best food for german shepherd puppy

10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

Has anyone mentioned the loyalty of dogs? If so, the German Shepherd breed perfectly exemplifies this trait.

Dog experts at Reader’s Digest reveal German Shepherd dogs with their unwavering confidence, courage, and calm demeanor are no less than a delightful gift for dog lovers.

These well-alert dogs are known to be the apple of every dog owner’s eye and there is an open secret behind their super likable traits – a complete and well-balanced diet.

The care for German Shepherds starts in the early years with a mindful diet. 

However, if you don’t feed German Shepherds the right food from an early age, they could get hit with health problems.

So keep their bowls filled with the good stuff and you’ll likely avoid a trip to the vet.

But how would you know which dog food is right if a German Shepherd puppy recently became a part of your loving family?

Our top pick is IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

IAMS Smart Puppy Large 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

Here are some of the key takeaways from our article:

  • Review of 10 best German Shepherd’s food that is suitable to give in the early years.
  • Prioritizing named meat sources as the primary ingredient in dog food ensures optimal healthy and active adult years.
  • Consulting a veterinarian can provide personalized recommendations based on your puppy’s specific dietary needs.

Well, our guide on the 10 best food for a German Shepherd puppy is just what you need.

Table of Contents

10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy

Here are the German Shepherd dog foods that made it to our top 10 list:

Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy. See Amazon.com for the best selection and value. #commissionsearned

Time to get into the details of our list of best dog foods for a German Shepherd puppy.

1. IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food – Top Pick 

Most Complete And Balanced German Shepherd Puppy Dog Food 

IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food is made with 22 key nutrients that are found in the mother’s milk.

These nutrients are essential for a German Shepherd puppy’s early growth period. 

IAMS Smart Puppy Large 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

Its emphasis on muscle and bone health, combined with the absence of artificial additives, makes it a reliable choice for responsible puppy nutrition.

This is a grain-inclusive formula. So for dogs with specific dietary restrictions, consulting with a veterinarian for potential supplementation may be necessary.

IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food uses real, farm-raised chicken as the primary ingredient. Rest assured, there are no preservatives, flavors, or fillers used in this dog food.

That means your German Shepherd puppy gets to have the complete and balanced nutrition that is essential for its healthy growth.

The best part is that IAMS has a line of dog food for every life stage of your dog to meet its age-specific nutrient requirements. 

Specific Features

  • Ingredients: Chicken, ground corn, dried beet pulp, chicken by-product meal, and fish oil
  • Nutrients: Glucosamine, protein, chondroitin, omega 3 and 6, vitamins, antioxidants and more 
  • Item form: Pallet
  • Grain inclusive formula 

Pros

  • Easy to store dry kibble
  • Recommended by vets
  • Free from artificial preservatives and fillers

Cons

  • Whole-grain corn may not be suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities

Check IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food for more info. #commissionsearned

2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Food – Holistic Diet

Best German Shepherd Puppy Dog Food For Overall Vitality

What else would you want for your growing puppy than a food that uses top-quality protein, is rich in the right nutrients, and has a great taste too? From brain and eye development to dental health, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Dog Food takes care of it all.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

The inclusion of DHA and ARA in the formula provides the same health benefits as in mother’s milk. And let’s not forget those antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits.

The fact that this dog food has been carefully formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists.

With all the key ingredients is a plus one since it’s all about supporting the immune system and maintaining a healthy balance as these little guys grow.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for German shepherd puppies contains the right amount of carbs from whole grain brown rice and sweet potatoes making it a deliciously tasting meal–even for the best of picky eaters out there.

Specific Features

  • Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley
  • Nutrients: L-carnitine, protein, amino acids, DHA and ARA, calcium, and phosphorus.
  • Item form: Dry kibble
  • Grain-inclusive formula

Pros

  • Great tasting even for picky eaters
  • Contains special bits to boost the immune system
  • Cold-pressed technology keeps the freshness intact

Cons

  • May cost more than other dog foods

See more here Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Dog Food.  #commissionsearned

3. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Shepherd Dog Diet – Vet Formulated

Best German Shepherd Puppy Dog Food For Muscle Health

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Shepherd Dog Diet seems to be designed with a clear understanding of the specific needs of German Shepherd puppies.

Best Breed Dr. Garys German 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

It’s not just about filling bellies, but about providing tailored nutrition for the health and well-being of your German Shepherd puppy. 

The fact that this dog food prioritizes natural ingredients and cooks their formulas to perfection is a big plus.

Knowing it’s made in Ohio and follows EU-approved standards for ingredients is a reassurance of great quality for dog owners. 

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Shepherd Dog Diet uses New Zealand’s green-lipped sea mussel, which is a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin.

This is essential for maintaining proper joint and connective tissue health, something that’s especially vital for active German Shepherds.

This is one of those dog food companies that don’t use any corn, wheat, or by-product meals. That’s a definite win in our book of dog foods.

We would say kudos to Dr. Gary and the team for putting such care into this formula.

Specific Features

  • Ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, dried beet pulp, and chicken fat
  • Nutrients: Chelated minerals, protein, vitamins, taurine, zinc oxide, and amino acids
  • Item form: Dry kibble
  • Grain inclusive formula

Pros

  • Green-lipped Muscle delicious flavoring
  • Time-tested formula developed by a vet
  • Breed-specific formula

Cons

  • Contains yeast which may trigger allergies in some

Check out Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Shepherd Dog Diet #commissionsearned

4. Pedigree Puppy Growth & Protection Dry Dog Food – Best Value

Best German Shepherd Puppy Dog Food For Brain Nutrition

Pedigree Puppy Growth & Protection Dry Dog Food is a reliable name that has been around for years taking care of dogs’ nutritional needs.

Pedigree Puppy Growth 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

Because Pedigree knows how important it is to give a boosting start as a puppy. This is why it’s formulated with DHA for your fur baby’s brain development. 

Let’s just say this dog food gives your little furball a head start in the smarts department.

And the nutrients being similar to mother’s milk for puppies between 6 weeks to 18 months old? That’s some top-notch care for your growing buddy.

Specific Features

  • Ingredients: Corn, chicken by-product meal, wheat, soybean meal, meat, and bone meal
  • Nutrients: Protein, DHA, zinc sulfate, vitamins, 
  • Item form: Dry kibble

Pros

  • Delicious grilled steak flavor
  • Packed with nutrients found in mother’s milk

Cons

  • Some dogs with dietary sensitivities may experience gas issues

See more information Pedigree Puppy Growth & Protection Dry Dog Food #commissionsearned

5. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Food – Best Digestive Health

Best German Shepherd Puppy Food For Dogs With Sensitive Dietary Problems

Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Food seems to have put a lot of thought into their puppy formulas.

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

Starting with real meat, poultry, or salmon as the main ingredient shows they’re serious about providing quality nutrition right from the start.

The oatmeal included in the formula makes the food easily digestible yet it’s also gentle on sensitive stomachs.

That’s a big win for dogs with more delicate digestive systems. It’s like a little extra TLC for their tummies.

Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Food offers both dry and wet formulas. So there’s something to suit every puppy’s taste and texture preference.

Specific Features

  • Ingredients: Salmon, rice, barley, fishmeal, peas, and oatmeal
  • Nutrients: Live probiotics, natural prebiotic fiber, Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin A, and DHA
  • Item form: Dry kibble

Pros

  • Guaranteed live probiotics
  • Baked and crunchy kibble

Cons

  • Contains yeast that may trigger allergies in some

Grab your today here Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Food #commissionsearned

6. Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food – Exclusive Kibble

Best German Shepherd Puppy Dog Food With Specific Kibble Size And Shape

Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food is specifically formulated for purebred German Shepherds between 8 weeks to 15 months old.

This includes the nutritional value and the specialized shape of the kibble. 

Royal Canin German Shepherd 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

It’s designed to accommodate a German Shepherd’s long, strong muzzle, which encourages proper chewing.

The highly digestible proteins and specific fibers in the formula promote optimal stool quality, which makes cleanup a breeze for dog parents.

Specific Features

  • Ingredients: Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, brown rice, oats, and pork meal
  • Nutrients: Protein, glucosamine, taurine, amino acids
  • Item form: Dry kibble
  • Grain inclusive formula

Pros

  • Easy chewing because of tailored kibble shape
  • Offers 100% satisfaction guarantee 

Cons

  • Contains corn and wheat gluten

Why wait? Give your fur baby deserve it Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food #commissionsearned

7. NutriSource Large Breed Puppy Food – Most Wholesome

Best German Shepherd Puppy Dog Food With Natural Ingredients

NutriSource Large Breed Puppy Food is a single protein-source German Shepherd puppy food that is highly palatable.

NutriSource Puppy Food 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

One thing that really sets NutriSource apart is its focus on gut health. The inclusion of prebiotics and probiotics in the formula is a big win.

A healthy gut means a happy and thriving pup. 

The balanced Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, along with additional supplements like L-carnitine, taurine, choline chloride, and DL-Methionine work towards promoting heart health for larger breeds like German Shepherds.

Specific Features

  • Ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, rice, barley, oatmeal, and beet pulp
  • Nutrients: Protein, amino acids, taurine, fiber, and L-carnitine 
  • Item form: Dry kibble

Pros

  • Palatable taste
  • Available in grain-free options

Cons

  • Expensive buy

Find out more here NutriSource Large Breed Puppy Food #commissionsearned

8. ORIJEN Puppy Large Dry Dog Food –  Biologically Appropriate

Best Wholeprey German Shepherd Puppy Dog Food 

ORIJEN Puppy Large Dry Dog Food is a protein-rich diet (packed with 85% poultry and fish) that is just what your German Shepherd puppy needs for its optimal growth.

ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

The first five ingredients are either raw or fresh meat that is freeze-dried to maintain freshness, taste, and nutrition.

Expect a better immune system, shinier fur/coat, and more muscles with regular use of this large puppy dog food.

And yes, it tastes great. So if you have a picky eater, just bring home a pack and there will be no looking back.

Specific Features

  • Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, wild-caught salmon, and whole herring 
  • Nutrients: Protein, vitamin B12, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids 
  • Item form: Dry kibble 

Pros

  • Contains fresh or raw meat 
  • Grain-free formula

Cons

  • Some may not like the smell

Get the latest updates ORIJEN Puppy Large Dry Dog Food #commissionsearned

9. Merrick Premium Large Breed Puppy Food – Superior Nutrition

Best German Shepherd Puppy Dog Food With Real Ingredients

Merrick Premium Large Breed Puppy Food is an excellent choice that meets all the nutritional needs of a growing German Shepherd puppy with real wholesome ingredients.

Merrick Premium Grain Free 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

This grain-free formula is made with real deboned beef as the first ingredient. This makes it best for building strong muscles and maintaining healthy energy levels.

The smaller-sized kibble is easy to chew and digest.

45% produce, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients, and 55% protein and healthy fat ingredients all make up a complete and balanced diet for your sprouting pup.

Specific Features

  • Ingredients: Deboned beef, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and peas
  • Nutrients: Protein, amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, glucosamine, and more
  • Item form: Dry kibble
  • Grain-free formula

Pros

  • Made with real whole foods
  • Palatable taste 

Cons

  • Recommended only for dogs with allergies

More info Merrick Premium Large Breed Puppy Food  here #commissionsearned

10. Wag Dog Large Breed Puppy Dry Food – Probiotic Enriched

Best German Shepherd Puppy Dog Food For Immune Health

Wag Dog Large Breed Puppy Dry Food uses real, high-quality meat as the foundation.

Amazon Brand Wag Dog Dry 1 10 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppy | Bulldogology

One of the things that stands out right away is that cage-free American chicken is listed as the number one ingredient.

What is even more reassuring is the inclusion of probiotics and fiber to support the immune system and improve healthy digestion.

Specific Features

  • Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, and grains
  • Nutrients: Protein, DHA, taurine, calcium, and essential vitamins
  • Item form: Dry kibble
  • Grain inclusive formula

Pros

  • Great tasting salmon flavor
  • Great for eyesight and building immune health

Cons

  • Grains may cause allergies to sprout in some dogs

More info Wag Dog Large Breed Puppy Dry Food  here #commissionsearned

What To Look For When Buying Dog Food for German Shepherds?

If you are a first-time pet owner of a German Shepherd puppy, worrying about getting the best dog food comes naturally.

To help you sort that, here is a German Shepherd Dog Food 101 that you need to keep with you all the time.

1. Age-Appropriate Formula

Dogs go through various life stages, including puppyhood, adulthood, and senior years, and each stage requires different levels of nutrients to support their growth, development, and overall health.

You can’t just go on and buy any dog food that you like.

Puppy food is specially formulated for the rapid growth and development that occurs during a puppy’s early months.

Adult dog food is designed for dogs in their prime years. It provides a balanced mix of nutrients to support maintenance, energy, and overall well-being.

Adult dogs have different dietary needs compared to puppies, as their growth has stabilized and their activity level may change.

2. High-Quality Protein Source

German Shepherds belong to an active and muscular breed that is known for its athletic nature.

This is why high-quality protein is the top ingredient to fulfill their developmental needs which include muscular development, immune system support, coat and skin health, etc

What you need to check is the named meat source on the ingredient list on your dog food brand like lamb meat or beef or a named meat meal like a chicken meal.

Secondly, avoid generic terms like “meat by-products” or “meat meal” without specifying the source.

The daily recommended crude protein for a puppy is around 55g and for an adult dog 25g, based on a report by the committee on nutrient requirements of dogs and cats by the National Academies Press. 

3. No Fillers And Preservatives

Fillers are inexpensive ingredients that aid in bulking the volume of dog food. Corn gluten meal and whole grain wheat are some of the commonly used fillers.

These are hard to digest and have a very low nutritional value. Preservatives are chemicals added to increase the shelf life of canned or boxed dog food that has been associated with health concerns in dogs.

Choosing a German Shepherd Dog food without fillers and preservatives means prioritizing a diet that is more natural, nutritious, and easier for your dog to digest. 

4. Balanced Nutrition

When choosing the best dog food for German shepherd puppies, it is essential to look for one that provides a balanced mix of essential nutrients, including vitamins, and minerals.

As they are large breeds, it’s crucial to set a solid foundation for the health of a German Shepherd from a young age, especially concerning their growing joints. 

Overloading calcium during their early development can result in improperly formed bones, potentially leading to lasting hip and joint problems.

To safeguard against this, it’s essential to provide your German Shepherd puppy with balanced nutritional large-breed puppy food.

This ensures they receive the appropriate level of calcium tailored to their specific needs. 

Additionally, seek out a formula that incorporates DHA, a vital fatty acid known for its positive impact on brain development, further contributing to your puppy’s overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most asked questions about German Shepherd food answered.

1. How many times a day should a German Shepherd puppy eat?

A German Shepherd puppy should ideally eat four times a day to ensure they receive balanced nutrition and maintain steady energy levels up until they reach three months of age.

This routine helps support healthy weight, growth and prevents overeating.

According to experts at PetMD, German shepherds who eat in smaller portions in more intervals are less prone to digestive issues.

However, it’s important to consult a veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations based on the individual needs and age of the puppy.

2. How much should a German Shepherd puppy weigh?

A German Shepherd puppy’s weight can vary based on age and genetics. On average, at 8 weeks, they should weigh around 18-26 pounds.

By 6 months, they may range from 44-66 pounds. However, these are general guidelines and individual puppies may differ. Remember, it is important to feed German Shepherd puppies responsibly.

Studies by experts at AVMA show that German Shepherd lifespan is reduced by obesity. Choose the best large-breed puppy dog food to give them all the essential growth nutrients without making them overweight. 

3. What can I feed my German Shepherd if I don’t have dog food?

If you don’t have dog food available, you can provide your German Shepherd with some safe and nutritious alternatives like home-cooked meals.

Lean meats like chicken, turkey, or beef, along with cooked vegetables like carrots, green beans, or sweet potatoes with low sodium and minimal seasoning is a good option.

Cooked rice or pasta can also be included for carbohydrates. However, this is a temporary solution and should not be carried as a German Shepherd’s diet for the long term.

4. What protein is best for German Shepherd? 

The best protein for a German Shepherd comes from high-quality animal sources like lean meats. Opt for proteins such as chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb.

These meats provide essential amino acids necessary for muscle development, energy, and overall health.

Additionally, fish like salmon and mackerel are excellent sources of protein and contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

If you are choosing a commercial dog food, ensure that the primary protein source is listed first on the ingredient list. Remember, a balanced diet is key to a healthy German Shepherd.

Conclusion

If you want to give your German Shepherd puppy a supercharged start in life, you have to be careful of what you feed them in their early years as it lays down the foundation of their skeletal development which is crucial for these large breed active dogs.

So here are our top three picks for the best food for a German Shepherd puppy.

We selected IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food as our top pick for the quality protein used as the first ingredient.

Our second pick is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Dog Food which provides a complete and balanced nutrition for GS puppies.

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed German Shepherd Dog Diet takes the third spot on our list for vet-developed formulas targeted to meet specific needs.

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