What Human Foods Can (and can’t) German Shepherds Eat? The Definitive Guide by Food Type

What Human Foods Can (and can’t) German Shepherds Eat? The Definitive Guide by Food Type

What Human Foods Can (and can’t) German Shepherds Eat? The Definitive Guide by Food TypeEver wondered what human foods can German Shepherds eat?German Shepherds are our most faithful of all friends. Being able to share your food with your furry pal is part of dog ownership and something we all do. Just because a food is good for you as a human does not necessarily mean your German Shepherd can eat it too.

We have constructed the complete guide of food your German Shepherd can and cannot eat by food types. German Shepherds as a rule of thumb can eat most land-based proteins. They can also eat most vegetables (Except Potatoes, Tomatoes and Alliums) and most berries.

We’ve completed the definitive guide below which we’ve broken down into food groups using the Harvard Medical School’s ‘Healthy Eating Plate’ for reference.

In the fullness of time we will be writing an individual guide for each item of food on this list to build-up quite possibly the largest German Shepherd food resource available online.

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A German Shepherds diet requires around 18%-22% protein. They need approximately 1g of protein per lb of their ideal bodyweight. This breakdown is slightly more than that of a human. Protein is the building blocks in your German Shepherds diet and help them to grow. The protein in your German Shepherds diet helps to keep their skin, fur, nails and muscles health.

German Shepherds can eat pretty much any protein without issue. White & Red Meat as well as Fish and Eggs all provide valuable macronutrients as well as vitamins and minerals.

Raw meat diets are popular among German Shepherd owners due to their links to a dogs natural wild diet. If feeding your German Shepherd cooked meat ensure it is raw natural meat and not covered in anything that could harm the dog.

If you would like to feed your German Shepherd bones ensure they are raw and haven’t been cooked at all. Cooking weakens the natural strength of a bone meaning it can splinter in your GSD’d mouth causing long term issue.

When it comes to fish your German Shepherd should be absolutely fine either both cooked and raw fish. Fish do potentially contain parasites but if your German Shepherd’s immune system is functioning correctly these shouldn’t be any concern. 

Eggs – Eggshells, Raw Eggs and Cooked Eggs are suitable for your German Shepherd. Eggs are high in protein, and therefore, possess all the building blocks that will help your dog grow. 

Whole Grains

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Whole Grains have really become a faux pas in the dog food world recently, the pet-food contamination tragedy of 2007 caused by imported Chinese wheat gluten really made the American consumer wary of grain in their dog food. Combine that with the human gluten-free fad and it’s no wonder the grain-free pet food industry has seen a large growth in the last decade.

With the exception of Corn on the Cob there is no real ‘bad’ grains for dogs. Indeed, cooked grains offer a large number of health benefits including vitamin B, E, Magnesium, Iron and fibre.  Dogs cannot digest uncooked grains so you should always ensure you are cooking any grains you feed to your German Shepherd beforehand.

Starchy Carbohydrates

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Ok, so we have a be a little creative and add a new section to Harvard’s plate. Starchy Carbohydrates (we are more than open to ideas in the comments for a better name for them) are not required in a German Shepherd dog diet (Source National Research Council).  

Although carbs aren’t necessarily bad for dogs and in reasonable amounts they can provide your dog with a practical source of energy they need to be controlled. Your German Shepherd only needs around 15-20% carbs in their diet.

Bread – German Shepherds can bread in moderation. It is perfectly healthy for your German Shepherd to eat as long as they don’t have allergies that would cause them to get an upset stomach.

Ramen – German Shepherds can eat ramen noodles, but it is not necessarily a good idea and there are exceptions. While ramen noodles are generally safe for dogs, they offer very little health value and nutritional benefits. 

 

 

Vegetables

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German Shepherds are Omnivores. A balanced diet for your GSD should include both meat and vegetables. Vegetables contain a large number of nutrients that a dog just cannot get from meat, these include, Antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and phytonutrients to ward off viruses and cancer. Varying the vegetables your feed to your GSD will ensure they are getting a full spectrum of nutrients on offer.

There are some vegetables to avoid however, anything in the Allium Family (Onions, Shallots, Garlic, Chives, and Leeks) is poisonous to dogs and should be avoided at all costs! Green tomatoes are also dangerous to German Shepherds.

Fruits

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Fruit is not normally looked on as a healthy food for German Shepherds however you will be surprised to hear that not only is fruit super tasty it is actually pretty healthy for your dog too. Fruit is packed full of vitamins, antioxidants and fibre and is an amazing snack option for your German Shepherd. Fruit can help strengthen your Shepherds immune system, improve skin and reduce inflammation.

Some caution must be taken however as fruit is high in sugar. Some fruits can also cause some upset to your Shepherds stomach.

Dairy

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Just like with humans there is a difference of opinion when it comes to dairy and German Shepherds. Many GSDs will be able to digest dairy without any significant problems however some can react with the lactose in the dairy products causing digestive distress, this is particularly true of puppies and it is best to avoid feeding cows milk to puppies. Again, although high in calcium which can help contribute to healthy teeth and bones there is no need for dairy in a German Shepherds diet.

CheeseWhether a German Shepherd can eat cheese will depend on
the individual dog and type of cheese, however generally when given sparingly there
is no reason why your German Shepherd cannot eat cheese as long as they are not
lactose intolerant.

 

Nuts & Seeds

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In general nuts and seeds are good for German Shepherds however there are some notable exceptions. Nuts and Seeds provide a protein boost and a tasty, easy to give snack for your Shepherd. Nuts and seeds are high in fat and colories and as such should only be given in moderation.

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