The Best Dog Food for German Shepherds with an Ear Infection

Ear infections in German shepherds are common and may be experienced from time to time. Signs of infection include frequent irritating scratching of the ears, whining, redness near the ears, discomfort, and pain or pus coming out of the ears. It is important to always contact your veterinarian when you notice these signs so that they may examine your dog and provide treatment.

Ear infections occur as a result of an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in the ear. Bacteria and yeast are naturally present on your dog’s body including within their ears.

However, when changes in their environment occur, these microorganisms overgrow and may lead to an infection. Common causes that result in this overgrowth include:

  • Excess moisture in your dog’s ear canal which may be as a result of swimming or bathing especially if they were not adequately dried after these activities. The moisture creates a suitable environment for the bacteria and yeast to grow rapidly. 
  • Environmental allergens such as molds, dust mites, or pollen. 
  • Food-related allergies are also a cause of ear infections. The inflammation caused by allergic reactions causes inflammation which leads to an overgrowth of bacteria and yeast, causing an infection. A diet composed of excess grain and/or sugar in your dog’s diet provides a source that yeast feeds on which causes overgrowth and buildup in the ears which leads to infections.

A diet consisting of grain-free or gluten-free, hypoallergenic, or limited ingredients dog food will always be recommended for the prevention of infection and during treatment. If your dog is highly susceptible to infections, having the right diet is important.

Your vet will holistically investigate your dog’s overall lifestyle, environment, diet, health, and be able to pinpoint the cause of the ear infection and provide a treatment plan. This article will provide and guide you on the best dog food for German shepherds with an ear infection. 

Overview Of The Best Dog Food for German Shepherds with Ear Infection

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The Top Picks

Below is the detailed review of the top picks of best dog food for German shepherds with an ear infection.

Wellness Simple Natural Grain-free Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food - Best Overall


If you are looking for a good dog food that will not cause any food-related allergic reactions due to the ingredients, Wellness Simple Natural Grain-free Limited Ingredient dry dog food is a great choice. The dog food does not contain grains or gluten and the formula is specifically crafted with natural limited ingredients to cater to dogs with food allergies and food sensitivities by lacking the ingredients that cause allergies which can potentially lead to infections.

The composition also has a high-quality protein source as a first ingredient which is meant for supporting the muscle development of a dog. The dog food is easily digestible and also contains probiotics and prebiotics which is a good addition to the digestive health of a German shepherd. Wellness Simple is an all-around dog food packed with essential nutrients that your dog requires without ingredients that will cause an allergic reaction that may lead to ear infections.

Top ingredients: Turkey Meal, Peas, Deboned Turkey, Potatoes

Key features:

  • Contains quality animal protein 
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • Contains probiotics and prebiotics 
  • Provides limited ingredient diet for food allergies or ingredient intolerant dogs
  • Easily digestible
  • Has no corn, soy, and chicken
  • No artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Best for adult dogs 

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food - Best Budget Pick


Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet dog food is a limited ingredient dog food that contains wholesome ingredients such as deboned lamb, lamb meal, dried potatoes, lentils, dried sweet potatoes among others to provide all-around nutrition. Lamb as a key ingredient offers a great protein source for your German Shepherd. Other protein sources are also available to choose from apart from the lamb.

This dog food is rich in omega-6 fatty acids which promote a healthy coat and skin. As a limited ingredient food, it is a good option for a dog with food sensitivities and allergies. It is also grain-free without chicken by-product meal, wheat, corn, or soy protein which also minimizes allergic flare-ups by your German Shepherd. This reduces the chances of your dog getting ear infections due to ingredients in their food, as well as dog food, being suitable during recovery from an infection. The food formula also promotes digestive health for German Shepherds with sensitive stomachs.

Top ingredients: Deboned lamb, Lamb meal, Chickpeas, Dried Potatoes, Lentils, Dried sweet potatoes 

Key features:

  • Formulated for limited ingredient diet
  • Grain-free and chicken-free
  • No chicken by-product meal, corn or soy protein
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients
  • Contains high-quality animal protein
  • Contains Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Has glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints.
  • No preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors
  • Best for adult dogs 

Wellness Simple Natural Wet Canned Limited Ingredient Dog Food -Best Wet Dog Food


The Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Grain-free dog food has a wet dog food option. The formulation contains natural limited ingredients suitable for German shepherds with food allergies or sensitivities. It is a suitable diet to minimize the occurrence of ear infections due to food-related allergies and also recommended during infection recovery of dogs.

There is also no grain, wheat, or gluten which also reduces food allergic reactions and is a great food formula for a German Shepherd with a sensitive stomach. The dog food contains a high-quality single source of protein by having turkey in this case which helps build your dog’s muscle tissue and for proper development. 

Top ingredients: Turkey, Turkey broth, Potatoes, Ground flaxseed, Carrageenan 

Key features:

  • Contains quality animal protein 
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • Contains probiotics and prebiotics 
  • Provides limited ingredient diet for food allergic or ingredient intolerant dogs
  •  Flaxseed nourishes and supports healthy skin
  • Easily digestible
  • Has no corn, soy, and chicken
  • No artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Best for adult dogs 

The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain-free Dog Food - Best Human-Grade Dog Food


The Honest Kitchen is a human-grade dog food that is both delicious and nutritious with dehydrated wholesome ingredients including turkey, vegetables, fruits, and more. The dehydrated fruits retain their vitamins and minerals which provide a German shepherd with essential nutrients they require for growth.

The formula is easy to prepare by simply adding water to constitute the meal. If a German Shepherd has certain allergies this grain-free gluten-free food is the best and also suitable for minimizing infections as well as during recovery of ear infections. Other animal protein options are also available to select apart from Turkey. The food is suitable for both German Shepherd puppies and adults. 

Top ingredients: Dehydrated turkey, Dehydrated potatoes, Organic flaxseed, Dehydrated Carrots, Dehydrated spinach

Key features:

  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • No wheat, corn, and soy 
  • Contains a quality animal protein source 
  • Vegetable and fruits inclusive
  • Dehydrated whole foods packed with the ingredients
  • No by-products, GMO ingredients, preservatives, antibiotics, or hormones
  • Best for puppies and adult dogs 

Royal Canin Veterinary Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP Wet Dog Food - Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food


With hydrolyzed proteins that are easily absorbed by a German Shepherd, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dog Food is a good selection of foods for dogs with food sensitivities, sensitive digestion, coat, and skin problems.

The hydrolyzed proteins minimize skin and gastrointestinal reactions which are usually caused by proteins. With minimal food-related allergic reactions, infections as a result of this are reduced and during recovery, this food option is recommended.

The dog food is packed with essential vitamins such as amino acids, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids that help to support and maintain a German Shepherd’s health. In addition to this, prebiotics and fiber within the food help to stimulate digestive health. The dog food is suitable for both puppies and adult dogs. This dog food specifically requires a veterinarian prescription for purchase.

Top ingredients: Water Sufficient For Processing, Pea Starch, Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein

Key features:

  • Formulated for dogs with food sensitivities, skin, and digestive problems 
  • Contains high-quality protein
  • Easily digestible ingredients
  • Contains prebiotics and fiber that support healthy digestion
  • Has omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids for healthy brain development and function 
  • Best for puppies and adult dogs

Important Features To Consider

The best dog food for German Shepherds with an ear infection should have key important features. Here’s what to consider and check when selecting dog food recommended for this for your German Shepherd.

Grain-free

A diet consisting of excess grain presents an opportunity for the occurrence of ear infections. Grains have natural sugars that yeast feed on, multiply leading to overgrowth and causing infection. Grain-free food minimizes this occurrence and is best recommended.

Hypoallergenic and Limited Ingredient Food

Food-related allergies cause inflammation that allows overgrowth of yeast and bacteria on the skin of your dog and ear canals which may lead to infection.

If your German Shepherd is allergic to food it is best to provide dog food that will not trigger an allergic reaction. Look for dog food indicated as having hydrolyzed protein, limited ingredients, or hypoallergenic.

Additional Ingredients

Take note of additives that may be included in the food. The selected dog food must not have by-products and fillers, excess gluten, preservatives, or artificial additives. This increases the chances of creating an allergic reaction in your dog which may also result in ear infections due to bacteria and yeast overgrowth.

Quality Ingredients

Consider also having dog food with extra beneficial ingredients such as wholesome natural foods that provide nutrients and vitamins.

Included probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that help to maintain a good balance of the natural good bacteria in a German shepherds gut system.

All of these contribute to the overall health of a dog especially during recovery by strengthening the immune system.

Nutrient-rich foods

German Shepherd food should be rich with nutrients and minerals that support their health and well being. Whole foods contain these essential nutrients. Check for this and also select food that does not contain preservatives, artificial additives, and fillers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is dog food for ear infection different from regular food?

Dog food for dogs with an ear infection is formulated to have limited ingredients or lack of ingredients that cause food allergic reactions. Food-related allergic reactions cause inflammation that also encourages the overgrowth of bacteria and yeast found naturally on the dog’s skin. This overgrowth may lead to an ear infection. Dog food for an ear infection is also grain-free because grains have natural sugars that yeast feed and multiply and this may also result in infection. Therefore this food is formulated to reduce inflammation due to allergic reaction and overgrowth of the microorganisms by lack of these ingredients in the food.

Can a dog's diet cause ear infections?

Yes, a dog’s diet can contribute to getting ear infections. This is often as a result of having excess grain and/or sugar in the diet which feeds the yeast that is naturally found on a dog’s body including in the ears. The overgrowth of the yeast leads to buildup and infection of the ears.

What foods cause yeast infection in dog ears?

Foods with natural sugar increase the chances of infection because they provide sources that yeast feeds on and multiply. These ingredients in food include all grains, sugars, wheat gluten, rice, flour, corn syrup, caramel coloring, and poultry by-product meals. 

Recommended Reading: Can German Shepherd Puppies Eat Blueberries?

Conclusion

Environmental and food-related allergies are the common causes of ear infections in German shepherds. It is important to prevent the occurrence of infection as well as properly provide the required dog food that will help your dog through an infection. A high-quality hypoallergenic, limited ingredient, and grain-free diet is recommended for this.

I hope this article helped you to identify the best dog food for German Shepherds with an ear infection as well as what to consider about the products to make a good purchase for your dog.

Your veterinarian will treat your German shepherd for the ear infection and also guide you on the diet needs. You will also be able to make an informed choice for your German shepherd and feed them well as they heal as well as minimize the occurrence of ear infections.

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.