It’s only after owning a german shepherd that you actually know how sensitive their stomachs can be. While they’re physically strong, they’re also prone to various digestive issues and can develop food allergies to just about anything.
Well, one of your biggest responsibilities as a German shepherd owner is to ensure a good diet for your pet. And this includes being wary of what you give it for snacks.
This article looks at some of the best dog treats for german shepherds.
What Are the Different Types of Dog Treats?
Before looking at the treats, you need to know what you should be looking for. Here are the different kinds of dog treats available today:
Crunchy treats take a lot of time to eat and are generally used to keep a dog busy between meals. They’re also a great way to keep your pet occupied when you’re doing something and don’t want to be disturbed.
Crunchy treats can come in the form of biscuits, bars, kibbles, etc.
Chew treats are quick treats given while training or rewarding good behavior. They’ve got more moisture than crunchy treats and tend to have more nutrients as well.
Some chewy treats like braids can take as much or even more time than a crunchy treat to finish.
Dental treats are specially-created treats to help keep a dog’s teeth and gums healthy. They’re made of ingredients that freshen breath and contain various minerals that can help strengthen the tooth and gum tissues.
Dental treats are generally given once a day in the morning. In a way, eating them is like brushing teeth.
Freeze Dried and Jerky Treats
This is the one you go for if you’re looking for the most healthy dog treats. Freeze-dried and jerky treats are made of a single ingredient: raw meat. The meat has been treated without cooking so that it becomes safe and doesn’t lose any nutritional value.
While they’re generally very healthy, some brands of freeze-dried and jerky treats can contain added preservatives. Be careful about it.
Being a highly lovable and emotional breed, issues such as mental stress and anxiety are very prevalent in German shepherds. And one of the ways to help your dog in such cases would be to give it calming treats.
Calming treats are formulated with ingredients like ginger root, lemon balm, melatonin, acetyl-L carnitine, etc., that are known to reduce stress and hyperactivity in pooches.
Rawhide tends to be one of the most prevalent dog food available in the market today. And while you’ll see brands claim that their rawhide treats are healthy or delicious, you should stay away from them.
Rawhides are made from an inner layer of cow skin or even the horns and hooves of animals. Their texture can easily damage your canine’s teeth, and they’re even treated with various chemicals to remove animal remains. Furthermore, it takes quite a lot of time for dogs to digest rawhide.
Note: There are rawhide alternatives available in the market.
Other Things to Look for While Buying Dog Treats for a German Shepherd
Here are some other things to note while buying dog treats for a German shepherd:
- Filler and unwanted ingredients such as wheat, corn, soy, rice, etc.
- The number of calories in each treat.
- Nutritional value.
- The amount and kind of artificial flavors or coloring.
- If there’s real meat or just animal byproducts.
- The general quality of the ingredients.
Honestly, it may be a little challenging to find a perfect dog treat, but you should always choose one that has natural ingredients, no fillers, and few calories.
Top Best Healthy Treats for German Shepherds
Now that you know the types of treats, we’ll be looking at some of the best dog treats for a German shepherd:
The Wellness Soft Puppy Bites is a soft treat, which could mostly help train your GSD. It contains real meat and no artificial flavors and is available in variants including Lamb & Salmon and Chicken & Carrots. You can also buy a bundle where every taste is included.
Wellness Soft Puppy Bites don’t have grains or fillers and are small bite sizes, perfect for both German shepherd puppies and adults to munch on. Furthermore, they have salmon because salmon contains DHA, which is proven to improve cognitive abilities in dogs.
Despite being highly delicious, each wellness soft puppy bite only has three calories.
Note: A crunchy version of the wellness puppy bites is also available that has similar specifications to the soft treat.
One of the best dog training treats, Zukue’s Minis, is made of real salmon, so it’s very rich in DHA.
It also consists of other natural ingredients such as whole food berries and added vitamin E, making it a wholesome snack to give your dog while training or rewarding.
Each Zuke’s minis treat consists of only three calories, so it’s also a perfect treat to give to a puppy. According to the manufacturer, you can feed up to three treats for every one pound of your German shepherd’s body weight.
Zuke’s minis don’t have any filler ingredients, but there are some artificial preservatives like phosphoric acid, citric acid, etc. In addition, these pellets are also available in other flavors, including chicken, duck, pork, rabbit, salmon, and peanut butter.
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats Treats is one of the best crunchy treats to give to a german shepherd dog.
It’s available in flavors including Bison, Salmon, Venison & Halibut, Red Meat, Turkey, Salmon, Duck, and Duck, Turkey & Salmon. Furthermore, despite being crunchy, it’s grain and filler free.
Blue Wilderness Treats have ample amounts of omega 3 and 6, acids and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and improve your pet’s overall immunity. In addition to turkey, these treats also consist of chicken, potato, flaxseed, and rosemary.
Each of these biscuits consists of 41 calories, which is fine since your dog will require some time to finish one. You can also break the treat depending on the size of your german shepherd.
Finally, the manufacturer is one of the most reputable dog food producers and doesn’t mix poultry byproducts to keep the quality high.
Full moon chicken jerky is made of human-grade ingredients, which means it’s so high in quality that even humans can consume it. The jerky is made of slow-roasted chicken breast and has only natural ingredients, including vinegar, rosemary, and organic cane sugar.
As they’re jerky, full moon treats don’t have fillers. In addition, to ensure the food is fresh, the chicken’s sourced entirely from inside the USA.
There are 49 calories in one Full Moon Chicken Jerkey. But since it’s meat and consists of 55% of crude protein, it’ll keep your dog full, and you can count it as a part of the canine’s daily healthy diet.
Nudges are known for creating one of the highest-quality dog foods, which is why it’s soon merging with Blue Buffalo. And talking about this particular treat, Nudges jerky cuts are made of real chicken and have no filler or byproducts.
In addition to the natural ingredients, Nudges jerky cuts also have added glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which are known to improve bone and cartilage health.
Each Blue Nudges jerky contains about 22 calories. And since german shepherd dogs are large, they can eat about five of these treats daily.
Note: If your German shepherd is very chewy, also try the Nudges Jerky Chews.
Shaped like a toothbrush, the Greenies Dog Dental Care Chews do a great job maintaining dental health while being highly delicious.
They’re made of easily digestible ingredients and have many added minerals and vitamins designed to penetrate deep into the gumline and strengthen teeth tissues.
The Greenies dental care chews have been vetted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Thus, you can be assured that they only use high-quality ingredients.
You feed one of these treats every day, preferably in the morning. These treat’s have a natural poultry flavor, so they should be palatable even to the pickiest of eaters.
Smatrtbones Chicken Dog chews is one of the best calming dog treats you can get for your German shepherd. This chamomile and lavender flavor snack is made of real chicken and enriched with vitamins and minerals, so it’s also very healthy.
Smartbones is a rawhide alternative, so your dog will take some time to finish it. The calming effects are very much apparent; you’ll notice your GSD will instantly feel at ease after taking a bite.
And while a calming dog treat needs to have at least some artificial chemicals, this particular product has many natural ingredients as well, including chicken, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, and more.
Milkbone Calm and Relax Dog Supplement consists of chamomile powder, melatonin, L-tryptophan, and valerian root, all known to reduce signs of stress and improve mood. And to make these treats delicious, the manufacturer has used ingredients such as chicken meal, potato flour, cane molasses, and more.
The best thing about Milk-Bone calm treats is that they don’t contain any artificial flavors or preservatives. Furthermore, other variants for the supplement are also available, which aid in daily digestion, strong hip and joint, shiny coat, and immunity.
You can give up to two of these treats daily to your german shepherd dog.
Here’s another training treat for your mutt. With its bacon flavor and only 1.5 calories per treat, the buddy training bites are arguably one of the best snacks for training german shepherd dogs.
The buddy training bites are made of natural pork liver base and contain real bacon. Other ingredients include pea flour, potato, whole eggs, salmon and coconut oil, sweet potato, and more.
While there are some artificial preservatives in the Buddy Training Bites, they’re generally grain free and don’t have fillers. Furthermore, these treats have been baked in the USA, so they’re fresh even when packaged.
Just as the brand name suggests, the Nutro crunchy treats have a lot of nutrients which you can infer from the ingredients list. It’s made of real chicken, white and brown rice, oatmeal, etc., and has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Another plus point about this crunchy treat is that it doesn’t have fillers. Furthermore, each piece only contains five calories, so you could be guilt-free while giving it to your dog.
According to the manufacturer, the Nutro crunchy treats have been made in Missouri, but they use ingredients from around the world.
Purina Dentalife is another great dental chew to give to your german shepherd. The manufacturer claims that this product has been scientifically proven to reduce 57% of average tartar buildup.
While we aren’t sure which study the numbers have been referenced from, from our experience, these chews do work.
The ingredients include sodium tripolyphosphate, mono, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, etc., all of which are essential for good oral health. Furthermore, each of these treats has a porous texture which allows the nutrients to sink deeper into your dog’s teeth.
Finally, keep in mind that you should only give the Purina Dentalife to dogs over one year.
Wag freeze-dried treats are available in three flavors; beef, chicken, and lamb. Furthermore, each one of them has a single ingredient, and while the beef and lamb flavors are made of liver, the chicken flavor is made of chicken breast.
The meat used in wag freeze-dried treats is sourced from the United States. And, of course, they don’t contain artificial preservatives or colors.
Each Wag Freeze Dried dog treat is about five calories. And depending on the meat, the crude protein can be 53% (lamb), 65% (beef), and 75% (chicken).
While treats make dogs happy, they shouldn’t be detrimental to the mutt’s health. Thus, when choosing a treatment, you should always look for high-quality ingredients and choose a reliable manufacturer.
Having said that, all the above treats are one of the best of their kind and can be safely fed to your German shepherd. But don’t forget to monitor its daily nutritional and caloric intake and administer healthy eating behaviors.