What Do German Shepherds Eat?

german shepard
Dora Zett/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kyle Glatz

Published: November 13, 2022

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German shepherds are an imposing, powerful dog breed. They have been used as working dogs and guard dogs in the past and present. German shepherds are also companions; they’re both loyal and loving to their owners. Whether you’re going to keep a German shepherd as a friend or to guard your home, they’ll need to eat. So, what do German shepherds eat?

That’s the question we’re going to answer here. We’ll tell you what they can eat and what you should feed them as your beloved pets.

What Foods Do German Shepherds Consume?

German Shepherd GSD

German shepherds can also safely consume a wide variety of human foods.

German shepherds eat high-quality commercial dog food, a variety of meats such as chicken, well-cooked pork, beef, and eggs, and plants like vegetables and grains. German shepherds are not very picky about the foods that they eat. In fact, it’s fair to say that many dogs of this breed are motivated by food. Best of all, they can eat a wide assortment of foods and stay healthy.

They do not have the discriminating tastes of some breeds. They’re tough, hearty dogs that will take what is given to them. Fortunately, German shepherds can also safely consume a wide variety of human foods. For example, they can eat peanut butter, carrots, prepared chicken, cooked fish, apples, oatmeal, and many more foods.

It’s important to give your German shepherd balanced meals. You’ll need to see to all their different dietary needs. With the right knowledge, you can safely feed your dog raw or otherwise prepared homemade meals that give them the nutrition they need and other benefits like a lower risk of canine hip dysplasia.

Numerous studies have shown the benefit of feeding a German shepherd raw bone, eggs, raw fish, and other raw meats. Yet, the right preparation of these meals is very important. Otherwise, the dog can be rendered ill.

Many pet owners who do not want to risk the illness or bear the expense of a diet that is primarily raw meat will opt to use high-quality commercial foods. These foods are arguably simpler and less expensive to prepare. Also, they allow the pet owners to give their dogs nutritious meals that they can then supplement.

A Complete List of What German Shepherds Eat

Now, it’s time for us to give you a more thorough list of what German shepherds eat. We’ll present many different foods that you can safely feed your dog.

Some of the foods that German shepherds eat include:

  • Apple (never the seeds)
  • Asparagus
  • Banana
  • Beef
  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • Bread
  • Carrots
  • Cashews
  • Celery
  • Cheese
  • Chicken                                                            
  • Commercial dog food
  • Corn
  • Duck
  • Eggplant
  • Eggs (raw or cooked)
  • Lamb
  • Lettuce
  • Liver
  • Mutton
  • Oatmeal
  • Okra
  • Pasta (plain, cooked)
  • Peanut
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Pineapple
  • Pork (cooked)
  • Potatoes (cooked)
  • Pumpkins
  • Quinoa
  • Raspberries
  • Rice
  • Salmon (cooked)
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Tuna (cooked)
  • Turkey
  • Watermelon
  • Yogurt
  • Zucchini

It’s important to remember that even though a German shepherd can eat these foods, none of them should make up their entire diet. Some of them should only be given sparingly, like cooked pasta.

Moreover, you must make sure to consider how to prepare each of these foods so that they can be safely served to your dog. For example, you should always cook fish and pork before serving it to your dog, and raw meat should be given sparingly and not as an everyday meal to ensure the dog gets a well-balanced meal.

Lastly, while these are all foods you can feed your German shepherd, other foods are available. This list is a good start for people seeking to provide their pets with a wider variety of meals.  

What Do Baby German Shepherds Eat?

Like most young mammals, baby German shepherds get most of their nutrition from their mother’s milk. For the first few weeks of their lives, that’s all they’ll need. However, these puppies typically begin the process of weaning at 3-5 weeks of age.

At that point, many dog owners begin to offer solid supplements to these dogs. In this interim, they’ll eat a mash that is heavy in protein. Once they reach the age of about 2 months old, German shepherd owners will feed them solid commercial dog food, often softened with stock or water.

After two months of age, the dogs are usually completely weaned and eat solid foods. Still, the majority of pet owners will not obtain a German shepherd puppy around this age. Instead, they’ll be raised by the mother’s owner, especially if they’re purebred dogs.

If you have any questions about the diet of a puppy, it’s best to consult your vet or other dietary specialists.  

Will German Shepherds Eat Animals They Catch?

German shepherd jumping in leaves

German shepherds are considered the third most intelligent

dog breed


Yes, German shepherds will gladly catch, kill, and eat animals in your backyard. In fact, they’re probably one of the most capable dogs of doing so. They have a high prey drive, and they want to do what comes to them naturally. You can expect them to try chasing down a squirrel or other small mammals that cross their paths. It’s important to keep an eye on your dog when it’s outside. The last thing you want is for your pup to eat a bird or squirrel and get a parasite as a result.

What Should German Shepherds Not Eat?

Given that German shepherds are capable of eating so many different foods, it’s important to be aware of the foods that they should not eat. Many people will tell you that you should never feed your dog anything that is excessively high in fats, alcohol, or salt. All of those are wise choices. Yet, we want to look at some more specific items.

The foods that a German shepherd should not consume include:

  • Alcohol (Don’t leave drinks on the floor!)
  • Almonds
  • Avocadoes
  • Candy
  • Chives
  • Chocolate
  • Cooked bones
  • Cooked Bones
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms (some sorts are unhealthy, so they’re best to avoid)
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Raw potatoes

These are just some of the most popular foods that you should not feed your German shepherd. If you’re in doubt about a certain food, don’t risk it. Consult your veterinarian to make sure that whatever food you’re trying to feed your pet is healthy.

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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