German shepherds are the most active and smart dogs on this planet with a voracious taste for pleasing their owner. Feeding them low-quality food can risk shortening their lifespan. German shepherds’ owners are always curious about what is the best dry dog food for German Shepherds? In this article, we discuss five best food that is suitable for German Shepherds to keep them healthy and active.  

German shepherds work for long periods and have a keen sense of smell, and they love to work without getting distracted. These are the main reasons law enforcement agencies and search & rescue agencies prefer them as service dogs. They are best in these roles, and once they trained, they remain active in service for the rest of their life. Long working hours are possible with this dog, and this benefit is unmatchable with any other service dog.

German Shepherd Diet Requirements

The diet that you feed to your GSD (GSD is a large dog weighing in between 70 to 100 pounds) should be as important as your food is. These dogs require a healthy diet that contains all the necessary nutrients and minerals. Excellent and healthy dog food is essential to keep your dog active in service and also supportive of expanding the life span of a trained dog, and it saves a lot of money in the long run. Calories requirement concerning age stages are as under:

Puppies: German Shepherd Puppies need 500 Cal per day, good food for puppies must contain protein content of 18% to 22% and fat content of 8% to 12%.

Adults: 2,400 calories is the essential requirement for adults, healthy food for adults must contain 18% to 24% protein and 14% fat level but if the dog is not active enough then his requirement of calories may reduce.

Seniors: As compared to young adults, senior need fewer calories, like a healthy senior need 1,300 calories per day and food with more protein and less fat.

What to Feed a German Shepherd?​

To get the answer to the question “what is the best dry dog food for German shepherds? It is necessary for what you can feed to your dog. When selecting the right food for your German Shepherd, make sure the food formula includes all dietary needs, and offer under-listed benefits:


A quality protein source is an essential part of any good quality dog food like beef, fish, lamb, or chicken must be among the first few ingredients. Protein also comes from the by-products, but that is a cheap and inefficient resource to get protein, so avoid the food that gets protein from meat by-products. In the early age, German Shepherds need food with 22% protein and a minimum of 18% for adults; it is a recommendation from the AAFCO. Majority of well-known dog food producers follow these guidelines of AAFCO, so there is no need to worry about this requirement.


The second important factor to consider is fats; a healthy source of fat is essential to keep your dog active and playful. We recommend foods with canola oil, flaxseed, and chicken fat because these are quality fat sources and also offer additional health benefits to dogs. AAFCO recommends a fat level of 5%, but most owners and food makers consider it at the lower side. The majority of commercial kibbles offer fat level above 10% even in specialized German Shepherd food.

Omega-3 and Omega-6

These fatty acids help to get a shiny coat and healthy skin and also support many other internal functions.


It’s required for healthy brain and eye development. DHA is an ingredient that can keep your dog active even in the old age and eliminate the sign of aging. On the other side in puppies, it is supportive towards the development of a healthy brain and eyes.


Carbs are necessary to regulate the blood sugar; it can keep the German shepherd blood sugar steady. It is also required to look into the carb requirement in the food that you select must be low in carbs. For better health benefits may include alternative like sweet potatoes that is also a low glycemic form of carbs.

Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio

You need to consider it, especially when you are buying food for your puppy, the best ratio is 1.2 part of calcium to 1 part of phosphorus. Your puppy may suffer from severe orthopedic problems in case of deficiency or excess of these two ingredients

What to avoid?

Good quality food is necessary for German Shepherds to sustain their activity level. It’s required to avoid a few low-quality ingredients that also can disturb the digestion and immune system of your dog like:

      • Animal By-products
      • Common Allergens (Grains, soy, wheat)
      • Fillers
      • Preservatives
      • Or a brand with a history of recalls

5 Best Dog Food for German Shepherds

1. Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe

what is the best dry dog food for german shepherds
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Egg Product, Peas
  • Type: Grain Free
  • Profile: All Life Stages 
  • Best For: Large Breeds

Roasted lamb is the main ingredient for protein in this food. Lamb meat is also known for the optimal amino acid profile tp provide strong muscles to your German Shepherd. Vitamins, vegetable, and fruits are added in a very balanced form to support the digestive and immune system of dogs. No Grain or artificial colors or flavors means dogs will not suffer from allergies, and it will help them to gain muscle mass. It is featured in with the propriety probiotics that survive and thrive in the GI tract — proudly made in the USA while following all the advanced food safety measure and protocols.  

2. Purina Pro Plan Best Dry Dog Food for German Shepherds

what is the best dry dog food for german shepherds
  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Barley, Ground Rice, Canola Meal, Oat Meal
  • Type: Non-Grain Free
  • Profile: All Life Stage
  • Best For: Large Breeds

Purina Pro Plan best dry dog food for German Shepherds is an all life stages formula that crafted with the 100% natural ingredient. Real salmon is the primary source of protein. Along with healthy weight management, this food also focusses on the skin and coat health. You can feel the difference in a week. It is a recipe that supports your dog’s overall wellbeing because it contains all the necessary and required vitamins, mineral as well as other nutrients. No artificial product, like color and flavor or by-products used in this recipe. It is easy and to digest and supportive for the immune system.  

3. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb meal, brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran, canola oil 
  • Type: Grain Free
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best For: All Breeds

If you are dealing with allergies or you need food for the search and rescue German shepherds than this recipe from the Natural Balance is the best choice for you. It’s crafted with the single source of protein that promotes healthy digestion and keeps the allergies away. It is also free from artificial ingredients. We recommend this food for the dogs with outdoor duties because they are more prone to allergies, and this food can act a life-saving product for them.

4. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food

what is the best dry dog food for german shepherds
  • First 5 Ingredients: Whitefish, Ground Barley (de-hulled), Rye Flour, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes
  • Type: Non-Grain Free
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best For: Madium and Large Breeds

Wellness enjoying a good reputation in this market. They are serving thousands of customers and from reviews, you can find they are good enough to provide quality products. In response to what is the best dry dog food for German shepherds? Wellness complete health natural dry dog food is the best answer. It provides all the nutrition that a German shepherd needs to stay active and healthy. Moreover, this is an excellent food to feed seniors who are near to their retirement.

5. CANIDAE PURE Best Dry Dog Food for German Shepherds

CANIDAE PURE Real Lamb, Limited Ingredient, Grain Free Premium Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, turkey meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, garbanzo bean
  • Type: Grain Free
  • Profile: All Life Stages 
  • Best For: Medium and Large Breeds

It is a food for dogs with a sensitive stomach, especially with the allergies, immune system. Ingredients are limited to 10, and single protein source makes this food most costly in our list, A variety of formulas re available with this manufacturer that suite to significant breed needs. It is a 100%a grain-free food if your dog does not finish his meal move on to this food and he will never leave his food in the bowl. Its natural ingredients taste great and provide all the nutrients that a large dog like German Shepherd needed.

How often should you feed your German Shepherd?

Puppies below four months need four meals a day; you must provide small meals that they can finish efficiently. From 4 to 9 months of age, puppies should eat three small meals, each time a quantity that they can quickly complete. After nine months a young adult can eat 2 to 3 meals per day, it will be better to tune your dog for two meals a day because it will reduce the load on you and can feed him when you are available. Whatever you buy from the recommended list, always read the instructions of the manufacturer and also advice from the vets.

Puppies cannot control over themselves when they eat when you offer them to eat more, they will finish their bowl, and that can invite some serious issues like vomiting. So, offer them they can finish with ease while staying comfortable.

Regardless of food type and brand, be sure to monitor the overall appearance and weight closely, it will help you to decide the amount of food in the future.

A small German Shepherd fat puppy is acceptable but not when he reaches the adult age, especially when he above five there, he should slim down and start building muscle mass. In case he remains choppy then reduce his feed. If your dog shows any sign of food allergy, then prefer to change the food on a priority basis.

Fial Thoughts

German Shepherd is a dog who is highly teachable and understand the humans well, this is a reason it is being used all over the world for the law and enforcement jobs as well for search and rescue purpose. In this article, we cover all the aspects to find an answer of, what is the best dry dog food for German shepherds? And hopefully, our selections are best suitable for your dogs.

Do not allow your dog to gain weight especially when you own a German Shepherd because it will make him lazy and dull and he might start consuming more food. Always keep an eye on the overall look of your dog, consider any of the food that we list above to keep your dog healthy and active.

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