Your German Shepherd dog is your best friend and a member of the family. And as such, you want to give him the best of everything—we get that.
But sometimes, it can seem like such a frustrating task to find healthy, affordable food for your GSD. Almost every dog food brand these days uses some kind of chemical, preservative, and animal by-product; yuck!
Often, making German Shepherd homemade food is not only healthier for your pup but more affordable for your budget. If you’re looking for some GSD recipes that will satisfy both your and man’s best friend, you’ve come to the right place. (Though if you are looking for actually good German Shepherd dry food, check our picks)
German Shepherd Homemade Food Recipes
Check out some of our favorite DIY German Shepherd food recipes below for some easy step-by-step inspiration.
German Shepherd Dog Pie
To make this tasty dog pie for your GSD, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- ¼ cup of broth (low-sodium)
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 1.5 cups meat (scraps or ground)
- 1.5 cups high-quality dog meal
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a large pan and spread about half of your meat in a thin layer. Sprinkle the meat with about half of the flour and top with the remaining meat. Sprinkle the remaining flour and cover the top evenly with the dog meal.
Pour your broth over the layer and bake for 45 minutes.
You can also add various vegetables and cheese to this dish for more flavor. Serve in amounts appropriate to your dog’s age, weight, and activity level.
Turkey, Rice, & Veggies
Turkey is an excellent source of protein for your GSD, so check out this recipe and gather the following ingredients:
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups brown rice
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 16 oz. frozen veggie (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower mix is best)
Fill a large pot with the 6 cups of water and place it on the stovetop over high heat. Add in the ground turkey, rice, and rosemary and stir to break up the turkey.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to low heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
Add your frozen vegetable mix and cook for another five minutes.
Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool. You can package it in an air-tight container and refrigerate it until it’s time to feed your pup.
Chicken, Spinach, & Quinoa German Shepherd Food
Quinoa is known as a superfood for us humans, but did you know you can also feed it to your German Shepherd? Collect this list of ingredients for a protein-packed dog meal:
- 3 cups organic quinoa
- 1 pound chicken breast
- 1 cup frozen carrots and peas
- 1 cup spinach
- ½ diced apple (no seeds)
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or fish oil
Start by cooking the quinoa according to the package’s instructions. If you don’t have the instructions on hand, you can use 1.5 cups of water per cup of dry quinoa.
Boil your chicken in a large pot until cooked all the way through. Using two forks or a food processor, shred the chicken.
Place a large pot on the stove and drizzle the oil over the bottom, heating it over medium-high heat. Add your chicken and heat until golden brown. Reduce your heat to medium and add in your cooked quinoa, stirring well to combine.
Mix in the carrots, peas, apples, spinach, and parsley and cook until everything is heated through—just a few minutes.
Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool down. Store it in air-tight containers and serve according to serving recommendations from your vet.
You can also freeze this meal in large portions to thaw later when needed, making it an excellent recipe for cooking in bulk.
Organic Dog Food Stew
All organic and all tasty, these ingredients will help you make your dog’s next favorite meal:
- 1.5 cups brown rice
- 2 shredded carrots
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 pounds ground turkey
- ½ cup peas
- 3 cups chopped spinach
- 1 shredded zucchini
Add all ingredients to a slow cooker in the order shown above and cook on high for five hours or low for eight hours. Remove from heat and stir to combine all of the ingredients. Store in the fridge or freeze for later.
You can also use chicken breasts instead of ground turkey. When the slow cooker is down, remove the chicken and shred it before mixing back into the stew.
For GSDs with Digestive Issues
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, gather the following ingredients for a digestive-friendly meal idea:
- 1 sweet potato
- 1.5 cups shredded chicken breast
- 1 cup rice
Cook the rice according to its preparation instructions and set aside. Clean, peel, and chop the sweet potato into small pieces and boil until soft; it should slide off a fork when you stab it.
Boil the chicken separately until fully cooked. Use two forks to pull and shred the chicken.
Mix all of the ingredients and serve to your dog in appropriate serving sizes. Be sure to let the ingredients cool enough so as not to burn your dog’s tongue.
This kind of simple diet is also good for a dog that won’t eat after surgery. It is simple, easy to digest and bland.
What Can’t German Shepherds Eat?
While there are plenty of flavorful, healthy foods you can include in your dog’s meals, there are also several ingredients that you should never put in your German Shepherd’s homemade food.
Several foods that we consider healthy and common for people can be quite poisonous and toxic for dogs.
Here’s a substantial list of ingredients that you should never feed to your German Shepherd:
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw potatoes (cooked are fine)
- Green tomatoes
- Raw fish (though sometimes tuna and salmon are good dog foods)
- Sugar (or other sweeteners)
- Cooked bones (though smoked bones are great)
When in doubt about a particular ingredient, it’s best to leave it out altogether. Stick to the ingredients in the recipes above, and always consult your vet with any questions you might have about your dog’s diet.
How Much Should a German Shepherd Eat?
Three main factors impact how much food your German Shepherd should consume daily:
- Activity level
Some people may also consider their dog’s weight when feeding them. If a dog is overweight, it may need to start eating less. In the same way, an underweight dog should probably get a little more. (There are also weight gain dog foods that are packed with calories)
But in general, German Shepherd owners can follow this basic outline:
- 16 weeks & younger: one-half to one cup of food per meal
- 16 weeks to nine months: one cup to one and one-third cup per meal
- Nine months to one year: two cups to two and one-half cups per meal
- One year & older: two and one-half cups to three and one-half cups per meal
Additionally, the average indoor pet needs to consume a certain number of calories. According to the American Kennel Club, a German Shepherd dog can weigh 50 to 90 pounds depending on its gender and breeding.
Dogs in this weight range need to consume anywhere from 900 to 1,350 calories per day. Because German Shepherds tend to be very active dogs, you may need to increase their calorie intake accordingly.
Nutrition for GSDs
In terms of food content, a German Shepherd should be on a high-protein diet.
Ideally, a GSD puppy’s diet will contain 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat, while an adult can sit right around 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat. Many high-protein dog foods offer 20 percent protein, which is also okay for a German Shepherd.
It’s best to source your dog’s protein content from whole meat sources, including:
Additionally, be sure to choose healthy fat sources such as fish oil, olive oil, or hearty vegetables.
Carbohydrates are also a vital component of your GSD’s diet, as they provide your pup with energy. A good balance of carbs might include brown rice, oats, or sweet potatoes.
From there, it’s also a good idea to consider the vitamins and minerals your furry friend is receiving. Vitamins like A, B, C, D, E, and K can be super beneficial to your dog’s appearance.
At the same time, minerals such as iron, sodium, potassium, and calcium can help with internal processes and muscle functions.