11 Best Dog Foods for German Shorthaired Pointers: Top Picks & Feeding Guide

best dog food for German Shorthaired Pointers

German Shorthaired Pointers, with their athletic build and boundless energy, require a balanced diet that supports their active lifestyle. The right food can enhance their health, coat quality, and even impact their behavioral well-being. With a myriad of options available, it can be overwhelming to select the best one.

Hence, as someone deeply passionate about canine health and well-being, I’ve spent considerable time researching and curating the best dog food for German Shorthaired Pointers. From high-protein formulas to grain-free options, each recommendation on this list is tailored to support the health, vitality, and longevity of your German Shorthaired Pointer. This large breed is recognized as one of the best dogs for families.

Top Pick: Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food stood out in my quest to find the ideal nourishment for German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs). This exceptional formula tops my list for its rich diversity of whole fish ingredients, providing a protein-packed diet that perfectly aligns with the high-energy demands of GSPs.

Its grain-free composition and inclusion of quality, fresh fish sources ensure a diet that satisfies their taste buds and supports their vigorous lifestyle and health. Stay tuned as I delve deeper into the specifics of products revolutionizing the canine nutrition world, especially for our spirited German Shorthaired Pointers.

The Best Dog Foods for German Shorthaired Pointers

PRODUCTOVERVIEWPRICE

ORIJEN Six Fish
— Best Overall

ORIJEN Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • High in protein with six different fish sources
  • Grain-free formula suitable for dogs with sensitivities
  • Rich in omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
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The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain 

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Free-range chicken as the primary protein source
  • A balanced blend of organic grains
AMAZON PRICE
CHEWY PRICE

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult 

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Combination of chicken, lamb, and salmon
  • Tailored for large breeds like GSPs
  • Blend of 15 superfoods for optimal nutrition
AMAZON PRICE
CHEWY PRICE

Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw
Best Raw Food

Stella & Chewy’s Super Beef Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
  • Freeze-dried raw meat for optimal nutrition
  • Enhanced with fruits and vegetables
  • No grains or gluten
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CHEWY PRICE

Taste of the Wild High Prairie 

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food
  • Grain-free formula
  • Novel proteins like bison and venison
  • Contains probiotics for digestive health
AMAZON PRICE
CHEWY PRICE

Gentle Giants Natural Non-GMO Dog Food

Gentle Giants Natural Non-GMO Dog Food
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Formulated for all life stages
  • Contains chelated vitamins and minerals for better absorption
AMAZON PRICE
CHEWY PRICE

True Acre Foods Grain-Free

True Acre Grain-free Chicken & Vegetables Recipe
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient
  • Includes wholesome fruits and vegetables
CHEWY PRICE

Blue Buffalo Natural Adult 

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains wholesome grains and vegetables
  • Enhanced with LifeSource Bits for added nutrients
AMAZON PRICE
CHEWY PRICE

Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance All Life Stages

Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance All Life Stages
  • Designed for active dogs
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains an optimal protein-to-fat ratio for endurance
AMAZON PRICE
CHEWY PRICE

American Journey Protein & Grains Large Breed

American Journey Protein & Grains Large Breed Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe
  • Specifically formulated for large breeds
  • Real, deboned chicken as the first ingredient
  • Includes wholesome grains and vegetables
CHEWY PRICE

Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior
— Best Senior Option

 

Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Formula
  • Grain-free and suitable for seniors
  • Real turkey as the first ingredient
  • Enhanced with taurine for heart health
AMAZON PRICE
CHEWY PRICE

 

1. Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

ORIJEN Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features

  • High in protein with six different fish sources
  • Grain-free formula suitable for dogs with sensitivities
  • Rich in omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat

First 3 Ingredients

  • Whole herring
  • Salmon
  • Monkfish

As someone who deeply values the health and happiness of dogs, I find Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food an exceptional choice for German Shorthaired Pointers. Its high-protein content from varied fish sources provides the energy that these active dogs need.

The grain-free recipe is perfect for GSPs with sensitive stomachs, and the natural fish oils promote a healthy, shiny coat. This food mimics the natural diet of dogs in the wild, which I believe is key to keeping our domesticated companions thriving.

What I Like

  • Exceptionally high-quality fish ingredients
  • Supports a healthy coat and skin
  • Mimics a dog’s natural ancestral diet

What I Don’t Like

  • Higher price point than some other brands
  • Strong fish odor may not be appealing to all dogs (or owners)
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2. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe

Key Features

  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Free-range chicken as the primary protein source
  • A balanced blend of organic grains

First 3 Ingredients

  • Dehydrated chicken
  • Organic barley
  • Dehydrated potatoes

I’m always looking for dog food that prioritizes quality and natural ingredients, and The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe fits this bill perfectly. The human-grade ingredients, including free-range chicken, give me confidence in the food’s nutritional value.

With its blend of organic grains, this recipe provides a well-rounded diet for GSPs, ensuring they get all the energy and nutrients they need. It’s a great option for those who prefer a more traditional diet for their dogs, combining high-quality meat with healthy grains.

What I Like

  • Uses human-grade ingredients
  • Good balance of protein and carbohydrates
  • Suitable for dogs with grain-inclusive dietary needs

What I Don’t Like

  • Requires preparation (rehydration)
  • May not be suitable for dogs with grain allergies
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3. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Key Features

  • Combination of chicken, lamb, and salmon
  • Tailored for large breeds like GSPs
  • Blend of 15 superfoods for optimal nutrition

First 3 Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Chicken meal
  • Whole brown rice

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food’s combination of chicken, lamb, and salmon provides a diverse and rich protein source, catering to the muscular build of GSPs. The whole brown rice and a blend of 15 superfoods make it a balanced diet with essential nutrients. This food is a great fit for large breeds, supporting their specific nutritional needs.

What I Like

  • Diverse protein sources
  • Contains superfoods for added nutrition
  • Specially formulated for large breeds

What I Don’t Like

  • Contains grains, which may not suit all dogs
  • Protein level might be lower compared to some other high-protein brands
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4. Stella & Chewy’s Super Beef Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Best Raw Food

Stella & Chewy’s Super Beef Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Key Features

  • Freeze-dried raw meat for optimal nutrition
  • Enhanced with fruits and vegetables
  • No grains or gluten

First 3 Ingredients

  • Beef
  • Beef liver
  • Beef kidney

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food is a standout choice for those considering a raw diet for their German Shorthaired Pointers. The freeze-dried raw meat preserves vital nutrients and natural flavors, offering a diet that’s both nutritious and appealing to dogs. This formula’s inclusion of beef liver and kidney ensures a rich intake of essential vitamins and minerals.

The fruits and vegetables provide a well-rounded meal, making it an excellent choice for GSP owners looking for a natural, raw diet option.

What I Like

  • Closest to a natural, ancestral diet
  • High in essential nutrients from raw meat
  • Easy to prepare and serve

What I Don’t Like

  • Higher cost than traditional kibble
  • Requires safe handling due to raw ingredients
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5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food

 

Key Features

  • Grain-free formula
  • Novel proteins like bison and venison
  • Contains probiotics for digestive health

First 3 Ingredients

  • Water buffalo
  • Lamb meal
  • Chicken meal

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food is a favorite of mine for German Shorthaired Pointers, particularly for its unique protein sources like bison and venison. This grain-free formula is excellent for GSPs with sensitive stomachs or grain allergies. The probiotics in this food improve digestive health, which is important for this active breed. Its rich, gamey flavors are also a hit with dogs, making mealtime nutritious and enjoyable.

What I Like

  • Unique and high-quality protein sources
  • Supports digestive health
  • Grain-free for sensitive dogs

What I Don’t Like

  • Some dogs may not prefer the taste of gamey meats
  • The transition to this food needs to be gradual to avoid digestive issues
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6. Gentle Giants Natural Non-GMO Dog Food

Gentle Giants Natural Non-GMO Dog Food

Key Features

  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Formulated for all life stages
  • Contains chelated vitamins and minerals for better absorption

First 3 Ingredients

  • Chicken meal
  • Pearled barley
  • Brown rice

Gentle Giants Natural Non-GMO Dog Food is a great choice for those who prioritize natural and non-genetically modified ingredients in their German Shorthaired Pointer’s diet. It’s suitable for all life stages, making it a versatile option for GSP families. The focus on whole foods like sweet potatoes and pumpkin provides a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients.

Further, the chelated vitamins and minerals enhance absorption, ensuring your dog gets the full benefit of every ingredient.

What I Like

  • Focus on non-GMO, natural ingredients
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Promotes better nutrient absorption

What I Don’t Like

  • May not have as much protein as other brands
  • Some dogs may need time to adjust to the taste
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7. True Acre Foods Grain-Free Chicken & Vegetables Recipe

True Acre Grain-free Chicken & Vegetables Recipe

Key Features

  • Grain-free recipe
  • Farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient
  • Includes wholesome fruits and vegetables

First 3 Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Peas
  • Pea starch

True Acre Foods Grain-Free Chicken & Vegetables Recipe is a solid choice for German Shorthaired Pointers, especially those with grain sensitivities. The primary ingredient, farm-raised chicken, provides high-quality protein essential for an active breed like GSPs. The inclusion of peas and pea starch offers a good source of carbohydrates for energy. Additionally, the mix of fruits and vegetables ensures a well-rounded and nutritious meal.

What I Like

  • High-quality chicken as the primary ingredient
  • Grain-free for sensitive stomachs
  • Balanced with fruits and vegetables for overall nutrition

What I Don’t Like

  • Some owners may prefer a more varied protein source
  • Peas and legumes are controversial in dog food diets
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8. Blue Buffalo Natural Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Key Features

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains wholesome grains and vegetables
  • Enhanced with LifeSource Bits for added nutrients

First 3 Ingredients

  • Deboned chicken
  • Chicken meal
  • Brown rice

Blue Buffalo Natural Adult Dry Dog Food with Chicken & Brown Rice is a solid choice for German Shorthaired Pointers. Using real chicken as the primary protein source provides the essential amino acids for muscle development and maintenance. The presence of brown rice offers a healthy carbohydrate source for sustained energy. Additionally, LifeSource Bits enhances the overall nutritional profile of the food. This formula is suitable for GSPs of all life stages.

What I Like

  • Real chicken for muscle development
  • Balanced with grains for energy
  • LifeSource Bits for added nutrition

What I Don’t Like

  • Contains grains, which may not suit all dogs
  • Some dogs may have sensitivities to chicken
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9. Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance All Life Stages

Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance All Life Stages

Key Features

  • Designed for active dogs
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains an optimal protein-to-fat ratio for endurance

First 3 Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Rice

Purina Pro Plan Performance Chicken & Rice Recipe is for active dogs like German Shorthaired Pointers. With real chicken as the primary protein source, it provides the necessary amino acids for muscle strength. The rice offers a source of carbohydrates for lasting energy during outdoor activities. Further, this formula’s protein-to-fat ratio is optimized to support endurance, making it suitable for GSPs engaged in various physical activities.

What I Like

  • Designed for active dogs
  • Real chicken for muscle strength
  • Optimized protein-to-fat ratio for endurance

What I Don’t Like

  • Contains poultry by-product meal
  • May not be suitable for dogs with dietary sensitivities
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10. American Journey Protein & Grains Large Breed Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe

American Journey Protein & Grains Large Breed Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe

Key Features

  • Specifically formulated for large breeds
  • Real, deboned chicken as the first ingredient
  • Includes wholesome grains and vegetables

First 3 Ingredients

  • Deboned chicken
  • Chicken meal
  • Brown rice

American Journey Protein & Grains Large Breed Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe is a great option for German Shorthaired Pointers, given their large breed status and high energy levels. The deboned chicken offers a substantial protein source for muscle maintenance and overall health. In addition, brown rice provides energy, while the vegetables add essential vitamins and minerals. This blend ensures a balanced diet, keeping your GSP happy and healthy.

What I Like

  • High-quality chicken for strong muscles
  • Brown rice for sustained energy
  • Balanced with vegetables for a nutritious diet

What I Don’t Like

  • Contains grains, not suitable for dogs with grain allergies
  • Might be lower in protein compared to some grain-free options
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11. Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Formula — Best Senior Option

Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Formula

Key Features

  • Grain-free and suitable for seniors
  • Real turkey as the first ingredient
  • Enhanced with taurine for heart health

First 3 Ingredients

  • De-boned turkey
  • Peas
  • Potatoes

Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Formula is an excellent choice for senior German Shorthaired Pointers. Its grain-free recipe is suitable for older dogs with dietary sensitivities. Real turkey, the primary protein source, provides the necessary amino acids to support muscle health in their later years. Additionally, taurine is beneficial for heart health, which can be a concern for aging dogs.

What I Like

  • Tailored for senior dogs
  • Real turkey for muscle health
  • Taurine for heart health

What I Don’t Like

  • May not be suitable for dogs with poultry allergies
  • Higher price point due to premium ingredients
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How to Choose the Best Dog Food for German Shorthaired Pointers

Age-Specific Needs

German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) have different nutritional requirements at different stages of life. To choose the best dog food for your GSP, consider their age:

Puppy

Growing puppies need more protein for muscle development. Look for a puppy formula with around 22-32% protein. They also require more fat for energy; hence, opt for a food with 10-25% fat content.

Since calcium and phosphorus are crucial for bone development, ensure the food has an appropriate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. Puppies also need Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to support brain and eye development.

Adult

Adult GSPs still need a good amount of protein, typically around 18-26%. The fat content can be slightly lower than for puppies, around 8-15%. On top of that, look for a well-balanced food that meets their energy needs without excess calories.

Senior

Senior GSPs may benefit from foods with added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. Adjust the calories to prevent weight gain, as seniors are often less active. Further, choose foods with easily digestible ingredients as they’re gentler on older stomachs.

Activity Level and Dietary Adjustments

Consider your GSP’s activity level when selecting food:

Active

If your GSP is highly active, choose a food with higher protein and fat content to fuel their energy needs.

Moderate

For moderately active GSPs, a balanced diet with moderate protein and fat is suitable.

Less Active

Senior or less active GSPs may require lower-calorie foods to prevent weight gain.

Ingredients to Look For and Those to Avoid

Ensure that the dog food you choose contains:

High-Quality Protein Sources

Look for named meat sources like chicken, turkey, or fish.

Whole Grains

If you prefer a food with grains, whole grains like brown rice or oats are better than fillers like corn.

Healthy Fats

Sources like chicken fat or fish oil provide essential fatty acids.

Fruits and Vegetables

These provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Avoid dog foods with:

Fillers

Foods with excessive fillers like corn, soy, or wheat may lack essential nutrients.

Artificial Additives

Look out for artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

By-Products

Avoid foods containing vague meat by-products.

Feeding Guide for Your German Shorthaired Pointer

Feeding my German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) has taught me the importance of a well-balanced diet. When it comes to nourishing your adult GSP, consider the following factors to ensure their overall health and well-being:

Portion Sizes and Feeding Frequency

Determining the right portion sizes and feeding frequency is crucial. For my GSP, I’ve found that two meals a day work well. This feeding schedule keeps my GSP satisfied without the risk of overeating. 

Additionally, portion sizes should be tailored to your GSP’s weight and age. Many dog food packages offer guidance on appropriate portion sizes based on these factors. Regularly monitoring your dog’s weight and body condition is essential to ensure they’re maintaining their ideal weight.

Transitioning to New Food

Switching your GSP to a new food requires a careful and patient approach. I’ve learned that a gradual transition is the key to preventing digestive upset. To do this, I start by mixing a small amount of the new food with the current one, usually at a ratio of 25% new food to 75% old food.

Over about a week, I slowly increase the proportion of the new food while decreasing the old food. This gradual shift allows my GSP’s digestive system to adapt to the new food comfortably. I only complete the transition once my GSP is enjoying the new food without any signs of stomach upset.

Tips for Maintaining a Balanced Diet

To ensure your GSP remains healthy, consider these important tips. Always provide fresh, clean water, as GSPs can be quite active and need proper hydration. Consulting your veterinarian for personalized nutritional guidance is essential. Veterinarians can recommend the best food, appropriate portion sizes, and feeding frequency tailored to your individual GSP.

Regularly monitoring your GSP’s weight and body condition allows you to make any necessary dietary adjustments to keep them in optimal health. Lastly, avoid overfeeding, as it can lead to obesity and related health problems. Stick to recommended portion sizes, and don’t hesitate to consult your vet if you’re unsure.

FAQs on GSP Food

How much should I feed my German Shorthaired Pointer puppy?

The amount of food depends on your puppy’s age, weight, and activity level. Generally, puppies should be fed three to four times a day with portion sizes based on the food packaging recommendations. Consult your veterinarian for precise guidance.

Should I choose grain-free or grain-inclusive food for my GSP?

The choice between grain-free and grain-inclusive food depends on your GSP’s dietary needs and sensitivities. Some GSPs do well with grains, while others may benefit from grain-free options. Consult your vet to determine the best choice for your dog.

Are there any specific health concerns for GSPs related to diet?

GSPs can be prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia and bloat. Choosing a diet with ingredients that support joint health and feeding smaller, more frequent meals can help reduce the risk of bloat.

Can I switch my GSP’s food brand easily?

It’s best to transition to a new food gradually over about a week to avoid digestive upset. Mix the new food with the old food in increasing proportions until you’ve fully transitioned.

Should I feed my GSP wet or dry dog food?

Both wet and dry dog food can be suitable for GSPs. Dry food is convenient and can help maintain dental health, while wet food provides hydration. You can also mix them for a balanced diet.

When should I switch from puppy to adult food?

Most GSPs can transition to adult food around 12-14 months of age. However, consult your veterinarian for guidance, as individual growth rates can vary.

Can I feed my GSP homemade dog food?

Homemade dog food can be an option, but it must be nutritionally balanced. Consult with a veterinary nutritionist to create a balanced homemade diet that meets your GSP’s needs.

How do I know if my GSP is allergic to certain ingredients?

Watch for signs of allergies, such as itching, digestive upset, or skin issues. If you suspect an allergy, consult your veterinarian for allergy testing and guidance on hypoallergenic diets.

Are there any supplements my GSP may need?

Most well-balanced dog foods provide the necessary nutrients. Consult your veterinarian before adding supplements to avoid overloading your GSP with certain nutrients.

Can I free-feed my GSP?

Free feeding (leaving food out all day) may not be suitable for GSPs, as they are prone to obesity. Hence, offer controlled portion sizes and set regular feeding times.

Final Tips for a Healthy and Happy GSP

As a GSP owner, I know the importance of providing the best care for these active and loving dogs. Hence, monitor your GSP’s growth and adjust their food where necessary to maintain a healthy weight.

In this article, we’ve given recommendations after considering factors like age, activity level, and ingredient quality to ensure your furry companion gets the nutrition it deserves. You have plenty of options, from the high-quality protein sources in Orijen Six Fish to the balanced formula of Nutro Ultra. Here’s to a happy and healthy journey with your German Shorthaired Pointer!

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