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Feeding a German Shepherd: Best Dog Food Options

By | Last Updated : 16th March 2018

German Shepherds are large-sized, athletic breeds weighing 60 to 90 pounds, requiring about 1740-2100 calories a day, as estimated by the National Research Council of the National Academies.  Hence, it is essential to feed these big dogs high-quality food rich in protein, mineral, carbohydrates, vitamin, and fiber to keep them healthy as well as reduce incidences of bloating, obesity and orthopedic problems, that they are prone to.

9 Best Dog Foods for German Shepherd Dogs and Puppies

Choose a good dog food that would adequately meet their requirements of carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and protein.

Brand/Type/ Rating

 

How does it help Nutrients it contains
1. Royal Canin German Shepherd Dry Dog Food/ Dry/

Royal Canin German Shepherd Dry Dog Food

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  • Aids in proper digestion, especially for those with a sensitive stomach
  • As an immunity booster
  • For a sound bone health
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Riboflavin supplement
  • Thiamine mononitrate
  • Vitamin A acetate
  • Vitamin B12 supplement
  • Trace minerals
2. Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food/ Dry/

Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food

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  • Helps in proper digestion
  • Aids in maintaining healthy skin and coat
  • Ensures in proper growth of muscles
  • Lessens risks of tartar build-up
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Vitamin A acetate
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin supplement
  • Vitamin E supplement
  • Beta-carotene
3. Diamond Natural Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food/ Dry/

Diamond Natural Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food

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  • Helps in muscle build-up
  • Good for maintaining healthy skin and coat
  • Facilitates proper digestion
  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Omega 3-fatty acids
  • Omega 6-fatty acids
4. Precise Holistic Complete Large/Giant Breed Adult Dog Food/ Dry/

Precise Holistic Complete Large

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  • Promotes a shiny coat and skin
  • Fosters a sound bone health
  • Omega3 fatty acids
  • Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Minerals like zinc and iron
  • Vitamins
5. Orijen Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food/ Dry/

Orijen Grain- Free Adult Dry Dog Food

 

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  • Good for muscle buildup
  • Provides energy
  • Helps to regulate insulin levels
  • Combats kidney ailments
  • Helps to cleanse the colon
  • Protein
  • Low carbs
  • Amino acids
  • Phosphorous
  • Calcium
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Vitamins (A, B, D)
  • Minerals (Iron, zinc)
6. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food/ Dry/

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food

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  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Boosts immunity
  • Maintains skin and coat
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Protein
  • Antioxidant
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
7. Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ground Wet Dog Food/ Wet/

Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ground Wet Dog Food

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  • Facilitates digestion
  • Vitamin A supplement
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin B-12 supplement
  • Vitamin D-3 supplement

 

8. Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food/ Dry/

Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

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  • Easily digestible especially for dogs having food sensitivities or allergies since it is grain-free and gluten-free
  • Helps to nourish the skin and coat
  • Vitamins (A,B,C)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Soluble fiber
9. PEDIGREE Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food/ Dry/

PEDIGREE Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food

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  • Helps to maintain a healthy skin and coat
  • The crunchy kibbles help in keeping the teeth clean
  • Facilitates proper digestion
  • Omega-6 fatty acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Fiber

How much food should your German Shepherd eat

Young Puppies: 3-4 small meals

6-month-old dogs: 2 to 3 meals

Adult GSD: 2 meals

Diet plan for your German Shepherd puppy till it becomes an adult

0 to 3 weeks: Mother’s milk or formula milk in a 2-hour interval

31/2 to 6 weeks: Weaning should begin, preferably with wet food because of their high moisture content

6 to 10 weeks: Wet food diet should continue as it is right for your puppy’s digestion

10 to 12 weeks: Begin mixing about 10% dry food to its wet food which should increase by 10 to 15% every week

3 months: Start feeding your pet, good quality dry dog food

4 months: Introduce animal proteins like bones, liver pieces, and raw eggs to its diet alongside dry dog food

5 months: Continue a mixture of live food and dry dog food

6 months: You can introduce cooked food  like plain yogurt or porridge

8 months – 1 year: Dry food continues with the number of meals reduced. Live foods, cooked vegetables, nontoxic fruits, oatmeal, yogurt and animal food all in measured quantities can also be added.

Food for your GSD to gain weight

GSDs can eat approximately 15 to 25 lbs dry dog food every week, that varies in accordance with their age as well as weight. Besides this, you may even add people’s food to its diet like celery and carrots as treats and even include chicken and cooked turkey in their meals. Avoid high-calorie food and table scraps. Ensure to check its weight on a weekly basis and if you find its weight increasing or decreasing, then contact your veterinarian.

Best dry dog food to feed your German Shepherd if it is suffering from:

Sensitive stomach – Most German Shepherds are known to have several digestive issues. Brands of dry dog food like Royal Canin and Wellness Simple are said to be useful for their sensitive stomachs.

Allergies – Wellness Simple and Purina Pro Plan are one of the preferred brands suited for GSD’s with food sensitivity and allergies.

Homemade food recommendations for your German Shepherd

You can provide homemade food to your GSD though the ingredients must be balanced well. The list of several foods that your German Shepherd can have included:

Protein diet: Yogurt, meat, eggs, cottage cheese.

Vegetable and fruit diet: Dark leafy greens, cooked sweet potatoes, green beans, berries.

Avoid giving avocado, onions, garlic, tomatoes, raisins, chocolate, grapes, and macadamia.

Can you give your German Shepherd a raw food diet

A raw diet can be of help to your German Shepherd as it is full of protein, carbohydrates, energy, and vitamins, boosting your canine’s immunity also helping to strengthen your bones. However, avoid giving it chicken bones since there are likely to be contaminated with salmonella and campylobacter. It is always safe to consult your veterinarian before giving your pet raw food.

Raw diet plan for your GSD

  • Meat: 60-75%
  • Bones: 10-15%
  • Internal organs: 5-10%
  • Fruits and vegetables: 15-25% (It is better to liquidize raw vegetables and fruits rather than giving them raw to lessen digestion problem and choking hazards)

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