Best For Small Breeds: Hills Science Diet Puppy Small Paws Chicken Meal Barley & Brown Rice Recipe
Small bags available so it doesnt go stale before pups can finish
Also suitable for pregnant or nursing dogs
Available in large breed formula
More expensive than some brands
Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Puppy dry food is formulated for the nutritional needs of growing small and toy breed dogs. Even its kibble is “nibble size” since regular-sized kibbles can be too big for small-breed puppy mouths.
Using chicken meal as its protein basis, the Hill’s Science Diet puppy food contains the complete nutritional profile found in our other recommended foods, including DHA from fish oil, plus an enhanced antioxidant blend for immune support.
Manufactured in the United States, Small Paws Puppy food is suitable for puppies up to 1 year old and pregnant or nursing dogs.
Flavors: Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice | Nutritional Specs: 29.9% protein, 20% fat
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain
If your large-breed dog has trouble maintaining a healthy body weight, it might be time to switch to a weight control formula. This Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Healthy Weight Dry Food may not be specifically designed for large breeds, but it is rich in lean protein and low in fat and calories. This formula features organic free-range chicken as the first ingredient with organic whole grains for digestible carbohydrates. It contains plenty of fiber to support your dogs digestion and to help keep him feeling full despite consuming fewer calories. It is rich in organic fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources of key nutrients and supplemented with vitamins and chelated minerals for balance. Overall, it provides 26% protein to support lean mass with just 10% fat and 357 calories per cup.
- Pros: Rich in lean animal protein, formulated for weight control, highly digestible, organic fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, low in fat and calories, glucosamine and chondroitin
- Cons: Contains some plant protein , not specifically formulated for large breeds
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
Image courtesy Blue Buffalo
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe is ideal for large dogs since it includes genuine salmon, which is a high-quality protein source. This food also contains sweet potatoes, which are rich in carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
The first ingredient in this food is salmon, which provides high-quality protein. This is a necessary component of your big dog’s diet to guarantee that they are obtaining all of the nutrients they require.
What Should You Look For In Large Breed Dog Food
You should take several factors into consideration, including your dogs age, breed, size, and activity level. For instance, large breed puppy foods should have a good amount of protein. They should have 30 percent protein and 9 percent fat on a dry matter basis in addition to calcium amounts up to 1.5 percent and phosphorus around 0.8 to 1 percent DM, explains Michelle Burch, DVM, a veterinarian with Safe Hounds Pet Insurance. Large breed puppy foods should also not be fed to a dog in all its life stages.
For adult dogs, youll need a diet that provides a balanced ratio of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Pay close attention to the labels on dog food and look for foods labeled complete and balanced, which is the best indicator that a food has all the necessary nutrients, says George Melillo, DVM, Chief Veterinary Officer and cofounder of Heart + Paw. Beyond that, of course, youll want to take your dogs special needs and preferences into consideration, as well as consult your vet. The expert-approved picks on this list will get you off to a good start and help your dog live a long, healthy life.
Unique Requirements Of Large Breed Dogs
So what is it exactly that makes large breed dogs different from small and medium breeds? While maintenance for a larger breed dog is important, feeding the right nutrients for growth during puppy stages is when size matters the most.
As stated above, their bone structure is the most obvious difference. It might seem that big bones require more calcium, but that is not always true.
Big dogs grow for longer than smaller dogs, so large breed puppy foods are designed to support slower and more even bone development over a longer period of time. This means they often have lower levels of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D, which are all vital to bone growth.
Larger breed dogs also use calories differently than small dogs do. They have a slower metabolic rate, so they require fewer calories to supply daily energy. This helps support healthier weight and muscle maintenance.
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Kibble Vs Wet Food For American Bully Puppies
Kibble or dry foods are good for puppies as it encourages the dog to chew their meal, therefore, helping in preventing tartar and periodontal diseases.
Dry food is also easy to pre-portion and wont get spoilt if left out as it can stay for a long. Also, it can be less expensive to buy.
Wet foods for puppies are also essential because they sometimes give benefits that dry foods dont have.
They have high moisture content, thus a good choice if your dog doesnt like drinking water. Wet foods are often more flavorful and aromatic, enticing a sick puppy or one whose appetite has reduced.
Wet food gives your puppy a feeling of being full and they are easy to chew.
Our Large Puppy Breed Feeding Chart
Are you curious about how much food you should give your large or giant breed baby? If so, then the table below will save you time and energy.
|Weight at maturity|
|2-2/3 cups plus 1/3 cup for every 10lbs of body weight over 100lbs||3-3/4 cups plus 1/3 cup for every 10lbs of body weight over 100lbs||6-1/3 cups plus 1/3 cup for every 10lbs of body weight over 100lbs||7 cups plus 1/3 cup for every 10lbs of body weight over 100lbs||11 cups plus 1/3 cup for every 10lbs of body weight over 100lbs|
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Our 2nd Most Recommended: K9 Natural Grain
I like to describe K9 as a super premium brand and it comes with a price tag to match! If it wasnt for the cost, it would be number one on our list, but we think taking price into account that Wellness just beats it on value.
However, if price is no object, K9 is certainly one of the best foods available!
K9 Natural Grain-Free Puppy Freeze-Dried Dog Food gives your puppy all the benefits of raw food, aiming for optimum levels of growth and development not too fast nor stunted and for lean muscle mass and peak conditioning.
Its main ingredient is grass-fed New Zealand beef. And this is rounded out by whole food ingredients like flaxseed, kelp, New Zealand mussel, fruits and veggies, and hoki oil which provides DHA for EPA for healthy brain and eye development.
Its also grain free, something that a lot of owners look for when deciding on a food for their pups.
We strongly recommend this brand, it has 5 star reviews all over the web and extremely good feedback from very happy customers. It gets a big thumbs up from us.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed Formula Dry Dog Food
Protein 28%, Fat 13%, Fiber 6%, Moisture 12%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Corn Gluten Meal, 4. Wholegrain Corn, 5. Poultry By-Product Meal
Provide your large breed puppy the wholesome nutrition they need with Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed Formula Dry Dog Food. The kibble is prepared from a combination of high-quality protein and other nutrition, sourced mainly from chicken to provide the building blocks your puppy requires for growth and development.
This delicious and crunchy kibble is also rich in antioxidants to strengthen the immune system. This is one of the best large breed puppy foods on the market right now.
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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.
Our Criteria And Experience
New puppy parents want to give their babies everything they need to be happy, healthy and strong. We wanted to provide you with the best food options for your large breed puppy. These puppies require special diets to avoid certain health risks. Orthopedic diseases, obesity, and bloating are all heavily influenced by nutrition. By combing through the many available products and by reading reviews we were able to make these outstanding selections.
Most reviewers complaints had to do with large breed puppies with bouts of diarrhea after feeding. One reviewer said, My second time buying and when we started using it my puppy started having diarrhea. and another said, However, our Rottie immediately began having consistently loose stool after he began eating the bag received 8/4/20.
Mostly though, the reviews from buyers were overwhelmingly positive as one reviewer said, No gas, firm stools, happy dog, happy owners. Vet felt this food is a good choice, doesnt subscribe to all the expensive food hype. Another notes how puppies liked the kibbles saying, Both my puppies really enjoy eating it. Several reviewers remarked on how good the food smelled and said that their dogs devoured it in seconds!
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Overall Best: Purina Pro Dry Puppy Food
In our review, the Best Dog Food for Large Breed Puppies is the Purina Pro Dry Puppy Food. This product comes in a chicken and rice flavor that most dogs enjoy. It also uses real chicken as its number one ingredient.
Purina Pro Dry Puppy Food contains glucosamine for your puppys cartilages and joints, as well as DHA for brain and vision development. This product also contains whole grain wheat, which is better and provides more benefits than corn, which is usually substituted for whole-grain wheat. This great puppy food is fortified with guaranteed live probiotics to support a developing immune system.
Crunchy kibble combined with tender, shredded pieces for delicious taste and texture make this puppy food a favorite!
The only drawback of this product is that it may cause diarrhea in some puppies. However, this product remains our top pick for the best dog food for large breed puppies.
The Importance Of Ideal Body Condition
Nestlé Purina Research indicates that avoiding overfeeding of puppies may help their development. Maintaining ideal body condition is key to encouraging proper growth in all puppies, especially large breeds. The indicated amounts are only a guideline. If your puppy becomes overweight, a reduction of his daily food intake may be appropriate. You may wish to consult your veterinarian about a weight control program.
Recommended Reading: Is Just Food For Dogs Grain Free
How Much Do American Bully Puppies Grow Each Week
American bullies can become overweight due to their body characteristics. Therefore, always have a weighing scale to monitor your dogs weight.
It can be challenging to tell your puppy weight week by week, but the following can help you determine the correct weight of your pup:
At 4 weeks, your puppy can weigh between 4 to 9 pounds and at 8 weeks, they weigh between 8 to 23 pounds. At 12 weeks, they weigh about 15 to 45 pounds and at 4 months, their weight is around 20 to 65 pounds.
At the age of 6 months, your puppy will be between 28 to 102 pounds and at 8 months, they will grow to around 32 to 128 pounds.
Large Breed Dog Food Without Chicken
Allergies can be a real drag. Many dogs that suffer from dog food allergies have to avoid certain ingredients, and chicken is one of the most common pet food allergies in dogs. Unfortunately, chicken is also the most popular and affordable animal protein used in dog food.
Finding a large breed of dog food without chicken isnt easy. Specialty foods like life stage and size-specific options typically dont offer a lot of variety. If you are looking for the best large breed puppy food without chicken, then we have a great formula for you to check out:
- Multi-protein formula: turkey, salmon, duck
- Skin and coat support from coconut oil and canola
- L-carnitine and low glycemic carbs support weight management
- Glucosamine from green-lipped mussels maintain hip and joint health
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Best For Large Breed Puppies: Purina Pro Plan Chicken And Rice Large Breed Dry Puppy Food
Contains the correct nutrients to protect large breed puppy development
Available in three bag sizes to accommodate your growing pups size
Can be difficult to find some flavors
Large breeds, generally considered an adult weight of 50 pounds or more, can be more susceptible to excess calcium in their diets. This food is formulated especially for the big guys and gals, and its frequently vet and breeder recommended.
Available Flavors: Chicken, beef | Nutritional Specs: 28% protein, 13% fat, 12% moisture
Best Large And Giant Breed Puppy Food Selection Criteria
- Only quality ingredients, see our Ingredient Analysis Page for more info.
- Moderate calorie content, 350 to 400 calories per cup.
- Main protein from a named meat source.
- A secondary named meat protein source.
- Ideal protein content between 23% & 29%.
TIP: Don’t be surprised to see “ADULT” formulas as some of our picks. While there are “LARGE BREED PUPPY” formulas now on the market, many “ALL LIFE STAGES” formulas have correct nutritional make up for our large breed puppies.
- Ideal fat content ranging between 12% to 18%.
- All important calcium levels best for large breeds, between 1% to 1.3%.
- Phosphorus levels from 0.8% to 1.3% and calcium to phosphorus ratio between 1:1 and 1.4:1.
- Carbohydrates typical about 45%.
- Essential fatty acids , digestive enzymes, probiotics & trace minerals.
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Wellness Just For Puppy Canned Food
This chicken- and salmon-based recipe is designed for puppies and packed with omega-3s, fruits, and veggies.
- Made with real chicken and salmon
- Formulated for puppies up to one year
- DHA is included to help with brain development and coat health
- Includes fruits and vegetables for added immune support
Protein Content: 9%
Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Ground Barley…,
Per the reviews, taste won over even the pickiest pups. The consistency mixes well into kibble too, a feat not all canned food can tackle.
Feeding canned food to a large breed is pricey, and Wellness price tag doesnt make it any easier. Some owners mentioned stomach upset in their reviews, so remember to transition slowly or study the ingredient list thoroughly to avoid surprise proteins.
About Orijen Large Puppy Dry Dog Food
In addition to choosing a dog food formulated for large breed puppies, you also want to choose a dog food made from healthy, high-quality ingredients.
This grain-free favorite from dog food brand Orijen delivers a potent dose of protein courtesy of real animal ingredients like deboned free-run chicken and turkey, cage-free eggs, and wild-caught fish.
Solid Gold Natural Large Breed Puppy Food
This large breed puppy blend contains real natural bison and is potato free.
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What Are The Best Foods For Large Breed Puppies
The best large breed puppy diets have carefully calculated the precise number of calories, vitamins, amino acids, digestive enzymes, dietary fiber, and more. Overfeeding can lead to an overweight pup, putting a great deal of strain on developing bones and joints. On the other hand, underfeeding can quickly lead to malnutrition, which may result in deformation and misaligned skeletal growth.
The most appropriate large breed puppy foods have a caloric density of approximately 3200 to 4100 calories per kilogram. Be sure to carefully follow individual feeding guidelines, as every brand is different. These guidelines may be subject to modification, depending on metabolism, activity levels, other sources of food, and more, so dont be afraid to make adjustments if necessary.
Keep in mind, feeding guidelines between brands may vary considerably certain foods are more calorically dense than others, meaning you dont need to feed as much to meet your pups individual nutritional needs.
For best results, divide your puppys daily calorie intake into 3 or 4 portions, feeding at regular intervals throughout the day. Free-feeding is not recommended for many large and giant breed dogs as overeating can lead to developmental problems, digestive issues, obesity, and more.
The Top 10 Large Breed Puppy Foods
From $4.75 per pound 485 calories per cup
From $3.76 per pound 456 calories per cup