What Is the Best Dog Food for a German Shepherd Dog?
The German Shepherd Dog, also known by the abbreviation GSD, is the second more popular dog breed in America (after Labrador Retrievers). It is a large, easily recognizable breed with a black and tan coat. It is a breed known for its strength, loyalty and intelligence and German Shepherds are commonly trained as working dogs in law enforcement agencies.
An average German Shepherd has a muscular body and is naturally strong and active, weighing between 60-80lbs. A good dog food high in quality meat protein for muscle health and good fat for energy is essential for maintaining peak levels of health.
German Shepherds typically need to consume 1740-2100 calories a day, although sedentary or senior German Shepherds that expend less energy will need a lower caloric intake. The majority of wet and dry dog foods on the market provide much more than the minimum recommendations of 18-22% protein and 5-8% fat (the lower figures apply to adult dogs, the lower ones to puppies and young adults).
German Shepherd puppies grow very rapidly and should be changed from a puppy specific food to an adult recipe by 6 months of age to meet the nutritional demands of rapid growth and help to avoid the risk of bone and joint issues in later life.
As mentioned, the main protein in a German Shepherd’s food should come from a whole meat source such as lamb, beef, poultry or fish, or organ meat such as liver or heart. These animal proteins are a better source of other essential nutrients than processed ingredients or by-products.
Healthy kinds of fat to look for on the ingredients list include fish oil, which provides Omega 3 and Omega 6, fatty acids that are important for a healthy coat, skin, heart and brain.
In common with all dogs, German Shepherds are not entirely carnivorous and can thrive on an omnivorous diet that includes some vegetables, fruits and small amounts of carbohydrates from easily digestible grains such as rice, barley and oats.
The best dog foods for German Shepherds with skin allergies, sensitive stomachs or excessive gas, are those that are specifically developed for grain free or limited ingredient diets and don’t contain common irritants such as wheat, corn or soy.
German Shepherd Dogs are large and highly active, so they need a top quality food that meets the nutritional demands of their size and lifestyle, taking into account as well their individual flavor preferences and special dietary requirements.