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What is a German Shepherd’s Favorite Food?

Last Updated: October 29, 2023

German Shepherds are known for their hearty appetite, and as a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to feed them a well-balanced diet that meets their dietary needs. While every dog has their own preferences, there are some foods that German Shepherds tend to enjoy more than others. So, what is a German Shepherd’s favorite food?

A German Shepherd’s favorite food is meat, such as beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, venison, and pork. They also enjoy dry dog food (kibble) with a topping consisting of wet dog food, yogurt, tuna, mackerel, salmon, veggies, low-sodium broth, peanut butter, eggs, cottage cheese, or warm water.

Food preferences can vary from one German Shepherd to another depending on several factors. But meat and foods prepared with meat are most German Shepherds’ favorite foods.

In this blog, we’ll explore the best foods to feed your German Shepherd and what makes them so irresistible to these lovable pups.

Let’s get started!

What Is A German Shepherd's Favorite Food?

What Do German Shepherds Eat?

Although we usually think of dogs alongside their carnivorous descendants, the wolves, dogs are omnivores. As such, your German Shepherd will enjoy a meal of meat as well as plant foods.

Most German Shepherds eat dry or wet commercial dog food. Although the main ingredient in commercial dog food is meat, manufacturers create these meals using formulas that meet all your dog’s nutritional requirements. Besides, they also have some healthy additive flavors to excite your dog’s tastebuds and activate his appetite.

Considering they are large, high-energy dogs, healthy German Shepherds need a high-protein diet. So, the high meat content in commercial dog food is excellent for your German Shepherd. That’s true as long as you do your research and confirm that the brand is high-quality and adheres to the AAFCO dog food profile.

But, while your German Shepherd’s meat meals will account for his protein needs, plant foods account for most of your dog’s other nutritional requirements. That includes:

  • Carbohydrates or energy foods from sources like wheat and sweet potatoes.
  • Vitamins from fruits and vegetable sources like strawberries, blueberries, oranges, melons, broccoli, carrots, and green beans.
  • Fats and minerals from seed oils like soybeans, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds.

Of course, the list of foods a German Shepherd can eat goes beyond the few examples here. 

But our core question in this post is what foods German Shepherds may prefer from that list. So, let’s address that now.

GSD Eating Dry Dog Food With Added Steak
My dog eating dry food with a steak topping

What is a German Shepherd’s Favorite Food?

Studies have confirmed that dogs love the meat ingredients in their food. As a matter of fact, they also have preferences for the kind of meat they’d prefer in their meal.

A lab experiment confirmed some key facts about dog preferences for the meat ingredient in their meals:

  • First, dogs prefer beef, lamb, and pork to chicken and other meat options like liver and horse meat. That’s contrary to what most of us think, that dogs are crazy for chicken. Maybe that’s us and not our dogs.
  • Second, dogs prefer meat to grain diets. And at least that agrees with what we already know.
  • Third, dogs prefer warm, semi-moist, or moist food over cold, dry food. In fact, your dog will smell and taste better warm or room temperature food, not fridge-cold food.
  • Lastly, dogs prefer certain forms of meat: canned meat over fresh meat, cooked meat over raw, and ground meat over cubed. Maybe the latter preference goes well with how they gulp down their food without necessarily masticating it. 

Now, these are not indisputable facts about your German Shepherd’s food preferences. As mentioned earlier, every dog is unique, even in their taste preferences. 

So, if you really, really want to know what is a German Shepherd’s favorite food, there is a surefire way to check it. Read about it in the following section.

How to Tell Your German Shepherd’s Favorite Food

Remember how I said most German Shepherds eat dry or wet commercial food? Before they settle for a particular food ingredient, dog food manufacturers test the flavors to determine which ones German Shepherds and other dogs prefer. 

The good news is that you can do your own home test to find out what is your German Shepherd’s favorite food. Here’s how:

  1. Prepare two bowls of food with different tastes. It could be chicken and beef or chicken and lamb. Ensure you do this away from your dog so they can smell but not see the food. Also, you can put half of your dog’s single meal amount in each bowl so he doesn’t exceed his portion if he eats the food one after the other.
  2. Place the two bowls of food at a distance from each other. Your German Shepherd can tell if the food has his preferred ingredient by the smell, even before he can taste it.
  3. Allow your dog to have his meal and watch what food he eats first. If he doesn’t go to the next bowl, you know his first choice is truly your German Shepherd’s favorite food. 
  4. Repeat the test in the next meal. This time, switch the position of the bowls and watch if your GSD will go to the same flavor as before despite the changed location. That should tell you that the food he goes to first is his favorite. 

You can repeat the test with different flavors, but ensure the food is high-quality and has all the ingredients your dog needs, whether it is commercially prepared or a homemade meal. 

Here’s a little experiment I did with my German Shepherd, Willow, to see if she preferred kibble or wet food. Although she is looking at the dry food, she prefers her kibble to have a wet food topping. If your German Shepherd’s favorite food is a dry and wet mix, here are some other foods you can mix with kibble.

Dry Dog Food vs. Wet. A German Shepherd looking at a bowl of dry food (kibble) and a bowl of canned food.

A chat with your dog’s vet about the experiment before proceeding will not hurt either. On the contrary, it will help you confirm that giving the varied food flavors together won’t hurt your GSD’s tummy.


How much food should I feed my German Shepherd?

The amount of food that a German Shepherd needs will depend on their age, weight, activity level, and overall health. As a general guideline, adult German Shepherds typically require between 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dog food per day, divided into two meals. Puppies and young dogs may require more frequent meals and a higher calorie intake to support their growth and development. I

Can German Shepherds eat fruits and vegetables?

German Shepherds can eat fruits and vegetables in moderation. Some safe options include blueberries, apples, bananas, carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes. However, you should avoid feeding them any fruits or vegetables that are toxic to dogs, such as grapes, raisins, and onions. Additionally, some dogs may have trouble digesting certain fruits and vegetables, so it’s always best to introduce new foods slowly and in small amounts to avoid any digestive upset.

Can German Shepherds eat a vegetarian or vegan diet?

While it is possible for German Shepherds to survive on a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is not recommended. Dogs are naturally omnivorous and require nutrients that are difficult to obtain from a plant-based diet, such as vitamin B12 and amino acids like taurine and carnitine. A vegetarian or vegan diet for a German Shepherd should only be considered under the guidance of a veterinarian or pet nutritionist to ensure that all of their nutritional needs are being met.

Summing It Up!

What’s your German Shepherd’s favorite food? The answer to that question is in the knowledge you have of your dog. 

Nonetheless, as the canines they are, German Shepherds love food that appetizes them with its pleasant aroma of beef, pork, lamb, or chicken. 

Watch your dog closely to see if the first three aren’t actually his favorite, contrary to our preferred choice of chicken for our furry friends.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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