German shepherds are quite popular and are known for their strength, intelligence, courage, and obedience to their owners. These awesome qualities make them excellent for jobs as service dogs.
Since they are large dogs, they require a special diet to keep them healthy and strong. How can you pick the best dog food for German shepherd puppies?
- Top 5 best dog food for German shepherd puppies
- What are the dietary needs of German shepherd pups?
- How to choose the best dog food for German shepherd puppies
- How much food should your German shepherd puppy eat?
- Canned or dry dog food?
- Wet or dry food? Which is ideal for German shepherd puppies?
- How to avoid bloating in German shepherd puppies
Top 5 best dog food for German shepherd puppies
ORIJEN Dry Dog Food
The Orijen Dry Dog Food is known for its quality ingredients. It is a grain free formula that contains 85% meat with 15% veggies and fruits. The combination makes it ideal for a German shepherd since the breed is carnivorous. The product is made in the USA and uses all parts of an animal such as the cartilage, flesh and more to ensure that the puppy consumes a lot of nutrients.
It contains zinc which boosts the immune system of dogs while promoting healthy skin. This ingredient also helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Also, the product contains a healthy amount of protein that provides fuel and energy to your puppy. It also has a moderate level of fat in it to help your pup to maintain healthy body weight.
- Ideal for all life stages
- Contains zinc for a healthier immune system
- 85% of meat content
- Reduced fat content
Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food
This brand creates food for different dog breeds. It caters to specific nutritional requirements as well as issues and qualifications. Royal Canin GSD dog food is formulated for the nutritional requirements and needs of German shepherd dogs and puppies.
The formula is a composite recipe made with vitamins and antioxidants which help maintain a healthy immune system that may support the active lifestyle your pup needs to live. It may also help prevent occasional illnesses.
Also, this food may also be helpful when it comes to maintaining a balanced intestinal system. This is because it comes with rich fibers that are essential for proper digestion.
Also, as required for large breeds, the product contains glucosamine and chondroitin. This helps support the pup’s joints as he grows to develop stronger bones.
- Rich in fiber
- Contains glucosamine and chondroitin
- For all life stages
- Contains antioxidants
Blue Buffalo Life Protection
Blue Buffalo Life protection dog food is made for large breed dogs like Labrador, Golden Retriver, Australian Shepherds and German shepherd. It is ideal for puppies of this breed and is made with ingredients that may promote the puppy’s growth and development. The ingredients provide a high protein base and it is combined with vitamins and minerals that work together to ensure that the pup grows healthy and strong.
It contains real meat as the main ingredient. The source is chicken, and this may help your pup to build and maintain muscles. The formula also contains wholesome veggies, whole grains, fruits and garden veggies.
The formula is also ideal for pups as it contains ARA and DHA. These fatty acids are usually found in breast milk. They support retinal health and cognitive function. The Life Source Bits content also provides dogs with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to support a healthy immune system, oxidative balance, and life stage requirement.
This german shepherd puppy dog food is also made from natural ingredients that have been enhanced with minerals and vitamins. It is devoid of by-products from poultry, wheat, corn, artificial flavors, soy, or preservatives that can irritate your pet.
- The first ingredient is chicken
- Contains ARA and DHA for the healthy development of the puppy.
- Contains fatty acids like breast milk contents which enhances development.
- Free from artificial ingredients
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food
This formula from Blue Buffalo is also one of the best dog food for German shepherd puppies. Its main ingredient is meat from real chicken which is necessary for the pup to grow up healthy. It contains a healthy mix of carbohydrates such as sweet peas and potatoes along with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that enhance the skin.
The product is also grain free but contains the Life Source Bits which provides essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is ideal for all life stages. It may be a good option if your pup is picky about food.
- Contains real meat/ chicken
- Carbohydrate-rich with proteins for a balanced diet
- Grain free
- Contains natural minerals and vitamins
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dog Food
The Wellness Complete Health dog food is a limited ingredient dog food which is whitefish based. It is made without artificial additives and contains whole foods. The formula is fortified with minerals and vitamins that puppies need to have a balanced diet so they can grow at the right place.
It also doesn’t contain any wheat, soy, corn, colors, artificial flavors or preservatives that can trigger food allergies in dogs. There is also no meat by-products in this formula.
The omega 3 and 6 fatty acid content may help ensure that your pet has a healthy skin and coat. It also has a good taste for picky pups.
- Limited ingredient for puppies with sensitive stomachs
- Doesn’t contain artificial ingredients
- Rich in omega 3 and 6
- Contains antioxidants
What are the dietary needs of German shepherd pups?
Since German shepherds are carnivores, they need a diet that is high in protein. This is because protein is necessary for muscular development, healthy growth, and energy.
A German shepherd pup also needs fat in his diet. This is also because the fat keeps the coat and skin in good condition as they tend to shed all through the year.
When the German shepherd pup grows, this diet will change to match his sex, activity levels, and age.
German shepherd pups usually consume more food than their adult counterparts. They explore their environment and play all day since they are curious and energetic. Such high activity levels demand more fuel to keep them energized to go about their daily activities.
These pups have unique nutritional requirements. Since the dogs are large breeds, they require some particular nutrients to remain healthy as they reach their full size.
How to choose the best dog food for German shepherd puppies
Since German shepherds are prone to lots of health issues such as hip dysplasia, skin conditions, as well as bloat. This is why you need a specially formulated as well as balanced puppy specific diets for larger breeds. The diet helps prevent all these conditions from affecting the pup when he grows.
When the puppy is about a year old, you should change the dog food. If it is ideal for all life stages, then you can continue. To pick the best dog food for German shepherd puppies, look out for the following ingredients:
- Protein: this ingredient is essential for organ and tissue growth. It also helps build strong muscles. Protein from animal sources is ideal for this purpose because it is easier to be metabolized by the body. The pup’s diet must be comprised of at least 27% of animal protein. When checking the label, ensure that it contains an animal source like fish, chicken or beef is listed on the list. If it also contains meat meal, it is acceptable. Meat meal is a concentrated form of animal protein which is essential for a German shepherd pup’s diet.
- Carbohydrates: Carbs provide energy that pups need. When the pup’s intestine digests carbs, they generate heat. This regulates their body temperature. It also prevents overeating and promotes healthy gut bacteria.
- Fat: fat is a good source of energy as well. It also allows the pup to absorb vitamins from food while also providing a healthy coat and skin.
- Vitamins and minerals: dog food that contains vitamins and minerals trump the supplements for this purpose. This is because feeding puppies too many supplements can poison them. You should also consult a vet before choosing to supplement your pet’s diet with extra vitamins.
How much food should your German shepherd puppy eat?
Before your pup reaches the age of six months, he should eat three to four small meals in a day. The food should be split to prevent overheating which can also cause vomiting.
Also, follow the recommendation of the manufacturer when it comes to feeding your pup.
Canned or dry dog food?
Most vets recommend that you start your pup on wet food after weaning him. This is mainly because puppies are used to wet food like the mother’s milk. The digestive system of the pet may not be used to dry food. Also, wet food does not irritate the dog’s gut at this time.
When the puppy is about 12 weeks of age, it may be time to introduce kibble or dry food to his diet. You should also begin to reduce the ration of wet food the pup eats.
Wet or dry food? Which is ideal for German shepherd puppies?
Dry food has its own advantages as it removed plaque from the pup’s teeth and prevents the development of plaque. This helps prevent plaque formation as well as periodontal disease.
Sadly, dry food doesn’t contain enough water. You have to make an extra effort to provide water for the pup to prevent kidney and liver issues.
Wet food, on the other hand, contains 80% water to keep pups hydrated. Canned foods also have enough protein for the dog’s development. However, canned foods are more expensive.
How to avoid bloating in German shepherd puppies
Bloating is a serious condition that tends to affect large breeds like the German shepherds. It happens when there is too much air, food or water in the stomach. It could cause swelling and also obstruct the blood vessels in the abdomen.
It can also cause a drastic drop in blood pressure leading to shock and damage to organs. It can be fatal if not handled on time, this is why your German shepherd puppy needs to eat small meals several times in the day to reduce this risk.
Picking the best dog food for German shepherd puppies can be easier if you follow the tips in this review. Our best pick in the roundup is the ORIJEN Dry Dog Food. This formula contains 85% meat protein needed for proper development. It is grain free and also contains zinc for healthy skin and coat.