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6 Best Foods for German Shepherds to Gain Weight in 2021

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

german shepherd eating out of a dog bowl

German Shepherds are strong, highly active dogs that require a quality high-protein diet to stay fit and healthy throughout their lives. Without a proper diet, it can be tough for these dogs to keep healthy weight on. If your German Shepherd needs to gain weight, you must figure out what commercial foods are the best to help them do so in a healthy way. We put together a list of reviews of the best foods that you can offer your German Shepherd for healthy weight gain.

divider-food2A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Food Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Food
  • Contains no fillers or grains
  • Includes powerful antioxidants
  • High in protein and fat
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
  • The first ingredient is real protein
  • Includes LifeSource Bits
  • Features glucosamine for healthy joints
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus
  • Nutrient-dense and high in fat
  • Ideal for underweight and lactating mothers
  • Provides sustained energy for a day full of activity
  • Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Food Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Food
  • Designed just for German Shepherd puppies
  • Formulated to bulk up pups while supporting optimal health
  • Kibble sizes are small enough for little teeth to chew
  • Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German Dog Food Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German Dog Food
  • Formulated just for large breeds like German Shepherds
  • Includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • The 6 Best Foods for German Shepherds to Gain Weight — Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Food — Best Overall

    Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Food (1)

    Crude protein: 32%
    Crude fat: 18%
    Crude Fiber: 4%

    The best overall food for German Shepherds for weight gain is Taste of the Wild Prairie grain-free dog food. This formula has roasted bison and venison as the main sources of protein, which are known to help support optimal bone health and build lean yet powerful muscles. Included are all the vitamins and minerals, in the form of real fruits and vegetables, that a German Shepherd needs to maintain such a large physique. Also included are various probiotics that help dogs properly digest their food and therefore, absorb all the nutrition available in the food.

    Antioxidants in the form of tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries are also readily available in each bite, as these help ensure that your pooch will not become ill while trying to put weight on. This formula is made in the United States, so it undergoes all the strict regulations that are necessary to ensure that your dog is getting real food. No fillers such as grains, corn, soy, or artificial ingredients are included.

    Pros
    • Contains no fillers or grains
    • Includes powerful antioxidants
    • High in protein and fat
    Cons
    • Less budget-friendly than some other options on the market

    2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula — Best Value

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula (1)

    Crude protein: 24%
    Crude fat: 14%
    Crude Fiber: 5%

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula is designed to promote holistic health in large breed dogs like the German Shepherd. It contains real meat, whole grains, and fresh veggies as its base, which are all things that your dog needs to gain weight and fuel an active day. What is unique about this brand is that it contains LifeSource Bits, which are a blend of antioxidant-rich nutrients made to fill in nutritional gaps.

    Glucosamine, which works to optimize joint and bone health, is also included. Chelated minerals are featured in the formula, which gives pups the ability to easily digest and absorb the vital nutrients that they need so the development of deficiencies does not become a risk. You will never find any corn, soy, wheat, or animal by-products on the ingredients list. Without a doubt, Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula is the best food for German Shepherds to gain weight for the money.

    Pros
    • The first ingredient is real protein
    • Includes LifeSource Bits
    • Features glucosamine for healthy joints
    Cons
    • Some dogs do not enjoy the flavor as-is

    3. VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus — Premium Choice

    VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus (1)

    Crude protein: 30%
    Crude fat: 20%
    Crude Fiber: 3.8%

    Made up of real beef, sorghum, chicken fat, and fish meal, this quality food is sure to help any German Shepherd gain pounds and maintain a healthy weight as time goes on. VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus is nutrient-dense and high in fat, which is essential for dogs that need to gain weight. The ingredients in this food are sourced in the United States and include multiple types of animal protein to optimize muscle and weight growth.

    VICTOR made this formula with the growing and high-performance dog in mind, so it is sure to fulfill the appetite of your German Shepherd while helping them put on needed weight. This formula is an excellent option for expectant and breastfeeding mothers that have a hard time keeping on enough weight to manage their babies.

    Pros
    • Nutrient-dense and high in fat
    • Ideal for underweight and lactating mothers
    • Provides sustained energy for a day full of activity
    Cons
    • Includes a nominal amount of healthy carbohydrates
    • Includes animal meal, which is not as optimal as real meat

    4.  Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Food — Best for Puppies

    Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Food (1)

    Crude protein: 28%
    Crude fat: 14%
    Crude Fiber: 3.8%

    Royal Canin German Shepherd food was designed to cater to German Shepherd puppies up to 15 months of age. The formula includes higher calcium and phosphorous levels than adult food to ensure the proper growth of bones and the efficient development of joints as a pup’s body quickly grows. A specially formulated antioxidant complex is included to optimize defenses, while a German Shepherd puppy naturally strengthens their immune system.

    One of the best things about this food is that the kibble comes in the form of tiny pellets, which makes chewing and digestion easy for pups with small mouths and growing teeth. The texture is crunchy, but not so hard that little teeth can’t break through each piece of kibble. However, the ingredients include wheat gluten and animal by-products, which are generally considered fillers and are not considered necessary for good health.

    Pros
    • Designed just for German Shepherd puppies
    • Formulated to bulk up pups while supporting optimal health
    • Kibble sizes are small enough for little teeth to chew
    Cons
    • Contains fillers such as wheat gluten and animal by-products

    5. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German Dog Food

    Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German Dog Food (1)

    Crude protein: 25%
    Crude fat: 12%
    Crude Fiber: 4.5%

    Made with nutritionally dense ingredients, Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German food is just for large breed dogs like the German Shepherd. Protein is offered in the form of real chicken, fish, and eggs to ensure that your dog has access to all the building blocks necessary for a strong, bulky body. Also included are New Zealand sea mussels, which are thought to strengthen connective tissue. Every ingredient is easy to digest, which means your pooch will absorb all the available nutrition in each bite.

    Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are focused on in this formula, as the acids help produce a bright, shiny, and healthy coat. Unlike other commercial food on the market, this one does not include fresh fruits and vegetables but instead, relies on yeast and supplements to achieve a complete nutritional profile. The kibbles are large and crunchy, though, which can be tough for younger German Shepherds to chew.

    Pros
    • Formulated just for large breeds like German Shepherds
    • Includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
    Cons
    • Does not contain any fruits or veggies and instead utilizes supplements
    • Kibble pieces may be too large and crunchy for young puppies

    6. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dog Food

    Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dog Food (1)

    Crude protein: 20%
    Crude fat: 11.5%
    Crude Fiber: 4%

    Made with real chicken, whole grains, and high-nutrient ingredients like beet pulp and flaxseed, Hill’s Science Diet large breed dog food is full of protein and fat, which can help an underweight German Shepherd achieve a healthy weight gradually and safely. This formula was created by veterinarians based on scientific nutritional evidence and is designed for easy digestion.

    The formula does not include any artificial colors, ingredients, or preservatives. All aspects of food production take place in facilities in the United States that are owned by the Hill’s Science Diet company, which helps ensure that every morsel meets strict federal guidelines. However, this formula has less protein and fat than some others, so your German Shepherd may require more of it to meet their daily nutritional needs as they gain weight.

    Pros
    • Made with real chicken and whole grains
    • No artificial colors or flavors
    Cons
    • Contains less protein and fat than some other options
    • Kibble pieces may be too large for puppies

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    Conclusion

    Choosing quality food for your German Shepherd is the most important step that you can take when trying to help your pooch gain weight. The quality of the nutrients is just as important as the calories that are necessary for weight gain. We highly recommend our first pick, Taste of the Wild Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food, because it is full of quality antioxidants and contains no fillers.

    Don’t overlook Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula, though, as it has a unique blend of LifeSource Bits for optimal immune function and glucosamine for healthy joints. We also highly suggest VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus because of its high-fat content. It is designed to provide sustained energy throughout the day.

    Which of the commercial food options on our reviews list interests you the most? Let us know about your favorite picks in our comments section.


    Featured Image Credit: Annabelle l, Shutterstock

    Rachael Gerkensmeyer

    Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.