The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds For 2022: Reviewed and Ranked

Written by Austin S.
Updated: August 28, 2022

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Key Points:
  • German Shepherds are large, muscular dogs with a plethora of positive traits. Such energetic pups need a nutritious diet.
  • Some German Shepherds have sensitive stomachs or joint issues, which can be supported by certain foods.
  • Consider the age of your GSD. Puppies will need extra elements for growth, like calcium, phosphorus, fats, and protein. Older dogs need to monitor calories and an excess of nutrients.
  • Dry and wet food options are available. Pick your dog’s preference or a combination of the two.
  • German Shepherds thrive on carbohydrates. Avoid carbs from wheat, since most GSD’s have wheat allergies.
  • Their diet must be high in protein and fat to be well-balanced. Some German Shepherds are lactose intolerant; in this case, healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may be supplied by fish oil and flaxseed.
  • Look for added nutrients for joint issues such as hip dysplasia, which is a condition common in the breed.

German Shepherds are big, beautiful sweethearts that make the best companions a dog owner could ever ask for. Loyal and courageous, German Shepherds are highly intelligent and form deep bonds with their owners. They rank as one of the top 10 most popular breeds in the United States.

Such versatile dogs with bounding energy and strong muscles combined with smarts and loyalty make for excellent service dogs. However, being so big, strong, and beautiful comes at the cost of requiring lots of energy-providing foods to stay healthy and agile. While German Shepherds suffer from unique conditions such as sensitive stomachs and joint issues, your dear GSD deserves the best dog food to help them live a fun and fulfilled life. Find the best dog food for your German Shepherd!

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Dog Food For German Shepherds

  1. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd
  2. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd
    • Rich in fiber
    • Supports muscle and joint health
    • Boosts immunity and muscle and brain growth
    • Especially formulated for German Shepherds
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Turkey & Potato
  4. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Turkey & Potato
    • Limited ingredient recipe
    • Contains turkey as its first protein
    • No grains, artificial flavors, beef or chicken
    • Added antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  6. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
    • Grain-Free
    • Balanced diet for German Shepherds
    • Rich in probiotics & antioxidants
    • High protein content
    Check Chewy
  7. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy
  8. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy
    • Designed for growing GSD puppies
    • Improves digestive issues and helps with overall development
    • Contains essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus
    • Easy to absorb
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy With Beef Canned Dog Food
  10. Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy With Beef Canned Dog Food
    • Affordable and nutritious
    • Easily digestible
    • Well balanced diet
    • Contains essential oils and minerals
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds: What To Look For

German Shepherds are some of the most brilliant and lively dogs you’ll ever meet. However, German Shepherds are also known for having weak stomachs, and introducing new dog foods to their diets must be done as carefully as possible. Here are a few things to consider when buying dog food for German Shepherds.

Your Dog’s Age

All dog owners, especially German Shepherd owners, must know that not all puppy food can be fed to adult dogs and vice versa. Many brands design dog food, especially for certain age groups, and it could lead to serious complications if fed to the wrong age group. Be sure of your dog’s age and note it while shopping.

Wet or Dry Food: Your Dog’s Preference

Some dogs prefer wet food over dry and vice versa. Experiment with your GSD and see which they like best before purchasing their dog food.

Carbohydrate Content

The ingredient list is the most important information for any dog food. Your German Shepherd will greatly benefit from a diet consisting of mostly protein and fats for lots of energy and mental alertness. Carbs are the main energy source for your German Shepherd, and you can find a safe amount in grains and potatoes. Avoid carbohydrates in wheat as most GSDs are allergic to wheat.

Proper Balance

Your German Shepherd is a large and powerful breed, and as such, they need a well-balanced diet. Ensure that the dog food you’re considering can provide your dog with balanced and complete nutrition.

Protein Content

Protein is important in helping your GSD to build muscle. Proteins can be found in nuts and grains like peas and beans and should be present in about 30-40% of the dog’s food.

Fat Content

Fat is a great energy source for your dear pooch and plays a significant role in giving them a healthy and shiny coat. Fat is mostly present in dairy products, but some German Shepherds can be lactose intolerant. Find out if your dog is lactose intolerant and keep that in mind when dog food shopping. Omega fats in fish oil are a good alternative and great immunity boosters.

Added Nutrients and Supplements

Large dogs like German Shepherds often suffer from joint issues and conditions like hip dysplasia as they age. The best dog foods for German Shepherds contain added nutrients and supplements.

Our Criteria: How We Chose the Best

Your beautiful German Shepherd needs fuel for its active lifestyle. That’s why we chose dog foods that contain all the key nutrients for a well-balanced diet. In our top choices, we included food packed with high-quality proteins derived from animals, such as chicken, pork, beef, lamb, and fish. These provide additional nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fats.

In our list, we also included special dog food for German Shepherds with skin allergies and sensitive stomachs. Hypoallergenic food are grain-free and use alternative protein sources or limited ingredients that are easy to digest.

Many German Shepherd owners find it difficult to purchase dog food that is safe enough for their fur babies and tasty enough to keep them interested. The trick is to study your puppy, as each dog has a unique personality. This comprehensive review can help dog owners narrow down their list of dog foods to buy and try, as many options are out there.

#1 Overall Best Food For German Shepherds: ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION

In our review, the overall best dog food for German Shepherds is the ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food. Royal Canin brand has always been committed to giving dog breeds optimal energy. The dry food is packed full of fats and carbohydrates and designed to encourage your dog to chew and enjoy its meal.

Royal Canin is also rich in fiber, which boosts your GSDs digestive system. It supports muscle and joint health, thus preventing the occurrence of bone and joint conditions like hip dysplasia.

ProsCons
Helps with food digestionContains gluten and grains
Easy for dogs to grasp 
Great for dogs with dry food 
Boosts immunity and muscle and brain growth 
Helps grow a healthy and shiny coat 
Overall Best
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd
  • Rich in fiber
  • Supports muscle and joint health
  • Boosts immunity and muscle and brain growth
  • Especially formulated for German Shepherds
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#2 Best Food For German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs: Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care

In our review, the best dog food for sensitive-stomach German Shepherds is the Blue Buffalo  Basics Skin and Stomach Care Dog Food. It is a limited ingredient recipe designed especially for dogs that are easily allergic and react to several ingredients. It has turkey as its first protein and is highly digestible.

ProsCons
Provides lots of energyComplaints of possible lead traces
Has lots of fiber to boost digestion 
Good blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals 
No grains, artificial flavors, beef or chicken 
Boost cognitive development 
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Turkey & Potato
  • Limited ingredient recipe
  • Contains turkey as its first protein
  • No grains, artificial flavors, beef or chicken
  • Added antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#3 Best Food For German Shepherds With Skin Allergies: Taste of the Wild High Prairie

If your beloved fur baby is allergic to grains, we highly recommend the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This food is specially formulated for GSDs with skin allergies and does not contain any ingredients that could cause flare-ups or stomach irritations. It has a high protein content from rich natural sources like venison, buffalo, and bison – made to mimic the diet of wild wolves.

ProsCons
Provides Balanced diet for German ShepherdsHigh-fat content
Tasty for dogsMay cause bloating and gas in some GSDs
Amino acid-rich to boost muscle development and maintenance 
Rich in probiotics & antioxidants to improve brain function and development 
Promotes healthy skin and coat 
Best For Skin Allergies
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Grain-Free
  • Balanced diet for German Shepherds
  • Rich in probiotics & antioxidants
  • High protein content
Check Chewy

#4 Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppies: ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION

Royal Canin’s Breed Health Nutrition dog food for puppies is as nutritious and beneficial for dogs as its adult-specific counterpart above. However, it’s specially formulated to cater to the special needs of a still-growing GSD. This dry food provides all the essential nutrients and supplements needed and is suitable for pups 8 weeks to 15 months old. It improves digestive issues and helps with overall development.

ProsCons
High-quality dry foodCan be expensive
Specially designed for growing GSD puppiesNot grain-free
Contains essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus 
Boosts immune system and overall development 
Easy to absorb 
Best for Puppies
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy
  • Designed for growing GSD puppies
  • Improves digestive issues and helps with overall development
  • Contains essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus
  • Easy to absorb
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#5 Best Wet Dog Food For German Shepherd: Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy With Beef

Most of the recommended food in this review are dry foods. However, some dogs adore wet food and prefer it over dry food. This is because wet food is generally easy to absorb and digest for many of them. The Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy With Beef Canned Dog Food is the best-wet dog food in this review. It is affordable, nutritious, and very tasty for dogs. It provides a well-balanced diet for your GSD and contains many essential oils and minerals.

ProsCons
Well balanced dietNot grain-free
Contains essential nutrients and mineralsSome picky GSDs may not like it
Inclusion of actual tasty meat products 
Easily digestible 
Best Wet Food
Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy With Beef Canned Dog Food
  • Affordable and nutritious
  • Easily digestible
  • Well balanced diet
  • Contains essential oils and minerals
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Summary of the Best Dog Food for German Shepherds

RankBest ForProduct
1OverallROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION
2Sensitive StomachsBlue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care
3Skin AllergiesTaste of the Wild High Prairie
4PuppiesROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION
5Wet Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy With Beef

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.