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When there are so many options out there, it’s tough to find the right nutrition for your pet, right? A lot of pet parents tend to make mistakes when it comes to food choice.

However, to select the right meal for your pooch, you need to know the specific needs of your German Shepard. Also, referring as GSD is a large breed famous for his black and tan coat and wolf-life feature.

For that reason, his muscular and robust body demands the best dog food for German Shepherd, rich in protein.

In today’s post, we will review a couple of brands! Keep reading to discover the best recipes for your pet!

7 German Shepherd Dog Food Compared

Our Top Pick

Small Product image of Taste of the Wild Wetlands
Taste of the Wild
Our Top Pick
Chicken Meal
Duck Meal
Sweet Potatoes
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Sensitive Stomach

Small Product image of Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison Formula
Natural Balance
Sensitive Stomach
Dried Sweet Potatoes
Pea Protein
Natural Flavor
Canola Oil
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Balanced Nutrition

Small Product image of Whole Earth Farms All Breeds
Whole Earth Farms
Balanced Nutrition
Pork Meal
Dried Potatoes
Pork Fat
Sweet Potatoes
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Large Breeds

Small Product image of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large breed With Chicken
Blue Buffalo Wilderness
Large Breeds
Chicken Meal
Menhaden Fish Meal
Tapioca Starch
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With Antioxidants

Small Product image of Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health
Holistic Select
With Antioxidants
Lamb Meal
Chicken Meal
Brown Rice
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Small Product image of Wellness Core Puppy
Wellness CORE
Turkey Meal
Chicken Meal
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For Digestion

Small Product image of Royal Canin Junior Giant Breed
Royal Canin
For Digestion
Chicken By-Product Meal
Brewers Rice
Brewers Rice Flour
Wheat Gluten
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Taste of the Wild - Our Top Pick

First Five Ingredients:

  • Duck
  • Chicken Meal
  • Duck Meal
  • Peas
  • Sweet Potatoes

Taste of the Wild Wetlands is one of the favorites among online shoppers. Due to a high amount of premium nutrients, as well as the advanced production process, this is the best dry dog food for german shepherds. Since it contains novel proteins such as roasted, smoked fowl and real duck meat, they ensure strong macules and promote an active lifestyle. On the other hand, sweet potatoes and peas are easily digestible carbs which fuel your dog with much-needed energy.

Additionally, natural antioxidants sourced from fresh fruits and veggies stimulate the healthy immune system, while dried chicory root supports the GI tract. Essential minerals and vitamins boost nutrient absorption and provide your pooch with a complete and balanced diet.

For healthy skin and coat, this meal features omega fatty acids. We should mention there is no grains, wheat, soy, and corn.

Overall, Taste of the Wild is one of the recipes your pet will continuously crave, while high-quality components protect his body.

Natural Balance - Ideal For Sensitive Stomach

First Five Ingredients:

  • Dried Sweet Potatoes
  • Pea Protein
  • Venison
  • Natural Flavor
  • Canola Oil

Many ingredients may trigger numerous health conditions in canines. For that reason, you should carefully choose recipes that will promote your pet’s wellbeing.

Natural Balance is one of the brands that pay attention to the dog’s needs. Their Limited Ingredient formula is the best dog food for german shepherds with skin allergies. With only selected proteins and carbs, this meal is ideal for canines with food sensitivities.

Venison comes as the primary proteins source, which will help your pooch maintain healthy muscles. On the other hand, the Natural Balance grain-free recipe features limited carbs with no artificial flavors and colors.

On top of that, omega-3 fatty acids extracted from flaxseeds ensure your dog has beautiful skin and coat. Considering this meal contains a single animal protein, it will be ideal for canines with allergies.

To conclude, if your dog is a picky eater, or has issues with food, then Natural Balance L.I.D. is the best meal to support his dietary needs.

Whole Earth Farms - Great For Balanced Nutrition

First Five Ingredients:

  • Pork Meal
  • Peas
  • Dried Potatoes
  • Pork Fat
  • Sweet Potatoes

Whole Earth Farms takes a holistic approach in the dog’s diet. Their wholesome line of natural products features all the goodness mother nature has to offer.

Pork meal, as well as lamb and beef, are the main ingredients and dominant protein sources. These nutrients will provide your pooch with plenty of energy and enable an active lifestyle.

On the other hand, a lot of botanicals such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and blueberries contain a lot of vitamins and minerals which will support overall health in your canine.

Considering its grain-free meal, carbs come from sweet potatoes and potatoes. Additionally, this product has glucosamine and chondroitin to stimulate joints and bones.

In all, Whole Earth Farms is the best cheap dog food for german shepherd and an excellent choice for all pet parents who are interested in exploring natural nutrition.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness - Best For Large Breeds

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Peas
  • Chicken Meal
  • Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Tapioca Starch

If you want to mimic the diet of ancestral wolves, then Blue Buffalo Wilderness is one of the options you should test. This is one of the best dog food brands for german shepherds that contains high-quality components necessary for large breeds.

It’s a protein-rich meal that features real chicken as its first ingredient. Your pet will love the taste, while amino acids stimulate lean macules and mobility. Additionally, plenty of carbs will help your pooch meet the energy requirements.

The equal amount of phosphorus and calcium is added for strong bones and joint system. On the other hand, omega fatty acids ensure a shiny-looking coat and healthy skin. This dry kibble features L-Carnitine, a crucial supplement for the proper functioning of the heart. On top of that, antioxidants are added to help support the immune system.

In summary, large breeds require food rich in proteins and fats, and Blue Buffalo Wilderness is specially formulated to meet the requirements of big dogs. Also, this formula is the best food for german shepherd to gain weight.

Holistic Select - With Antioxidants

First Five Ingredients:

  • Lamb Meal
  • Oatmeal
  • Chicken Meal
  • Barley
  • Brown Rice

The Holistic Select pet food brand has been on the market for more than a decade. They make dog food that is 100% natural and which supports canine’s digestive system. The Lamb Meal and Oatmeal recipe is the best dog food for german shepherd puppies.

This formula contains active probiotics, digestive enzymes, and healthy fibers, which stimulate the GI tract. Another essential feature to mention is the antioxidant-rich superfoods such as pomegranate and blueberries. They ensure your dog has a healthy body and provide support to cellular health.

The DHA fatty acids are known to promote eye and brain development, while whole grains like quinoa, oatmeal, and brown rice offer enough energy for pal and proper growth.

In conclusion, the balanced amount of nutrients, loaded with antioxidants, will protect your canine’s body from the inside out.  

Wellness CORE - Best Grain-Free

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey Meal
  • Chicken Meal
  • Peas
  • Potatoes

Whether you want to go back to basics, or you want to feed your pet with beneficial nutrients, the Wellness Core is one of the options you should explore.

This grain-free product is formulated with proteins sourced from reach chicken and turkey meat. They will provide your pup with everything he needs to grow healthy and active. Additionally, an optimal amount of calories will prevent obesity, while DHA supports brain and eye development.

On the other hand, antioxidants are added to stimulate your pet’s immune system. Wellness Core Puppy Formula contains calcium and phosphorus, which will help canines combat bones and joint disorders. This kibble is also loaded with probiotics to maintain a healthy digestive tract.

To sum up, give your furry companion more than a meal, give him a chance to try the best components one recipe has to offer, without causing food sensitivities, or german shepherd allergies ears.

Royal Canin - Great For Digestion

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken By-Product Meal
  • Brewers Rice
  • Brewers Rice Flour
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Corn

By having proper digestion, your pet can absorb all the necessary nutrients crucial for his development. The Royal Canin Giant Junior is specially made for large breeds, and it’s the best dog food for german shepherd with diarrhea.

It features a premium combination of nutrients to support your pup’s digestive health. It will balance the intestinal flora and promote good quality stool. On the other hand, the proper levels of calcium, plus glucosamine and chondroitin reduce the risks of joint and bone issues.

This meal contains premium proteins are loaded with L-carnitine to boost muscle development.

The bottom line, this meal will provide your pooch with an excellent set of nutrients, which will boost your pet’s GI tract.  

Image of beautiful german shepard canine and great view

Common Health Problems in German Shepherds


Large and deep-chested breeds tend to suffer from bloat, and it is a severe condition, sometimes resulting in death. It often occurs right after the eating, or if your dog eats substantial amounts of food at once.

For that reason, it’s crucial to feed your pet at least three meals during the day, instead of one. Also, try to use top rated dog food to feed German Shepherd, which is adjusted to his nutritional needs.

Elbow and Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a primary health concern for this breed, which is the malformation of the hip and elbow joints. This condition can worsen with and age, or if your pet is obese, or overweight.

Therefore, you should feed your pooch with good dog food for german shepherds, to keep his caloric intake in check.

Read more: Top Rated Dog Food for Hip Dysplasia

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How To Feed A German Shepherd

Diet and Nutritional Information

German shepherd food recommendations depend on various factors. He is bred to work hard all day, herding livestock, which requires a lot of energy. This means that German Shepherd needs plenty of calories for both, physical and mental activities.

For instance, daily caloric intake should look like this:

  • Puppies – 1500 calories
  • Active working dogs – 2200 calories
  • Seniors – 1200 calories

When it comes to pups, the german shepherd puppy food chart should include 20 calories per lb per day, and at least three meals. However, based on your pet’s activity level and his health condition, you will adjust the food intake.

And if you’re looking for adequate options for each group, see our suggestions:

Dog Food Ingredients To Look For

  • Protein

Your pet’s diet should contain at least 18% of protein. However, if you are dealing with an active canine, then you will need a diet rich in proteins. Additionally, puppies need 22% protein for their growing bodies to develop properly.

When it comes to a protein source, you may focus on chicken, turkey, bison, venison, or duck meat.

  • Fat

Your pooch may need 5% fat, 8% for growing puppies. Keep in mind that this is just a minimum amount and you might have to increase the percentage, as your pooch develops. Many commercial dog food features up to 12% fat, which is an excellent choice if you have an active pooch.

The right amount of fat will keep your pet skin healthy and his coat shiny. On the other hand, intelligent breeds will also benefit from omega fatty acids, which boost their cognitive functions.

  • Carbohydrates

Even though carbs aren’t necessary for canine’s diet, they should be present because they provide energy to your pooch. However, this breed tends to suffer from allergies, so your pet should avoid food that contains grains, such as corn, wheat, or soy.

Instead of them, you should go for whole grains like barley, oats, and brown rice, which are good quality carbs.

For more help follow our Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food guide.

  • Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamin and minerals are added to keep your dog’s coat and immune system healthy. On the other hand, antioxidant properties of vitamins C and E also serve as a brain booster.

Additionally, you can source vitamins from fresh fruits and vegetables. So, make sure your pet has a variety of these.

  • DHA

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid crucial for brain development in puppies. It plays a significant role in improving the central nervous system, as well as sight.

Therefore, you should choose food that contains salmon, tuna, or sardines which are an excellent source of DHA. Pups also receive DHA from the mother’s milk.

  • Calcium

Large breeds tend to suffer from joint and bone disorders. For that reason, supplements, such as calcium and phosphorus are an excellent addition to any diet.

However, you should be careful with the amount you feed your pooch. Too much calcium can cause excessive growth and bone abnormalities.

Feeding Tips

GDS are strong, active and athletic dogs. They thrive on physical exercise and stay active most of the time. Due to their energetic lifestyle, these canines need a power-packed diet.

However, the individual needs of this breed depend on numerous factors, such as sex, age, health, and activity level.

For instance, you need to feed your pup at least four small meals per day, while adults and seniors need one meal per day. If your pooch is struggling with keeping the pounds, then you should use the best food for german shepherd to gain weight and muscle.

You can also resort to german shepherd homemade food; however, you should pay attention number of ingredients to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding your pooch.


If you ask any owner, he will confirm that GSP is an excellent pet. He is intelligent, loyal, caring, and lovely cuddle-buddy. However, to use his full potential, you need to provide high-quality nutrition to your pet.

We know how challenging this can be, especially if you are new pet parents. But, we hope our recommendations can help you find the best recipe for your pooch.

We suggested premium brands that will fulfill GSP nutritional needs and supply his body with energy to go throughout the day.