Eukanuba German Shepherd (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

This Review Has Been Merged with
Eukanuba Breed Specific Formulas

Eukanuba German Shepherd Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

Eukanuba German Shepherd meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

Eukanuba German Shepherd Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 52%

Ingredients: Chicken, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal (natural source of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine), brewers rice, fish meal, chicken flavor, dried beet pulp, dried egg product, brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, salt, flax meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), sodium hexametaphosphate, Fructooligosaccharides, choline chloride, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cobalt carbonate), dl-methionine, dried chicken cartilage (natural source of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine), vitamins (ascorbic acid, vitamin a acetate, calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), inositol, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), vitamin E supplement, l-carnitine, beta-carotene, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis23%13%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%14%52%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%31%46%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 31% | Carbs = 46%

The first ingredient in this dog food lists chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

Which brings us to corn meal, the second and (more likely) the dominant ingredient in this dog food.

Corn meal is a coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The third ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The fourth ingredient chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The fifth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice represents the small grain fragments left over after milling whole rice.

This is an inexpensive cereal grain by-product and not considered a quality ingredient.

The sixth ingredient includes fish meal… yet another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

Fish meal is commonly made from the by-products of commercial fish operations.

What’s more, the controversial chemical ethoxyquin is frequently used as a preservative in fish meals.

But because it’s usually added to the raw fish before processing, the chemical does not have to be reported to consumers.

We find no public assurances from the company this product is ethoxyquin-free.

Without knowing more, and based upon this fish meal’s location on the list of ingredients, we would expect to find only a trace of ethoxyquin in this product.

After the chicken flavor, we find dried beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The ninth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries… from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The tenth ingredient is brewers dried yeast. Brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient contains about 45% protein… and is rich in other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can be considered a nutritious additive.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With two notable exceptions

First, we note the minerals here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this dog food contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

Eukanuba German Shepherd Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Eukanuba German Shepherd looks to be an average kibble.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 26%, a fat level of 14% and an estimated carbohydrate content of 52%.

Below-average protein. Near-aAverage fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this is the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Eukanuba German Shepherd Dog Food is a grain-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken meat as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

Recommended.

For other recipes, be sure to check out the Advisor’s summary of the Eukanuba Breed Specific product line.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Other spellings: Eukenuba, Eucanuba

Notes and Updates

06/11/2010 Original review
01/11/2011 Review updated

10/19/2012 Last Update

  • Paul1208

    Thank you for that information.  This is a wonderful website.

  • hounddogmom12

    Dogs don’t grow slowly and steadily by eating less protein, they grow slowly and steadily by not being overfed. The low protein theory for large breed pups has been disproved many times (you can read more detailed posts about this on this site by some other users) and recommending that people reduce the protein the their large breed puppies diet is misinforming people about proper nutrition. Too much calcium is what leads to hip and joint problems (which is why large breed specific puppy food has reduced calcium not reduced protein!). I’m glad to hear that your dog never had hip problems but that was likely due to good genes not low protein. Anyways think about it, wolves are as large/larger than large breed dogs and they obviously have a high protein diet, do they get dysplasia?

  • Paul1208

    Years ago, my german shepherd’s breeder’s husband, a veterinarian in NY, indicated to me that I should not feed my female 4 month old GSD puppy food after 6 months of age so that she did not grow so fast.  The way I remember his admonition, by not feeding such high protein food, she would grow slowly and steadily, thereby avoiding any hip issues.  I followed his advice.  She grew until 18-20 months old and topped out at 88 lbs.  She did not have any hip dysplasia, just arthritis, and died at age 14.

  • jett

    GSD over 92 lbs. at 9 months? Most gs pups are thin, better
    for them. Your dog is way over the standard to begin with.The standard is 26″ for a male.90 lbs is average.

  • Bob K

    Aneta – Please read the detailed report of this food above. You are paying a premium for a 3 star dog food. You mention several brands but never specify exactly which formula you are using. There are several different Blue Buffalo formulas. Which Blue Buffalo was he eating but not gaining weight on? How much are you feeding him? Why are you feeding him that amount? How much exercise is he getting. Maybe if you gave him an extra half a cup a day that would help him gain weight. Perhaps there is a similar formula from another mfg. what would help him gain weight if needed.

    Please please do not believe ever claim that is written on the dog food bag. That’s why this website is here to provide a detailed analysis of the food and a rating system so you can make your own informed decision.

  • Aneta

    I have a 9 month old GSD and we JUST switched to Eukanuba today. So far he seems to like it. when he was a puppy we fed him Royal Canin because the breeder had him on science diet and we didnt want to feed him that so the vet recommanded royal canin. After about 3 months he kept having runny p o * p so we switched to Blue Buffalo we kept him on that for about 4 months now and he isnt gaining any weight. So today we switched to Eukanuba German Shepherd.It says it helps with bone and teeth and coat I hope thats not a lie. He really seems to like it. I just hope he gains weight.

    Male GSD
    DOB: 1-18-11
    Weight: 92.7 lbs
    Height: 30in
    Length: 37 in.
    Both parents 120-135lbs. LEAN!
    PURE GSD breed. Just American <3

  • Keith… You said “please get your facts straight before misleading consumers”. What facts are you referring to?

    This report is accurate. And the facts speak for themselves.

    First, as the label clearly states, this Eukanuba product is made with a number of by-products. The fact that they’ve been “highly refined” doesn’t change the fact they’re still by-products.

    What’s more, contrary to your claim, fructooligosaccharide is certainly NOT a probiotic. It is (as I correctly report in this review) a prebiotic.

    And lastly, this review is based upon the product’s government regulated label only. And nothing else. My rating has nothing whatsoever to do with AKC endorsements or marketing claims made by the company.

  • Bob K

    Keith – This is rated a 3 star food, not bad but for the money and if you read the report above it is even recommended.

    There are many other foods that do not contain By-Products that cost less and provide your dog better nutrition. What do you expect Eukanuba to say? We use By-Products because they are cheap and after all its just dog food, who really cares as long as it adds protein to the kibble? If Euk was so concerned about the protein quality they would use Chicken Meal or Chicken. Don’t blame the author for the report, blame Euk for using 3 star ingredients.

    There are several big name dog food companies that have been around for years, most are adding formulas to complete with other high end dog foods that are 4 and 5 stars that provide better nutrition to your dog.

    With reviews and websites such as this, the consumers can finally read through the marketing hype and pretty bags many of the large companies have been selling for years as premium foods but really aren’t.

    fructooligosaccharide is considered a prebiotic as listed in the report above.

    Consumers pay a premium for this big brand name dog food for a 3 star food. Rather than degrade the author and bash him, I’d be asking Euk the tough questions and vote with my wallet for a 4 or 5 star food that may leave more money in my pocket and better food in my dogs bowl.

  • Keith

    This was yet another mis-leading post by an author who obviously doesnt know what he’s talking about!!

    1st off, have you ever read a bag of Eukanuba?? And I quote: “NOT ALL BY-PRODUCTS ARE CREATED EQUAL. BY-PRODUCTS ARE AN EXCELLENT SOURCE OF PROTEIN!! THE BY-PRODUCTS USED IN EUKANUBA ARE HIGHLY REFINED TO REMOVE IMPURITIES!!

    Please get your facts straight before mis-leading consumers!!

    2nd, the surgery noted that the Eukanuba ingredients label doesn’t mention any sourse of probiotics….but then mentions fructooligosaccharide???? Umm, hello….that’s a probiotic!!

    Readers, Eukanuba is one of the highest quality pet food brands you can trust. They have over 40 formulas to right-fit any dog or cat. They even have a Eukanuba PURE formula for those “100% by-product/corn free” individuals!!

    There’s a reason why the AKC & breaders from all around the world trust Eukanuba….think about it!!

  • Hi
    I had a friend that was buying my FRR food for his German Sheperd and it died of an apparent heart attack. He bought another puppy and the breeder had changed to E for Sheperds so he bought it for a while but after a while came back to FRR. Said his puppy didn’t really care for it. In the mean time I had him to pick me up a bag for my Sheperd and she did not like it at all. I mixed it in with FRR and made her eat it. I thought I would give it a try but she said she didn’t like it so that was the end of the E.
    Sharon

  • Great post! And thanks for being so thorough. And that is an understatement – you did a fantastic job breaking down your review into bite sized chunks to make it even easier to understand.

    And all the individual parts are well done too. Thanks for such a well done review. I will check out others on your site.