German Shepherds are like mini-wolves – extremely cuddly and loyal wolves perhaps, but descendants of their carnivorous cousins nonetheless. With their large and rugged, lean bodies, hyper-intelligence and energetic dispositions, any old diet won’t do – German Shepherds require a targeted balance of nutrients in their meals to keep them healthy and happy. Like all dogs, German Shepherds thrive on high quality sources of protein, fat, carbs, vitamins and minerals, but the ratios of requirement vary – where protein remains the predominant nutrient ideal in this breed’s diet, particularly sourced from real meats, fats need to be moderated to keep your dog from getting overweight.
Obesity in dogs in general is associated with a bunch of health problems, including heart and kidney disorders, high blood pressure and diabetes, but in German Shepherds in particular can devolve into hip dysplasia because of the breed’s signature sloped back. As a large breed dog undergoing rapid growth spurts, it’s also crucial to introduce and moderate the right supplements in a German Shepherd’s diet to allow healthy development of bones and lean muscle, and to prevent them from overgrowth in too short a time, which has been known to lead to orthopaedic disorders and other ailments. This means a German Shepherd’s diet needs to be carefully controlled, from puppyhood to adulthood, and picking any generic dog food brand off the shelves isn’t going to cut it. This is where we can help though – we’ve rounded up our top picks for the best nutritionally valuable dog food for German Shepherds to keep your loyal pals active and healthy through all their days with you.
ORIJEN Freeze Dried Adult Dog Food
Despite the title of ‘Adult Dog Food’, moderating the portions of this feed in age-appropriate ratios let your dogs chow down on this nutrition-packed meal from puppyhood to adulthood to obtain the right balance of nutrients they need to live an active and healthy lifestyle. We’ve previously mentioned that protein is the most important nutrient in a German Shepherd’s diet, and this option fits the bill with its 90% protein composition made up of fresh poultry, eggs and fish. The all-natural protein sources are devoid of preservatives or artificial additives, delivered fresh or raw and freeze-dried to maintain their taste and nutritional value, a naturally rich source of the glucosamine and chondroitin German Shepherds need in their diet to reinforce their bones and joints and stave off the likelihood of musculoskeletal disorders developing as they grow.
As well as the healthy proportions of whole meats and other protein goodness, the feed is also supplemented with low glycemic fresh fruits and veggies, like spinach, blueberries, pumpkin and carrots to name just a few, to give your pup a hearty dose of the vitamins and minerals needed to avoid deficiencies and remain healthy and active. This gives your dogs the right amount of complex carbs the body needs for energy and to keep the digestive system working properly, without including plant protein like whole grains that a German Shepherd’s hereditary diet is not adapted to.
Apart from the natural fats included in this dog food’s ingredients, there is no added fat in the mix, helping keep the risk of obesity in your pups on the down low.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food for Large & Giant Breed Puppy
Ensuring your pup grows up healthy, without any worrying or avoidable medical conditions like diabetes or hip and elbow dysplasia manifesting, is hugely reliant on making sure your dog has the right diet growing up, and this particular feed is formulated to keep large breed pups like German Shepherds healthy from the very outset. Pre and probiotics keep the digestive system in top shape in conjunction with digestive enzymes to easily break down and absorb complex carbohydrates and the goodness of natural ingredients like fruits and veggies, the natural fibers helping keep digestive tracts running without the pressure of trying to digest more complex grains. Devoid of fillers, meat by-products and whole grains like wheat, this dog food option instead packs the protein goodness of fish, lamb and chicken meat, fatty acids like DHA for healthy coats, skin and cognitive development, and easy to digest carbohydrates like oatmeal. The well-balanced formula of ingredients enhances healthy and sustainable musculoskeletal development in your pups, ensuring they develop lean and tough muscle and resilient bone and joint structures without overgrowing or getting overweight.
Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Dog Food
Perfect for all life stages, this large breed dog food formula is devised to tackle the probability of musculoskeletal disorders by specifically providing hip and joint support, calcium and phosphorous making for strong bones and teeth while zinc and manganese improve the immune system and maintain bone and joint health. The formula contains the fatty acids Omega-6 and Omega-3 critical for brain and eye development and for ensuring your pup develops and keeps healthy coats and skin, while a mix of vegetable and grain derived fibers keep the digestive tracts clean and in good working order. The brown rice included as part of the mix is easier to break down into energy-generating and easily digestible carbs compared to complex and nutritionally poor fillers like corn or wheat, while hearty helpings of protein from chicken and duck meat give your pups the fuel they need to run around and be their hyperactive selves while growing at a healthy, sustained rate.
Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food for Puppy
Rich in protein and without any grains to agitate the tummies of allergic or sensitive pups, this option is something of a treat for your pet. Roasted venison and bison meat makes for great taste sure to get your pups salivating, while also packing all the protein richness needed to keep your German Shepherd properly nourished to remain energetic and healthy as he or she grows. Easily digestible and energy-generating carbs like sweet potatoes and potato fibers stand in as a friendlier substitute packed with nutrients and fiber compared to fillers like corn. Not only does this keep your pup’s digestive system healthy and working without hitch, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals incorporated into the formula with ingredients such as blueberries and raspberries also help fight off free radicals and improve your pet’s immune system, while moderate fats give them the energy they need without the risk of them putting on weight.
- Orijen: https://www.orijen.ca/
- American Kennel Club: http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/best-dog-food-choosing-whats-right-for-your-dog/
- Natural Balance: https://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/
- Taste of the Wild: https://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/#home