When you imagine your ideal dog, do you have a particular breed in mind? While some folks prefer to find a mixed breed that has a dash of this and a splash of that, others have a very clear affinity for a favorite breed. With the AKC referring to them as “confident, courageous, and smart” it is no surprise that many people only have eyes for German Shepherds.
NomNomNow, the fresh food partner of iHeartDogs, researched German Shepherds in terms of common conditions found in German Shepherds that can be related to food. This information can help you make food choices for your German Shepherd that lead to a longer, healthier life!
Susceptibility to Allergies
German Shepherds are at high-risk for canine atopic dermatitis (CAD), usually rooted in a parasitic infestation or food allergens.
Canine Atopic Dermatitis in German Shepherds
Canine Atopic Dermatitis (CAD) is the medical terminology assigned to skin irritations and rashes that result from an allergic reaction. Fleas are a common cause of this condition in German Shepherds that can be easily controlled with monthly flea prevention medication but food ingredients can also be the culprit.
German Shepherds are hypersensitive to food intolerances. With a food allergy, the skin will often be inflamed, itchy, red, scaly, or bumpy. Chronic allergic reactions and self trauma can lead to secondary infections, too.
Common Allergy Locations
With German Shepherds, allergy symptoms can show up anywhere on the body but are frequently found on the face, ears, paws, sides, hind end, legs, and stomach. Symptoms can include dandruff, flaky skin, dry skin, hot spots, hair loss in patches, and sores. This is a very uncomfortable physical condition for your pup to experience.
Food Ingredients that Fight Allergies
If your German Shepherd is suffering from allergies, you will notice an insatiable need to bite or chew on the affected parts of the body. This sometimes leads to further damage of the skin, which in turn gets greater attention from the irritated dog. Skin allergies can become a terrible cycle as dogs attempt to soothe themselves with licking or chewing but end up causing more harm than good. Thankfully, there are specific ingredients that you can include in your dog’s diet to help reduce inflammation and reduce allergic reaction symptoms.
Chronic Itching and Skin Infection: vitamin E, vitamin B, zinc, fish oil, probiotics
Dull Coat or Scaling: EPA, DHA, zinc
Dandruff or Crusty Skin: zinc, vitamin A
Optimal Diet for German Shepherds
German Shepherds are highly sensitive to food intolerances. This can make it very difficult for families with German Shepherds to find a commercially produced food that does not induce an allergic reaction in their dog. The German Shepherd Training Academy has the following advice for German Shepherds with food allergies.
“There are certain German Shepherds who have allergic reactions to a number of things which are often found in commercial dog food, such as wheat, beef, and lamb. Dog owners of such dogs admit that it’s certainly a challenge to find good-quality dog food that doesn’t have such ingredients. In such a case, you can certainly aim to provide homemade meals for your dog with the advice of dog food experts.”
If planned and portioned correctly, fresh food will include essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals and that will keep your German Shepherd’s coat and skin healthy. A strong immune system supports fewer flare-ups. Limited, whole ingredients found in fresh food for dogs lower your German Shepherd’s exposure to food allergens in his diet so symptoms can be entirely eliminated over time.
Your German Shepherd would benefit from the perfectly portioned fresh food recipes that NomNomNow creates. They are made with human-grade ingredients and are chock full of the purity and quality your German Shepherd needs to stay healthy and allergy-free.
On top of that, every serving of their food includes the NomNomNow Nutrient Mix, which is an extra burst of vitamins and minerals that give your German Shepherd the balanced nutrition needed to maintain skin and coat health.