The 8 Best Dog Food for German Shepherds In 2022

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best dog food for german shepherds

This is our review of the best dog food for German Shepherds in 2022.

German Shepherds are among my favorite patients, I have a special love for this breed. They are smart and loyal, and they can be easily trained.

Sadly, they are prone to some health problems such as hip dysplasia, crippling at an early age if they were fed dog food that contains more calcium than they need, plus you need to take care of that thick coat.

All this means that you’ll need to be more careful with what you feed your furry friend. That’s why I reviewed 8 dog foods I believe are the best dog food for German Shepherds.

My favorite dog food and the one I always recommend for most German Shepherds is Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, it contains high-quality protein, Glucosamine to support the hips and joints health, and the Omega-fatty acids necessary for German Shepherds to maintain a healthy thick coat.

But, every dog’s condition is different, that’s why I’ve included 7 more dog food that I believe can be the best pick for a German Shepherd.

Keep reading.

Our Picks for The Best Dog Food for German Shepherds

The 8 Best Dog Food for German Shepherds Reviewed

Before we dive in, I want to tell you that all the dog food I included in this list meets the standard AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs. 

Also, we always recommend that you consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your German Shepherd’s diet.


Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

best dog food for german shepherds
  • 5 Key Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice
  • Nutrient Content: 23% Protein, 13% Fat, 3.5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • Best for: Adult German Shepherds

On the top of our list of the best dog food for German Shepherds comes Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult dry dog food. Featuring real cage-free chicken as their first ingredient, your German Shepherd will get the high quality he or she needs to develop lean and strong muscles and also get the energy to stay active.

This formula is specially formulated to meet the needs of large breed dogs, it contains glucosamine and chondroitin which are necessary to support your German Shepherd’s healthy joints, along with omega fatty acids that will help him or her develop and maintain healthy skin and thick coat.

Blueberries and oranges are among the fruits that are added to provide your furry friend with vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a complete and balanced diet.

This formula also contains probiotics and prebiotics that are vital to support the digestive system’s health. Plus, it contains natural antioxidants that support the immune system and overall wellness.

This formula is made with carefully selected ingredients and is completely free of any corn, wheat, artificial flavors, or colors, and it is made in the USA so rest assured that your dog will get safe dog food.


Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

best dog food for german shepherds
  • 5 Key Ingredients: Duck, Duck Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Nutrient Content: 32% Protein, 18% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free
  • Best for: Adult German Shepherds

Taste of the Wild is a brand that is most known for its quality formulas, using high-quality ingredients while keeping its prices affordable.

Featuring duck and duck meal as the main ingredients, Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free dry dog food is high in protein which provides your canine with the protein necessary to thrive and develop strong muscles, and strong bones, and healthy joints.

This formula includes vitamins and minerals that are sourced from real fruits and veggies, this helps your four-legged friend with a complete and balanced diet. Along with prebiotics and probiotics that are necessary for healthy digestion.

Also, this recipe is crafted completely free of grains, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, or artificial colors, which means that your German Shepherd will only get the nutrition he or she needs, no less no more. Plus, it contains natural antioxidants which help support the immune system health.

And, it is made in the USA by a family-owned brand, so rest assured that you’ll be feeding your dog safe dog food.


ORIJEN Puppy Large Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

best dog food for german shepherds
  • 5 Key Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Liver
  • Nutrient Content: 38% Protein, 16% Fat, 4% Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Natural, Raw, No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • Best for: German Shepherd Puppies

I highly recommend this formula by Orijen as the best dog food for German Shepherds puppies. It is highly rich in protein along with other high-quality ingredients which is exactly what your puppy needs.

Since they are growing, German Shepherd puppies need higher amounts of protein and fat than adult German Shepherds. And this formula covers both these requirements.

Featuring the first 5 ingredients as raw animal protein, ORIJEN Puppy Large Grain-Free Dry Puppy food contains higher than average protein and fat which is vital for your growing furry puppy to develop strong and lean muscles, plus it provides the puppy with the energy necessary to play, run, and discover the world around him or her.

Plus, it contains DHA along with omega fatty acids to support brain development, and skin and coat health.

Also, this formula contains organs from real animals, which is something I personally like because it provides our puppies with nutrition that they can only find in the wild. Plus, these organs are nutrient-rich which is good for our puppies’ overall health.

Prebiotics and probiotics are also added to this formula to support your little friend’s gut, remember that at this point, he or she is building their digestive system from the ground so it’s always best if they build it right with the right dog food.


Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

best dog food for german shepherds
  • 5 Key Ingredients: Beef, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Potatoes
  • Nutrient Content: 10% Protein, 9% Fat, 1.5% Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Type of Product: High-Protein, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Pea-Free
  • Best for: Adult German Shepherds

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is the best wet dog food for German Shepherds. It features beef and chicken as the main ingredients providing your furry friend with high-quality nutrient-dense protein which helps develop lean and strong muscles.

I always recommend wet food for dogs with dental and digestive problems. Its moisture makes it easy for dogs to chew and digest. 

This formula provides high-quality protein for your canine, but it doesn’t come close to the minimum requirement of German Shepherd protein which is 18% for adults – This dog food has 10 % – which is the reason why it is best if you serve as a special treat, mixed with dry food or all on its own as an entree.


VICTOR Purpose Hero Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

best dog food for german shepherds
  • 5 Key Ingredients: Beef Meal, Peas, Sweet Potato, Chicken Fat, Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Nutrient Content: 33% Protein, 16% Fat, 3.8% Fiber, 9% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Gluten Free
  • Best for: Adult German Shepherds

As working dogs, German Shepherds can be highly active so they need a high protein nutrient-dense recipe to keep up with their activity level. That’s where VICTOR Purpose Hero Grain-Free dry dog food comes in.

It features beef meal as the main ingredient, which is great because it provides your canine with high-quality protein that is the necessary fuel for them to stay active.

As I mentioned earlier, German Shepherds are prone to joint and hip problems. Well… The highly active ones are more prone to this health issue. That’s where glucosamine and chondroitin come in handy, they are the key components that help support joints and hips health in the long run.

This formula also features a unique VPRO blend that supports the digestive system and immune system health and wellbeing.

Vitamins and minerals are also included for a balanced and complete diet, along with essential fatty acids to help your furry friend develop and maintain healthy skin and coat.

It’s also worth mentioning that this recipe is grain-free, so if your furry friend is allergic or sensitive to grains, this dog food offers a great solution.


American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

best dog food for german shepherds
  • 5 Key Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Sweet Potatoes
  • Nutrient Content: 25% Protein, 12% Fat, 6% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Chicken-Free, High-Protein, Sensitive Digestion
  • Best for: Adult German Shepherds

For food sensitivities and gut problems, I always recommend American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free dry dog food as the best dog food for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs. 

This formula by American Journey is a limited ingredient, it is specially formulated with only 1 premium-quality animal protein which limits your dog’s exposure to ingredients he or she might be sensitive to. 

This recipe features deboned salmon and salmon meal as the first ingredients, it provides your canine with high-quality protein necessary for developing strong and lean muscles.

Plus, the salmon provides a great source of omega fatty acids that are vital for German Shepherds to maintain healthy skin and coat.

Also, this recipe is crafted completely free of corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meals or artificial colors, preservatives or flavors, or any other low-quality ingredients. This is good because it makes the dog food easier to digest, and it ensures that your dog will get 100% nutrition and 0% garbage.


ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

best dog food for german shepherds
  • 5 Key Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Liver
  • Nutrient Content: 38% Protein, 18% Fat, 4% Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Natural, Raw, No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • Best for: Adult German Shepherds

If you want more of a premium dog food for your German Shepherd, we highly recommend this formula by Orijen.

ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food features 5 raw animal proteins as their main ingredients, this provides a strong source of high-quality protein which is necessary for German Shepherds to develop lean and strong muscles.

Also, this formula contains whole parts of the animals including organs and bones which are essential for a balanced diet, and it ensures that your furry friend gets fresh, nutritious, and high-quality food, just like he would eat in the wild.

Omega-fatty acids are also included to support skin and coat health. Along with vitamins and minerals for a balanced and complete diet.

This dog food checks all our boxes for what makes the best dog food for German Shepherds. But you need to be careful though as it’s a bit expensive. 


Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Formula Dry Dog Food

best dog food for german shepherds
  • 5 Key Ingredients: Chicken, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal
  • Nutrient Content: 28% Protein, 13% Fat, 4.5% Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Type of Product: High-Protein
  • Best for: Senior German Shepherds

Out of all the dog foods available on the market, Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ dry dog food is the best dog food for senior German Shepherds.

It features real chicken as the first ingredient which provides a dog food that is heavily rich in protein to help support your senior furry friend’s strong muscles as he gets older, and also support his heart health.

This formula is specifically formulated for senior dogs ages 7 and up, it contains carefully chosen ingredients that work together to support your friend’s health and energy as he or she grows old.

And as I mentioned earlier, German Shepherds are prone to hips and joint problems, well.. the more they grow up the more likely it is that these problems might occur. The chicken in this recipe is a natural and strong source of glucosamine, which is the key component that supports the hips and joints’ health.

Plus, it contains antioxidants that support his immune system, along with omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to help your furry friend develop and keep healthy skin and coat.

This recipe is crafted completely free of any fillers or low-quality ingredients. This makes it convenient for dogs with food sensitivities and highly digestible for your dog, which translates to even him or her getting more nutrients from what they actually eat.

And, it is made in the USA which ensures that your dog will get safe dog food.


Guide to Buying The Best Dog Food for German Shepherds

best dog food for german shepherds

When it comes to choosing the best dog food for German Shepherds, it doesn’t only depend on the dog food containing the right macronutrient, but it also should contain high-quality ingredients that your dog needs.

German Shepherds Specific Dietary Requirements

Like all dog breeds, German Shepherds need high-quality protein sourced from real meat, along with healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids to maintain their thick coats. 

But, considering the fact that they are working dogs, they have specific dietary needs that you should aim to fill, and here are what we recommend to aim for when selecting dog food for your German Shepherd.

P.S: All the dog food in our list of best dog food for German Shepherds meet at least the minimum nutritional requirements for German Shepherds. We took into account all these portions so rest assured that all the food included in this list can be given to your furry friend without worrying if they meet or not the minimum nutritional requirements for German Shepherds.

Protein

As large breed dogs, German Shepherds need a dog food that is high in protein, to be more specific 18% for adults and 22% for puppies. This protein helps the dog develop strong and lean muscles while at the same time it provides him with the energy to stay active all day long.

But one thing to look out for, and one of the most common mistakes I see many people make when feeding their German Shepherd puppies, is for how long to feed your puppy puppy-specific dog food.

You see, most large breed dogs can be fed puppy-specific dog food – which is high in protein – until they are 1 year old, but that’s not the case when it come to German Shepherd puppies because if you do that, it will lead to overgrowth which will lead to hips and bones problems and even crippling.

I don’t want that, and I’m sure you don’t want it either. So to avoid this issue, I recommend that you switch your puppy to adult dog food when he or she reaches 6 months, that way you avoid endangering your furry friend’s health and all the unnecessary headaches that come with it.

Fats

Fats are the main source of energy for German shepherds, they provide your canine with the fuel to grow, thrive, and stay active all day long. For instance, adult German Shepherds need 5% fat in their food content while puppies need about 8%.

For German Shepherds, and considering the fact that they are an active breed, the higher the fat content the better, and for puppies, you must always aim for a dog food that provides higher than average fat content otherwise your furry puppy might not grow properly.

Also, omega-fatty acids are necessary for your furry friend to develop and maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. Along with DHA that is necessary for brain development.

Fats also make the food tastier, so if your furry friend is a picky eater, then more fat content is exactly what you need.

Carbohydrates

This is an important one to keep an eye out for, dogs don’t need carbohydrates. They just don’t need them. But, in order for the kibble to keep its shape, it needs carbohydrates.

Plus, carbohydrates provide an easily accessible source of energy, or in other words, sugar. So, if your dog eats more than he or she needs, its body will store it as fats which in most cases leads to weight gain.

With that being said, always aim for low-carbohydrates dog food, the lower the percentage of carbohydrates content, the better. Literally, dogs can eat 0% carbohydrates and thrive.

Our Verdict

While most German Shepherds can benefit from high-quality protein, high-fat content, and other added vitamins and minerals. Your German Shepherd’s needs might be specific to him or her, and choosing the best dog food will depend on so many factors.

For most German Shepherds, I recommend Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food as the best dog food for German Shepherds overall, it contains all the necessary nutrients a German Shepherd needs, in the amount he or she needs, and in the quality that meets our standards.

But, before you make any changes in your German Shepherd’s diet, please consult with your veterinarian.

John Alexander
John Alexander

John is a qualified vet and an expert in dog nutrition. He has been documenting his journey with dogs and writing about their nutrition for over two years now. He is the go-to person when it comes to dogs nutrition.

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