What is the best dog food to feed my German Shepherd and why?

Aside from cooking her meat myself, what’s the best quality dry dog food? I just spent on a bag of Royal Canin, and Costco’s dog food has chicken & chicken meal as the 1st 2 ingredients, while Royal Canin’s 2nd ingredient is rice!

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12 Responses to What is the best dog food to feed my German Shepherd and why?

  1. abbyful says:

    There is no single food that is "best". For example, some dogs thrive on grain-free foods, while grain-free is too rich for other dogs. What you want to find is the high-quality food that *your dog* does best on.

    I recommend feeding dry food. It’s healthier for the gums and teeth.

    On choosing a good dog food:
    Read the ingredients on the food you buy. Go with a high quality dog food. A grain should not be in the first couple ingredients ingredient (corn and such are mainly fillers, dogs don’t digest it well). Avoid foods that have a lot of "by products" listed.

    Here is an article about byproducts:

    And an article on what ingredients to avoid:

    Some GOOD foods are :
    * Merrick – http://www.merrickpetcare.com/
    * Solid Gold – http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/
    * Canidae – http://www.canidae.com/
    * Timberwolf – http://timberwolforganics.com/
    * Orijen – http://www.championpetfoods.com/orijen/orijen/
    * Wellness – http://www.omhpet.com/wellness/
    * Chicken Soup brand – http://www.chickensoupforthepetloverssoul.com/
    * Blue Buffalo – http://www.bluebuff.com/
    * Innova – http://www.naturapet.com/brands/innova.asp
    * Innova EVO – http://www.naturapet.com/brands/evo.asp

    Or check this website for good foods: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/
    (I recommend only feeding foods rated 4, 5, or 6 stars. Anything 3 stars or less, I would stay away from.)

    Stay away from grocery stores brands. They are low-quality foods chalk full of fillers, preservatives, dyes, etc.. (Grocery store foods are those like Beneful, Old Roy, Alpo, Pedigree, Purina, etc.)

    Beware "premium" foods. "Premium" does not mean good nutritionally, and is not a nutritionally high quality food. It has the same types of ingredients as grocery store foods, just a bit better quality of those not-so-good ingredients. (Premium foods are those like Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, etc..)

    Another thing to be wary of: A lot of vets will recommend what they sell in their office. They get profit from the brands they keep on their shelves, that’s why they push it. Truth is, vet schools don’t focus a lot on nutrition. It’s not saying that a vet is a bad vet because he recommends those foods, a lot of vets just are told "this is good food", so they pass the message along without proper nutrition knowledge. Also, some dog food brands (like Hills) support vet schools, so vets have heard of it from the time they start college, which makes them think it’s good as well.

    Higher quality food may seem more expensive at first, but it evens out. The higher quality the food, the less fillers eaten (and therefore the less poop comes out the other end). Your dog eats more to try to get the nutrition it needs, and most of the food just passes right on through. Also, it will make your animals healthier, so you save money on vet bills in the long run.

    "Big box" petstores like Petco and Petsmart rarely have quality foods. (I do believe that PetCo sells "Solid Gold" brand, which is a quality food, but most of the foods aren’t.)

    Also, grocery stores and Walmart aren’t good places to buy food either.

    Your best bets for getting quality dog food are:
    – small, locally owned petstores
    – dog boutiques
    – farm supply stores

    When switching foods, do it gradually. I do this over about a two week timespan:
    25% food A, 75% food B
    50% food A, 50% food B
    75% food A, 25% food B
    100% food A

  2. Clint E says:

    humans are good…dogs love them

  3. Drago_65 says:

    I use Pedigree for my two Shepherds

  4. jaws65 says:

    i m not sure what brand but dry food is better for him

  5. Malcolm H says:

    uncooked meat ,,becayse unlike all dog foods it contains no preserevatives canned dog foods are poison and who knows what is in the dry stuff,,,as an example if i give my fox terrier rwo cans of any dog food in a row he will have rumatism in his back legs for a week.

  6. west says:

    any kind of dogfood, as long as it is full of vitamins and minerals. cook its meal with love.

  7. Halfpint says:

    Hi i used to have 2 German shepherds, great dogs, i miss mine so much, never mind all that, you do have to be care full about the dry food you give them, as they could get problems in there back legs when they get abit older, so try to find a dry food with a low pro teen in it, i used to feed my dogs with most of the food i eat, as if it was good for me it was good for them, but mine loved any thing,but not tinned dog food, would you eat it, at most pet shops in the UK sell frozen dog meat, and fish,I would some times with them that with rice, or pasta, and veg if i was having something my dogs did not eat, i found it a lot cheaper, and put a little touch of olive oil in there food,this is great for there coats, and joint. i hope that helpped thank you kim

  8. sophylakes says:

    TIMBERWOLF is very good…… look it up

    canidae is also good

  9. Freedom says:

    Feed the raw diet! Raw meaty bones and organs from a variety of animals, some eggs, fish and your good to go. Forget feeding him cereal at all!
    Dogs are survivors and will eat whatever they get to be able to live. This does not make it right. There is NO species that I am aware of that eats the same food day in and day out its entire life in nature. A dog certainly would NOT.
    They are meant to have raw meaty bones and organs from a variety of animals.
    That is what mine eat! People tend to think for some reason that just because you can FORCE a dog to eat cereal its whole life and he does it, that it is all well and good. It borders on cruelty in my opinion.
    How about if all of you kibble feeders stop eating a variety of fresh foods and just live on box after box after box of Total Cereal for the rest of your lives? Everything you need is in there. I’m sure your hair will be shiny. I mean shiny hair IS what many people tend to base a good diet on for a dog.
    RIDICULOUS! A little thinking and common sense would tell people that dogs or any other living creature should not be made to live a life on synthetic vitamins and nutrients and that is ALL kibble is… A bunch of grains and other crap that has had all the original nutrients cooked out of it and synthetic vitamins sprayed on just before it goes into the bag. What it means basically is that a piece of cardboard is complete and balanced if you take it with a multi-vitamin!
    Sound delicious? Sound healthy? Sound fair?
    I sure don’t think so.
    Switching from this crapinabag to that crapinabag is NOT variety.


  10. faith.trust*` says:

    There are several high quality dry dog foods to choose from. I would recommend brands such as Canidae, Innova, Evo, Timberwolf Organics, Orijen, Flint River Ranch, Merrick, Life’s Abundance, Wellness, Solid Gold, Nature’s Variety, etc. Those are all made from human grade ingredients and don’t contain fillers. Brands to try and stay away from are Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Pedigree, Purina, Ol’ Roy, Kibbles N Bits, The Goodlife Recipe, etc. Any dog food you can find at grocery stores/Wal-Mart/etc. are pretty much garbage. Royal Canin is not a horrible food, but I, personally, wouldn’t feed it. Canidae is one of the favorites to feed, so you may want to check out that one. Any of the high quality ones I listed are great, but some may be too rich for some dogs. Find one that’s right for yours 🙂 Good luck!

  11. magy says:

    Costco’s ‘chicken’ is most likely the nasty parts we don’t eat, plus the parts we do, but from deceased, rotting, or deceased animals making it unfit for human consumption. The above poster listed some great brands of food that use only human grade ingredients- go that route if you don’t go raw.

  12. mytwodogs60463 says:

    royal canin is a very good quality dog food. any name brand dog food is good,

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