Thursday, July 25, 2024

Best Puppy Large Breed Food

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Dog Food Review: From Large Breed Puppy. Does it make the cut?

This article was written by Arricca SanSone, a lifelong dog lover, who shares her home with two papillons who adore plush toys, snuggling, and barking at bunnies and delivery people. She researched the market based on an interview with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and criteria from the American Veterinary Medical Association, American College of Veterinary Nutrition, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, and the Pet Food Institute. She is a health and lifestyle writer for Prevention, Country Living, Veranda, House Beautiful, PureWow, and many others.

What To Look For In Large Breed Dog Food

Though all dogs have the same requirements for essential nutrients, large breeds have slightly different requirements for protein, fat, and calories. The best way to ensure that your dog gets the proper concentration of calories and nutrients in his diet is to choose a recipe formulated for large breed dogs.

Here are some general things to look for in a healthy food for large breed dogs:

  • All-natural ingredients. The quality of the ingredients in your dogs diet is directly related to the nutritional value, so look for a recipe made with natural, whole-food ingredients.
  • High in animal protein. Your dog needs a minimum of 18% protein in his diet, but more is recommended, especially for large breeds where lean mass is important. Look for a quality source of meat, poultry, or fish as the first ingredients.
  • Healthy fats. Fat provides a concentrated source of energy for your dog but you need to control the amount to prevent your dog from gaining weight look for 5% to 12% fat.
  • Nutrient-rich and nutritionally balanced. Synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements are typically needed to ensure complete and balanced nutrition for dogs.
  • Larger kibble size. To reduce your dogs risk for bloat, you need to keep him from eating too fast or eating too much at once larger kibbles can deliver balanced nutrition in a smaller portion.

Best Large Breed Dog Foods 2022

Every dog is different, and their nutrition is a big part of what keeps them healthy and happy. Big dogs have some extra special requirements to support their stature and weight and to help you find the right diet, check out our list of the best large breed dog foods. What is large breed dog food?

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Large Breed Dog Food With Grain

The myth that grains are bad has long been debunked. Sure, dogs dont need a lot of carbs, but some carbs are a beneficial part of their daily diet. When it comes to dog foods though, many popular options use either way too much grain or only use poor quality and nutritionally deficient grain sources.

Sticking to low glycemic, whole grains will provide much more nutrition while limiting the number of sugary carbohydrates that can affect your dogs metabolism.

  • Low glycemic whole grains provide helpful fibre to support digestion
  • Lifesource Bits are cold-pressed vitamins and minerals that offer maximum nutrients
  • L-carnitine helps to support metabolism and healthy weight in large breed dogs

About Solid Gold Natural Large Breed Puppy Food

The 7 Best Large Breed Dog Foods [ 2021 Reviews ]

The Wolf Cub Large Breed Puppy Food from Solid Gold combines a number of high-quality ingredientslike bison, oatmeal, and barleyto deliver the nutrition your growing puppy needs.

Plus, this dog food also comes in a large kibble size thats ideal for large breed puppies. If your dog is allergic to potatoes, this potato-free blend could be great for them.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Food

This dry food for puppies contains chicken as a main ingredient to promote healthy growth and strength.

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Is It Safe To Let My Puppy Eat Whenever She Wants

Free choice is a popular feeding method whereby the food remains in the bowl all day long so a puppy can eatwhenever she wants.

Sadly, many owners of large breed puppies mistakenly believe that this form of uncontrolled eating is the correct way to feed their pets.

But free choice feeding has been shown to cause a puppy to grow too fast and lead to lasting bone damage.

A 1995 study of Great Danes revealed a significant increase in the risk of developing hip dysplasia when the puppies were fed free choice.16

In another study, one group of Labrador Retriever puppies was fed throughout life a restricted calorie diet while a second was fed free choice.17

The restricted calorie group experienced a much lower risk of developing hip dysplasia later in life.

So, be sure to control the amount of food and the way you feed your puppy every day.

Our Favorite Puppy Food Is Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the bestproductslearn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

There are a lot of choices to make when it comes to taking care of a new puppy, and one of the most important is selecting a food that fulfills your pets nutritional requirements. Puppies have specific needs, requiring a blend of protein, fat, and calcium to encourage immune system strength, uniform skeletal development, and optimal growth.

Puppy food, as compared to adult maintenance food, is more nutrient-dense, to complement a puppys higher nutrient requirements as they grow, Megan Shepherd, DVM, PhD, DACVIM , a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at Veterinary Clinical Nutrition, told The Spruce Pets.

We found the best puppy foods with guidance from Shepherd and other veterinary sources, including dry, wet, and snack options, plus food specific to large breeds. While it’s always advisable to check with your veterinarian before starting your puppy on a new diet , our recommendations provide complete nutrition for the first year of your puppy’s life.

These are the best puppy foods.

Read Also: What Human Food Can Dogs Not Eat

Importance Of Joint And Cartilage Support

As your puppy is rapidly growing, it needs to be fed with food that contains the right nutrient to support its developing cartilage and joints. This is important as they grow to be quite big and muscular and require strong joints to remain active and healthy.

Glucosamine helps puppies develop strong joints to support them and grow taller and gain more weight. Most quality large breed puppy foods will include glucosamine, a valuable part of your puppys nutrition.

Whats Different About Large Breed Dog Food

Top 5 Best Puppy Food For Large Breeds 2021

It really boils down to calories in relation to your dogs metabolism. Smaller breed dogs typically have a higher metabolic rate and actually burn more calories per pound, explains veterinarian Joel Beth Navratik, DVM, former CEO of MRVL Pet Pharmaceuticals. Large breed puppies need to be calorie-restricted to prevent rapid weight gain. This is especially important because studies show that if a large breed puppy gains too much weight in his first year of life, he will be much more prone to arthritis in his later years. For that reason, large breed dog food is usually crafted with fewer calories. It also tends to boast bigger pieces of kibble that help slow down a dogs eating speed.

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Is High Protein Bad For Large Breed Puppies

Large breed pups grow A LOT! Growing pups need more protein than adult dogs. On the flip side, too much protein can be detrimental to healthy growth and result in an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus which can negatively affect bone and joint development. Calcium is needed for strong bones, but is harmful in excess.

What To Look For In A Large

The best thing to do when you’re looking for puppy food is to make sure that the dog food label states formulated to meet Association of American Feed Control Officials dog food nutrient profiles, Dr. Claudine Sievert, a Kansas-based vet who works with, told The Dodo.

Dr. Sheen said that, rather than focusing on ingredients, you should find a puppy food brand that meets the guidelines established by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association , which cover quality control, caloric content, information on who makes the food and more.

If you want to do a quick scan of the nutrition facts on a large-breed food label, then look for nutrients including calcium, phosphorus, DHA and EPA for healthy brain and eye development, and fats, fiber and carbohydrates from veggies, fruits and grains.

Consulting your vet on their opinion of which nutrients, ingredients and formulas are best for your puppy and his unique needs is a great place to start on your search for the best food.

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Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy

About: Merricks Classic Healthy Grains Puppy Recipe is a formula made for baby barkers that need growth-conscious nutrition. Made with no by-products or mystery meats, this kibble includes clearly labeled ingredients that allow you to avoid hidden allergens.

Best Grain-Inclusive Option for Large-Breed Puppies

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How Much Should Large Breed Puppies Eat

10 Best Large Breed Puppy Foods  Requirements, Reviews &  FAQ

Like humans, when given free choice dogs dont always eat the right amount of food to maintain a healthy weight. Large dogs can be particularly susceptible to overeating and tend to wolf down whatever food is put in front of them. Because of this, its important as a dog owner for you to carefully monitor the amount of food youre giving your pup.

Because different pet foods have different energy densities, its impossible to give a generalised estimate of how many scoops of dry food or cans of wet food you need to be feeding your dog. Dog food companies are required to provide a feeding guide on the backs of their product that will let you know exactly how much you should be feeding your puppy. Make sure to read and follow this guideline. The lure of spoiling your pets by slipping them a little extra food can be tempting, but remember that large breed puppies can suffer serious developmental problems if theyre fed too much and start to grow faster than their joints can keep up with.

Read More Dog Food Reviews:Best Fresh Dog Food, NomNomNow vs Ollie or Best Tasting Dog Food

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How Much Food Should I Feed My Large Breed Puppy

Determining how much to feed your large breed puppy is a processNOT a one-time decision.

Since a large breed puppy consumes more food each day than a smaller breed

And because each dry food contains a different number of calories per cup

Its best to start with the recommended feeding amount printed on the package. Then, adjust that amount to keep your puppy at her ideal weight.

Is Human Food Good For Large Breed Puppies

Human food can be a welcome treat for large breed puppies.

Dont be afraid to supplement their food with small amounts of salt and sugar-free treats like ground beef, cooked chicken, brown rice, bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli.

Avoid giving them anything that has a lot of fat or chemicals and limit-rich treats.

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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.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Puppy

Best Dog Food for Small to Large Breeds with their USP. || Monkoodog

About: Blue Buffalos Homestyle Puppy Recipe is pate-style canned food that mixes well with your poochs kibble or can be eaten alone as a complete wet food diet. The protein-rich formula puts your puppys growth front and center, while included grains help keep his stomach full.

Best Canned Food for Large-Breed Puppies

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What To Look For In Your Large Breed Puppy Dog Food


Since protein is the building block for muscles, your large breed pup needs a lot of it. Top-quality dog food for large breed puppy should be more than 30 percent protein. An interesting thing about protein is that a puppy needs more protein than a grown-up dog. That is because they are in their growth phase and they need a hefty supply of building blocks. Look for proteins from animal meat instead of by-products.

Fatty Acids

Large breed pups need less fat because they are susceptible to obesity. The only case where you can feed your pal a puppy food with more than 10 percent fat is if it is a highly active and athletic breed. However, low in fat diet doesnt mean low in fatty acids. Fatty acids arent just good for skin and coat, they are also great for joints. Large breed pups with a rich coat will need puppy food with a higher amount of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.


Healthy bones and joints should be your core concern when choosing the best dog food for large breed puppies. Calcium is essential for bones. However, most large breeds are unable to regulate the absorption of calcium. They tend to absorb more than other breeds, and that may cause calcium retention. Calcium retention is just as bad for your babys bones as calcium deficiency. Look for food with not more than 1.5 percent calcium.



Since bones and joints are foremost concerns in large breed pups, it is a good idea to pick a puppy food with glucosamine.

Puppy Food Buying Guide

What makes a good puppy food? There are enough commercials out there touting healthy, high-quality ingredients and special formulas to confuse anyone, especially when so many of the preferred puppy food brands dont actually get all that much press.

There are many other excellent brands and products out there that we didnt include here, such as Wellness Complete Health Puppy Food. Thats why we want to leave you with this buyers guide to distinguish the good from the bad.

Most importantly, remember that adult dog food and puppy food is formulated differently for a dogs nutritional requirements at various life stages. It doesnt matter whether its dry, canned dog food, or the very best wet dog food money can buy. At the same time, its important that you start transitioning to adult dog foods at the appropriate time so the food provides the right nutritional value. Not only the calories but also the macronutrient ratios look very different in adult food.

This buying guide is designed to help consumers figure out whats actually important in puppy food, with an eye towards helping individual pup owners figure out the factors that separate the best foods on the market from those that should be left on the shelf. If youre trying to figure out which food is best for your puppy, you definitely need to take a look at this guide.

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Elbow & Hip Dysplasia

Another common condition appearing in big puppy breeds, elbow, and hip dysplasia, affect joints and cause malformation of the bone. With hip dysplasia, the head of the femur isnt sliding properly inside the hip joint, but it rubs against it. Over time, joints can deteriorate, leading to excruciating pain.

On the other hand, hip dysplasia can affect your pets front legs. The rapid growth of elbow joints is the most common cause.

Read more:Best Food for Dogs with Hip Dysplasia

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain

Honest Review Of Best Large Breed Puppy Food 2017

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.

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large

About: Blue Buffalos Large-Breed Puppy Formula is a solid all-around large-breed puppy food. Offered in puppy-sized kibble chunks with added antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits, Blue Buffalos Large-Breed Puppy food ensures proper growth and lifelong health.

Best Overall Large-Breed Puppy Food

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Dont Sacrifice Quality To Save A Few Bucks

It might be tempting to save a few bucks by purchasing food with a slightly lower price tag. After all, were all feeling the pinch in our wallets these days.

However, to show the love you really feel for your Lab, you mustnt sacrifice their health just to save a few dollars.

The cheaper dog foods dont have the high-quality ingredients that the medium and high-priced brands do. These ingredients are where your pup gets the nutrients they need to grow and live, nutrients that are sadly lacking in the cheaper dog foods.

Youve probably heard the saying, You are what you eat. So if mans best friend is eating low-quality food, youre basically saying theyre not worth the extra money to feed them properly. With foods that are a bit more expensive, your pooch can eat a more well-balanced meal and enjoy it. Isnt your pups health and happiness worth more than a few bucks?

Not only this but what goes in, must come out. Cheap foods have low quality fillers meaning your puppy will need bigger portions to get the same nutrients. They eat more, they poop more, and this means house training becomes much harder for you. What you feed your puppy is a major factor in the success of your house training process.

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