10 Best Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppy (+ Buying Guide)

Are you the devoted parent of a delightful German Shepherd puppy? You would obviously want to keep your furry little one nourished and healthy with the best food available.

To make sure that your puppy transforms into a healthy adult, it is paramount that you choose the best food for them.

Well, folks, we have just that for you. The top 10 food choices are perfectly suited for your cherished German Shepherd puppy. And we assure you that this impeccable list will guarantee both their discerning palate and their delicate tummies will be content.

Food for German Shepherd Puppy: The Best Ten that You Can Find

1. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy

To meet the unique nutritional requirements of these fluffy little friends, the best option is Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition for German Shepherd puppies. This formula contains essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals. And it is known to promote proper growth and development. It supports digestion and strengthens the puppy’s immune system for overall health.

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Royal Canin commits to tailored formulas for different breeds. You can trust that your German Shepherd puppy will receive a high-quality diet as per their requirements. Go for Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition for German Shepherd puppies, as it will provide your beloved companion with the necessary nourishment for a joyful and healthy life.


  • Provides breed-specific nutrition
  • Provides digestive support
  • Improves immune system


  • It can be more expensive
  • It may not be available in your region
  • May not have all ingredients aligned with the required dietary needs

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2. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed

Hill's Science Diet Puppy Large Breed

Hill’s Science Diet is a brand that stands out if you want your puppy to have the right kind of nutrition. Their Puppy Large Breed formula provides a perfect mix of wholesome ingredients to ensure your furry friend’s health and growth.

Real chicken, a high-quality source of protein, is a key ingredient in this formula. It promotes strong bones and joints, which are crucial for growing puppies.

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Hill’s Science Diet also includes a precise balance of important vitamins and minerals that strengthen your puppy’s immune system. With Hill’s Science Diet, your German Shepherd puppy can get their nutritional requirements fulfilled. This will give them the kickstart they need to grow up healthy. Give them this excellent formula and enjoy watching them thrive with every wag of their tail.


  • Manufactured for large breed puppies
  • Has all natural ingredients
  • Supports the developing immune system


  • For a specific breed
  • It may not meet your individual preferences
  • More expensive
  • Availability may be an issue

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3. Orijen Puppy Large

Orijen Puppy Large

When it comes to giving your German Shepherd puppy a high-quality meal, Orijen Puppy Large Food is an excellent option.

Orijen is specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of growing puppies and offers a biologically appropriate recipe. It contains a delicious blend of free-run chicken, turkey, wild-caught fish, and nest-laid eggs. It provides a protein-rich feast that supports healthy development. Orijen takes pride in sourcing fresh ingredients from local sources.

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They ensure that your furry friend enjoys a wholesome and flavorful meal. From farm to bowl, Orijen maintains a strong commitment to quality and nutrition. This makes it a reliable and trusted choice for your German Shepherd puppy. With Orijen, you will be at peace knowing that you have provided one of the best foods for your furry little friend.


  • Uses all high-quality ingredients
  • Has transparency when it comes to sourcing ingredients


  • It might take time for the puppy to adjust to it
  • More on the expensive side
  • It might not be available easily

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4. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula

You should consider trying Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula. This recipe is grain-free and takes inspiration from the ancestral diet of canines, featuring real roasted meat and vegetables. It’s like a culinary adventure for your furry little friend!

This formula is carefully designed to provide a balanced and nourishing meal. It will fuel your puppy’s energy and support their overall health.

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It comes with an ideal blend of amino acids and immune-boosting antioxidants. It satisfies the taste buds of your puppy while still providing them with essential nutrients.


  • Source of high-quality protein
  • Grain and gluten-free
  • Includes fruits and vegetables
  • Supports the digestive system


  • It might not meet the individual preferences
  • It might not be easy for the puppy to adjust to the food
  • Slightly expensive
  • It may not be available at your local stores

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5. Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy

Wellness Complete Health Large-puppy foody Food emerges as a top contender when you consider the well-being of your puppy. This premium formula is carefully crafted with high-quality ingredients. It comes with tender deboned chicken, nutrient-rich brown rice, and a medley of wholesome fruits and vegetables.

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By providing a balanced and nutritious diet, Wellness Complete Health supports the healthy growth and development of your furry friend.

One notable component of this food is the inclusion of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. DHA plays a crucial role in supporting cognitive development. It helps your puppy’s brain learn and explore its surroundings. This added benefit sets Wellness Complete Health apart.


  • Specifically for the puppies of the large breed
  • Manufactured with all-natural ingredients
  • Has all the essential nutrients


  • Individual preferences for each puppy may not be met
  • Slightly on the more expensive side
  • Local availability may be objective

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6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Puppy Food

When it comes to energizing your adventurous puppy, Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Puppy Food is a fantastic choice. This formula is rich in protein thanks to its high-quality ingredients like deboned chicken and fish meal. It provides the necessary energy to keep your puppy active and playful. It is also grain-free, making it suitable for those with sensitive stomachs.

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By eliminating grains from the recipe, this food reduces the risk of triggering digestive issues or allergies in your puppy. It prioritizes wholesome ingredients that are easy to digest. It ensures that your furry friend receives maximum nutritional benefits from every meal.


  • Contents are high in protein
  • Made with a grain-free formula
  • Contains natural ingredients


  • More expensive as compared to local options
  • It may not be available locally

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7. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe

If you’re in search of a grain-free option that doesn’t compromise on taste, Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe is the perfect choice. It is specifically formulated with your German Shepherd puppy in mind. This delightful formula is made with real deboned chicken, sweet potatoes, and peas. With all this, it offers a flavorful and nutritious meal with every bite.

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What sets Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe apart is its dedication to your puppy’s overall well-being. This food lets your pup have healthy skin and a shiny coat. It is enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, which makes sure that your furry friend stands out and looks healthier than other puppies. The inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin supports joint health. It accommodates their active and playful lifestyle.

Merrick goes above and beyond by carefully selecting premium ingredients and preparing their recipes in small batches. This is to guarantee maximum freshness and flavor. They omit grains, artificial colors, and preservatives, making them a wholesome choice for your growing pup.


  • Grain-free
  • Contains high-quality ingredients
  • All-natural
  • No artificial additives


  • It may not be affordable for all
  • Availability may be subjective to your location

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8. Canidae PURE Puppy Recipe

If you want a meal option for your pup that has a simple and easy-to-understand ingredient list, Canidae PURE Puppy Recipe is an excellent choice. This outstanding option prioritizes real meat and wholesome ingredients while also being grain-free and free from common allergens. It provides a well-balanced blend of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

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This formula delivers optimal nourishment to support your puppy’s growth and development.

The high-quality proteins aid in building strong muscles, while the essential vitamins and minerals contribute to overall health and well-being. You will know that your furry friend is receiving a nutritious and wholesome meal without any unnecessary fillers or additives. Give your German Shepherd puppy this fantastic food option, and they’ll wag their tail in delight with every tasty bite!


  • Contains protein of high quality
  • A grain-free formula


  • A limited-ingredient food
  • Not easily affordable
  • Availability may vary by region

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9. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Food is expertly formulated to provide complete nourishment for your German Shepherd puppy, ensuring their overall well-being from the inside out. The foundation of this recipe is farm-raised chicken, a high-quality protein source that promotes healthy muscle development, giving your puppy the essential building blocks they need to grow and thrive.

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But it doesn’t stop there. Nutro Wholesome Essentials goes the extra mile by incorporating a carefully selected blend of whole grains and fruits. These ingredients offer a wide range of nutritional benefits, including a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The combination of whole grains and fruits works together to support your puppy’s immune system, aid in digestion, and contribute to their overall health and vitality.


  • Real meat is a main ingredient
  • Contains balanced nutrition
  • No artificial additives


  • Transitioning to this food may be difficult for sensitive puppies
  • More expensive as compared to mainstream puppy foods
  • It may not be available in your local market

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10. Acana Puppy & Junior Formula

Acana Puppy & Junior Formula

Acana Puppy & Junior Formula comes highly recommended for German Shepherd puppies, providing them with a protein-rich and delicious meal. This formula is a true delight for their taste buds, featuring a variety of mouthwatering meats such as free-run chicken, whole eggs, and wild-caught fish. With its grain-free composition, this food is not only tasty but also suitable for puppies with sensitive stomachs.

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The combination of high-quality proteins and wholesome ingredients in Acana Puppy & Junior Formula ensures that your furry friend receives the essential nutrients necessary for healthy growth and development. The inclusion of nutrient-dense meats contributes to the development of strong muscles, while the absence of grains makes it easier for their digestive system to process.


  • Biologically appropriate
  • Uses high-quality ingredients
  • Has transparency in sourcing


  • Higher price than other puppy foods
  • Sensitive puppies might have trouble transitioning to this food
  • Availability may be an issue

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Buying Guide

When selecting the best food for your German Shepherd puppy, consider the following points:

Nutritional Balance

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has set standards that are crucial for your German Shepherd’s growth and development. Choose the food for your puppy when it passes these standards. These standards ensure that the food contains essential nutrients.

Protein Content

For German Shepherds, a breed known for their activity and muscular build, it is crucial to choose a puppy food that contains a high-quality protein source. Look for foods that derive their protein from animal-based ingredients like:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Fish

It is recommended to select a puppy food with a minimum protein content of approximately 25–30% to support your puppy’s muscle development adequately.


German Shepherds may experience stomach sensitivity, so it’s advisable to choose puppy food that is easily digested. Seek out ingredients such as rice, oatmeal, or sweet potatoes, as they are gentle on the digestive system. It’s best to avoid foods with excessive fillers or artificial additives, as these may potentially lead to stomach discomfort.

german shepherd puppy siting outdoors

Large Breed Formula

German Shepherds are classified as a big breed and have specific nutritional needs to maintain their bone and joint health. Opt for a puppy food specially designed for large breeds, as these diets typically contain carefully regulated levels of calcium and phosphorus.

These nutrients are essential for promoting healthy skeletal development and minimizing the chances of skeletal problems.

Allergies or Special Needs

Take into account any allergies or dietary limitations that your German Shepherd puppy may have. If your puppy has known allergies, it’s important to consult your veterinarian to determine potential food triggers and choose a hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient diet that suits their needs.

If your puppy has specific health concerns or requires a specialized diet, it’s advisable to seek guidance from your vet to receive suitable food recommendations.

Picking a Top Brand

When it comes to feeding your furbaby, selecting the right dog food brand for your German Shepherd puppy is crucial. Wondering how to make the best choice? It’s all about understanding what’s inside that bag!

What’s in the Bowl Matters

High-quality ingredients are the secret to a happy, healthy pup. Look for dog food that lists real meat like chicken, beef, or fish as the top ingredient. Wholesome carbs like brown rice or sweet potatoes should also be on the menu.

Want some top picks? Brand names like Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin are puptastic choices that steer clear of nasty artificial additives.

Understanding Dog Food Labels

Ever find dog food labels baffling? You’re not alone! Key tip: the first ingredient should be a protein source. Steer clear of fillers like corn or wheat, and dodge artificial preservatives and colors. Your pup’s health is worth that extra bit of label scrutiny, isn’t it?

Transitioning Your German Shepherd from Puppy to Adult Food

Is your precious German Shepherd pup growing up faster than you can keep up? It’s about that time to think about switching from puppy food to adult food. This big step is super important as it supports their leap into adulthood.

So, when is the perfect time to start this foodie journey?

For your German Shepherd, the magic number is around 12 months old. These big pups need a bit more time to mature, so waiting until they hit this milestone ensures they’re getting the right nutrition at the right time.

Ready to start? Begin by mixing a little bit of adult food with their usual puppy kibble. Over the next week or two, gradually up the adult food while phasing out the puppy portions.

This slow and steady approach helps prevent any upset tummies and eases your pup into their new diet. 


Choosing the best food for your German Shepherd puppy is essential for their overall health and well-being. Each of the top 10 options we’ve discussed offers unique benefits and considerations.

Remember to consider your fido’s specific needs, such as allergies, size, and age, when making your decision.

Whether you opt for the tailored nutrition of Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition, the wilderness-inspired flavors of Taste of the Wild, or the limited ingredient goodness of Canidae PURE, rest assured that you’re providing your German Shepherd puppy with a nutritious and delicious meal.

Keep in mind that finding the perfect food may involve some trial and error, as each puppy is unique. Observe your pup’s response to the food, including their coat condition, energy levels, and digestion, to ensure it suits them well. If you have any concerns or questions, always consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Food For German Shepherd Puppies

Should I feed my German Shepherd puppy dry dog food or wet food?

While some German Shepherd owners prefer to feed their puppies wet food for variety, it’s generally recommended to provide a balanced diet with dry dog food. Dry food helps maintain good oral health and can be more convenient for feeding large breed puppies like the German Shepherd.

How much food should I feed my German Shepherd puppy?

The amount of food you should feed your German Shepherd puppy depends on factors such as age, weight, and activity level. It’s important to follow the feeding guidelines provided on the dog food packaging and adjust as needed based on your puppy’s growth and development.

Is raw food a good option for German Shepherd puppies?

While some dog owners opt for a raw food diet for their pets, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian before feeding raw food to your German Shepherd puppies. Raw diets require careful balance to ensure all nutritional needs are met.

What are the best food options for adult German Shepherds?

For adult dogs, look for kibble formulas tailored to the needs of the breed. Brands like Purina Pro Plan offer adult German Shepherd formulas that support overall health and wellness.

Do German Shepherd puppies need high protein?

Absolutely! Your little furball is growing at an incredible rate, so a high-protein diet is essential to support their muscle development and overall growth. German Shepherds, known for their strength and vitality, particularly benefit from a protein-rich diet during their puppy months. Just make sure it’s balanced with other nutrients to keep your pup healthy and happy!

James has been raising and working with dogs since 2017, and has been a dog lover his entire life. He and his wife have a young son and love spending time together, traveling, enjoying the outdoors and connecting their quality German Shepherd pups with great families.