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The 10 Best Puppy Foods For German Shepherds In 2024

Welcoming a German Shepherd puppy into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience, but choosing the right puppy foods for German Shepherds can be a challenge.

As a pet owner, it's essential to provide your furry friend with a balanced and nutritious diet to support their growth and development.

At BestForPets (bestforpets.org), we understand that researching the best puppy foods for German Shepherds can be time-consuming and overwhelming.

That's why we've compiled expert reviews and recommendations to help you make an informed decision.

Our reviews compare the most popular options on the market based on feedback from real buyers, so you can trust that you're getting the best advice.

With BestForPets, finding the perfect diet for your growing pup is easy. Just read, click, and buy!

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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1 Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Puppy Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Puppy View on Amazon
2 IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Puppy Food with Real Chicken IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Puppy Food with Real Chicken View on Amazon
3 Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
4 Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food, Chicken and Rice Formula Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food, Chicken and Rice Formula View on Amazon
5 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
6 Purina ONE Plus Large Breed Puppy Food Dry Formula Purina ONE Plus Large Breed Puppy Food Dry Formula View on Amazon
7 Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Large Breeds Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Large Breeds View on Amazon
8 Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe View on Amazon
9 Purina Pro Plan High Protein Puppy Food Pate Purina Pro Plan High Protein Puppy Food Pate View on Amazon
10 Large Breed Dog Food by ORIJEN Large Breed Dog Food by ORIJEN View on Amazon

Reviews

1. Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Puppy

Diamond Naturals Dry Food

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  • Type: Dry
  • Lamb and rice flavor.
  • Weight range: 6-20-40 lbs.
  • A cup has 414 calories.

After researching various brands and flavors, we have determined that Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Food is the ideal choice for your new furry friend.

This food contains pasture-raised lamb as its primary ingredient and rice as a secondary ingredient, making it perfect for a German Shepherd’s sensitive stomach.

The formula has an optimal calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, which supports healthy skeletal development in large-breed puppies. Additionally, prebiotics and probiotics are included to maintain your pup’s digestive tract health.

With natural and wholesome ingredients such as blueberries, kale, spinach, oranges, and coconut, this puppy food is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote healthy skin, hair, eyes, and brain development in your pup.

Furthermore, Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Food includes DHA for brain and eye development, antioxidants, and balanced omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat.

The food is reasonably priced and comes in a variety of bag sizes. However, some reviewers have noted that their dogs are less than enthusiastic about trying the meal.

Pros

Bone and joint health puppy food formulated specifically for big breeds

Lean lamb is the primary protein source.

Excellent value

Various Sizes of Bags to Choose From

Cons

There are some dogs who wouldn’t touch it.

Superior in every way


2. IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Puppy Food with Real Chicken

IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Puppy Food

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  • Type: Dry
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Depending on the size, it might weigh between 15 or 30.6 ounces.
  • The calorie content per serving is 373.

Iams ProActive Health Smart Large Breed Puppy Food is an excellent value brand of puppy food that provides all the necessary nutrients for large-breed pups. It is made with reasonably priced fresh chicken from a local farm, which is perfect for your growing pup.

This diet is formulated to promote robust muscular and joint function, digestive efficiency, immune system strength, and cognitive development in your puppy.

It contains 22 vital nutrients, including DHA from omega-3 fatty acids, which are typically found in a mother’s milk, making it an ideal choice for your growing pup.

The kibble is enriched with antioxidants to help develop a strong immune system and minerals essential for building strong bones. It is complete and balanced, made with high-quality animal protein, and contains no artificial preservatives, flavors, or fillers.

Iams ProActive Health Smart Large Breed Puppy Food has a full line of foods tailored to your dog’s age, size, and dietary needs, from puppy to adult to mature. Whether your pup is a small or large breed, this kibble supports healthy weight and digestion.

Pros

Well-priced

The chicken we use is grown on farms.

Puppies acquire 22 essential elements that aren’t found in other foods.

DHA, derived from omega-3 fatty acids

Promotes strong bones, organs, muscles, and minds.

Cons

Fabricated flavors, corn syrup, corn, and grain syrup.

Worrying about the stomach


3. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food

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  • Type: Dry
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Size: Chicken
  • Approximately 331 calories per cup

Royal Canin's German Shepherd Puppy Food is an exceptional choice for owners who want to provide their German Shepherd puppies with high-quality nutrition.

This food is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of purebred German Shepherd puppies between the ages of 8 weeks and 15 months.

The unique kibble shape is designed to suit a German Shepherd’s long, strong muzzle, promoting chewing and supporting healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, the food includes vitamin E and ingredients that support immune health, promoting healthy development.

To address the potential for digestive issues in German Shepherds, this food contains highly digestible proteins and specific fibers to promote optimal stool quality.

Including glucosamine and chondroitin, this food is an excellent choice for supporting bone and joint health in large breed puppies.

While this food is a bit pricey and contains chicken by-products, maize, and wheat, which may not be ideal for some owners, the vast majority of puppies tolerate these ingredients well.

Overall, with its unique kibble shape, immune-supporting ingredients, and bone and joint support, Royal Canin’s German Shepherd Puppy Food is a great investment in your puppy’s long-term health and wellbeing.

Pros

Specially crafted for young German Shepherd dogs. from 8 weeks to 15 months

Puppy food that is the ideal size and texture for German Shepherds

Vitamin E, fiber, and antioxidants to help digestion

Bone and joint health supplements including chondroitin and glucosamine

Cons

Expensive

Contains maize, wheat, and poultry by-products.


4. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food, Chicken and Rice Formula

Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food

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  • Type: Dry
  • Chicken and rice flavor.
  • Weights of 18, 34, or 47 pounds.
  • Each serving has 419 calories.

Purina Pro Plan's Large Breed Puppy Food is formulated to support an appropriate growth rate for large breed puppies, which are expected to mature at a weight of over 50 pounds.

This food contains the essential omega-3 fatty acid DHA, vital for healthy eyes and brains, as well as complex carbohydrates that provide necessary fuel for growing puppies.

Including glucosamine, this food supports developing joints and cartilage and contains probiotics to boost digestive health and the immune system.

While some puppies may experience gastrointestinal problems with this food since it contains animal by-products (a source of glucosamine), cereals, and corn, the vast majority of puppies tolerate these ingredients well.

In addition, this food includes vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids, which nourish the skin and coat, and a high-protein formula with real chicken as the first ingredient.

With its support for developing joints and cartilage, Purina Pro Plan’s Large Breed Puppy Food is an excellent choice for large-breed puppies.

Pros

Pups expected to grow to more than 50 pounds.

DHA, a fatty acid found in fish oil, is essential for proper brain and visual system development.

Fueling on complex carbohydrates

Glucosamine derived from natural sources

Cons

Including maize and grain by-products.

There’s a chance that some puppies will have gas.


5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food

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  • Type: Dry
  • Chicken with brown rice flavor.
  • Sizes available: 3, 6, 15, and 30 pounds.
  • 400 calories per cup.

Blue Buffalo Lifetime Formula Puppy Food is an excellent option for owners who want to give their puppies the best start in life. This food is loaded with protein and calories thanks to its major component, deboned chicken.

It also contains nutrient- and antioxidant-rich “Bits” from LifeSource, making it a well-rounded and nutritious diet for growing puppies.

This food provides the essential fatty acids DHA and ARA for eye and brain development, as well as calcium and phosphorus to strengthen bones.

Plus, it doesn’t contain any gluten, soy, corn, or animal by-products, making it a great option for puppies with food sensitivities.

While not all puppies may take to this food, and it may occasionally cause stomach issues, the vast majority of puppies tolerate it well and thrive on its high-quality ingredients.

Specially formulated for puppies, this food features real meat as the first ingredient and wholesome whole grains, garden veggies, and fruit.

It also contains a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health and a healthy oxidative balance.

Investing in Blue Buffalo Lifetime Formula Puppy Food is a great way to support your puppy’s long-term health and wellbeing.

Pros

Chicken meat that has been removed from the bones is the primary component.

Mix of kibble and healthy, antioxidant-rich treats

Contains both DHA and ARA

Doesn’t have any fillers, grains, or legumes.

Cons

It’s not fun for every puppy.

Worrying about the stomach


6. Purina ONE Plus Large Breed Puppy Food Dry Formula

Purina ONE Plus Large Breed Puppy Food Dry Formula

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  • Type: Dry
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Weight: 16.5 or 31.1% of a normal human adult.
  • 361 calories per cup.

Purina ONE's SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Food features real chicken as its first and major component, providing puppies with the protein they need for strong, growing muscles, including a healthy heart.

This food includes DHA, a nutrient found in mothers’ milk, to support vision and brain development and includes four antioxidant sources for immune support, such as zinc, selenium, and vitamins A and E.

Containing glucosamine and omega-6 fatty acids, this food helps to maintain an appropriate growth rate, support joint health, and promote healthy skin and coat.

With a mix of hard, crunchy pieces and softer, more tender morsels, puppies will love the variety of textures in this food. Free of synthetic dyes and preservatives, this food is a great choice for puppies with sensitive stomachs or food sensitivities.

It’s important to note that this food includes by-product meal, maize, and cereals, which may cause gastrointestinal problems for some puppies. Additionally, the tender bites may vary in texture and consistency from batch to batch.

Pros

The primary component is actual chicken.

Consisting of rice, which is easy on the digestive system

Immune-boosting zinc, selenium, and vitamins A and E

Mixture of chewy treats and hard kibble

All-natural ingredients, no added flavors or colors

Cons

If your dog has an allergy to maize, soybeans, or grains, this food may not be suitable for him.

Every so often a bag will include a different number of tasty morsels.


7. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Large Breeds

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

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  • Type: Dry
  • Flavoring: oats with chicken meal
  • 15.5 inches tall; 30 pounds.
  • 398 calories per cup.

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food is a scientifically formulated diet for owners who want the best for their large breed puppies. Specially formulated with optimal calcium levels, this food promotes controlled bone growth, essential for large breed puppies.

This food includes a balanced set of minerals to promote strong bones and teeth in growing puppies. Additionally, it contains DHA from fish oil, which supports healthy brain and eye development for growing puppies.

With high-quality protein, this food helps large breed puppies build and maintain lean muscle. Crafted in the USA with trusted global ingredients in a Hill’s-owned, TRUE GOLD certified zero waste facility, this food is a sustainable and ethical choice for owners.

However, some puppies may develop gas and diarrhea after eating this food, while others may not enjoy the taste. Additionally, the food may have an unpleasant odor and can be rather pricey.

Containing balanced minerals, an optimal calcium to phosphorus ratio, and high-quality protein, this food provides essential nutrients for healthy growth and development in large breed puppies.

Pros

Designed for dogs who grow to be larger than 55 pounds.

Bone development in large-breed puppies is supported by a calcium-rich diet.

Antioxidants and vitamins E and C for a healthy immune system

There are no added sugars, salts, or preservatives.

Cons

Expensive

Some people have an extremely low threshold for food scent.

Puppy flatulence and diarrhea is a common problem.


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

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe

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  • Type: Dry
  • Bison and venison flavor.
  • Depending on your preference, you may choose between a 5, 14, or 28 pound size.
  • 415 calories per cup.

Taste of the Wild's Grain Free Puppy Food is a top-quality choice for owners seeking a diet rich in probiotics, nutrients, and superfoods.

Featuring pasture-raised meats like deer, lamb, water buffalo, and bison, this food provides excellent sources of protein for growing puppies.

This kibble is specially formulated to be the right size for a puppy’s teeth and packed with essential nutrients like DHA and omega-3 fatty acids, promoting healthy eye and brain growth in puppies.

Additionally, this food includes antioxidant-rich ingredients like sweet potatoes and blueberries, as well as dried chicory root, a natural prebiotic that supports healthy digestion and overall immune system function.

Grain-free, this food is ideal for puppies with grain sensitivities. However, this food may be a bit pricey for some owners, and it has a strong smell that not all puppies may enjoy.

Additionally, the food contains pea protein, which may have potential effects on cardiovascular health that are still being studied.

Despite these potential downsides, Taste of the Wild’s Grain Free Puppy Food is a great choice for owners looking to provide their puppies with a healthy and balanced diet packed with probiotics, superfoods, and pasture-raised meats.

Pros

Roasted water buffalo, lamb, and venison from grass-fed, humanely-raised animals make up the bulk of the components.

Including prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health.

To accommodate puppies with less developed jaws and teeth, kibbles are kept relatively tiny.

DHA (an omega-3) from fish oil helps maintain healthy nerve tissue, retinal function, skin, and hair.

Antioxidant-rich foods and drinks made from a wide range of substances

Cons

Digestive issues have been linked to consuming a wide variety of protein sources.

Some people may be averse to the odor.

Some individuals choose not to feed them because they have heard that research on grain-free meals is still in its early stages.

Rather than being formulated for large breed dogs, this food is suitable for any puppy.


9. Purina Pro Plan High Protein Puppy Food Pate

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Puppy Food Pate

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  • Type: Wet
  • Chicken and rice flavor.
  • 12 cans of 13 ounces each.
  • 475 calories per can.

Purina Pro Plan Canned Puppy Food is an affordable and nutritious option for owners seeking a healthy diet for their growing puppies. Featuring chicken as its primary ingredient, this food provides high-quality protein for healthy muscle growth.

Additionally, this food contains DHA, which is essential for healthy vision and brain function in puppies, and 23 other essential vitamins and minerals that support good health in growing puppies.

Made in the USA, this food is free of synthetic additives like dyes or flavors, making it a safe and healthy choice for puppies. It’s worth noting that this food contains grains and animal by-products, which may be a concern for some owners.

However, it’s still a great option for those looking for an affordable and nutritious canned puppy food. It’s important to introduce this food gradually and monitor your puppy’s reaction, as some puppies may experience diarrhea when transitioning to this food.

Containing high-quality protein, DHA, and essential vitamins and minerals, this food is an excellent and affordable choice for owners seeking a nutritious option for their growing puppies.

Pros

Excellent value

Contains DHA in addition to 23 essential nutrients.

100% American-made.

There are no additives of any kind.

Cons

Could make some pups sick to their stomachs.

Youve got a lot of cans you need to feed, so use this as a topping.


10. Large Breed Dog Food by ORIJEN

ORIJEN® Puppy Large Dry Dog Food

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  • Type: Dry
  • Fish, chicken, and turkey flavors.
  • Weight options: 13 or 25 lbs.
  • The calorie content per serving is 451 (kilocalories).

ORIJEN's Large Puppy Food is a highly nutritious and biologically appropriate option for owners seeking a healthy diet for their large breed puppies.

Featuring responsibly sourced, free-run, or farmed chicken and fish as its first five ingredients, this food provides a biologically appropriate diet for large breed puppies.

Additionally, the kibble is 100% natural and coated with freeze-dried ingredients to enhance its flavor and palatability.

Approximately 85% of the ingredients in this food are high-quality animal sources that provide essential nutrients for healthy growth and development.

It’s worth noting that this food is relatively expensive, and some puppies may experience digestive issues like diarrhea when transitioning to it. It’s essential to introduce this food gradually and monitor your puppy’s reaction.

Despite these potential downsides, ORIJEN’s Large Puppy Food is a top-quality option for owners seeking a biologically appropriate and highly nutritious diet for their large breed puppies.

Containing fresh and raw animal ingredients, this food supports healthy growth and development in puppies.

In summary, ORIJEN’s Large Puppy Food is a premium quality food featuring responsibly sourced animal ingredients.

With its high percentage of animal sources and freeze-dried coating, this food is an excellent choice for owners seeking a nutritious and delicious diet for their large breed puppies.

Pros

The first five items are all either wild-caught, sustainably farmed, or free-range.

An impressive eighty-five percent of the components are derived from the highest quality animals.

Flavoring is added to freeze-dried snacks.

Pure and natural dog food

Cons

Expensive

Worrying about the stomach

There is ongoing investigation on the effects of legume-rich diets on cardiovascular health.

How to Choose the Best Puppy Food for Your German Shepherd: A Guide for Consumers

When shopping for puppy food for your German Shepherd, there are several factors to consider to ensure that your puppy receives all the necessary nutrients to support growth and development.

1. Calories

Puppy food is generally high in calories to meet the energy demands of a growing puppy. A high-protein, high-calorie diet will sustain your puppy’s growth and development, providing the energy they require.

2. Protein

German Shepherd puppies require a high protein diet to support their muscle growth and development. Look for puppy foods that contain high-quality sources of protein, such as chicken, lamb, or fish.

3. DHA

DHA is an important nutrient found in puppy food that supports brain and eye development. Omega-3 fatty acids are a great source of DHA, and many puppy foods contain added DHA to promote optimal development of the central nervous system.

4. Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential for bone and tooth development in puppies. Puppy foods often contain additional supplements to ensure that your puppy receives all the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal growth.

It’s important to find the right balance of nutrients in your puppy’s food, as rapid growth in large-breed puppies can lead to bone deformities. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate type and amount of food for your puppy.

In summary, when shopping for puppy food for your German Shepherd, look for high-quality sources of protein, added DHA to support brain and eye development, and supplements to support bone and tooth development.

Consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate type and amount of food for your puppy to ensure optimal growth and development.

“Uncover the 11 best dog foods tailored for German Shepherds in our comprehensive guide. Enhance your loyal companion’s nutrition at BestForPets.org!”

FAQs

1. What food is best for German Shepherd?

German Shepherds require a diet that is high in protein and carbohydrates to develop and maintain their muscle mass and energy levels. The best protein sources for adult German Shepherds are chicken, beef, fish, lamb, turkey, and eggs.

2. What should a German Shepherd puppy eat in a day?

German Shepherd puppies should consume 2 to 3 cups of food in three meals per day from 6 to 9 months old, 3 to 3 1/2 cups of food in three meals per day from 9 to 12 months old, and 3 1/2 to 4 cups of food in two meals per day from 12 months and older.

3. What should a 3 month old German Shepherd eat?

To develop muscle mass, German Shepherd puppies require a diet that is high in protein, carbohydrates, and fat for the first three months.

Sources of protein such as soy products, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish should account for 25% of their calorie intake. Dairy products such as cheese and yogurt are also excellent sources of protein for puppies.

4. Is Royal Canin good for German Shepherd?

Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult dog food is specially formulated to support bone and joint health, maintain a healthy skin and coat, and support digestive health, which are essential for this active breed.

5. Can German Shepherd puppy eat rice?

Yes, German Shepherd puppies can consume rice. Rice is a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein, and is easily digestible and palatable. However, rice must be cooked properly and should not be seasoned with additional ingredients.

If you’re considering feeding your German Shepherd puppy rice, it’s important to choose the right food for their specific nutritional needs, as outlined in the article “German Shepherd Puppies Need Special Food: Here’s How To Pick The Right One.”

6. What not to give a German Shepherd puppy?

German Shepherd puppies should not be fed alcohol, xylitol, caffeine, grapes, raisins, sultanas, corn on the cob, bread dough, or meat on the bone.

7. Is Egg good for German Shepherd puppy?

Yes, eggs are an excellent addition to a German Shepherd puppy’s diet. They contain significant amounts of protein, biotin, and calcium. It is recommended to include additional ingredients such as fresh meat, kibble, bones, or vegetables to the meal as well.

Conclusion

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Food is an excellent choice for German Shepherd puppies because it provides them with the necessary nutrients for growth and development.

This food contains easily digestible lamb-based vitamins and minerals that offer a balanced blend of essential nutrients. Additionally, the food includes probiotics that promote digestive health in puppies.

Iams ProActive Health Smart is also an excellent option for pet owners looking for reasonably priced large breed puppy food. This food contains 22 essential nutrients that are necessary for healthy growth and development in puppies.

Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food is specially formulated for German Shepherds aged 8 weeks to 15 months. This high-quality food provides essential nutrients that support healthy growth and development in puppies.

At BestForPets, we believe that feeding your German Shepherd puppy large breed chow food is crucial for their overall health and well-being. This type of food contains the necessary vitamins and minerals in the appropriate ratios to support healthy growth and development in puppies.

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Dr. Freddie T. Young is a highly qualified veterinarian who specializes in emergency and critical care for tiny animals. Now, she serves as a relief veterinarian for various emergency and speciality hospitals, providing skilled treatment to animals in need.

Dr. Freddie Young

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