German Shepherds are large, strong dogs. They are active and need a lot of calories and good food to keep them going. But what is the best dog food for German Shepherd dogs? Should you feed them kibble, or wet food?
Best dog food for German Shepherd dogs
Sometimes dog owners mean it too well with their four-legged friends and unknowingly feed them food they actually should never eat.
At the top of the list of delicious human foods to never feed your dog are:
- Sweets and salty snacks for people
- Your leftovers, even meat can be dangerous
We have many articles on human foods, what you can and should never feed your dog, for example:
- What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
- What fruits can dogs eat and which are toxic?
- Which Food Is Good Or Bad For Dogs?
Now, your German Shepherd will be very happy about whatever you give them from the table, and he probably won’t even get sick if he finds some human food on the floor and eats it. But, you should be aware that the spices we use on our food, even salt, are bad for your German shepherd’s sensitive organs. Spicy food could even damage his Olfactory system.
So, if you mean well with your German Shepherd don’t let him et your leftover, and don’t let him have any of your snacks. Instead, buy him high-quality pet food. But what does that mean? What is the best dog food for German Shepherd pooches?
Feeding your GSD puppy
Let us start off by saying that there is a good reason why many companies are selling puppy food. It’s not a marketing trick.
The digestive tract in the German Shepherd, and any other breed for that matter, works differently, depending on which phase of life it is in.
So, German Shepherd puppies, like all puppies, need puppy food because it is made for the development and growth of the puppy.
You should also know that your puppy’s body adjusts to the nutrients that are supplied from the food. So, it’s not a good idea to change the food all the time. Do research on which dog food is the best and stick to it until your puppy is ready for adult dog food.
A good time to make this change is when the puppy is around 6 months old.
What to consider when buying food
When buying dog food, try not to be misled by the price or by elaborate ads you see on TV. The best brands for feeding German Shepherds are not those with the most attractive commercials, but those that are made out of high quality ingredients.
A rule of thumb is if you see a high proportion of meat in dog food it’s a good sign of healthy food. If you read things like “20% animal by-products“, you can be sure that you are dealing with a low-quality product. You can read our article on dog food labels to learn how to correctly read a dog food label.
To make it easier for you we made a checklist what to look out for when buying dog food for your German Shepherd.
- grain free (Gluten-free)
- no artificial coloring
- no artificial flavorings
- without sugar
- the packaging says how much of which ingredient was used
Wet or dry – Which is the best dog food for German Shepherd dogs
One debate many dog owners keep on having is Dry food or wet food? In this case, we’ll answer which is better for German Shepherds.
There are many opinions about the right diet for a German Shepherd. Some prefer dry food, others exclusively feed their dog wet food. But, the truth is both dry food and wet food have advantages and disadvantages.
Now, when it comes to German Shepherd puppies the answer is simple. Keep feeding them the same food you started with. So, if you started with wet food, stick to it, and stick to the same brand. We’ve already mentioned this, but when your puppy is six months old, you can switch to a different food, that’s also when you should start feeding them food for adult dogs anyway.
Another common way to find out what to feed your German Shepherd is to simply let the dog decide. Buy both dry and wet food, from the same brand, and take turns feeding your dog. He’ll soon let you know which of the two he likes better.
Of course, you can also combine both types of food. Your four-legged friend will not be angry with you about a little variety in the food bowl.
But, with all of that being said, it’s also a good idea to talk to your vet about which food to feed your German Shepherd. If you can’t decide on a brand, your vet will probably give you a good recommendation.
Now, let’s see all the advantages and disadvantages of dry and wet food.
The two most important aspects of food are that the dog likes it and that it provides him with all the necessary nutrients. Wet and dry food can do that. But, let’s see the advantages of dry food.
Advantages of dry food:
- Has more calories than wet food. More calories mean more energy for your dog.
- Smaller portions are enough to satiate the dog
- Cheaper than wet food
- Hard foods support teeth cleaning
- Suitable as a reward during training
- Doesn’t smell bad
- It’s easier to clean your dog’s bowl after feeding
- Portioning it is easier
- It’s easier to feed your dog with it while on the go
- Less packaging material, so better for the environment
But, as it is with everything else, there are also disadvantages to dry food:
- Usually contains flavor enhancers
- Often contains preservatives
- Can contain grains and fillers
- Partly inaccurate labeling of ingredients
- Your dog will be very thirsty after eating it
- It’s hard, so it’s not suitable for all dogs
- Chunks of food can swell up in the stomach.
- You have to be careful how much you feed your dog
The same applies to wet food as it does to dry food. There are so many manufacturers and variants. But, we can’t tell you what the best is for your dog.
Again, the two most important quality criteria for wet food are that the dog likes it and that it contains all the nutrients the German Shepherd needs.
Of course, there are advantages to wet food:
- The dog won’t be as thirsty as after consuming the dry food
- Many dogs prefer wet food because it tastes better than dry food
- It is soft and is suitable for older German Shepherds or for dogs with dental problems
- It has fewer calories than dry food, so it can be fed in larger quantities without making your dog gain weight
But, wet food isn’t perfect either, it also has some disadvantages worth mentioning:
- Can lead to increased bowel movements
- Beware of flavor enhancers, preservatives, and badly labeled ingredients!
- The packaging and the shorter shelf life create more waste
Conclusion – Best dog food for German Shepherd dogs
In conclusion, we can’t really tell you which dog food to get, and what the best dog food for german shepherd dogs is. There is no universal answer. To find out what the best dog brand food for your German shepherd is you can:
- talk to your vet
- read recomendatins online
- follow our checklist for good dog food
- see what your dog prefers
Of course, once you find a brand that fits all your criteria you don’t have to only stick to wet or dry food. You can feed both to your dog, just make sure you portion it right. Even though German Shepherds are usually on the skinnier side and very muscular, if you feed them too much they will gain weight.
Lastly, you can check out our other articles on wet food, dry foor and even raw diet for dogs: