Dogs would probably eat any food they’re offered, including cat food! But, we already know that some types of food wouldn’t benefit them that much. And certain food mixes, could have detrimental effects on the puppy’s health.
If you want your German Shepherd to grow healthy and reach its full size, then read on! This is a selection of the finest dog food brands for this breed. And by the end of the article. We’ll reveal the best dog food for your German Shepherd.
The 5 Best Types of Dog Food for your Young GSD
- The 5 Best Types of Dog Food for your Young GSD
- Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Food
- Orijen Puppy
- Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe for Large Breed Puppies
- Royal Canin Large Puppy Dry Dog Food
- How The Type of Food Affects Your German Shepherd?
- The Essential Ingredients of Dog Food
- How Often Should I Feed my GSD Puppy
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Here’s a roundup of the best dog food brands you can offer your German Shepherd pup. They have the right amount of nutrients and they come from clean sources. We picked them at different price points, so there’s a clear flexibility for any budget.
Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Recipe
Rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals that come from fresh and raw all-natural ingredients, it contains proteins to maintain healthy muscles and keep up your dog’s energy. You’ll also find omega-3s and omega-6s for the healthy development of your GSD’s brain, eyes, and his coat.
This formula contains deboned chicken, salmon meal, and ground brown rice. There are also fruits and vegetables, such as apples, blueberries, sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots. All these ingredients work at preventing health problems and provide him with the right balance of nutrients and minerals.
There are no animal by-products, artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, grains or gluten. This makes it a healthy, nutritious choice that meets all of your growing puppy’s needs.
- Has fresh and raw ingredients like boned chicken
- Contains blueberries and spinach for antioxidants
- The ingredients include flax seeds for a better coat
- Rich in protein, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids
- Gives energy of about 402 kcal/cup
- Contains rice which could be an allergen for some German Shepherds
- The Ziploc-type closure at the top doesn’t always close properly
- It’s a bit pricey
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Food
This is one dog food that has it all, everything from protein to veggies to fruits to brown rice. It’s also rich in antioxidants to help maintain a healthy immune system, plus probiotics for smooth, problem-free digestion.
In addition, there are also healthy levels of vitamins, such as vitamin B12, D, and many others. Blue Buffalo has also included healthy sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as Menhaden Fish Meal, and sources of omega-6 fatty acids, such as Flaxseed.
Blue Buffalo vehemently opposes any artificial ingredients. So this formula contains no by-products, grains, artificial colors or flavors, and no gluten.
- High content of real meat
- Has a good mix of fruits and vegetables
- Has a calculated amount of minerals and vitamins
- includes healthy fatty acids
- Contains sufficient antioxidants
- Offers 386 kcal/cup
- Budget-friendly price
- May cause loose stool
Orijen is a product that prides itself on making high quality, all-natural dog food that aims at meeting all your dog’s nutritional needs. It contains chicken and turkey meat, cartilage, bone, and organs. There’s also cage-free eggs.
You’ll also find wild-caught fish, such as mackerel, herring, and flounder. All these ingredients together provide your GSD with a well-balanced, nutritious diet to preserve his energy and his health, both on the outside and the inside.
Orijen Puppy is grain-free and gluten-free. Plus, it’s low in carbs, giving your dog the same ratio of ingredients that he needs to grow and develop.
- Grain-free diet for muscular strong dogs
- Varied proteins from different sources
- High percentage of natural dog food
- Naturally enhanced flavors
- Has a low-glycemic factor
- Gives around 454 kcal/cup of energy
- Change in manufacturing from Canada to Kentucky varied the recipe a bit
- Might cause a change in stool consistency and a dull coat in some GSDs
Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe for Large Breed Puppies
This hearty formula is rich with nutrients and minerals, such as protein for strong muscles and a shiny coat. It’s also rich in DHA, one of the 3 omega-3s which helps maintain the healthy development of your dog’s eyes, skin, and brain.
There’s also a fine balance between calcium and phosphorus, both which work at keeping your dog’s gums and teeth in good shape. It’s grain-free and gluten-free.
It’s also low in carbs, yet high in antioxidants which strengthen the immune system, and probiotics to maintain the flow of the digestive system.
- High protein fortified with raw ingredients
- Rich in healthy fatty acids
- Offers approximately 495 kcal/cup of pure energy
- May contain allergens that cause diarrhea
Royal Canin Large Puppy Dry Dog Food
One of the unique factors found in this dog food is its exclusive kibble design that allows for easy chewing. It’s a great formula that consists of all the right balance of ingredients that promote your GSD’s health and development.
It contains an array of antioxidants to boost his immune system, in addition to healthy fatty acids. It’s also rich in probiotics and prebiotics to help promote the health of your dog’s digestive system.
It’s free of grains, gluten, preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors.
- Carefully formulated ingredients
- Targets healthy growth in all aspects
- Exclusive kibble design
- Gives a moderate amount of energy 352 kcal/cup
- It’s an expensive product
- May cause loose stool due to the presence of corn and rice
How The Type of Food Affects Your German Shepherd?
The first thing that pops into your mind when you think of German Shepherds, or GSDs, is how versatile they are, and their ability to adapt to almost anything they’re trained to do.
Their love of physical exercise puts them at a higher risk of putting extra strain on their joints than other kinds of dogs. Their skin is also more sensitive in spite of their denser coat which must be carefully brushed quite a few times a week.
All these factors combined make finding the right dog food for young GSDs an absolute necessity to maintain his health and development from his puppy days all the way into adulthood.
You can prevent your GSD from acquiring almost any type of disease by choosing the best dog food for your young German Shepherd.
- As a newborn, your GSD should nurse on milk for the first 6 – 8 weeks. This greatly boosts his immune system. It also maintains a healthy blood flow, ensuring that his organs are working and developing at a normal rate.
- From 6 – 8 weeks, feed him a large-breed puppy dog formula until he’s 12 – 16 weeks.
- Finally, swap the puppy formula with a large-breed adult formula that has more protein to sustain your GBD’s muscle mass.
- It’s important to remember that augmenting your dog’s diet with glucosamine and chondroitin, 2 dietary supplements, will help strengthen his joints and bones.
The Essential Ingredients of Dog Food
According to the AAFCO nutrient profiles, these are the best components for your dog:
Healthy Fats and Oils
Healthy fats and oils aid your dog’s body in the absorption process of certain vitamins (A, E, K, and D). They also maintain the health of his coat and skin.
Proteins provide your GSD with amino acids which play a vital role in cell production. Proteins also boost his immune system and keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny
The Right Ratio Between Calcium and Phosphorus
This is important to prevent a surplus or insufficient supply of calcium because both can lead to major and painful bone problems.
GSDs have a high risk of musculoskeletal problems that can start while they’re small and continue well into their adult years.
Omega-3s and Omega-6s
Many types of healthy fatty acids that fall into this category, like DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid which is crucial for healthy brain and eye development.
One type of omega-6 is ARA which is crucial for cognitive health, as well as keeping the retina healthy and problem-free.
How Often Should I Feed my GSD Puppy
At about 4 weeks old, your puppy should be getting 4 meals a day of solid food. Once he turns 4 months old, he can start eating from 2 to 3 meals per day. Then from 12 months onward, give him 2 meals a day.
According to the Canine Journal, each meal should be as follows:
- Newborn puppies up to 16 weeks old: ½ cup – 1 cup
- From 16 weeks – 9 months old: 1 cup – 1 ¾ cup
- From 9 months – 12 months old: 2 cups – 2 ½ cups
- From 12 months Old to Adulthood: 2 ½ cups – 3 ½ cups
This break down of meals protects your dog from bloating which is a serious problem for GSDs. It occurs if they eat too much at one time, or are active right after eating. So remember to give them a chance to rest for at least thirty minutes after each meal.
Easy access to fresh water is necessary for your dog. They’re so active, they can get dehydrated if they’re not given ample amounts of water throughout the day.
For an exclusive kibble design that facilitates chewing and swallowing, then you should give Royal Canin Large Puppy Dry Dog Food a try. Besides containing all the necessary ingredients to maintain your puppy’s health, it’s designed to ease the digestive process and prevent any health problems from occurring.
For the best price, definitely go with the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Food. It’ll provide your puppy with all the nutrients he needs and at a great price.
Make sure you check with your veterinarian to ensure you’ve picked the best dog food for your young german shepherd. Choosing the right food for him will ensure a diet full of healthy nutrients that’s full of delicious flavor as well.