Top 12 Best Dog Food for EPI German Shepherd In 2022-Expert Review

In today’s article, I will review the Best dog food for EPI German Shepherd.

Is your German Shepherd losing weight despite eating a lot? Does it have soft, runny stools? Does it excrete more often than usual? Is it more fearful and aggressive than before?

These can be signs and symptoms of EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) which affects almost 70% of German Shepherds worldwide, although any breed can have EPI.

According to the German Shepherd Rescue Scotland, EPI can also be the secondary condition of a chronic illness, such as chronic pancreatitis. EPI is the inability of the exocrine pancreas to produce the three enzymes that aid in digestion.

  • Amylase for digestion of carbohydrates
  • Lipases for digestion of fats and oils.
  • Trypsin and Proteases for digestion of proteins.

Without these enzymes, food remains undigested and unabsorbed, resulting in a malnourished, starved, and sick dog. The necessary treatment is that supplementary enzymes must be included in every meal otherwise the food will remain undigested.

Dogs with EPI require a very special diet, one which is highly digestible and provides the necessary nutritional value, along with enzyme supplements with each meal.

Top 12 Best Dog Food for EPI German Shepherd In 2022

ImageTitlePrimeBuy
Product ImageTaste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Dry Dog FoodPrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product ImageBlue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food,PrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product ImageEukanuba Adult Medium Breed Dry Dog FoodPrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product ImageWellness Natural Pet Food Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Dog FoodPrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product ImageRoyal Canin German Shepherd Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog FoodPrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product ImageHill's Science Diet Adult No Corn, Wheat or Soy Dry Dog Food, Chicken RecipePrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product ImageZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food – All Natural, High Protein, Grain FreeInPrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product Image"I and love and you" Baked & Saucy Grain Free Kibble Dry Dog FoodPrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product ImageCanidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb and Fish MealsPrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product ImagePurina ONE Large Breed Dog Food Natural Formula, SmartBlendPrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product ImageVictor Dog Food Select - Grain Free Yukon River Canine, Dry Dog FoodPrimeEligibleCheck Price
Product ImageNUTRO ULTRA Adult Large Breed High Protein Natural Dry Dog FoodPrimeEligibleCheck Price

After my research, I have come to understand that a balanced diet for an EPI dog should contain

  1. 20-25% protein
  2. 10-15% fat
  3. Not more than 4% fiber
  4. Not more than 50% carbs
  5. Some omega fatty acids
  6. Preferably Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Luckily, there are plenty of dog food brands that are offering such especially manufactured meals.

Let’s take a look at the best dog food for pancreatic problems so you can give your dog the best care possible.

1: Taste of the Wild Food ( Best Dog Food for EPI German Shepherd)

Special features: grain-free, 32% protein derived from roasted bison and venison meat, 18% fat, can be fed to puppies,  no artificial flavors or colors, no preservatives, contains probiotics

The main highlight for this dog food is that its first ingredient is water buffalo meat which is imported from India. Buffalo meat has less fat, sodium, cholesterol and is rich in protein. 

With a blend of other protein sources like roasted venison and bison meat, this formula is ideal for growing puppies who need a naturally derived protein source in their diet

Taste of the Wild formulas contains DHA omega 3 fatty acid from salmon oil. This makes it a great choice for all dogs with health issues.

The fiber is derived from fruits and soft vegetables so it is very digestible.

It has no soya, grains, or artificial additives. The carbohydrates come from potatoes mainly. It has probiotics to aid digestion and reduce diarrhea.

Pros
  • Real roasted Bison and Venison meat
  • Great for puppies, nursing and pregnant mothers
  • Contains probiotics
  • Contains rich sources of DHA.
Cons
  • Contains protein from red meat
  • Contains egg product
  • Very expensive

My recommendation: Protein from red meat and one having a high concentration of omega fatty acid is recommended for dogs who want to build good, strong muscles.

2: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

Special features: 24% protein from real chicken, 14% fats, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, anti-oxidants to support the immune system, 400mg Glucosamine

All Blue Buffalo formulas contain a special mixture of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which they call exclusive LifeSource bits. They have been cold-formed to preserve potency. They promote immunity and support a healthy oxidative balance. 

This is especially beneficial for a dog with EPI as you would want to keep its immunity healthy.

The blue Buffalo formula is made with real, delicious, deboned chicken and brown rice. It has a very good percentage of protein and fat. The addition of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, is sure to provide your pup the ideal nutritional balance it needs.

The second best thing about this dog food is that it contains 400mg of Glucosamine. Glucosamine helps dogs with joint and bone problems. So it will also help your senior dogs live a pain-free, healthy life.

Pros
  • Good ratio of protein and fat
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Contains good amounts of omega 3 and 6
  • Contains Glucosamine
  • Contains LifeSource bits that boost immunity.
Cons
  • Only for adult dogs
  • Expensive

My recommendation: If you are looking for less protein, high-quality food for your dog, then Blue Buffalo dry food is your best option

3: Eukanuba Breed Specific German Shepherd Dry Dog Food

Special features: made specifically for German Shepherds, 3D DENTADEFENSE system to reduce tartar build-up, the first ingredient is chicken, natural taurine, supports healthy joints and hips

Eukanuba makes breed-specific dog foods. This one has been formulated especially for German Shepherds. It has a higher level of prebiotics to promote digestion. The added Glucosamine and Chondroitin support healthy joints and prevents arthritis as your German Shepherd ages.

Another special ingredient is L-Carnitine. This helps your dog naturally burn fat while preserving lean muscles. 

If you are having problems with your dog’s tartar buildup, the Eukanuba is clinically proven to reduce that within 28 days.

These are some of the problems typically found in German Shepherd breeds which Eukanuba seems to target.

Now let’s talk about the ingredients. This dry dog food contains 23% protein which comes from whole chicken meat. The fat content is also adequately placed at 13%. 

It has omegas 3 and 6 to promote healthy skin and fur coat, which comes from fish oil. The carbs are coming from whole grains such as maize, rice, and wheat.

It contains no soya, artificial flavors, or colors. There are also no preservatives.

Pros
  • Reduces tartar buildup
  • The high amount of protein, fiber, and carbs for good health
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Promotes healthy joints and skin coat
  • No preservatives
Cons
  • Contains dried egg
  • Contains cornmeal
  • Not for dogs younger than 1 year

My recommendation: Overall, Eukanuba specific is good dog food for German Shepherds. It targets health conditions specific to the breed. Prebiotics help aid digestion. It will support healthy bone development in your dog.

4: Wellness Complete Health Natural Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Special features: Chicken as the first ingredient, 26% protein, and 12% fat, omegas 3 and 6 from the salmon meal and ground flaxseeds, contains taurine, glucosamine, and probiotics 

Large dogs love a hearty, meaty meal. This is why the Wellness Complete Health dry dog food contains 26% protein which comes from wholesome, farm-raised chickens. 

Packed with the added goodness of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, taurine, and probiotics, this healthy formula is sure to keep your big, lovely German Shepherd healthy and happy.

If we take a look at other nutritional content, this formula has 11% fat and 2.5% omega 6 fatty acids. 

The 5% fiber comes from whole grain sources like barley, oats, peas, oatmeal, and soft fruit and vegetables like tomatoes and carrots. 

It also has a healthy amount of Vitamin E, glucosamine, and chondroitin for joint support in large breed dogs

The Wellness Complete formula for large breeds has No by-products, fillers, soy, corn, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Therefore, your dog will enjoy maximum health with no cheap quality ingredients.

Pros
  • Contains flaxseed omega 6 fatty acids
  • Fiber from peas and blueberries
  • Promotes healthy heart and strong bones
  • Contains antioxidants
Cons
  • High protein to fiber ratio

My recommendation: Every ingredient in this formula is high quality and comes from a wholesome source. There are zero fillers and artificial ingredients which makes this dog food special for sick dogs who want to gain health and build muscles

5: Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

Special features: Exclusive kibble shaped design, for German Shepherds 15 months and older, 22% protein, 5.5% fiber, EPA and DHA from fish oil, contains glucosamine and chondroitin

If a high-protein diet is not suitable for your dog, then take a look at Royal Canin breed-specific dog food for German Shepherds. It has only 22% protein which is mainly from chicken meals. 

It is rich in fermentable and non-fermentable fibers and low in starch to help the digestive system run smoothly.

Another special feature is the exclusive kibble design which encourages chewing and slows the rate of your dog’s digestion.

This formula also contains antioxidants from nutrients, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and vitamin E that supports cellular health and boosts immunity. A strong immune system will help your German Shepherd remain active and playful throughout its life.

Pros
  • Breed-specific
  • Contains omega fatty acids from fish oil
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints and bones
  • Good protein to fiber ratio
  • Helps promote healthy fur coat
  • Contains vitamins and biotin
Cons
  • Contains meat by-products
  • Contains fiber from wheat
  • Contain 17% fat

My recommendation: The Royal Canin breed-specific dog food is great for German Shepherds who have joint problems.

6: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult

Special features: 1st ingredient is crude chicken, contains 24.7% protein and 16% fat, only 1.7% fiber, no wheat, corn, or soy, contains omega 6 and vitamin E for a healthy coat, exclusive Kimble size

This Hill’s Science dog food is specially formulated with no corn, wheat, or soy to keep the fiber level at a minimum. Most dogs with EPI cannot tolerate high amounts of fiber and vets recommend keeping the fiber quantity as low as possible. 

If that is your case, then Hill’s science chicken and brown rice dog food is your most suitable option.

The low fibers are compensated by a high amount of carbohydrates which come from whole grain sources like cracked pearl barley, whole grain oats, brown rice, and brewer’s rice. This is especially beneficial for dogs with EPI as they lose a lot of weight.

It is rich in vitamins and minerals, carefully chosen by science to help dogs grow in health and happiness.

Pros
  • Contains vitamins, minerals, and taurine
  • Contains fiber from whole grains and soft fruits
  • No preservatives
  • A healthy amount of omega 6 from flaxseeds
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Contains artificial flavor

My recommendation: This dog food is good for those dogs who want to gain weight and don’t benefit from a high-fiber diet. 

7: ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food – All Natural, High Protein

Special features: whole prey diet, made 96% from chicken protein, no soy, potatoes, grains, or rice, contains enzymes, chondroitin, glucosamine, omega-3, and probiotics from green mussels, contains antioxidants from organic kelp, for all breeds in all life stages

Dogs are the descendants of wolves. They have been carnivores for a very long time. So if you are an advocate of a meat-only diet for your dogs, the ZIWI all-natural, high protein dog food is your best option!

Made only from high-quality chicken, chicken liver, chicken heart, and chicken bones, this meaty meal is sure to make your pup feel like it’s in the wild again!

The second special ingredient is green mussel which is only found in New Zealand. It is a natural source of enzymes, chondroitin, glucosamine, omega-3, and probiotics.

The third special ingredient is organic kelp, which has antioxidants to boost immunity.

This grain-free, low-carb diet is good for dogs with a sensitive stomach, obesity, food allergy, and other health concerns. Their slow and gentle air-drying method locks in the nutrition. Your dog will get the maximum taste and nutrition right from the first serving!

Pros
  • All protein formula
  • No grains added
  • No antibiotics or growth promotants
  • No sugars or glycerine
  • Contains omega 3 and probiotics from plant sources
  • For all breeds and dogs of all ages
Cons
  • 38% protein and 30% fat

My recommendation: Although I will not recommend this brand for EPI dogs because of the high protein and fat content, I will recommend it for those dogs who have a sensitive stomach, obesity, grain allergies, and who don’t like plant-based dogs foods.

8: I and love and you” Baked & Saucy Grain Free Kibble Dry Dog Food

Special features: chicken and sweet potato, coated in bone broth, no fillers, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, 28% protein, 14% fat, 5% fiber can be fed to dogs all of all ages, kibble design, grain-free formula, prebiotics plus probiotics, omegas 3 and 6, recyclable packaging

Does your dog like a little gravy with its food? Do you want to give a grain-free, wholesome, delicious diet to your sick dog? Made with pure love, “I and love and you” is as special as its name.

Coated in savory chicken broth, this dog food can be served dry for a delicious oven-baked meal or as a wet, saucy bone broth gravy.

It has sweet potatoes as a source of carbohydrates and contains no grains, keeping the fiber content to a minimum.

Packed with all the goodness of prebiotics, probiotics, omegas 3 and 6, it will greatly aid your dog’s digestion and support good nutrient absorption.

The medium-sized kibble design will encourage your pal to chew more slowly and release more digestive enzymes.

Pros
  • Baked dog food
  • Can be served as wet food
  • No grains
  • Minimum fiber
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy digestive system
  • For all dog breeds in all life stages
Cons
  • Protein quantity is slightly high

My recommendation: If your dog doesn’t like dry food and wants something with a bit of gravy, this is a special, baked, wet food treat that your EPI dog will enjoy. 

9: CANIDAE All Life Stages, Premium Dry Dog Food

Special features: for all dog breeds, for dogs of all ages, no wheat, corn, or soy, contains antioxidants, probiotics and glucosamine, 24% protein, 14% fat, and 4% fiber

Are you looking for a dog food that contains the combined goodness of 2 or 3 types of protein? Then Canidae all life stages dry dog food is the best option for you!

Made with chicken, turkey, lamb, and fish meals, your dog will enjoy a taste of everything!

Most people are confused when they read ‘meal’ in front of a protein source. A ‘meal’ is just a rendered meat that has been dried and ground up. It contains meat, skin, and/or bone. It does not have feathers, heads, feet, or intestinal contents. 

So a meal-based protein is safe and nutritious for your dog!

Talking about the fat content in Canidae dog food, it has 14% chicken fat, omegas 3 and 6, Vitamin E, chondroitin, and glucosamine. All these nutrients will ensure that the pup has healthy and strong bones, hips, and smooth, shiny fur.

It has no soy, wheat, or corn. The carbohydrates are derived mainly from peas, oatmeal, barley, and millet. These are all whole grains that will not harm your EPI dog.

Pros
  • No fillers
  • Goodness for all dogs
  • Can be fed to dogs of all ages
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids promote good skin
  • Healthy immune system by antioxidants
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Contains a lot of carbs
  • Has artificial flavors and preservatives.

My recommendation: The Canidae dog food contains the goodness of 4 types of protein so that your pup can enjoy taste and health at the same time. It’s ideal for dogs with bone and joint problems

10: Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula

Special features: kibble design, 26% protein and 12% fat, glucosamine for chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, vitamins and minerals, soy flakes and soybean meal, animal digest, linoleic acid, and omega 6

Large breed dogs can have special joint problems. This is why Purina smart blend has been formulated to specifically target weak joints and bone health.

With added glucosamine from chicken and fish meal, it will help your dog grow a healthy bone structure and linoleic acid will give it a shiny coat.

This smart blend formula also contains omega 6, mainly from fish meals. It also contains a healthy amount of protein from chicken which is the first ingredient.

The fiber comes from peameal and carbs from oatmeal and soybean meal. 

Pros
  • A good amount of protein
  • Contains Glucosamine
  • Contains linoleic acid
  • Has omega 6 fatty acids
  • Can be fed to all dogs in all life stages
Cons
  • Contains chicken and corn by-products
  • Contains preservatives

My recommendation: Although it is not recommended for EPI dogs because of soy, it is a good option for other large breeds who can benefit from the extra protein and glucosamine.

11: VICTOR Select – Grain Free Yukon River Canine

Special features: grain-free formula, contains 33% fish protein, DHA and 16% chicken fat, herbal extracts, garbanzo beans, and sweet potatoes,

Does your dog have allergies to certain proteins or grains? Yes dogs, like humans, can have allergies to certain types of foods. It is important to know this information if you don’t want your best friend to get sick. 

The Victor Select grain-free formula is made with premium fish-based protein sources and fortified with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids amino acids.

It has no corn, no wheat, no soy, is gluten-free, and is grain-free. It contains taurine for a healthy heart as well as other herbal extracts and vegetable oils.

Normally people think that plant or fish-based dog food won’t have a high amount of protein. But this dog food has 33%! So don’t worry that your dog won’t be meeting his protein requirements without poultry or red meat.

Pros
  • Grain-free for hypoallergenic dogs
  • Good for dogs with allergies to certain types of proteins
  • Taurine for heart health
  • Prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy digestive system
  • Can be fed to all dog breeds in all life stages
Cons
  • Fish meal is the primary ingredient
  • Not poultry free as it contains chicken fat

My recommendation: I will recommend this dog food for those dogs who are allergic to other types of poultry and grains. 

12: Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Special features: 27% proteins from chicken, lamb meal and fish meal, kibble design, glucosamine, and chondroitin, contains 3 types of rice, whole grain oatmeal, 4% fiber, 14% fat 

The Nutro Ultra-large breed dog food contains high amounts of carbohydrates and protein from 3 different sources. It is a nutritious blend for those dog owners who want to give their pups the best of everything!

This delicious recipe starts with chicken as the first ingredient and contains 15 superfoods like chia, kale, coconut, and blueberries. It provides a balanced diet for dogs that is nutrient-dense and full of flavor to make your pet’s mealtime an extraordinary one.

What I really liked about this brand is that they are very transparent with the ingredients. They clearly show which sources the different nutrients come from. Very few brands do that.

Overall, it is an inexpensive option for you if you are on a budget and want to give your pets something tasty.

Pros
  • No artificial preservatives, color, or flavors
  • Good sources of carbs, fiber, and protein
  • A blend of 15 nutritious foods
  • Very affordable
  • Low protein and fiber for dogs who need that
Cons
  • Contains fillers
  • High protein to carbs ratio for EPI dogs

My recommendation: If you are on a tighter budget, this dog food is your best option

Buying Guide: Things to Consider Before Buying Best Dog Food for EPI German Shepherd:

There are a few things you should consider before buying the best food for your EPI German shepherd dog. Some of the most important factors are mentioned below:

Quality of Food

Quality comes first. The food should be of high quality and easily digestible. It should contain animal protein (meat, egg, fish) because proteins derived from plant sources are not easy to digest for an EPI dog. The percentage amount of carbohydrates should be negligible in the food, also the fiber content.

Digestibility

The food should be easily digestible. The ingredients used in the food should not contain unnecessary by-products, chemicals, and starches. A good quality natural dog food will contain meat or fish as its primary ingredient with a minimum of 4% fiber. EPI German shepherd dogs need high-quality protein to maintain their muscle mass and a good level of fat to support their energy levels.

Calorie Count

EPI dogs need more calories than the average dog because they have a harder time digesting food. The food you choose should have a high-calorie count to make sure your dog is getting the nutrition that they needs. Look for foods that contain at least 350 calories per cup.

Taste

It’s important to remember that all dogs are different and not every food is going to work for every dog. Even if you choose high-quality, highly nutritious EPI dog food that your dog needs, it may not be something he enjoys eating. Ask friends and family members with German shepherd dogs what they feed their dogs and see if you can find a food that your dog likes.

These are some of the most important things to consider when choosing the best food for your EPI German shepherd dog.

(FAQs) About Best dog food for Epi German Shepherd

What should I feed my dog with pancreatic insufficiency?

Dogs with pancreatic insufficiency should be immediately started on replacement pancreatic enzymes and vitamin B12, according to vets. Their diet should be highly digestible and shouldn’t contain a lot of fiber. Vets also recommend adding some amount of fat like coconut oil and omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil in their diet.

Is Epi common in German shepherds?

According to the Universities Federation of Animal Welfare,  German Shepherd dogs comprise two-thirds of cases of EPI due to pancreatic acinar atrophy (Hall et al 2003) According to research, signs, and symptoms of EPI such as hunger, weight loss, and diarrhea, are typically shown by a German Shepherd of fewer than 5 years of age, 

Is Sweet Potato good for dogs with pancreatitis?

Soft, easily digestible foods are a good option for dogs with pancreatitis. Cooked rice and potatoes are generally the first options as they are rich in starch and soothe the digestive tract, but make sure the skins of potatoes are peeled.

What foods should you avoid with EPI?

If you have a dog with EPI, it is advised to avoid foods rich in fiber and fats. Also, avoid highly processed food and those that contain plant-based protein.

Is Pancreatic Insufficiency curable?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for EPI. It is characterized by an inability to digest certain nutrients. Treatment includes watching your diet and taking your enzymatic supplements.

Can you gain weight with EPI?

When you have EPI, your body is not breaking down foods into smaller forms that your digestive system can use. So even if you are eating a normal amount of food, EPI can lead to weight loss, not weight gain.

Conclusion

While buying the best dog food for EPI German Shepherd, you will need to keep a few things in mind such as how old it is, how much it weighs, does it need more protein, fats, carbs, or fiber in its diet according to the vet, is it allergic to any foods, etc.

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