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12 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppies

↯ Key takeaway points

  • German Shepherd puppies experience rapid growth spurts and require proper nutrition for a healthy life.
  • German Shepherds are a large breed and need a large breed formula with extra minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and calcium.
  • German Shepherd puppies require around 500 calories a day, increasing to 1600 calories by 15 months of age.
  • It is important to feed German Shepherd puppies three to four times a day until four months of age and consult with a vet about their nutritional intake.
  • German Shepherds are prone to joint problems, allergies, and shedding, so it's important to choose appropriate food and provide regular grooming.
Licensed veterinarian and animal behaviorist with over three years of experience and a Ph.D. in Poultry Science.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Tuesday 25 May 2021
Last updated on
Wednesday 13 September 2023
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Adopting a German Shepherd puppy is like having an adorable teddy bear that will hug and cuddle you every hour upon the hour. But, German Shepherd puppies experience rapid growth spurts in their life. And it falls on you to get the very best food for German Shepherd puppies to ensure a healthy life for your puppy.

New pet parents find it mind-boggling to walk into a store and choose GSD puppy food. A delectable meal for their best friend that provides all the nutritional needs of German Shepherd puppies. So, they may feel lost. But If you stick with us, you’ll find many essential details about your pup’s dietary needs. And learn about the best brands available in the market for German Shepherds. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

12 Best Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppies

Speaking of vital elements that must be present in dog food, here’s a list of the best German Shepherd puppy food. Not only do these brands pay particular heed to the necessary nutrients for your furry friend. They guarantee an energetic and fit German Shepherd puppy by adding other minerals for your dog’s well-being.

1. Diamond Naturals Premium Large Breed Formulas

Here’s a power-packed meal to provide antioxidants, probiotics, essential vitamins, and added minerals. The superfoods in the meal promote a long and hearty life for your fluffball. Diamond Naturals formula is specifically for large breed puppies. They need more nourishment to sustain their bone development.

GSDs tend to suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia. So, it is imperative to fortify their immune systems as well as ossein buildout. That will ensure that your pooch does not suffer from joint pains in adult life.

Furthermore, the antioxidants in the blend prevent cancer. The probiotics in the mix keep the gut flora flourishing, and the omega fatty acids keep the skin, coat, and vision healthy. Diamond tops it all up with a great price tag to give you the ultimate value for your money.


  • Rich in antioxidants to boost immunity
  • Contains probiotics for a healthier gut
  • Rich in essential vitamins and minerals
  • Prevents hip dysplasia


  • Some bags contain too many crumbs
  • Not very tasty for some dogs

2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

No doubt, giving your pup what it loves brings you joy. But it is your job to check that you are also providing your fluffball with the essential nutrients it needs to grow into a beautiful and fit canine.

Blue Buffalo contains clinically proven DHA levels for optimal brain development and the right fat and carbohydrate levels to certify muscle and bone growth. And fibre and prebiotics warrant smooth digestion. All in all, your puppy will become a gorgeous and healthy beast with Blue Buffalo Wilderness.

And, even if your GSD puppy has a sensitive stomach, you need not worry. The grain-less formula is the ideal food for german shepherd puppies with allergies.


  • Contains essential nutrients
  • Has DHA for optimal cognitive development
  • Has high levels of prebiotic fibers for a healthier gut
  • Ideal for GSDs with sensitive stomachs


  • It is a little pricey
  • Some GSDs don’t like the taste

3. Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food Chicken

Eukanuba cares for both your pocket and your pup’s well-being. So, you get three different packaging options for your puppy. Its main ingredient is high-quality chicken that your puppy will devour. While the formula is enhanced with targeted levels of calcium and phosphorus. You see, German Shepherds need calcium. But, too much can harm them.

But, Eukanuba has been in this business for over fifty years. And, they only provide products par excellence. So, if you are looking for choices in the market, Eukanuba is a sensible addition to your dog’s diet.


  • Made from high-quality chicken
  • Contains enough levels of calcium and phosphorus
  • Supports muscle growth


  • It is pricey
  • Can cause diarrhea in some dogs

4. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Puppy Dog Food

Crafted with love and care, Purina ONE SmartBlend is an epic meal for your dog. The yummy chicken flavor satisfies your pooch’s taste buds, and the nutrient-rich formula will keep you happy, too. Purina believes that your canine deserves only the best. So, they give you dry dog food for large breed puppies that is free from preservatives. There are no artificial colors, fillers, or flavors. Purina does not do meal fillers.

Vets across the globe recommend Purina, and they are so sure of their high quality that Purina offers you to take the 28-day Challenge. If you don’t see a visible improvement in your dog’s coat, skin, energy levels, and well-being, they are satisfied to give you your money back.


  • Free from artificial flavors and colors
  • No fillers
  • Promotes healthy skin and coat


  • Can cause bad breath
  • Some dogs experienced vomiting

5. Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

Nothing beats Royal Canin German Shepherd puppy food, as you will find from the raving reviews from satisfied pet parents of GSDs. It is a formula specifically made for a German Shepherd. And, they know their German Shepherds. So, they have taken into account the smallest of considerations.

The unique kibble shape is easy to grip with the long and robust muzzle of your German Shepherd. The glucosamine and chondroitin make for smooth digestion. Vitamin E is excellent for your puppy’s muscle development, healthy heart, and liver. Plus, the antioxidants keep the immune system up and running. In short, Royal Canin ranks as a topper in the list of the best diet for German Shepherd puppies.


  • Has easy-to-eat kibbles
  • Rich in vitamins E for healthier liver, heart, and muscle development
  • Boosts immunity


  • Can cause runny stools in some dogs
  • Some boxes arrived with damage

6. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe

If you want your puppy delighted with its meal and for him to grow into a big boy, then Taste Of The Wild High Prairie is the healthiest pick of the day. It’s a superior-quality formula suitable for German Shepherds with delicate tummies.

The blend contains no grain, so there is no question about gluten-related problems. There are no fillers in the meal. And it has only 100% natural ingredients to guarantee the absolute healthful development of your puppy. Even the smaller-sized kibble makes chewing and digestion easier for your little fluff ball.


  • Suitable for GSDs with sensitive stomachs
  • Made with 100% natural ingredients
  • Free from grains and gluten


  • Can cause allergic reactions in some dogs
  • Can cause gas

7. Iams Proactive Health Minichunks Dry Dog Food

A healthy dog is as healthy as what it eats. And, if your pick for puppy food for German Shepherd happens to be Iams, then your GSD is going to be a happy dog. You see, farm-sourced chicken makes for a tasty meal. And the wholesome fiber from natural veggies boosts metabolism and eases digestion.

The blend has plentiful vitamins and minerals for a shinier coat, strong muscles and bones, and sharper eyesight. The DHA promotes brain development. Lastly, the crunchy kibble design makes for removing plaque, bad breath, and chewing for more jaw power.


  • Made from farm-raised chicken
  • Contains wholesome fibers for healthy digestion
  • Has DHA for cognitive development


  • Inconsistent pricing
  • Can cause gas

8. Eagle Pack Power Adult Dry Dog Food

Eagle Pack provides holistic nutrition for adult dogs. It is specifically made for highly active or working dogs. This dog food contains balanced fats, carbohydrates, and protein to help maintain toned muscle, stamina, and healthy weight.

It also contains glucosamine for a healthier joint. This dry dog food contains probiotics for healthier digestion. It supports healthy energy release and sustained endurance in working dogs. It is free from wheat, corn, meat by-products, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.


  • Contains high-quality protein
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Suitable for working or active dogs


  • Not for dogs with grain allergies
  • Small kibble for large dogs

9. Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Adult

Holistic is specifically formulated for large and giant dog breeds. It promotes overall gut health with its probiotic content, which includes metabolism. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that promote healthier coats and skin.

This dog food also contains glucosamine for healthier hips and joints. Its taurine content promotes a healthy heart. This dry dog food is highly palatable, high-quality, and rich in digestive enzymes.


  • Specifically formulated for large dog breeds
  • Great for highly active dogs
  • Promotes healthy skin and coat


  • Kibble size is small for some dogs
  • Can cause allergic reactions to some dogs

10. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German Dry Dog Food

Dr. Gary‘s holistic dog food is crafted for German Shepherd dogs. It provides a complete and balanced nutrition for large breed dogs like the GSDs. It is made with real chicken and menhaden fish as the main protein sources.

This dog food is rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for healthier skin and coat. It also contains high-quality fiber that helps maintain gastrointestinal health and functions. Additionally, it contains green-lipped sea mussels from New Zealand to support joint health. Its essential vitamins boosts immunity.


  • Breed-specific diet
  • Ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Free from fillers


  • Kibble size is small
  • Some bags have lots of crumbs

11. VICTOR Purpose Nutra Pro Dry Dog Food

Another nutritional dog food for GSDs is the Victor Purpose Nutra Pro. It is sourced and made in the USA. It is composed of 92% meat protein from premium quality chicken meat. To help maintain your dog’s proper weight, it contains low carbs and high protein.

This dry dog food is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. With its unique VPRO blend, your GSD will have a healthier immunity and digestive system. It is also free from gluten, which can cause allergic reactions to some dogs.


  • Suitable for all breeds and sizes
  • High in protein
  • Supports healthy digestion


  • Can cause allergic reactions to some dogs
  • Some dogs released more poop than usual

12. Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe

Merrick is a grain-free dry dog food made with real deboned chicken and sweet potato. It is specifically formulated for large breed adult dogs. This nutrient-dense dog food contains 60% protein and healthy fats which helps maintain healthy weight and increased energy.

It also contains 40% produce, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other organic ingredients. 80% of its protein comes from healthy animal sources, making it more flavorful for your dog. Additionally, it contains chondroitin and glucosamine for healthier joints and hips. Its essential amino acids help maintain shiny and lustrous coat.


  • Specifically formulated for large and giant breeds
  • Gluten and grain-free
  • Provides superior nutrients


  • Small kibble size
  • There’s a change in the formula

The Modern German Shepherd

When you think of a German Shepherd, a canine with a wolf-like appearance comes to mind. Most people find German shepherds intimidating and fierce in looks and personality. In truth, there are many different types of German Shepherds who they make for very faithful companions that love to lead. They are a very zealous and energetic breed. Your German shepherd pup will play, bounce, run and fetch all day long if you will allow it.

It’s a dog breed that starts with a little over one pound. But, by the first year, they can gain up to 60 pounds. They are not a breed prone to obesity, either. They are a very active breed of dogs. Besides, GSDs have such a superior aptitude for training and are so intelligent that you will find them performing many different jobs.

German Shepherds make superb search and rescue dogs. You’ll find them providing disability help and working with the police and in military roles. German Shepherds can also assist firefighters in rescue work. Their keen insight can also help firefighters quickly find search and rescue targets, reflecting the importance of shepherd dogs in firefighting work. Some companies are even crafting incredible firefighter challenge coins with German Shepherds as the central symbol to remind people of the dedication of these hero dogs in the rescue work.

German Shepherd Puppies’ Dietary Needs

Curious, confident, courageous, and vastly cuddly, these canines will gladly risk their lives to save yours. But, German shepherds usually need proper care and attention as they undergo drastic growth in the initial year of their life—any neglect of nutritional needs results in serious health complications in their adulthood.

To begin with, you must understand that GSDs are a large dog breed. So, it would be best if you gave them a large breed formula. GSDs need extra minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and calcium. These nutrients support a healthy joint structure and promote buccal growth and a shiny coat. They also need a higher calorie intake as they tend to burn off energy quickly. The German shepherd puppy sprouts super fast in the first eight months of their lives. That is when they need you to give them extra TLC.

On average, the GSD puppy requires 500 calories a day. And, by the time the puppy is 15 months, it needs 1600 calories. The protein intake should be around 18% to 22%. Moreover, the diet should contain about 8-12% fat content to sustain the growth of your doggy.

German Shepherds need proper nutrition.

Food for German Shepherd Puppies: FAQ

There is always the possibility that pet guardians have misconceptions about their canine’s diet. Do not fret, as those misgivings will be cleared here.

How many calories does a puppy German Shepherd need?

An intake of 500 calories per day is suitable for German Shepherd puppies. Yet, as the pup grows older, the number of meals is fewer, and the calorie intake increased to 1600 calories around fifteen months of age. Overfeeding your Shepherd can lead to obesity while being underfed can affect its growth – that’s why you should always consult with your local vet about your pet’s nutritional intake.

How often should you feed my German Shepherd puppy?

Your sweet little fluff ball needs to be fed three to four times a day until four months of age. But, it is a good idea to practice restraint. Overfeeding German Shepherds can lead to indigestion and diarrhea.

And don’t forget to increase your puppy’s calorie intake as it grows older. Remember, your GSD loves to sweat it all off with much-needed physical exertion.

What types of food are suitable for German Shepherds?

Proteins are a must for German Shepherds. They need it for their joint, muscle, and bone buildup. But, they also have other needs like vitamins and minerals. So, give your doggo choices it will appreciate. Fruits and veggies make healthy options with plentiful nutrients. Try out apples, bananas, and peaches with the pits. And give your puppy some broccoli too.

You can also choose between dry dog food, dry kibbles, or wet dog food. It’s a smart choice to go for the healthiest choice in scrumptious flavors that your dog will enjoy eating and stay fit. With the little ones, go for moist options or smaller-sized kibble to avoid choking hazards.

What diseases are German Shepherds prone to?

German Shepherds are susceptible to joint problems. You’ll find that malnutrition in puppyhood can lead to elbow or hip dysplasia in adult dogs. Also, GSDs have specific allergies indicating weaker tummies, so keep that in mind when you pick out their dry food.

Are German Shepherds hypoallergenic?

GSDs are not hypoallergenic. If anything, the double coat of GSDs is prone to quite a lot of shedding. However, the good news is that you can control your pet’s shedding through regular grooming and by taking care of its diet (Omega 3 Fatty acid supplements, etc.). Although you are severely allergic to dog or cat fur, you might have a problem with your German Shepherd pup as the fur will trigger your allergy.

German Shepherd Puppies are as precious as babies and need just as much love and nurturing. So, it is your job as an animal lover or a potential pet parent to give your puppy the attention it deserves. And, never settle for the second-best regarding your dog’s nutrition. Doing so may endanger your pet’s health and can lead to problems in adulthood. Apart from that, we’re sure you’ll do your best to look after your GSD.

3 comments on “12 Best Food for German Shepherd Puppies”

  1. Mercy

    My German Shepherd is having loss stool. What should I do

  2. Ben

    I use Royal Canin alot but it makes my dog’s stool smell alot. I will probably change brand

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