Giving the right meal to your german shepherd can be difficult. Especially when they have a sensitive stomach. There’s the added pressure that if you get the wrong thing, you’re going to cause them a lot of discomfort. Fortunately, this article will walk you through the best dog food for german shepherds with sensitive stomachs! So you can make the best decision for your pup!
However, remember, when changing your german shepherd’s diet, make sure you ALWAYS consult a vet first!
Table of Contents
What Should You Look For When Purchasing Food For Sensitive Stomachs?
When picking the right food for your german shepherd there are things that you should look for.
Avoid Common Ingredients
Sensitive stomachs can often be caused by certain ingredients in your german shepherds’ food. So if they’re stomach can’t handle a certain ingredient, you’ll need to find a dog food that doesn’t contain it.
Some of the most common ingredients that can irritate a sensitive stomach are meats such as chicken and beef, and grains such as corn, wheat, soy, rice, and barley.
However, it’s important to note that grains are often always blamed as the culprit behind stomach upset, but it’s not always the case.
Look For Omega 3 & 6
We all know that Omega 3 & 6 are good for your joints, but they’re also good for your pups! And as well as being good for their joints, they also improve the health of their coat!
So when you’re choosing dog food, Omega 3 & 6 are a huge plus! When they’re incorporated in your dog’s diet they’re going to reduce the chance of osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia as well. Both of which are common ailments in german shepherds.
Look For Probiotics
Probiotics aren’t necessary for your german shepherd’s food, but they can help massively. They’re going to promote good bacteria growth in your pup’s tummy which can help their sensitive stomach.
However, if the food doesn’t have probiotics in it already, there are supplements you can buy which you can add to your dog’s food.
Make Sure They Don’t Eat Their Food Too Fast
When your german shepherd eats their food too quickly, they’re also going to swallow a lot of air. Not only is this going to upset a sensitive stomach but it can also increase the chance of bloat.
Bloat can be fatal in german shepherds, so this is extremely important. One of the best ways to stop your german shepherd from eating too quickly is by using a bowl that will slow them down.
Glucosamine & Chondroitin
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are two more great ingredients to see on your dog food. Both of which are going to reduce the chance that your german shepherd is going to suffer from ailments like osteoarthritis.
What Is The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs
When it comes to the best dog food for sensitive stomachs, unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all solution. The type of dog food you should use depends on what causes your german shepherd’s tummy to react!
However, normally you’ll have to choose from dry, puppy, canned and senior dog food. So let’s start with the first one.
The Best Dry Dog Foods For German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs
When it comes to dog foods, dry ones are normally your best option. They generally contain fewer fillers and have higher quality ingredients. Here are some of the best dry dog foods for your german shepherd.
CANIDAE Life Stages Dry Dog Food
Arguably, one of the best choices you can choose for your german shepherd is CANIDAE Life Stages Dry Dog Food.
It’s made from premium ingredients, which means it’ll be easier for your german shepherd to digest.
It’s so effective because it doesn’t contain a lot of the common ingredients that often affect a german shepherds stomach such as soy, corn or wheat.
As well as this, it also has all the essentials that your dog needs to be healthy like Omega 3, Omega 6 and probiotics!
And lastly, it also contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin which as you know, can help any joint issues!
However, it doesn’t mean it comes without it’s downsides. Unfortunately CANIDAE does have less protein than you’d like to see in your dogs diet. Fortunately, this can often be remedied by adding a meat of your choice on top of their meals.
You should also remember that while in most cases people have had great success with CANIDAE, others have reported that it didn’t work at all.
- Crude Protein: 24%
- Crude Fat: 14%
- Crude Carbohydrates: 52%
Find out more about CANIDAE Life Stages Dry Dog Food.
Natural Balance LID (Beef)
Chicken is one of the most commonly used meats available in many dog foods. However, if your german shepherd has a sensitive stomach, chicken may make it worse.
When this is the case Natural Balance LID (Beef) is definitely the go-to. Instead of the main ingredient being chicken, instead it’s beef. So you don’t have to worry about your pup getting sick.
As well as lacking chicken, it also lacks lots of other known irritants such as soy, corn and wheat. Which further reduces the chance that your pups tummy will suffer.
While it lacks Glucosamine and Chondroitin, it does contain Omega 3 & 6!
The only downside to this food is a good percentage of the ingredients are vegetables (mainly pea). Even with the increased amount of vegetables it still boasts a high protein count though!
So this food is definitely best for dogs with extremely sensitive stomachs!
- Crude Protein: 32%
- Crude Fat: 14%
- Crude Carbohydrates: 54%
Check Out Natural Balance LID (Beef).
Nulo Freestyle Limited+ (Turkey Grain-Free)
Nulo Freestyle Limited+ is a great choice if you need a food for you german shepherd that doesn’t contain much meat, but they’re stomach can’t handle beef.
On top of not containing more than one type of meat, it also lacks grains and other common irritators like egg.
And if you think there wasn’t enough meat in Natural Balance LID, you’ll be pleased to know there’s more in Nulo. As well the main ingredient being turkey, the second biggest ingredient is turkey meal (which is often more nutritious).
It also has a good amount of probiotics in it to help aid the good bacteria in your pups stomach as well as Omega 3 & 6!
There’s not much downside to this food. The only thing you’ll need to be wary of is if your german shepherd can’t eat turkey. If he can, then this is normally a solid choice!
- Crude Protein: 30%
- Crude Fat: 18%
- Crude Carbohydrates 52%
Learn more about Nulo Freestyle Limited+.
Wellness Simple (Salmon & Potato)
Last on the list, but definitely not least is Wellness Simple Dog Food. It’s a great choice of food for your german shepherd that comes in a whole range of different flavors.
You can pick the flavor you want depending on what your dog can’t eat. However, salmon and potato is a great choice if your german shepherd can’t stomach a lot of classic meat.
It contains lots of Omega 3 & 6 which iare going to help keep your pups coat nice, as well as reducing the chances of joint problems.
Lastly, as well as not containing lots of different sources of meat, it’s also free from grains and the ingredient list is kept to a bare minimum, while still providing plenty of nutrients.
One thing you should be aware of when choosing the salmon flavor is that it’s going to make your dogs breath smell like fish. However, while you can swap to a different flavor, you’ll end up losing a lot of the Omega 3 & 6.
Another thing to be aware of is the crude protein is a little bit less than a lot of other dog foods. Because of this you should only choose Wellness Simple Dog Food as a last resort
- 26% Crude Protein
- 30% Fat
- 44% Carbs
Check out Simple Wellness (Salmon & Potato).
Best Canned Dog Food For German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs
If you don’t want to get your german shepherd dry food then the other option is canned food. However, you should be warned that generally, canned food isn’t as high quality and you’re german shepherd is going to be missing out on some nutrients.
Here are the best-canned dog foods for german shepherds with sensitive stomachs.
Dave’s Restricted Bland Diet Canned Dog Food
While most canned dog foods aren’t as good as their dry counterparts, this isn’t the case with Dave’s Restricted Canned Dog Food.
However, the ingredients it does use aren’t normally known to upset a sensitive stomach. The biggest ingredient in this dog food is chicken followed by rice.
And you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t contain any wheat or gluten. Because this dog food is pretty much chicken and rice it’s unlikely it will upset your pups stomach.
One big problem with this food is the amount you’re going to have to feed your dog. It may take 4-5 cans to make sure your german shepherd is satiated. As you can imagine this could quickly become expensive.
However, it’s important to note, that most canned dog foods are going to have the same problem.
Another problem is the amount of protein and fat in each. The minimum it can be is around 7-8% although it will generally be higher.
- Crude Protein: (Min)7.5%
- Crude Fat: (Min) 8%
Find out more about Dave’s Restricted Bland Diet Dog Food.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Food (Sweet Potato And Fish)
Natural Balance LID Wet Food can be a great alternative to other canned foods for a few reasons.
The main ingredients in Natural LID Diets are fish broth, potato, sweet potato and salmon. Because it doesn’t have a lot of different ingredients it makes it less likely that your pups stomach will get upset.
As well as a few basic ingredients it also has added vitamins and minerals and thanks to the salmon, it also contains Omega 3 & 6.
And due to the variety of flavors you don’t have to stick with sweet potato and fish either. You can also choose chicken and sweet potato, duck and potato, sweet potato and venison, lamb and brown rice, and lastly, buffalo and sweet potato.
So if your german shepherd doesn’t like sweet potato and fish you can always try something else!
The biggest downside of Natural Balance LID Wet Food is the lack of nutrition in it. If you’re going to pick wet food Dave’s is generally better. However, neither are as good as dry food.
And the other biggest downside is the amount you’ll have to go through to feed your german shepherd. If you want to make sure you’re getting enough food about 5-6 cans a day will be needed.
- Crude Protein: (Min) 7%
- Crude Fat: (Min) 4%
Find out more about Natural Balance LID Wet Food.
Best Dog Foods For German Shepherd Puppies With Sensitive Stomachs
Unfortunately, it’s not just adult german shepherds that can suffer from a sensitive stomach. Puppies can also suffer as well. So if your puppy has a sensitive stomach here’s some of the best dog food for them.
CANIDAE PURE Puppy Recipe
By far the best puppy food for your german shepherd has to be CANIDAE PURE Puppy Recipe.
First of all, you’ll be pleased to know that there are never more than 10 ingredients in their formula. With fewer ingredients it’s much more unlikely that your pup’s stomach will be unaffected.
And your german shepherd will also benefit from the omega 3 & 6 incorporated in them, as well as the added probiotics!
As you can see all of this makes it a great choice for your german shepherd pup!
To be honest, there aren’t too many downsides to this puppy food. So it really is the ideal food for a german shepherd puppy!
- Crude Protein: 30%
- Crude Fat: 12%
- Crude Carbohydrates: 58%
Find out more about Canidae Pure Puppy Recipe.
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food
If you have a fussy little pup, then this can be a great choice. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Puppy Food is bursting with flavor for your puppy.
As well as great ingredients, it also has Omega 3 & 6 and added calcium. This means that not only will your pups stomach stay settled, but they’ll also have a nice coat, strong joints and strong bones!
The only bad thing about this food is the lack of protein. In fact, the protein to fat ratio is particularly low. If you’re going to use it, try adding a meat of some sort to their meal too.
- Crude Protein: 21%
- Crude Fat 33%
- Crude Carbohydrates: 46%
Best Dog Food For Senior German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs
Lastly, if you have an older dog that suffers from a sensitive stomach you’re going to need to find the right food for them too. As dogs get older, they can sometimes become a bit fussier. This has been taken into account with the foods listed below!
Crave Grain Free Dog Food
Crave is an up and coming dog food brand that shouldn’t be overlooked. They have a meticulous screening process for their food, which only contains the finest ingredients.
No matter what flavor you get it’s going to contain plenty of meat and protein. In fact, one of Craves main selling points is the high amount of protein it has (which also makes it fantastic for german shepherds who are trying to gain weight).
It also contains small amounts of Omega 6 which will help your german shepherd look young.
However, one thing to be aware of is that while it is grain free, there are still a few ingredients in it. Obviously, the more sensitive your german shepherds stomach, the less ingredients you’re going to want to have.
But if your german shepherd can eat Crave without a problem then it’s definitely the best choice of food for a senior german shepherd!
- Crude Protein: 38%
- Crude Fat: 19%
- Crude Carbs: 35%
Find out more about Crave Grain Free Dog Food.
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Senior Dog Food
Blue Buffalo have a great selection of limited ingredient diet foods. And fortunately this extends to senior dogs as well!
The main ingredients in it are turkey, potato and pumpkin. So as long as your german shepherd can stomach them, he’s going to love this food!
And it’s not just the main ingredients that make this food so great. It also contans glucosamine and chondroitin. Both of which are great at keeping your dogs joints limber.
However, the only downside to Blue Buffalo LID Senior Dog Food is the amount of protein and fat. The minimum it may contain is 18% protein and 10% fat. Ideally the food would contain a lot more.
Check out more information about Blue Buffalo LID Senior Dog Food.
How To Transition Your Dogs Food?
If you’re going to swap your dog’s food, you can’t swap it right away. You need to slowly transition them. Not transitioning them will definitely upset their sensitive tummy.
The recommended method is to slowly wean them off their current food. Start by giving them 90% current, 10% new. The next day do 80% current, 20% new. Keep doing this until their old food has been replaced completely with new food.
However, if you notice that your german shepherd is responding well to the new food, then it may be worth changing them over more quickly.
Learning To Eliminate The Bad Ingredients
In the beginning, you may not know exactly what causes your german shepherd to have an upset tummy. So you’re going to have to go through an elimination process to figure it out.
The best way to do this is to cut out all known irritators until the problem stops. Once the problem stops you can introduce one food at a time. When your german shepherd reacts, then you know that’s the food that’s affecting their sensitive stomach!
Some common irritators are soy, egg, dairy, and meat proteins.
There’s a whole lot of information on this page to take in. Remember, the real key is to be flexible when giving your german shepherd food. For a time you’re going to have to experiment until you find the perfect food for them.
Here are some of the main things to remember.
- When choosing food for a sensitive stomach it’s a good idea to avoid common ingredients, look for omega 3 & 6, probiotics, glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Also, make sure your pup doesn’t eat their food too fast.
- You need to slowly transition your german shepherd from their old food to their new food, instead of swapping it all at once.
- Try eliminating all ingredients from their diet, then slowly introducing one at a time. When they react badly, you know they can’t have that ingredient again.
I hope you found this information useful! If you have any more questions leave them in the comments below. Otherwise have a great day!