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best dog food for German shepherd

Best Dog Food for German Shepherd

Harvie Dent Apr 24, 2016
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Many dog owners are not able to decide the best dog food for German Shepherd. The reason behind is that the German Shepherds need to eat a lot of food of high-quality protein and fibers. It is also very important to watch what your dog eats and how much he eats, as these dogs are prone to gastrointestinal distress, especially due to overeating.
In today’s post, We will tell you some points to remember while deciding the best dog food for German Shepherd. Along with that, a short list of the best dog food suitable for this giant dog breed.

Daily Caloric Requirement

German Shepherd dogs are considered to be hunter dogs and require high-quality protein-rich and full of calories meals to support their physical health, athletic body and energetic lifestyle. This medium-to-large breed dog is generally weighed between 60-85 pounds. Many buy owners have a myth in their mind that the caloric requirement depends only on the dog breed and its size. But, It is not quite true because it majorly depends on your dog’s exercise, metabolism speed, and activity level.

According to The National Research Council of the National Academies, an average German Shepherd requires approx. 1600 calories per day. The dog with very less activity level or senior dogs requires 1200-1400 calories per day. While the active and high energy level or working German Shepherd dogs require an average 1800-2150 calories per day. Proper feeding is needful because german shepherds dogs are prone to diseases like obesity, bloat, and diabetes. Usually, German Shepherd puppies require more calories than an adult one because they are having growing body and curious about exploring their new environment. So, a high-quality balanced diet is required with frequent meals within a day.

Health Problems

German Shepherds are genetically considered to be very rough, versatile, rigid and less attention requiring dog breeds. They adapt themselves to any living condition with normal fitness and an average lifespan. But, there are certain health issues they are prone to catching more often than other dogs associated with their daily food. So, you should keep a check on these parameters while deciding the best dog food for German Shepherd.


Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, commonly called Bloat, is a quick death health problem which occurs in large deep-chested dog breeds like German Shepherds. Such problem occurs due to the rapid intake of food and exhausting exercise within an hour of eating. The stomach begins to swell up like a balloon due to gas. The rotation of the stomach also affects the normal escape routes for the gas and can even lead to fatal conditions. And If not immediately treated by a veterinarian, can cause death also. To avoid such situations, you should prefer frequent and small meals within a day and should also avoid any kind of exercise an hour before or after meals.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

It is one of the most common health problems in large breed dogs. It is a genetic disorder which causes problems in joints of hips and elbows. It is highly difficult to cure this problem but we can control it by maintaining the healthy body weight to exert less pressure on the joints. If the dog is obese or overweight, the things can get even worse. So, the healthy and balanced food is required to keep the weight under control. Owners should also go for dog foods which are the good sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. This helps keeps your dog’s joints and cartilage healthy and springy.

Major Nutrients Requirement


Proteins are considered to be the building blocks for every living being. As German Shepherds have large lean muscular bodies with very high activity level, High-quality protein sources play a crucial role in their growth, tissue repair, and strong bones. According to AAFCO recommendations, at least 18% of protein source is required in the daily diet. This number increase up to 22% for puppies and lactating mothers. Research and many experts also recommend between 35-45% protein as it reduces physical injuries. The major protein sources should be poultry, fish, and beef. Proteins coming from meat by-products, bone or blood meals should be avoided.


Carbohydrates are considered to be the second most essential element in dog food as they provide energy in the form of glucose. German Shepherds are good with wheat-based carbohydrates and other grains as they don’t usually show symptoms of wheat-based allergies. Carbs like wheat, corn and soy should be avoided as they are not easily digested by them. Other than that, barley, rice, and oats are considered to be great sources and also easily digestible. The fibers present in carbs help in the growth of probiotic bacteria in the gut.

Best Dog Food Recommendation

best dog food for German shepherdMerrick Classic Adult Real Beef

One of the best dog food for German Shepherd in its segment, Merrick Classic Adult Real Beef is one of my recommended dog food for German Shepherd. Highly rich with 60% of protein source, the first five protein sources are deboned beef, pork meal, peas, salmon meal and barley. Merrick dog food contains essential amino acids which are necessary for building muscle and a healthy metabolism. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also added to avoid joint and hip problems so your dog can run and play freely.

best dog food for German shepherdOrijen Adult Dog Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Filled with the high protein source, it is a grain-free dry dog food which prevents your dog from allergy. As it’s one of the most expensive dog foods on the market and comes close to matching the cost per pound ratio of most wet foods, so if you have a heavy pocket then you shouldn’t look anywhere else and go for it. Made with 80% meat Orijen features protein sources including cage-free chicken, turkey, northern walleye etc. Contains fresh fish which is a perfect source of DHA and EPA, essential for immune and nervous systems. The company product also comes up with a tagline that no other dog food can match their fresh local ingredients.

best dog food for German shepherdFromm Grain Free Beef Frittata Dry Dog Food

Another good grain-free dog food recipe with 30% protein source (a little less than Merrick). Beef is the main source of protein source along with other high-quality sources like beef liver, whole eggs, and pork meal. Most of the carbohydrates sources are sweet potatoes and free from corn, soy, wheat etc which cause digestion problems. The food is full of fibers coming from natural ingredients like apples, broccoli, green beans and cauliflower. These fruits and vegetables are the great sources of various vitamins and minerals for your dog’s physical and mental health.

best dog food for German shepherdTaste of the Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

One of the old and reputed company with good track record of high quality, easily digestible and yummy sweet tasting. It is comparatively cheaper dry dog food, supplemented with Roasted and smoked Wild Fowl with great nutritional value and full of oxidants due to fruits and vegetables present in it. The food includes many vitamins, including A, B1, B6, B12, B2, and D and minerals like ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate and potassium iodide which are responsible for fighting various common diseases and improve the overall health of your dog. It is grain free with sweet potatoes and peas and gentle on the stomach. So go ahead and give him the best one.

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