Are you looking for the best healthy treats for German Shepherds that don’t pack on calories or fill them with artificial ingredients?
Do you want inexpensive nutritious snacks that won’t cost you a fortune?
Then you’re at the right spot to learn about the best healthy options that won’t break your bank.
I’ll tell you exactly what I feed my own GSD to keep her active, healthy and alert—and many of these items are in your pantry already!
Carrots are high in beta-carotene (vitamin A) which helps with eyesight and can liven up a Shepherd’s red and gold coloring in their coats. If your dog is showing dull color, then provide a few carrots as a healthy snack option for your German Shepherd.
Carrots are also an excellent low-calorie snack high in fiber. Plus, chewing on this orange veggie is great for your dog’s dental health as the tough pieces help remove tartar from their teeth.
You can give carrots raw or steamed. Steaming them helps to make their nutrients more bioavailable to your dog.
Another crunchy option is apples. Apples have both vitamins A and C, and fiber to encourage better digestion.
Slice and core the apples before offering them to your dog. Leave the peels on for the fiber benefit, but remove the seeds as those aren’t safe.
Both red and green apples are OK for your GSD.
Bananas are high in potassium, biotin, vitamins,
fiber, and copper. They are also low in cholesterol and sodium.
Unfortunately, they have high sugar content. So, don’t use bananas too often as a treat. Considering serving frozen slices to your dog on a hot, summer day.
An adult can enjoy up to half a banana a day. Try starting out with only a few slices for a puppy.
Another fruit high in sugar is the strawberry. Also
containing plenty of vitamin C and an enzyme that helps whiten teeth,
strawberries are safe for your GSD.
Serve strawberries fresh or frozen and be sure to
remove the green leafy part at the top when serving fresh.
Fresh or plain canned pumpkin (no spices added) is a
healthy treat for a German Shepherd. Pumpkin is packed full of nutrients, like beta-carotene,
zinc, iron, vitamin A, and potassium.
Since fiber provides a feeling of fullness, adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet may help accomplish weight loss by reducing daily caloric intake.
I suggest working up from 1 tablespoon per day to 2 tablespoons per day for an adult German Shepherd. Choose organic pureed pumpkin when possible and also choose canned pumpkin without seasoning or spices.
An easier option is to give your dog pumpkin treats, like these delicious and healthy pumpkin-apply dog treats.
Raspberries are good for dogs in small portions. They contain antioxidants great for dogs and are low in sugar and calories.
They’re also high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Raspberries are particularly beneficial for senior dogs because of their anti-inflammatory properties—these anti-inflammatory elements can help take pain and pressure from joints.
Beware, they contain slight amounts of the toxin Xylitol, so don’t let your dog eat an unlimited amount.
Give your dog up to one cup daily for health benefits.
7. Green Mussels
Green mussels provide an exceptional amount of health
benefits for your GSD. They are a delicious, natural source of
Omega-3 fatty acids which helps improve skin and coat health and assists with
They are a great source of unprocessed protein, fat, and nutrients that are clinically shown to decrease joint pain and mobility issues by a scientific study. This study stresses the importance of buying green mussels processed as naturally as possible.
Try a freeze-dried version of green-lipped mussels to maintain the most nutritional value. Use a sustainable dog snack like this healthy, natural version that dogs prefer.
Pineapple contains bromelain, which is an enzyme that aids in protein absorption. Giving your dog a few cubes of the pineapple is a healthy sweet treat.
Raw, fresh pineapple contains high amounts of vitamin C, along with thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. It’s also packed full of minerals, like manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium, iron, and lesser amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
This tropical fruit makes it a nutrient-dense snack with
nutrients that play an important role in your dog’s immune system and digestive
Peas are among the healthiest human snack for your German Shepherd! They’re a great source of vitamins, such as vitamins A, K, and B vitamins.
Bursting with minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, and
magnesium, they’re also rich in protein and fiber. Peas contain lutein, which
is an antioxidant good for skin, heart, and eye health.
But peas contain a naturally occurring chemical compound called purine, so don’t give them to your dog if they have kidney problems. Purines produce uric acid which needs filtering through the kidneys. It worsens kidney stones and other kidney conditions when too much uric acid is consumed.
Feed your dog fresh cooked or frozen, cooked peas. Avoid canned peas, which have too much sodium.
Be sure to cook the peas either by boiling or steaming, so they are easier for your GSD to digest.
10. Green Beans
Full of important vitamins and minerals—like protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K, green beans make the list of healthy snacks. They’re also full of fiber and are low in calories.
Serve green beans chopped, steamed, raw, or canned. Green beans are safe for dogs to eat if they are plain and unseasoned.
They’re also recommended by veterinarians as a healthier
treat option for owners looking for traditional dog biscuit options.
11. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil comprises at least 90% saturated fats, most of which are Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). Although you might think of fats as bad, MCTs are “good” fat and can provide several benefits.
These MCTs are a source of fuel and energy and have components that are antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. Fatty acids aid in lowering inflammation in joints and promote healthy growth and development.
They also affect skin and coat health. If you want the benefits of coconut oil in a low-fat healthier treat that also helps remove tarter and soothes the gums with essential oils, then choose this coconut-infused dental dog treat.
Have you seen all the tips here at German Shepherds, Dry Skin, and Coconut Oil (Safe, Natural Healing)?
Cucumbers are especially good for Shepherds, as they have
little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils. Cucumber can even boost energy
They’re full of vitamins K, C, and B1, and even have potassium,
copper, magnesium, and biotin. They’re a powerhouse of health!
Cucumbers only contain about 8 calories per one-half
cup of slices, whereas an average dog biscuit can have around 30-40 calories
for one serving.
Cut or slice the cucumber into small, bite-size pieces and never feed a dog a whole cucumber as this could get stuck in their throat.
Often recommended as a weight-loss treat, celery is very low in fat and cholesterol and is an excellent source of fiber. Celery also packs in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, and manganese.
Besides vitamins, this crunchy green snack contains the nutrients needed to promote a healthy heart and even fight cancer. As if that wasn’t enough, celery is also known to freshen doggy breath.
Cut whole, fresh celery into smaller pieces that your
German Shepherd can easily handle. Some dogs don’t like the leafy bits, but the
leaves are still safe for your dog to consume.
Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants, which prevent cell damage. Blueberries are low in calories and contain high amounts of vitamin C, fiber, and phytochemicals—which are naturally occurring healthy compounds found in plants.
Vitamin C and fiber are vital components of proper
canine nutrition. And phytochemicals are linked to several aspects of health
and are thought to decrease cancer rates.
Filled with antioxidants, research shows that blueberries can even decrease cholesterol. Let your dog try them fresh or frozen, but remember that blueberries stain so keep your dog in an area that’s easy to clean up after they eat this snack.
If you prefer to avoid stains, then feed an organic blueberry crunchy biscuit, which helps to keep their teeth clean and your carpets and floors pretty.
One of the best high protein treat options for your GSD is salmon. Salmon is high in B vitamins and studies have shown that B vitamins work together to maintain the ideal functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Don’t give raw salmon to your dog, as this could make them sick from bacteria found in undercooked fish. It’s best to serve salmon cooked and always remove the bones.
If this sounds like too much work, then check out this tasty option for freeze-dried, wild-caught salmon for convenience and an economical price that my dog enjoys.
Healthy Snacks for a Happy German Shepherd Dog
Once you know what the best healthy treats for German Shepherds are, you can begin incorporating them into your dog’s daily snacks.
As with any treat, try not to exceed 10 percent of your dog’s daily diet, and watch for any signs of stomach upset or allergic reactions.
Too many treats (over 10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake) add unnecessary calories and can nutritionally unbalance your dog’s usual diet. Don’t think just because a treat is natural that your dog can have unlimited amounts.
Incorporate these tasty snacks into training sessions or whenever you feel your dog is well-behaved and calm. Check with your vet if you have any concerns or special diet restrictions.
If you want to know the best way to keep your German Shepherd fit for their lifetime, then check out my post on exercising your German Shepherd for health and longevity. You’ll learn all about the best fitness routine to maintain your GSDs health.
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