Best Dog food for Large Breeds

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best food for Large breeds is, then we recommend Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food for large breeds as the best one.

If your large breed is to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, you need to feed it a comprehensive diet. High-quality nutrition includes good sources of proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

As you shop for commercial dog food for your large breed, ensure that the fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats in the food meet the standards of credible dog food regulations.

We have compiled this article to help you make wise choices as far as dog food for large breeds is concerned.

Here’s a quick overview of the recommended formulas we’ll review in this article:


How to Choose the Best Large Breed Dog Food

There isn’t much difference between large breed dog food and the food for small dog breeds (or even medium size ones).

The most important ingredient in all these foods is meat. Also, they contain fruits/vegetables, and often grain – all intended to boost the nutritional value of the diet.

big-breeds

The key factor in all these foods is that the ingredients must be in a form that the dog can digest easily.

But, on another level, these large breed diets are different.

For example, large breed dog diets have glucosamine, which is important in preventing hip and joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Large breed pups take shorter to grow to full maturity than most other breeds. As such, you need to feed your pup diets that consider this.

Let’s put this into perspective…

A large breed puppy, such as a German Shepherd, starts off at one pound. It takes up to about 1 ½ years for the pup to grow 100 pounds.

This rapid growth exposes the dog to sensitivities related to nutrient imbalances. The food you settle for should be formulated with this in mind.

What’s the Best Dog Foods for Large Breed Puppies?

As we have seen, large breed pups grow extremely fast. This makes them prone to such medical conditions as DOD (developmental orthopedic disease).

DOD arises due to free feeding, overfeeding, and consuming too much protein and nutrients.

According to AAFCO, a proper diet takes into account ‘’all stages of life’’. Such a diet should consist of:

  • 30% protein and 9% fat
  • Phosphorus-Calcium ratio of between 1:1 and 3:1

This kind of food will sustain the developmental needs of your large breed puppy.

It goes without saying that you won’t achieve your feeding goals if you insist on free-feeding your pup.

What’s the Best Dog Foods for Large Breed Adults?

As your large breed puppy grows into an adult, you need to introduce an adult stage food to them.

You need to feed him/her two meals per day, each of about 1740 calories. Ensure that each meal consists of high-quality fat and protein.

Next, we need to consider how much you should feed your large breed dog.

This question is a bit tricky because each dog has its own unique needs.

The food manufacturers provide a food label to help you make this decision. But, remember, this is only a guideline. You need to tailor those guidelines to suit your dog’s unique requirements.

Of course, if you are unable to do this on your own, you can always consult your vet. The vet will consider your dog’s weight and calculate its nutritional needs based on the ‘body condition score’.

What’s the Best Food For Large Breed Senior Dogs?

It is only recently that dog food for large breed senior dogs appeared in the market. Indeed, the AAFCO has not yet stipulated the right ‘senior stage’ for dogs.

Also, the US Food and Drug Administration does not test the food being marketed as being for ‘senior dogs’. This means that the food for senior dogs in your local pet store has not undergone the same rigorous testing as food meant for the other dogs.

However, this does not mean that you should disregard the special nutritional needs of your senior dog.

You see, senior dogs do have their unique set of health challenges that require certain nutritional and veterinary intervention.

What you need to know about large breed seniors is that they do not need as many calories as their younger counterparts. However, they still need all the right ingredients to meet their nutritional needs.

Your vet can help you identify the best prescription diet based on the needs of your large breed senior.


THE TOP 5 BEST FOOD FOR LARGE BREEDS

#1 – Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food

This diet makes it to the top of the list for its unique balance of protein, carbs, fiber, fats, vitamins, and minerals. It has a blend most suited for a large breed dog.

The recipe has a sufficient amount of antioxidants to keep your large breed vibrant and happy.

Among its chief ingredients are chicken meat, lamb meat, oatmeal, chicken fat, de-hulled barley rice, brewers dried yeast, and salmon oil.

The manufacturers have been keen to add some supplements such as rosemary extract and green tea. These are not only good sources of antioxidants but also they add flavor that your large breed puppy would find appealing.

The formulation of this product takes into account the skeletal and muscle development of a growing pup. Moreover, the fatty acids and DHA would help your dog develop good eye coordination and brain growth.

Eagle Pack Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Pork, 30-Pound Bag
172 Reviews
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Pork, 30-Pound Bag
  • Complete & Balanced: All Natural, Delicious Dry Dog Recipe For Everyday Nutrition For Your Dog
  • Large & Giant Breed Formula: A Larger Kibble, Everyday Complete & Balanced Diet Made With Premium Ingredients Like Real Chicken & Pork To Meet The Special Needs Of Larger Dogs
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No Corn, Wheat, Meat By-Products, Artificial Colors, Flavors Or Preservatives

The Pros

  • It doesn’t use artificial preservatives and colors
  • It’s 100% grain-free
  • Its chicken meal and lamb meal ingredients are good for muscle development
  • It’s easy to digest
  • Its fatty acids and DHA are good for brain growth and eye coordination
  • It boosts the immune system

The Cons

  • May cause the problem of gas if it is introduced too fast

#2 – Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food

Wellness has been at the forefront of making leading top food products. This large breed puppy food is no exception.

It uses natural ingredients that the company draws from various parts of the world. The company gets 5% of the ingredients from Asia, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. The rest comes from Canada and the US.

The company has been keen to explain that they apply very stringent rules when accepting ingredients from their international markets. They vet each consignment for nutritional certification.

The main ingredients in this product are boneless chicken, whitefish, chicken meal, whitefish, tomato pomace, salmon meal, chicken fat, sweet potatoes, carrot, and salmon oil. These provide your dog with the nutrients they need to lead a robust life.

Sale
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Rice, 30-Pound Bag
218 Reviews
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Rice, 30-Pound Bag
  • Complete Health: Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Large Breed Puppy
  • Large Breed Puppy Formula: Larger Kibble Size, Made With Delicious Deboned Chicken With Regulated Calories And Added Dha For Healthy Bone, Brain And Eye Development
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No Wheat, Corn, Soy, Meat By-Products, Artificial Flavors, Colors Or Preservatives

The Pros

  • It has DHA for brain development and good eyesight
  • Contains phosphorus and calcium that are good for your dog’s joints and bones
  • Has 20% less fat as compared to most puppy diets – this is good for a steady growth
  • Has Omega-3 and Taurine, which are good for eye health
  • Has Yucca Schidigera for improved digestion

The Cons

  • May cause allergies in pups that are sensitive to poultry products
  •  Has garlic, which some pups do not like

#3 – Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food

This product has a balanced nutrition, which is good for the overall health of your large breed dog.

Its dry food formula uses high-quality natural ingredients. The manufacturer is keen to avoid any artificial or harmful chemicals. As such, your dog absorbs more nutrients from each meal it takes.

The glucosamine and chondroitin in this recipe are the building blocks your dog needs for healthy, cartilage, bones, and joints.

Its combination of Vitamins C and E are very essential in boosting the immune system of your canine companion.

Its main ingredients consist of lamb meal, brown rice, pork fat, egg products, fish oil, brewer’s rice, beet pulp, Vitamins A, and Vitamin B12.

Hill'S Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food Bag, 38.5 Lb Bag
586 Reviews
Hill'S Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food Bag, 38.5 Lb Bag
  • Hill'S Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food Is Recommended For Adult Dogs Who Weigh More Than 55 Pounds
  • This Premium Dry Food For Big Dogs Provides Natural Sources Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin To Support Joint Health And Mobility
  • Made In The Usa With U.S. And Imported Ingredients, Including High-Quality Protein For Lean Muscles And A Healthy Weight

The Pros

  • Its calcium levels are very good for bone formation
  • Empowers your dog to combat disease and infections
  • No artificial preservative, color, and flavor – safe for your dog’s health
  • All ingredients are natural and easy to digest

The Cons

  • Contains some controversial ingredients such as corn gluten meal, sorghum, and whole wheat

#4 – Blue Freedom Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This diet meets the nutritional needs of a large breed puppy.

To begin with, this product is gluten-free. This means that your dog is unlikely to suffer the risks we associate with gluten.

Secondly, it has a high content of good quality meat. It does not use chicken by-products. As such, your pup is likely to get much nutrition from this diet.

Buffalo, a company based in the US, is responsible for the manufacture of this product. This company has been around for a long time.

Also, they have to adhere to the strict regulations applicable in the United States. Thus, you stand better chances of getting a quality meal for your puppy in this diet.

Its key ingredients include boneless chicken, peas, chicken meal, turkey meal, chicken fat, carrots, potatoes, and flaxseed. These ingredients are easy to digest.

Also, they provide the essential nutrients that your growing puppy needs. For example, flaxseed is a good source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These are beneficial to the health of your dog’s skin and coat.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-Lb
251 Reviews
Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-Lb
  • Contains One (1) 24-Lb Bag Of Blue Freedom Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken
  • Always Features Real Meat As The 1St Ingredient. High-Quality Protein From Deboned Chicken, Plus Chicken Meal And Turkey Meal Helps Develop Strong Muscles. Grain Free, And Free Of The Grains That Contain Gluten, Which Some Pet Parents Choose To Avoid
  • Dha And Ara, Important Fatty Acids Found In Mother'S Milk, Along With Choline, Support Healthy Development Of Cognitive Learning And Retinal Function.

The Pros

  • Contains ARA, which is good in developing good eye coordination
  • Its protein-rich – good for muscle development
  • Does not contain harmful ingredients
  • Can be used by dogs that are sensitive to poultry products
  • Has adequate antioxidants (Life Source Bits) to help your dog combat infections
  • Its fatty acids are good for your dog’s brain development

The Cons

  • It’s quite costly
  • May cause bloating in puppies that are allergic to dried yeast

#5 – Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food

This recipe contains freeze-dehydrated meat and vegetables, which provides your canine companion with all they need for robust health.

Your dog is likely to like the taste of this product because its kibbles are coated with flavor enhancing fired meat.

The manufacturers purposefully have used ingredients that are suitable for an active large breed dog. These include lamb meal, dry chicken, chicken peas, herring meal, turkey meal, and raw chicken eggs.

For the fruits and vegetables, the diet has apples, squash, pumpkin seeds, dried kelp, carrots, and cranberries.

The large breed puppy version of this food has added turmeric and coconut oil in its list of ingredients. Coconut oil is rich in Vitamin E, while turmeric contains strong antibiotic properties.

According to the manufacturer, they get the ingredients from all over the globe. They verify each ingredient for quality before using it in the diet.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-Lb
251 Reviews
Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-Lb
  • Contains One (1) 24-Lb Bag Of Blue Freedom Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken
  • Always Features Real Meat As The 1St Ingredient. High-Quality Protein From Deboned Chicken, Plus Chicken Meal And Turkey Meal Helps Develop Strong Muscles. Grain Free, And Free Of The Grains That Contain Gluten, Which Some Pet Parents Choose To Avoid
  • Dha And Ara, Important Fatty Acids Found In Mother'S Milk, Along With Choline, Support Healthy Development Of Cognitive Learning And Retinal Function.

The Pros

  • Uses high-quality ingredients from around the globe
  • Enriched with proteins for the overall benefit of your dog
  • Its 100% grain-free
  • Does not contain preservatives, soy, wheat, potato, and corn
  • It’s good for brain development and eye coordination
  •  It’s easy to digest

The Cons

  • May cause some dogs to develop stinky breath
  • Some dogs develop gas

What You Need to Know about Dog Food Labels

A dog food label is one of the best sources of information concerning your dog’s diet.

However, you need to study the food label with a keen eye, as some are misleading.

By law, the food label cannot tell you about the quality of the ingredients. However, from the label, you’ll learn the source of the ingredients.

It’s important that you pay close attention to the source of each ingredient. Some dogs suffer from certain sensitivities and allergies. As such, some carbohydrates and proteins affect them.

As you search for the best recipe for your canine friend, keep the following in mind:

  • Look for the words ‘complete and balanced’
  • Does the label indicate that the recipe is clinically tested?
  • The terms ‘human-grade’ and ‘all-natural’ don’t mean much
  • If the food lists fats and oils in the first four ingredients, avoid it

What’s the Cost of Large Breed Dog Food?

Unlike their small breed cousins, large breed dogs consume much food. You’ll find it more expensive feeding a large breed dog than you would a small breed dog.

Don’t be tempted into purchasing an inferior brand of dog food just to save money. It could mean all the difference between your pet’s good health and poor health.

When you buy cheap dog food, you’ll get exactly what you pay for – poor quality. Don’t be lured by all the hype. After all, cheap is expensive!

Health Conditions That Affect Large Breed Dogs

Your dog’s nutrition can be affected by certain health conditions. The most common of these that affect large breeds are:

  • Obesity
  • Orthopedic Disease
  • Bloat

Obesity in Large Breed Dogs

Most dogs in the developed countries are either obese or at the risk of being overweight.

This problem is especially dangerous for larger breed dogs. It puts them at a greater risk of contracting the orthopedic disease, with all its attendant complications.

When your dog is obese, that extra weight puts pressure on its bones, muscles, joints, and organs. As such, the quality of their mobility and general health is compromised seriously.

It is now common knowledge that obesity leads to hypertension, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, and a weak heart.

Orthopedic Disease in Large Breeds

In this condition, the dog develops musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis, dysplasia, and osteochondrosis.

This condition arises due to certain factors including nutrition, lack of exercise, genes, and excessive growth.

There isn’t much you and I can do about the hereditary factors. The best you can do is to select your puppies from good stock.

However, you have a say over the other factors: nutrition, exercise, and growth rate.

For example, you can feed your pup the right puppy diet to lessen the risk of DOD. Monitor your dog’s lifestyle into adulthood to ensure that he/she gets the right nutrients.

Bloat in Large Breed Dogs

Veterinarians refer to bloat as gastric dilation-volvulus, GDV. This is a fatal condition, more so when it affects large breed dogs.

Bloat takes place when large amounts of gas accumulate in the dog’s stomach and are unable to escape. The pressure these gases exert affects the functioning of the body’s blood vessels and vital organs.

If you don’t resolve the problem urgently, your dog may succumb in the resultant complications.

Here are a few steps you can take to protect your dog against the risk of GDV:

  • Feed your pet small, multiple meals, instead of one large, heavy meal
  • Avoid using a raised feeder – feeding at the floor level is better
  • Avoid diets with high oil and fat content
  • Diets with large kibble are better than those with smaller kibble
  • Don’t exercise your dog for at least 30 minutes after a meal
  • Don’t substitute large breed formula for any other

Conclusion and Recommended Dog Food for Large Breeds

When all is said and done, we don’t have the perfect brand for your large breed of dog. You have the foremost responsibility to do due diligence about large breed nutrition.

With the help of your vet, you’ll discover what works best for you’re the particular needs of your dog.

But, based on our review above, we easily recommend Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food. Apart from its array of appropriate nutrients, the manufacturer has been around for more than half a century, operating in the USA.

Eagle Pack Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Pork, 30-Pound Bag
172 Reviews
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Pork, 30-Pound Bag
  • Complete & Balanced: All Natural, Delicious Dry Dog Recipe For Everyday Nutrition For Your Dog
  • Large & Giant Breed Formula: A Larger Kibble, Everyday Complete & Balanced Diet Made With Premium Ingredients Like Real Chicken & Pork To Meet The Special Needs Of Larger Dogs
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No Corn, Wheat, Meat By-Products, Artificial Colors, Flavors Or Preservatives

The diet is simple enough, yet it takes into account the sensitivities that are common with large breed dogs. We think this is what you could be looking for to make your large breed dog strong and healthy.


 

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