Best Dog Food for German Shepherds

The best dog food for German Shepherds is Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food.

You want to give your German Shepherd food that makes him thrive, allowing him to continue protecting you every day. The right food will keep your German Shepherd satisfied with a full tummy, even with high activity levels, and reward him for his loyalty. We’ve searched high and low to find the best dog food for German Shepherds so your canine always gets the nutrition he needs and flavor he deserves.

Budget Conscious Pick

VICTOR Purpose Grain Free Hero Canine Dry Dog Food

Our Top Pick

Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food


Eukanuba German Shepherd Dry Dog Food

01 Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food

The Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food was specifically designed with German Shepherds in mind, fitting their nutritional needs starting at 15 months of age. Even the kibble shape was made for the breed, with it encouraging the long, strong muzzle of the breed to chew.

The ingredients of the food are designed to help German Shepherds with all aspects of their health. The use of specific fibers and highly digestible proteins boosts digestive health by optimizing the stool quality of your dog. The DHA and EPA from fish oil boost the health of your German Shepherd’s coat and skin. At the same time, essential nutrients reinforce the skin barrier.

The inclusion of chondroitin and glucosamine support joint and bone health, something which is particularly important given the strong, large bodies of German Shepherds. As a dry food, the concentrated nutrients combined with the texture give your dog a brushing effect.

  • This Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food is designed for the breed, with ingredients to support their large, athletic build and a shape that encourages chewing with the long muzzle. The food protects the double-layered coats and is good for adults over 15 months. We love the unique shape and texture of the kibble plus the ingredients.

02 VICTOR Purpose Grain Free Hero Canine Dog Food

For those on a budget, this is a great food with premium-quality ingredients, including fish, pork, and beef meals to provide dense nutrients. The grain free nature of this food makes it ideal even for German Shepherds with grain sensitivities or allergies.

This specific formula, the Hero Canine, contains chondroitin and glucosamine, which boost long-term joint health. That is particularly important for German Shepherds given their large, athletic size and high levels of activity, as those factors boost the risk of joint issues. The food is also fortified with amino acids, protein, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. You will not find any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors that are bad for your German Shepherd.

Victor Hero Canine also features the VICTOR Core ingredients that boost digestive and immune systems, including selenium yeast, mineral complexes, probiotics, and prebiotics. As a bonus, this food is produced in the company’s Texas-based facility, helping to support the US economy.

  • Victor Hero Canine Dog Food will help you stick to your budget, even with the large appetite of your German Shepherd. The ingredients support joint and bone health to minimize future problems caused by your German Shepherd’s high activity levels. It also boosts digestive and immune systems.

03 Eukanuba German Shepherd Dog Food

Eukanuba specifically designed this food for German Shepherds, including high-quality animal-based proteins that support lean and strong muscles, which German Shepherds are known for. You will also find chondroitin sulfate to support agile joints and lean muscles, working perfectly with your dog’s active lifestyle. The optimal carbohydrate and fat levels further support that energy.

The food also has the 3D Dentadefense System to reduce tartar buildup in 28 days. This way, your German Shepherd’s bite and smile remain strong, allowing him to keep protecting you.

The specialized fiber system in the dog food boosts healthy digestion and nutrient absorption while the inclusion of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids give your German Shepherd a radiant coat and healthy skin.

  • This dog food for German Shepherds has ingredients to support healthy joints and hips, an essential for the large bodies and active lifestyles of the breed. It also your German Shepherd’s intelligent mind and boosts his coat.

04 IAMS Large Breed Dog Food

The first ingredient in this IAMS dog food is real chicken, giving your German Shepherd the protein your pooch needs. The use of quality lean protein promotes strong muscles, so your dog can always protect and serve.

The formula was designed to boost healthy joints and bones in large breeds like German Shepherds. It even includes chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which are used for treating osteoarthritis. This gives your German Shepherd a head-start on healthy bones later in life.

The combination of prebiotics and fiber boost the immune system and healthy digestion. The ingredients are also easily digested and boost metabolism, coat, and skin.

  • The IAMS Large Breed Dog Food uses farm-raised chicken along with wholesome veggies and grains. The inclusion of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine support healthy joints. There are no fillers or artificial preservatives.

05 Wellness Complete Health Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health's formula is all-natural without any soy, meat by-products, preservatives, colors, wheat, corn, or artificial flavors. The inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed and other sources ensures your German Shepherd’s double-coat is always healthy.

The vitamins and minerals in the food support immune system health. The perfect combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins help boost energy, fitting in perfect with your German Shepherd’s active lifestyle. The food also supports joint and bone health, which is especially important in large breeds like German Shepherds.

The formula of this dog food also encourages a healthy body mass for your large German Shepherd while providing a great taste thanks to the natural ingredients.

  • Wellness Complete Health Dog Food supports the high energy nature of German Shepherds as well as the unique joint and bone concerns from their large size. It is also delicious and American-made.

06 Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dog Food features pasture-raised lamb for high-quality protein that your dog will love. The formula features the optimal profile of amino acids for your German Shepherd to maintain the strong, lean muscles that the breed is known for.

The guaranteed levels of chondroitin and glucosamine ensure your German Shepherd maintains healthy joints and bones, even with his large size. You will also find superfoods for antioxidants and fatty acids for the skin and coat.

The formula is highly digestible and includes proprietary probiotics that thrive in the GI tract for overall digestive health. It comes from a family owned and run company.

  • This dog food from Diamond Naturals contains chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health and high-quality protein for lean and strong muscles, both of which are key for your large and strong German Shepherd.

07 NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Dog Food

The primary ingredient in NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Dog Food is lamb, delivering high-quality protein to give your German Shepherd energy and nourishment. The food also includes natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine to boost healthy joints for your large dog.

The formula also has other high points, including essential antioxidants that boost your German Shepherd’s immune systems and various vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

You will not find any wheat, soy protein, corn, chicken by-product meal, or other ingredients without nutritional value. Every bite gives you German Shepherd nutrients he needs.

  • The high-quality protein promotes energy while the natural chondroitin and glucosamine boost bone and joint health. The food is flavorful so your German Shepherd will enjoy it.

Buyers Guide

Dog Foods For German Shepherds  Buyer's Guide

As you look at the above best dog foods for German Shepherds and explore other options, be sure to keep the following considerations in mind.

Image from Ollie

Joint and Bone Health

Because German Shepherds are large dogs, they can put a lot of stress on their joints and bones, especially over time and as they age. This is only enhanced by their typically active lifestyles. As such, you should look for dog food that has been specially formulated to boost the health of your dog’s joints and bones.

For most dog foods, this will come via the inclusion of chondroitin and glucosamine. Don’t settle for just any dog food that contains those nutrients. Instead, make sure that your chosen dog food actually has them in sufficient quantities.

Without these nutrients, your German Shepherd will have a higher risk of joint and bone diseases in the future, such as hip dysplasia or arthritis. Including them in your dog’s diet serves as a preventative measure that helps boost his overall health later in life.

Coat Health

German Shepherds are known for their gorgeous thick coats in that combination of tan and black. You want to find a dog food that will allow your dog to maintain that coat throughout his life, so look for ingredients that support the overall health of coats. Ingredients like fish oil contain EPA and DHA that will boost the health of your dog’s coat, helping him maintain the protective thickness and beauty for years to come.

Omega fatty acids are also a good ingredient to look for as a way to support the coat health of your German Shepherd.

Size and Shape of the Pieces

Because German Shepherds are large breeds, they require larger pieces of dog food. Otherwise, your dog would waste too much effort picking up and chewing the dog food. German Shepherds are also more likely to appreciate the larger pieces compared to smaller ones. This should not be a problem, as most dog foods for large-breed dogs contain bigger pieces.

Some of the best dog foods go a step above and have unique shapes that work best with the mouth shape of a German Shepherd. They have long muzzles, which require a slightly different shape of the dog food than other large dogs with wide short muzzles. Choosing the right shape of the dog food will not only make it easier for your dog to eat the food, but also boost oral health. Chewing dry dog food helps clean your dog’s teeth via the texture and the right shape of food will encourage this chewing action.

Image from Pawstruck

Ingredient Sources

Pay close attention to the ingredient list as you browse dog foods for your German Shepherd. You want to avoid fillers, as they provide no nutritional value and your large breed needs all the nutrition he can get. Avoid artificial flavors and preservatives for the same reason. Additionally, some artificial preservatives have been linked to health problems, giving you another reason to avoid them.

Look for high-quality protein sources, with a focus on the actual meat instead of meals made from meat by-products. Many low-quality dog foods will use those by-product meals as a cost-saving measure, but they are not as healthy and are not as strong of protein sources. Choosing dog food with high-quality protein sources will help ensure your German Shepherds muscles remain strong and lean. Avoid products that rely on plant-based protein sources, as those are harder for your German Shepherd to put to use and less effective for his needs.

Check that the dog food contains vegetables and/or fruits to provide essential vitamins and minerals in a natural way. These natural sources are a much better choice than artificial ones.

Energy Levels

German Shepherds are known for having a good amount of energy. Therefore, grain free dog foods do not always make the cut as the best dog food for german shepherds. Grain free dog foods lack the ingredients that provide energy for these pooches to go about their active lifestyle.

While you cannot do away with grain free dog foods for german shepherds, you can opt for low-glycemic carbohydrates instead of grain-based carbs. Some grain-based carbs are perfectly fine for more German Shepherds, but your dog will appreciate it more if you opt for low-glycemic sources, such as sweet potatoes. You should also avoid those grain-based carbs if your German Shepherd has any allergies and wheat, soy, and other grains are all common allergens.

These low-glycemic sources are easier for your dog to convert into a constant state of energy and help maintain steady blood sugar levels.

You will also want to pay attention to overall brand quality and reputation as a way to ensure you choose a high-quality food that supports your German Shepherd’s activity levels.


The best dog foods for German Shepherds will support bone and joint health while providing energy and quality sources of protein. The large size and high activity levels of German Shepherds make joint health a priority.

Look for food with chondroitin and glucosamine. Your dog will appreciate foods without fillers and artificial preservatives or flavors as these hold no nutritional value. The best foods are even shaped to optimize your German Shepherd’s chewing experience based on his long muzzle and will also contain other natural ingredients.

That said, we would like to once again recommend the Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food for your German Shepherd. It formula encompasses all the necessary dietary requirement that a German Shepherd will ever need.

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