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Home > Dogs > 14 Best Dog Foods for EPI German Shepherds in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

14 Best Dog Foods for EPI German Shepherds in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

german shepherd resting on the grass

Is your German Shepherd struggling with stomach issues?

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) 1  is a complication that severely impacts the pancreas due to the improper production of digestive hormones. EPI can be a problematic condition for your canine to deal with, and it can be difficult for you as the dog owner to help them through it. Thankfully, some dog food formulas can support your German Shepherd afflicted with EPI.

But which option should you choose? This article aims to present several reviews to help you make a well-informed decision about which dog food will best suit your German Shepherd. So, let’s take a look!

Disclaimer: The foods reviewed here were chosen because they have certain characteristics that might help with some of the causes or consequences of this medical condition. However, they are not a medical treatment or a substitute for medical treatment. Keep in mind that each medical case is different and what works for some pets may not work for others. Your veterinarian is the right person to advise you on the best diet for your pet’s individual case.

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A Glance at Our Top Picks of 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
The Farmer's Dog Turkey Recipe The Farmer's Dog Turkey Recipe
  • Delivered right to your door
  • Easily digested
  • Human-grade
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Nourishes the skin and coat
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Affordable
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Royal Canin Veterinary Gastrointestinal Dry Food Royal Canin Veterinary Gastrointestinal Dry Food
  • Highly digestible
  • Low-fat content for dogs with difficulties tolerating fat
  • Prebiotics maintain the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut
  • Best for Puppies
    Royal Canin German Shepherd Dry Puppy Food Royal Canin German Shepherd Dry Puppy Food
  • Highly digestible
  • Kibble is shaped specifically for German Shepherd puppies
  • Supports immune system, bones, and joints
  • Hill's Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Dry Food Hill's Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Dry Food
  • Helps natural digestive process
  • Promotes regular stools
  • Supports gastrointestinal tract, breaks down food
  • The 14 Best Dog Foods for EPI German Shepherds

    1. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Turkey Recipe – Best Overall

    The farmer's dog Turkey recipe fresh

    Main ingredients Fresh ground turkey, broccoli, spinach, parsnips, carrots, and beans
    Protein content 33.0% min
    Fat content 19 % min
    Calories 562 calories/pound

    While a German Shepherd with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) doesn’t need a specific diet, it is recommended that they have something highly digestible that is relatively low in fat and fiber. The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe is the best overall dog food for EPI German Shepherds.

    This recipe has 26% fat and 2% fiber which means your dog will be able to digest their food easily while their medication takes control of the bacteria that’s been thriving in their gut. The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe is also packed with healthy ingredients and provides an exceptional nutrient balance.

    The ingredients are high-quality; turkey is the first ingredient on the list and is an excellent choice for protein. Turkey is an excellent alternative for dogs that might be prone to allergies or sensitivities to proteins like chicken. Turkey provides the ten amino acids required for your dog to live. Chickpeas are part of the fiber-rich legume family, while carrots are rich in minerals, beta-carotene, and dietary fiber.

    This is an expensive option, especially for a larger dog like a German Shepherd, but it is definitely worth it. Since The Farmer’s Dog is a subscription service, you’ll need space in the refrigerator to store the food.

    Pros
    • Highly digestible
    • Relatively low in fat and fiber
    • Packed with healthy ingredients
    Cons
    • Pricier option than others

    2. Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food – Best Value

    Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Ground whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, animal fat
    Protein content 21.0% min
    Fat content 10.0% min
    Calories 309 kcal/cup

    The Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food, Steak & Vegetable is the best EPI German Shepherd dog food for the money. With a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, this formula supports a healthy lifestyle for your pup. The omega-6 fatty acids boost the health of your dog’s skin and coat, and the whole grains help with the digestive process.

    This recipe is made in the United States and does not include any artificial flavors, added sugars, or high fructose corn syrup. The kibble’s texture was explicitly designed for maintaining healthy teeth, so worrying about your dog’s oral hygiene will not be necessary.

    Pros
    • Nourishes the skin and coat
    • Supports healthy digestion
    • Affordable
    Cons
    • First ingredient isn’t a protein source

    3. Royal Canin Veterinary Gastrointestinal Dry Food – Premium Choice

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, wheat, barley
    Protein content 20.0% min
    Fat content 5.5% min
    Calories 248 kcal/cup

    The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food is a premium choice for your pup. It is designed to support both short-term and long-term digestive complications by boosting digestive health and the conditions of your dog’s stool with excellent proteins and probiotics. Royal Canin employs various omega-3 fatty acids and fibers to aid with gastrointestinal maintenance, and it uses prebiotics to sustain the beneficial bacteria that help break foods down. This is a perfect option for dogs that struggle to digest fat.

    Pros
    • Highly digestible
    • Low-fat content for dogs with difficulties tolerating fat
    • Prebiotics maintain the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut
    Cons
    • Requires vet authorization
    • Protein source is chicken by-product

    4. Royal Canin German Shepherd Dry Puppy Food – Best for Puppies

    Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Chicken by-product meal, wheat gluten, corn, oat groats, brewers rice
    Protein content 28.0% min
    Fat content 14.0% min
    Calories 331 kcal/cup

    For puppies, the optimal choice is Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Dry Dog Food.

    From 8 weeks to 15 months, your puppy can reap the benefit of this formula. Everything about this recipe is developed with the German Shepherd puppy in mind, right down to the kibble’s shape. The kibble’s shape is designed for the muzzle of a German Shepherd puppy to encourage proper chewing—an essential start to healthy digestion!

    The proteins and fibers are chosen for how highly digestible they are, while the rest of the ingredients serve essential purposes for other areas of your dog’s health. For instance, the formula boosts the immune system and sustains the bones and joints with a combination of antioxidants and natural compounds.

    Pros
    • Highly digestible
    • Kibble is shaped specifically for German Shepherd puppies
    • Supports immune system, bones, and joints
    Cons
    • Protein source is chicken by-product

    5. Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Dry Food

    Hill's Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Chicken, cracked pearled barley, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn
    Protein content 17.0% min
    Fat content 9.0% min
    Calories 330 kcal/cup

    Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food is a prescription formula. It is built for your dog’s digestive care since it boosts the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract to help break down food. Postbiotics allow the food to pass easily through your dog’s digestive system and significantly limit complications. Likewise, the formula promotes healthy stool for dogs that struggle with digestive upset.

    This recipe supports dogs of all sizes with their digestion issues. However, Hill’s requires authorization from a vet, so plan accordingly if you choose this option.

    Pros
    • Helps natural digestive process
    • Promotes regular stools
    • Supports gastrointestinal tract, breaks down food
    • Created by nutritionists and vets
    Cons
    • Low protein content
    • Requires vet authorization

    6. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food

    Hill's Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Chicken, cracked pearled barley, whole grain wheat, whole grain corn
    Protein content 20.0% min
    Fat content 11.5% min
    Calories 363 kcal/cup

    This Hill’s recipe does much more than just support digestion; it bolsters the cartilage, joints, immune system, skin, and coat. It also promotes your dog’s overall health, making it an excellent choice even without the boost to the digestive system.

    For your dog’s digestion, Science Diet is highly digestible to ensure that your dog feels good after every meal. With chicken as the first ingredient, this flavorful meal will have your dog eager to dig in!

    Pros
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • Supports healthy joints, immune system, and coat
    • Aids digestion
    Cons
    • Protein content could be higher

    7. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Food

    Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach

    Main ingredients Salmon, rice, barley, canola meal, fish meal, oat meal
    Protein content 29.0% min
    Fat content 14.0% min
    Calories 401 kcal/cup

    Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach 7+ Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food is a quality choice for dogs suffering from EPI, although it is specific to senior dogs.

    It is designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs and uses oatmeal and rice to create an easily digestible recipe. Including prebiotic fibers and antioxidants also promotes digestive health, and the meal features omega-rich oils for sensitive skin, glucosamine for joints, and high protein content to support the heart.

    Pros
    • High protein
    • Ideal for dogs with stomach issues
    • Supports healthy joints, immune system, and coat
    • Limited ingredient diet
    Cons
    • Pea protein
    • Specific to seniors

    8. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet GI Dry Food

    Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet GI Gastrointestinal Support Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, peas
    Protein content 24.0% min
    Fat content 12.0% min
    Calories 344 kcal/cup

    Our next option is the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet GI Gastrointestinal Support Dry Dog Food. This recipe is packed full of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that are easy to digest and absorb proper nutrients from. The prebiotic fibers help foster the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system, improving your dog’s digestive health.

    Likewise, this formula promotes the immune system with antioxidants and vitamins. However, the recipe also includes peas, which may have a direct link to serious heart conditions2 in dogs. Also, be aware that Natural Veterinary Diet requires a vet’s authorization before you can purchase it.

    Pros
    • Gastrointestinal support
    • Promotes a healthy immune system
    • Made with quality ingredients
    Cons
    • Contains peas
    • Requires vet authorization

    9. SquarePet Squarely Natural Dry Dog Food

    SquarePet Squarely Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Lamb meal, brown rice, white rice, lamb
    Protein content 22.0% min
    Fat content 12.0% min
    Calories 383 kcal/cup

    SquarePet Squarely Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food was made in the United States and developed to be a limited diet recipe.

    As a limited diet formula, the pet food maker wanted to use as few ingredients as possible while supplying all the nutrition your pup needs. SquarePet is designed for dogs that struggle with digestive issues. It also includes benefits for the immune system, skin, and coat by providing omega fatty acids and vitamins.

    It includes no chemical preservatives or fillers and is a healthy option to cater to your German Shepherd’s EPI.

    Pros
    • Caters to sensitive digestion
    • Promotes healthy immune system, skin, and coat
    • Energy-packed
    • Limited ingredient diet
    Cons
    • Lamb is not the primary ingredient

    10. Iams Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

    IAMS Adult Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Chicken, ground whole grain barley, ground whole grain corn, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal
    Protein content 22.5% min
    Fat content 12.0% min
    Calories 351 kcal/cup

    Iams Adult Large Breed Real Chicken High Protein Dry Dog Food is made with big dogs in mind, like your German Shepherd.

    It has chicken as the first ingredient to guarantee that your big dog gets the fuel they need to live a happy, healthy life. With the combination of prebiotics and fibers, this blend supports your dog’s digestive health. It also sustains the health of the joints, muscles, bones, and teeth with the help of omega fatty acids, minerals, and proteins.

    Iams is a bit easier on the wallet than some of the other brands on this list.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    Cons
    • Lack of diverse ingredients

    11. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

    Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran
    Protein content 23.0% min
    Fat content 12.0% min
    Calories 346 kcal/cup

    Nutro Ultra Large Breed includes three protein sources: chicken, salmon, and lamb. Not to mention, 15 different superfoods bolster the recipe, like chia, kale, and blueberries. That means the meal is packed with nutritious ingredients that will boost your dog’s health!

    Nutro uses high-quality ingredients to develop its formula blends, specifically for larger dogs. As an added benefit, there are no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors, or chicken by-products.

    Pros
    • Features chicken, lamb, and salmon for protein
    • Packed with superfoods
    • Supports healthy digestion
    Cons
    • No probiotics

    12. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German Dry Dog Food

    Dr. Gary's Best Breed Holistic German

    Main ingredients Chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, dried beet pulp, chicken fat
    Protein content 25.0% min
    Fat content 12.0% min
    Calories 456 kcal/cup

    Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German Dry Dog Food is made not only with large dogs in mind but specifically German Shepherds!

    The protein is primarily sourced from chicken and menhaden fish and provides your pup with quality nutrition. With sea mussels to promote joint health, vitamins to boost the immune system, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to maintain a healthy coat, this recipe is overall beneficial to the well-being of your dog.

    As for gastrointestinal benefits, the recipe has plenty. With the inclusion of quality fibers, the formula supports proper digestion. Dr. Gary’s is balanced with appropriate protein, fat, and fiber levels to help sustain digestive health.

    Pros
    • Nutrition-packed
    • Highly digestible
    • High protein
    Cons
    • Somewhat expensive
    • Chicken is not the first ingredient

    13. Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Dry Dog Food

    Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Adult Health Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Chicken meal, rice, oatmeal, oats, chicken fat
    Protein content 24.0% min
    Fat content 14.0% min
    Calories 453 kcal/cup

    The Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Adult Health Recipe is another great choice for dogs with digestive difficulties. The recipe has several benefits for your dog’s digestive health. It includes ingredients that are highly digestible and helps maintain good bacteria in the gut. Also, the recipe is designed to taste good.

    Other health benefits of the recipe include antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, taurine, and fatty acids.

    Pros
    • Promotes a healthy heart
    • Maintains the health of the skin and coat
    • Supports digestion
    Cons
    • Expensive

    14. Wellness CORE Digestive Health Dry Dog Food

    Wellness CORE Digestive Health Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Deboned chicken, turkey meal, chicken meal, brown rice
    Protein content 30.0% min
    Fat content 12.0% min
    Calories 395 kcal/cup

    For our final option, we have Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe. This recipe is packed with protein, making it an excellent choice for a larger dog breed.

    This formula is highly digestible for dogs with EPI and contains probiotics and prebiotic fibers. This combination is great for bolstering the health of any dog’s tummy. With omega fatty acids, superfoods, and crucial vitamins, Wellness CORE supports your dog’s immune system, energy levels, and coat and skin health.

    Pros
    • High protein
    • Multiple animal sources
    • Inclusion of superfoods
    Cons
    • Expensive

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Dog Foods for EPI German Shepherds

    After reading the reviews, picking an option for your dog may still feel overwhelming. So, where do you start?

    What Should a Dog With EPI Eat?

    As with most pet recommendations, the best thing you can do is speak to your vet. They will have personalized insight into your dog’s particular needs and will be best able to help you form a dietary plan for your pup.

    However, there are some general guidelines that may help you decide what you can and cannot feed your German Shepherd. Highly digestible food is generally a huge help for dogs, and anything that is low in fat and fiber can prove useful, too.

    Of course, every dog is different. That is why it is important to speak with your vet to learn how to best provide for your pet.

    Does My Dog Need Enzyme Supplements?

    Yes. Digestive enzymes are necessary for your dog’s feeding routine since the body isn’t producing enough enzymes on its own. The supplements must be added to each meal. They are available in tablets and powders, but the powders are known to be the most effective.

    Take a look at this enzyme product to see if it’s suitable for your canine.

    How to Feed My Dog Enzyme Supplements

    Pay attention to the instructions on the bottle and the instructions offered by your vet. Beyond that, it is helpful to mix the powder into the meal as much as possible. This is important since your dog may shy away from eating what they believe is a strange powder, or their mouth could be irritated by the supplement if it is too concentrated in one spot.

    Over time, as the symptoms begin to lessen, it is advised that you gradually decrease the number of supplements you are mixing into each meal. Although your dog will not be able to go entirely off the enzymes, the idea is to wean your dog down to a smaller portion.

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    Conclusion

    The reviews of the recipes prove that you have excellent options for your German Shepherd, but a few stand out. The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe is best overall due to its careful development and support for digestive well-being. For the best value, the Pedigree Adult is hard to beat. The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal caters to dogs struggling with high-fat diets. For puppies, the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy is a great selection, offering specialized kibble for pups.


    Featured Image Credit: 1195798, Pixabay

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