Loyal. Intelligent, Strong, Smart, Protective. And a streak of stubbornness. This is what you get when you bring home your German Shepherd puppy. You now have a loving canine companion who is sure to bring incredible joy to your life.
Your job now is to help your German Shepherd puppy get the training, attention, love and nutrition they need in order to grow up into an incredible partner for you.
German Shepherds will generally be over 50 pounds in adulthood, which means your puppy is a large breed dog. As such, you need to be mindful of this when choosing what food you are going to feed them.
German Shepherd puppies grow quite fast during their first year of life, but they don't tend to reach their full size until closer to 3 years of age. You will want to pay close attention to specific nutrients in their food (calcium and phosphorous) until they reach maturity.
Large breed dogs and German Shepherds especially are prone to bone and joint problems such as hip dysplasia. You will need to make sure they are getting a balanced amount of calcium as too much or too little can have a dramatic effect on your puppy's skeleton.
You will also want to pay close attention to the number of calories your German Shepherd puppy is eating each day, because if they become obese it can greatly exacerbate any bone or joint problems they have. No, you don't have to count out each piece of kibble, but you can't just leave a bowl of food out all day long either.
You want to make sure your German Shepherd puppy is getting quality sources of protein in their diet. Look for a food that has meat as the first ingredient. Good sources of meat are chicken, turkey, duck, beef, salmon, whitefish and buffalo.
As far as carbohydrates, you will want to avoid corn, wheat and cheap fillers. These are almost non-nutritive for your German Shepherd puppy, and there's no sense in feeding them wasted empty calories. Ideal sources of complex carbohydrates are barley, brown rice, oats, peas and sweet potatoes.
Good fat sources are going to come from healthy oils and animal fats. Look for coconut oil, flaxseed oil, or salmon oil. Any of these are fantastic fats for your German Shepherd puppy.
You will also want to look for a food that contains fruits and vegetables, as this is where your German Shepherd puppy will receive most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. Blueberries, spinach and carrots are often fantastic choices, and they are delicious for your German Shepherd puppy.
Top 5 best puppy food for german shepherds 2019 reviewed
With so many foods available to choose from, it can be hard to find the right one for your puppy. We have curated a list of a few of the Best Puppy Foods For German Shepherds for you here, to make it a little easier.
1. Royal canin german shepherd puppy food
With the aid of breeders, veterinarians and other pet experts, Royal Canin painstakingly works through each nutrient as they develop their formulas for their puppy foods. Royal Canin has created puppy foods that are tailored to specific breeds of puppy, and this one has been formulated to meet the unique needs of German Shepherd puppies that are between the ages of 8 weeks and 15 months old.
To meet the needs of you German Shepherd puppy, Royal Canin has ensured there is a good ratio of fats to proteins to carbohydrates in this puppy food.
28% of the calories come from protein. The protein source is chicken byproduct meal, which isn't the purest source of protein, but it is a meat concentrate which contains high amounts of protein. (Almost 300% more protein than is found in fresh chicken). This protein will help your German Shepherd puppy gain and maintain their lean muscle mass.
On the higher end for carbohydrates, 43% of the calories in the puppy food come from brewers rice and brown rice. These complex carbohydrates will provide your puppy with natural energy, as well as some fiber to aid in digestion.
29% of the calories in Royal Canin's German Shepherd Puppy Food come from the fats it contains. The fat in this food comes from chicken fat and fish oil. These fats will provide your German Shepherd puppy with essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential building blocks of life. The fish oil provides DHA as well, which is necessary for brain and eye development.
While some things contained in this food aren't the absolute best, there is a reason this food is so highly recommended. That is because it has for years satisfied pets, trainers, veterinarians and owners alike.
2. NUTRO wholesome essentials puppy food
NUTRO has set out to help your pet be the best they can be, and the people at NUTRO believe that this starts with the food they eat.
NUTRO prides themselves on the wholesome, healthy, non-GMO food they offer to dogs around the world, and dogs and their owners are grateful!
This specific NUTRO food has been made for dogs of a large breed, which your German Shepherd puppy is.
Protein is vital to the health of your German Shepherd puppy, and the first ingredient in this food is pasture-raised lamb followed by lamb meal. Lamb is a great protein to help your puppy develop the lean strong muscles they need.
Brewers rice, peas, brown rice, oatmeal and chickpeas round out the list of complex carbohydrates available in this food. These are all fantastic because they provide healthy sources of energy and give your puppy the fiber they need for healthy digestion.
With plenty of added vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins E, B12, B1, A and taurine, copper and biotin, your German Shepherd puppy will be getting fantastic nutrition while building a healthy immune system.
DHA and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are also on the list. These will help with brain and eye development, and will help your German Shepherd puppy to have a healthy skin and coat.
3. Diamond naturals large breed puppy food
Diamond Naturals has created a puppy food for large breed puppies (like your German Shepherd puppy) that is an excellent blend of nutrients that will help them develop and grow well.
The first ingredient is beef meal, which is a protein source that contains almost 300% as much protein as raw beef. This protein will help your dog to burn fat while building the lean muscle this breed needs.
Peas, Pea flour, quinoa, rice and rice bran will give your puppy the complex carbohydrates they need for energy. These will also aid in healthy digestion for your German Shepherd puppy.
Rounding out the fats are eggs, chicken fat, flaxseed, chia seed and coconut oil. These will provide your German Shepherd puppy with essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, as well as DHA's which are vital to brain and eye development.
4. EUKANUBA german shepherd food
EUKANUBA knows that different dog breeds have different nutritional requirements. That is why they created this formula of puppy food that is made to give German Shepherds the specific nutrition they need.
The first ingredient in this food is chicken, and other protein comes from chicken byproduct meal and fish meal. These are high in protein and will adequately satisfy your German Shepherd puppy's need for nutrition to build strong muscles.
The carbohydrates in this food come from brewers rice and corn meal. Corn is not the best carbohydrate source, but it isn't the worst either. It will fill your puppy's tummy and provide some nutrition in the way of fiber which will help your German Shepherd puppy have a healthy digestive system.
EUKANUBA's German Shepherd food also contains prebiotics to aid in digestion, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote a healthy coat and skin.
5. Nature's recipe large breed food
For 30 years, the people at Nature's Recipe have been working to develop recipes that will allow man's best friend to live a long, happy life. They are focused of feeding dogs quality, healthy food, and they are passionate about using only the best ingredients.
This food meant for large breed puppies contains a premium blend of ingredients to help your German Shepherd puppy grow into the strong dog it is meant to be.
With real chicken being the number one ingredient, you know you are off to a good start. Having a good source of protein is important for the development of your German Shepherd puppy's lean strong muscle mass.
Energy fueling carbohydrates come from sweet potatoes and pumpkins which are not only grain free, but nutrient dense. They are also easily digestible due to their fiber content, and will promote a healthy digestive system in your puppy.
Also containing life sustaining vitamins and minerals like Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, Vitamins E, B12 and others…this is a food that will keep your large breed German Shepherd puppy happy and healthy for a long time to come.