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Discover how the best dog food for your German Shepherd will not only help them to avoid certain hereditary health problems, but will keep them healthier, happier and more long lived!  Find out how.

The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds

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The German Shepherd dog is a powerful working breed, having naturally high energy levels as well as a hearty appetite. To prevent obesity and also to help avoid some of the hereditary health issues that occur in the breed, provide your German Shepherd with lots of exercise and feed them the best dog food that you can afford.

Look for ingredients which help maintain a healthy looking coat and are easy to digest. This will definitely help to prevent gastrointestinal upset and ensure that your dog correctly metabolizes all the nutrition in the food.

The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds: Essential Ingredients

All commercial dog foods labeled as meeting Association of American Feed Control Officials standards will meet the fundamental nutritional requirements of your German Shepherd,  comprsing of  at least 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat for adult dogs, and 22 percent protein / 8 percent fat for puppies , pregnant dogs or those that are still producing milk.

The main ingredient in any dogs's food should  primarily be meat protein such as beef, fish or poultry and ingredients are listed in decreasing order by weight, in accordance with U.S. Government regulations.  

The first  3 or 4 listed ingredients should be some sort of animal protien, avoid cheaper products that list corn meal as their main protein as this is hard to digest and may not be particularly helathyin the long run.

Easily digestible carbohydrates such as barley, rice or rolled oats is usually the next listed ingredients which contain fiber which is important to aid digestion.

Healthy fats from fish or vegetable oil should follow next, fat not only makes for a great taste but is important for calorific value, and the oil helps to transport and absorb vital nutrients into the body

It would also be great to ensure your German Shepherd's food uses only natural preservatives like vitamin C and E rather than artificial preservatives, which are controversial and might be linked to health issues.

Whilst most other breeds should be fed on a higher protien/fat puppy diet until they are 1 year of age, with German Shepherds and larger breeds generally, it is often advisable to switch over to an adult diet at around 6 months. This early switch to an adult diet is done to prevent too-rapid a growth, which may result in the development of joint and bone issues as the dog matures. You will find however that puppy foods labeled especially for large breeds are formulated to mitigate these issues.

Daily Calorific  Requirements

German shepherd dogs are a large breed, typically weighing in between 60 and 90 pounds( 27-40Kg). The National Research Council of the National Academies reccommends an energy intake of between 1,272-1,540 calories daily for inactive or senior German Dhepherd dogs, whilst active dogs will need anywhere between 1,740 and 2,100 calories per day, which is as much as a full grown person! German Shepherds that are infirm or ill perhaps by arthritis or hereditary conditions including hip dysplasia will benefit from a reduced-calorie diet that will to keep the dog's weight down thus reducing the pressure on painful joints.

German Shepherd  Related Dietry Health Problems


Given the appropriate amount of exercise for your dog, there is no reason why your German Shepherd shouldn't remain trim and fit. Dogs that are overfed, or who do not get the exercise they require, can become overweight.  If you are unable to feel your dog's ribs, then they are overweight and you should consult with your vet about the most effective diet to control this increase.

German Shepherds are  particularly prone to conditions like arthritis, elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia, and these conditions are made much worse when the dog is allowed to become too heavy, because excessive weight puts pressure on the dog's joints,


German Shepherds are a big, deep chested dog breed and can be prone to a condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus, usually referred to as bloat. Bloat is a medical emergency that can easily cause death if not treated quickly by a veterinarian. The causes of bloat are not widely understood but factors known to cause an attack include the rapid eating of food within an hour of strenuous exercise .

When bloat occurs, the dog's stomach fills with gas that expands just like a balloon, the gas-filled stomach will then rotate or twist in such a way as to cut the blood supply to the dog's gut as well as other vital organs, in addition to this, the normal escape routes for gas are blocked leading to painful and debilitating trapped wind.

Signals to look out for include unsuccessful efforts to vomit after eating, excess salivation, a distended belly and lethargy. You will need to take your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect your dog is suffering from bloat.

 To prevent bloat occuring in the first place follow these simple guidelines:

Split your German Shepherd dog’s daily food portions into at least two meals a day.

Don'tfeed the dog from dishes that are elevated or raised- we would reccomend bowls that have an elevated centre which prevents your dog gulping food rapidly.

Limit the total amount of water your dog can drink immediately after eating.

Avoid exercising your dog for at least an hour before or after feeding.

Weight Loss

Some German shepherd dogs maybe at an increased risk of developing a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficeny, EPI for short, or small intestine disease; Both of these conditions lead to an umbalenced and incomplete absorption of nutrients into your dog's digestive system. Common symptoms would show your dog to be eating normally yet losing weight.

Treatment for these conditions would be the implementation of a  special diet which is low in fat and fiber but also includes a high-quality of unusual proteins,for example venison or lamb and also  easily digested carbs like potato or rice. Such diets should be moinitored and overseen by your veterinarian, who'll track the results and determine whether or not they have been successful

for your own German shepherd dog.

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