Best Dog Food for German Shepherds: All You Need to Know in 2017

German shepherds are active dogs with a muscular build. They require plenty of calories and healthy ingredients in order to remain fit. German shepherds can weigh up to 90 pounds, and need proper nutrition and the best dog food for German Shepherds to stay healthy.

Quick Comparison: Top German Shepherd Dog Food in 2017

Dog FoodQualityOur Rating
Royal Canin German Shepherd Dry Dog FoodA-
Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Dog FoodA
CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog FoodB+
EUKANUBA Breed Specific Dry Dog FoodB+
Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog FoodA-

* click on the product name to be taken to Amazon where you can check the current price and read customer reviews.

Below you’ll find in-depth reviews of each of the above products.

What’s the Recommended Calorie Intake for German Shepherds?

According to the PetCareRX website, full-grown, active German shepherds can eat up to 2,100 calories a day. These calories need to come from nutritious ingredients that are easy for the dog to digest. 1,200 calories is the lower end of things, with smaller and less active dogs within the breed needing less calories to survive.

General Nutritional Information About German Shepherds

German shepherds have a thick coat that needs to be maintained. A proper diet helps with this. Foods full of omega 3s keep the coat shiny and thick. There also needs to be an adequate amount of nutrients and vitamins.

German Shepherd Dog

A whole meat protein is the first ingredient needed in your german shepherd’s food. A muscular dog like this needs adequate protein levels to survive. Poultry and fish are two ideal protein choices.

Common Health Problems With German Shepherds and How the Good Food Can Help

Health problems are found in many german shepherds, according to Michele Welton. Orthopedic issues are the most prevalent, including hip and elbow dysplasia. It causes misalignment of the joint in that area. German shepherds may also experience arthritis symptoms.

Another orthopedic issue is panosteitis, which also impacts the bones and joints. German shepherds need foods that help with bone growth and development to avoid these issues. Glucosamine and high amounts of antioxidants improve bone function and mobility. These ingredients will reduce pain and inflammation, allowing the dog to experience more movement.

Digestive problems are another major concern, meaning German shepherds require foods that are easy on the digestive tract. Probiotics and whole grains are beneficial in these circumstances. Some of these problems include excessive diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease.

Another common problem is with the skin. Eczema is actually possible in dogs, not just humans. German shepherds with eczema or other skin issues require specially formulated foods that improve skin and coat health. This includes probiotics and omega 6 fatty acids.

German Shepherd

Feeding Guidelines for German Shepherds By Age

Puppies need to eat more often than their parents. German shepherd puppies should receive food multiple times throughout the day, while adult German shepherds only eat twice a day. Puppies should receive their calories in portions, typically 3 or 4 times a day. By the time a puppy reaches 6 months, he can transition to the regular food routine that adult German shepherds follow.

Both puppies and adults require protein. Up to 30% of the dog food they eat should contain protein, although some owners stick between 22 and 25%. This ingredient should come from natural options, such as poultry, and not a by-product.

Editor’s Choice – Best Dry Dog Food for German Shepherds

There are 5 dog food brands we recommend for your German shepherd.

#1 – Royal Canin German Shepherd Dry Dog Food

One of the best options for German shepherds is the Royal Canin German Shepherd Dry Dog Food. This food comes in two options, one specifically made for adults, and one made for puppies. It aids in digestion and offers valuable nutrients. It also works to improve joint function, and keeps the coat in the best condition. It received 4.6 stars out of 5, with over 70 customer reviews.

Royal Canin German Shepherd Dry Dog Food

What We Like

  • Supports the digestive system
  • Specifically made with German shepherds in mind
  • Supports healthy joints

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What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey compared to other brands

#2 – Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Dog Food

The Purina Brand is a popular choice for many dog owners. The Pro Plan Focus option is specifically made for dogs with digestive issues and sensitive skin. It offers omega 6 and zinc to keep the coat long and shiny. It includes rice, chicken, and essential vitamins. This dog food earned 4.5 stars out of 5, with over 1,400 customer reviews.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Dog Food

What We Like

  • High levels of omega fatty acids, copper, and zinc for a healthy coat
  • Comes in a large bag, with other size options as well
  • Promotes digestive health

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What We Don’t Like

  • Limited flavor choices

3# – CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food

German Shepherds can eat healthy thanks to CANIDAE. Their pure grain free option offers natural ingredients that promote healthy digestion, and provides plenty of protein. It received 4.4 stars out of 5, with over 420 customer reviews.

CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food
What We Like

  • Fresh salmon is the first ingredient
  • Includes vegetables
  • Offers probiotics for digestion

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What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey for a smaller than average bag

#4 – EUKANUBA Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

The EUKANUBA brand offers a breed specific option for German shepherds. It is made for dogs with digestive issues, and helps promote bone strength. It earned 4.5 stars out of 5, with over 110 customer reviews.

EUKANUBA Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

What We Like

  • Specially formulated for German shepherds
  • Improves the digestive system
  • Offers fiber and fatty acids essential for health

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What We Don’t Like

  • On the pricey side

#5 – Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science offers a diet dog food that is ideal for large breeds. It works to improve joint health and lean muscle mass. This food assists immune function and is easy to digest. It earned 4.5 stars out of 5, with over 780 customer reviews.

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food

What We Like

  • Larger bag size
  • Improves joint function and mobility
  • Easy to digest

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What We Don’t Like

  • Limited flavor options

German shepherds need help maintaining their physique with healthy foods and plenty of exercise. Puppies should consume foods frequently, while adults get plenty of protein at their two designated meal times. German shepherds are loyal dogs that need proper care and nutrition to thrive.

Other Types of Dog Food

If you’d like to know a bit more about dog food be sure to read some of our other articles: