We know you are here because you need information about the best dog food for German Shepherds. This is exactly what this article delivers.
Intelligent, confident, loyal, easy to train, great with kids and with great protective instincts. These are but a few of the qualities of a German shepherd dog. It takes quite a lot to take care of this breed, including meeting their fairly high exercise demands, maintaining their thick fur and most importantly, feeding them and feeding them right.
Because they are large breed dogs, it is important to consider the age of your dog, in choosing what to feed it. Rich protein diets like high-quality wet or dry food formulated for an active large breed dog come in highly recommended.
Note that your German shepherd puppy stands the risk of developing a crippling form of canine hip dysplasia if it’s fed with foods that contain too much calcium, usually meant for their larger breed type.
What Is The Right Nutrition For Your German Shepherd Dog?
German shepherd dogs have some special nutritional requirements. Mostly, owners of all other dog breeds will feed their dogs with diets that have the right blend of protein, fats, calories and essential nutrients.
However, given that German shepherd dogs can grow to an adult size of between 50 and 90 pounds, their metabolism process is slower than dog breeds that weigh under 20 pounds at an adult age.
Due to this, it is important to check the amount of fat and calories in the diets you feed your German shepherd, to prevent excessive weight gain that could be detrimental to its health.
If you overfeed your German shepherd puppy, such that it grows faster than usual, there is the risk of developing hip and bone joint problems when they’re grown.
You should give preference to large dog foods that are specifically made to ensure slower, steadier growth. As we have already indicated, the number of calories you’ll give your dog will depend on its age, activity level and weight.
Yet, an active German Shepherd requires a more calorie-dense diet than many large-breed dogs. And protein is extremely important to help these dogs build and maintain lean muscle mass.
Below are some vital elements to look out for when deciding what to feed your German shepherd:
- The food should contain a high percentage of animal protein such as poultry, meat and fish – the recommended percentage is 22% for puppies and 18% for adults.
- It should also contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to ensure your dog’s healthy skin and coat.
- You should also look out for foods with up to 5% fibre, with digestible carbohydrates like whole grains and vegetables
- Foods that do not have an animal source of protein as their first ingredients and foods that contain fillers, by-products and artificial additives should be totally avoided.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
Per the recommended nutrients you should expect in German shepherd foods, here’s a list of foods we recommend for your dog:
Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food
The first three ingredients of this food are rich-protein real lamb, turkey meal and chicken meal and have no soy, corn, wheat or fillers. It also contains carbohydrates that are easy to digest, such as peas, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and alfalfa.
For the proper gastrointestinal function of your dog, this food is strengthened with four different probiotics. It is also a well-balanced diet as it comes formulated with supplemental antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is also sure to protect your German shepherd’s skin and immune system health with its rich omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
However, Canidae also contains chicken meal and chicken fat, and these are common allergens for some dogs.
Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain
This is a lamb-based dog food made from high-quality ingredients in the United States. Lamb and lamb meal are the first two ingredients and also come with beneficial probiotics and dried chicory roots. It is made without any grains, as it is made to imitate the supposed diet of wild canids.
Considered a pet owner’s favourite, it is formulated with probiotics to ensure digestion with ease. Also, you can rest assured when it comes to how safe this food is, as it is made under some of the strictest dog food safety requirements in the USA.
It is reported that any dogs love the taste and that it comes with some added health benefits such as improved coat quality, increased energy and problem-free stools.
Taste of the Wild is also made with real, antioxidant-rich fruits like raspberries and blueberries and as well contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that are likely to foster your dog’s skin, coat and joint health.
However, because the Taste of Wild kibble is relatively small, your dog is likely to swallow them instead of chewing them this is not perfect and owners are advised to check on this. Again, some owners say their dog’s teeth do not really maintain their clean state when they feed them this food.
Natural Balance L.I.D Lamb and Brown Rice Formula
This is a limited ingredient food that comes with an easy-to-digest lamb as the only animal allergies, this is the ideal food for it. This may also be a preventive measure for your dog’s allergic situation.
Natural Balance Lamb and Brown Rice Formula are made without unimportant ingredients like artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and as well fortified with canola oil which contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids for easy digestion.
This food is as well suited for all ages of German Shepherd dogs and is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Also, 88% of reviewers have given it a 4- or 5-star rating as this is an especially beneficial food for German shepherds, given that they easily suffer from food allergies.
Its ingredients however do not contain any probiotics.
Wellness Complete Health Whitefish & Sweet Potato
This is a grain-free formula with its ingredients being whitefish as the single meat protein, Ground Barley (de-hulled), Rye flour, Menhaden Fish Meal and Ground Pearled Barley.
It has no wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives that could trigger allergies. This is also ideal for your German Shepherd if it struggles with food allergies, as it is a limited ingredient food.
To avoid nutritional inadequacy and to ensure a balanced diet, this food comes with vitamins and minerals.
It has no by-products or unidentified meat meals. This gives you assurance of knowing what exactly your dog is eating. You are also assured of its safety as it is made in the USA under strict food safety measures. Wellness Complete is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, as well as rich-antioxidant ingredients.
Nonetheless, there are no visible pro-biotics as part of the ingredient list, although it claims to contain the same and dig owners usually find this discouraging.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach
If your German shepherd suffers from food allergies or has a sensitive stomach, this salmon and rice-based recipe blended with vitamins and minerals is great for your dog.
Most dogs find it to be tasty and easy to digest. It comes fortified with ingredients rich in glucosamine that could help with strong joint builds as your dog grows.
Vitamins and minerals also ensure a balanced diet for your German shepherd, and it also contains a few common allergens like corn, soy or wheat. One plus of this food is its affordable price.
Although it has no pro-biotics, it contains fibre sources, also known as prebiotics, and this nurtures the beneficial bacteria already living in your dog’s stomach. One minor concern from dog owners that use this food, is its strong fishy smell. But again, that is a minor issue.
What Foods Should German Shepherds Avoid?
Foods your German Shepherd should avoid include avocados, chocolates, onion and garlic, artificial sweeteners, and raw potatoes. Some more toxic foods are grapes and raisins, bones, yeast dough, moldy food, and raw tomatoes. In severe cases, these foods can prove fatal.
What Meat Is Best For German Shepherd?
Here are the best meats for a German Shepherd:
- Fish (Salmon, Whitefish, etc)
How Often Should German Shepherds Eat?
For adult dogs, feeding German Shepherds about 2.5 to 3.5 cups of quality kibble per day, twice a day, is a good starting point. Modify the amount fed as required based on your dog’s size, weight, age and overall daily activity.
What Foods Are German Shepherds Allergic To?
In German Shepherds, food allergies are most commonly triggered by sources of animal protein, such as beef or chicken. They may also develop an intolerance over time to other food sources such as wheat, eggs, soy or milk
Can I Feed Milk To My German Shepherd?
The answer is a definite yes, as milk serves as a good source of calcium and other nutrients, the key to your German shepherd’s health. However, make sure you feed it low fat or skim milk to not give it excessive calories in the process.
What Is The Best Way To Feed My German Shepherd Puppy?
Start small. You do not want to overfeed your puppy, something that can lead to overweight and its consequential health issues. Diets that are high in protein and fat should be prioritized. Although puppies need more calories than adult dogs, it is important you do not overfeed your puppy.
As your puppy grows, you can transition from puppy food to adult food – slowly. Make sure the food suits your German shepherd’s age, weight and activity level.
Some Fruits And Vegetables You Can And Cannot Give Your German Shepherd
Most dog owners tend to feed their dogs any fruit or vegetable as they deem fit, without recourse to proper checks. As a German shepherd owner, it is important to know what is good and what is bad for your dog, in terms of fruits and vegetables.
Some fruits and vegetables you should NEVER feed to your dog include avocados, rhubarbs, cherries, garlic, grapes, nuts, onions and nutmegs.
Also, fruits and vegetables that you can give to your dog, but in MODERATE measures include bananas, oranges, watermelons, celery, cauliflower, cabbages, spinach and kale.
However, these are the fruits and vegetables that are OKAY to feed your dog with; blackberries, blueberries, carrots, cranberries, cucumber, sweet potatoes, lettuce and cantaloupe.
Taking care of German shepherds can be daunting, especially knowing food to give it. Yet, we are sure that this article has eased your stress on what to feed your dog.
Pay attention to the age, weight and activity level of your dog to not overfeed or underfeed it, as both have dire health consequences for your beloved German shepherd friend.
Whether or not your dog suffers from any food allergies, be sure to find the right selection of foods for it and can be assured of a long life for your dog.
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