Best Dog Food For German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs: GSD looking at his dog food

5 Best Dog Food For German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs (2020 Reviews)

It is amazing how loyal and smart German Shepherds are. Add to that their incredible strength, and they make the best guarding dogs in the world. Yet, under their bold and resilient personality, they are susceptible to some health problems that make them fragile and having a sensitive stomach one of them. That is also the reason why some GSDs need the dog food that is chosen carefully, which is not to trigger their digestive issues. Thus, we created a list of the 5 best dog food for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs to help you to find the one that suits best for your pup’s needs.

5 Best Dog Food For German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs

  • Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain Free Dog Food
  • CANIDAE All Life Stages Dog Dry Food
  • Tuffy’S Grain Free Seafood
  • NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Our Top Pick: Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain Free Dog Food

About: Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain Free Dog Food is a limited ingredient recipe of a dog food manufacturer that is loved by the dog owners. Unlike many dog foods in the market, this recipe is grain-free. So, it can be the right choice for the GSDs that have sensitivities to gluten.

Features: As every dog owner wants, this dog food contains real meat as the first ingredient, which is deboned turkey. It is fortified with the turkey meal as the second primary protein source.

The manufacturer decided to go with a single meat source by excluding the possible allergy causing ingredients like chicken. The reason for the is to minimize the risk of your GSD having allergic reactions. Even though turkey is also poultry meat like chicken, it is less likely to cause allergies.

Instead of grains, the manufacturer included various vegetables to the recipe to provide a healthy source of carbs and avoid the risk of allergic reactions.

We love seeing pumpkin among the ingredients because it is an excellent source of fiber. It can be helpful for all kinds of digestive issues and should be included in every German Shepherd’s diet. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B, E and potassium and iron.

Other than that, this recipe includes fish oil as a good source of healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. They help boost the immune system as well as promoting a healthy coat for your pooch.

Also, omega-3 fatty acids are known for their effectiveness in reducing the inflammation. So, it can be the right choice for GSDs that have a stomach issue called eosinophilic gastroenteritis.

But, we should also mention that this product contains a couple of low-quality ingredients like pea protein and potato starch. Although they are not necessarily harmful to your pup, they are low-quality ingredients and used as fillers most of the time.

Runner Up: Tuffy'S Grain Free Seafood

About: Although it is not that popular among dog owners, Tuffy’s is a perfect dog brand that deserves a better spot among the dog foods. Tuffy’S Grain Free Seafood is enriched with salmon and packed with protein.

Features: Salmon is the first ingredient in this recipe, and it is an excellent choice for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs.

Because, compared to other recipes, it is less likely to cause digestive issues. Also, most of the dogs adore the taste of the salmon and love the dog foods that have the salmon flavor.

The second protein source in this dog food is menhaden fish. It complements the flavor of the salmon very well, and it is also very nutritious. Because it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and when combined with salmon, that makes this recipe a great source of both.

As the main source of carbohydrates, the manufacturer chose to go with peas instead of grains. Other than peas, this product doesn’t have a variety of vegetables. This means that it can be a good choice for GSDs with food sensitivities because limited ingredients are less likely to cause allergies.

This recipe contains flaxseed among its ingredients. So, it is not technically grain free. But flaxseed is very different than the other grains because it doesn’t have gluten in it.

That is why there is almost no chance that it can cause stomach problems. Also, it is a very nutritious ingredient and loaded with healthy fatty acids.

Another ingredient that draws our attention is taurine. Taurine is an amino acid that naturally found in a variety of foods. Also, most energy drinks include it among the ingredients.

Because it is significant for a well-functioning heart and its deficiency can cause heart issues both in humans and dogs.

Lastly, this recipe contains a few ingredients that most dog owners consider low-quality like pea flour and pea starch.

But we should mention that they are the kinds of ingredients that you will most likely see in every dog food. They are used as binding agents in dog foods, and they are not harmful to dogs.

Best for Budget: CANIDAE All Life Stages Dog Dry Food

About: CANIDAE is a dog food brand that is famous for its high-quality dog foods. CANIDAE All Life Stages Dog Dry Food is their limited ingredient recipe is made for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs to stay healthy and thrive.

Features: Lamb meal is the first ingredient in this product, which is a reasonably mild protein source. It is also much less likely to cause allergic reactions. It is possible that some dog owners might be hesitant towards this product because the lamb meal is not the first ingredient.

But, lamb meal is a quality product filled with vitamins and minerals. It also contains more protein content than the meat protein. The ingredient that is not fine in dog foods are the unidentified meat meals like “animal meal”.

We should mention that this product contains brown rice and flaxseed. Therefore, it is not grain-free. But, it is gluten-free, so, it can be a perfect choice for German Shepherds with gluten sensitivities.

We like the fact that the recipe includes flaxseed because it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are significant for healthy skin and coat.

Other than the grains that we mentioned, this recipe also contains several vegetables and fruits.

Peas are the ones that come as the first vegetables in the recipe. Peas can be a good source of fiber, and, they have a relatively high protein content. But, we should also mention that this also means a part of the protein content in this dog food comes from peas.

Other than that, cranberries are included in this recipe. Cranberries have anti-inflammatory properties. They are also very successful at preventing the growth of many pathogens.

Another good thing that we can say about this dog food is that it doesn’t contain any significant low-quality ingredients. Seeing this makes us happy because almost all the dog foods include a couple of low-quality ingredients used as fillers.

Best Grain Free: NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food

About: NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food differs from our other selections because of its protein source, which is venison. It is also a grain free product filled with fiber. That makes this dog food an excellent choice for GSDs with sensitive stomachs.

Features: Venison meal is a high-quality meat source that most German Shepherds will love. Also, it will be easy on their stomachs. Dog owners shouldn’t be worried because they don’t see the meat as the first ingredient.

You should be worried if you see “animal meat” among the ingredients but “venison meal” is not an issue. In fact, a venison meal contains much more protein than the actual meat. It is also very rich in essential vitamins and minerals.

Since this is a grain-free dog food, carbohydrates source comes from the vegetables such as lentils, chickpeas, and potatoes. Both of them are filled with vitamins and minerals, and they are also a great source of plant-based protein.

We included this dog food among our selections because it has venison as the first ingredient. But there is another thing we love about this food; it contains beet pulp.

Beet pulp is a vegetable that is very high in fiber. Not only it will improve your pup’s digestive functions, but also it will be very beneficial for colon health. So, it is the perfect vegetable for German Shepherds with stomach issues.

We should mention that this product contains canola oil, which is a controversial ingredient in dog foods.

Some believe that some canola oils are made from genetically modified rapeseed and that can be dangerous for our dogs. On the other hand, others say that it is a source of omega-3 fatty acids and a very beneficial ingredient in dog foods.

Best Sea Food: Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Limited Ingredient Dog Food

About: We should start by saying that Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Limited Ingredient Dog Food is an excellent choice not only for German Shepherds with a sensitive stomach but also for all kinds of dogs of all ages. Yet, its limited high-quality ingredients make it perfect for the GSDs that have digestive issues.

Features: The manufacturer preferred the salmon as the first ingredient in this dog food. It is very rare to see a dog that gets allergies to salmon and other fish products.

That makes salmon an excellent protein choice. Also, among its other benefits, salmon is low in mercury. So, an issue that fish eaters are usually worried about is minimized when it comes to salmon.

This is a dog food has no grains and gluten in it. Also, it doesn’t contain any egg products and dairy, which can be essential for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs. Because most of them have a hard time digesting them.

As for the carbohydrates, the manufacturer chose to go with vegetables like peas and potatoes.

Not only peas are a good source of fiber, but also, they contain a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Also, they can be an excellent supplementary protein.

We should mention that peas don’t have all the amino acids that the animal protein have. But it is definitely fine since they are the supplementary protein.

Other than that, this recipe contains potatoes. Even though potatoes are not the most nutritious vegetable, they do include a moderate amount of vitamin B could be beneficial for your pup. Also, since they are easily digested, they can be perfect for German Shepherds with stomach problems.

Like Tuffy’S Free Seafood, this recipe also contains both flaxseeds and taurine. Both have significant benefits and should be included in every dog’s diet.

Best Dog Food For German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs: German shepherd lying on the ground

Common Health Issues In German Shepherds

Ulcers

Ulcers are another issue that is commonly encountered in German Shepherds. 

Digestive problems and the medication used for the treatment of other conditions like hip dysplasia can cause this problem.

Ulcers are often caused by a sore either in the stomach or small intestine, which creates a break in the lining of the stomach. Signs of the ulcers are usually loss of appetite, weakness, and depression. Also, your pooch will experience a significant amount of stomach pain.

Most of the time, ulcers are caused by other diseases like Addison’s disease, pancreatitis, liver disease, or kidney disease. Another major cause of this problem is an unbalanced diet.

A diet that is high in fat can causes ulcers because fat sits in the stomach more than protein and carbs. That causes the stomach to generate more acid to break it down. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid fats in your German Shepherd’s diet altogether.

Fats are very healthy, and they have all different kinds of benefits. First, fats are a dense source of energy for dogs.

Also, they are crucial for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Fats can cause issues for dogs only if don’t get the necessary amount of exercise or they consume a lot of unhealthy fats like trans fats.

For the treatment of the ulcers, most of the time, the treatment of the underlying conditions are necessary.

Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis

Eosinophilic gastroenteritis is a condition that happens when your pup’s intestine and stomach get inflamed.

Diarrhea is the most common indicator of this condition and other symptoms include vomiting, absence of appetite, and weight loss.

Steroids and other medications that line the digestive tract by reducing the inflammation are usually used in the treatment of this issue.

Also, diet plays a significant role in preventing the symptoms from getting worse. Because while some foods increase the inflammation, others have the opposite effect.

For instance, vegetables that are the members of the nightshade family like eggplants and tomatoes are known to cause an increase in the inflammation. But, a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids will be a perfect choice for German Shepherds that have this condition.

Toxic Gut Syndrome

Though the chances for this issue to happen is less likely than the others, the toxic gut syndrome occurs more frequently in German Shepherds than the other dog breeds. Also, it is a very serious condition that can be fatal, so, it is critical to be aware of this issue.

There are intestinal-bacteria called Clostridium. Sometimes, these bacteria reproduce a lot more than it usually does, which causes an infection in the bloodstream, and it can be fatal for the dog.

The reason German Shepherds are more susceptible to this issue is that they already have high levels of this bacteria in their intestine.

Since toxic gut syndrome kills so quickly, it’s crucial to prevent it from happening.

Most vets usually suggest yogurt supplementation to supplement the main diet of your pooch.

Diarrhea

There are a variety of different reasons that can cause diarrhea in German Shepherds. But, most of the time food intolerance and parasites are the culprits.

So, if your German Shepherd happens to have diarrhea frequently, the first thing you should do is to check for the parasites. If parasites are not the cause of this issue, then probably food intolerance is.

Most of the time dairy products, heavy fiber, and grains can cause this problem. Most vets suggest a diet called “elimination diet” to find the food that causes the problem.

To apply that, you have to take out the foods that you’re suspecting that are causing the problem out of your pup’s diet.

Then you see if the symptoms start to cease. If that is the case, you should put that food back into your pup’s diet to see whether those symptoms will revert. If they do, that means you managed to find the culprit.

Allergies

Just like humans, dogs can get all kinds of allergies, such as skin allergies, seasonal allergies, and food allergies. Allergies in GSDs are very common, and they are especially susceptible to food allergies.

Food allergies often happen when a dog’s body mistakenly sees a food as harmful and starts to react to it. The body begins to produce antibodies to combat the so-called enemy (the food). The symptoms usually include vomiting, diarrhea, itchy skin, and ear infection.

Genetics play a huge role in determining what food dogs will be allergic to. It might come as a surprise, but grains are not the most common causes of allergies. But, still, they are hard to digest for some dogs, and some of them are still sensitive to it.

Chickens are usually the ingredient in dog foods that cause allergic reactions in dogs. So, meats like salmon, duck, lamb, or even venison can be good options.

Other most common causes of allergies include dairy products, eggs, soy, and pork.

As the treatment of diarrhea, an elimination diet is usually the most effective way to deal with this problem.

German Shepherd With Sensitive Stomach looking at his dog food

Bloating

Bloating is a digestive issue that causes the stomach to be filled with air or gas. Then, it causes the stomach to blow up like a balloon. Bloating in humans are not usually a huge problem, and it means a little bit of discomfort, and maybe a swell in the abdominal are most of the times.

Yet, it can be deadly to dogs. Contrary to common belief, too much food is not the most common reason for the bloating. But, most of the time, it happens because the food piles up in the body and can’t find any place to go.

Bloating occurs more often in larger breeds than the small breeds. We should also mention that this issue happens more often in male, middle-aged dogs.

The most common cause of bloating is eating right before or after exercising. Since German Shepherds are a very active breed, you should always be mindful of the times you feed your pooch.

Preventing Stomach Problems In German Shepherd Dogs

As we mentioned above, there are a variety of different stomach issues in German Shepherds. That also means all of them requires different treatments. But there is a common denominator in all these issues. It is a balanced diet.

A balanced diet is essential to minimize any potential health risks before they occur. A diet that has high-quality protein is always important. Also, you should try to avoid the low-quality ingredients found in dog foods as much as possible.

Other than that, some foods can be especially good for stomach problems in German Shepherds.

For instance, a diet with extra fiber can be the right choice in that sense. Fiber is a micronutrient found commonly in most vegetables, and it is known for its digestive benefits. It can be helpful for both treating diarrhea and constipation in dogs.

One food that is high in fiber is beet pulp. That is the reason most vets suggest that it should be in the diets of the German Shepherds that have digestive issues and sensitive stomachs.

Although there are a lot of different vegetables that have high fiber content, there is one thing that differs from the beet pulp from the others. It is insoluble fiber.

That means it can help moisturize the stool and be beneficial to provide an energy source that can improve the health of the colon.

Pumpkin is another fiber-rich food that can help digestive issues and sensitive stomachs. Unlike beet pulp, it is a source of soluble fiber, and it is beneficial for adding bulk to the stool by the absorption of the water.

Conclusion: 5 Best Dog Food For German Shepherds With Sensitive Stomachs (2020 Reviews)

If there is one thing that makes owners of the German Shepherds think is that they are susceptible to several health issues, and having a sensitive stomach is one of them.

If not appropriately treated, stomach issues can be both painful for the dogs and their owners.

A balanced diet with the right nutrition is the only way to deal with this issue. Finding the foods that are causing the problem and taking them out of your pup’s daily diet is usually the best way to go about this.

Dog foods made with a limited amount of ingredients are excellent for that. Because they don’t usually contain the ingredients that most dogs are sensitive to.

That makes it possible for German Shepherds to get the right amount of nutrition without agitating their stomach.

So, we hope that we were able to help you with the search for finding the right food for your GSD. We believe at least one of these products will be very helpful for your pup’s problem.

Alaaddin Sarac

I've been an avid dog enthusiast since childhood. I started this blog in hopes of helping owners find answers to questions I had after owning my first dog. This website was created as a way to share our love for all things canine with the world. From choosing the best food for your older dog to get the best beds for your tail-wagger, I aim to give you the information you need to give your dog the best care throughout his entire life.