Best Dog Food for German Shepherd Reviews – A 2019 Buyer’s Guide

best dog food for german shepherd

Here you are, the proud owner of a German Shepherd. Maybe you have a new puppy, and you’re wondering what brand of dog food will help your pet grow up to be healthy and strong. Or maybe your situation is the opposite – you have an adult or older dog, and you’ve yet to find a food that they like or one that works with their dietary issues.

Whatever your situation is, we’re sure you want what’s best for your dog, right?

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best dog food brands currently on the market in 2019. You can look through it, read our reviews, compare the pros and cons of each one, and hopefully you’ll come to a decision! Let’s get started.

dog food for german shepherd

​Royal Canin Adult Dry Food (Size Maxi)

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Maxi Adult Dry Dog Food

If you need food for an adult dog with a more sensitive stomach, this is a smart buy for 201​9. It’s great for maintaining your German Shepherd’s ideal weight, as well as their bone, joint, and muscle health. Another plus – it contains Omega 3s and is highly digestible.

The size of the kibble is big enough so that your dog has to take its time chewing the pieces, so they won’t eat too fast and upset their stomach. It’s also great for their coats; their fur ends up looking healthy and shiny, and feeling silky.

If you have a puppy or young dog, unfortunately this dog food isn’t the right food for them. It’s only for dogs ages 15 months and up, and meets their nutritional needs, but it wouldn’t meet the needs of a puppy. The good news is this brand does come with a puppy-friendly version. Another con—Its kibble is quite large, so this might not be for you if you’re worried about your older dog having trouble chewing it and choking on his or her food.

PROS

  • Good for German Shepherds with digestive issues
  • Makes coat soft and silky
  • Big enough kibble so your dog won’t eat too fast

CONS

  • Shouldn’t be fed to puppies or dogs under 15 mos. old
  • Older dogs might have trouble chewing it

This product is available on Amazon, with free shipping. It has a current total rating of 4.​4 out of 5 stars.

Orijen Adult Dog Food – Allergen- Free, High protein Option

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Original, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free

Because German Shepherds were bred to be highly active dogs, and most of their weight comes from their muscle and bone, you may want to choose this brand if your dog gets lots of physical exercise.

Do you like to exercise regularly with your canine friend at your side?

Orijen’s adult dog food is a great choice for the active owner and dog who go on hikes, runs and swims together. It’s 80% meat, 20% fruits and vegetables, and has no grains added. If your dog is allergic to the grains added to other dog foods, this could be the food you’ll want. It’s also made from all-natural ingredients, which makes it more appealing for dogs to eat and easier to metabolize.

Because it’s so high in protein and fat content, though, it may not be a good choice for less active dogs. For example, if you have an older German Shepherd whose level of activity has decreased with age, this food might cause them to gain weight. Also, because it’s so rich, it can cause some dogs to have digestive problems. If you’re worried about your dog gaining too much weight while on this food, you could maybe give it a smaller amount, and add another brand of food that your dog likes in with it. All in all, it’s an excellent choice for the pet owner that wants to feed their dog the closest thing to a raw diet.

PROS

  • High-protein content for active dogs
  • Grain-, artificial dye-, and preservative-free
  • Formula close to what a dog would eat naturally

CONS

  • High-protein formula might not be the best for older, less active dogs
  • May cause some dogs to gain too much weight
  • Rich and may cause digestive problems

It’s currently available on Amazon. The 28.6 lb bag comes with free shipping and has a total rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Taste Of The Wild Dry Food –Wetlands Formula (Natural Ingredients)

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Sierra Mountain Premium Dry Dog Food

Want an affordably-priced food for your German Shepherd that has zero grains added, and also is made with natural ingredients?

Taste of the Wild’s Wetlands formula definitely delivers. It comes in a variety of flavors, and it’s made with real meat from the animals each flavor is inspired by (i.e. real salmon, real bison, real boar, real lamb, real fowl/duck meat). If your dog has problems with itching and bloating from other dog foods, they may have allergies to the ingredients, so this grain-free food could be a good fit for them.

Grains, like we said above, are a big cause of allergic reactions in German Shepherds. Taste of the Wild’s food is another excellent choice for the active owner and dog pair, being very high in protein. If you take your dog on frequent running or hiking adventures, and want a food that doesn’t cause you to go over-budget, this might be a smart buy.

Again, you might want to rethink buying this food if your dog doesn’t get much exercise, because it is high in calories and protein. We’d recommend this food for a high-energy, younger German Shepherd, rather than an older one who moves around less. An older dog may gain weight, or if they have a sensitive stomach, this food could also make them feel sick. If it does end up causing stomach issues or exacerbates their allergies instead of getting rid of them, stick to a brand that’s worked well for them before.

PROS

  • Made from real animal meat
  • Comes in a variety of flavors
  • Affordable, with natural ingredients
  • Antioxidants for immune system boost

CONS

  • Too rich a formula for dogs with stomach/digestive problems
  • May not be right for older dogs

You can buy this dog food on Amazon, where it has a total rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food – Best food for teeth, stomach or intestinal tract of older dog

 Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Labrador Retriever Dog Food 30 Pounds

There are plenty of benefits that you’ll notice when you make the switch to Eukanuba’s Brand Specific Food for your German Shepherd. Owners with dogs that have sensitive stomachs or digestion problems may find this brand especially helpful.

It has a specialized fiber system that can help with digestion, as well as nutrient absorption. Has your dog’s coat been looking dull lately? There are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids included in the formula, perfect for brightening up a dull and dry-looking coat. It’s good for reducing tartar buildup on teeth too, and has plenty of animal-based proteins in its ingredients.

We recommend that this food be given to an older dog, especially since it helps with digestive issues and keeping their teeth clean.

This dog food might not be right for you if your dog has allergies to corn meal, because it does contain it. However, they do claim that since the corn is ground up, rather than whole kernels, it’s easily digested by dogs. This doesn’t correct the problem of an allergy, though, so we’d suggest avoiding this brand in that case. It also contains rice, so if you’d rather feed your dog food made mostly from meat and vegetables, this won’t be the best choice for you.

PROS

  • Digestible formula with animal proteins great for older dogs
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids help with dry coats
  • Helps reduce tartar buildup on teeth

CONS

  • Not suitable for dogs who are allergic to corn meal
  • Contains rice – some dog owners may prefer fewer carbs than this food has
  • Contains animal by-products

If you’re interested, this dog food is available on Amazon, and it qualifies for free shipping. It has a rating of 4.​5 out of 5 stars.

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free– Great For Adults And Puppies

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey & Chicken, 26-Pound Bag

There’s a lot to recommend Wellness’ dry dog food. It’s especially good for puppies, if you buy the bag meant for them. Both adult and puppy versions don’t have any grains, soy, or meat by-products added (avoids causing allergies), and don’t contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

This is a good choice for you if you want your puppy to have a food that provides enough protein-focused nutrition, while being all-natural. It comes in a variety of flavors:

  • Ocean whitefish, herring and salmon
  • Original turkey and chicken
  • Wild game duck, turkey, boar and rabbit
  • Turkey

There are also reduced fat and large-breed specific options, which we’ve found are both excellent choices for German Shepherd owners.

Wellness Core might not be a good choice for a German Shepherd with a history of gastric problems, as it can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea in some dogs. It’s also triangle-shaped, which might be difficult for some dogs to chew. The regular formula has a fairly high fat content, so stick with the reduced-fat version if you’re concerned about your dog gaining weight. Remember to keep your dog active if you do feed them the regular version!

PROS

  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives (all natural!)
  • No grains, soy, or wheat by-products
  • Comes in a variety of flavors, and has reduced-fat and puppy options
  • Large-breed specific option is great for German Shepherds

CONS

  • Can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea in some dogs
  • Triangle shape might be hard to chew
  • Regular formula has high fat content

On Amazon, this product qualifies for free shipping and has a rating of 4.​3 out of 5 stars.

Brothers Complete Turkey Meal and Egg Advanced Allergy Formula – Good for stomach, intestinal tract

 Brothers Complete Turkey Meal And Egg Advanced Allergy Formula, 25-Pound

If you’ve tried everything for your German Shepherd’s allergies and nothing seems to be working, this specialized formula could be your answer.

It’s a very high quality dog food with a grain- and potato-free formula, and it’s made with 90% animal proteins in the ingredients. For the dog with stomach or intestinal tract problems, it contains digestive enzymes and probiotics, so it can easily be absorbed. And as a bonus, it’s for dogs of all ages.

We’d recommend Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy formula for older dogs with allergies that are having trouble keeping weight on. But if you have a younger dog it should work just fine for them too.

It’s not recommended for all dogs, however. Some can end up having loose stools and gas, even if it does help with their allergy problems. If you’re worried about your dog losing weight, and they start having these symptoms when they eat this food, you should try mixing it with their old food to see if it helps with the transition. If they’re still getting sick, this dog food probably isn’t right for your German Shepherd.

PROS

  • Special allergy formula
  • No GMOs, grains, or potatoes
  • 90% protein
  • Has digestive enzymes and probiotics

CONS

  • May cause diarrhea and gas in some dogs

You can buy it online on Amazon, and it comes with a free shipping option. Current rating is 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Wilderness Blue Buffalo – Best food for joint, budget friendly

 Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-lb

Say your German Shepherd has joint problems, or you’re worried about them developing these problems later on. What sort of food should you feed them?

For many German Shepherd owners, Blue Buffalo is a budget-friendly buy that will keep your dog’s joints working smoothly. We like this food because it comes in a large-breed option, and contains no GMOs, wheat, corn, animal by-products, or artificial preservatives. It’s made with real red meat, and the Wilderness formula is very high in protein, which is ideal for active dogs.

Like we said before, it contains supplements (chondroitin and glucosamine) that help keep joints healthy. If you take your dog on frequent, long outings full of exercise, protecting their joints should be a priority. Choosing this food might prevent hip joint pain later down the line.

We’ve found that dogs with sensitive GI tracts might not do as well on this food. A younger adult dog could benefit more from eating this than an older dog for this reason. Also, like some other products, it can cause weight gain in some dogs if not supplemented with reasonable portion size and regular exercise. All in all, we think it’s a better fit for young, healthy dogs than for older ones.

PROS

  • No animal by-products
  • No corn, wheat, or GMOs
  • Supplements for joint health
  • Affordable price

CONS

  • May not be suitable for older dogs
  • May cause gastric issues in some dogs

Like the other products, it can be found online on Amazon, for a discounted price. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Nutro Ultra Adult -Best food for cartilage and joints, budget friendly

Nutro Ultra Adult Weight Management Dry Dog Food With A Trio Of Proteins From Chicken, Lamb And Salmon

Want a dog food that uses humanely raised farm animals for meat?

Nutro’schicken-flavored dry food does this, and it also comes in plenty of other flavors. The amino acids found in this protein-packed formula help German Shepherds build muscle, and like Blue Buffalo, the food also contains supplements that protect their cartilage and joints.

Carb-wise, a little brown rice and oatmeal is added in to promote nutrient absorption and ensure your dog is getting enough fiber. And last, we have linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that keeps your dog’s coat bright, soft, and shiny. At an affordable price, it’s a pretty solid option for your adult German Shepherd.

Of course, that doesn’t make it perfect. Because it contains rice and oatmeal, it might not be suitable for dogs who don’t tolerate too many carbohydrates in their diet well. You might want to get your German Shepherd tested for allergies to wheat and grains, as this really can affect which foods you buy and how good your dog feels. If you notice any odd symptoms that start when your dog eats a certain food, take them to the vet and get them checked out. The kibble is also fairly large — like we said before, if you have an older dog who has trouble chewing, trying a different brand could be better for them.

PROS

  • Farm-raised ingredients
  • Protein- and fatty acid- packed
  • Brown rice and oatmeal provide fiber

CONS

  • Dogs with allergies to grains/wheat shouldn’t eat this food
  • Large kibble may not be good choice for older dogs

Its Amazon rating is 4.7 out of 5 stars, and it’s currently available at a discount.

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed – Best for dogs under the age of 7

 Hill'S Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food Bag

This dog food is best for dogs under the age of 7, and then it’s recommended that you switch to Hill’s Large Breed Food for ages 7+.

Both formulas have a lot to recommend them, like amino acids, vitamins, high protein, no artificial preservatives, and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. It comes available in dry food, wet food and treat options, as well as a puppy food option. It’s also fairly affordably priced for an all-natural dog food.

You can have it delivered on Amazon with free 2-day shipping if you have an Amazon Prime membership.

Even though it does come in puppy, adult, and older dog versions, it’s not suitable for dogs with grain allergies. The formula contains chicken as its first ingredient, which is always a good sign, but it has whole grain wheat, corn meal, barley, and sorghum added. These ingredients might be undesirable for those who want to feed their German Shepherd an almost all-meat, grain-free diet. It’s also a little on the greasier side, which might cause diarrhea and/or stomach problems in some dogs.

PROS

  • Puppy, adult, and older dog options
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Vitamins, protein, and supplements help build muscle and protect joints
  • Comes in dry, wet, and treat options

CONS

  • Not grain-free
  • Greasier formula may make dogs with sensitive GI tracts sick

You can order this food on Amazon, with Prime’s free 2-day shipping available if you’re a member. Its current total rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Castor & Pollux Organix – Best natural food

Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food 18Lbs

For those who like feeding their dog the most natural, certified organic dry food diet possible, this formula could be what you’re looking for. No pesticides, antibiotics, or growth hormones are ever used on its ingredients – ever, the bag promises.

Sounds pretty good, right?

The chickens raised to be used as meat for this dog food are free-range, too. If you like your German Shepherd’s food to be raised humanely, Castor and Pollux’s Organixdry food delivers. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are added for fiber, to maintain a healthy digestive tract. It’s also handcrafted, each batch in a small, manageable size.

Like some of the other brands, this food has grains in it, even though they aren’t its first ingredient (chicken is). Unfortunately for dogs that don’t tolerate grains well, this food won’t do their bodies any favors. The kibble size is also relatively small and round, so it might be easier for large dogs to eat quickly. Watch out for small kibble foods if your dog has a history of wolfing down his or her food – this can cause stomach bloating because they end up swallowing so much air. You might want a larger kibble food that your dog has to take their time chewing.

PROS

  • Free-range chicken is first ingredient
  • Handcrafted batches
  • No pesticides, fertilizers, growth hormones, or antibiotics used on ingredients

CONS

  • Contains grains
  • Small kibble size may not be ideal for dogs who eat fast.

On Amazon, this product has a total of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Conclusion

So, you’ve read through all the reviews, compared pros and cons, and maybe you’ve even come to a decision. That’s great! Hopefully your dog thinks the choice you make for them is great too. But what are our personal recommendations from this top ten list?

Personally, we think that dogs should eat a more meat-based diet, and so the foods with high concentrations of meat are our favorite picks. Brothers’ special Allergy Formula is, in our opinion, the dog food that will give you the most value for your money. It prevents allergic reactions, has digestive enzymes added to its formula, and is 90% meat.

If you want a more budget-friendly option, we’d suggest going with Taste of the Wild’s Wetlands Formula. It has all the benefits of a primarily meat-based diet, natural ingredients, and no preservatives, and we’ve found it to be pretty affordable.

Take a little more time reading through everything if you can’t decide, and remember, your dog is part of your family. Their health should be taken seriously, and the kind of food they eat does make a big difference in keeping them healthy and happy.