Have you ever considered owning a large dog, or maybe you already have one? Are you ready to face responsibilities regarding his diet, care, and grooming?
Let’s be honest, barge breed canines require various nutritional needs and are more prone to different health issues. So, are you up for the challenge, or you just want something easy and convenient?
If you decide to parent a large pooch, then your budget will most certainly take a hit. Therefore, you need to find the best large breed dog food, which won’t break your bank account!
Unfortunately, a lot of information you find online or in stores tend to be misleading, or slightly confusing.
However, to make things easy, we’ve done some work for you!
Our selection of food involves the most important features to keep your pet healthy and sated.
Top 10 Dog Food For Large Dog Breeds Review
Blue Buffalo - Best Overall
Blue Buffalo is one of the most popular dog food manufacturers in America, which many pet parents wholeheartedly accepted in their homes. The carefully selected blend of nutrients makes this diet the top-rated large breed dog food.
Today we are focusing on chicken & brown rice mix. The real chicken meat comes as a first ingredient, a potent protein which helps your pet gain lean muscles. This recipe is packed with fruits, veggie, and whole grains. They will supply your canine with much-needed vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants suitable for every life stage.
The Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice also contain garlic, a natural anthelmintic agent which stimulates the immune system. Additionally, we should mention the presence of turmeric and l-carnitine, ideal for weight control and healthy muscles.
Overall, if you want to ensure proper development of your canine, then Blue Buffalo is an excellent choice.
Taste of the Wild - Best Grain Free
Nowadays, almost every pet care company claims to have all natural ingredients in their recipes. Yet, pet owners always doubt their intentions. When it comes to dry dog food, we always seem to have high expectations, which is something Taste Of The Wild continuously delivers.
This formula features buffalo meat, an excellent protein source that contains less fat than beef. Even though it’s grain-free, it still includes a healthy amount of carbs, which is excellent for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Fresh fruits and vegetables will offer your pooch plenty of vitamins and fibers, to ensure healthy digestion and minimize all GI issue. The food is free of artificial nutrients and cheap fillers.
To conclude, in our opinion, this is the healthiest dog food for large breeds on the market, and your pet will enjoy every bite.
Victor Yukon - Perfect For Dogs With Allergies
Sadly, many pet owners aren’t familiar with Victor dog food brand, due to their limited exposure. And that’s a shame because we are talking about excellent nutrition for canines.
The Victor Yukon recipe is packed with proteins, while it’s free of grains and gluten. Therefore, it’s specially formulated to meet the demands of large breeds suffering from allergies. With this manufactures you won’t find low-quality ingredients such as corn, wheat or soy.
While the river salmon is a dominant protein, the sweet potato is an excellent source of digestible carbs. On top of that, your pet is getting an optimum range of omega fatty acids, which promote healthy skin and coat.
In summary, the amount of real protein, combined with top-rated nutrients and prebiotics, will make this formula a perfect match for your pooch.
Nutro Wholesome Essentials - Best For Balanced Nutrition
Lamb-based nutrition has numerous benefits. First of all, lambs mainly consume grass. Therefore, regardless of the brand you are opting for, it means you are reducing risks of GMO content.
Nutro Lamb recipe features a variety of proteins, whole grains, and rice. For that reason, it’s a complete and balanced meal for your pet. What we love about this formula, is the fact that they used real lamb meat as the first ingredient. It’s packed with omega fatty acids, while free of soy, corn, and wheat.
The bottom line, the Nutro Wholesome Essentials limited ingredient formula might come in handy for various pet owners. It will encourage a healthy weight while prolonging the lifespan of your pooch.
Eukanuba Dry Food - Best For Healthy Joints
The Eukanuba dog food brand is one of the affordable options you will find in pet store shelves. Additionally, this company offers a wide range of products and their representatives often point the fact how this nutrition is based on high-quality animal protein, like chicken or lamb.
It is specially designed to improve nutritional performance and help your pet build strong and lean muscles while promoting optimal body conditions. It features balanced levels of proteins, carbs, and fats to support healthy body weight, while specialized fiber system stimulates digestion.
The ideal amount of glucosamine and chondroitin will assist your canine in developing strong joins and teeth.
In all, pet owners are quite satisfied with Eukanuba large breed formula mainly because it promotes strong joins and features top-rated proteins.
Nature's Recipe - Best Tasting
Nature’s Recipe has been around for more than 30 years. For that reason, they’ve managed to build a significant reputation among the pet parents. Their grain-free chicken, sweet potato and pumpkin nutrition provides various health benefits and has a fantastic taste.
This diet combines a nutritious blend of proteins, veggies, minerals, and vitamins. Fiber-rich pumping and sweet potato digestible carbs will ensure proper digestion in your pet.
All canines require animal protein sources, and Nature’s Recipe never fails to deliver.
There are no artificial color or flavors, and since you are getting all-natural ingredients, this comes as an excellent choice for your pooch.
To wrap up, there are a lot of formulas nowadays. However, it’s essential to pick those which combine delicious taste and high-quality ingredients. Therefore, we are sure Nature’s Recipe is one of them.
Eagle Pack - Fit For Adult Dogs
Back in the day, veterinarians and dog trainers developed an Eagle Pack brand. This is a super-premium dog diet sold in specialty pet retails stores, and in some pet care chains. Their line includes various formulas which target different breeds and health issues.
If we look at an original chicken meal and pork meal recipe, we will find a couple of interesting facts. The first five ingredients feature two meat proteins sources. While the chicken meal is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, the pork meal is an excellent protein for dogs.
When it comes to fibers, you will be pleased to know that ground brown rice will supply your pet with a sufficient amount of nutrient, and keep his glycemic index low.
To sum up, we believe that Eagle Pack would the right match for your mature canine. An exceptional blend of ingredients will keep your pooch going for many years.
Wellness - Ideal For Brain Development
Cognitive functions in dogs tend to weaken as they get older. For that reason, you have to ensure proper development of your pet and Wellness is one of the options you should explore.
This diet is enriched with deboned chicken, a dominant protein source. Furthermore, you will find glucosamine and chondroitin essential for healthy bones, joints, and hips.
As a result, your pet is getting premium nutrition that’s free of wheat, soy, or corns. Additionally, the formula includes salmon meal which improves cognitive functions and makes sure your canine’s brain develops.
Given these points, if you care about your pet’s mental health, then you’ll consider Wellness Health Natural nutrition. However, pay attention to chicken fat because it may cause an upset stomach in some dogs.
Now Fresh - With Antioxidants
The majority of Now Fresh dog recipes are made with a combination of salmon, duck, and turkey meat. This brand pays a lot of attention to freshness and quality of their ingredients. That’s why they offer a limited selection of products, to maintain high-quality standards.
The fact that connects all formulas is their gluten and grain-free feature, as well as, a lack of common allergens, corn, wheat, and soy. If you do a little search online, you’ll notice that most Now Fresh dog food reviews are positive.
Now, let’s focus on an adult recipe. As we mentioned before, here we have a mix of salmon, turkey, and duck meat, combined with digestible carbs, such as apples, peas, and potato flour. Additionally, there are plenty of antioxidants to keep your pet’s cell healthy and keep cancer at bay.
Altogether, if you want all-natural ingredients in one product, then make sure to try Now Fresh recipe.
Iams ProActive - Best Budget Option
Iams ProActive Health Nutrition is formulated to offer your pooch a well-balanced diet while keeping his metabolic processes in check. It contains chicken and whole eggs, which help build up firm and lean muscles. Additionally, antioxidants will ensure your pet has a healthy immune system.
This formula features the two most important minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus. They will stimulate joints, knees, and elbows.
We should emphasize that Iams ProActive Health doesn’t contain artificial ingredients, additives, wheat, corn, or soy. Opposite to that, this recipe contains whole grains, with a mix of herbs, fruits, and veggies.
In all, this is the best inexpensive dog food for large breeds, and you won’t find better in that price range.
Weight And Dimensions Of Large Breed Canines
Dogs fall into three size categories, small, medium, and large. Mostly weight determines their classification. For that reason, it’s crucial to know which category your canine falls into due to special diet requirements and exercise needs.
For an untrained eye, there is no easy way to determine your pet’s category relying on breed only. The best way to check your dog’s size is to weight him.
Weight between 59 and 98 pounds and size between 22 and 26 inches applies to large breed dogs. If you are dealing with such canine, then regular exercise and physical activity are mandatory.
List Of Large-Sized Dog Breeds
Common large breeds include:
- Golden Retrievers
Big canines usually have a slow metabolism, therefore require continuous exercise. They are best suited to a home with plenty of space. Preferably, a house with a yard would be the best option.
Pay attention to their diet as well! Large breeds are prone to numerous medical condition and demand extra care.
Common Health Issues Of Big Dogs
Elbow & Hip Dysplasia
Elbow and hip dysplasia are degenerative conditions which often affect large canines. It happens when hip joints don’t fit correctly into, or it’s placed outside of the hip joint.
While some dogs have a comfortable life, others live with bad hips and require surgery even to allow them to walk again. Fortunately, there is testing for this disorder, and breeders are working hard to eliminate this disease. One of the possible causes is a pet’s lameness.
There are two most common heart problems large breeds face:
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy – a severe heart condition in which this organ becomes inflamed and doesn’t function properly. The heart chambers increase in size, while the walls are stretched too thin. For rest of the life, your pet will receive medications because there is no cure.
- Aortic Stenosis – in this case, the aortic valves become narrow and obstruct or disable the blood flow. Canines with mild symptoms may lead a normal life, while severe cases are at high risk of sudden death, or collapse.
Obesity is a leading nutritional disease affecting large breeds nowadays. It can be linked to a previous health condition or is a result of an environment.
It’s a well-known fact that bigger dogs have a slower metabolism than smaller ones. The risk factors can involve an overweight owner, whether pooch is living in a house or an apartment, age, and breed. If you fail to notice the initial sign, then obesity can become a life-threatening condition.
Read more: 5 Top Rated Dog Food for Weight Management
While some dogs might develop arthritis with age, specific health issues and injuries can enhance the chances. Big breeds are more prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, which further leads to arthritis at a younger age.
There are a couple of symptoms related to this condition:
- Muscle stiffness
- Difficulty in moving and running
- Pay attention to your pet’s eating habits, and minimize obesity to prevent arthritis.
Entropion is a genetic disorder that can affect both eyelids and make them roll inward towards the eye. Due to an abnormal position, eyelashes rub against the eye causing extreme discomfort.
The best way to treat entropion is to have it surgically removed because over the time it can become worse.
Also known as gastric dilation, or volvulus syndrome is a disorder in canines in which animal’s stomach dilates and then turns around its short axis. This twisting will prevent your pet from burping or vomiting.
Eventually, it will cut down the blood supply to the gut, which quickly leads to shock and sudden death. Dogs with narrow and deep chest are mostly at risk.
Large Dog Food vs. Regular Dog Food
When we compare the demands of large breeds to smaller ones, we can conclude they’re vastly different. Large breeds require food that stimulates strong and healthy bones. For that reason, their nutrition should be formulated with the optimum levels of calcium to control bone development.
Another issue that appears in large breeds is joint and elbow disability, therefore their diet should contain glucosamine, on top of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
On the other hand, small breeds face fewer issues due to their fast metabolism. They require food rich in proteins. However, they are susceptible to obesity and need limited portions. Medium canines may suffer from gastrointestinal issues and poor dental health. So, adjusting a diet to them may help you managed these condition.
Feeding Guide For Big Dogs
While canines of all ages, sizes, and shapes may share many similar features, they certainly have unique nutritious necessities. It might seem absurd, but large breeds require formulas with lower caloric density than their smaller relatives.
Due to a slow metabolic rate, big dogs don’t have the ability to burn calories as small breeds. Providing a proper caloric density is an important feature to keep your four-legged friend comfortable and sated throughout the day.
Additionally, a slightly balanced recipe with the right amount of vitamins and minerals will promote your pet’s health, while protecting his vital organs. Considering they have a shorter life span, it’s your duty to make their life as comfortable as it can be.
How To Choose A Dog Food
Large Kibble Size
When referring to big breeds, their diet includes large portions of food, which further implies daily food shopping. That’s why you should consider choosing products more significant in size. Not only they are cheaper, but they will save you some money and time.
Proteins are involved in building blocks of healthy muscles and repairing tissue within the pet’s body. Considering they are made up of amino acids, canines can only produce half of the amino acids needed for proper development; the rest must be consumed through diet.
The best source of quality protein comes from:
- Meat Meal
Read more: Top 8 High Protein Dog Foods
Fats help dogs produce a sufficient amount of energy, so not all of them are unhealthy, as many may think. In fact, if you manage to balance their diet and include necessary fatty acids; as a result, you’ll get an active and cheerful pet.
Based on experts’ opinions, fats have numerous health benefits on your pet. They provide flavor, energy, and taste, as well as shiny coat and healthy skin.
Or so-called Docosahexaenoic Acid is a natural omega-3 fatty acid. It is crucial for brain development and nervous system in young breeds.
Why should you supplement your pet’s diet with DHA?
- To boost their brain and central nervous system development
- To minimize or prevent allergies
- To stimulate a shiny and healthy coat
- To enhance joint health
- To fight inflammation
Moderate Amount Of Calories
A reasonable amount of calories is key to everything. As your pet reaches mature years his metabolism starts to slow down, and the ability to maintain water balance decreases.
He doesn’t have a desire to run around and can experience significant health issues. However, choosing a balanced diet can prevent this condition.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
It is estimated that nearly 90% of senior dogs suffer from arthritis, that’s why a good large breed dog food has these compounds featured in its formula.
They will promote bone structure and healthy development of joints. Buying nutrition that has Glucosamine and Chondroitin will help you canine minimize the symptoms and support his active life.
Next, to the protein, fats are the crucial part of your canine’s diet. In this case, omega-3 fatty acids will prevent degenerative and inflammatory conditions. When buying a dog’s recipe, you should focus on following nutrients on the ingredient list:
- Whole Fish
- Hemp Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Flaxseed Oil
Fish oil is often found in popular products, but we don’t recommend its use. It lacks essential minerals, it oxidizes and turns rancid quickly.
Any dog food lacking probiotics shouldn’t even cross your mind. It goes without saying that many canines have a hard time digesting various ingredients, especially now when we have so many brands on the market.
Therefore, probiotics take an active role in facilitating digestion and improving your pet’s GI tract — no more issues with loose stool or upset stomach.
Pet owners aren’t always familiar with safety standards one dog food brand needs to comply with. Unfortunately, we are too trusting, thinking all companies follow the same regulations. However, that’s not always the case!
To fulfill safety standards, manufacture has to:
- Provide fresh and safe ingredients
- Create food tailored to your canine’s needs
- Has a food safety-focused manufacturing process
- Offer informative packaging
- Provide nutrition information labeling demands
- The brand is independently audited for compliance
No Unidentified Byproducts & Artificial Additives
In most case, we can hardly identify by-products and artificial additives in dog food. Companies often fail to mention their presence in canine’s diet. They are considered to be cheap fillers and have no nutritional value.
These ingredients can only have a negative impact on your pet’s health, so don’t confuse animal by-products with actual meat. When you see some dog food containing by-products, it’s usually referred to what’s left of the slaughtered animal: kidneys, brains, legs, and so on.
How Much And How Often To Feed
Have you ever asked yourself, am I feeding my dog with proper and balanced nutrition? Do I have the best brand of dog food for large breeds? How can I eliminate my mistakes?
Being a caring and informed pet parent is a big responsibility because you are directly impacting your pet’s health.
Each canine has its unique requirements, for that reason, large breeds are typically fed with 1 ½ cups per 22 Ibs of body weight per day. You can split your pet’s meals according to his needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it necessary to give size-appropriate dog food?
One of the best ways to keep your pet healthy is to feed him the right amount of nutrients appropriate for his age, or breed. If you fail to make a distinction, your canine can suffer from a nutritional deficiency, or become obese.
Unfortunately, no one can tell you exactly how much individual canine should be eating. However, nowadays, many brands formulate their food toward a specific breed, so you should stick to that.
Can I feed my small dog with large breed food?
It’s not an ideal solution to feed your large breed dog with small breed dog nutrition. It can serve you as a temporary solution if you ran out of food, but it won’t match his requirements.
The reason is that bigger dogs require particular nutrients for their bones and teeth.
Is wet food recommended than dry food for large breeds?
Before you decide which type of diet to pick for your furry-companion, make sure to address the issue of the best brand of dog food for large breeds.
Once you pick the brand, let your dog decide which food he likes the best, wet or dry. Though, wet formulas tend to have more meat protein than their dry counterparts. Additionally, due to their air-tight packaging, there are no artificial preservatives.
If you are trying to decide which dog food to choose for your large canine, then keep in mind he needs to stay slim. Excess weight or obesity will stress his bones and joins additionally, which leads to further health issues.
When it comes to large breeds, there’s a lot to learn, and some of the info you find may seem a bit overwhelming. But, remember, you and your pet are a team, and only together you can discover the best solution to suit his needs.
We hope our large breed dog food comparisons will offer you a head start!