The 14 Best Large Breed Dog Foods

By Kevin Myers | 2022 Update

✓ Reviewed by Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

This (updated) guide lists all of the best large-breed dog foods this year.

Being a parent to a large breed dog comes with big responsibilities, especially when providing them with the best nutrition. While the basic nutritional requirements of all dogs are pretty much the same, breed and life, stage-specific diets exist to match your dog’s particular dietary needs.

Choosing the right large breed dog food can make all the difference in the world to the health of your large breed dog. It’s essential to offer your dog a diet matching its breed requirements and stage of life.  

So, if you’re looking for the most appropriate diet choices for your large breed dog, this article has you covered.

Below are the reviews for our top large breed dog foods using our 40-point inspection list.

Let’s dig in!

The Best Large Breed Dog Foods

Top PicksCategory
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Grain-Free Dog FoodBest For Adults
2. Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Dog FoodBest For Puppies
3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Dog FoodBest For Seniors
4. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Chicken Dinner Dog FoodBest Wet Food
5. Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Adult Dog Food Best Premium Food
6. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Dog Food Best Budget Food
7. Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Dog FoodBest For Sensitive Dogs
8. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Shredded Blend Dog FoodBest For Active Dogs

How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick


1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Chicken Grain-Free Dog Food — Best Overall Large Breed Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Tapioca Starch, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,487 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 32% | Fat min. 13%, | Fiber max. 7% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

This grain-free chicken recipe by Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a favorite of large-breed dog parents with a delicious blend of flavors and nutrition. 

This protein-rich recipe uses deboned chicken, chicken meal, and Menhaden fish meal as the primary ingredients—ensuring your dog gets protein from only high-quality sources.

Bone and joint health are crucial in large breed dogs. This formula provides everything needed to help maintain healthy bones by including optimal levels of Chondroitin and Glucosamine to support overall mobility.

Moreover, the added nutrients such as phosphorus and calcium help support healthy joint function and keep bones strong. Finally, because it is a grain-free diet, it is also suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs.


2. Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Dog Food — Best Puppy Large Breed Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Rice Flour, 3. Soybean Meal, 4. Corn Gluten Meal, 5. Chicken By-Product Meal

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,759 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 28% | Fat min. 13%, | Fiber max. 6% | Moisture max. 12%
  • Form: Dry

This formula from Purina One contains the best quality ingredients and is an excellent source of nutrition for large-breed puppies. It has natural glucosamine sources to help larger pups’ joints grow to their full potential.

With chicken as the primary source of protein, the formula includes a variety of ingredients making an excellent nutrient profile perfectly suitable for large-breed puppies.

In addition to supporting healthy joints, this blend also includes a variety of dual-defense antioxidants and other crucial nutrients to support a robust immune system and healthy skin and coat.


3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Dog Food — Best Senior Large Breed Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Barley, 4. Oatmeal, 5. Flaxseed

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,413 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 20% | Fat min. 10%, | Fiber max. 7% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Large breed dogs are particularly susceptible to hip and joint problems, especially as they age. The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula helps prevent these issues and keeps your dog as energetic and adventurous as an adult dog.

Its made from easily-digestible ingredients like deboned chicken, oatmeal, and brown rice for muscle repair and higher energy levels throughout the day.

This recipe contains glucosamine and chondroitin to rebuild cartilage and adds calcium and phosphorus to strengthen your dog’s bones and teeth.

Moreover, the recipe provides omega fatty acids to keep your dog’s fur flawless and L-carnitine to metabolize extra fat and keep your dog lean and active.


4. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Large Breed Chicken Dinner Canned Dog Food — Best Wet Food For Large Breeds

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Carrots, 4. Brown Rice, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,392 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 10%, Fat (min.) 7.5%, Fiber (max.) 1.5%, Moisture(max.) 78%
  • Form: Wet

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe is one of the few canned foods specifically formulated for large and giant breeds. It primarily consists of greens and protein; this includes chicken meat, rice, carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas. This combination provides amino acids that build and repair muscle and a range of essential minerals and vitamins. 

Furthermore, the food contains easily-digestible grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley to support the intestinal system and fuel your dog’s energy reserves. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also included in the recipe to prevent joint/hip problems. Owners of sensitive and allergic dogs can also rejoice as the food is free from artificial additives, corn, wheat, soy, and other useless filler. 


5. My Ollie Chicken Recipe — Best Fresh Food For Large Breeds

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. carrots, 3. peas, 4. rice, 5. spinach

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,269 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 10% | Fat min. 3%, | Fiber max. 2% | Moisture max. 73%
  • Form: Fresh

Nothing beats the nutritional benefits and taste of a fresh dog food diet. That’s why we recommend My Ollie Chicken Recipe. You can create a customized diet plan for your large/giant breed dog with the help of expert nutritionists and have it delivered to you in compact containers right at your doorstep.

Their Chicken Recipe uses the finest boneless chicken, carrots, rice, and chia seeds for all-around nourishment. It’s completely free from fillers and artificial additives while providing the flavor and real-meat texture that dogs love.


6. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Dog Food — Best Grain-Free Large Breed Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Lentils, 4. Peas, 5. Dried Ground Potatoes

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,492 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 34% | Fat min. 12%, | Fiber max. 6% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Designed to provide optimum holistic nutrition, Wellness Core is a no-brainer when it comes to feeding large and giant breed dogs. The grain-free formula is designed with natural and wholesome foods like chicken meat, vegetables, and fruits, making it more nutritious and easier to digest than dog foods with artificial ingredients.

Aside from the primary proteins and carbs, the formula also contains a range of micronutrients such as antioxidants, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin. These micros support joint and bone health and help strengthen the immune and digestive systems. Because the recipe is free from grains, wheat, corn, and artificial additives, it’s a perfect choice for dogs that suffer from allergies and sensitivities.


7. Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Adult Dog Food — Best Premium Large Breed Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. De-Boned Turkey, 2. Whole Dried Egg, 3. Potatoes, 4. Peas, 5. Tapioca

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,573 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 27% | Fat min. 13%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

This antioxidant-rich formula is a recommended diet for large dogs over 50 pounds. This adult recipe is for dogs older than a year and contains nutrients your growing dog needs for healthy bones.

The recipe uses turkey, duck, and salmon as protein sources and a range of other high-quality ingredients to provide optimal nutrients to larger breed dogs. The antioxidants are extracted from wholesome ingredients such as cranberries, spinach, blackberries, pumpkin, and carrots and serve as an excellent foundation for a robust immune system.

This grain-free, gluten-free formula is preferred by dogs and dog owners over other options. Also, it is free from common allergens and fillers such as soy, wheat, and corn to ensure your large tail-wagger only gets the best nutrition that they need to stay healthy and active.


8. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Chicken & Brown Rice Dog Food — Best Budget Large Breed Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Ground Brown Rice, 3. Barley, 4. Peas, 5. Chicken Fat

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,400 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 26% | Fat min. 12%, | Fiber max. 5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Ensure the proper development of your large breed dog by nourishing them with the right food. If you are looking for an option that can help strengthen cognitive function and help with overall immunity, this recipe by Wellness is ideal.

This protein-rich formula includes high-quality ingredients like salmon meal and deboned chicken to provide a great nutrient profile, giving your dog the premium nutrition it deserves.


9. Purina Pro Plan 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula Dog Food — Best Weight Gain Dog Food For Large Breeds

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Corn Gluten Meal, 3. Rice, 4. Beef Fat, 5. Whole Grain Corn

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4,390 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 30% | Fat min. 20%, | Fiber max. 3% | Moisture max. 12%
  • Form: Dry

If your large or giant breed dog can’t seem to gain weight on its current diet, it’s time you switch to Purina Pro Plan 30/20 Formula. It’s designed for canines with extreme physical demands and has 484 calories per cup—an ideal amount for placing your dog in a caloric surplus. Almost 30% of its calories come from real chicken meat, which will help your dog gain muscle mass instead of just fat. 

Nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin are also present in the food as active large breed dogs are at greater risk of developing joint issues. Purina cares about your dog’s brain and cognitive health, so they also included DHA and EPA in this recipe. Your dog will also develop a healthier appearance and shiny coat from the omega-3 fatty acids. 


10. Purina Pro Plan Focus Large Breed Weight Management Dog Food — Best Weight Loss Dog Food For Large Breeds

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Brewer’s Rice, 3. Whole Grain Wheat, 4. Poultry By-Product Meal, 5. Corn Gluten Meal

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,823 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 26% | Fat min. 12%, | Fiber max. 4.5% | Moisture max. 12%
  • Form: Dry

This specialized formula for your large breed dog contains all the essential nutrients to keep them in the perfect shape, which is vital for large dogs already susceptible to joint and bone problems.

This specified weight-management formula offers the perfect protein-to-fat ratio and is loaded with the essential nutrients to keep your dog healthy and their bodies strong and lean.


11. Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Dog Food — Best Dog Food For Large Breeds With Sensitive Stomach

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Rice, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Dried Plain Beet Pulp, 5. Pumpkin,

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,804 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 24% | Fat min. 14%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Holistic Select is a simple formula that contains all the nutrients a large dog needs to stay healthy and happy. Its primary ingredients are chicken, oatmeal, and rice, which provide your dog with muscle-nourishing proteins and healthy carbs to keep them lean and active.

This formula also contains vitamins, antioxidants, probiotics, and glucosamine, sourced from natural foods. These micros meet your large breed dog’s nutritional requirements for proper body function and health.

Another great feature of this dog food is its larger kibble size, making it easier for giant breeds to eat. 


12. Natural Balance LID Lamb & Brown Rice Large Breed Bites Dog Food — Best Dog Food For Large Breeds With Allergies

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Rice Bran, 4. Brewers Dried Yeast, 5. Canola Oil

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,600 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 22% | Fat min. 12%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Natural Balance and their LID Formulas are a no-brainer for canines with allergies. However, this Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe is made explicitly for the big dogs.

For one, it has larger kibble that is easier to chew. Secondly, it contains nutrients for improved joint, bone, and skin health—all of which are common concerns with large breed dogs. 

Being a limited ingredient recipe, it features a handful of ingredients like lamb meat, brown rice, and canola oil to aid in building muscle, supporting digestion, and energizing your dog for the entire day. It is entirely free from gluten, artificial colors, and flavors, as well as poultry, corn, wheat, and soy, making the food ideal for dogs with the most severe allergies. 


13. Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dog Food — Best Large Breed Dog Food For Joint Health

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Ground Whole Grain Barley, 3. Ground Whole Grain Corn, 4. Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, 5. Chicken By-Product Meal

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,529 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 22.5% | Fat min. 12%, | Fiber max. 5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Maintaining bone health is a big concern of large-breed dog parents. And therefore, it is important to look for a recipe with nutrients and supplements that work as a natural source to stimulate joints, elbows, and knees and keeps the skeletal structure strong.

This formula by Iams is an excellent option if these are the main features you are looking for in a recipe. The diet not only includes chicken and eggs as primary sources of protein but various other ingredients rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants for the best health of your dog.


14. Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food — Best Tasting Dog Food For Picky Large Breeds

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Corn, 3. Chicken By-Product Meal, 4. Wheat, 5. Ground Grain Sorghum

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,680 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 23% | Fat min. 13%, | Fiber max. 3.9% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Fortified with minerals and vitamins, this dry dog food for large-breed adult dogs is an excellent choice for picky eaters. The delicious flavors will keep your dog hooked, while the optimal blend of nutrition will ensure optimal health and wellbeing. This recipe offers high-quality ingredients and is among the top favorites of many dog owners because of its benefits.

If you want to serve your dog meals with the goodness of essential nutrients without breaking your bank, this Eukanuba variety is a great option. With chicken as the primary ingredient, this recipe has sufficient levels of protein for your dog and numerous other nutrients and joint-supporting supplements that make it such a hit with large-breed dog owners.


15. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Dog Food — Best Dog Food For Active Large Breeds

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Barley, 3. Rice, 4. Oat Meal, 5. Sunflower Oil

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4,049 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 26% | Fat min. 16%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 12%
  • Form: Dry

Large breeds like Labradors, German Shepherds, and Doberman need more calories than the average dog to fuel their intense exercise sessions. For them, we recommend Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Dog Food. It’s pumped up to 353 calories per cup using a variety of grains to compensate for the athletic demands of active dogs.

Moreover, the food contains shredded bites of chicken that enhance muscle repair and add a delicious texture to the food. For digestive health, the food contains live probiotics for improved gut health and better nutrient absorption. Lastly, glucosamine and EPA are added to the recipe to keep the joints and vision of your dog in excellent shape in the long run.


Related Guides:

Buyer’s Guide

If you are considering owning a large-breed dog, stop right here! There’s so much you need to know about them before you proceed. And if you already have one, this could be the right place to learn everything about his care, grooming, and most importantly, his diet.

As similar as they are to smaller dogs when it comes to their basic care and nutrition, large dogs exhibit various biological differences that set them apart. Unfortunately, this is also true for health issues because larger dogs can be more susceptible to health problems. In short, you are responsible for providing your dog the best and healthiest life you can. And the only way you can do that is by picking up a suitable diet that’s both convenient and nutritious for your dog.

I know that this may all seem a bit overwhelming, but I promise you it isn’t. To help you in choosing the right food for your large breed dog, I’m including within this list other helpful information about owning and feeding your gentle giants that is not to be missed.

So, without any more fanfare, let’s dig deeper!

Is Your Dog Really a Large-Breed Canine?

Large breed dogs generally have specific diet and exercise requirements. So it’s important to identify exactly what constitutes a large breed dog. Most experts agree that if your dog is between 22 and 26 inches tall (as measured from the floor to the highest point of the shoulder), and weighs between 59 and 98 pounds, then you have a large breed canine.

If your dog falls within those height and weight ranges then congratulations, you have a large breed dog. You’re going to need to be focused on their specific dietary and exercise requirements in order to maintain them in the best of health.

List of large/Giant Breed dogs

Here is a list of large breed dogs:

  • Weimaraner
  • Siberian Husky
  • Samoyed
  • Rottweiler
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Poodle
  • Pitbull terrier
  • Newfoundland
  • Labrador
  • labradoodle
  • Irish setter
  • Hungarian vizsla
  • Golden Retriever
  • Great Dane
  • Greyhound
  • German Shepherd
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Golden Doodle
  • Doberman
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • English Pointer
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Collie
  • Bernese Mountain dog
  • Boerboel
  • Boxer
  • Australian Bulldog
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Basset Hound
  • Airedale terrier
  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute

Dietary Requirements of Large Breed Dogs

An integral part of owning a large breed dog is knowing what their specific dietary requirements are. With all the options to choose from out there, it’s important to zone in on what’s really important and tune out the rest.

Something that we owners need to keep in mind is that bigger dogs have a slower metabolism and therefore, they need regular exercise and activities to stay mentally and physically healthy. Also, since these big boys are susceptible to specific health issues based on their size, owners need to be diligent in order for our pets to thrive.

Common Health Issues to Watch Out For

As mentioned earlier, bone and joint health of large breed dogs are a primary concern over their lifespan. Health problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia are common in large breeds. Maintaining a large-breed specific diet can help your dog live a comfortable life with healthier hips and a hitch-free walk.

Arthritis is also pretty common in large dogs and is often associated with dogs in their senior life-stage. This puts even more pressure on us as dog parents to provide a great diet throughout the life stages so that our big guys in their golden years don’t have to deal with achy joints.

*Consult DVM* – Heart disease can also affect your dog’s health and quality of life. In fact, some studies have shown that large breeds are more susceptible to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) than their smaller counterparts. Feeding our large breed dogs a quality diet, specifically formulated for their needs may help reduce the incidence of heart problems now and in their future.

Choosing the Best Large Breed Dog Food – Nutritional Requirements

Diets designed for big pooches are usually low in caloric density due to the slow metabolic rate of your four-legged friend. However, nutrition is what you need to pay attention to. In addition to the flavors and the perfect kibble size, you must also ensure your dog stays satiated and comfortable throughout the day.

Here’s everything you need to look for in your big pooch’s ideal diet:

  • Quality Protein: It’s the building block of the entire formula.  Your big hound requires high protein for repairing tissues and building muscles for a healthy body. Focus on quality protein options such as chicken, turkey, duck, venison, lamb, meat, and beef.
  • Fat: Fats play a vital role in giving your dog the energy that keeps them going. Your big tail-wagger needs optimal energy to stay active and fuel a proper amount of exercise. Look for a balanced diet that includes essential fatty acids to keep your dog looking and feeling amazing from the inside out.
  • DHA: It is great to pick a formula that’s fortified with DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) supplements. DHA does not only help prevent allergies and boost the central nervous system in your pooch but also stimulates healthy skin and coat, and fights inflammation.
  • Glucosamine: To address bone and joint health issues, it is ideal to pick a diet that includes glucosamine as a vital nutrient. This is usually present in poultry and meat sources and works as a building block of cartilage that protects the joints from aging wear and tear.
  • Omega-3: Ingredients that are rich in omega-3 are a great plus for your pooch’s diet. This essential acid can prevent inflammatory and degenerative conditions. Ingredients such as flaxseed oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, and whole fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Probiotic: This is especially important for dogs with sensitive stomachs. You don’t want to put your dog in trouble by offering a diet that could lead to digestive issues.

In addition to ensuring all the above-mentioned nutrients are present in the balanced meal, you must steer clear of any option that includes unidentified byproducts and fillers. Also, if you read the word ‘artificial’ on the label, it is definitely a bad option for your big boy. Stick to the natural sources so your dog gets only the best.

FAQs

Are there any special dietary requirements of large breed dogs?

Even though the basic features of canines are similar, the nutritional necessities may be unique depending on different breed sizes as well as age. Many new pet parents are unaware that the ideal formulas for their large breed dogs have a lower caloric density than those of their smaller relatives. Bigger dogs have a slower metabolic rate, and it can very quickly turn into obesity if not addressed with diet and exercise. Also, I recommend food options with an improved amount of minerals and vitamins to protect the vital organs of larger pooches.

How is large-breed dog food different from regular food?

The demands of larger breeds are significantly different from smaller ones. Since bone-related health problems and injuries are more prevalent in large breed dogs, they need a formula that stimulates bone and joint health. Unlike regular food, the nutrient profile in specific large-breed foods is richer in calcium, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Moreover, large breed dog food also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support bone health.

Is it necessary to change my dog’s food to a specific large-breed diet if I am currently giving him a regular diet?

One of the best ways to ensure your pet’s good health and wellbeing is to feed him the right amount of nutrients appropriate for his breed and life stage. Foods lacking the proper amount of nutrients can lead to nutritional deficiencies in your dog. It is highly recommended that you stick to a specific-breed diet right from puppyhood to provide your dog the nourishment and nutrition he needs for growth and development. This way, making a transition in the diet during adulthood will not be a  problem either.

How much should I feed my large breed dog?

The amount you feed your big boy depends on their body weight, age, and breed.. Most foods have feeding recommendations printed on the package. However, as a general rule large breed dogs are fed 1 ½ cups per 22 lbs of body weight in a day.

How often should I feed my large breed dog?

Most large breed dogs do well with two meals during the day. The food can also be split into three small meals as per your pooch’s requirement.

Can I feed my small-breed dog large-breed food?

It is a common myth that food formulated for large breed dogs is more nutritious as compared to food for smaller breeds. And that’s one of the reasons why some dog parents are inclined towards feeding their smaller dog foods that are specified for large breeds. The reality, however, is that the metabolic rates of small and large breeds are different, and the recipes are formulated keeping this in mind. Recipes formulated for smaller dogs are denser in calories and fat since their metabolism is faster than larger dogs. For smaller dogs, large-breed food can be insufficient. On the contrary, feeding small-breed specified food to large breed dogs can lead to obesity and other health problems associated with excessive weight.

What are the common health problems in large breed dogs?

Many health problems in large breed dogs are associated with bones and joints. Therefore, hip and elbow dysplasia are quite common. Other health issues include heart problems (such as aortic stenosis and dilated cardiomyopathy), arthritis, obesity, entropion, and gastric torsion (bloat).

Can my large breed dog have food sensitivities? Which symptoms should I watch out for?

While food-related sensitivities are less common in canines, any breed of dog can be affected by food sensitivities. . A food allergy may present itself through different symptoms such as itchy skin, vomiting, chronic ear problems, diarrhea, flatulence, wheezing, sneezing, and coughing.

Dogs are actually omnivores, not carnivores,  and therefore, there are no recommendations to give a grain-free diet to any dog, regardless of the breed. Grain-free diets are specifically made for dogs with food-related allergies and digestive issues. Otherwise, natural and whole grains are not harmful to your big tail-wagger.

Can I feed a grain-inclusive diet to my large breed dog?

Of course, you can. The only thing you need to be absolutely sure about is the quality of grains in the formula. Grains that are not processed are the best kind of grains to feed your dog. The healthier options include oats, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and more.

What nutrients are essential in large-breed dog food?

In addition to the basic nutrients like protein, fats, and carbs, an ideal meal for large breed dogs should also have the essential levels of DHA, chondroitin, glucosamine, and probiotics. The diet should also be free of all kinds of preservatives, artificial flavors and coloring, unrecognized byproducts and all fillers and additives.

Does life stage matter when picking up the right food for a large dog?

It depends on the ingredients and nutrient profile of the product you are picking. Some are specified for adults while others may be suitable for all life stages. Just make sure the blend that you are picking works for your dog.

Choosing the Best Food For Large Breed Dogs– Selecting the right brand

Being familiar with your dog’s nutritional needs is only half the story. You must also know what to look for in brands and different formulas to select the best dog food. Here’s are a few important points you can use to get the best dog food:

1. Guaranteed Analysis: For your dog to stay lean and maintain a healthy weight, it’s crucial that they eat the right balance of macros. The minimum requirement for all dogs is 18% protein, 20% carbs, and 5.5% fat. It’s best to discuss your dog’s macronutrient needs with your vet and cross-check them with the guaranteed analysis of your chosen dog food. 

2. Taste and texture: Each dog has its own taste and texture preferences. Some might like chicken and wet foods, while others would prefer turkey and dry foods. Test out some samples or small packs before you purchase a large pack so it doesn’t go to waste.

3. Price and value: While purchasing dog foods, always compare the nutritional value and calorie content of the food against its price to get the best bang for your buck. Also, if you’re opting for an expensive product, make sure that you can continue to afford it as changing diets is stressful for dogs.

Conclusion

I hope you are in a much better position to make an informed decision about your big-breed dog’s diet. Keep the specific requirements of your dog in mind and make a decision that’s best for your dog. Good luck!

References:


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1 thought on “The 14 Best Large Breed Dog Foods”

  1. My chocolate is five years old and just had two seizures. He is now on phenobarbital twice a day. We are Feeding him Iams large breed should I change his food?

    Reply

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