Best Dog Foods for German Shepherds 2019

Adult German Shepherd Lying Down

The best dog food for any German shepherd depends on whether you’re feeding a puppy… or an adult.

That’s because there are 2 different types of dog food on the market that are suitable for German shepherds.

One intended for puppies. And another for adults.

However…

Since German shepherds are considered large breed dogs

Feeding the wrong food for your dog’s age could cause lasting bone and joint damage.

Including a devastating form of canine hip dysplasia.1 2 3

Particularly if you’re feeding a German shepherd puppy.

Keep in mind…

Some German shepherd puppies don’t stop growing and become adults until they’re 12 to 24 months of age.4

Which is why it’s SO important for you to choose a dog food that’s designed to be safe for your shepherds’s age.

All dog foods listed below were chosen by The Advisor’s research team because they meet AAFCO5 nutrient guidelines for adult German shepherds.

Where noted… some of the foods below are also safe for puppies.

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds
June 2019

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s top 10 best dog foods for German shepherds for June 2019.


Dr Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German Dog Diet

Rating:

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German Dog Diet is one of 13 recipes included in our detailed review of Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Dog Food.

  • Type: Grain-inclusive (contains grain)
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Adult German shepherds and puppies

The label of Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Dog Diet reports a dry matter nutrient content of 28% protein, 13% fat and 51% (estimated) carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of 48%.

Ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, dried beet pulp, chicken fat [preserved with natural mixed tocopherols (vitamin E)], egg product, pearled barley, brewers dried yeast, natural flavor, menhaden fish meal, lecithin, menhaden fish oil, flax seed, canola oil, calcium carbonate, kelp meal, sea salt, dl methionine, l-lysine, monosodium phosphate, cranberry, alfalfa meal, new zealand sea mussel, ascorbic acid, glucosamine, garlic powder, vitamin E supplement, biotin, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, potassium chloride, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate

Summary: Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Dog Diet is recommended by 100% of online buyers and is a superb choice for your German shepherd puppy or adult.

Highly recommended.

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Merrick Grain Free Large Breed for German Shepherd

Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed Real Chicken and Sweet Potato

Rating:

Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed Real Chicken and Sweet Potato is one of 14 recipes included in our detailed review of Merrick Large Grain-Free Dog Food.

  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Adult German shepherds and puppies

The label of Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed Real Chicken and Sweet Potato reports a dry matter nutrient content of 35% protein, 17% fat and 40% (estimated) carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of 48%.

Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, sweet potatoes, potatoes, salmon meal, dried egg product, pea protein, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, flaxseed, salmon oil, sunflower oil, organic dried alfalfa meal, salt, choline chloride, apples, blueberries, minerals (iron amino acid complex, zinc amino acid complex, zinc sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodide, cobalt proteinate, cobalt carbonate), gelatin, l-carnitine, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A acetate, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, niacin, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride), dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product.

Summary: Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed Real Chicken and Sweet Potato is recommended by 90% of online buyers and is a great selection for your German shepherd puppy or adult.

Solidly recommended.

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Instinct Raw Boost Real Duck

Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck Dog Food

Rating:

Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck is one of 12 recipes included in our detailed review of Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food.

  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Adult German shepherds and puppies

The label of Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck reports a dry matter nutrient content of 41% protein, 22% fat and 29% (estimated) carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of 53%.

Ingredients: Duck, chicken meal, peas, egg product, turkey meal, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), tapioca, natural flavor, montmorillonite clay, freeze dried duck (including freeze dried ground duck bone), freeze dried chicken, freeze dried chicken liver, pumpkinseeds, salt, freeze dried chicken heart, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin), carrots, apples, cranberries, dried tomato pomace, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, ethylenediamine dihydriodide), potassium chloride, choline chloride, dried kelp, salmon oil, blueberries, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, rosemary extract.

Summary: Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck is recommended by 93% of online buyers and is an ideal pick for your German shepherd puppy or adult.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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Victor Purpose Nutra Pro Active Dog and Puppy Recommended for German Shepherds

Victor Purpose Nutra Pro Dog Food

Rating:

Victor Purpose Nutra Pro is one of 6 recipes included in our detailed review of Victor Purpose Dog Food.

  • Type: Grain-inclusive (contains grain)
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Adult German shepherds and puppies

The label of Victor Purpose Nutra Pro reports a dry matter nutrient content of 42% protein, 20% fat and 31% (estimated) carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of 47%.

Ingredients: Chicken meal, blood meal, whole grain millet, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), yeast culture, grain sorghum, menhaden fish meal (source of dha-docosahexaenoic acid), beef meal, dehydrated alfalfa meal, pork meal, natural flavor, potassium chloride, carrot powder, tomato pomace (source of lycopene), taurine, salt, choline chloride, dried seaweed meal, zinc methionine complex, vitamin E supplement, hydrolyzed yeast, iron amino acid complex, calcium carbonate, manganese amino acid complex, ferrous sulfate, l-carnitine, selenium yeast, copper sulfate, niacin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, powdered cellulose, brewers dried yeast, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, silicon dioxide, tetra sodium pyrophosphate, vegetable oil, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract, lecithin, fructooligosaccharide, folic acid, and Yucca schidigera extract.

Summary: Victor Purpose Nutra Pro is recommended by 95% of online buyers and is a superior dog food for your German shepherd puppy or adult.

Easily recommended.

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Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Large Breed

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Large Breed

Rating:

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Large Breed is one of 6 recipes included in our detailed review of Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Dog Food.

  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adult German shepherds only (not for puppies)

The label of Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Large Breed reports a dry matter nutrient content of 33% protein, 13% fat and 45% (estimated) carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of 40%.

Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, tomato pomace, salmon meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground flaxseed, tomatoes, natural chicken flavor, carrots, choline chloride, spinach, vitamin E supplement, chicory root extract, Yucca schidigera extract, taurine, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, zinc sulfate, calcium carbonate, sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, niacin, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, vitamin A supplement, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, garlic powder, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract.

Summary: Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Large Breed is recommended by 100% of online buyers and is one of our top picks for your German shepherd adult. This food is not intended for puppies.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Dog Food

Rating:

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon is one of 9 recipes included in our detailed review of Taste of the Wild Dog Food.

  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Adult German shepherds and puppies

The label of Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon reports a dry matter nutrient content of 32% protein, 17% fat and 43% (estimated) carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of 52%.

Ingredients: Beef, peas, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil, egg product, wild boar, ocean fish meal, pea flour, dried yeast, tomato pomace, flaxseed, natural flavor, salmon oil (a source of dha), salt, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bi fidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid. Contains a source of live (viable), naturally occurring microorganisms.

Summary: Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon is recommended by 94% of online buyers and is a solid option for your German shepherd puppy or adult.

Readily recommended.

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Eagle Pack Power Adult Dry Dog Food for German Shepherds

Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food

Rating:

Eagle Pack Power Adult is one of 7 recipes included in our detailed review of Eagle Pack Dog Food.

  • Type: Grain-inclusive (contains grain)
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adult German shepherds only (not for puppies)

The label of Eagle Pack Power Adult reports a dry matter nutrient content of 33% protein, 21% fat and 38% (estimated) carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of 63%.

Ingredients: Chicken meal, pork meal, ground brown rice, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dehulled barley, tomato pomace, brewers dried yeast, flaxseed, potassium chloride, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin, vitamin A supplement, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid], minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate], taurine, calcium carbonate, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, inulin, glucosamine hydrochloride, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bacillus licheniformis fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried Trichoderma reesei fermentation product, dried Rhizopus oryzae fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract.

Summary: Eagle Pack Power Adult is recommended by 95% of online buyers and is an ideal choice for your German shepherd adult. This food is not appropriate for puppies.

Heartily recommended.

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Salmon Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe

Rating:

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe is one of 18 recipes included in our detailed review of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food.

  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adult German shepherds only (not for puppies)

The label of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon reports a dry matter nutrient content of 38% protein, 17% fat and 38% (estimated) carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of 44%.

Ingredients: Deboned salmon, chicken meal (source of glucosamine), peas, pea protein, menhaden fish meal (source of omega 3 fatty acids), tapioca starch, dried tomato pomace, pea starch, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried egg product, flaxseed (source of omega 6 fatty acids), natural flavor, dehydrated alfalfa meal, dl-methionine, potatoes, dried chicory root, pea fiber, alfalfa nutrient concentrate, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, dicalcium phosphate, salt, preserved with mixed tocopherols, sweet potatoes, carrots, potassium chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, zinc sulfate, vegetable juice for color, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, iron amino acid chelate, blueberries, cranberries, barley grass, parsley, turmeric, dried kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, niacin (vitamin B3), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), l-carnitine, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), l-lysine, copper sulfate, biotin (vitamin B7), vitamin A supplement, copper amino acid chelate, manganese sulfate, taurine, manganese amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), calcium iodate, dried yeast, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, folic acid (vitamin B9), sodium selenite, oil of rosemary.

Summary: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe is recommended by 95% of online buyers and is a great selection for your adult German shepherd. Not intended for puppies.

Highly recommended.

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Blackwood 3000 All Life Stages Dog Food

Blackwood 3000 All Life Stages Everyday Diet Dog Food

Rating:

Blackwood 3000 All Life Stages Everyday Diet is one of 5 recipes included in our detailed review of Blackwood Everyday Recipes Dog Food.

  • Type: Grain-inclusive (contains grain)
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Adult German shepherds and puppies

The label of Blackwood 3000 All Life Stages Everyday Diet reports a dry matter nutrient content of 27% protein, 16% fat and 50% (estimated) carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of 58%.

Ingredients: Lamb meal, brown rice, oat groats, millet, chicken meal, ground grain sorghum, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, tomato pomace, menhaden fish meal, lecithin, canola oil, monosodium phosphate, potassium chloride, dl-methionine, menhaden fish oil, choline chloride, l-lysine, salt, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product dehydrated, fructooligosaccharide (fos), ascorbic acid, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, organic dried kelp, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A acetate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, iron sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate

Summary: Blackwood 3000 is recommended by 89% of online buyers and is a solid choice for both German shepherd puppies and adults.

Easily recommended.

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Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Dog Food

Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Adult Health

Rating:

Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Adult Health is one of 5 recipes included in our detailed review of Holistic Select Dog Food.

  • Type: Grain-inclusive (contains grain)
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adult German shepherds only (not for puppies)

The label of Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Adult Health reports a dry matter nutrient content of 27% protein, 16% fat and 50% (estimated) carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of 58%.

Ingredients: Chicken meal, rice, oatmeal, oats, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pork meal, dried plain beet pulp, flaxseed, pumpkin, cranberries, apples, brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, papayas, choline chloride, blueberries, pomegranates, vitamin E supplement, inulin, l-carnitine, dried kelp, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, zinc sulfate, niacin, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, vitamin A supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ground cinnamon, ground fennel, ground peppermint, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, dried Lactobacillus bulgaricus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus thermophilus fermentation product, calcium iodate, vitamin b12 supplement, folic acid, dried Bacillus licheniformis fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried Trichoderma reesei fermentation product, dried Rhizopus oryzae fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract.

Summary: Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Adult Health is recommended by 91% of online buyers and is a great selection for your German shepherd adult. This food is not intended for puppies.

Solidly recommended.

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More Choices

Readers interested in finding the best dog food for a German Shepherd may also wish to check out these popular pages, too…


References

  1. Lauten SD, Nutritional Risks to Large Breed Dogs: From Weaning to the Geriatric Years, Vet Clin Small Anim 36 (2006) 1345–1359.
  2. Richardson, Skeletal diseases of the growing dog: Nutritional influences and the role of diet, Canine Hip Dysplasia: A Symposium Held at Western Veterinary Conference, 1995
  3. Hazewinkel HAW. Nutrition in relation to skeletal growth deformities. J Sm Anim Practice. 1989; 30:525-630
  4. IAMS: How to Transition Your Puppy to Adult Food, IAMS
  5. AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles, Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2018 Official Publication, pages 155-159.