What To Consider When Looking At Food For Large Breed Dogs
Numerous large breed puppy diets are available today, but not all are created equal. Putting a dog-friendly label on a bag does not always make it a good choice for your pet.
Before purchasing food, there are various factors to consider, including:
Another Option for Large Breed Puppies With Customization
If youre not a fan of store-bought kibble, you may always attempt a customized diet plan for your growing dog. These services customize your dogs food by taking his size, age, weight, and overall health.
The top customizable dog food brands include:
Additives To Look For In Dog Food
Large breed dogs are known for being prone to certain health problems. For instance, hip dysplasia mainly affects large breeds. These dogs are heavy, so their joints tend to wear down quickly.
Therefore, we recommend looking for a food that contains additives to help combat this problem, like:
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin. These ingredients are often used together to treat arthritis in dogs. Even if your dog doesnt have arthritis, these additives can help prevent it and can support your dogs overall joint health. Most large breed foods include them for this reason.
- Omega fatty acids. These fatty acids are extremely vital for a dogs health, though they arent counted as essential. Most foods on the market have added omega fatty acids, which can help your dogs joints, skin, and coat. They may even prevent aggressive
- Antioxidants are essential for preventing oxidative stress, which can lead to a variety of different health problems. Dogs will accumulate this damage throughout their life, so fixing it is a life-long struggle.
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How Large Is A Large Breed Puppy
First thing first, you actually need to understand the term large breed to begin with.
Large breed is basically any breed that can grow more than 50 pounds and taller than 24 inches. Now, I know that is for a grown-up dog. For puppies, the numbers actually vary from breed to breed. Many large breed puppies dont even look bigger than any other breed but they will grow faster.
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When Should I Switch My Puppy To Adult Food
Keep in mind
Adult dog food can contain excessive amounts of calcium which can make it unsafe for a puppy thats still growing.
So its important NOT to switch your puppy to adult food too soon.
With that in mind
The best time to switch your puppy to adult food depends on her breed type.
|18 24 months|
Keep in mind
Its much safer to keep your dog on puppy food too long than to switch to an adult food too soon.
Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Dry Food
First off, Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Dry Food gives pups a significant amount of protein, with the first two ingredients being deboned chicken and chicken meal.
The third to 5th ingredients are wholesome whole grains that provide high energy from complex carbohydrates that are easy to digest.
These are far better than corn and most other sources of carbs found in cheaper foods that are hard for a puppy to get any nutrition from.
Out of everything in this product, 40 percent of it is protein, which is higher than average. About 14 percent of it is fat, and of the remainder, 38 percent is carbs.
The flax-seed in this product is rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and fiber, both of which are important to your pups health including his digestion. And the omega oils may help reduce risk of developing arthritis.
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American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain
Protein 32%, Fat 14%, Fiber 5%, Moisture 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Peas, 5. Sweet Potatoes
If you prefer a grain-free meal for your growing pup, the American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is your best pick. Crafted with deboned salmon as its first ingredient, the kibble is composed of high-quality protein sources to support growth and active muscles.
The variety of fruits and veggies is rich in minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins and supports cognitive development and healthy immunity.
The Best Dog Food According To Experts And Veterinarians
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Dogs provide humans with unconditional love and emotional support, which pet owners might be especially thankful for during the stressful times we are living through. Feeding your dog a nutritious diet is just one way to show them how much you care, in addition to providing them with the right dog bed, toys to play with and the occasional dog treat. Simply put, dogs deserve to eat well in fact, appropriate food is fourth in the American Veterinary Medical Associations Guidelines for Responsible Pet Ownership.
SKIP AHEAD How to shop for dog food
Aiming for the best food for dogs gives them distinct health advantages, too, said Jennifer Freeman, DVM, resident veterinarian and pet care expert at PetSmart. Premium dog food will include meat for protein, vitamin-packed vegetables and fruit, and omega fatty acids for a shiny coat, Freeman said, adding its also likely to have fewer fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy.
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What Should Consumers Look For In Large Breed Dog Food
I recommend feeding a large breed puppy diet from a reputable manufacturer, ideally that has undergone feeding trials, and one that is approved by AAFCO, says Fulcher.
What dog food you choose is importantbut so is how much you feed to your dog. Offer it in controlled amounts to ensure a slow rate of weight gain and a lean body condition score, says Fulcher. For large breed dogs, puppy food is to be fed at least until adult body weight is reached at approximately 18 months of age.
How Often Should I Feed My Large Breed Puppy
Once youve determined how much to feed your puppy per day
Simply divide that daily feeding amount into 3 or 4 smaller servings.
Then feed those smaller portions to your puppy at regular intervals throughout the day.
To make it easy
Try feeding your puppy whenever YOU eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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Purina Pro Plan Adult Dog Food
Adult Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice is one of 19 dry recipes included in our review of the Purina Pro Plan product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, rice, whole grain wheat, poultry by-product meal, soybean meal
- AAFCO: All Life Stages
- Options:See all available recipes
Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend combines a hard kibble with tender, pieces of real, shredded chicken for enhanced flavor and texture.
A classic, grain-inclusive kibble that derives the majority of its animal protein from fresh chicken and poultry by-product meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 18% fat and 44% estimated carbs delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.
|Live probiotics to support healthy digestion|
|Omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat|
|Highly digestible recipe for optimal nutrient delivery|
|No artificial colors or flavors|
This Purina Pro recipe is recommended by 96% of actual buyers on Chewy.com and is a top pick for large breed adult dogs.
- Options:See all available recipes
Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed recipe is a high-protein formula with sweet potatoes, peas, apples and blueberries. These fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants to help fight disease resistance while the significant protein is included to help larger breed dogs retain lean muscles.
|Grain-free. No corn, wheat or soy|
|60% protein and healthy fats|
|No by-product meals|
- Options:See all available recipes
- Options:See all available recipes
The Nutritional Needs Of Large Breed Dogs
No two dogs are exactly alike but, for the most part, all dogs have similar nutritional requirements. All dogs need a healthy balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrate in their diet as well as certain vitamins and minerals.
Protein is the most important nutritional consideration for all dogs, especially for large-breed dogs, because it helps puppies to grow strong muscles and healthy tissues. As adults, protein helps dogs to maintain their lean muscle mass which reduces the risk for obesity.
As a puppy, your large-breed dog needs a minimum of 22% protein in his diet but, as an adult, he only needs a minimum of 18%. It never hurts to throw in a little extra, however. Most of the protein in your dogs diet should come from high-quality, animal-based sources to ensure that it offers optimal bio-availability for your dog. Plant proteins are not necessarily harmful, but your dog cant digest or utilize them as well.
The second most important nutrient for dogs is fat because fat provides a concentrated source of energy for your dog. While protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories of energy per gram, fat contains 9 calories per gram.
This means that the higher the fat content of your dogs food, the higher the calorie content. Large-breed dogs do need a minimum of 8% fat in their diet as puppies and 5% as adult dogs, but that fat needs to come from healthy sources.
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Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food
Image courtesy Eagle Pack
Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food is a wonderful food for big dogs. It’s made with real chicken, which is a high-quality protein source. Sweet potatoes are also included in this food, which provide carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
The first component in this diet is chicken, which gives your dog high-quality protein. This is a necessary component of your large dog’s diet to guarantee that they are getting all of their required nutrients.
Large Breed Puppy Nutrient Needs
As we have already said, there is not a one size fits all approach to puppy nutrition. Not only do you need to think about their individual needs, such as sensitive stomachs, ingredient allergies or intolerances, and believe it or not, likes and dislikes, but you also have to think about their breed and the size that they are expected to be.
Small breeds need much smaller pieces thats nutrient-packed, while Large breeds like the Great Pyrenees often need a food with a higher protein content considering their larger muscle mass and higher energy needs. Large breed foods also have optimized fat, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels, because these ingredients control the speed at which his large bones grow.
If his bones grow too fast, then he will be at a much higher risk of suffering Hip Dysplasia and other developmental bone disorders. Therefore, it is important to feed your large pup nutrition that is specifically designed for his size, and most generic puppy food packaging will state that it is not suited to large breed puppies for this reason.
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Controlling Size Through Diet
Like it or not, a proper and balanced large breed puppy diet is one that will keep their growth in control. If those pups grow too fast, they often fall victim to several health issues.
So, this guide is all about how to keep control over their size without suppressing their appetite.
What you need to understand is how your puppys food actually affects growth. Roughly, half the calories consumed by pups are used up in muscle and skeletal development. However, that is only when the calories are coming from healthier sources such as protein. Calories that come from fat do not impact skeletal development. This means your puppy will grow in size but the bones wont be strong enough to support the weight.
If you feel your pup is gaining too much weight, too fast, you need to take it to the vet to get a BCS check. Body Condition Score BCS is like BMI for dogs. Your vet will be able to give you an accurate number and tell you whether your pup needs to lose or gain some pounds.
Recommended Serving Amounts For Homemade Dog Food
As a general rule, dogs will eat around 2 to 3 percent of their ideal body weight in fresh food daily. Larger breeds may need as little as 1 1/2 percent, and smaller breeds may need as much as 4 percent.
This works out to be approximately:
- 2 pounds of food per day for a 100-pound dog
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of food per day for a 50-pound dog
- 1/2 to 3/4 pound of food per day for a 25-pound dog
- 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of food per day for a 10-pound dog
There is much variation in what the ideal amount should be as it depends on how much your dog weighs and how active she is.
I feel that the best approach is to feed and watch if your dog is losing weight, give more, and if your dog is gaining weight, give less.
For our pugs, we feed a scoop each in the morning and a scoop each in the evening, plus all their supplements.
We have an easy system for this: homemade food is refrigerated in a sealed container with a measuring cup , and all the supplements are lined up together in a cupboard in the kitchen. Keeping your ingredients organized and accessible will make feeding time fast and smooth.
Compared to feeding commercial food, where you might scoop out kibbles or open up a can, feeding homemade food with all the supplements takes maybe 10 seconds more. And even if it took 10 minutes more, fresh wholesome food for our furbabies is worth it.
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Instinct Original Grain Free Wet Puppy Food
Instinct Grain Free Real Chicken Recipe for Puppies is one of 6 wet recipes included in our review of the Instinct Original product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, beef liver, salmon, carrots
- Type: Grain-free
- Best for:Small and medium breed puppies
This specific Instinct Original recipe derives the bulk of its meat protein from chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 46% protein, 27% fat and 19% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.
An excellent formula by an established company.
Sample buyer reviewI feed my 5 months old Shih Tzu 8 times from one can. I use it as a topper on dry food. He loves it!
Pdp: Accordion: Detail: Block423 Ingredients
INGREDIENTS: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Fish Oil , Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Brewers Yeast, Dried Egg Product, Carrot, Potassium Chloride, Caramel Color, Vitamins , Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement , Pyridoxine Hydrochloride , Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals Choline Chloride, Chicken Fat , L-Lysine, Fructooligosaccharides, Calcium Carbonate, Mixed Tocopherols , Rosemary Extract
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Can A Large Breed Puppy Eat Regular Puppy Food
Unlike small-breed dogs, large-breed puppies have an innate ability to digest more calories. Because of this, food designed for large-breed puppies is usually lower in fat and calories. However, the amount of fat and calories should be limited as excesses can contribute to overfeeding. Also, feeding large-breed dogs too much food can result in obesity, which is associated with conditions like hip dysplasia, long-boned bone problems, and inflammation of the cartilage. Large-breed dog food also contains a carefully balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.
Large-breed dogs can eat regular puppy food, but they also need special nutrition. Unlike regular puppy foods, large-breed dog food contains a balanced amount of nutrients, and it helps regulate the growth of your dog. The ingredients in large-breed puppy food are particularly important for their healthy growth and development. If you cant afford to purchase a large-breed dog food, consider buying a high-quality regular puppy food.
Best Inexpensive Dog Food For Large Breeds
We all want the best for our pets, but sometimes our budget just doesnt account for extravagance. The good news is that you can still find high-quality dog food at a reasonable price.
The word cheap can be associated with poor quality, but thats not always true. Sometimes the inexpensive option is the best one. Take a look at our top pick for the best inexpensive dog food for large breeds:
- Multi-protein formula: turkey and salmon
- Low glycerin carbs like oatmeal and barley
- Joint care protection from glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM
- Probiotics and other digestive aids improve nutrient absorption
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So What Is The Best Dog Food For Large Breed Puppies
Weve identified five of the top-rated dog foods, perfect for your large breed puppy. They are:
1. Diamond Natural Large Breed Puppy, Lamb and Rice
2. Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Formula
3. Wilderness by Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Food
4. Hills Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food
5. Iams Proactive Health, Large Breed Puppy Food
Holistic Select Large And Giant Breed Adult
Image courtesy Holistic Select
Bigger meals are required by bigger dogs . The larger pieces of Holistic Select Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Large & Giant Breed Adult Recipe are ideal for bigger mouths.
A unique combination of probiotics, dietary fiber, and digestive enzymes may benefit your dog’s gastrointestinal health. The tantalizing tastes are complemented with joint-strengthening components as well as other vitamins and minerals for a delectable, healthy meal that will keep your pet occupied all day long.
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