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Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food Review

Our Final Verdict

We give Royal Canin German Shepherd dog food a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

One of the most popular aspects of Royal Canin Dog Food is their breed specific line of formulas that promotes the health and well-being of pure-bred pets. Not only that, but it provides the nutrients your dog needs to remain healthy and fight off any predisposed conditions.

Royal Canin has more than 20 breeds in this range. Today, however, we are going to focus on one of the most widely purchased foods; the German Shepherd dog food. We will share with you all of the information you need, so you can figure out whether this brand is right for your GS or not.

Keep reading to find more info on the make-up of the formula, customer reviews, and the overview of the company itself. You will also be clued in as to why we rate this product as we did above. Although there are many great qualities in this menu, there are some considerable drawbacks you should be aware of before you decide to buy!


At a Glance: The Best Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food Recipes:

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Adult Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Adult
  • For dogs over 15 months
  • Highly digestible proteins
  • Exclusive complex of nutrients
  • Second place
    Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Puppy
  • For puppies from 8 weeks to 15 months
  • Maintains a balanced intestinal flora
  • Exclusive complex of antioxidants
  • Third place
    Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Loaf in Sauce Dog Food Breed Health Nutrition German Shepherd Loaf in Sauce Dog Food
  • For dogs over 15 months
  • Provides ideal levels of EPA
  • DHA
  • Moist loaf in savory sauce
  • Size Health Nutrition Maxi Adult Size Health Nutrition Maxi Adult
  • For dogs over 15 months
  • Promotes good digestibility
  • Enriched with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Size Health Nutrition Maxi Joint & Coat Care Size Health Nutrition Maxi Joint & Coat Care
  • For large dogs over 15 months
  • Scientifically based calorie count
  • Features collagen
  • Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food Reviewed

    Royal Canin has been well-known for their variety of dog food formulas. They have over 200 meals to choose from depending on the many factors that make your pooches individuality. That being said, the retail line of the meals is broken into two sections. You can pick recipes based on size or breed.

    It goes without saying that many pure-breed pet parents chose the breed side of the site, as it will provide their pet with all the specific nutrients, supplements, and vitamins their dog needs to remain healthy and strong. As German Shepherds are a popular pet to have, it is no wonder it is one of their more popular breed formulas.

    If you are going to understand the brand, however, it’s important to start from the beginning.

    Who Makes Royal Canin German Shepherd and Where Is It Produced?

    Royal Canin is a brand that was created in France by a veterinarian by the name of Jean Cathary. As a dog owner, Cathary wanted to build a brand of pet foods that would be based on scientific research that showed what was nutritious for animals versus what we thought sounded good.

    Since the 1960s, the world of pet care has advanced and along with it so has Royal Canin. It has changed hands a few times over the decades, as well, but it has been firmly in the care of Mars for quite some time. It has also been a part of the USA pet industry since 1989, when they set up their manufacturing facility in Missouri.

    Besides the United States, Royal Canin has manufacturing plants throughout each continent except Antarctica. The ingredients are responsibly sourced around the globe, and they go through a rigorous testing phase before adding the items to their formulas.

    Which Types of Dogs is Royal Canin German Shepherd Best Suited For?

    The German Shepherd line is available in either dry or canned recipes. It is designed to suit the dietary and health needs of purebred dogs. You can also choose a dish within a specific age range. For example, the puppy formula is available for those dogs who are between 8 weeks and 15 months old.

    The adult formula, on the other hand, is designed for German Shepherds that are 15 months and older. Based on the nutritional needs of this breed, there is no senior option. Take a look at the benefits below for your furry-friend:

    • Kibble size: In both the adult and puppy food, the kibble is designed in such a way to promote chewing. German Shepherds have strong teeth that need to be nurtured to prevent tartar build-up and eventual decay.
    • Digestive help: Another important aspect of this formula is the digestible proteins and fiber content that promotes a healthy digestive system in adult and young pups.
    • Immune support: the meal contains antioxidants for immune support and building, specifically in the puppy formula.
    • Skin and coat: with a thick coat of fur that keeps your dog’s skin protected from the sun and weather, it is important to have ingredients such as omegas, and fish oil that contains EPA and DHA.
    • Bone and joint health: Unfortunately, this breed can develop joint issues as they age. Ingredients such as Glucosamine and chondroitin are great for relieving pain. It is added to both the adult and puppy recipes as it can also help prevent arthritis.

    Other Details

    Outside of the basic functions, ingredients, and nutritional value of this dog food, there are a few other details you should be aware of. First, this food is reasonably priced and can be found on pet store shelves, through the Royal Canin website, and on pet sites such as Chewmy.com and Amazon among others.

    Speaking of the website, that is another issue that should be addressed as it leaves a lot to be desired. It can be confusing to navigate, and the customer service typically takes a long time to get back to their customers. Finally, as we mentioned, this food is available in either wet or dry, however, only the adult formula comes in a canned option.

    Nutritional Value

    Before we hop into the ingredients of this product, we wanted to give a brief overview of the nutritional value of each recipe available in the German Shepherd line. Royal Canin has stated that their formulas are guided by the AAFCO’s recommendations for a dog’s nutritional health.

    That being said, some of the values we found in the recipes were not where they should be. Take a look at the three options:

    • Protein: 6.5%
    • Fat: 4.0%
    • Fiber: 2.7%
    • Calories: 343 kcal
    Dry Adult
    • Protein: 22%
    • Fat: 17%
    • Fiber: 5.5%
    • Calorie: 321 kcal
    Dry Puppy
    • Protein: 28%
    • Fat: 7%
    • Fiber: 3.8%
    • Calorie: 331 kcal

    As you can see, canned wet food has the least amount of nutritional value. For example, the AAFCO recommends that dogs consume at least 18% protein per day. At 6.5%, it is way under the correct guidelines. Besides that, though, the formulas are more or less on the right track.

    A Quick Look at Royal Canin German Shepherd Dog Food

    • Breed-specific nutrients
    • Added vitamins and minerals
    • Well-priced
    • Adult and puppy formulas
    • Questionable ingredients
    • Website is hard to navigate
    • Customer service is slow

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    Ingredients Analysis

    As promised, let’s dive right into the ingredients. As we went over above, there are many great items in the formula that will benefit your pet. Unfortunately, there are some not-so-great items, as well.

    We have chosen the most concentrated ingredients from all three formulas to give you an idea of what your pet will be eating when you feed them this diet.

    • Brewers rice: Unfortunately, this is one of the first ingredients.in the formulas. Brewer’s rice is made of white rice fragments and has little to no nutritional value for your pet.
    • By-product meals: This ingredient is added to many lower-quality dog foods due to its low-quality ingredients. As quality is what makes this item nutritional or not, it can be hard to determine either way, as that info is not available to the public.
    • Powdered cellulose: This is an ingredient that adds fiber to the formula. Many times, it can add too much causing digestive distress. Also, in “feed-grade” meals, it is usually made of wood by-products.
    • Wheat gluten: Wheat and other grains can have a beneficial effect on your pet, but some have allergies to this ingredient. Caution is advised.
    • Vegetable oil: Too much of this product can cause stomach issues with your dog, but a small amount can be beneficial. As it’s high on the ingredients list, caution is again advised.
    • Sodium: this is never a good item in abundance. As it comes in several forms in this formula, it can cause additional problems.
    • Corn flour: Corn flour is typically used as a filler and does not have a lot of good side-effects in regards to your German Shepherd.
    • Carrageenan: Finally, this ingredient is used as a filler to add bulk to the food. It has no known benefit and it’s hard to process.

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    Recall History

    The recall history of the brand in question is not perfect, but not terrible. Since their launch in the United States in 1989, there have been three recalls which have all been fairly recently. In 2006, Royal Canin voluntarily called back several formulas for their pet food because of an indication that there was too much vitamin D3.

    In 2007, the Melamine crisis-affected Royal Canin and led them to recall more than two dozen products across their dog food formulas. The culprit, in this case, was Chinese rice which the company stated they would no longer be using in their meals.

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    If you want to know the full story on the Royal Canin dog food, the best thing to do is find customer comments and reviews. They will show you what other German Shepherd owners have thought about the specific formula, as well, as the brand itself. To get you started, here are some comments we found…


    “Bought it for our new German shepherd puppy. We wanted to find a tailored high-quality food to start him off and this is it! The kibble is in little star-like patterns to help them chew it easier, and the food is tailored so they don’t grow too fast where they start having sore joints and ligaments. He’s been on this food for four months now and has such a shiny coat and is the happiest little dude!”


    “Our 12-year-old German Shepherd was started on another large breed quality food, Blue Buffalo. After a few weeks, we noticed serious weight gain so we switched him to Royal Canin German Shepherd 24 Formula Dog Food. What a difference. Smaller and firmer stool than the other food, the weight is starting to come off and she loves it. It’s a little pricey but our girl is worth it.”

    If you want the full scope of the brand and products, however, the best place to look is here. Amazon reviews are by far the most trusted and widespread giving you the opinions and comments of hundreds of Royal Canin customers.

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    We hope the Royal Canin German Shepherd review has answered all of your questions about this brand and formula. If you would like to get to know the entire range better, including the Vet Diet line, take a look at the article where we share the details for the entire range.

    Overall, this is not a bad option if you have a pure-bred German Shepherd. It is formulated with the necessary ingredients to keep your pet happy and healthy. Though it has its downsides, it also has many benefits.

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