General Nutritional Recommendations For German Shepherds
All dogs require a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate in their diet, though dogs of certain sizes may require a slightly different ratio than smaller dogs. Large-breed dogs like the German Shepherd, for example, may require more protein than smaller dogs to help support their lean muscle mass. Smaller dogs usually require more fat than larger dogs to support their faster metabolisms. As a large-breed dog, your German Shepherds diet should provide high levels of protein with moderate fat and limited carbohydrate content. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, adult dogs need at least 18% protein and 5% fat while puppies need 22% protein and 8% fat. If you want your dog to be as healthy as possible, however, you should choose a diet that provides more than the minimum for these nutrients.
Dr Garys Best Breed German Dry Dog Food
This dry dog food from Dr. Garys Best Breed is specially formulated for German Shepherds and other large dog breeds. The formula provides premium protein obtained from animal sources, including chicken, fish, and eggs, as well as sea mussels, which are a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin. It also contains essential fatty acids omega-3 and -6 for healthy skin and vibrant coat and vitamins C and E to support a healthy immune system. The inclusion of garlic powder will help support your dogs immune system and liver and reduce cholesterol build-up.
A handful of customers report that their dogs would not touch this food and that it had a pungent fishy smell. Some said the food caused loose stool and even diarrhea in their dog. The kibble is much too small for large breeds like German Shepherds, only around the size of a pea, so they are likely to not chew the food properly.
- Kibble is too small for large breeds
The Importance Of Raw Foods
It has been said that the German Shepherd is more like a wolf than any other dog breed. While this is debatable, there is no doubt that this statement is rooted in fact.
When we think about this, it makes sense that these dogs would do better with raw foods.
After all, no wild dog ever built a fire to cook his meat, and that might make more of a difference than previously believed.
We took a look at this comprehensive study, which seems to have been very thorough.
The researchers measured the incidence and effects of canine hip dysplasia and attempted to draw connections between this condition and the diet of the dogs involved.
On a more humorous note, raw food diets were abbreviated as BARF in this study, which is an acronym for Bone And Raw Food.
Anyway, the results of this study were pretty conclusive. All of the dogs that ate the BARF diet showed a much lower rate of hip dysplasia.
Of the dogs given commercial dry food, about 69% showed signs of the condition, while about 61% did not.
Based on this, we can see that dogs in this category had roughly a 50% chance of developing hip problems.
On the other hand, the dogs fed the BARF diet had a rate of hip dysplasia that was only about 5%.
These numbers do not reflect the general population because the researchers specifically looked for dogs with existing problems.
Still, it does illustrate the importance of raw foods in your dogs diet. After all, the study didnt find any other significant trends.
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Can You Free Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
Free feeding is leaving food out for your German Shepherd puppy to eat at whatever time they want. The following are reasons why free-feeding is not good for your puppy:
- It puts your puppy at risk of becoming overweight Puppies typically cannot control their eating. When they are bored, they can overeat which leads to obesity causing serious health issues.
- Free feeding allows the dog to access food all the time, making him find the food less appealing.
- Free feeding prevents you from keeping track of the amount of food you are feeding your dog.
Dr Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet
German Dog Diet is one of 13 dry recipes covered in our review of the Dr. Garys Best Breed product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, dried beet pulp, chicken fat
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:German shepherd puppy or adult
Dr. Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 22% fat and 34% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
We like the fact the formula also includes zinc proteinate and other chelated minerals which provides superior absorption and nutrition. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewOur german shepherd has had a lot of itching problems since she was about 1 year old. We have tried different foods, supplements, sprays and shampoos. Nothing has seems to work as well as when we switched to this food. Scabs that were on her for months due to her itching them open all the time have finally healed over. She is still a little itchy, but significantly better than before. And she loves the food too! We used to leave her food bowl full all day because she would only pick throughout the day. With this food we are only doing 2-3 cups morning and night because she scarfs it all down in minutes! Glad we finally found something that she loves and works so well!
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Best Food For German Shepherds Buying Guide
The German Shepherd is a highly intelligent, loyal, and courageous breed that makes for a wonderful and faithful companion. But like any other breed, the Shepherd also needs healthy, quality food to enjoy a long and happy life. To help you create an ideal diet for your pup, weve not only reviewed some of the best dog foods in the market but have also put together this comprehensive buying guide. Here, we cover everything you need to know about the German Shepherd diet, including tips on how to pick the best recipe for your pet, which ingredients to avoid feeding and so much more.
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 youre 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 56100 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.
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What Is The Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppies
One of the most important things you need to remember for German Shepherd puppies is that they need to be protected from growing too fast. A dog that weighs 90 pounds or more at maturity will take somewhere between 18 and 24 months to reach its adult size and, during that time, growth needs to be controlled because if the puppy grows too fast it will put excess strain on the bones and joints, predisposing the dog to musculoskeletal issues as an adult. The simplest way to prevent this from happening is to start your German Shepherd with a large-breed puppy formula. Below you will find reviews for several high-quality dog food formulas that could be a good choice to consider for your German Shepherd puppy:
Healthy Ingredients : Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Yellowtail Flounder, Whole Eggs, Whole Atlantic MackerelKey Features :
Healthy Ingredients : Lamb Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Chicken Meal, Dried Beet PulpKey Features :
Health Concerns For German Shepherds
German Shepherds are prone to contract health problems that are related to bone, muscles, and joints. One such common health issue is hip dysplasia where it involves the malfunctioning of hip joints due to exercising too much, feeding too much, or injured themselves. In order to cure you can feed dog food for hip dysplasia to your pet. Elbow dysplasia is another problem that occurs mostly in German Shepherds that have a long line of badly bred ancestors and are caused mainly by poor genetics. Another health concern seen in many large breed dogs today is diabetes because of their huge body and large food intake. Diabetes can incur due to genetics or environmental conditions, but you can control it with an appropriate diet and adequate exercise.
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How To Feed A German Shepherd Dog
Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet, including this one, can replace a consultation with a vet.
German Shepherd dogs tend to require more calories than the average large-breed dog. This is attributed to their high energy level which we’ve discussed above. Even at rest, the GSD isnt a couch potato hes going to be where the action is.
However, it is possible for some German Shepherds to be lazy and prone to obesity. This is especially true if the dog is older or has an underlying health condition that causes excess weight gain. It is important to not overfeed GSDs and feed the best dog food diet for German Shepherds that is appropriate for their life stage and health condition.
Below, I will take a look at the three life stages and two common health conditions of German Shepherds and the type of dog food they will require at that point. These are my most recommended brands, but we’ll also take a look at the best German Shepherd dog food reviews from pet owners to see what they have to say after switching to a new diet.
Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Natural Adult Wet Food
Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Natural Adult Wet Food is a premium wet dog food with wholesome ingredients to promote a long and healthy life for your German shepherd.
This formula has real beef as the first ingredient making sure your dog has healthy and strong muscles. Furthermore, this delicious canned dog food has no chicken by-product meal, corns, or wheat, which can cause havoc on your dogs sensitive tummy. All you find in this food for German shepherds are healthy sources of carbs to provide your dog with the needful energy.
This delicious canned food from Blue Buffalo has healthy garden veggies that provide your dog with the needful nourishing vitamins like vitamin E, B1, B6, and B12.
You can use this recipe as a delicious treat for your dog, mix into dry dog food or use it as your dogs main food its you to choose.
Starting your dog on this food will see you save money as well as care for your pups general well-being.
Pet parents like how their dogs have generally improved after taking this Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Natural Adult Wet Food. However, others say their dogs poop has changed in color.
- Most clients complained that the packaging cans had dents- often because of mishandling during shipping.
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Wellness Complete Health Dog Food For Large Breed Dogs
If you need complete dog food for your German Shepherd, this is the best choice that you have.
Wellness Complete Health Dog Food for Large Breed Dogs contains the right amount of nutrients that your dog needs in order to grow strong and healthy.
If you have a German Shepherd in your house, this dog food formula will surely be a good choice.
It has a chicken and salmon recipe that your dog will surely love. The key ingredients include chicken meal, deboned chicken, ground brown rice, salmon meal, and peas.
All the nutrients that your puppy needs can be found in this particular dog food formula. Vitamins and minerals will allow them to grow strong and healthy.
You dont have to look elsewhere because this is the perfect dog food for your German Shepherd puppies. If you think that your puppies need more nutrition and protein, this dog food formula can guarantee that your dog will live healthy and strong.
Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy
Complete Health Large Breed Puppy is one of 14 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, ground brown rice, salmon meal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Growth
- Best for:German Shepherd puppy
Complete Health Large Breed Puppy derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh chicken as well as chicken meal and salmon meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 14% fat and 45% estimated carbs with a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.
Sample buyer reviewMy almost year old GSD loves this food! I transitioned him to this at 9 weeks. He was on another grain free puppy food but was not large breed. This food for high marks and I wanted to have a food that contained grains and was formulated for large breeds. My dog had no issues transitioning and loves his food. Like a lot of GSDs he does have a sensitive tummy and most treats dont agree with him so we use this as a training treat as well and he still loves it.
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What Is The Best Dry Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppy
Before choosing the best dry dog food for your German shepherd puppy, you need to consider whether its capable of fulfilling your puppys dietary requirements.
You will need the best dry food for a German shepherd puppy to formulate for large dog breeds.
If you choose dog food for small dogs, you will not fulfill your German shepherd puppy needs in its diet.
As earlier discussed, German shepherd puppies will require 500 calories in a day. With that, you need to ensure any dry dog food for a German shepherd puppy will have the capacity of supplying such calories.
Also, check the best dry dog food for German shepherd puppies has a protein concentration of 18 to 22% of proteins such is crucial as you want your puppy to grow with strong and healthy muscles. However, monitor the concentration of proteins this puppy takes in a day as too much of it will cause tummy issues.
Fats on your German shepherd puppy food should scoop 8% to 12%, and Omega 6 fatty acid is one of the best sources of fats for your German shepherd.
While you give your German shepherd puppy dry food, you need to ensure the puppy is well hydrated since dry dog food has low moisture content.
If you subject your puppy to dry food for long, he risks becoming dehydrated and lastly develop kidney and liver issues.
Royal Canin Gsd Puppy Formula
- Formulated for German Shepherd puppies.
- Made to improve skin and coat health.
- Vitamins support bone and joint development.
- Easy to chew kibble size & consistency.
- Helps maintain stool quality.
This kibble has been specifically designed with the German Shepherd puppy in mind. It has highly digestible proteins and specific fibers that maintains his digestive health, which will aid his soft stools.
Glucosamine and chondroitin also support healthy bones and joints as your puppy grows into a big boy. It has a variety of antioxidants and minerals, such as Vitamin E which help to develop his immune system, as well as Taurine which keeps his heart healthy.
We love that the biscuits are designed specifically for a German Shepherd pup, whose mouth is smaller than an adult, and the smaller shape encourages chewing and slows down his eating, and therefore he is less likely to experience bloat.
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Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Large & Giant Breed Adult
It isnt just people that can benefit from enjoying a holistic diet, dogs can, and do, too.
Thats why Holistic Select has spent the last decade creating and refining a holistic diet for canines that is specifically designed to replicate the advantages of their owners diet, without compromising any of the natural ingredients that dogs need to flourish.
Their recipes are made with pre and probiotics, natural fibers, and digestive enzymes, and botanicals to promote whole-body health.
Believing that health begins in the stomach, all of Holistic Selects formulas adhere to the strictest safety guidelines for the manufacture of any food and contain no meat-by products, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, wheat, gluten, or fillers.
Holistic Select keeps everything natural, so you can feed your German Shepherd their Chicken and Oatmeal diet and be safe in the knowledge that nothing it contains will ever harm them.
A larger sized kibble for larger dogs with larger than life-sized personalities and appetites, everything that Holistic Select used to make their food has been sourced ethically from sustainable sources.
They only use the finest ingredients because they know that when it comes to feeding your best friend, only the best will do.
- Completely natural, this Holistic diet has been formulated to promote whole-body health and has been designed to ensure that your German Shepherd makes the most out of every single day.