Selecting the best dog food for German Shepherds can seem complex. High protein and carbohydrate content supports their muscle development and caters to their energy needs – but these can be difficult to find.
I have selected the top dog foods tailored for your German Shepherd. Each recommendation follows AAFCO guidelines and provides a balanced mix of essential nutrients. All of my picks today will meet the specific dietary requirements of your canine companion.
My top pick for German Shepherds is The Farmer's Dog. Its use of USDA-certified proteins and whole-food ingredients addresses the breed's nutritional demands. I trust this brand to deliver quality and wholesome meals that align with the special needs of your German Shepherd.
The Farmer’s Dog – Best overall ingredient quality
Ollie – Best selection of fresh food
We Feed Raw – Best raw dog food options
Nom Nom – Best meals including superfood ingredients
Spot & Tango – Best high-protein German Shepherd meals
20+ health concerns to choose from using the quiz
Chicken, beef, pork, plus more available
Grain-free food options also available
Current deal: Get 60% off on your first order!
The Farmer's Dog offers 4 fresh food meals with protein levels ideal for German Shepherds. The meals you choose for your dog feature at least 9 to 11% crude protein. This supports your dog's muscle development and maintains their energy levels effectively. The food is GMO- and gluten-free, with human-grade ingredients that are healthier for your pet.
You’ll find options for turkey, beef, chicken, and pork recipes. Each option presents a well-balanced macronutrient profile, perfect for German Shepherds. These meals contribute to their active lifestyle, providing the stamina needed for their daily activities. Learn more about its recipes in my colleague’s The Farmer’s Dog review.
Nutrition is further enriched by a variety of superfoods. For instance, whole ingredients like chickpeas, carrots, sweet potatoes, lentils, and green beans all make appearances. Such wholesome, unprocessed ingredients can go a long way for German Shepherds, which are known for their sensitive stomachs.
Personalization is part of the service, as it crafts meal plans to match the specific needs of your dog. It prioritizes macronutrient balance to promote the overall well-being of your German Shepherd, considering their need for higher energy and nutrient-dense diets.
Understanding your dog's unique requirements is simplified with a questionnaire. It factors in the age, weight, activity level, and health conditions of your German Shepherd. This step is crucial in providing them with a diet that supports their health and vitality.
Sustainable sourcing is at the heart of its operations, with ingredients procured ethically from local farmers and suppliers. This approach is in line with caring for the environment while providing your German Shepherd with the highest quality meals.
It ships food every 3 weeks and supports environmental sustainability through its practices. The brand offers a 2-week trial and a full refund if the meals don't meet your satisfaction. In such a case, you can donate any unused food to a local animal shelter.
Pricing starts at $2/day for smaller breeds but can increase if you have a larger pup. As an example, German Shepherds are a fairly large breed, so expect pricing to be higher than for a Chihuahua.
Customized German Shepherd meal plans
Fresh and dry meals available
Grain- and gluten-free options also available
Current deal: 70% Off your first box + FREE bowl and jerky strips
Ollie offers a diverse menu tailored for German Shepherds. With fresh meal choices like beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, and pork, your dog gets a variety of proteins. The fresh meals have a minimum of 8 to 10% crude protein, while the baked kibble options feature 22 to 23%. This range supports muscle development and energy needs specific to this active breed.
Your German Shepherd will benefit from Ollie’s personalized meal plans. When signing up, I found the process intuitive, asking for details like breed, age, and activity level. This level of customization can cater to your dog's specific nutritional requirements, whether they’re an energetic puppy or a more sedate senior.
The company cooks meals using the sous vide technique. This method locks in the natural flavors and nutrients essential for your German Shepherd's health. It's rare to find dog food prepared with a technique usually reserved for gourmet restaurant meals, but Ollie makes it happen. Learn more about sous vide in my colleague’s Ollie review.
All its offerings are free from artificial additives. Knowing that Ollie's meals and treats don't contain preservatives, fillers, or by-products can give you peace of mind.
Meals also come packed with superfoods. Ingredients like sweet potatoes and blueberries provide antioxidants, while peas and carrots offer vital micronutrients. This composition supports a robust immune system for your German Shepherd, vital for their long-term health.
Ollie presents various meal plan options. Full Fresh, Half Fresh, and Mixed Bowl plans allow you to align your German Shepherd's diet with your budget. I appreciate the flexibility to mix and match according to your dog’s preferences and your financial comfort.
It consults veterinary nutrition experts for meal plans. This ensures each recipe meets the dietary needs of German Shepherds. Knowing professionals are involved in the meal design adds a layer of trust in the nutritional value of what you’re feeding your dog.
It offers a 2-week trial for newcomers. Pricing starts at $4-$8 per day for small breeds, but can increase the larger your pup.
Good for sensitive German Shepherds or those with allergies
6 total meat-only meals including beef, chicken, and turkey
All meals are gluten-, carb-, and grain-free
Current deal: $30 off each of your first 4 boxes, $120 total
We Feed Raw might be the right choice for German Shepherds with food sensitivities. The meals are fully meat-based, high in protein, and free from grains or certain veggies that can cause reactions. My colleague wrote an in-depth We Feed Raw review if you’re curious to learn more about its raw meals.
A variety of meat recipes keeps mealtime interesting. It provides venison, beef, turkey, chicken, duck, and lamb options. These come in convenient 5-lb patty bags or assorted boxes, offering a range of flavors that cater to the diverse tastes of German Shepherds like yours.
Its meals are backed by nutrition experts and have veterinarian approval. Even without veggies, the meals are balanced. From my experience, this gives peace of mind knowing your German Shepherd's diet is formulated to meet their nutritional requirements without any guesswork on your part.
Human-grade ingredients are used in the meals, with no fillers or synthetic flavors. This means your German Shepherd gets a meal made from components you’d choose for your own meals. Without preservatives, you’re offering a fresh, wholesome meal that aligns with a natural diet.
Custom meal plans add a tailored touch to your German Shepherd’s diet. Based on a dog's profile, it crafts meal plans, although you can buy any product without completing its questionnaire. This flexibility allows you to adjust as needed for your German Shepherd's changing dietary requirements.
Compliance with AAFCO guidelines shows its commitment to nutrition. It meets the established standards, ensuring your German Shepherd's diet supports their health. I find this crucial when selecting a food that will contribute to a dog’s overall well-being.
Trials and delivery schedules are conveniently structured. Your first order is a 2-week trial, with deliveries every 3 weeks thereafter. This system works well for monitoring how your German Shepherd adapts to the new diet and scheduling deliveries to suit your routine.
Pricing starts at $6.59/lb for small breeds but can increase the larger your pup.
Best for picky eaters, allergies, or dogs with coat issues
4 meals including pork, beef, chicken, and turkey
Gluten- and grain-free recipes available
Nom Nom provides fresh dog food, including superfood ingredients, tailored to meet the dietary needs of German Shepherds. These include eggs, potatoes, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, squash, kale, mushrooms, and much more.
Recipes include Turkey Fare, Pork Potluck, Chicken Cuisine, and Beef Mash, which cover a range of flavors and nutrients. All recipes have a minimum of 9% crude protein, which supports a German Shepherd’s muscle health and energy levels.
You can get a customized meal plan for your German Shepherd. After you fill out a questionnaire with your dog's details, it crafts a unique diet. Whether your pup is a fussy eater, has allergies, or needs a shiny coat, Nom Nom caters to these specific health conditions.
The company offers microbiome testing, which I find interesting and unique. Using this kit, you can monitor your German Shepherd's digestion. Afterward, you can tweak your dog's diet based on the analysis of their stool. This will help your pup absorb all the nutrients they need. Learn more about microbiome testing in my colleague’s Nom Nom review.
Nom Nom offers 2 probiotic blends. One targets full-spectrum gut support, and the other focuses specifically on gastrointestinal health. Probiotics can be especially beneficial for German Shepherds, as they’re a breed that can experience sensitive stomachs or digestive issues.
Nom Nom's meals contain no artificial additives. Prepared by certified veterinary nutritionists, the meals ensure your German Shepherd is eating food that's as wholesome as it is tasty. Plus, the expertise behind each meal means your dog gets the balance of nutrients it needs.
It offers both full meal plans and half portions. This is ideal if you want your German Shepherd to try the meals before switching to a full plan. It’s a flexible option that allows for a taste test, which is perfect if your dog is picky.
There's a 2-week trial to start with Nom Nom. This period lets you and your German Shepherd fully experience the meals before committing to a monthly delivery schedule. Pricing starts at $2.40 for small breeds but can increase for larger pups.
UnKibble (dry food) or fresh food available
6 meal options including turkey, beef, lamb, and more
Gluten-, grain-, and soy-free meals available
Spot & Tango caters to all breeds with its 2 food types. If you have a German Shepherd, you'll appreciate the choice between Fresh and UnKibble varieties. The former comes pre-portioned which makes meal prep quick and easy. The UnKibble comes with a personalized food scoop. It helps you feed your pup the exact amount every time.
With 7 recipes, your German Shepherd will never get bored. The protein-rich Fresh meals come in varieties like Turkey + Red Quinoa and Beef + Millet, crucial for your dog’s muscle health. The UnKibble range offers flavors such as Chicken + Brown Rice, all ensuring a minimum of 10% crude protein to support your active German Shepherd’s lifestyle.
Customization begins with a detailed questionnaire. It evaluates key factors such as your German Shepherd's age and activity level. This step is crucial to tailor the meal plan to your dog’s individual needs, promoting optimal health and vitality.
All of Spot & Tango’s offerings are vet-designed and meet strict guidelines. The absence of preservatives, additives, and fillers means you’re providing your German Shepherd with wholesome nutrition. Each recipe aligns with AAFCO standards and is suitable for your dog through all stages of life.
Try the topper-only plan if you want to test the food first before committing. This option allows you to enhance your German Shepherd's current diet with Spot & Tango's nutritious food. It's an economical way to introduce your dog to Spot & Tango’s meals without committing to a full plan.
Treats also add variety to your dog's diet. Options like Chicken Bites and Bison Bites are crafted from premium ingredients. These treats are not only delicious but also reinforce a protein-rich diet for your German Shepherd's well-being. Learn about the variety of offerings in our full Spot & Tango review.
Spot & Tango ensures satisfaction with a robust refund policy. Options for your first order include a 2-week UnKibble trial or a fresh meal plan. If your German Shepherd doesn't love the food, you can get a full refund for the trial period, making the initial experience risk-free.
Pricing starts at $7 per week for small dogs. Costs will vary based on the size of your German Shepherd.
Filter the menu for different dietary needs and more
Dry and wet food, treats, and supplements available
High protein and low sodium options
The Honest Kitchen offers a marketplace with over 30 pet food varieties. You'll find everything your German Shepherd might need, including clusters, dehydrated food, wet food, and even broths. This range means you can easily find the type of food that suits your dog's preferences and needs.
This brand lets you filter the menu to suit your dog's diet. Whether your German Shepherd needs a low-carb diet or you prefer a certain type of protein, such as beef or turkey, you can quickly sort through the options. It’s also possible to select foods specifically formulated for different life stages. Find out more about this in our The Honest Kitchen review.
It has additional menu filters that are very practical. Grain Free, High Protein, and Legume Free are just a few of the filters available. These options help tailor your German Shepherd’s diet to their specific health requirements and preferences.
The company uses only whole-food, human-grade ingredients. Your German Shepherd will eat meals free from the stuff you’d rather avoid, like additives and GMOs. You also won't find any corn, wheat, or soy, which can be common allergens for dogs.
Ingredients include free-range chicken and wild-caught fish, along with organic fruits and vegetables. These premium components contribute to a balanced diet for your German Shepherd, supporting their overall health.
Flexibility is key, with no minimum order requirement. You can purchase just what you need when you need it. But if you do prefer regular deliveries, subscription options are available and can be customized from shipments every 2 weeks to every 12 weeks.
Pricing starts at $5.99 for dry food for small dogs. Keep in mind that as your German Shepherd grows, the cost might increase.
Large menu of many different items
20+ options: freeze-dried raw, wet food, + more
Grain-, soy-, wheat-, corn-, and potato-free options
Open Farm provides a variety of choices for your German Shepherd's diet. It caters to different nutritional needs with its selection of dry and wet food, freeze-dried raw, and RawMix. Discover more about the abundance of options in my colleague’s Open Farm review.
Its dry food offerings contain a minimum of 25 to 30% crude protein, which is vital for your German Shepherd's muscle maintenance, while the wet food options have about 7 to 9% protein, suitable for hydration and easier digestion.
Remarkably, you can trace every ingredient in Open Farm's dog food. I find this level of transparency unique since no other brand I've encountered allows you to check the source of every ingredient via the lot code. This feature ensures that you're feeding your German Shepherd top-quality ingredients whose origins are verifiable.
Customizing meals to your German Shepherd's specific requirements is straightforward with Open Farm. You can select from grain-free, meat-free, and even options designed to have a lower carbon footprint. This tailoring ensures your pet’s diet aligns with any special dietary needs or your environmental values.
Variety is another standout feature. Whether you have a puppy, an adult, a senior German Shepherd, or even a smaller breed, there are products specifically designed for each life stage. This includes everything from essential nutrients for puppies to specialized support for older dogs.
Ethical sourcing is a priority, and it shows in its ingredients. The meats are ethically raised, the fish are sustainably caught, and all fruits and vegetables are organic. This ethical approach provides peace of mind that the food you're giving your German Shepherd is not only healthy but also socially responsible.
Open Farm's commitment to the environment is apparent. It sources grass-fed beef and sustainably caught salmon from North America and the Pacific Northwest, respectively. Choosing this brand means supporting sustainable farming practices while providing your German Shepherd with high-quality nutrition.
I also appreciate that there’s flexibility in ordering from Open Farm. You're not locked into any minimum order requirements. Whether you prefer a one-time purchase or setting up an autoship schedule ranging from 1 to 16 weeks, you have complete control over how and when you receive your dog's food.
Pricing starts at $7/lb without auto-shipment for smaller breeds but can increase if you have a larger pup.
Vet consultation + custom diet
20+ items: fresh-frozen and DIY nutrient kits
Grain- and gluten-free options available
Just Food For Dogs offers an array of food options. Whether you have a finicky German Shepherd or 1 with specific dietary needs, this versatility is a game-changer. It provides a range of recipes, including fresh frozen meals, pantry staples, DIY, and even custom diet plans, alongside a selection of treats and supplements.
DIY kits from it are a great choice for hands-on owners. If you prefer to cook for your German Shepherd, these kits are invaluable. They enrich your homemade meals with vital nutrients to ensure your dog's diet is well-rounded. Find out more about Just Food For Dogs’ homemade meal kits in my colleague’s review.
You can also shop by specific health goals. This feature allows you to select food tailored to your German Shepherd’s digestion, skin and coat, joint health, or weight control needs. Plus, you can pick age-appropriate options, from puppy to senior stages.
It’s nice to see that the company is committed to using human-grade ingredients. It steers clear of preservatives and fillers, focusing on high-quality proteins and fresh vegetables. All meals meet National Research Council standards, assuring your pup gets only the best.
It provides tailored meal plans for your dog. By evaluating factors like age and activity level, it crafts a diet plan unique to your German Shepherd’s needs through a detailed questionnaire, yet it's not a requirement to use this feature.
Just Food For Dogs also employs veterinary professionals. They’re available to help you create the most beneficial meal plan for your German Shepherd, ensuring your furry friend's dietary needs are expertly met.
Prescription diets for health conditions are also available. If your German Shepherd suffers from health issues like kidney or liver disease, it has specific diets to aid in managing these conditions.
Autoshipments can be set up for convenience. You can schedule deliveries from 1 to 8-week intervals, and if you're not happy with your first purchase, they offer a refund minus shipping and handling.
Pricing starts at $6.45 for small dogs. Costs will rise with the size of your dog, but this investment might save you money over time with the autoship option.
High level of minimum crude protein
11 total meal options for puppies and adults
Meals are free from potato, rice, oats, squash, and more
Raised Right tailors its menu for German Shepherds at any life stage. Whether you have an energetic puppy or a mature companion, it offers specific menus to fit their unique needs. Every dish is made with human-grade ingredients. Learn more in my colleague’s Raised Right review.
It offers 3 distinct choices for puppies and 8 for adult dogs. Older German Shepherds might prefer the 4 paté options designed for ease of eating. With proteins like turkey and beef, the dishes average 18 to 20% minimum crude protein, fueling your pet's muscle growth and energy.
Treats are abundant from this brand and come in exciting flavors. These include Meat Bites and Shake A Flakes made from beef liver, providing a tasty variety your German Shepherd will love. I also like that they’re made using the same quality standards as the regular meals.
It works closely with veterinarians and nutritionists to formulate all of the meals. Raised Right ensures the food and treats are not only tasty but also nutritionally balanced. They’re also low in carbs, and avoid fillers that could harm your pet’s health. For German Shepherds, this could be beneficial.
German Shepherds with food sensitivities can also benefit from Raised Right’s offerings. For example, whole foods and individual sources of animal protein are easier on the stomach of some dog breeds. You can feed them without worrying about adverse reactions.
One of the company's core values is transparency. Ingredients are sourced solely from US farms, and food is processed in facilities fit for human consumption, complete with thorough pathogen testing to ensure safety. However, for dogs with specific health issues like liver disease or pancreatitis, high-protein and low-carb recipes might not be ideal.
Pricing starts at $9.99/bag for smaller breeds but can increase the larger your pup. By choosing the autoship option, you can guarantee your German Shepherd will always have access to a healthy supply of food while also potentially saving money.
Nutritionally balanced food options
30+ options including treats, kibble, + more
Grain- and gluten-free options also available
Jinx provides a variety of meal options for your German Shepherd. You can choose from dry food, wet food, meal enhancers, dental chews, and snacks to keep your dog’s diet varied and exciting. This range ensures that whether your German Shepherd prefers crunching on kibble or savoring the smooth texture of pâté, its dietary needs are met.
Its offerings include an array of tailored meals. The Beef & Sweet Potato Kibble, Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Pate Wet Food, and Chicken & Pumpkin Topper are just a few examples. These products cater to the robust appetite of a German Shepherd, delivering both taste and nutrition.
Jinx’s meals feature healthy proteins and beneficial probiotics. With ingredients like chicken, beef, and salmon, your German Shepherd will get the protein it needs. Plus, the signature probiotic blend with over 20 million microorganisms supports gut health, which is crucial for a breed prone to digestive issues.
Nutritious vegetables are a staple in its meals. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and green beans enrich the dry and wet food options, with a crude protein content of 27 to 29% in the dry food and 8 to 10% in the wet food. These are ideal percentages for maintaining the muscle mass of your active German Shepherd.
You won’t find any artificial preservatives or fillers in Jinx meals. The treats are made with wholesome ingredients such as chicken and beef, ensuring your German Shepherd consumes only foods that best support their health. It helps avoid the common allergens and unhealthy additives that can affect your dog's health.
Flexibility is key to Jinx's ordering system. There is no minimum order quantity, and the subscription options allow for delivery every 3 to 8 weeks. This flexibility can lead to savings and ensures you never run out of food for your German Shepherd. Learn more in our full Jinx review.
Pricing starts at $30/bag for small dogs. Costs can increase the larger your pup, ensuring you only pay for the size-appropriate portion your German Shepherd needs.
2 weeks worth of meals
Dogs that prefer raw meals
Get 60% off on your first order! from The Farmer’s Dog
$4-$8 per day
2 weeks worth of meals
Dogs that like fresh or baked recipes
3 weeks worth of meals
Dogs that prefer raw food
$30 off each of your first 4 boxes, $120 total from We Feed Raw
2 weeks worth of meals
Dogs that like fresh food
Take 60% Off Your First Order from Nom Nom
$7 per week
2 weeks worth of meals
Dogs that like high-quality kibble or fresh food
Get 50% + FREE Chicken Bites on TWO orders from Spot & Tango
$5.99 for dry food
Dogs that like dehydrated food, clusters, or wet food
Dehydrated, wet, treats, toppers
$5.00, free on orders over $49.00
Up to 60% Off! Code: FALLSALE. from The Honest Kitchen
$7/lb without auto-shipment
Dogs that like dry food, mixed (raw and dry), freeze-dried raw, or wet food
Fresh, dry, freeze-dried raw, raw mix, gently cooked
$5.99 or free for orders over $50
Save 15% Off Your First Order With Code: HELLO15 from Open Farm
Dogs that like fresh frozen, pantry fresh (dry), or DIY homemade food
Fresh Frozen, Pantry Fresh (shelf-stable), DIY Nutrient Blend
$10, or free for autoship deliveries
Save 40% off your first order and 5% off recurring autoship orders! from JustFoodForDogs
Dogs that like whole foods-based fresh food
$9.99 for a 4-bag sample box, free for 16-bag boxes
20% Off Your First Box (16 Bags) from Raised Right
Dogs that like dry or wet food or meal toppers
Dry, wet, toppers, treats, dental chews
$5 for orders less than $35; free shipping over $35
Subscribe and save 15% from Jinx
Choosing the right dog food for your German Shepherd is paramount to their health and happiness. Here are 4 key tips to help you select the best food for your furry friend:
Menu options: German Shepherds require a diet tailored to their energetic nature and physical needs. Kibble is economical and practical, while wet food can be more palatable and hydrating. Fresh and raw options often provide a richer nutrient profile, reflecting a more natural diet, and dehydrated food offers convenience with a minimal processing approach. Consider a mix to balance the benefits of each type. Have a look at The Farmer’s Dog for a good selection of fresh food.
Ingredient quality: High-quality ingredients are crucial for the well-being of German Shepherds. Choose foods that comply with AAFCO guidelines, ensuring complete and balanced nutrition. Whether grain-free or grain-inclusive, the focus should be on whole, recognizable ingredients. Veterinary-approved labels can guide you toward safer and more nutritious choices, suited to your dog's specific health needs. I personally love Ollie for this reason.
Affordability and subscriptions: Budget considerations are important. Single purchase options, like those from Honest Kitchen, allow you to test foods without a subscription commitment. Conversely, services like Nom Nom offer subscription plans that can be more economical over time. Compare costs per serving and look for companies that provide discounts for regular orders.
Specialized health formulas: It's essential to consider the specific health requirements of German Shepherds. Look for foods that cater to their common health issues, such as joint support for their susceptibility to hip dysplasia. Foods with supplements like glucosamine can be beneficial, as well as those designed to support a healthy coat and digestion. Personalized food plans can also be advantageous, targeting the unique health profile of your dog.
The best food for German Shepherds is a balanced diet tailored to their specific health needs. This means a diet typically rich in protein and carbs and moderate in fat. The Farmer's Dog offers fresh food with human-grade ingredients that can meet these needs while also avoiding GMOs, which is good for owners seeking more natural food options for their pets.
German Shepherds don’t necessarily need grain-free food unless they have a specific allergy or intolerance to grains. Ollie provides customized meal plans that can include or exclude grains based on your dog's health requirements, ensuring a balanced diet without ingredients that could cause issues for your dog.
Generally, no. Some pet owners have concerns about the transparency of ingredient sourcing with large brands like Purina. Often, these brands include fillers, GMOs, preservatives, and other unknown and/or harmful ingredients that do far more damage than good. For this reason, vet-approved, human-grade food should be your #1 choice.
For this reason, I highly recommend checking out Nom Nom instead, as it provides vet-approved, human-grade food that meets or exceeds AAFCO standards.
Raw meat can sometimes be part of a German Shepherd's diet, but it should be part of a balanced raw diet formulated to meet all nutritional needs. We Feed Raw provides meal plans that are designed to give German Shepherds the right balance of nutrients from raw meats, which can be a good option for owners interested in raw feeding.