What Can German Shepherds Eat
Health & Nutrition

What Can German Shepherds Eat?

When it comes down to feeding your German shepherd, you want to give them good healthy foods. This article will help you determine the best foods for your dog to make sure they aren’t eating anything dangerous or toxic. A German Shepherds typical life span is 9-13, but with healthy foods they can live to be up to 18. There are many human foods out there that can be life threatening and very poisonous to dogs. This article has all the foods that will extend your dogs life and the ones that can hurt them. So what can German Shepherds eat to stay healthy and lean?

Foods your German Shepherd can eat:

These are some terrific healthy human foods your dog will love. Imagine if your were fed the same old food everyday. You would get sick of it. Well here are some human foods your dog will surely like much better than that boring old bagged hard food.

Healthiest foods

These foods listed below are the most effective foods to feed your German Shepherd. This will help the most if you want your German Shepherd to live as long as possible. These can be fed to your dog daily and will form a very good diet for them. This is much better than hard dog food. If you want your German Shepherd to be as healthy as possible, you have to make their food like you would your own. This would include foods that you would cook on your stove at home.

Ground meats:

First on the list of foods that German Shepherds can eat are Ground meats. They are a mandatory source of a dogs diet. Make sure when you serve the meat to them that it is cooked good and has no added spices, salt, or seasoning.

  • Kangaroo
  • Emu
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Bison
  • Rabbit
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Lamb/Mutton
  • Fish
  • Venison
  • Alligator

Brown rice:

For this just buy a bag of plain brown rice. It’s really healthy and good for your dog. It’s high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Make sure to only do brown rice, not any others. Don’t substitute white rice in. White rice is just empty calories and carbs you don’t want for your dog. It also doesn’t consist of as many essential oils. Just stay away from other rices too. They could upset your dogs stomach.

Vegetables:

Vegetables contain excellent nutrients and vitamins for your German Shepherd. You can cook, steam, or serve them raw with some ground meet and brown rice. This all combined will make the healthiest bowl for your shepherd.

Eggs:

Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Your dog can eat them cooked or uncooked, but to be safer I’d go with cooked. Eggs are great for this specific breed because of its hard working, energetic nature. Protein is beneficial for their diet. Not only are eggs healthy treats, they can also cure an upset stomach.

Healthy Fruits German Shepherds Can Eat

Most every fruit is okay for your German Shepherd but some should only be given in tiny portions and should not be a regular daily snack. Here are some examples of what healthy fruits German Shepherds can eat.

Apples

Apples are great for your German Shepherd. They have a great source of vitamin A and C. They also give lots of fiber. Apples are a refreshing, sweet, and healthy treat for your dog. Be sure to take out the seeds and core though first before you give it to them.

They are also especially good for a senior German Shepherd because they are low in protein and fat.

Apricots

Apricots are safe fruit for your German Shepherd. They are rich in vitamin A and C. When serving them to your German Shepherd make sure not to give them the pit or stem. It consists of Cyanide and if it’s consumed in large amounts it can be dangerous. Apricots may be safe but don’t give them too much of this fruit, as it is high in fiber and too much can cause a stomach ache.

Bananas

Yes, your German shepherd can eat bananas. They are one of the healthiest fruits for them. They are good energy boosters and are full of potassium, which supports the kidney and heart. Bananas are also high in certain vitamins, biotin, copper and fiber and are low in sodium. Don’t give them too much, since it also has lots of sugar. Also don’t feed it to them with the peel. It’s too hard for them.

Blackberries

Your German Shepherd can eat blackberries too! They are also one of the healthiest fruits for your dog and unlike bananas, they are low in sugar. This means the amount given to them really doesn’t matter. Just don’t give them an over dramatic amount. They are high in vitamins and fiber. Also they contain a high number of valuable antioxidants that can prevent or slow down damaging of cells.

Blueberries

These berries are dog safe too. This fruit is easy on your dogs teeth and has many more benefits. Just like blackberries, its antioxidants slows the damaging of cells or tissues. It also lowers the risk of heart diseases, cancer, and is anti-inflammatory. They are low in sugar and calories too. Also a great source of vitamin C and fiber. This fruit is just overall a great snack for your shepherd. Healthy and delicious.

Coconut

Your German shepherd can eat coconut. Coconut is full of antioxidants to support the immune system, help prevent viruses and even reduce inflammation. Coconut oil is also great for your German Shepherds skin and coat. Make sure not to give them the hard outer shell. It could lead to choking.

Cranberries

Cranberries might not be tasty to your German shepherd but they are helpful in many ways. They are full of rich nutrients like vitamin C, fiber and manganese and have anti-inflammatory properties. Cranberries also maintain the bladder. They are very helpful if your German Shepherd has a water infection. Actually, some treatments you can buy for water infections have cranberries as a key ingredient.

Also you can serve them to your dog numerous ways which include raw, cooked, or dried. Don’t serve them with cranberry juice, as it’s too full of sugar. Warning – Dried cranberries are often mixed in with raisins, which are poisonous to dogs. So make sure if you buy a mix to be very careful when sorting them out.

Cucumber

You might think this food is actually a vegetable but it’s a fruit and dog safe too. Cucumbers have potassium, calcium, copper, magnesium, and biotin. Along with vitamins like B1, C, and K, these can improve joint health and strengthen bones. They have no fat either. Cucumbers are an energy boosting hydrating fruit for your dog, making them good summer treats.

Dates

Dates are a good healthy energy booster. They contain vitamins A, C and several of the B vitamins, along with fiber and minerals. Dates are low in fat and are cholesterol-free. Just make sure to remove the pit before you give it to them. It could lead to choking or blockages. Also they are high in sugar, so don’t give too much.

Kiwi

Kiwi fruit is okay for your German Shepherd to eat, but due to its laxative effect it can give some dogs an upset stomach or diarrhea. It does have health benefits though, like vitamin C and potassium. It also is high in fiber. So if you feed your dog some of this fruit, make sure to keep it at a low amount, never feed them a whole one. Also take the seeds out before given, as they contain cyanide. Also remove the skin. It can cause choking.

Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit

These are some citrus fruits. While they are okay for your German Shepherd to eat, they have little to no nutritional benefits. The flesh of these fruits are safe, but since they are so high in citrus acids they can cause stomach aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most dogs overall don’t want even a lick of these fruits, but if you do decide to give them a little remove the peel, pit, and seeds.

Mango

Mango is safe to eat for your German Shepherd overall. They contain good nutrient like vitamins A, B6, C, and E. Be that as it may they still have lots of sugar and fiber in them, so take that into consideration when feeding it to your dog. Make sure like all the other fruits we have went over to remove the skin as it can lead to choking, and remove the pit as it contains cyanide which is toxic to your dog.

Melon

Melons are high in water and low in calories making them a great refreshing treat for your shepherd. They hold plenty of vitamins, dietary fiber, and potassium for your dog. It’s high antioxidant elements are good for promoting healthy cell function and lowering the risk of cancer and arthritis. They are high in sugar so feed sparingly.

Peaches

This fruit helps maintain healthy bones, teeth, and skin from their excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene. It also contain fiber that helps the digestive system. It also consist of potassium, which helps the heart and kidney. Peaches may have lots of health benefits but they are very sugary for your dog, so don’t feed them too much of these fruits. Also as you know to avoid choking, digestive problems, or poisoning of your German shepherd remove the pit and seeds.

Olives

Yes, olives are safe to feed your German Shepherd. They have vitamin E, which is good for the eyes, along with other minerals and vitamins. They can actually make really healthy snacks because of their high amount of natural fats. If given to your German shepherd just make sure to remove the pits, they are toxic and can result in choking and blockages.

Oranges and Mandarins

Oranges and mandarins are more citrus fruits. So why didn’t we add them in with the lemons, limes, and grapefruit. Well lemons, limes, and grapefruit have no nutrient benefits, but oranges and mandarins do! They are loaded with nutrients and fiber. Some like vitamin C, which can benefit your dog’s immune system and push out toxins. Like the other citrus fruits, your German shepherd probably won’t want anything to do with this fruit, but it is dog safe. Just make sure you take off the peel, seeds, and white pit as they contain toxic things to dogs.

Pears

Pears are good healthy snacks for your German shepherd. They are full of nutritious things like potassium, vitamins A, C and K. Vitamin K can boost bone density. Some studies have even proven pears can reduce the chance of strokes. Also they consist of antioxidants, which is always good. It has anti-cancer properties.

The one flaw of this fruit is it is very sugary, so take that into account when feeding them to your dog. Also don’t forget to remove the core and seeds before given! They can cause choking and blockages.

Pineapple

Pineapples have lots of nutrients for your shepherd. Like vitamins, minerals, and fiber that helps your dog’s digestion and immune system. It also helps your dog absorb proteins due to its high level of bromelain. The flaw of this fruit is also the high sugar, so feed in moderation. Make sure to remove the spiky peel and crown before you give some to them.

Raspberries

Raspberries are great for your German Shepherd. They have good nutrients, including lots of fiber, manganese and vitamin C. They are low in sugar and calories, so no worrying about your dog gaining any weight from these.

There is one disadvantage. They have small traces of xylitol, which if taken in large amounts can be toxic to your German Shepherd. One or two frozen raspberries every once and a while in the summer are completely fine and great treats your dog will surly enjoy.

Strawberries

Strawberries are healthy and tasty treats to your German shepherd. They are filled with fiber and vitamin C. They also contain an enzyme that can help your dog’s teeth stay nice and white and they are low in sugar and fat. Due to the high level of antioxidants, they can slow down the aging process, help with weight management, and strengthen the immune system.

Watermelon

You may see a lot of cute pictures of dogs in summer eating watermelons, and yes it is completely safe to them. It’s loaded with vitamins A, B6, and C. This fruit also maintains healthy and stable muscles and nerve functions. These are great summer treats to hydrate your dog in the heat, as they consist of 92% water. Before feeding it to them, remove every seed, this may be time consuming so I would suggest just buying the seedless watermelon. Also make sure to cut off the rind if it comes with it.

What Vegetables Can German Shepherds Eat?

Vegetables are valuable sources of many nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, folate, and potassium. Many vegetables give your German shepherd carbohydrates, which is a good energy booster. Most every vegetable is okay for your dog to eat. Here are some of my favorite examples of vegetables that German Shepherds can eat.

Carrots

Carrots are one of the most healthiest foods for a human, and even dogs! They are an excellent source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. They also have numerous health benefits. They’re a helpful weight-loss food and have been related to lower cholesterol levels and even can improve eye health. Another plus is that carrots are low in calories and fat.

Carrots are not the easiest for dogs to digest, so to be safe you might want to boil them slightly before serving.

Green Beans

This vegetable is such a healthy snack for your German Shepherd. Vitamin A, K, and C are all present in green beans along with iron. Vitamin K is very important for the blood clotting process. It will keep a healthy blood balance in your German Shepherd. Vitamin C aids in immune system support. Iron is essential for blood health. While iron is found in meats, fish, and liver it is also found in green beans! Making it one of the healthiest vegetables for your dog.

Also remember when you serve this vegetable to your dog, do not add anything like salt, spices, onions, garlic, or oil. Serve it completely plain. This assures the safety and health of your dog.

Green Peas

These gluten free vegetables are a magnificent treat for your German shepherd. Green peas are very high in protein and carbohydrate. This is a bonus to pet owners who have German shepherds with sensitive stomachs. By giving them peas instead of other gluten free carbohydrates, you will have a shepherd who is active and has a healthy digestive system. Peas contain vitamins like Vitamin A, B1, B6, K, and C.

Kale

Kale contains healthy vitamins like K, A, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. These all help support bone and heart health, proper vision and immune function, fetal development and energy metabolism, colon health, liver detoxification, and fight off infections.

Spinach

Spinach contains key ingredients like potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9 and E. Along with high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium. It’s been said that feeding your dog spinach every once and a while can fend off cancer.

Other Vegetables your German Shepherd can eat
  1. Artichoke
  2. Asparagus
  3. Beets
  4. Bell Peppers
  5. Broccoli
  6. Brussels Sprouts
  7. Cabbage
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Celery
  10. Corn
  11. Eggplant
  12. Lettuce
  13. Parsnips
  14. Cooked Potato
  15. Pumpkin
  16. Rutabaga
  17. Turnip
  18. Cooked Sweet Potato
  19. Squash
  20. Zucchini

Wash the vegetables before given. Any kind of skin or peel should be removed. Do not add any salt, seasoning, or spices. Carrots, celery, lettuce, and green beans can be given raw, though it is better for them to be cooked or steamed. All other vegetables must be cooked or steamed. You may have to cut them into bite-sized pieces afterwards.

Be careful of these foods

Here are a few foods to look out for when determining what German Shepherds can eat.

Dairy

You should not really give your German shepherd any dairy products. Especially if your dog is lactose intolerant. It could lead to bad stomach aches, diarrhea, and vomiting. It is not life threatening if your dog does eat some dairy but there is really no point to giving them it, as it has no health benefits.

Nuts

Most nuts are toxic to dogs. So don’t take any chances if you don’t know what type of nut your about to feed your German Shepherd. There are only two nuts that are completely dog safe. Hazelnuts and peanuts. Other nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, and pine nuts are not 100% good for your dog but if they do eat one or two there is no need to worry.

Bread

Plain white and wheat bread are typically okay for your German Shepherd. Some dogs do have allergies to things in bread though. It can also cause upset stomachs to particular dogs. Bread can be given in small portions every now and then but should not be apart of your shepherds daily diet.

What can German Shepherds NOT eat:

Toxic Dog Foods

This part of the article lists everything you must watch out for when determining what German Shepherds can eat. Make sure to not feed your German Shepherd anything on this list. It could be life threatening or cause severe problems to your dog.

Most Dangerous Foods and Ingredients

Out of everything dangerous for your shepherd these are the most important things to look out for. So if your German Shepherd consumes the things listed below, quickly take them to the nearest animal hospital.

Alcohol

Alcohol is very dangerous to your dog. All alcohol contains an ingredient called ethanol. This is poisonous to dogs. Too much ethanol can lead to dog alcohol intoxication. Signs of intoxication can be vomiting, disorientation, high body temperature, restlessness, excessive panting, muscle tremors and seizures. You must look out for all these signs as dog alcohol intoxication can lead to organ system failure or even death.

Allium

Allium is a toxic plant. Plant types in this family include garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots. The way allium is harmful is it destroys the red blood cells in your dog, this results in the cells not being able to carry oxygen. This leads to anemia, weakness, and lethargy. The oxygen will no longer be able to travel to vital organs.

This intoxication is a bit different then the others. Some dogs don’t show any symptoms of this intoxication so if they consume some without you ever knowing it could be very bad. If they do show symptoms, they would include some vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite.

Caffeine

We may love to have our morning coffee but never share it with your Shepherd. This isn’t just for coffee but also for tea, energy drinks, soda, cocoa, and even some painkillers. If consumed in large amounts it can result in caffeine poisoning and irreparable damage. Even one to two laps of any caffeine can give them this poisoning. Seizures and death are possible if your dog has consumed 75- 100 mg/pounds. So symptoms for caffeine poisoning in your German Shepherd are rapid breathing, restlessness, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors.

Don’t be worried about getting your dog a puppuccino from Starbucks when you go get some coffee for yourself. All it is is a tiny cup of whipped cream, no caffeine or added sugar.

Grapes and raisins

These two small foods are one of the most dangerous foods your dog can eat. You should never ever feed them it. Make sure they are put up in a high place, as German shepherds are big dogs. This toxicity to dogs can cause them to develop acute kidney injury (the sudden advancement of kidney failure) with anuria (a lack of urine management). Some symptoms of this intoxication are vomiting and lethargy.

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are a fatty food that can upset your German shepherds stomach. They may not seem that bad but they can also poison your dog. If your dog gets two nuts to pound of body weight it can lead to poisoning and your dog having the temporary inability to walk. If your dog has this intoxication they have the chance of vomiting, ataxia or weakness, fever, muscle tremors and depression. Too many of these nuts can lead to death.

A little fact about this intoxication is that the dog is the only breed known to have this reaction to this nut.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a artificial sweetener ingredient that usually shows up in candy, gum, and toothpaste. This poison worked very fast in dogs making it one of the most dangerous. Your dog may experience a sudden drop in blood pressure and liver failure. The liver failure can result in just a few days after the poisoning. Some symptoms that may start a day or two after are repeated vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination that can mature into seizures. Even tiny portions of this artificial sweetener can lead to death. To me this is the most dangerous thing your dog can consume.

Chocolate

Chocolate is really a given when it comes to toxic foods to dogs. Theobromine is the substance in chocolate that makes it toxic to dogs. This sweet treat is the most commonly cited forbidden food for dogs. What makes chocolate toxic to dogs is a substance called theobromine, which can cause abnormal heartbeats, seizures, tremors, and even death.

I know this is a very important food to avoid because I’ve know people who have lost their dog to it eating chocolate. You may think a tiny tiny bite may be fine, but it’s not. You must be careful about this.

Yeast Dough

Uncooked dough like cookie dough should never be given to your dog. The reason for this is after the dough is consumed it begins to rise in the stomach and can cause severe pain and swelling. When the yeast rises in the stomach is ferments, making alcohol (which like we stated before is very dangerous to your dog).

Pits and Seeds

Like we said in the fruit section, most all fruits are okay to eat but you must take out those pits and seeds. They contain a toxic element called cyanide. The symptoms for this are salivation, rapid or difficulty breathing, and even paralysis. The gums turn bright cherry red, revealing that the oxygen in the blood cannot be released to the cells, basically causing suffocation.

What other Dangerous foods can German Shepherds NOT eat

These next foods on the list should not be given to your dog but it is alright if they slip a bite. Just make sure they don’t have large amounts.

Fruits

These are fruits you should stay away from when feeding your German Shepherd human foods.

Avocado

Avocados may be a healthy fruit for us but they contain persin which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. It also is loaded with fats that upset your dogs stomach. After eating this fruit your dog will surely get sick. Keep them far away as possible from this fruit.

Persimmons and Plums

These fruits can be more risky and toxic to your dog. The pit is the most toxic part of these fruits but it’s also risky to feed this fruit to them overall. It can cause problems in the intestines if German Shepherds eat these.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be toxic to dogs in large quantities as they contain tomatine and solanine. It can lead to your dog having an upset stomach.

Vegetables

There are very few vegetables that are toxic to dogs. And some we already covered like garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots. Which contain Allium. Here are some more.

Mushrooms

Even though only about 50-100 wild mushrooms out of 5,000 types are toxic to dogs, you shouldn’t take any chances. So keep your German shepherd clear of any mushrooms. They can really hurt your dog and eventually lead to death.

Hops

Hops are very deadly plants that cause your dogs temperature to rise. They are used to make beer, which we know alcohol is highly dangerous to dogs. Hops can permanently damage the organs and brain. This can lead to death.

Salt

Salty food should never be fed to your dog. Like chips and pretzels. It’s not good for their health. It can also lead to sodium ion poisoning. It will make them very thirsty.

Spices

German Shepherds can not really eat any spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Spices can cause skin and digestive irritation. They result in severe stomach aches too. To keep your dog free from pain don’t let them get into your spice cabinet.

In closing

We hope that this guide has given you enough information to make a logical determination of what German Shepherds can and cannot eat. Hopefully you can extend the life of your dog by feeding it healthy and nutritional foods and keeping it lean.

Get creative and find some good recipes for home cooked dog food online. The Dog Bakery has some excellent recipes your German Shepherd should enjoy. Here is their list of the “Top 20 Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipes Your Dog Will Love!

Check out our other exciting articles on German Shepherds and other Shepherd breeds! We update this blog weekly with exciting fresh new content!

Please leave a comment below and tell us what you think!

What healthy foods does your German Shepherd enjoy? Has your dog ever eaten anything dangerous or toxic? Tell us your story! We would love to hear about it!

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