10 of the Best Dog Food for German Shorthaired Pointers in 2021

Edited by: Mike Powell
Reviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall for German Shorthaired Pointers: Orijen Grain Free Dry Dog Food
“This is a biologically appropriate food that provides your German Shorthaired Pointer a well-rounded meal packed with nutrients that meet his daily requirements. It’s loaded with probiotics that’s gentle on your dog’s sensitive stomach.”

Best Value for the Money: Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dry Dog Food
“The Extreme Athlete formula is an affordable, high-quality dog food packed with superfoods and has an elevated fat count for active dogs like German Shorthaired Pointers.”

Best for Skin and Coat Health: Nulo Grain Free Dry Dog Food
“This dry dog food contains a perfect blend of omega fatty acids and probiotics that guarantees healthy skin & coat and promotes easy digestion.”

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GSPs were bred to hunt so they have high energy needs! They’re also prone to sensitive stomachs, joint problems, and bloat. Choosing the best dog food for German Shorthaired Pointers needs to cover them for all of these issues. 

Because they also tend to eat fast (which contributes to bloat) they also need a kibble that’s not too small. This is why we recommend choosing a large breed formula. 

What you choose to feed them could be the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy dog. Here are our top choices to keep your GSP strong and happy! 

Product name
Best for Skin & Coat Health
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Ranked #1
Ranked #2
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ORIJEN Dry Dog Food for All ages, Original, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
Nulo FS Adult Dog GF Turkey 6LB
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Our Rating 91/100
Our Rating 90/100
Our Rating 90/100
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Variety of flavors, to suit every taste and digestive system
Contains superfoods with vitamins and minerals
Multi-protein without chicken or beef
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Contains kelp to help prevent hypothyroidism
High in fat, perfect for active dogs
Good levels of Omega fatty acids
Best Overall
ranking
Ranked #1
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ORIJEN Dry Dog Food for All ages, Original, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
grade
Our Rating 91/100
feature 1
Variety of flavors, to suit every taste and digestive system
feature 2
Contains kelp to help prevent hypothyroidism
buy now button
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Best Value for Money
ranking
Ranked #2
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Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
grade
Our Rating 90/100
feature 1
Contains superfoods with vitamins and minerals
feature 2
High in fat, perfect for active dogs
buy now button
custom button
Best for Skin & Coat Health
ranking
Ranked #3
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Nulo FS Adult Dog GF Turkey 6LB
grade
Our Rating 90/100
feature 1
Multi-protein without chicken or beef
feature 2
Good levels of Omega fatty acids
buy now button
custom button
Sources researched
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Sources researched
Customer reviews
17,653
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
21
Hours spent testing
Products tested
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Products tested

Best Dog Food for German Shorthaired Pointers

Here are our top picks for the best dog foods for German Shorthaired Pointers:

  1. Best Overall for German Shorthaired Pointers: ORIJEN Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  2. Best Value for Money: Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dry Dog Food
  3. Best for Skin & Coat Health: Nulo Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  4. Best Limited Ingredient: Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
  5. Best With Chicken: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog Food
  6. Best High-Energy: Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties
  7. Best for Hypothyroidism: Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  8. Best Kibble Topper: Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dog Food Toppers
  9. Best for Seniors: Blue Buffalo Senior Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  10. Best for German Shorthaired Pointer Puppies: Acana Dry Puppy Food

1. ORIJEN Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best Overall for German Shorthaired Pointers: Biologically-appropriate food for high-energy dogs 

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food for All ages, Original, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
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Key Features

  • Variety of flavors, to suit every taste and digestive system 
  • Contains kelp to help prevent hypothyroidism 
  • Added joint supplements & probiotics 
  • Suitable for all life stages

Our first choice dog food for German Shorthaired Pointers is Orijen’s range of recipes. They contain everything a GSP puppy, adult, or senior needs. 

You can avoid proteins your German Shorthaired Pointer may be sensitive to while still having a few flavors to choose and switch from because it comes in three delicious recipes.

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Fresh and Raw Animal & Plant Ingredients 

The 38% protein content in these recipes come from a combination of muscle meat, various organ meat, and cartilage and bone. This mixture offers a full amino acid profile, so your German shorthaired Pointer will be getting the best dog food nutrition possible. 

The addition of DHA and EPA makes this dog food suitable not only for adults, but for puppies and seniors too. The calcium and phosphorus ratio is at optimum level giving your dog just the right amount of support for bone development. 

The glucosamine and chondroitin in this food give your dog’s joints a boost. It also has higher than average Omega acid levels giving your dog’s coat a shine. The added probiotics aid in digestion, although the ingredients are easy to digest as it is. 

2. Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dry Dog Food

Best Value for Money: Packed with everything a highly active dog needs 

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
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Key Features

  • Very affordable dog food 
  • High in fat, perfect for active dogs 
  • Contains superfoods with vitamins and minerals 
  • Joint supplements and probiotics 

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete formula is made for energetic dogs who get plenty of exercise. If your German Shorthaired Pointer fits that description, this dog food would give them some of the best nutrition available. 

It’s unusually high in fat, which is ideal for active dogs who can burn it off. Glucosamine and chondroitin keep your Pointer’s joints strong, and high Omega counts offer a range of benefits, including a healthy skin and coat.

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Complete and Balanced Dog Food 

This dog food may be lower in price than many, but it’s on-par with products in a higher price range in terms of quality. It’s perfect for highly active German Shorthaired Pointers, with 32% protein and a whopping 25% fat, which should see them through a hunt or just a very active day. 

The superfood ingredients add vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants, to boost the immune system. You’ll also find high levels of Omegas, glucosamine and chondroitin, and a proprietary probiotic blend. 

As a bonus, it contains dried kelp to help prevent (or treat symptoms of) hypothyroidism.

3. Nulo Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best for Skin & Coat Health: Best for GSPs who need a boost in their skin and coat health

Nulo FS Adult Dog GF Turkey 6LB
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Key Features

  • Multi-protein without chicken or beef 
  • Added probiotics for digestive health 
  • Good levels of Omega fatty acids 
  • High calorie count for active dogs 

We recommend Nulo Freestyle for GSPs who don’t need added glucosamine. It comes in three flavors, all of which avoid common protein allergens (chicken and beef). They all contain multiple proteins which make up an excellent protein count for active dogs like GSPs. 

They’re also all grain-free recipes, so German Shorthaired Pointers with sensitive stomachs should be okay with them too. 

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High-Quality Nutrition 

Joint support is important, but if your dog is already taking separate supplements, choosing a food without glucosamine is acceptable. 

This grain-free dry dog food offering from Nulo contains everything your dog may need, minus the joint support. The protein counts range from 30 to 33%, and come from high-quality animal protein sources. 

16 to 18% fat is a good number for German Shorthaired Pointers. It’s worth noting that the fat comes from chicken fat, but dogs with chicken allergies can still eat this food. The allergy is only brought on by the meat. 

With good Omegas and added probiotics, your GSP should thrive on this kibble. 

4. Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Best Limited Ingredient: Highly nutritious and ideal for dogs with food allergies 

Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Grain Free, High Protein, Lamb & Apple, 25lb
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Key Features

  • Various flavors available for picky eaters or sensitive stomachs 
  • Suitable for dogs of all life stages 
  • Good fat count for GSPs who are energetic 
  • Probiotics for digestive health 

German Shorthaired Pointers are known to have sensitive stomachs. If you’re looking for a dog food that will provide your pup everything he needs without aggravating his stomach, a limited ingredient food like this one would be best. 

It gets a big thumbs up for the variety of flavors, which makes it easy for your dog to avoid specific ingredients that may be problematic.

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Comprehensive Nutrition for All Life Stages 

With five unique flavors, even if your dog is sensitive to certain proteins, he won’t be short on choice here. This dog food is perfect for picky eaters

Each recipe has a single source protein, followed by an array of health fruits and vegetables. You won’t need to worry about any hidden proteins, by-products, or artificial ingredients. Probiotics are also added. 

With high counts of protein and fat (31% and 17%), joint supplements, and DHA and EPA, this kibble would be perfectly suited to puppies, adults, and senior German Shorthaired Pointers. 

5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog Food

Best With Chicken: Perfect nutrients to support GSPs who can handle chicken 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Salmon 24-lb
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Key Features

  • Three different flavors available 
  • Contains vitamin and mineral-filled LifeSource Bits 
  • Well-balanced Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids 
  • Grain-free to ease sensitive stomachs

If your German Shorthaired Pointer isn’t sensitive to chicken, then this Blue Buffalo recipe range would work well for your pup. It comes in three different flavors: chicken, duck, and salmon. 

All recipes contain chicken meal, so it wouldn’t be suitable for dogs who can’t handle chicken. They also all have the same protein and fat counts, so you can cycle between them without your dog losing out on anything.

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Nature’s Evolutionary Diet 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness is based on what your dog’s ancestors would’ve eaten in the wild. It’s packed with protein (34%), high in fat (15%), and contains some vegetables, fruits, and herbs that promote health. 

Glucosamine is also present on the list, so your dog’s joints will be well supported. L-carnitine doesn’t appear on the guaranteed analysis list, but you’ll find it in the ingredient list. This is a great supplement for supporting metabolism. 

The cherry on top is the addition of LifeSource Bits. These cold-formed chunks contain a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and are sprinkled throughout the normal kibble.

6. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties

Best High-Energy: Calorie and fat-dense raw food patties provide easy-access energy 

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Venison Blend Dinner Patties Dog Food, 5.5 oz. Bag
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Key Features

  • High protein and fat, best for hunting dogs or very active dogs 
  • Various flavors available for picky eaters 
  • Probiotics for easy digestion 
  • Organic vegetables and fruits including kelp

Hunting dogs need more energy than the average stay-at-home hound. If your dog hunts with you, we recommend this raw dog food. It’s unusually high in both protein and fat, and comes in many flavors so even the fussiest of German Shorthaired Pointers will find something they like.

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Freeze-Dried Raw Meat 

Freeze-drying this dog food helps to preserve it without the use of artificial preservatives. You can feed these patties to your dog as they are, or rehydrate them with a bit of water, which is a good idea to increase water intake too. 

With 11 different proteins, your German Shorthaired Pointer won’t have trouble finding something they like the taste of that also suits their stomach. There are even 2 puppy recipes, with DHA. 

Every flavor is unusually high in protein (35% to 45%), and fat (30% to 40%). The downside is that there are no added supplements, like glucosamine. You’ll need to add these to your dog’s diet separately.

7. Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best for Hypothyroidism: High-quality ingredient list and supplements boost the immune system 

Merrick 38573 Grain Free Dry Dog Food Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe - 22 Lb Bag
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Key Features

  • Range of grain-free flavors 
  • Easy to avoid problem proteins 
  • Higher than average fatty acids 
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint protection

One of the health conditions common in German Shorthaired Pointers is hypothyroidism, or low thyroid gland function. If your Pointer’s vet has diagnosed them with the condition, we recommend choosing this dry dog food

Hypothyroidism can’t be cured by diet, feeding your German Shorthaired Pointer the right dog food can alleviate symptoms and improve their quality of life. This grain-free dog food should provide for their energy needs and prevent symptoms. 

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High-Quality, Balanced Nutrition 

There are 10 flavors in this “real meat plus sweet potato” grain-free recipe range. Some avoid beef completely, which is a good idea for German Shorthaired Pointers with hypothyroidism. Some contain chicken meal, and others avoid both beef and chicken, so there’s something for every Pointer here. Be sure to double-check the ingredients before buying. 

The protein counts vary between 30% and 38%, and the fat counts are all in the late teens. The levels of fatty acids and glucosamine also differ across the recipes. If your German Shorthaired Pointer has a hardy stomach, you can choose a recipe to cater to their joint or skin and coat needs while still hitting all their nutrient counts.

8. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dog Food Toppers

Best Kibble Topper: Add to your GSPs kibble for a calorie and joint supplement boost 

Stella & Chewy's Stella's Solutions Hip & Joint Boost Cage-Free Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food, 13 oz
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Key Features

  • Various health-boosting recipes 
  • High in protein and fat 
  • Minimally processed 
  • All-natural, raw ingredients

If your German Shorthaired Pointer isn’t getting quite enough calories, we recommend adding a kibble topper to whatever dry dog food they’re currently eating. This is our top pick. 

It’s nutritious, raw, freeze-dried meat packed with amino acids and high in protein, fats, and calories. Although we recommend the Hip and Joint Boost for German Shorthaired Pointers, you can choose from various others depending on what they need.

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Supplemental Kibble Topper 

Adding this to your dog’s diet won’t just increase his daily calorie intake. Depending on which recipe you choose, it could also add extra joint support, improve the immune system, support a healthy heart, nourish the skin and coat, or aid in digestion. 

Each one contains different supplements, specifically for its intended purpose. They’re all single-source protein and vegetables (including kelp for a thyroid boost), so even German Shorthaired Pointers with iffy digestive systems should be okay. 

You can rehydrate these before serving them, and they can be used as a full meal if you prefer.

9. Blue Buffalo Senior Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best for Seniors: Contains a full range of supplements to help seniors age well 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe High Protein, Natural Senior Dry Dog Food, Red Meat 4-lb
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Key Features

  • Grain-free for easy digestion 
  • Contains a variety of healthy supplements 
  • Sweet potatoes provide sustained energy 
  • Added LifeSource Bits

As your German Shorthaired Pointer gets older, their nutritional needs change slightly. If they’re still energetic and spritely, then they still need a diet with decent protein and fat count. 

This dry dog food from Blue Buffalo may be slightly low in fat for very active dogs, but that can be remedied by feeding them a few high-fat treats in between meals. 
Be aware that we recommend this for large breed seniors who are still healthy and fairly active. Senior dogs who struggle to chew kibble may prefer The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken or Grain-Free, Human-Grade Dehydrated Dog Food.

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Comprehensive Senior Dog Food 

These grain-free recipe options have 30% protein content, which is great for maintaining muscle mass as your dog ages. 12% fat may not be quite enough for seniors who are still very bouncy, but it will be perfect for those who are slowing down a bit. 

This dog food also has added DHA, which is often found in puppy food and helps to keep senior’s eyes sharp and minds agile. 

There’s also a good amount of L-carnitine for regulating metabolism, and glucosamine. Seniors who aren’t allergic to anything can try the chicken flavor too.

10. Acana Dry Puppy Food

Best for German Shorthaired Pointer Puppies: Everything a highly energetic puppy needs to grow and develop healthily 

Acana Dry Dog Food for Puppy, Grain Free, Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Cage-Free Eggs, 25lb
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Key Features

  • Contains DHA and EPA 
  • Probiotics for promoting healthy digestion 
  • Perfect calcium and phosphorus ratio 
  • Added joint supplements

German Shorthaired Pointer puppies need puppy formula food, which is exactly what this is. It contains everything a growing pup would need to stay healthy and strong as they develop. 

German Shorthaired Pointers’ stomach sensitivity doesn’t manifest in their early years but they can develop over time, so the chicken in this dog food shouldn’t be an issue.

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High-Quality Raw Nutrition 

Along with a variety of protein muscle meat sources, this puppy formula contains liver, heart, gizzard, and cartilage. This brings a well-rounded amino acid punch that you can’t just get out of muscle meat. 

High Omegas, a good calcium and phosphorus ratio, joint supplements, and DHA and EPA make this a good choice for puppies. 

If you’re unhappy with the thought of your dog eating organ meat, you can try American Journey chicken sweet potato flavor or salmon sweet potato flavor (although both contain chicken meal), and the fat count is quite a bit less than the Acana.


Best Dog Food for German Shorthaired Pointers Buyer’s Guide 

When trying to choose the best dog food for your German Shorthaired Pointer, it’s a good idea to go with a large breed dog food. This goes for both a puppy formula and a large breed adult recipe. 

Apart from the large breed formula, the best dog foods for German Shorthaired Pointers should tick the following boxes. 

Ingredients to Look For 

Some extra thought is needed when it comes to the ingredients in dog foods for German Shorthaired Pointers. Because of their susceptibility to stomach troubles, a grain-free dog food is thought to be best, and it should contain the following ingredients. 

Animal Protein 

Animal protein is essential. It’s packed with amino acids, unlike plant protein. Chicken, chicken meal, lamb, beef, and beef meal may be problematic for some German Shorthaired Pointers. Salmon is always a good choice, but you’ll need to figure out what your dog likes and dislikes. 

Fruits and Vegetables 

Fruits and veggies add an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to a dog food. They also improve the taste, naturally, eliminating the need for artificial flavors. 

Things like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and other squashes provide long-term energy for high-energy dogs like German Shorthaired Pointers. White potato could work for some, but it’s another common allergen. 

Probiotics 

Probiotics are live healthy bacteria that live in your dog’s gut. They’re essential for good digestion, and adding extra to the diet can help dogs like German Shorthaired Pointers who struggle with stomach issues. If you can find a food with probiotics and prebiotics, even better. 

Joint Supplements 

Dog foods for German Shorthaired Pointers should contain joint supplements, unless you’re already feeding your dog separate glucosamine supplements. Make sure it contains either glucosamine alone, or with chondroitin is essential for joint support in a large breed puppy, adult, and senior. 

Ingredients to Avoid 

In the same vein as above, the best dog foods for German Shorthaired Pointers should avoid certain ingredients if you want your dog to stay happy and healthy. 

Protein Allergens 

If your dog shows reluctance to eat, has to poop immediately after eating, or has diarrhea, it’s a sign of a food allergy or intolerance. Pay careful attention to find out which proteins your dog shows signs of being allergic to,  and avoid those. Chicken (including chicken meal), beef, and lamb are common allergens. 

By-Products 

Meat by-products are the “leftovers” once the good muscle and organ meat has been used in the best dog food. It can contain things like beaks, hooves, and bone. Some of it is decent quality, like bone or cartilage. 

The problem with seeing “by-products” on an ingredient list is that you’re never sure if you’re getting  “good” by-products or “bad” ones. For sensitive dogs like a German Shorthaired Pointer, you can’t take the chance. 

Grains Containing Gluten 

Stay away from corn, wheat, soy, and other “cereals” that contain gluten. A grain-free dry dog food is a good choice if you want to eliminate any possibility of allergies, but you can go for gluten-free grains. As long as you avoid corn, wheat, and soy, your dog should be okay with oats, brown rice, sorghum, millet, or quinoa. 

Artificial Colors, Flavors, and Preservatives 

Along with corn wheat, and soy, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives should be avoided at all costs. These have no nutritional value, and can contribute to allergies and poor gut health. Try to choose a grain-free dry dog food that is naturally flavored, colored, and preserved. 

Daily Calorie Requirements

Your German Shorthaired Pointer’s activity levels will determine his ideal calories per day. If your dog is an average 60 pounds, a home pup who’s fairly energetic and gets daily exercise, he should eat around 1500 calories per day. 

However, German Shorthaired Pointers who hunt regularly or do other high-energy performance work could need up to 3300 calories to sustain their energy levels in a day! 

You’ll need to work out your own German Shorthaired Pointer’s calorie intake. From there, you can work out how many cups of dog food to feed him or her, based on the amount of calories in the dog food. 


Questions & Answers

How much exercise do German Shorthaired Pointers need? 

Your German Shorthaired Pointer will need at least an hour (if not two) of exercise daily. This could be a run, some daily training, or even a swim, as these athletic pups love to be in the water

How much should I feed my German Shorthaired Pointer?

This depends on your specific German Shorthaired Pointer’s calorie count. Once you’ve figured out how much they need, it’s a simple matter of doing some math to find out how many cups of their current dog food they need to eat in a day, and splitting that between meals. 

How can I fatten up my German Shorthaired Pointer?

Choose a dog food with a higher fat count than the one you’re using now. If simply changing dog food doesn’t work, you may need to add a few high-fat treats in between meals, or recalculate your dog’s daily calorie intake. 

Which health problems are common in German Shorthaired Pointers? 

German Shorthaired Pointer dogs are prone to a few specific conditions. 

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland produces too little of the necessary hormones. It can lead to appetite loss, unexplained weight gain, hair loss, and lethargy. 

Joint dysplasia affects large breed dog types like German Shorthaired Pointers often. The hip, kne, and elbow joints dislocate, and it’s essential to get a vet to fix this and not put the joint back into place yourself. 

Von Willebrand’s Disease is a serious disorder that can cause uncontrolled and unstoppable bleeding or severe bruising. 
Gastric torsion is another dangerous condition in which the stomach becomes filled with gas and expands, cutting off the blood supply to other organs.

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.