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German Shepherds are the second most popular breed of dog in America and for good reason. They are one of the smartest breeds making them easy to train. They also have a good temperament and are very friendly and known for having a sense of humor. Plus, with their wolf-like appearance, silky fur, and unique coloring they are a gorgeous breed. These wonderful dogs have very specific needs to help them happy and healthy, so finding the best dog food for German Shepherds can be a bit of a challenge, especially for new German Shepherd dog owners. Obviously, you want to make sure you are feeding them the best dog food for their specific breed. We love German Shepherds too, so we’ve put together a great guide to help you find the best dog food for German Shepherds. This guide will not only give you our own product recommendations, but it will help educate you on making the best decision for your dog on your own.
Introducing: The German Shepherd!
German Shepherd Nutritional Needs
German Shepherds are high-energy working dogs, so the best dog food for German Shepherds is generally formulated around those breed specific energy levels. Since they are so intelligent and a large breed with a lot of muscle mass, they are often used as police and military rescue dogs, farm and ranch helpers, therapy and seeing eye dogs, and guard dogs. So they require a lot of energy from their food.
A food that is rich in protein and amino acids is required to help them maintain a healthy weight and keep their muscles strong.
A good dog food for German Shepherds should also have a balance of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats to provide them the sustained, long-term energy they need to work long hours. German Shepherds also need more calories per day than other breeds. An adult German Shepherd at a healthy weight requires between 1700-2100 calories a day so you need a food that has a high kcal amount.
German Shepherd Health Risks
German Shepherds are prone to specific illnesses that can sometimes be prevented with the right diet. When choosing the best dog food for German Shepherds, you must take into account their susceptibility to certain medical conditions. A proper diet can substantially reduce the likelihood of these medical issues occurring or becoming worse.
Like other large breeds, German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis, so a diet containing omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine and chondroitin is recommended. Digestive issues and pancreatic failure are also common among German Shepherds, so they need an easy to digest food that is high in fiber and contains probiotics.
Another health concern for German Shepherds are neurological diseases, specifically degenerative myelopathy, so the best dog food for German Shepherds should have a vitamin-rich diet of unprocessed foods that are loaded with fruits and vegetables to support brain health. Finally,
German Shepherds are likely to develop ear infections so they need a lot of antioxidants to keep their immune system strong to ward off any bacteria.
Ingredients To Look For In A Healthy Dog Food For German Shepherds
When picking out the best dog food for German Shepherds, look for these ingredients on the ingredients panel:
- Unprocessed protein sources like deboned chicken, beef, or fish
- Fish oil and flaxseed oil for omega fatty acids
- Grain-free or whole grain
- Blueberries, kale, spinach, broccoli, and beets for antioxidants
- Easily digestible carbohydrates like barley, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes
You should also read the guaranteed analysis panel for a crude protein content of 30% or higher, a crude fiber content of 6% or higher, a crude fat content of 20% or higher, and amino acids like arginine, leucine, and carnitine.
Breed-Specific Foods For German Shepherds
One of the options to feed your German Shepherd is a breed-specific formula. Breed-specific formulas are designed to meet all the key nutritional needs of a specific breed. Here are the two breed-specific dog foods for German Shepherds that we recommend:
Royal Canin German Shepherd comes in both adult and puppy formulas. It is specifically formulated to address the health issues of German Shepherds. Royal Canin is made with highly digestible ingredients including LIP proteins and soluble fibers. It also contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and key omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA to support healthy joints and coat. The food is lower in protein and fats than is generally recommended for German Shepherds but is fortified with key amino acids to provide muscle strength.
Eukanuba German Shepherd is a highly-fortified dog food to provide all the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids your German Shepherd needs to stay strong and healthy. It also contains high levels of omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin to prevent joint issues. Eukanuba German Shepherd is also easy to digest, containing high fiber, probiotics, and natural preservatives.
Healthiest Dog Food For German Shepherds
Beyond breed-specific dog food for german shepherd formulas, we recommend checking out these healthy dog foods for your German Shepherd:
Merrick Grain-Free is made with a balance of 70% meat proteins and 30% carbohydrates providing a 38% crude protein and 15% crude fat rating. It contains deboned beef, sweet potatoes, and blueberries, and is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. The only downside is that it is low in fiber at only 3.5%. However, since it is not made with any heavily processed carbohydrate ingredients and contains both pre- and probiotics, it is still highly digestible. Merrick Grain-Free also comes in a variety of other flavors, wet food, and treats, and is highly rated as a great tasting dog food. So it’s the perfect option if your German Shepherd is a picky eater.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free is a great option for your German Shepherd. It has a high crude protein rating of 34% and a high crude fat rating of 15%. It also contains omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin for joint support. As a grain-free food, all of its carbohydrates come from vitamin-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and blueberries. Blue Buffalo Wilderness is also fortified with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for a complete nutritional profile. Blue Buffalo Wilderness comes in a variety of flavors and uses novel proteins for easy digestion.
So if you are looking for the best dog food for German Shepherds, consider feeding them one of these varieties. With the targeted nutrition of these foods, you will ensure that your German Shepherd has all the nutrition and energy they need for a happy, healthy life with you.
Our Top Food Picks For German Shepherds