The Best Canned Dog Food For German Shepherds

Canned dog food or as commonly referred to as wet dog food, is another food form other than dry dog food. Compared to dry dog food canned food has benefits which include:

  • Contains more protein content
  • Has fewer carbohydrates and preservatives
  • It is easier to chew making it good for both puppies, adults, and senior dogs
  • Has a higher content of moisture which supports healthy digestion and hydration

The German Shepherd as a large breed dog requires different nutrient requirements compared to a small breed dog such as a Beagle. Therefore canned food formulations are also made specifically for large breeds for this purpose.

High-quality canned dog food for German shepherds must contain the basic food requirements such as protein, fiber, fat as well as vitamins and minerals. The food contains enough protein for the development of strong muscles, fat content provides a source of energy, healthy skin and coat while fiber, vitamins, and minerals support optimal digestion and immunity for the German Shepherd.

In addition to this, the food should also be formulated to cater to specific requirements of individual German shepherds such as being grain-free, limited ingredient diet or food for sensitive stomach and skin to cater to sensitive dogs as well as also puppy and senior dogs diet requirements.

The Top Picks

Below is the detailed review of the top picks of the best canned dog food for German Shepherds.

Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Canned Dog Food - Best Overall


The Wellness Complete Health Natural Canned Dog Food is an all-natural ingredient dog food that is adequately formulated with the required nutrients for a healthy dog. As a large breed dog, the German Shepherd requires a balanced diet consisting of a good amount of protein, fat, fiber vitamins, and minerals for its overall well-being.

Wellness Complete is formulated for this purpose by having a quality protein source for muscle development and maintenance. Wholesome ingredients of fruits and vegetables provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals that support the digestive and immune systems. The formulation lacks wheat, corn and peas which means that dogs with food sensitivities can also eat this wholesome nutritious food. Different flavors are available to choose from. Wellness Complete Health is a well-known brand with quality food formulation and this is a great choice for a German Shepherd.

Top ingredients: Whitefish fish, Fish broth, Ground barley, Sweet potatoes, Carrots

Key features:

  • Contains quality animal protein
  • Contains essential vitamins and minerals to support digestive function and the immune system
  • Made with all-natural ingredients
  • Has no wheat, corn, soy, or peas
  • No Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Best for adult dogs

Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Canned Dog Food - Best Budget Pick


Purina Pro Plan Savor is a dog food formulated with high-quality nutritious ingredients and a great canned food option for German Shepherds. The formulation contains an animal protein, in this case, chicken, although other meat options are also available. Protein is essential for proper muscle development.

In addition to this, there is a carbohydrate source that provides energy which is essential for active lifestyle adult German Shepherds. The formulation has omega-6 fatty acids that maintain a shiny coat of a German Shepherd as well as maintenance of healthy skin. Antioxidants within the food boost the immune system which protects the dog against infections. The Purina Pro Plan Savor is an affordable and great canned food option for a healthy and active dog such as the German Shepherd. The Purina brand has quality nutritious food formulas.

Top ingredients: Chicken, Water sufficient for processing, Liver, Meat by-products, Rice

Key features:

  • Formulated for a high protein diet
  • Antioxidants within the food support the immune system
  • Contains high-quality animal protein
  • Contains Omega-6 fatty acids
  • No preservatives and artificial Colours or flavors
  • Contains 23 essential vitamins and nutrients
  • Best for adult dogs

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High-Protein Grain-free Natural Adult Wet Dog Food - Best Grain-Free Dog Food for Allergies


The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wet Dog Food is a high protein wet dog food that contains quality animal protein as the first ingredient. The protein supports muscle development and promotes an active lifestyle for a dog which is ideal especially for a German shepherd.

The food formulation also contains vegetables and fruits with vitamins and minerals which help to boost the immune system for overall well-being. It is also a grain-free and gluten-free formulation that caters to dogs that have food-related allergies. There are also no by-product meals, corn, soy, or peas. The food does not contain any preservatives or artificial flavors. Different flavors are also available to choose from. This is an all-around nutritious food for a German shepherd.

Top ingredients: Turkey, chicken broth, chicken, potato protein, potatoes

Key features:

  • High protein
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • No wheat, corn, soy, or peas
  • No artificial preservatives and flavors

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach and Sensitive Skin Wet Dog Food - Best Dog food for Sensitive Skin and Stomach


The Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Wet Dog Food provides German shepherds with quality nutritious food that is protein-rich and without common food allergens. The formulation specifically caters to dogs with sensitive stomachs and with skin-irritating food allergies. This is a great option for a German shepherd that requires this diet to manage allergies and sensitivities they may experience.

The formulation contains real meat as the number one ingredient, in this case, Salmon. This provides the required protein and the best part of this is the DHA omega-3 fatty acid that promotes cognitive development in a dog. Omega-6 fatty acids within the food also help to maintain the German Shepherd’s beautiful shiny coat and healthy skin. Purina Pro Plan is a well-balanced diet that dogs with sensitivities and digestion will love.

Top ingredients: Salmon, Water sufficient for processing, Rice, Fish, Potato protein

Key features:

  • For sensitive digestion diet
  • Contains essential fatty acids, DHA omega-3 and omega-6
  • Formulated for skin-irritating food-allergic dogs
  • Contains quality Salmon as a protein source
  • Best for adult dogs

CANIDAE PURE Grain Free Limited Ingredient Premium Wet Dog Food- Best Limited Ingredient Canned Dog Food


If you are looking for a limited ingredient canned dog food for a German shepherd, CANIDAE PURE Grain Free Limited Ingredient Wet Dog Food is a great choice. It is a grain-free, gluten-free dog food that does not contain ingredients that may cause allergic reactions in German Shepherds as well as good for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

The formulation also lacks corn and soy which are unsuitable for food-sensitive dogs. German Shepherds require a good protein in their diet for muscle development and for a healthy body structure. CANIDAE PURE contains a quality protein source that satisfies this requirement. Different flavors are also  available to choose from. Apart from the great taste that dogs love, this dog food provides all-round nutrition for German shepherds.

Top ingredients: Lamb, Lamb broth, Vegetable broth, Lamb liver, Peas

Key features:

  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • No wheat, corn, and soy fillers
  • Chicken-free
  • Contains quality protein source
  • For a limited ingredient diet for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Best for adult dogs

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Adult Weight Management Canned Dog Food - Best Canned Dog Food For Weight Management


Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Weight Management is a great selection of dog food best for weight control. The formula has a high protein content for maintaining lean muscle in German Shepherds and on the other hand, also has less fat to ensure your dog is burning off their own fat and not muscle. This helps to maintain a healthy weight for a German Shepherd.

The dog food formula also contains Omega-6 fatty acids that support healthy skin and a shiny coat as well as prebiotic fiber to aid in digestive health. Different flavors are also available to choose from. This is an all-around balanced diet while helping to control weight for a German Shepherd.

Top ingredients: Water sufficient processing, Turkey liver, Wheat Gluten, Rice, Chicken

Key features:

  • Balanced protein-to-fat ratio to assist in weight loss
  • Contains prebiotic fiber for digestive health
  • 25% less fat compared to other Purina Pro Plan formulas
  • Contains Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Pea-free
  • Ideal for overweight dogs by providing a balanced diet
  • Best for adult dogs

Hill's Science Diet Dog Food - Best Senior Dog Canned Dog Food


If you are looking for quality canned dog food for a senior German Shepherd the Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food is a good selection. The formulation is structured to cater to the nutritional needs and health of an older dog.

The food contains quality protein for maintaining lean muscles in the older dogs as well as vitamins and antioxidants to support the immune system. This easily digestible food contains fiber that promotes healthy digestion and essential minerals that support healthy bones and heart health for older dogs. Different flavors are also available to choose from.

Top ingredients: Water, Beef, Pork liver, Brown rice, Carrots

Key features:

  • Contains high-quality animal protein
  • Has fiber for healthy digestion
  • Contains essential vitamins and minerals for health
  • Contains vegetables to provide nutrition
  • Best for adult dogs 7+ years of age

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Dog Food


Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food is another great option of a limited ingredient dog food. This limited ingredient dog food formula does not contain the common ingredients that cause allergic flare-ups in dogs therefore it is perfect for dogs with allergies and food sensitivities.

The food is packed with essential vitamins, that is, vitamin A and B12 which help support the German shepherds’ immune system. In addition, this easily digestible formula has Omega-3 which is good for the cognitive development of dogs as well as Omega-6 which helps maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin. Natural Balance also contains premium quality animal protein which helps to build muscle tissue and mass in a German shepherd. Different flavors are available to choose from.

Top ingredients: Lamp, Lamp broth, Lamp liver, Brown rice, Lamp meal

Key features:

  • Contains premium quality animal protein source
  • Has essential vitamins and minerals, vitamin A and B12 to support the immune system
  • Contains essential fatty acids, that is, Omega-3 and 6
  • Easily digestible
  • For a limited ingredient diet for dogs with food sensitivities and allergies
  • Best for puppies and adult dogs

Nutro Hearty Stews Adult Wet Dog Food


Nutro Hearty Stews Adult Wet Dog Food is a nutritiously formulated dog food providing a well-balanced diet for your dog. It consists of a quality animal protein to adequately build muscle, grain-free to minimize food-related allergies as well as lacking corn, wheat, soy, or chicken by-product meal.

This tasty meal is made from wholesome non-GMO quality ingredients to provide all the vitamins and minerals that help to support the immune system and overall healthy growth of a German Shepherd. Different flavors are also available to choose from. This dog food is best recommended for adult German Shepherds.

Top ingredients: Lamb, Pork broth, Chicken broth, Beef liver, Green Beans

Key features:

  • Grain-free
  • Contains high-quality lamb as a protein source, other protein options available
  • Made from non-GMO quality ingredients
  • Lacks corn, wheat, soy, or chicken by-products meal
  • No artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
  • Best for adult dogs

Important Features To Consider

Canned dog food for German Shepherds should have a few important features. The below should be considered when selecting canned dog food for a German shepherd.

Protein-rich formula

German Shepherds require a strong lean body which is mainly built up by its food source. The canned dog food should contain a rich source of lean protein preferably from animal protein such as meat, fish, or poultry to provide the essential protein for building and sustaining muscle mass. Avoid canned dog food that does not provide a quality animal protein as the main ingredient.

Healthy fats

Fats are essential for providing calories that are used as energy. German shepherds are very energetic breeds and use up calories during activities and they require more energy sources from food to replenish them. As a large breed, an adult German shepherd requires a good source of support for its energy needs. Other essential fats consist of fatty acids such as Omega 6 fatty acids help to maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin as well as Omega 3 which supports brain development and health.

Allergen-free or limited ingredient diet food

Food allergies may develop in some German Shepherds and it is important to provide them with food formulated with limited ingredients that do not cause allergic reactions. Some food formulations exclude common allergens such as grain, corn, soy, chicken, wheat, and beef. Depending on a dog’s specific needs, select the best canned dog food having in mind this important factor. 

Additional ingredients suitable for German Shepherds

There are essential food elements that support the health of a German Shepherd as a dog breed. German Shepherds are prone to joint and bone health problems and it is essential to have food elements that support joint and bone health.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are essential elements that benefit German Shepherds in this regard. They are found in meat and poultry protein sources and support joints and mobility in dogs. Look out for them in the canned dog food.

Controlled levels of phosphorus and calcium are also essential for bone health as well as probiotic inclusive foods which are also beneficial because they promote good digestive health of dogs.

Whole Foods

In order for a German Shepherd to get all the essential nutrients they require for proper growth and health, the dog food has to contain whole food that provides essential nutrients and minerals which help to provide a strong immune system. Look out for this and also ensure no artificial additives, preservatives, and fillers are included.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can you leave canned dog food out?

Unopened canned dog food can last from 2 to 5 years when stored properly in a cool dry place. This should not be refrigerated. On the other hand, opened canned dog food can be left out at room temperature for a few hours, up to 4 hours. The recommendation is to always refrigerate open cans which can safely last for 3 to 5 days and no longer than 7 days at a set temperature of 40 – 45 degrees. Transfer and store the food from the can in an airtight container. Canned dog food in your dog’s bowl can last for 2 to 4 hours and for 20 minutes if the area is warm. Always discard uneaten food after these times and clean the bowl before refilling it.

Conclusion

Canned dog food has the benefit of having a higher concentration of animal protein ingredients compared to dry food, has fewer preservatives, and much easier to chew and digest for puppies, adult, and senior dogs. It is a good food option for feeding your German Shepherd for healthy growth and well-being.

I hope this article helped you to identify and know the best canned dog food for German Shepherds as well as key features to consider during the process of purchase in order to get the best product for your dog. By having these factors in mind you should be able to select the best suitable food for your dog’s individual needs. If you liked this article you may also like to know the best canned dog food for German Shepherd puppies.

To learn more about German Shepherds, check out the below resources. 

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Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams is a writer, mum, and animal lover with extensive experience with dogs. She loves talking about animal advocacy and care. She lives with 4 German Shepherds and 1 cat.