If you've ever owned a large breed dog, then you know just how much they eat. It's not uncommon to feed your furry friend 5 pounds of food in one sitting. If you don't keep up with their hunger, then they might become overweight or underweight. Inappropriate food can also lead to many health problems such as diabetes and arthritis. The best way to make sure that your pup maintains a healthy weight and grows at a steady rate is by taking care of your puppy’s diet! In this guide, we’re bringing you the premium large breed puppy foods for 2024.
This type of food is as unique as the canine's palate. By feeding this, you will be able to create a well-balanced diet that will help your pup grow up healthy and strong. However, with the variety of ingredients and differences in nutrition levels, it can be difficult to know what's best for your pup. We’ve done a little research and put together a list of some top-of-the-line large breed puppy food ideas that will meet your pup's needs and taste buds. So, let's get started!
Large breed puppies need a special type of food that is formulated for their nutritional needs. However, sometimes pet owners feel a little overwhelmed while buying new food for their furry pal. If you are also one of them, then don’t worry. We are here to help you out. In this guide, we’ll inform you about the different ingredients required for the healthy growth of your furry friend, as well as how to pick the best one for your pooch. Ready? Let’s go!
How Does Large Breed Puppy Food Differ From Regular Puppy Food?
Large breed puppy food and regular dog food can differ in many ways. If you’re feeding a German Shepherd or a Great Dane, getting food formulated especially for them will encourage healthy muscle and bone growth at a steady rate.
First of all, the ingredients of food are different. Large breed food is often loaded with lots of meat-based protein to help large breeds grow quickly without putting on too much weight. This type of food is also typically higher in calcium to support growing bones. They also have the right balance of Omega-3 fatty acids needed for optimal health development. One major difference is that large breed foods often have less calories than normal breed food.
They are usually prepared with natural ingredients and flavor too. If your pet has allergies or digestive issues, this can be very helpful because by-products and preservatives can cause these problems in puppies.
What Are the Important Ingredients of Large Breed Puppy Meals?
When choosing puppy food, the most important consideration is the nutritional content and ingredients. To meet your puppy’s needs, you must choose high-quality food tailored with the wholesome blend of the following ingredients:
Large breed puppies need more protein than other breeds because their muscle and bone growth rates are higher. Protein also aids in preventing osteoarthritis later in life by strengthening the ligaments and muscles around joints. Good sources of protein include chicken, lamb, tuna, and salmon. Look for puppy food with a minimum protein content of 28%.
Omega-3 fatty acids
The fatty acids support the brain, coat, and shiny skin development during the first year of a puppy’s life. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil and flaxseed oil. It also contributes to palatability, which means it makes the food even more delicious for your pup! However, the amount of fat should be appropriate for your dog’s life stage and activity level.
Calcium is essential for proper bone development and maintenance throughout a dog’s life. It also aids in maintaining proper muscle and brain function. Look for food with no more than 1.5% of calcium because too much calcium can increase the risk of hip dysplasia.
Iron is another nutrient your dog needs for optimal growth. Large breed puppies need approximately 30% more iron than smaller breeds to support their rapid growth. Look for food labeled “for all life stages,” as it will be filled with the essential quantity of iron.
Carbohydrates provide fuel for energy use by the muscles and brain. They also help digest and absorb other nutrients and support the immune system. A puppy’s diet must contain enough carbohydrates to meet their energy needs without gaining excessive weight.
How to Choose Large Breed Puppy Food?
The following are some of the most important considerations you should keep in mind when shopping for this special type of canine food:
Blend of proteins and minerals
The right pet food will have a high protein content, as well as vitamins and minerals, which help to build up your puppy’s body and give them the nutrients they need for optimum development. You should look for brands that use chicken, turkey, lamb, or fish meal as the first ingredient in their products. Meat proteins are important for helping your puppy develop strong muscles and bones. Additionally, look for a wholesome blend of vegetables and fruit extracts as it will aid in digestion, provide ample energy, improve vision, and help in maintaining shiny and healthy fur.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, then you should check the ingredients list carefully before deciding on your brand. The main culprits are corn, soy, and wheat – these ingredients can often cause allergic reactions in dogs. Furthermore, you should avoid foods that contain artificial colors, preservatives, or by-products since these can sometimes trigger an allergic reaction in dogs.
Look for the AAFCO seal of approval. This seal guarantees that your puppy’s food is nutritionally balanced and contains no harmful substances or additives that might cause problems in your dog’s health. The AAFCO also ensures that all ingredients are listed on the package label along with their specific nutrient content.
The expiry dates of pet food are a great indicator of the quality of the product. So, try to avoid foods that have been on the shelf or in storage too long and/or are near their expiration dates, as this can leave your dog with nutritional deficiencies and cause some serious health problems down the road.
How Often Should a Pet Parent Feed Large Breed Puppies?
Feeding your large puppy is not that much different from feeding a small dog. The main difference will be in the quantity of food that you are giving.
Start out by feeding your puppy three or four small portions of meals a day, instead of one or two larger ones. Doing this will not only help them develop good eating habits but will also aid in optimum growth.
As your pup grows, they’ll be able to eat larger portions at each meal. It’s important to adjust the portion size as your pet grows to avoid obesity or nutritional deficiencies.
If you’re raising a large breed dog or a puppy who is over 50 pounds, feed them three to four times per day to keep their calorie count within the acceptable range for their size.
The best time to feed your puppy is right after they wake up from a nap. This will allow them to digest food before going out to relieve themselves, minimizing the risk of an upset stomach.
Comparing the Top Large Breed Puppy Foods for 2024
Your beloved pup needs the right nutrition to grow and thrive, and Blue Buffalo large dog puppy food is here to fulfill those needs. This kibble has deboned lamb as the first ingredient so your dog can get all the protein needed for building and maintaining muscles. While having wholesome grains and vegetables, it has all-natural ingredients that are easy on your pup’s sensitive stomach.
This formula also contains a precise blend of calcium, phosphorus, and essential vitamins that promote healthy bones and teeth. But it doesn’t stop there. Your furry friend will also be getting antioxidants, carbohydrates, and vital minerals that are carefully selected just for them by holistic veterinarians to help build a strong immune system with life-long protection against multiple illnesses. Plus, it has an optimal balance of omega 6 and 3 fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin. With Blue Buffalo foods, you can rest easy knowing your best friend eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner in style every day – ensuring they remain at the peak of their health and look great while doing it!
Helps in building strong muscles and an active immune system
Rich in omega fatty acids for a healthy and shiny coat
All-natural ingredients make it safe for pups with a sensitive stomach
The Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Food is specially formulated with a unique blend of superfood and guaranteed prebiotics for optimal nutrition and digestion. This formula features lamb as the first ingredient, which is the best source of protein. It also contains DHA to support cognitive development, L-carnitine that converts fat into energy, glucosamine to build strong joints, and chondroitin sulfate for healthy bones. Every bite you feed your dog will make them stronger, faster, and more agile!
Furthermore, this kibble is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that will not only protect your dog from diseases but will also enhance their skin and fur. This high-quality kibble does not contain gluten or additives that often cause allergies in many dogs. Packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, this food is sure to fulfill your pup’s appetite and provide the nourishment that your dog needs for healthy growth.
Contain antioxidants to improve your pet’s immune system
Stimulate your dog’s brain development and cognitive function
Rich in protein, minerals, and other nutrients needed for healthy growth
It can lead to indigestion if consumed in large quantities
The IAMS Large Breed Puppy Food is especially designed to fulfill the nutritional needs of larger, growing dogs. This tasty treat is made with the right combination of quality proteins and essential minerals that will not only promote healthy joints but will also maintain strong muscles. If your dogs could read, they’d be drooling by now. Tailored with the wholesome blend of prebiotics and fibers, this dog food ensures optimal digestion and an active immune system. Want more? This crunchy kibble has a garnish of carrots that scrubs the dog’s teeth and prevents plaque buildup to eliminate bad breath!
The best part? It doesn’t contain any preservatives and fillers, so you can rest assured that your pup will always get a complete and balanced diet full of nutrients.
A wholesome blend of prebiotics and fiber for optimal digestion
Quality protein and mineral to support muscles and joints
Hill’s Science Diet is a delicious and nutritious food specially formulated to support your dog’s heart health. Packed with the optimal levels of calcium for bone growth, essential minerals for strong muscles and teeth, and fatty acids like DHA for healthy cognitive development, it’s an excellent way for your dog to develop super-strength!
Plus, this high-quality food has high-grade proteins that will provide your pooch with ample energy, while the antioxidants will encourage a healthy immune system. This product does not contain any additives, poultry by-products, or artificial flavor. And it comes with a wholesome blend of chicken and oatmeal taste that will make even the pickiest pup happy!
Made with all-natural ingredients for healthy development and growth
Provides ample amount of energy
A wholesome blend of chicken and oatmeal makes it tasty
This dry food features real chicken as the number one ingredient, along with high-quality ingredients like whole grain corn, wheat, and rice to help grow your pup into an active, healthy adult.
The Purina One Large Breed Puppy Food utilizes a special formulation of glucosamine that strengthens bones and offers joint support, while the high protein level supports the strong muscles like the heart. With a perfect blend of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in this food, your precious pup will thrive like never before! It’s the last one on our list but definitely not the least.
It contains natural chicken, which is healthier than the other types of meat
Quality protein to meet the growing demands of your dog’s body
Perfect for vision and brain development
Only appropriate for 0-2 years old dogs
People Also Asked
Q: What kind of container should I use to store my dog food?
A: You can use any kind of container that seals tightly. Airtight containers are ideal if you want to store your dog's dry pet food for longer periods of time.
Q: When should I switch my dog from puppy food to adult food?
A: You should switch your dog from puppy feed to adult food at the age of 2 years.
Q: Can I feed human food to my large breed puppy?
A: No, you shouldn't feed your puppy the same food that you eat. It can cause diarrhea, allergy attacks, and other digestive issues.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.