review of the best dog foods for german shepherds

9 Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds in 2024

Choosing the ideal diet for your pet dog can be a perplexing task. Different breeds of dogs necessitate distinct kinds of dog food because sizes vary widely from small to large.

If you get the cheap generic brand of dog food, it might help your wallet but it’s not the greatest thing for your dog’s health. So, you are probably asking, what is the best food to feed my German Shepherd?

We want to help you choose the best dog foods for your German Shepherd. Since there are all kinds of dog food brands that offer cheap fillers which don’t provide real nutrition for your dog, it’s important to keep an eye out and learn exactly what your pet needs.

Our team has spent hours researching products to find the best dog food for German Shepherds dogs, read our in-depth reviews below. Learn more about our 10 point inspection checklist.

Best Dog Food For German Shepherds

1. The Farmer’s Dog

Starting with the best and high-quality dog food that promotes long and healthy life. The Farmer’s Dog is dedicated to delivering complete and balanced nutrition that satisfies your furry friend’s needs. All of their recipes are formulated by veterinary nutritionists with fresh, human-grade ingredients made in USDA kitchens.

Why We Like It – Pet parents love the convenience of having The Farmer’s Dog delivered right to their doorstep. More than that, based on fur parents’ reviews, they can see their beloved canines thrive on this fresh diet, especially the improvement on their pet’s fur. Even though it’s on the expensive side, the quality that The Farmer’s Dog delivers makes it worth the extra cost.

Nutrition Information (Calorie Weighted Basis):


More Details on Ingredients:

The #1 ingredient in their recipes is premium animal protein such as Turkey, Chicken, Beef, and Pork, all great sources of amino acids. These amino acids provide great support for your dog’s overall health.

Another exceptional ingredient that’s part of their TF nutrient blend is Tricalcium Phosphate, a good source of calcium and phosphorous. German Shepherds are prone to some bone and joint issues because of their large size. And calcium and phosphorous are essential minerals that can help in strengthening your dog’s bones and joints to prevent future health risks.

Key Benefit: Fresh Ingredients

Fresh diets are very beneficial to provide a healthier lifestyle for dogs. Aside from using fresh and human-grade ingredients, fresh diets don’t use fillers, preservatives, or animal by-products in their dog food. So your pooch is getting only high-quality nutrients from nutritionally balanced fresh food.


+ Protein-rich recipes
+ Vet-formulated
+ With omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
+ No fillers or artificial preservatives
+ Includes Taurine to support heart health


– Shorter shelf life
– Needs to be refrigerated to keep its freshness


Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Adult

A German Shepherd’s diet has a direct impact on its digestive system. Luckily, the experts at Royal Canin use a perfect blend of high-quality ingredients to meet these needs and help your German Shepherds grow to their fullest potential in this breed-specific dog food.

Why We Liked It – As far as protein-packed dog foods go, there are not many competitors when it comes to choosing a high-quality food for German Shepherds and other large breed dogs.

Royal Canin is among the best foods to choose for a happy and healthy full-grown German Shepherd! Know more by checking the reviews about Royal Canin dog food.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3771 kcal/kg, 321 kcal/cup
Crude Protein22.0% min
Crude Fat17.0% min
Crude Fiber5.5% max
Moisture10.0% max

More Details on Ingredients:

The main ingredients in this nutrient-packed Royal Canin Giant dry dog food are chicken, pork, and ground brown rice. These three high-protein ingredients are excellent for the muscle growth and cognitive development that’s necessary throughout the life of your German Shepherd.

Keeping your dog’s health in mind is key when choosing the best food for your dog, which is why Royal Canin is such an excellent brand.

Key Benefit: Supports Healthy Growth

This dry dog food also helps support your German Shepherd’s joints and muscle growth. Joint pain and disorders are very common in large and giant breeds of dogs, which is why it’s always important to focus on aiding those areas.

If you start while they’re young, the right dog food can prevent all kinds of joint issues that might develop when they’re senior dogs.

Pssst! We’ve also reviewed the top dog foods for Huskies!


+ Animal proteins in the chicken and pork are excellent for muscle and brain growth.
+ Perfect for large breeds.
+ Supports muscle and joint health, helping prevent problems like hip dysplasia.
+ Avoids filler ingredients commonly found in inferior dog food.


– May not be the best for sensitive tummies
– Subject to price increases

3. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy

Royal Canin makes a double placement on this list with another perfect blend, but this time with dry dog food for German Shepherd puppies. While German Shepherds always need special care for their unique sensitivities.

This special blend of puppy food is a great choice for full-grown German Shepherds and puppies to promote healthy growth and happy living.

Why We Liked It – Finding the right food for German Shepherd puppies can be a daunting process. The amount of growth ahead of your puppy requires high animal protein content and specific nutrients! Royal Canin puppy food provides everything your furry friend requires for their development.

If you are looking for the best food to feed your German Shepherd puppy, look no further than Royal Canin.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3639 kcal/kg, 331 kcal/cup
Crude Protein28.0% min
Crude Fat14.0% min
Crude Fiber3.8% max
Calcium1.15% min
Vitamin E420 IU/kg min
Moisture10.0% max

More Details on Ingredients:

Healthy ingredients like ground brown rice, chicken, and fish oil in this dry pet food help give your German Shepherd puppy the animal protein and nutrition it needs to grow up strong.

The presence of glucosamine and chondroitin look after the joints as your puppies graduate into adult dogs.

Fish oil in this dry kibble also ensures your German Shepherd puppy grows up with a healthy heart. It’s an amazing benefit for your energetic puppy!

Key Benefit: Immune System Support

Exclusive blends of antioxidants in this German Shepherd puppy food are excellent for the immune system. They also help to promote the healthy sleep, bone development and digestion needed by a large breed puppy.


+ Excellent for cognitive growth in German Shepherd puppies.
+ Contains great sources of fiber to aid the digestive system.
+ Contains fish oil, which is great for a healthy heart and shiny coat


– Only meant for puppies

4. Iams PROACTIVE HEALTH Large Breed Adult

Iams is one of the most well-known and trusted brands in the dog food industry. They also sell a dry food specifically tailored for your adult German Shepherd. This dry dog food is a fantastic all-natural choice to help your dogs stay healthy and strong for their whole lives.

Don’t trust those filler-packed, cheap alternatives. Your adult German Shepherd deserves the tailored nutrition contained in this dry dog food packed with animal proteins.

Why We Liked It – No products found. is one of the best food options for increasing the life span and overall health of a German shepherd. With a shiny coat and a healthy heart, your dog will continue to be your best friend for longer than ever!

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3,646 kcal/kg, 380 kcal/cup
Crude Protein25.0% min
Crude Fat14.0% min
Crude Fiber4.0% max
Calcium1.05% min
Vitamin E60 IU/kg min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids2.05% min
Moisture10.0% max

More Details on Ingredients:

This dry dog food contains chicken, dried eggs and flaxseed. Large breed dogs rely on high protein compositions like this to nourish their characteristic bulk.

Key Benefit: Longer, Healthier Living

However, there are lots of things that can be done to maximize the lifespan of large breed dogs. All the heart-healthy ingredients in this dry dog food are perfect for guiding your large breed friend into seniority. Chicken meal contains compounds which help to protect joints and keep your dog sprightly right into old age.


+ Great for long-living German shepherds.
+ First ingredient is chicken, an excellent source of pure protein.
+ Perfect blend for coat health.


– Make sure to feed the food within a month of opening

5. Blue Wilderness Blue Buffalo High Protein Grain Free

Blue Wilderness Blue Buffalo High Protein Grain Free large dog food

Blue Buffalo is one of the most well-known pet food brands, which is why the fact that it’s so healthy for your German Shepherds should come as no surprise.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness boasts a staggering amount of grain-free, protein-rich options. Their selection includes chicken, turkey, quail, duck, salmon, halibut, trout, rabbit, bison and venison flavors packed with real meat and top-quality protein. Their foods also cater to specific breed sizes and offer both puppy and adult varieties. This amount of choice is also great news for owners of fussy puppies or dogs with specific food allergies because grain-free foods are excellent for sensitive pups.

Instead of risking your dog’s diet on a cheaper brand that might not be healthy, Blue Buffalo Wilderness gives you the comfort of knowing that your dog’s diet will care for all of their needs.

Why We Liked It – It’s hard not to love a blend of German Shepherd dog food that uses high-quality protein and other delicious ingredients to keep your canine companion happy and healthy.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3,487 kcal/kg, 377 kcal/cup
Crude Protein32.0% min
Crude Fat13.0% min
Crude Fiber7.0% max
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.75% min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids2.25% min
Moisture10.0% max

More Details on Ingredients:

Blue Wilderness Taste Of The Wild uses high-protein ingredients such as chicken, fish, duck and many more to ensure your dog gets the right nutrients for muscle growth.

A dog shouldn’t rely on just bland carbohydrates to support muscle growth. A grain-free formula will ensure that your dog’s food is all thriller, no filler.

Delicious ingredients make your dog want to come back for more Blue Wilderness Blue Buffalo high protein dog food, which means coaxing your dog into a healthy mealtime will be a thing of the past!

Key Benefit: No Fillers

One of the many reasons that Blue is so well-known is due to its grain-free composition which lacks low protein fillers, which is good when your dog is not on a low protein dog food diet.

This company uses only high-quality, natural ingredients to give your German Shepherd a healthy, protein-rich diet. Your dog can enjoy the countless nutritional benefits, while you enjoy peace of mind.


+ Trusted brand in the dog food industry.
+ High-quality protein is always the first ingredient.
+ Grain-free and free from inferior products like chicken by-product meal.
+ Specifically formulated to aid with joint support for larger breeds.


– Not all dogs will like the flavor

Blue Wilderness Blue Buffalo high protein dog food does an excellent job at mimicking the diet your dog would have in the wild. This is why they called themselves Blue Wilderness!

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Racking up their third spot on this list, Royal Canin has another good dog food option for your German Shepherd. It’s easy to digest and specifically designed to taste amazing to your dog, which makes them love their mealtimes even more!

Their adult food recipe also boasts a high amount of antioxidants and amino acids. These help to prevent the decay of your dog’s cells and support your dog’s circulatory system, respectively.

Why We Liked It – Dogs can have some serious problems when failing to digest their foods. German Shepherds are notoriously well known for their digestive problems, so finding a dog food brand to accommodate this is ideal.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3755 kcal/kg, 360 kcal/cup
Crude Protein24.0% min
Crude Fat15.0% min
Crude Fiber3.3% max
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.46% min
Moisture10.0% max

More Details on Ingredients:

Chicken and brown rice give this dog food a great taste, which will keep them coming back to their bowl with glee every day. The healthy hydrated chicken composition also ensures your furry friend can eat with gusto without you having to worry about fat content.

Their exclusive blend of amino acids and antioxidants helps to protect your pup from the wear and tear involved in life as a large breed dog.

Key Benefit: Unique Shape:

Royal Canin has also carried out extensive testing to develop the perfect kibble shape for your German Shepherd.

These perfectly circular kibbles are easy for your dog to chew and simple to digest. Instead of getting stuck in their teeth and throat, these circular pellets go down with ease.


+ Unique customized shape, tailored for ease of digestion and chewing.
+ Classic recipe of chicken and brown rice for a delicious taste.
+ Exclusive amino acid blend fights cell decay caused by free radicals.


– Can be a bit pricey

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7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural dog food

Blue’s second blend on this list is specifically designed for the immune system and digestive support, making it perfect for larger breeds. German Shepherds are prone to issues in both of these areas, especially in their later years.

Instead of feeding your dog fillers until it’s too late, try supporting their growth with this immune-boosting canine formula. With blends formulated specifically for puppies, you can ensure your dog gets tailored nutrition from the very beginning.

Why We Liked It – Blue’s “Life Source Bits” was specifically designed and chosen by vets who love dogs just as much as we do. With your German Shepherd’s wellbeing in mind, they have designed the perfect blend of dog food!

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3,516 kcal/kg, 353 kcal/cup
Crude Protein22.0% min
Crude Fat12.0% min
Crude Fiber6.0% max
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.75% min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids2.25% min
Moisture10.0% max

More Details on Ingredients:

Once again, a staggering amount of variety is the order of the day with Blue. Their Life Protection Formula offers a whole host of options for your dog’s mealtime.

You can choose from many different protein-packed ingredients such as chicken, fish, and lamb to ensure your German Shepherd grows up strong and healthy. There is even variety in the second ingredient when shopping for puppies, allowing you to choose whether you want brown rice or oatmeal to accompany the proteins.

Key Benefit: Unique Immune System Support

Blue uses what they call “Life Source Bits” to help lengthen your dog’s lifespan. These bits are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that all help your German Shepherd to ward off illnesses and maintain healthy joints and muscles.


+ Unique Life Source Bits
+ High-quality protein as a first ingredient, with a choice of brown rice or oatmeal for puppies.
+ Huge amount of choice for your puppy, adult or senior dog.
+ Packed with healthy antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.


– The kibbles are not large

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Nutro WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS food for german shepherds

If you’re looking for an all-natural alternative adult food source for your dog, check out Nutro Ultra Whole Essentials

This special blend of dog food uses farm-raised chicken meal to boost healthy muscle growth. This also helps to avoid the added risk of illnesses which can sometimes be an issue with non-farm-raised foods.

Why We Liked It – With all of the flavor and all of the health benefits, it’s hard to find anything to dislike about Nutro Wholesome Essentials adult food.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3457 kcal/kg, 304 kcal/cup
Crude Protein22.0% min
Crude Fat10.0% min
Crude Fiber4.0% max
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.2% min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids2.0% min
Moisture10.0% max

More Details on Ingredients:

Chicken, chicken meal, peas, potatoes, and many other natural ingredients make up this ultra-healthy blend of Nutro Ultra dog food that’s ideal for raising a robust German shepherd.

Chicken meal contains a large amount of glucosamine and chondroitin which are perfect for maintaining your dog’s joints.

Key Benefit: Delicious Taste

Many of the most nutritious dog foods compromise their taste in order to provide your dog with the complete and balanced set of nutrients it needs.

However, Nutro Wholesome Essentials composition of chicken meal, peas and potatoes does it all while retaining those flavors that keep dogs coming back to their food bowls with glee.


+ All-natural ingredients.
+ Delicious blend for your German Shepherd.
+ No added fillers.
+ High chicken meal content helps to protect joints.


– Not all dogs will like the flavor

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9. Wild Earth Dog Food

Wild Earth Large Bag

You’ll find no meat by-products or inferior products like corn gluten meal here, only ingredients specially selected for their high content of vitamins and minerals.

What’s more, our choice of the best food is delivered straight to your door. It really couldn’t be more convenient.

Key Benefit: Mixed Protein Sources

Wild Earth only uses the very best, sustainable ingredients to ensure that your dog gets all of the tailored nutrition they need.

They understand that dogs are omnivores and so include plenty of high-quality fruits and vegetables alongside specially selected meats to ensure a high protein content which is achieved in a sustainable way.

Why We Like It – Our choice of best dog food for German Shepherds is an all-around ideal meal for your pet. The special blend of fruits and vegetables works alongside ethically sourced meat to ensure a high protein content. These pet foods are convenient, environmentally friendly, and packed full of health benefits.

Nutrition Information:

Caloric Content3557 kcal/kg 333 kcal/cup
Crude Protein31% min
Crude Fat10.5% min
Crude Fiber5% max
Omega-3 Fatty Acids1.0% min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids3.0% min
Moisture10% max


+ Developed by veterinarians for the best dog nutrition content.
+ Ecologically sustainable without compromising on protein content.
+ Delivered straight to your door.
+ 100% money-back guarantee.


– May have a lot of crude protein for some dogs with health issues

Related: Wild Earth Dog Food Review

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How We Assessed Your German Shepherd’s Needs

a dog eating best dog food for german shepherds
Image byy DanaTentis on Pixabay


As large dog breeds also often suffer from joint issues and hip dysplasia later in their lives, the best dog food for German Shepherds should contain supplements to help prevent this.

When feeding large dogs, look for high-quality dog foods containing omega fatty acids, which are healthy fats and they can ensure your Shepherd will have healthy skin. Other examples of healthy fat sources include chicken fat and fish oil. Chicken meal, lamb meal, and turkey meal also contain a good amount of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint care. You also need to take care to avoid foods high in fat, as these can contribute to joint issues.

Rich Protein

Large breeds need lots of protein to help them grow into their full size. In fact, you need to make sure they get at least 18 to 22% of the protein in their diet. The protein should be from animal sources and try to steer clear of by-products, chicken meal turkey meal, and other protein meals as the first ingredient, but they are good for supplemental value. Animal meats should always be the first ingredient. The more items you have on the list that are pure animal protein the better.

A Good Balance

These large dogs need a balanced diet. To get an idea of how good your dog food is, check to see if it matches AAFCO guidelines. If it does, there should be an ideal blend between fruits, protein, veggies, and vitamins and minerals. You can always seek veterinary guidance from professionals that know your dog’s health condition. Balanced nutrition for a with grain or grain-free recipe can include the following:

  • Real chicken, beef, lamb, pork, and other animal proteins
  • Supplemental pea protein, menhaden fish meal and other meals can be excellent sources of protein as well.
  • Salmon oil and other fish oil to help skin and coat health and provide joint protection

Grain-Free and Fiber

If you intend on feeding your dog grain-free dog food, then consider other dietary fibers such as sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes in dog food can really help with digestion as well as in grain-free dog foods. If you are not going grain-free, some excellent sources of fiber are whole grains. Brewers rice isn’t as recommended as whole-grain brown rice, but our team still recommends sweet potato even for dog food with grains.

Notes from our DVM, Sara Ochoa:

“These are the foods I recommend to most of my German Shepherd owners. All large breed puppies need large breed puppy food as [these puppy food options have the nutrients to support their fast-growing bones.”

Dog Food For German Shepherds Buyers Guide

buyers guide for German Shepherd dog food
Image by 晓华 廖 from Pixabay

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds with Sensitive Stomachs?

All dogs can have unique issues, regardless of their breed. If your German shepherd is having stomach issues, it’s likely due to digestive problems.

Wild Earth Dog Food is without a doubt the best selection for dogs with digestive issues since it’s so high in fiber. A high fiber diet will get your German Shepherd back to optimal health and happiness in no time!

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds with Skin Allergies?

Food allergies in dogs can lead to a dull or shedding coat. Not only does this require a lot of clean up, but it also causes actual physical pain and irritation for your dog.

No products found. contains flaxseed and dried eggs, which are both well known for helping keep a dog’s skin and coat shining.

Find more foods for allergy-prone pups in our review of the top hypoallergenic dog foods or perhaps try these dog foods that can help reduce shedding.

Best Dry Food for German Shepherd?

Choosing the best dry food for your German shepherd is not the easiest task. However, if we had to choose it would be Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food.

Unless your German Shepherd is an especially fussy eater, you should always try to choose dry dog food over wet dog food. This is because a dog’s teeth glide through wet dog food, as opposed to dry food which helps to clean the surface of your dog’s teeth and maintain optimum oral hygiene, but you can mix and match. This means your adult dog or puppy will get all the dental benefits of dry food with the great taste and texture of wet canned food.

What is the Best Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppies?

The best food for German Shepherd puppies is Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Food. The high amount of protein and healthy fat content promotes strong muscle growth, joint protection and cognitive development.

German Shepherd Puppy Food

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Best Cheap Dog Food for German Shepherd?

One of the best budget dog foods for German Shepherds is No products found..

This blend allows you to select exactly what’s in your dog’s diet at an incredibly affordable price on Amazon.

Instead of spending up to $100.00 on other German Shepherd dog food brands, Iams gives you a cheaper alternative without compromising the health benefits of those more expensive products.


Royal Canin breed health nutrition dog food for GSD puppies

Choosing the right dog food for any dog is very difficult. Things can become even more overwhelming when your dog has specific needs, such as a low-fat diet or protein-rich puppy food.

We made it our mission to find everything you need to keep your German Shepherd healthy.

The biggest problem facing most pet owners is choosing the right type of food. Especially with large breed dogs, you need to ensure the presence of joint-friendly ingredients such as fish meal, lamb meal or chicken meal which contain glucosamine and chondroitin.

It should be clear by now that you should be striving to avoid low-quality dog food with potentially harmful additives. However, we also understand that not everyone has the budget to buy top-shelf foods for their dogs or puppies.

Expert Tip

As you likely know by this point, German Shepherds are prone to joint problems due to their larger size. You can help to keep their bones and joints healthy by exercising them regularly.

Did You Know?

German Shepherds get their name from the massive herds of sheep that they were bred to guide and protect in Germany.

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