Updated at: 26-02-2020 - By: Jane Brody

German shepherds are the third most popular pet dogs in the United States.  The dog bears wolf-like features with a distinctive pattern on the coat. The German shepherd is also appealing and very easy to fall in love with for many pet lovers. They are intelligent, easy to train, friendly, hardworking, and very loyal, which they show with their devotion to the people that keep them.  The dogs are also some of the biggest dog breeds and have impressive builds.

Best Dog Food for German Shepherd

They are also some of the most beautiful breeds, all thanks to their amazing thick, black, and tan coats. Besides being a favorite with pet lovers, law enforcers also like the dogs because of their ease of trainability. Because of their dynamic nature, German shepherds are also heavy feeders that require protein-rich and highly nutritious diets.

In this article, we look at some of the best dog food for German shepherds that help them with all their nutritional needs to keep them active.

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Dietary Needs of The German Shepherd

German shepherds got their name from Germany as people used them for herding sheep in massive packs. Their early breeding required them to be suitable protectors and still maintain high endurance levels to keep up with the packs they guarded. From the early days to date, German shepherds remain active protectors, and for them to continue with their energy, they need proper health.

A fully-grown German shepherd stands at between 20 and 28 inches with a weight of between 50 and 95 pounds. They have an athletic stature, which requires them to eat foods with plenty of calories. They are also susceptible to various health issues, which is why it is essential to watch and monitor their diets. The most prevalent health issues associated with German shepherds are musculoskeletal, digestive, and obesity. Overweight in the dogs may lead to diabetes, hypothyroidism, bloating, constipation, anal gland issues, among others.

Though they are active dogs, the metabolism of the German shepherd is lower than other dogs that weigh the same at maturity. For this reason, you need to monitor the number of calories and fats in the meals that you feed the dog with ti prevent weight gain. German shepherd puppies need diets rich in proteins with limited fats and calories for their fast growth without risking musculoskeletal problems.

The larger dogs need diets that have high protein levels to help them with maintaining lean muscle mass. The best choice foods must be rich in animal proteins, rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to help them keep a healthy skin and shiny coat and high fiber content to help with digestion.

The diets should also contain a blend of other nutrient-rich properties such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, and prebiotics to ensure balanced nutrition. Below are our top picks of the best dog food for German shepherds that come with all the nutrients they need for their nutritional and health needs.

What is The Best Dry Dog Food for My German Shepherd

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Adult Dog Food

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German shepherds are active large dogs that need specific diets to help with their energy levels and digestive system. Just like many other dog breeds, they go through food sensitivity, which is the reason they require unique ingredients in their diets. Royal Canin breed health nutrition provides the perfect blend of ingredients that meet all the nutrition needs for the proper growth of your German shepherd. The main ingredients in this formula are chicken, brown rice, and pork.

The three ingredients are rich in protein and help to promote cognitive and muscle development. The recipe also contains EPA and DHA derived from fish oil to help the German shepherd to maintain healthy skin and coat. Glucosamine and chondroitin help the large athletic and active dog with sturdy joints and bones.

The recipe also bears exclusive kibble shapes specially designed for the German shepherd’s long and healthy muzzle. The protein-rich diet also contains specific high-quality fibers that help the German shepherd with a healthy digestive system and better stool quality. The grain-free formula does not have any artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.


  • Contains protein-rich products as the primary ingredients for brain and muscle growth
  • The perfect mixture of ingredients that support all the nutritional needs of the large breed
  • Includes ingredients that help to promote better muscle and joint health
  • Does not have fillers, artificial preservatives, flavors or colors
  • Exclusively shaped kibbles designed explicitly for the German shepherd’s muzzle


  • Expensive

Eukanuba Breed Specific German shepherd Dry Dog Food

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Eukanuba Breed Specific German Shepherd Dry Dog Food contains ingredients tailored explicitly for the kind. One of the most appealing features about the diet is the 3D DentaDefence system that helps to build stronger teeth for the German shepherd. The same system also provides the dog with a healthier heart through the ingredients L-Carniture and taurine.

The main ingredient in the recipe is chicken, which is also a high source of energy and, together with glucosamine and chondroitin, helps to promote lean muscle mass. The formula also includes a specialized fiber system that helps to improve a healthier digestive system and the natural passage of stool.

High levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids provide the German shepherd with a healthy coat and shiny skin. The ingredients also include balanced levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that add to the wellbeing of the German shepherd. The meal has no fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.


  • The main ingredient is protein-rich chicken that supports lean muscle mass
  • Contains taurine and L-Carniture that promote a healthy heart
  • Includes 3D DentaDefence system for healthy denture
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Includes specialized fiber for a healthy digestive system and better passage of stool
  • High levels of fatty acids for healthy skin and shiny coat
  • Has no fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • Suitable for German shepherds aged one year and above


  • Some dogs do not like the taste

Purina One SmartBlend Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

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One of the things that will strike you about this diet is that it contains grains, unlike many other recipes in the market. Purina, however, defends their choice of grains in the recipe based on their nutritional benefits. Dogs need proteins just as much as they need other ingredients. The top ingredient in the diet is lamb, which is a good protein for maintaining lean muscle mass.

The other top five ingredients are brewer’s rice, corn gluten, whole grain wheat, pea fiber, soy flakes, and animal fat. The recipe also includes linoleic acid, glucosamine and omega 6 fatty acids that help to support healthy skin and shiny coat. Glucosamine is good for the healthy growth of the dog’s joints and bones, while omega 6 helps to build a stronger immune system. The high fiber content in the diet helps to promote a healthy digestive system. The crunchy bite kibbles are tender and tasty.


  • Contains real lamb as the main ingredient for the support of lean muscle mass
  • Includes a mixture of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids that help to support the dog’s healthy growth
  • Contains glucosamine that helps with heart health
  • Crunchy easily chewable and digestible tasty kibbles
  • Has no fillers, artificial preservatives, or colors


  • Contains grains which may not be suitable for dogs with allergies and food sensitivity

Crave Grain-Free With Protein from Lamb and Venison Dry Adult Dog Food

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Crave Premium Dry Dog Food is a natural diet that contains nutritious ingredients that help to build your German shepherd to a healthy, active adult breed. The recipe contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors. The main ingredient in the formula is what every dog likes, which is real lamb meat. The formula also includes venison as the other main ingredient, and the two alongside other proteins help to support the dog’s lean muscle mass.

The grain-free diet contains no soy, wheat, or corn. The company also uses plant proteins alongside the animal proteins to balance the level of amino acids in the menu. Other ingredients in the recipe include chicken meal, potato protein, lamb meal, chickpeas, chicken fat, sunflower oil, natural flavors, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals, among many others. It is also an excellent recipe for transitioning your shepherd dog’s diet.


  • Contains real meat as the main ingredient, which helps to support lean muscle build
  • Includes a mixture of other essential ingredients that provide optimal health to the dog
  • Grain-free and does not contain soy, wheat, or corn
  • Does not have artificial preservatives, colors or flavors
  • Has a great taste and flavor
  • A proper diet for transitioning


  • Includes potatoes which may not be very good for the dog’s heart health
  • Expensive

Nulo Adult Grain-Free Dog Food

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German shepherds are active dogs, and for them to keep up with their agility, they need a nutritious diet. Nulo adult grain-free dog food helps the dogs to thrive better as they go about their daily activities. The main ingredient in the diet is an animal protein that helps to support lean muscle. The menu does not have allergy-triggering ingredients such as corn, wheat, soy, gluten, artificial additives, flavors, and colors.

The food also leaves out chicken proteins and egg, which are not very good with the dog’s digestion. Other notable ingredients include omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that help to keep the skin healthy and coat shiny. The USA made product also consists of a mixture of mystery ingredients from other sources. The meal is suitable for both small and large German shepherds.


  • The main ingredient is a protein-rich animal product that helps with lean muscle mass
  • Contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that help to maintain the dog’s healthy skin and coat
  • Grain-free with no wheat, soy, or corn
  • Does not have artificial preservatives, colors or flavors
  • Contains mystery ingredients that add to the nutritional value
  • USA made


  • A few German shepherd owners claim that the diet made their dog’s diarrhea and vomit
  • Does not have a pleasant smell

Read next: Orijen Tundra Dog Food Review

Wrapping it up

One of the biggest problems for dig owners is choosing the right foods with all the ingredients that meet the dog’s nutrition needs. Large dogs such as the German shepherd are heavy eaters, and they are prone to several health issues, which include joint and bone problems due to their large sizes. They need diets that have high protein levels as well as an optimal balance of all the other essential ingredients to ensure that they grow with healthy joints and still maintain their active lifestyle.

The dogs need diets that do not have too many calories that would lead to weight gain, as they need lean muscle to lead their productive life. The above list of the best dog foods for German shepherds has recipes with well-balanced nutrients that will ensure your dog stays healthy, happy, clean, and active.

Best Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppies

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