Best Dog Food for German Shepherds 2024

Written by Adam Lee-Smith

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 06/02/2023, edited: 02/08/2024

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds 2024 image

The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.

Large breeds like GSDs are prone to health problems like hip dysplasia, arthritis, and degenerative myelopathy — all problems that a high-quality, specially formulated diet can help with.

Dog foods that contain high-quality protein sources and omega-3 fatty acids can help support joint strength, reduce inflammation, and maintain a healthy weight.

Not sure what's the best food to feed your German Shepherd? We've rounded up 5 of the best dog foods for German Shepherds to help your Alsatian live a long and happy life!


Nom Nom

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Nom Nom is a subscription-based service that delivers directly to your front door. With the help of board-certified veterinary nutritionists, Nom Nom has formulated 4 fresh, human-grade recipes packed with flavor and nutritional goodness.

What makes Nom Nom one of the best dog foods for German Shepherds? It's formulated with the highest-quality ingredients and slow-cooked to maintain maximum nutritional value. 

For example, Nom Nom's Beef Mash recipe features ground beef, russet potatoes, eggs, carrots, and peas in the top 5 ingredients — no low-quality fillers here! Fish oil gives your pooch a healthy dose of fatty acids to strengthen their joints and reduce inflammation, while taurine aids heart function. Nom Nom foods include vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin B2 supplements.

Read our full Nom Nom dog food review to learn more about this furrific brand.

Nom Nom dog food flavors

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Beef

Nom Nom Dog Food

Nom Nom Dog Food

Why Wag! loves Nom Nom

  • Made with human-grade ingredients
  • Pre-portioned meals to meet your dog's dietary requirements
  • Prepared in the USA and shipped in dry ice for freshness
  • High-quality protein with added amino acids, taurine, and other vitamins beneficial to GSDs

Considerations & concerns

  • Pricier than alternative dog foods
  • Can take up a lot of freezer space
  • Three out of four recipes (including the beef, chicken, and pork recipes) are grain-free, which may concern some pet parents due to links with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

What pet parents say about Nom Nom

"I went with NomNomNow after reading reviews. I liked the idea of the fresh food, too. I have two German Shepherds and they are about two and a half years old. Since using it, we've noticed that in one of them the hair has gotten softer. There is also a little bit of weight on her where she was having trouble with, and her energy levels went through the roof. I feed them three formulations: beef, pork and chicken. NomNomNow is everything everybody says on the reviews. It works great, and we have been recommending it."

"My dogs are more excited to eat dinner now and I do think I can tell they have more energy and their eyes look more close as well. They are both 7 years old. We've not had any problems with shipping it delivery either."

Read more reviews on Consumer Affairs.

Product image sourced from Nom Nom. Copyright Nom Nom.

The Farmer's Dog

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The Farmer's Dog uses only human-grade ingredients in its dog food. This dog food brand is in a league of its own — simply provide some info about your sweet GSD, and The Farmer's Dog will create a meal plan based on your pup's unique needs. A tailored food plan means your Alsatian is less likely to become overweight — pawfect if weight gain is a concern for your pooch.

The Farmer's Dog's foods are steam-cooked to retain as much nutritional value as possible. Human-grade protein sources support muscle growth and a healthy heart. Plus, high-quality protein is highly digestible, improving gastrointestinal health. Other ingredients, like sunflower seeds, fish oil, and kale, are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and improve joint health.

Read our full review of The Farmer's Dog to learn why we give this food 4 paws up!

The Farmer's Dog Fresh Dog Food

The Farmer's Dog Fresh Dog Food

Why Wag! loves The Farmer's Dog

  • Made using only human-grade ingredients
  • Good fat-to-protein percentage
  • Recipes are tailored to your dog's breed, size, and age, reducing the risk of weight gain
  • High in omega-3 fatty acids

Considerations & concerns

  • Pricier than alternative dog foods
  • Subscription model may be off-putting to some pet parents
  • No preservatives mean it's highly perishable

What pet parents say about The Farmer's Dog

"[Our] German Shepherd was struggling with the food he was eating. Tried specialized and limited ingredients and then I found Farmers Dog. He has more energy, healthy and perfect weight. He is 10 and still has puppy features to play etc. Thanks you so much. Customer service is great. I had a lot of questions. Staff was kind and helpful."

"Our dogs, a 15 yr old Chow/Siberian Husky mix, and our 2 yr old Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd mix absolutely love the FD food. They are both healthy, shiny coats and active. We are so thankful for this healthy food."

Read more reviews on Trustpilot.

Product image sourced from The Farmer's Dog website. Copyright The Farmer's Dog.


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Best high-protein food

Orijen offers a range of high-protein wet, dry, and freeze-dried dog foods featuring ingredients based on a dog's ancestral diet. Every Orijen food contains at least 85% fresh or raw protein — the top 5 ingredients in each food are animal protein sources. 

The Orijen Original recipe lists chicken, turkey, flounder, whole mackerel, and chicken liver as the first 5 ingredients. The freeze-dried coating helps Orijen's dry foods maintain freshness and also makes them super tasty for German Shepherds who are picky eaters.

Ingredients like whole herring mean Orijen dog food is bursting with omega-3 fatty acids and essential oils. One ingredient, chicory root, contains inulin, a soluble dietary fiber and prebiotic that aids digestion and helps regulate blood sugar. Since GSDs are prone to developing bowel conditions and diabetes, these ingredients make Orijen one of the top foods for German Shepherds.

Check out our full Orijen dog food review to learn more about the brand's offerings.

Orijen dog food flavors and products

  • Original flavor
  • Six Fish flavor
  • Regional Red flavor
  • Tundra flavor
  • Amazing Grains product line
  • Freeze-Dried Food Medallions product line
  • Senior product line
  • Fit & Trim product line

Orijen Dog Food

Orijen Dog Food

Why Wag! loves Orijen

  • First 5 ingredients are fresh protein sources
  • 85% of ingredients come from animals
  • "Wholeprey" fish ingredients make Orijen dog food high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Nutritional benefits for GSDs prone to or diagnosed with joint issues or diabetes

Considerations & concerns

  • Pricier than some alternative dog foods
  • High-fat content means Orijen dog foods aren't ideal for GSDs with weight issues
  • Grain-free recipes may concern some pet parents due to potential links to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

What pet parents say about Orijen

"Expensive, but if you can afford it, it is the best dry dog food available and worth it. I have a seven year old German Shepherd that has never before eaten dry food without some kind of topper. She eats this like it is steak. The top ingredients are all meat and there are none of this "meal" stuff in the ingredients."

"My Greyhound is not a big eater and a bit picky so when I gave him his first taste of Orijen I was surprised that he ate the whole bowl! That is a first for dry food. I like the ingredients list with a variety of proteins."

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Product image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Mars Petcare Inc.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness

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Vet recommended

Blue Buffalo's Wilderness range of wet and dry dog foods is high in protein — perfect for helping your German Shepherd build lean muscle mass. All recipes contain a source of real animal protein as the top ingredient, along with plenty of extras that'll support your GSD's health.

Common ingredients like menhadden fish meal and flaxseed are high in omega-3 fatty acids, while cranberries are antioxidant-rich and loaded with vitamins C, E, and K. Added taurine helps support muscle and eye function, which is especially beneficial to German Shepherds. Glucosamine added to Blue Buffalo Wilderness' large-breed recipes promotes joint health.

Dr. Georgia Jeremiah, one of Wag!’s licensed veterinary consultants, personally recommends Blue Buffalo to her own clients.

"Blue Buffalo dog food products cater to different life stages, sizes, and breeds of dogs. They offer formulations containing limited ingredients, which may be beneficial for dogs with certain dietary sensitivities."

Read our full Blue Buffalo dog food review to find out if this is the best dog food for your German Shepherd.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food

Why Wag! loves Blue Buffalo Wilderness

  • Real animal protein is the top ingredient
  • Several ingredients containing omega-3 fatty acids
  • Added taurine and glucosamine in some recipes to promote eye, muscle, and joint health

Considerations & concerns

  • Ingredients found in some Blue Buffalo Wilderness foods, like tomato pomace, are considered lower-quality fillers
  • Contains meat meals that aren't human-grade and are often used in lower-quality dog foods
  • Complaints about Blue Buffalo products causing diarrhea in dogs

What pet parents say about Blue Buffalo Wilderness

"The dog food was grain-free and really suited the German Shepherds that we had. One of the dogs had an allergy that seemed to flair up unless she ate their dog food. The salmon in particular was a favorite."

"Blue Buffalo is remarkable brand that took my blue nose pitbull skin condition from mangy to flawless. The blue buffalo we used was the salmon flavor and unlike other brands, not only did the it cure his skin allegedly but he loved it as if it was a treat. We could not be more thankful to blue buffalo for the wonderful line of dog food which saved us thousands of dollars in finding his allergy issue at the veterinarian."

Read more reviews on Consumer Affairs.

Product image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd.


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