Best Dog Food for German Shorthaired Pointers in 2021

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german shorthaired pointer dog

German Shorthaired Pointers are highly enthusiastic hunting dogs who thrive on vigorous exercise. There isn’t a sport they can’t do — from running, swimming, to organized canine sports. 

Because of this, the best dog food for German Shorthaired Pointers is a high protein and high calorie option.

And my personal favorite is Taste of the Wild High Prairie dog food

Not only does it have 32% Crude Protein to support high activity, but it also offers enough calories to sustain muscle mass and energy levels. 

There are other foods for your German Shorthaired Pointer as well — including wet food, high protein, and even additional joint support options. 

Our Best Dog Food for German Shorthaired Pointers

  1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Adult German Shorthaired Pointers)
  2. Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for German Shorthaired Pointer Puppies)
  3. Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance Dog Food (Best for Senior German Shorthaired Pointers)
  4. VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food (Best for German Shorthaired Pointer Needing More Protein)
  5. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food (Best for German Shorthaired Pointer with Food Sensitivities)
  6. Nutro Hearty Stew Grain-Free Canned Dog Food (Best Wet Food)
  7. Nom Nom Dog Food (Best Fresh Dog Food)
  8. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best Budget Dog Food)
  9. Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food (Best for Weight Loss)
  10. Halo Holistic Adult Dry Dog Food (Best for German Shorthaired Pointers with Joint Problems)

10 Best Dog Foods for German Shorthaired Pointers Reviewed 

The following dog foods meet the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your German Shorthaired Pointer’s food, please consult with your veterinarian. 

Best for Adults

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Key Feature: Great overall dog food made with water buffalo and other high protein meats

With their high energy levels and medium-to-large build, German Shorthaired Pointers need a high protein food that can fill up their bellies, without eating too much and causing lethargy. Taste of the Wild High Prairie dry dog food provides exactly that. 

This formula includes both real buffalo and bison, along with chicken meal and lamb meal — providing 32% protein and 18% fat, both of which yield energy as well as metabolism support. 

Next, peas and sweet potatoes offer highly digestible carbohydrates for sensitive tummies and to aid the digestive tract. 

Blueberries and raspberries offer natural antioxidant support, helping to protect your dog’s immune system and boost brain function. If your dog is feeling tired, this food will perk them right up. 

Dried chicory root also adds prebiotic support to improve metabolic health and increase friendly bacteria in the gut. 

The recipe is formulated and made right in the US by a family owned brand. It’s made without grains, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, or artificial colors.


Best for Puppies

Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain Free Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Egg Product, Tapioca
  • Key Feature: High protein and high calorie puppy food 

You want to provide your German Shorthaired Pointer the best food possible throughout their life, so why not start with Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed dry dog food?

This puppy formula is made especially for puppies to offer a higher calorie and protein diet for growth and brain development. 

Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient — providing protein for energy, DHA for brain and eye health, and omega fatty acids for joint support. 

Chicken fat and ground flaxseed help provide glucosamine, a natural mineral that helps to strengthen your growing puppy’s bones. Flaxseed also includes natural prebiotics, helping to keep the digestive system clean and regular. 

Carrots, apples, and cranberries then offer essential vitamins to support healthy growth — including vitamin A for eye health, vitamin D and calcium for additional bone support, and antioxidants for a healthy immune system. 

This formula is free from grains, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meals, artificial colors, and preservatives. It’s also made in America. 


Best for Seniors

Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Beef
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice, Poultry By-Product Meal, Whole Grain Corn
  • Key Feature: Dog food high in glucosamine and fiber for senior German Shorthaired Pointers

Even as they reach their senior years, German Shorthaired Pointers need adequate protein and calories to maintain their muscle mass.

Purina Pro Plan Sport dry dog food focuses on providing real animal protein to promote strength and endurance, making it a great option for dogs of all ages, including seniors. 

With real beef as the first ingredient, this food has 30% Crude Protein for metabolic support and energy. It’s also naturally high in glucosamine, omega fatty acids, and chondroitin. All three of these minerals fortify the joints, heart, and even the immune system — keeping them in tip top shape, even in old age. 

Rice and corn gluten meal are added to aid in digestion and offer healthy carbohydrates. And while corn gluten meal may seem like a filler, it’s actually wheat free and full of additional protein and fiber. However, steer clear of this formula if your dog is allergic to corn. 

Live probiotics are also supplemented to support both a healthy immune system and digestive system. 

This recipe was crafted without artificial flavors or colors, and is made in US facilities. 


Best for Active Dogs

VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food

VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Pork Meal, Chicken Meal
  • Key Feature: High protein dog food for highly active German Shorthaired Pointers

While German Shorthaired Pointers are naturally active and high energy, yours may be especially so. If you have a working dog, or one that needs to gain weight, try VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro dog food. 

This formula starts with premium-quality beef, chicken, and pork meals. It boasts 30% Crude Protein, and also contains a high fat content at 20%. This ensures that your pup has plenty of energy and metabolic support in their diet. 

It is considered gluten free, and includes grain sorghum — also known as millet — as its digestible carbohydrate. Millet also contains fiber and prebiotics for digestion support and folate for healthy cell growth. 

Taurine is supplemented, boosting the important functions in the heart and brain. It’s also been studied as a beneficial mineral to help lower blood pressure and calm the nervous system. 

This food is both sourced and made in the US. 


Best for Food Sensitivities

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Basics LID Grain Free Large Breed Lamb
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Potatoes, Pea Starch, Peas, Lamb Meal
  • Key Feature: Limited Ingredient diet for German Shorthaired Pointers with food sensitivities

Having allergies and a sensitive stomach doesn’t have to mean sacrificing on tasty food. Blue Buffalo’s Basics Limited Ingredient dry dog food is a delicious large breed formula made specifically for dogs with food allergies and sensitivities. 

First, it’s made with fewer ingredients than many other commercial brand dog foods. And, it doesn’t include corn, wheat, chicken, or soy — allergens that German Shorthaired Pointers are prone to. 

Instead, the formula starts with real lamb first, a novel protein. There’s also pumpkin for extra fat and vitamin A. Potatoes and peas are added for fiber, probiotics, and potassium, protecting the digestive tract, immune system, and muscles. 

Taurine is also added to help boost heart health and regulate fluids in your dog’s body. Chondroitin and glucosamine come from the lamb, helping to support your BFF’s joint health and mobility.

This grain free dog food is free of beef, dairy, and eggs. Although these aren’t known common allergens, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s also made without poultry by-product meals, artificial flavors, and preservatives.


Best Wet Food

Nutro Hearty Stew Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Nutro Hearty Stew Tender Chicken, Carrot Pea Stew Grain Free Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Pork Broth, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots
  • Key Feature: Grain-free and non-GMO wet food 

Sometimes, you just want to spoil your pup. What better way to do that than with Nutro Hearty Stew canned dog food? This grain free and high quality food includes wholesome ingredients to entice even the pickiest eater. 

The recipe starts with real chicken as the very first ingredient. Pork and chicken broth are added for flavor and moisture — helping dogs that don’t drink enough water get more in their diet. 

These broths also help boost the protein content a bit, and provide essential vitamins and minerals like omega fatty acids for healthy joints. 

Carrots and dried peas offer fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin E. These not only help aid in digestion, but also protect eye health and can reduce inflammation — which is helpful for highly active dogs like German Shorthaired Pointers. 

Every ingredient is carefully sourced from a trusted network of farmers and suppliers. It’s free of grains, GMOs, chicken by-product meal, corn, soy, wheat, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. 

The food is proudly made in the US. 


Best Fresh Food

Nom Nom Now Turkey Fare Recipe

Nom Nom Turkey Recipe
  • First 5 Ingredients: Ground Turkey, Brown Rice, Eggs, Carrots, Spinach
  • Key Feature: Fresh and human grade customized premium dog food 

Nom Nom high quality dog food is a great holistic option if you’re looking to feed your dog human grade ingredients that are easy to digest.

Typically, preparing your own fresh dog food takes time, energy, and proper portion control on ingredients. So instead of wasting time doing it all yourself, treat your pup to Nom Nom Now. 

This customized dog food provides a balanced diet — it starts with simple and healthy components like real ground turkey, brown rice, and fresh fruits and vegetables. These ingredients are human grade, so even you could eat the food (although we suggest you don’t). 

Before the food is shipped to you, you’ll start with a quiz about your dog. You’ll input their weight, body type, their likes and dislikes, their allergies (if applicable), and their activity level. 

Once complete, Nom Nom creates a fully customized diet to fit the caloric, protein, and fat needs of your German Shorthaired Pointer, as well as how to fit much they need to eat. The food is even individually portioned, so all you have to do is open and serve. 

Even though the turkey fare recipe is popular, you can also choose between beef, pork, and chicken — or choose all four. The food is then shipped directly to your door for Fido to enjoy their new dog food. 


Best Budget Food

American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Chickpeas
  • Key Feature: Grain-free budget friendly dog food high in DHA

American Journey Grain-Free dry dog food is the budget conscious pet owner’s dream. Not only is it made with real meat for quality protein, it also has many other nutritious ingredients that rival its competition. Plus, it’s great value for the money.   

The formula starts off with deboned beef. This has the amino acids your dog needs for leaner muscles, along with the glucosamine to protect them. 

Sweet potatoes and chickpeas are added for carbs, and to provide fiber and essential nutrients like phosphorus and beta-carotene — helping to maintain the integrity of your pups teeth and bones. 

Then, blueberries, carrots, and dried kelp provide additional fiber, along with antioxidants to reduce inflammation and protect the immune system. 

DHA is abundant with the addition of salmon oil and flaxseed. This supports healthy development of the brain and eyes and keeps your furry friend’s skin and coat healthy. 

This recipe is grain-free, and is free of corn, wheat, and soy as well. 


Best for Weight Loss

Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE RawRev Grain Free Healthy Weight Freeze Dried Turkey
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Peas
  • Key Feature: Weight Loss 

German Shorthaired Pointers don’t carry a layer of fat like some breeds — and their activity levels tend to burn off more calories, protein, and fat than average adult dogs. However, it is still possible for your dog to become overweight, which can lead to other health problems like brittle bones and joints. 

If you find that your German Shorthaired Pointer has gained extra weight, the best thing to do is feed them a diet slightly lower in calories and fat. Wellness CORE Healthy Weight dog food helps with that. 

This formula is high in fiber and protein, but low in fat — helping to support healthy weight and digestion, without losing muscle mass. 

It starts with deboned turkey and also includes lentils, boosting the protein content to 35% while keeping fat at an optimal weight loss level of 10%. Turkey is a natural source of glucosamine and taurine, which support joint and heart health — something especially important for overweight pups. 

Broccoli, apples, and carrots provide more roughage to clear out the digestive tract, and also include essential vitamins like vitamin C for immune support. 

Plus, probiotics are supplemented for extra aid to the immune system, and to help regulate stool and rev up your dog’s metabolism. 

The formula does not contain any fillers, wheat, corn, or soy.


Best for Joint Health

Halo Holistic Adult Dry Dog Food

Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley
  • Key Feature: Vitamin enriched dog food for German Shorthaired Pointer with joint issues

While the German Shorthaired Pointer breed is considered healthy, one of the most common disorders that they suffer from is joint problems — specifically hip dysplasia. 

Vitamins and minerals like glucosamine can help protect the joints and ease the symptoms, so it’s important to choose dog food rich in these nutrients. 

Halo Holistic Adult dog food brings wholesome and simple ingredients to the table, while also supplementing many of the nutrients that a dog with joint issues needs, including vitamin B, selenium, glucosamine, and taurine. 

It also includes chicken and chicken liver for extra iron and vitamin B12 for metabolism support, helping your dog’s body work together smoothly. Barley and oatmeal provide fiber, which can help reduce constipation and create a healthier digestive system. 

Chicken fat is added for the omega fatty acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine. These vitamins help lubricate and maintain joints. They also help reduce inflammation in the joints, helping to reduce symptoms like limping and pain. 

Halo Holistic’s adult dog food is sustainably sourced with ingredients like cage-free chicken and non-GMO fruits and vegetables. It’s free of artificial ingredients as well, providing nutrition that your dog truly needs without any fillers that they don’t. 


german shorthaired pointer dog

How to Choose Food for Your German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointers require a diet higher in protein and calories — but their other needs are about the same as other medium and large breed dogs. 

Here’s how to choose the best dog food formulas. 

Higher Animal Protein for Energy & Muscle Retention 

German Shorthaired Pointers need to keep their muscles and healthy bones in order to perform well. Especially as adult dogs, the proper amount of protein is essential to avoid deterioration and other issues like joint problems. 

When choosing dog foods for your furry friend, focus on a higher protein percentage — at least 25%

Also, focus on formulas that start with animal protein like beef, chicken, fish, or lamb. Meat meals offer a significant source of protein as well, but miss a few essential vitamins and nutrients that then have to be supplemented. So real meat is always best. 

Moderate Fats

A German Shorthaired Pointer should never be on a low fat diet. They utilize healthy fats to support their muscles and joints. Plus, fats provide more than twice as much energy as carbohydrates for dogs. This makes them a great option for highly active dogs like yours. 

When looking for the best healthy fats, look for salmon oil, flaxseed oil, and eggs. These provide amino acids and omegas to protect heart, joint, and brain health. Plus, they make food tasty, which means your dog is more likely to eat all of it. 

Digestible Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates work well in dog diets, helping to provide energy and regulate digestion. But, it’s important to choose a dog food that focuses more on protein and fat than carbohydrates, like the options on this list do. 

When choosing carbohydrates in food, look for oats, potatoes (including sweet potatoes — which are better than regular ones), quinoa, and legumes like lentils. These are easier on the tummy and will also supply fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals. 

Fiber

Fiber is naturally found in most carbs, so you shouldn’t have a problem providing it to your German Shorthaired Pointer. There also isn’t a set amount that your dog needs to eat, but always pay attention to their poop schedule. If it’s not regular, you may need a higher fiber food. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Commercial dog foods already provide the correct percentages of vitamins and minerals for dogs. As long as your veterinarian hasn’t expressed concern over a vitamin deficiency, you don’t need to look for any specific vitamins and minerals. 

However, vitamins and minerals like glucosamine, vitamin D, and vitamin E are all extra beneficial to German Shorthaired Pointers. These nutrients help support growth and keep muscles, joints, and bones strong — helping your pup keep up their energy all day. 

Ingredients to Avoid

You probably don’t want fillers or additives in your food, and neither does your dog. These ingredients offer no benefits to your dog — they only cut the cost of food production so dog food brands make more profit. 

In worst case scenarios, certain additives and fillers can even cause kidney disease, liver disease, and death. 

So, avoid preservatives like BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin, and focus on natural preservatives like vitamin E oil. 

Fillers like corn, soy, and wheat should be avoided when possible, especially if your dog is allergic. But, they can provide nutrition, so they don’t have to be eliminated completely. Also, avoid dog food formulas with artificial colors or flavors. 

german shorthaired pointer puppy

Common German Shorthaired Pointer Health Issues 

German Shorthaired Pointers are known to be incredibly healthy, which is why they do so well as working dogs. But, there are a few potential health issues to keep in mind. 

Hypothyroidism

In dogs, hypothyroidism means that the immune system thinks that the thyroid is abnormal or foreign, so it attacks it. This is a genetic disorder, and, while an appropriate diet can manage the symptoms, there is no cure. 

If you notice that your dog has gained weight without an increased appetite, is constantly tired, gets cold easily, or has dull fur and excessive shedding, they may have hypothyroidism. 

It’s best to get them thoroughly checked by a veterinarian to confirm and talk about the next best steps. 

While there is no cure, feeding your furry friend a lower calorie diet that has moderate amounts of fat can help, along with their regular medication

Hip Dysplasia 

Just like with other medium and large breeds, German Shorthaired Pointers can suffer from Hip Dysplasia. This happens when the hip bone doesn’t fit well in the joint socket, and becomes dislocated. It can be painful, and should be treated immediately. 

Unlike hypothyroidism, this disorder is actually easy to prevent. All you have to do is keep your dog at a healthy weight and feed them the best dog food that offers ample amounts of proteins and fats, along with omega fatty acids and glucosamine. 

Von Willebrand’s Disease

Von Willebrand’s disease (also known as vWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder for dogs. With this disorder, your dog’s blood will not clot properly. If uncontrollable bleeding occurs, death can and has occurred. 

There are no main symptoms for vWD. In fact, unless your dog spontaneously hemorrhages or has prolonged bleeding from an accident, bith, or surgery, you may never know they suffer from it. However, you can get your dog tested by your vet if you suspect they have it. 

For the most part, you shouldn’t worry about this disease. However, preventative measures like neutering and keeping your pup safe from accidents can be helpful. 

FAQ About German Shorthaired Pointer

Curious about the needs of your German Shorthaired Pointer? We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions. 

How much should a German Shorthaired Pointer eat?

A German Shorthaired Pointer will need to eat 2–4 cups of food a day, across two meals. So you’ll feed them one or two cups in the morning, and one or two at night. 

Also, avoid free feeding. Make sure you’re not over optimizing their nutrition. 

How many calories do German Shorthaired Pointers need in a day?

A healthy German Shorthaired Pointer will need about 1,500 calories a day to sustain their lifestyle. However, if they’re more active, are pregnant, or are a working dog, they’ll need upwards of about 3,000. 

Puppies also need more calories during growth (around 1,800), while seniors don’t require as much (about 1,200). 

How much should my German Shorthaired Pointers weigh?

The average size is 55–65 pounds. Females can weigh a little less, starting at 45 pounds during adulthood.  

Are German Shorthaired Pointers medium or large breed dogs?

Technically, most Pointers (including the German Shorthaired Pointer) are considered medium breed dogs. However, German Shorthaired Pointers eat as much as larger breeds due to their muscles and high energy levels. 

Is a raw food diet good for German Shorthaired Pointers?

It can be. However, you should always make sure that the raw meat that you feed your dog comes from trusted sources — particularly with no fillers, hormones, or additives. This avoids parasites and also helps dogs with sensitive stomachs. 

Also, freezing the raw meat can help eliminate parasites. So always try to freeze the raw food first, or buy raw food that comes frozen. 

Is grain-free dog food good for German Shorthaired Pointers?

Dogs usually need grains for healthy carbohydrates and to support their digestion. 

However, if your German Shorthaired Pointer suffers from allergies or a sensitive tummy, they may do well on dog foods that offer a grain-free diet. If so, focus instead on other carbs like potatoes or flax. 

Our Verdict

While German Shorthaired Pointers need an exorbitant amount of calories and higher protein diet to meet their energy needs, they also need healthy carbs and essential nutrients to perform their best. 

That’s why Taste of the Wild High Prairie is the favored dog food option — it’s full of real meat proteins, is grain-free, includes easily digestible carbs, and has plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep your pup feeling good all day long. 

But, you can’t go wrong with any of the dog food options on this list either! They were all chosen to provide the needs of your German Shorthaired Pointer, no matter their stage in life, general health, or other needs. 

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AUTHOR
Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

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