German Shepherds are one of the most recognizable breeds in the world. As a working class dog, they make excellent companions for people with an active lifestyle.
Apart from being intelligent and courageous, they are athletic. German Shepherds, both as adults and puppies, require plenty of calories to maintain their athletic figure. So, choosing the best dog food for German Shepherds and the best dog food for German Shepherd puppies is essential for any dog owner.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Our Choices for the Best Dog Food for German Shepherd:
- Calorie Requirements for German Shepherds
- Common Health Problems in German Shepherds
- Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
- Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppies
Our Choices for the Best Dog Food for German Shepherd:
Last update on 2018-03-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Calorie Requirements for German Shepherds
GSDs need a calorie-rich diet to maintain that seemingly endless supply of energy. An adult German Shepherd of average weight (70 lb/ 32 kg) needs at least 1500 calories daily to keep them sharp and active. The National Research Council of the National Academy reports that a GSD puppy needs twice the calories per pound to that of an adult.
So, if an adult German Shepherd weighing 70 lb needs 1500 calories daily (approximately 20 calories per lb.), then a puppy will need 3000 calories daily (approximately of 40 calories per lb.).
According to The Association of American Feed Control Officials, the best dog food for German Shepherds and best dog food for German Shepherd puppies needs to meet these basic requirements given below in the chart. Also, be sure to check the labels before you purchase any food for your dog.
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Common Health Problems in German Shepherds
One of the most common problems large breed dogs like German Shepherds face is that they are at high risk of musculoskeletal problems. This most commonly happens when large breed grows too quickly into adulthood. Additionally, this problem is exacerbated when your dog is obese.
Another problem they’re at higher risk of developing is “gastric dilatation and volvulus” GDV, which is a fancy term for “bloating”. If your dog is really active soon after a meal or eats a lot in one go, there is a high chance they will experience bloating.
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The dog’s stomach becomes distended with gas which puts pressure on the diaphragm, which can, in turn, cause breathing problems. According to vets, this is deadly for dogs and should be treated as fast as possible.
To avoid bloating, restrict feeding times to 2-3 small meals throughout the day and let your dog rest for at least half an hour after eating. With puppies, spread meal times to 4-5 times a day. If your dog is a fast eater, you can use a slow-feeder dog bowl to prevent rapid food consumption.
Food is an important factor in keeping a dog healthy. Hence, as dog-owners, we need to choose the best dog food for German Shepherds within our capacity. Check out the list below and hopefully, you will find something that best suits your dog’s needs.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
#1. Orijen Adult Dog Food
Orijen makes it to our list as one of the best dog food for German Shepherd for good reason – they use real, high-quality ingredients. Orijen uses 2/3 fresh and raw meat in their products and it’s completely grain-free.
Dogs are carnivores by nature and Orijen understands that. They put 85% meat and 15% fruits and vegetables in their recipes. The meat used is sourced from cage-free Cobb chicken and turkey, and it’s taken from every part of the animal ensuring well-rounded nutrient consumption.
As they fulfill most nutritional needs through natural ingredients, Orijen only adds zinc as a supplement. Zinc is excellent for supporting your dog’s immune system. It also promotes skin health and helps to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Alongside the ultra-high protein content, Orijen also includes superior quality carbs. Squash, pumpkin, and beetroot provide a slow-burning energy that will keep your dog active between meals.
All these ingredients come at a high price, but we figure, what’s a little extra when it comes to your pet’s well-being? It’s worth it.
#2. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food
Packed with a number of high-quality protein from buffalo, lamb, chicken, bison, venison, beef and fish, Taste of the Wild is an excellent choice for active dogs like German Shepherds. With 32% protein and a grain-free formula, dogs can enjoy this without the risk of obesity and unhealthy weight gain.
In addition to the first-rate proteins, their recipe includes potato, yucca, sweet potato, peas, berries, tomatoes and various other fruits and vegetables full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not only that, the omega-3 and 6 fatty acids with naturally-occurring probiotics keep your best friend’s heart, skin, coat and gut healthy.
Taste of the Wild is more affordable with good excellent reviews from countless users.
#3. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult
Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult is a good choice for large breed dogs like German Shepherd. This carries only 26% protein, which is a little lower than the top two on our list; their formula contains glucosamine and chondroitin which are excellent for your dog’s bone and joint health.
Wellness prides itself on using natural ingredients like spinach, tomatoes, carrots, apples, sweet potatoes and other fruits and vegetables containing vitamins and minerals.
They are free of artificial preservatives, chemicals, by-products, fillers, additives and other common allergens – corn, wheat, and soy.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherd Puppies
#1. Blue Wilderness Chicken Recipe for Large Breed Puppies
Tailor-made for large breed puppies, the Blue Wilderness Chicken recipe contains 35% minimum protein, 14% minimum fat, 6% maximum fiber, 1.2% minimum calcium, 0.9% minimum phosphorus. There is 1.33:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus—and a total of 3551 kcal/kg.
Blue Wilderness was inspired by the diet of wolves. It uses deboned chicken meal and turkey meal as the primary source of protein. Additionally, it includes tapioca starch, peas, pea protein and tomato pomace, a source of lycopene and chicken fat mixed with tocopherols.
It’s a high-protein and grain-free meal ideal and is definitely one of the best dog foods for German Shepherd puppies. DHA is added to aid in retinal and neurological development. Essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are included in the ingredients through sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries and various fruits and vegetables. They will help to support your puppy’s immune system.
The specialized formula also balances calcium and phosphorus levels. This ensures strong bones and your puppy can grow into a strong, active dog.
#2. Orijen Puppy Large
Orijen already has a reputation for using premium ingredients in their products. If we go a little further in-depth into their nutrition facts, their small-sized kibbles are filled with 38% minimum protein, 16% minimum fat, 6% maximum fiber, 1.1% minimum calcium, 0.9% minimum phosphorus. There is with a 1.22:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus, a total of 3760 kcal/kg.
They use a variety of ingredients to make sure your puppy gets a balanced diet. Their recipe is packed with high-protein ingredients to support ensure lean, strong muscles and energy for an active lifestyle. Orijen ensures a grain-free and low-carb product.
Not only that, the calorie-controlled, diversified and nutrient–filled ingredient list promotes reduced joint stress, healthy body weight, and overall appropriate body growth.
The company sources locally produced fresh ingredients in their recipe; however, this makes the product a little expensive.
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It’s highly recommended that you buy dry food (kibble) for your dog (or puppy) as it’s easy to store. Not to mention easy to measure and has a long shelf life. Chewing kibble will also help your dog exercise and clean their teeth and gum.
Many opt for generalized dog food and that is quite cheap, but it doesn’t specifically cater to a dog’s breed and size. As a result, dogs and puppies can suffer malnutrition and are more susceptible to illness.
Nutrition is the fuel that will keep your dog healthy and energetic. So why compromise on the quality of food you buy for your loyal friend? Go for the best dog food for German Shepherds and best dog food for German Shepherd puppies—after all, they are worth it!