premium brands while providing plenty of energy boost through its higher fat content, as well as joint support from glucosamine in its formula.

Some customers have had concerns about recipe changes after company acquisition that caused soft stool in some dogs, but overall reviews remain positive due to improved health seen in their pups after switching over this food brand.

On top of that, many owners report loving the convenience of ordering online from Chewy, which makes it more accessible than ever before!

  • Made with global quality ingredients
  • High protein content for muscle support
  • Includes ORIJEN WholePrey Ingredients
  • No added soy, corn, tapioca, wheat
  • Glucosamine included for joint health
  • Small kibble size not suitable for giant breeds
  • Recipe change post company acquisition causing issues
  • Higher price point

What is the Healthiest Diet for a German Shepherd?

What is the Healthiest Diet for a German Shepherd
A German Shepherd’s diet should include high-quality proteins, healthy fats, essential vitamins and minerals, and balanced calcium levels to meet its dietary needs. During puppy growth stages, it is important to provide food that contains glucosamine for joint health, as well as omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.

Homemade dog foods are a great option, but be sure to consult with a veterinarian before starting one. Dietary supplements can also help ensure your pup gets all the nutrients necessary for optimal health.

Additionally, when looking at ingredients lists of commercial dog kibble or treats, avoid common allergens like corn, wheat, chicken, and beef.

When choosing the best food options, look out for protein sources such as real deboned chicken or salmon. Healthy fats from plant oils like coconut oil are also beneficial. Fiber from sweet potatoes or pumpkin, as well as probiotics that aid digestion, should be included.

Omegas 3 & 6 fatty acids, along with glucosamine & chondroitin found in certain brands specifically designed for large breeds, are important for your German Shepherd’s health. Some recommended brands include Orijen Puppy Large Breed Food and Diamond Naturals Large Breed Dog Food.

Lastly, always keep an eye on recalls so you stay informed of any potential risks associated with specific foods.

Important Factors to Consider When Selecting Dog Food for German Shepherds

Important Factors to Consider When Selecting Dog Food for German Shepherds
When selecting dog food for your German Shepherd, it’s important to consider the nutritional needs of this breed. German Shepherds have specific calcium requirements and are prone to common health issues such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, obesity, allergies, and joint problems.

Therefore, choosing a high-quality food tailored specifically for them is essential in keeping their health in optimum condition.

Nutritional needs for German Shepherds:

Fueling your German Shepherd with the right nutrition will ensure they’re healthy and happy for years to come. Consider their age, weight, activity level, and any allergies or sensitivities when selecting a food specifically formulated for large breeds.

Look at the protein content on dog food labels as this should be among the first few ingredients listed. Avoid artificial additives like colors or flavors too. Omega-3 fatty acids are also recommended to promote coat health, while glucosamine helps support joint health.

Feed twice daily in appropriate amounts based on package recommendations. Consult a vet if needed regarding diet supplements such as probiotics for digestive issues or proper feeding schedule adjustments during puppyhood growth spurts!

Importance of calcium levels:

It’s important to choose dog food with safe calcium levels for German Shepherds, as excessive calcium can contribute to hip dysplasia. Incorporating foods that contain glucosamine and chondroitin into a German Shepherd’s diet can help reduce the risk of joint problems.

One study found that dogs fed diets supplemented with these compounds had significantly less pain in their hind legs.

When selecting puppy nutrition, look for high-quality proteins and avoid artificial additives or common allergens like corn, wheat, chicken, or beef. Consider factors such as age, size, and activity level when choosing the right food too.

Make sure you stay informed about recalls so your pup stays healthy!

Common health problems

Common health problems in German Shepherds, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, allergies, obesity, and joint issues, can have an effect on their life expectancy of up to 13 years. To prevent these types of conditions, it is important to feed them the best dog food for German Shepherds that is high in protein with safe calcium levels.

Allergy management should include avoiding common allergens like corn, wheat, chicken, or beef. Additionally, incorporating glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3s, and omega-6s fatty acids may help support joint health, while preventing obesity through caloric intake adjustments and daily exercise are essential steps for optimal wellness.

How Much and How Often to Feed a German Shepherd Puppy

How Much and How Often to Feed a German Shepherd Puppy
When deciding how much and how often to feed your German Shepherd puppy, consider factors like age, size, activity level, and allergies. Generally speaking, for an adult dog, the suggested feeding frequency is twice a day.

Puppies may require more frequent meals as they grow to ensure their portion sizes are appropriate.

Dietary transitions should be gradual to prevent stomach upset or diarrhea caused by sudden changes in diet. If there are any dietary allergies, take these into account when choosing the right food for your pup! Additionally, it’s important to watch calcium intake levels, as high levels can contribute to hip dysplasia risk.

Look out for safe calcium levels on labels of foods specifically designed for large breed dogs, such as Dr.

Finally, tailor each meal plan according to specific needs after consulting with a veterinarian.

Dealing With Diarrhea in German Shepherd Puppies

Dealing With Diarrhea in German Shepherd Puppies
If your German Shepherd puppy has diarrhea, consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and adjust their diet accordingly. Common causes of canine diarrhea include dietary indiscretion, food allergies, parasites, or bacterial infections.

To help manage the situation in your pup’s diet, select high-quality foods that are appropriate for large breeds. For example, Orijen Puppy Large Breed Food contains five fresh or raw poultry/fish as its first ingredients, along with probiotics and omega fatty acids for digestive health.

Additionally, look for glucosamine and chondroitin levels suitable for puppies to promote healthy joints, while avoiding artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or common allergens like corn, wheat, chicken, beef, etc.

If symptoms persist, consider adjusting feeding times, frequency, and amounts. Adding small meals during the day, providing safe chew toys, interactive playtime, ensuring proper exercise routines, grooming basics, socialization techniques, etc.

With timely medical care, attention to their nutrition, routine activities, stress management, you can ensure a better quality of life, ideal weight, and balanced growth and development in your beloved pet!

Providing Safe Chewing Options and Interactive Toys for German Shepherds

Providing Safe Chewing Options and Interactive Toys for German Shepherds
Providing safe chewing options and interactive toys for German Shepherds is essential to their dental health, mental stimulation, exercise benefits, and training. Choosing the right toy or accessory can ensure your pup gets everything he needs in a safe choice.

Antioxidants found in natural chew treats are beneficial for overall health as well as helping keep teeth clean while providing mental stimulation through playtime activities such as fetching or tugging games with ropes or balls.

Interactive toys like Kongs also help promote physical activity by requiring more effort from your pup than just laying around on the couch all day! Puzzle feeders can be used to encourage slower eating speeds which will lead to better digestion and reduce regurgitation of food particles into their lungs that cause aspiration pneumonia.

A variety of these items should be offered so you know what works best for your dog’s individual needs:

  • Safe Toys – Choose sturdy rubber/plastic materials that won’t easily break apart when chewed upon
  • Dental Health – Look for edible chews made from natural ingredients such as rawhide & antlers
  • Mental Stimulation – Puzzles & treat dispensing items provide entertainment while encouraging problem-solving skills
  • Exercise Benefits – Balls & rope tuggers allow them to get active while having fun
  • Training Tools– Clicker trainers offer positive reinforcement during learning sessions


As a final thought, when you’re looking for the best dog food for German Shepherds, it’s important to find a complete and balanced formula with safe calcium levels. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to pick the perfect food for your pup.

The top 10 picks in this article provide a great starting point for finding the healthiest diet for your German Shepherd, ensuring your pup stays happy and healthy for many years to come.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.