20 Best Large Breed Puppy Foods (2019): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews – Meet Unique Nutritional Needs, Avoid Skeletal Problems & Health Problems

Are you on a quest to find the best large breed puppy foods?

Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of models to bring you the best large breed puppy foods.

In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.

  • Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages)
  • Large Breed Puppy Foods Buyer’s Guide
  • Nutritional Needs of Large-Breed Puppies
  • Large Breed Dog Health Problems
  • Important Factors Which Make Large Breed Puppies More Likely To Develop Skeletal Issues
  • The Danger Of Too Much Calcium and Overfeeding
  • The Reality of Dog Food Labels
  • The Price of Large Breed Dog Food
  • Key Factors To Bear In Mind When Comparing Large Breed Puppy Food Brands
  • Large-Breed Puppy Feeding Tips
  • Puppy Feeding Schedules
  • Large Breed Dog Food VS Regular Dog Food

I will also answer some common questions.

  • What Makes a Breed a Large Breed Dog?
  • What Are The Differences between Puppy Food and Dog Food?
  • What Are The Differences between The Nutritional Needs of Large and Small Breed Dogs? (Video)
  • How Long Do You Feed a Large Breed Puppy Food? 
  • How Much to Feed a Large Breed Dog? (Video)
  • Why Dry Food Is Better than Wet Food?
  • Can Older Dogs Eat Puppy Food?
  • When’s The Right Time To Stop Using Puppy Food?
  • How to Switch from Puppy to Adult Dog Food?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Best Large Breed Puppy Foods Comparison Table

Product
Best Seller
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Puppy Premium Dry Dog Food -...
Editor’s Choice: Best Large Breed Puppy Food
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Puppy, 26-Pound Bag
Professional's Choice
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Rice, 30-Pound Bag
Low-budget Choice
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Large Breeds, Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe, 30 lb Bag
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Dog Food - Natural Dry Dog Food for Puppies - Chicken...
Image
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Puppy Premium Dry Dog Food -...
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Puppy, 26-Pound Bag
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Rice, 30-Pound Bag
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Large Breeds, Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe, 30 lb Bag
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Dog Food - Natural Dry Dog Food for Puppies - Chicken...
Price
from $35.99
from $14.29
from $61.89
$47.99
from $29.98
Our Rating
Best Seller
Product
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Puppy Premium Dry Dog Food -...
Image
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Puppy Premium Dry Dog Food -...
Price
from $35.99
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice: Best Large Breed Puppy Food
Product
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Puppy, 26-Pound Bag
Image
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Puppy, 26-Pound Bag
Price
from $14.29
Our Rating
Professional's Choice
Product
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Rice, 30-Pound Bag
Image
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Rice, 30-Pound Bag
Price
from $61.89
Our Rating
Low-budget Choice
Product
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Large Breeds, Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe, 30 lb Bag
Image
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Large Breeds, Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe, 30 lb Bag
Price
$47.99
Our Rating
Product
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Dog Food - Natural Dry Dog Food for Puppies - Chicken...
Image
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Dog Food - Natural Dry Dog Food for Puppies - Chicken...
Price
from $29.98
Our Rating
Product
CANIDAE PURE PUPPY Real Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg Recipe Dry Dog Food 24 lbs
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Lamb, Chicken & Fish, 30-Pound Bag
Natural Balance Puppy Formula L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Brown Rice Formula,...
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-lb
Best Giant Breed Puppy Food
Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food, Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe, 30-Pound Bag
Image
CANIDAE PURE PUPPY Real Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg Recipe Dry Dog Food 24 lbs
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Lamb, Chicken & Fish, 30-Pound Bag
Natural Balance Puppy Formula L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Brown Rice Formula,...
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-lb
Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food, Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe, 30-Pound Bag
Price
$55.16
from $25.59
$52.10
from $18.99
from $42.99
Our Rating
Product
CANIDAE PURE PUPPY Real Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg Recipe Dry Dog Food 24 lbs
Image
CANIDAE PURE PUPPY Real Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg Recipe Dry Dog Food 24 lbs
Price
$55.16
Our Rating
Product
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Lamb, Chicken & Fish, 30-Pound Bag
Image
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Lamb, Chicken & Fish, 30-Pound Bag
Price
from $25.59
Our Rating
Product
Natural Balance Puppy Formula L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Brown Rice Formula,...
Image
Natural Balance Puppy Formula L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Brown Rice Formula,...
Price
$52.10
Our Rating
Product
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-lb
Image
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-lb
Price
from $18.99
Our Rating
Best Giant Breed Puppy Food
Product
Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food, Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe, 30-Pound Bag
Image
Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food, Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe, 30-Pound Bag
Price
from $42.99
Our Rating
Product
Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Chicken, 30.6 Lb. Bag
Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food; FOCUS Chicken & Rice Formula - 34 lb. Bag
Fromm Family Foods 727050 Gold Large Breed 33 Lb Puppy Dry Food (1 Pack),
NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Pasture-Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe, 30 lb. Bag
Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Recipes
Image
Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Chicken, 30.6 Lb. Bag
Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food; FOCUS Chicken & Rice Formula - 34 lb. Bag
Fromm Family Foods 727050 Gold Large Breed 33 Lb Puppy Dry Food (1 Pack),
NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Pasture-Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe, 30 lb. Bag
Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Recipes
Price
from $6.24
from $14.48
$72.50
from $9.99
from $17.98
Our Rating
Product
Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Chicken, 30.6 Lb. Bag
Image
Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Chicken, 30.6 Lb. Bag
Price
from $6.24
Our Rating
Product
Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food; FOCUS Chicken & Rice Formula - 34 lb. Bag
Image
Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food; FOCUS Chicken & Rice Formula - 34 lb. Bag
Price
from $14.48
Our Rating
Product
Fromm Family Foods 727050 Gold Large Breed 33 Lb Puppy Dry Food (1 Pack),
Image
Fromm Family Foods 727050 Gold Large Breed 33 Lb Puppy Dry Food (1 Pack),
Price
$72.50
Our Rating
Product
NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Pasture-Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe, 30 lb. Bag
Image
NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Pasture-Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe, 30 lb. Bag
Price
from $9.99
Our Rating
Product
Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Recipes
Image
Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Recipes
Price
from $17.98
Our Rating
Product
Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's...
Organix Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food, 14.5-Pound
Natural Balance Original Ultra Chicken, Brown Rice & Duck Meal Formula Dry Puppy Food, 28 Pounds
Orijen Large Breed Puppy - 28.6lb
Canidae All Life Stages Large Breed Puppy Food Made With Duck Meal, Brown Rice & Lentils, 30 Lbs
Image
Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's...
Organix Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food, 14.5-Pound
Natural Balance Original Ultra Chicken, Brown Rice & Duck Meal Formula Dry Puppy Food, 28 Pounds
Orijen Large Breed Puppy - 28.6lb
Canidae All Life Stages Large Breed Puppy Food Made With Duck Meal, Brown Rice & Lentils,  30 Lbs
Price
from $17.94
$79.27
from $16.99
$120.99
Currently not available
Our Rating
Product
Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's...
Image
Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's...
Price
from $17.94
Our Rating
Product
Organix Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food, 14.5-Pound
Image
Organix Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food, 14.5-Pound
Price
$79.27
Our Rating
Product
Natural Balance Original Ultra Chicken, Brown Rice & Duck Meal Formula Dry Puppy Food, 28 Pounds
Image
Natural Balance Original Ultra Chicken, Brown Rice & Duck Meal Formula Dry Puppy Food, 28 Pounds
Price
from $16.99
Our Rating
Product
Orijen Large Breed Puppy - 28.6lb
Image
Orijen Large Breed Puppy - 28.6lb
Price
$120.99
Our Rating
Product
Canidae All Life Stages Large Breed Puppy Food Made With Duck Meal, Brown Rice & Lentils, 30 Lbs
Image
Canidae All Life Stages Large Breed Puppy Food Made With Duck Meal, Brown Rice & Lentils,  30 Lbs
Price
Currently not available
Our Rating

Top 10 Best Large Breed Puppy Foods

  1. Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food
  2. Wellness Core® Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  3. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Rice, 30-Pound Bag
  4. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food
  5. BLUE Life Protection Formula Dry Puppy Food
  6. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food
  7. Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food
  8. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food – Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula
  9. BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food
  10. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food

1. Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food – Best Seller

Sale
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Puppy Premium Dry Dog Food -...
  • Discontinued size by manufacturer
  • A taste of the wild with ROASTED BISON & VENISON; REAL MEAT is #1...
  • HIGH quality PROTEIN recipe with smaller kibble; tailored for growing...
  • Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made...
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; Nutrient rich...

As implied by the name, this particular puppy food is going to let your puppy get closer to wild relatives, such as wolves. Even though our dogs are domesticated, they sometimes want and even need that feeling of being a part of the wild. This dog food can provide your pup with the feeling that only wild food can give. Enjoying even a sliver of the primal vigor of beasts of the wild can do wonders for your pup’s health and attitude in life.

Taste of the Wild provides distinct flavors of dry food that ensure enough nutrition that your puppy needs for healthy development. The maker discusses how modern dogs are related to wolves and how this inspires them to make ideal blends for happy and healthy dogs in your life.

This particular ‘High Prairie Puppy’ selection has robust protein content from real meat sources like venison, bison, lamb, and buffalo. It also provides antioxidants that help keep an immune system strong thanks to fruits and veggies, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, and peas.

Salmon oil is a source of fatty acids that help your dog’s coat keep a glossy finish; they’re also crucial for healthy brain development. Calcium gets added in deliberate quantities to help strengthen teeth and bones. Also, the kibble gets shaped into chunks that easy to manage with the right oral care. The entire formula is also totally free of grains.

This dry food is for large-breed puppies, and the Amazon reviews from many customers are top of the line. Many of them feel that this particular food brand is the best market option for giving their puppies an overall healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on shiny coats and good energy levels. Very few dog food options rate more highly than this one.

If you personally own a large-breed puppy and want an all-natural dry food that provides unique flavors and abundant nutrition, then this one is definitely a contender worthy of your consideration. If it fits your budget and your dog likes it, then you might have a winner.

Pros
  • It gives your puppy great nutrition thanks to vegetables and proteins that give a growing dog what he needs.
  • No puppies resist taking this given its great taste too, thanks to roasted meat being among the taste proteins.
  • Your puppy can enjoy the taste of wilderness at a price you can afford.
  • Vitamin C and lycopene come from the tomatoes and tomato pomace, and Vitamins C and E come in antioxidant-loaded raspberries and blueberries.
Cons
  • It’s not a good choice for puppies with fish allergies. If you’re not sure if your dog has allergies, consult your vet for potential testing.

2. Wellness Core® Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food – Editor’s Choice: Best Large Breed Puppy Food & Our Most Highly Recommended

Sale
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Puppy, 26-Pound Bag
  • GRAIN FREE: 100% grain free, complete and balanced everyday nutrition...
  • PUPPY FORMULA: Naturally grain free, protein rich, made with premium...
  • ALL NATURAL: Contains only premium, all natural ingredients with no...
  • MADE IN USA: Backed by the Wellness Guarantee and proudly made only in...
  • Glucosamine protects the joints and increases mobility.When pregnant,...

Wellness CORE is very balanced and also very nutritious that is a great puppy formula. This dry kibble is free of grains but high in protein. Unlike quite a few other commercial dog foods, this particular formula is devoid of fillers, artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, and meat by-products.

This blend for puppies is formulated with their smaller mouths in mind, as the kibble size is easily chewable. On top of having a lot of protein, this particular formula also has a great flax and fish omega fat blend that helps your puppy’s coat. Probiotics and antioxidants are also present, to help your pup out with improved digestion.

Another advantage the CORE formula provides is the assurance that you’re going to be under the maximum AAFCO limits for phosphorous and calcium. This blend also makes use of low-ash meats. A lot of pet foods don’t actually disclose their ash content, which is relevant to the quality of the protein in dog foods. A high content of ash means too many minerals in some cases, which can lead to health issues in large-breed puppies. Wellness CORE food blends are available in 4-, 12-, and 26-pound sizes.

A lot of pet owners claim that switching to this brand improves the health of their animals considerably. For all these reasons, Wellness CORE gets an enthusiastic recommendation from us as perhaps the single best puppy food available for larger breeds. In time, someone else might do better, but for now, this formula is the king of the hill.

Pros
  • It’s a protein powerhouse, thanks to having 80 percent more meat as compared to alternative dog foods that have grains or meat by-products.
  • It’s free of grains, which helps your puppy avoid eating unnecessary foodstuffs that don’t make sense.
  • This product is not just safe for your dog, it’s also a source of great nutrition thanks to essential vitamins, antioxidants, probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • You can improve the health of your puppy thanks to nutrients that specifically promote better health in the eyes, gums, and teeth.
  • Your puppy can enjoy better energy levels thanks to the copious amounts of carbs, which provide for daily vigor.
Cons
  • A few puppies don’t seem to like it, and just as soon as they eat it, they vomit it up immediately.

3. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Rice – Professional’s Choice

Sale
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 Formula: Larger Kibble Size, Made With Delicious...
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No...
  • Made In Usa: Backed By The Wellness Guarantee And Proudly Made Only In...
  • Omega fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat

This puppy food comes from the same company that makes Wellness Core, and once again, they’ve come up with a winner. This particular formula emphasizes mental and physical growth as your puppy’s development is supported by this food.

Salmon is rich in presence here, as the DHA supports cognitive development that can help your puppy stay on top of obedience and training classes. Specific protein ingredients include chicken meal and chicken complemented by ground brown rice and barley for digestion and energy.

Pros
  • The DHA content helps with brain development
  • The taurine in the formula helps out with heart health.
  • The distinct Yucca Schidigera extract can help minimize stool odor, which is always a plus in keeping your home clean and pristine.
  • The formula also supports bone development, which helps out with large breeds.
Cons
  • The poultry ingredients trigger allergies in some breeds.
  • Other dogs might also suffer anemia from the garlic content, which damages how red blood cells flow throughout the canine body.

4. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food – Low-budget Choice

Sale
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Large Breeds, Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe, 30 lb Bag
  • A large breed puppy food specially made with an optimal level of...
  • Uses a balanced set of minerals to promote strong bones and teeth in...
  • Uses DHA from fish oil to support healthy brain and eye development...
  • High-quality protein helps your large pup build and maintain lean...
  • Made with natural ingredients

It’s crucial that your puppy enjoys an ideal balance of minerals and vitamins that support their growth, especially in the first year. This dry food is specifically created to accomplish exactly this.

For instance, the chicken meal and oats flavor has real chicken as a protein source, complemented by a diverse range of authentic veggies, all enriched with numerous nutrients a growing dog needs for health and strength. Critically, the makers avoid using any preservatives or artificial flavors or colors in this recipe.

The maker offers specific instructions on just how much food you should feed your pup daily in order to get the most potential benefit from the formula balance. Every piece is intended to be big enough that your puppy won’t eat too fast, and the included antioxidants help keep immune systems in working order.

The maker prides itself on having used a team of more than 200 various professionals, including food scientists, vets, and technicians, in the research and development of their products, including wet foods that can be used with dry foods, as well as products for older dogs once puppy food isn’t appropriate or necessary any longer. It’s also good to know that a portion of their profits is donated to various animal shelters.

Pros
  • This product enhances the development of joints and cartilage in puppies, which is useful for large-breed dogs that can experience weight-related mobility issues.
  • It also has L-Carnitine that can turn fat into energy.
  • The gluten-free formula also smooths out blood circulation.
  • Premium-quality ingredients come at a reasonable price to provide a very balanced source of nutrition that helps your dog’s immune system and overall health.
Cons
  • The formula isn’t free of grains, which might cause indigestion.
  • The formula only has chicken as a protein source, nor is there a variety of flavors to pick from, so your pup might get finicky or tired of the taste after a while.

5.BLUE Life Protection Formula Dry Puppy Food

Sale
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Dog Food - Natural Dry Dog Food for Puppies - Chicken...
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the...
  • FOR LARGE BREED PUPPIES: BLUE Life Protection Formula Large Breed...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE's exclusive...
  • A NATURAL DOG FOOD: Formulated for the health and well-being of your...
  • Contains one (1) 30 lb. Bag of BLUE Life Protection Formula Large...

First of all, this dry food provides pups lots of protein, as the very first two ingredients are deboned chicken and then chicken meal. The next three ingredients are all whole grains that give pups high energy levels thanks to easily digested complex carbs. These prove better than corn or other cheaper carbs that pups are not likely to get nutrition from.

Across this entire product, 40 percent of the content is protein, certainly higher than the average comparable dog food. 14 percent is fat content, and 38 percent is carbs.

This product has flax-seed as a good source of both fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, all of which help your pup stay healthy in terms of digestion. The omegas might also reduce the chances of arthritis setting in.

Pros
  • It has ARA, which helps with eye development.
  • The product formula is also free of poultry, although it does have LifeSource Bits that are enhanced by Super 7 antioxidant ingredients.
Cons
  • The formula as an added coloring in the form of caramel.
  • Dried yeast is in there, which can trigger bloating in pups that have yeast allergies.

6. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food

Sale
CANIDAE PURE PUPPY Real Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg Recipe Dry Dog Food 24 lbs
  • Limited Ingredients: 7-10 simple ingredients for sensitive dogs Grain...

Designed with health in mind, Pure dry dog food by Canidae has a mixture of essential vitamins and nutrients that your dog needs. Packed with protein and high-quality ingredients, it will give them the energy that they need to stay healthy and strong.

One unique ingredient that has been added to this dog food is sun-cured alfalfa. Although there is some controversy surrounding its use in dog food, it has been shown to assist with nutrient absorption. It can also help dogs absorb more calcium from their diet. In addition, this dog food also is packed with chelated minerals that are designed to help the digestive system absorb the minerals contained in the food more efficiently.

In terms of its protein content, Canidae’s grain free food is at the upper end of the scale. The government recommends that dog food should contain at least 18% protein for dogs that are fully grown. This Canidae formula contains 34% crude protein, far exceeding the minimum. The protein itself comes from a variety of sources including turkey meal, chicken meal, lamb, peas, and potatoes.

Another protein source in the food is Menhaden Fish meal. This not only provides dogs with extra protein but also with essential Omega-3 fatty acids. Thanks to the sunflower oil that it contains, the food is also rich in Omega-6 fatty acids.

Although most of the ingredients in the food are great, there is one ingredient that could be problematic: cellulase. This enzyme is included to assist with the process of breaking down cellulose. Unfortunately, it can cause digestive troubles in dogs with sensitive systems. If your dog already has trouble with their bowel movements, this food may not be a good choice. All in all, however, the food contains high-quality ingredients and is a healthy option for most pets.

Pros
  • High in protein
Cons
  • The cellulase in the formula may cause digestive issues including diarrhea

7. Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food

Sale
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Lamb, Chicken & Fish, 30-Pound Bag
  • Complete & Balanced: All Natural, Delicious Dry Dog Recipe For...
  • Large & Giant Breed Puppy Formula: A Larger Kibble, Everyday Complete...
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No...
  • Made In Usa: Backed By The Eagle Pack Guarantee And Proudly Made Only...

If you own a large-breed puppy, you no doubt want to give it the best food available. Natural Dry dog food by Eagle Pack is a great choice thanks to its well-balanced nutritional profile. Along with containing the right mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, it also provides all of the vitamins and minerals that your puppy needs. In addition, it contains essential fatty acids, DHA, and antioxidants that can help your puppy enjoy excellent health.

This food is meant for dogs that will eventually reach an adult weight of more than 50 pounds. The formula of the food is based on research and is designed to provide your dog with plenty of energy.

As an added bonus, the vitamins and minerals in the food will help boost the immune system of your dog while at the same time helping them grow big and strong. Most pet owners who use this food report that their dogs are extremely healthy, with clear eyes, beautiful fur, and lively, energetic personalities.

Pros
  • Multiple protein sources
  • Contains fruits and vegetables
  • Rich in chelated proteins
  • It provides your puppy with the optimum number of calories to support healthy growth.
  • It also has vitamins and minerals that will keep everything from his muscles to his skeletal system healthy and strong as he grows.
  • Thanks to the addition of DHA, you can rest easy knowing that your puppy’s eyes and brain will develop correctly.
  • Found in mother’s milk, this fatty acid supports healthy eye and brain development.
  • Helps boost your puppy’s immune system, giving them the defenses that they need to ward off any outside risks of infection or disease.
Cons
  • Not appropriate for dogs expected to weigh less than 50 pounds at full maturity
  • The ingredients include brewers dried yeast
  • The small pieces are difficult for some puppies to chew

8. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food – Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula

Natural Balance Puppy Formula L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Brown Rice Formula,...
  • Contains 1 - 24 Pound Bag Of Dry Dog Food
  • Single Source Animal Protein: Lamb
  • Limited Carbohydrate Sources
  • Specifically Shaped Kibble For Smaller Jaws
  • Supports Neural Development

With more than two decades of experience, Natural Balance is one of the leading companies in the dog food industry. They employ rigorous testing standards that are designed to ensure that every batch of food is consistent. The results of this testing are available online for consumers to view.

Natural Balance focuses on quality, using the best ingredients in their food. At the same time, however, the food itself is priced more affordably than many other comparable brands, making it a great value.

The only real drawback to this food is that its protein sources don’t include whole meat.

However, if your puppy has a sensitive digestive tract or is allergic to standard dog food ingredients, this food is an excellent choice. The bulk of the food is made up of brown rice and lamb meal. When it comes to grain-based fillers, brown rice is one of the best thanks to its excellent nutritional profile.

Pros
  • Provides your puppy with a properly balanced diet
  • Priced lower than comparable brands
  • Ideal for puppies who have difficulty digesting food or who are allergic to other ingredients
Cons
  • Does not contain a whole protein source
  • Canola oil is one of the ingredients

9. BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

Sale
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-lb
  • PACKED WITH REAL CHICKEN: A recipe made to satisfy your puppy's...
  • GRAIN FREE PUPPY FOOD: BLUE Wilderness grain free large breed puppy...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE's exclusive...
  • NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dry dog food is formulated for the health and...
  • Contains one (1) 24-lb bag of BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free,...

Blue Buffalo is one of the most well-respected names in the dog food industry. They provide dogs with food that is not only extremely nutritious but that also is delicious for them to eat. This product doesn’t contain any grains, making it a great choice for dogs who suffer from allergies. Grains can aggravate allergies or digestive problems in sensitive dogs. Because the food is made with real meat, it also tastes great. Most dogs enjoy eating this food so much that you won’t have to struggle to get them to eat it at mealtime.

It has a high protein content and doesn’t contain any grains, making it a great choice for supporting muscular development in puppies. The food itself was modeled after the types of food eaten by wolves in the wild. Thanks to the addition of DHA, it is also excellent for brain development. Interestingly, the shape of the kibble is designed to clean away plaque and tartar while your dog eats, helping them maintain excellent oral health. It also contains vegetables and fruit, ensuring that your dog is getting all of the antioxidants that they need to support their immune system.

Pros
  • Grain-free, making it a great choice for dogs with allergies
  • The bag can be sealed, helping to keep the food fresh
  • Blue Buffalo will provide a refund if your dog doesn’t like the food
  • Contains real meat and natural ingredients
Cons
  • At the bottom of the ingredient list, there are a couple of ingredients that may cause problems. However, because the dosage is so low, most dogs won’t experience any issues with these ingredients.
  • In the past, Blue Buffalo has come under fire for inaccuracies in their ingredient lists.

10. Best large breed puppy food for german shepherds – Best Giant Breed Puppy Food

Sale
Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food, Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe, 30-Pound Bag
  • Unique Digestive Health Support: Formulated With A Unique Digestive...
  • Large & Giant Breed Puppy Formula: A Larger Kibble, Everyday Complete...
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No...
  • Made In Usa: Backed By The Holistic Select Guarantee And Proudly Made...

Large-breed puppies thrive when they eat this special dog food formula by Holistic Select. The pieces of kibble are designed to be big enough for large-breed puppies to comfortably eat. The food is also designed to support the digestive tract, thanks to the addition of probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fiber.

When combined with the other excellent ingredients in this food, these digestive aids help ensure that your puppy can make the most of all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that the food contains. This can keep them extremely healthy as they mature.

There are also a number of different blends available within this dog food line, allowing you to choose the food that is best for your puppy’s needs.

The food contains ingredients that are formulated to help a puppy develop a strong skeletal system and plenty of lean muscle. Thanks to the included digestive enzymes, puppies don’t have any trouble digesting cellulose, starch, and other ingredients that sometimes cause problems in other food.

Pros
  • Excellent for puppies with digestive problems
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Includes probiotics for healthy digestion
  • Incorporates high-quality ingredients
  • Contains digestive enzymes to assist with digestion
  • Designed to support brain and eye health
Cons
  • Much of the protein comes from plants rather than meat
  • Some puppies may have allergies to the duck meal that this product contains

11. Iams PROACTIVE HEALTH Smart Puppy Dry Dog Food

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Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Chicken, 30.6 Lb. Bag
  • Contains One (1) 30.6 Lb. Bag Of Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy...
  • Veterinarians Recommend Iams, So You Can Feed Like A Pro
  • Real, Farm-Raised Chicken Is The 1St Ingredient
  • Includes 22 Key Nutrients That Are Found In A Mother'S Milk
  • Promotes Healthy Cognition With Omega-3 Dha For Smarter, More...

When choosing a dog food, the primary factors that you need to consider are its nutritional value, its taste, and the quality of the ingredients. Iams designed this dog food with these factors in mind, creating a food that is an excellent choice for puppies of larger dog breeds.

Pet foods made in other countries are notorious for having problems with the ingredients – many of which can be dangerous for animals. With Iams, you don’t have to worry about that since all of their food is manufactured in the United States, where there are quality control standards that they must adhere to. This is one of the reasons why this food is such a great choice.

The food itself contains high-quality ingredients that promote both strength and health in large-breed puppies. These puppies have a tendency to grow extremely quickly, causing a great deal of strain on their skeletal systems. The right food can help minimize the effects of these growth spurts by giving them the calories they need and by providing them with nutrients like phosphorous and calcium that help support bone health.

The food itself comes with detailed instructions on how much your puppy should eat, depending on its size. Thanks to its unique formulation, the food is designed to provide the ideal levels of phosphorus and calcium for growing puppies. It also contains a number of antioxidants that support the immune system and provides high-quality protein that comes from chicken and eggs.

Pros
  • Supports proper muscle and bone development with the ideal balance of protein and calcium
  • Contains DHA which supports healthy brain development, making it easier to train your puppy
  • Contains rich antioxidants that boost the immune system
Cons
  • While most of the ingredients are great, the food does contain a few ingredients that are a bit lower in quality. For instance, meat by-products and other additives may trigger allergic responses in sensitive animals.

12. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

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Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food; FOCUS Chicken & Rice Formula - 34 lb. Bag
  • 34 Lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan Focus Large Breed Chicken & Rice Formula...
  • Made With High-Quality Protein, Including Real Chicken As The #1...
  • Natural Sources Of Glucosamine Help Support His Developing Joints And...
  • Dha From Fish Oil Helps To Nourish Brain And Vision Development

Made with chicken and rice, this dry puppy food is one of many different puppy-related products offered by Purina Pro Plan. Thanks to its high-quality ingredients and dense nutritional profile, it is ideal for providing growing puppies with the nutrition that they need.

When reading the ingredient list, the first item listed is chicken, meaning that the food is based on a high-quality protein source. Purina also guarantees that they only use real meat and high-quality nutrients in their pet food formulas rather than relying on substitutes like certain less reputable brands.

The fact that this food contains fish oil is excellent since the fatty acids found in the oil can help ensure that your puppy’s eyes and brain develop properly. The food also includes antioxidants, providing essential support for the immune system. With phosphorus, calcium, and other minerals, you can be sure that your puppy’s bones and teeth develop properly. Glucosamine is also included, providing support for the body’s cartilage and joints.

From a nutritional standpoint, this food is excellent. It also comes in a variety of flavors, allowing you to provide your puppy with a little bit of variation in their diet. As your puppy grows into adulthood, Purina Pro plan also has a range of adult dog foods that will continue to meet his nutritional needs.

Pros
  • Chicken is listed as the primary ingredient, providing a high-quality protein source and excellent flavor
  • The food is designed to keep dogs at a healthy weight
  • DHA supports the development of healthy eyes and brain tissue
  • The addition of glucosamine helps ensure that your dog’s cartilage and joints will stay healthy as they grow
Cons
  • A large portion of the minerals in the food are not chelated. As a result, they may not be as easy for your dog to absorb. Even if the food contains the right minerals, it won’t matter if your dog can’t digest them.
  • There is some controversy surrounding a few of the ingredients in the food. While these ingredients are not dangerous, they could be problematic if your dog has a sensitive digestive tract.

13. Fromm Family Foods 33 lb Gold Nutritionals Dog Food

Fromm Family Foods 727050 Gold Large Breed 33 Lb Puppy Dry Food (1 Pack),
  • Only The Highest Quality Ingredients Available Are Used In Fromm Pet...
  • Many Variety'S Available From Puppy To Senior
  • The Best Dog Food Money Can Buy
  • Flavor: Large Breed Puppy

Owned by a single family for five generations, Fromm creates a variety of pet food products. Their foods were some of the earliest to cater to pet owners looking for premium foods for their pets. In terms of quality, all of their products are top-notch.

This particular food is made with a variety of protein sources including low-ash lamb, duck from Wisconsin, human-grade chicken, and Wisconsin’s famous cheddar cheese. With such amazing ingredients, it is no wonder that dogs find it absolutely delicious. In addition, it contains salmon oil, helping to give your puppy a beautiful coat. Thanks to the probiotics that it contains, it is also easy for pets to digest. It contains the proper balance of phosphorus and calcium and also provides glucosamine, supporting joint health.

Fromm’s foods are processed by hand, making them one of the highest quality brands on the market. Additionally, because it is a family-owned business, you can trust that they take pride in the products that they create.

Pros
  • Designed to be extremely digestible
  • Exceptionally high-quality ingredients
  • Salmon oil helps promote a beautiful coat
  • Produced in the United States
Cons
  • At the higher end of the spectrum in terms of price
  • Not suitable for all puppies

14. Nutro WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Puppy Dry Dog Food

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NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Pasture-Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe, 30 lb. Bag
  • Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural...
  • Pasture-Fed Lamb Is The #1 Ingredient To Help Support Strong Muscles.
  • Nutro Food For Large Breed Puppies Is Made With Calcium To Build...
  • Crafted With Essential Antioxidants, Such As Vitamin E, For A Healthy...
  • Made With Non-Gmo Ingredients* *Trace Amounts Of Genetically Modified...

Nutro believes in nutrition so strongly that they even made it part of their name. Their food is designed with fresh, natural ingredients that promote excellent health in puppies and adult dogs alike. They have a variety of different dog food lines available and also manufacture healthy treats for pets.

When it comes to their large-breed puppy food, they have a couple of different options available. One version of their food contains standard ingredients while another version provides limited ingredients for dogs with sensitive digestion or allergies.

The Limited Ingredient Diet version of their food is made with lamb from New Zealand and Australia – a high-quality protein source that supports excellent health. It also contains brown rice, providing your puppy with healthy fiber and carbohydrates that are easy to digest. WIth high-quality ingredients including fresh lamb, lamb meal, chicken fat, chickpeas, and whole grains such as oatmeal, this food has a lot to offer. It also contains chelated minerals that are easy for pets to digest.

The profile of macronutrients contained in the food is also excellent, with 3% dietary fiber, 15% fat, and a generous 26% crude protein. This balance is ideal for promoting healthy digestion. As an added bonus, the flavor of the food is great, meaning that most puppies will eat it without question.

Pros
  • Contains high-quality ingredients, helping to promote a healthy weight
  • Supports better digestion
Cons
  • Some puppies prefer the taste of other brands of food

15. Merrick Grain Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food

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Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Recipes
  • Grain-Free Nutrition With No Gluten Ingredients For Easier...
  • #1 Ingredient Is Real Deboned Chicken
  • Contains Dha For Healthy Brain Development
  • Formulated To Meet The Nutritional And Development Requirements Of All...
  • Cooked In The Usa.

Merrick’s grain free puppy recipe is extremely high in protein, making it a great choice for your pet. It also has a lot of other highly nutritious ingredients, ensuring that your puppy eats a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in minerals and vitamins. Thanks to the fact that the food is high in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, your puppy’s coat will look beautiful and shiny.

Unlike other brands that rely on low-quality fillers, this food relies on high-quality ingredients like peas and sweet potatoes to provide your pet with the carbohydrates that they need.

It is available in a couple of different flavors including fish and poultry. These excellent protein sources are combined with fruits and vegetables to ensure that your pet’s nutritional needs are met.

One minor drawback to this food, however, is that it does contain potatoes. Some people don’t like this particular ingredient in dog food.

Pros
  • Contains whole protein
  • Provides high-quality carbohydrates
  • Packed with essential fatty acids to support better health
Cons
  • Has potato protein as an ingredient
  • May cause problems if your puppy has a fish allergy

16. Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food

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Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's...
  • GRAIN FREE PUPPY FOOD WITH FREEZE DRIED RAW CAGE FREE CHICKEN:...
  • PUPPY DOG FOOD PLUS FREEZE DRIED RAW PIECES: Made with calcium &...
  • THE FIRST RAW BOOSTED LARGE BREED PUPPY KIBBLE: Raw Boost mixes...
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This is a combination of kibble, and freeze dried meat that has vegetables that is meant to provide all the protein your dogs would need. The kibble does have a meat coating that is freeze-dried to add the flavor.

This is a dog food that is going to have some of the raw meat that is real to ensure that your dogs get the right nutrition from each meal.

This does have coconut oil and even turmeric which helps to increase your dogs nutrition. This is a food that you will find you may want to consider as it has montmorillonite clay, which can help to control diarrhea and bowel issues in puppies.

The main source of energy in the food is going to be tapioca. This is a dog food that is going to be grain free and this means the carbohydrates will come from the cassava plant roots. When you get this dog food you will find that it has probiotics that are from the dried fermentation of the different ingredients and will help to boost the immune system to fight disease.

The Natures Variety puppy food has a great formula that is unique because it uses the raw meats and vegetables that come from first hand ingredients.

Pros
  • This is going to use raw meat that is dried and vegetables.
  • It does have montmorillonite clay that will help with bowel issues.
Cons
  • Some of the dog breeds will not like the food taste.

17. Organix Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food

Organix Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food, 14.5-Pound
  • 【Heart Rate Monitor & Built-In Gps & Sedentary Alert】 24-Hour...
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  • 【Call & Message Notification 】You Will Get Instant Messages & Call...
  • 【14 Smart Functions & Ip67 Waterproof】 Time Display,Remote Control...
  • 【Multi Compatibility & Long-Lasting Battery & Built In Usb Plug &One...

This is a puppy food that has flax seed, organic brown rice, and even a wide range of vegetables that is going to help your puppy’s fur, skin, and digestive health.

The protein in this food comes from free-range chickens that are organic. The food is also high in flax seed and even brown rice which is organically sourced. The product definitely has managed to get a lot of attention with the natural and organic products it has included. This means you will find a lot of healthy pets that are happy. You will find that some of the quantities of the vitamins and the minerals are higher than expected.

This is a great food that is missing out on a lot of the filler items that would be found in a lot of the food.

Pros
  • This is a food that is going to give your puppy a meal that will make it easier for them to have a healthy life that is full of energy.
  • Made in the USA.
  • This is using organic free-range chicken that is going to give a great taste.
  • This does not have any artificial colors or preservatives and is corn, soy, and wheat free.
  • This does have Omega 3 Fatty acides which will help to give a great looking coat and a healthy intestinal tract.
Cons
  • The one source of fiber in the food comes from peas. This is a great source of fiber for the dogs, but some of the dogs have trouble digesting peas.
  • This may lead to your pet having diarrhea.

18. Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Puppy Formula

Natural Balance Original Ultra Chicken, Brown Rice & Duck Meal Formula Dry Puppy Food, 28 Pounds
  • Contains 1 - 28 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food for Puppies
  • Supports neural and brain health
  • Helps maintain healthy heart and eyes
  • Helps develop healthy muscles
  • Supports shiny coat and healthy skin

This is like almost all of the other dry dog foods that is meant for the optimal development and growth of the puppies. This is going to make sure your puppy is getting the proper amount of nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals, and proteins they need to have.

You will find that company is one that aims to give your dogs the best nutrition possible no matter what stage of life they are in.

Since this is the case, Natural Balance, has varieties that you can move your dog up to as they get older.

This is a dry food that has one unique ingredient and that is DHA which has been combined with EPA to help improve the brain function. This is going to help support the learning and cognitive development of the dogs, but has marine ingredients to help support the function level of the brain. You will notice that this dies does have colostrum to help build up the immune system.

You will notice the formula will have a wide range of vegetables that will help to provide the proper nutrition at the puppyhood years. This is also going to have canola oil, which is going to be a monounsaturated fat that is going to be great for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acides.

Each bowl that you give your dog is meant to help them develop strong bones and teeth. This is because it has the proper balance of calcium with phosphorus so you can play fetch for hours on end. These proteins are also going to help support the heart as well.

Pros
  • This formula has colostrum which helps to support the immune system.
  • The shape of the food is perfect for the puppies.
Cons
  • This is a company that has been known to change the formula at time and this makes it hard for dogs to adjust to.

19. Orijen Large Breed Puppy

Orijen Large Breed Puppy - 28.6lb
  • Biologically Appropriate Pet Food
  • Fresh Regional Ingredients
  • Never Out Sourced

This is another great brand of dog food that is meant for the large breed puppy.

The formula was made in Canada and only used fresh and local ingredients. This is a brand that is going to try to use ingredients that are as close to what the dog would get in the wild.

This is going to even have the fish that is in the wild and poultry that is free-run. The calcium and the phosphorous is kept with a safe level that is done by using low-ash chicken.

This is a blend that is going to be low in carbs and not have any grain. You will find that the free range, the low ash meats, and the large amount of ingredients from plants are going to be a great thing for the dogs to have in the diet.

You will notice that the customers who have been giving their dogs the Orijen formula have seen their dogs start to get a large number of loose stools, dandruff, and even a lot of shedding. This is a formula that is going to cost more than most of the brands you can buy, but it is a very nutrient dense food.

The owners are going to notice the energy in their puppy will be higher.

Pros
  • This is going to use freshly sourced ingredients.
  • The digestive health is going to improve.
  • This is going to have organic ingredients.
Cons
  • Some of the dog owners have reported the dogs develop quite a few problematic symptoms from diarrhea to bad breath or even dandruff.

20. CANIDAE All Life Stages Large Breed Puppy Food Made With Duck Meal, Brown Rice & Lentils

Canidae All Life Stages Large Breed Puppy Food Made With Duck Meal, Brown Rice & Lentils, 30 Lbs
  • Optimum Protein From Duck Meal + Calcium & Phosphorous
  • Premium Ingredients: No Corn, Wheat, Or Soy
  • Vet Formulated For Large Breeds Of All Ages

This is a company that is one the large breed dog owners tend to love as they make several formulas. This is the blend that is going to have duck, lentils, and brown rice that is meant to meet the needs of larger dogs.

The blend is very high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids which can help prevent bone or joint issues. This is a puppy formula that has glucosamine chondroitin which helps to further support the bones. The formula even has probiotics that will help with the digestion. The lentils are a great source of carbs that will help to maintain the energy level of the puppy. You will notice this formula does have antioxidants that are meant to help with your puppy health.

The dog owners who do use this brand report the dogs seem to like the taste. This is a food that is very nutrient dense compared to some of the other brands, which means the dogs need smaller portions.

This is another brand of puppy food that you can use as your dog gets older and grows up. You will notice that this has several blends of food for your dogs of all sizes. The large breed puppy blend is a great way to start your dogs diet. This is a puppy food and even the dog food that is going to be free from the fillers, hormones, and even the artificial ingredients.

Pros
  • Has a high quality protein content
  • This is going to use duck meal which is a great source of carnite that is meant for a healthy heart and development of skeletal muscles.
  • This has decent amount of carbohydrates and not a lot of fat.
Cons
  • This has been known to cause diarrhea in some dogs.

What Makes a Breed a Large Breed Dog?

There are many different sizes of dogs and they are classified usually in one of four different ways: giant, large, medium, and small. Although the size different between a giant breed such as the Great Dane and small breed like the Yorkshire terrier is obvious, the distinctions between large and medium breeds are not always as obvious. Although their size is the major difference between large and medium dogs, life expectancy is also affected by their differences.

Large Breeds Defined

The category of large breed dogs includes breeds weighing less than 90 pounds when full size but more than 50-60 pounds. Dogs that weigh over 90 pounds are classified as giant breed dogs. This dog breed category includes:

  • Weimaraner
  • Rottweiler
  • Greyhound
  • Labrador retriever
  • Golden retriever
  • Old English sheepdog
  • English setter
  • German shepherd
  • Doberman pinscher
  • Bloodhound
  • Bernese mountain dog
  • Alaskan malamute
  • Akita

Another major difference between large and medium dogs is that large breeds mature more slowly. They don’t reach full maturity until they are about 15 months old compared to medium breeds at 12 months or less.

In addition to life expectancy and size, other differences between large and medium dogs are more specific to the breed. For example, exercise requirements, vary more due to breed than to size.

Dobermans, for example, have extremely high energy levels. They are classified as a large dog, but the medium-sized border collie has high energy levels as well. Also, Siberian huskies have a high energy level, and Alaskan malamutes have a medium energy level. Also, medium basset hounds and large greyhounds both are considered to be dogs with low energy.

However, if you do happen to own a larger breed dog you must be careful when exercising them until they fully mature since their skeletons might not have developed sufficiently to support the weight of their body and the developing joints can injure quite easily.

Nutritional Needs of Large-Breed Puppies

All dogs need to have a balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein in their diets in order to provide their bodily functions with energy. Protein is especially important for growing and maintaining healthy muscles and tissues while carbohydrates and fats provide fuel for metabolism and health digestion is promoted by fiber. When puppies are young they look like mini versions of adults. However, in reality they are very different, and their nutritional needs are as well.

What Are The Differences between Puppy Food and Dog Food?

Although dogs need to have a minimum of 5% crude fat and 18% crude protein in their diets, puppies need minimums of 8% fat and 22% protein. So why are these higher needs necessary? Puppies are constantly growing and need to have energy and protein to sustain their growth. That is why usually puppy foods are higher in fat and protein compared to adult dog foods.

What Are The Differences between The Nutritional Needs of Large and Small Breed Dogs?

After birth, the weight of small breed puppies increases 10 to 20 times. Large breed puppies, by contrast, increase their weight 50 to 70 times.

Although a puppy needs to have lots of energy and protein, with large-breed puppies there is a fine line that must be walked between too much and just enough. Something that many dog owners aren’t aware of is that small-breed puppies and large-breed puppies grow in different ways. A Bichon Frise that is 10 pounds might reach his full size at 8 to 10 months old, whereas a Great Dane puppy may not stop growing until two years old or even older!

Compared to small breed puppies, large-breed ones grow faster and remain puppies for a longer period of time. That means they have unique nutritional needs. Also it means they have unique risks. When a large-breed puppy grows too fast, it may lead to musculoskeletal problems when it becomes an adult or developmental orthopedic disease (DOD).

Large Breed Dog Health Problems

Large breed dogs have a tendency to suffer from certain kinds of health problems. Mostly they are related to the joints and bones. The weight and larger frames of these dogs places stress on the joints and hips of the animals. The following are some common problems that large breed dogs suffer from.

  • Developmental orthopedic disease or DOD. Numerous bone-related disorders are part of this general category, including elbow and hip dysplasia.
  • Osteochondrosis (OCD)
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Canine hip dysplasia (CHD)
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive problems
  • Obesity

Nutrition is among the most basic ways we can ensure that puppies avoid health problems and grow at the proper rate.

Important Factors Which Make Large Breed Puppies More Likely To Develop Skeletal Issues

Large breed puppies will ultimately weigh more than 50 pounds as an adult. When compared with smaller breeds of dogs, there are two important factors in how they grow that make it more prone for large breed puppies to have skeletal issues:

  • The remain puppies for a longer period of time
  • They grow faster

If the less common factors are all excluded, orthopedic disease suffered by large breed dogs seems to be the results of one or more of the following 3 proven causes:

  • Excessive dietary calcium
  • Overfeeding
  • Genetics

How Long Do You Feed a Large Breed Puppy Food?

Although smaller breeds mature fully by 9-12 months old, larger breed dogs aren’t fully grown until they are 12-24 months old. That means that they need to be fed puppy food for as long as two years. That makes it particularly critical that a brand be selected is nutritious and where optimal growth is supported.

The Danger Of Too Much Calcium And Overfeeding

One big mistake that many people tend to make is they over feed their puppies. One of the most misguided but popular ways that people feed their dogs is referred to as free feeding or free choice. That refers to allowing a dog to eat as much food as he wants. Many dogs that are raised on this feeding method are overweight.

Another factor contributing to DOD as well as other health issues for large breed dog is when they get too much calcium.

Although a certain quantity of calcium is needed by dogs to have healthy bones, evidence suggest that too getting too much calcium may contribute to certain bone diseases, particularly in larger breed dogs. That is another point that needs to be kept in mind when comparing large breed puppy food from one brand to the next.

The Association of American Feed Control (AAFCO) regulates pet foods. It sets the standards for the nutritional and safety needs of animals. However, the AAFCO doesn’t differentiate between specific nutritional needs for large, medium and small breed dogs. Therefore, when buying regular dog food, it might meet general requirements. However, for large breed puppies it may not be suitable.

How To Select The Best Large Breed Puppy Food and Reduce Your Puppy’s Risk of Developing Hip Dysplasia

Selecting the best large breed puppy food – and giving your puppy the proper amount – can reduce your dog’s risk significantly for developing hip dysplasia.

So how do you ensure that you give your large-breed puppy all of the nutrients that he needs in order to grow without him being at risk for growing too fast?

Feeding your puppy a large-breed puppy formula is the easiest way.

Generally those recipes contain high protein levels to fuel the development and growth of your puppy along with moderate amounts to fat to provide extra energy. There are higher levels of fat contained in small breed puppy dog food formulas since they have faster metabolisms.

A recipe for large-breed puppies have more controlled levels of phosphorus and calcium for healthy bones. For large-breed puppies the ideal calcium-to-phosphorus ratio ranges from 1:1 up to 1.8:1. This equates to a 1.2% to 1.8% calcium content and a 1.0% to 1.6% phosphorus content. Large-breed puppies might need to have more chondroitin and glucosmaine in their diets as well in order to support their joints that are developing.

The Reality of Dog Food Labels

One valuable information source about dog food is on the dog food label. They can be misleading as well. When you are looking for the best food to feed your large breed puppy, you will find a massive selection of different product. Keep these things mind as you are doing your research:

  • Search for a dog food that is labeled “balanced and complete.”
  • Choose a dog food that was clinically tested and tried.
  • Ignore unregulated phrases like “human-grade ingredients” and “all natural.”
  • If fats and oils are listed within the first four ingredients, avoid them.

Dog food labels don’t say much about the level of quality of ingredients. Actually, it isn’t technically allowed to refer to quality. What the list of ingredients will tell you is where the carbohydrates and proteins in the food came from. That is very useful if your dog has sensitivities or allergies and for owners search for a specific source of protein to feed their dog.

How Much to Feed a Large Breed Dog?

This question doesn’t have an easy answer. Every dog has its own unique caloric needs. The nutrition label on the puppy food will provide the owner with guidelines, but you may need to tailor these to your dog.

One good way of determine the amount of food that should be fed to your dog is to speak to your veterinarian about the weight of your dog. Veterinarians evaluate your dog’s weight based on the “body condition score.” It helps them figure out whether or not your dog is underweight, overweight, or the ideal weight, and how much his food should be adjusted.

The Price of Large Breed Dog Food

Once we set aside the issue of overfeeding, the next most common feeding error puppy owners commit is cheaping out in their dog food purchasing. The drive to economize is easy to understand, but saving a few pennies on puppy chow isn’t wise from a long-term perspective. Premium dog food doesn’t just do more our pets’ health; it also usually provides long-term savings.

The first thing we need to keep in mind is that cheap dog food is made with low-quality ingredients. Check the nutritional information on budget food; you’ll discover an ominous amount of grains, fillers, and artificial ingredients of questionable nutritional value. The ingredient list on a bag of premium puppy food will be both simpler and more nutritious.

The good news is that after you commit to buying that top-shelf large breed puppy food, you’ll discover that it takes less food to fill your puppy up and give your pet the nutrition it needs. Because premium brands leave out the filler, their products are more nutritionally dense and do a better job of meeting your pet’s needs in smaller portions. This is the main reason that the high price of premium dog food shouldn’t be viewed as a shock or an outrage.

Premium food can also save us money when it comes to veterinary bills. Feeding puppies better-quality food boosts their overall health and makes them less likely to need expensive (and heart-breaking) medical care. And that’s where the pricing debate on dog food gets less academic: Don’t we all want to make our puppies as healthy as possible?

Why Dry Food Is Better than Wet Food

Another important choice to make when feeding large breed puppies is whether to opt for dry food or wet. In this case, dry food (or kibble) has several advantages over wet food. These advantages come in both financial and medical flavors. Here’s a point-by-point rundown of kibble’s advantages:

  • Dry food is easier to transport and store and it’s much more resistant to spoiling than (opened) wet food.
  • Wet food costs more. The added expense can mount up fast, especially when you’re raising a large breed puppy.
  • Portion control is easier because dry dog food is easier to measure than wet.
  • Eating dry dog food provides small but significant health benefits. Chewing up kibble provides growing puppies with the exercise and cleaning that their teeth and gums need.

Keep in mind that while the superiority of dry dog food to wet dog food for large breed puppies is pretty clear, all dry foods are definitely not created equal! We need to invest a little effort in comparing reviews for various puppy food brands and gathering the information we need to pick out the best one for our pets’ needs.

Buyer’s Guide: Key Factors To Bear In Mind When Comparing Large Breed Puppy Food Brands

* Customer Reviews. It’s tough to beat first-hand experience from dog owners who have tried out the brand you’re considering. As a general rule of thumb, the more reviews a particular brand or product has, the more you can rely on the recommendations or cautions the reviews give you.

* Price. While we’ve already discussed the way that “value” dog food brands often deliver a false economy, we can’t go so far as to say that a higher price always equals higher quality. Compare dog food brands’ other qualities carefully, and you find two that seem equivalent it makes sense to at least try the cheaper brand first.

* Taste. Puppies are usually quite enthusiastic about any food presented to them, but over time you may notice your dog enjoys some brands more than others. A brand that you know is a favorite with your dog deserve a little extra consideration when you’re choosing your dog food.

* Breed and Overall Health. Individual dogs with medical conditions and certain breeds as a whole may need special nutritional content in order to maintain or improve their health. Fortunately, the modern dog food market is especially sensitive to these sorts of needs, and many brands offer the special nutrition (boosted calcium, high protein, and so forth) that some dogs need. Consult your veterinarian about any special feeding concerns to keep your puppy growing strong.

* Experience. Any past experience your puppy has had with a given brand should be weighted heavily when you’re picking your next bag of kibble. If one brand is unpalatable to your pup or causes unwanted changes in behavior or health, it’s definitely time to try something new.

Large-Breed Puppy Feeding Tips

Remember that your feeding job doesn’t end with picking out the right brand! You need to monitor portion size carefully to make sure your pet doesn’t get more calories than necessary. Excessive growth and weight gain can lead to musculoskeletal issues and other health problems as your dog grows up.

Simply check the feeding recommendations printed on the food bag to determine what portion size is right for your puppy. Note that manufacturers make their recommendations based on weight. It’s a good idea to weigh your puppy on a weekly basis and increase his portion size accordingly as he grows.

Feeding recommendations are usually provided on a daily basis. The recommended total needs to be split up into the number of meals you’re planning to feed to your puppy.

As your puppy gets older, keep a close eye on his development – more than just weighing him. Take a close look at his body at the same time that you weigh him. Potbellies are normal for very young puppies, but they should start to disappear around three months of age.

By the time your puppy is old enough to eat exclusively dry food, he should be losing that potbelly and developing a clearly-defined waist. Look for a clear abdominal tuck in front of your puppy’s hind legs. When you look down at your puppy’s back, you shouldn’t be able to see his stomach protruding out on the sides.

You can also check your puppy’s weight and body fat by feeling the dog’s ribs. The ribs should be easy to feel at the touch but not visible to the eye.

Remember, you should always consult with your veterinarian for body condition advice tailored specifically to your puppy’s concerns.

Puppy Feeding Schedules

Puppies thrive with frequent feedings, so a three or four-meal schedule every day is ideal. If you’re currently feeding your dog three-quarters of a cup of food twice a day, try switching to a three-a-day schedule where each meal consists of a half a cup.

Frequent small meals help puppies maintain a consistent energy level, and they’re also easier to digest. By the time your puppy reaches six months of age, he should be ready to switch to bigger meals. While many owners find a twice-a-day schedule to be ideal for the sake of convenience, I’d recommend holding onto a three or four-meal schedule if at all possible for larger breeds. This can eliminate the risk of gastric dilatation volvulus.

Can Older Dogs Eat Puppy Food?

If at all possible, you should feed adult dogs kibble which is specifically formulated for their age.

Puppy foods typically feature more protein and calories than products formulated for adult or senior dogs. That dense nutrition is vital for animals that are busy growing. Once a dog is fully grown, it becomes more important to protect it from obesity and kidney ailments. This is why adult dog foods have fewer calories and less protein; the latter change, in particular, is intended to relieve stress on the kidneys.

If you have no other option for feeding an adult dog than using puppy food, keep the portions small to avoid health problems.

When’s The Right Time To Stop Using Puppy Food?

Dogs’ nutritional needs change as they mature. While the growing process takes longer in large-breed puppies, they do eventually reach their full size and become ready for the transition to adult food. The exact point where this happens will vary based on the breed and the specific dog.

Speaking very generally, you can determine when your dog is ready for adult food by comparing his weight to what’s standard for his breed. Most large dogs reach full size after one to two years of growth. Making this sort of estimate is much trickier for mixed-breed dogs. Once again, you should consider your veterinarian as the ultimate authority on this decision.

Large Breed Dog Food VS Regular Dog Food

Breed size also affects a dog’s ideal nutrition as he enters his senior years. Small breeds with long lifespans can benefit from diets rich in antioxidants to slow down the negative impact of aging. Larger breeds tend to struggle with arthritis as they get older. This is why large breed senior dog foods are formulated with joint health ingredients, including chondroitin and glucosamine. All of the ingredients mentioned here are good for aging dogs, but the proportions need to be varied based on breed and lifespan.

How to Switch from Puppy to Adult Dog Food?

The transition from puppy food to adult food is usually easiest if we stick with the same brand while changing formulations. Taste and texture profiles are very similar within a brand, minimizing the unfamiliarity your dog has to deal with.

It’s also a good idea to make the transition gradual for your dog. Start by introducing a small amount of adult food into your dog’s usual puppy food. Over the course of a week, steadily increase the ratio of adult food to puppy food.

This gradual change-over isn’t just about accommodating your dog’s taste preferences. A slow transition also minimizes your dog’s risk of experiencing any gastrointestinal problems during the shift to adult food.

Conclusion

All puppies should be fed a high-quality diet; however, it is especially important to ensure that your large breed puppy is getting the nutrients that it needs. Large breed puppies nutritional needs are similar to smaller breeds; however, there are some key differences that you should know about.

To ensure that your large breed puppy’s nutritional needs are being met, you should choose a brand that is specifically designed for large breed puppies. We have given you a list of the top brands that are made especially for large breed puppies.

Although there are many brands available, our list should help you choose the best large breed puppy food for your large breed puppy.

Editor’s Choice

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Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Puppy, 26-Pound Bag
  • GRAIN FREE: 100% grain free, complete and balanced everyday nutrition...
  • PUPPY FORMULA: Naturally grain free, protein rich, made with premium...
  • ALL NATURAL: Contains only premium, all natural ingredients with no...
  • MADE IN USA: Backed by the Wellness Guarantee and proudly made only in...
  • Glucosamine protects the joints and increases mobility.When pregnant,...

Professional’s Choice

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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 Formula: Larger Kibble Size, Made With Delicious...
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No...
  • Made In Usa: Backed By The Wellness Guarantee And Proudly Made Only In...
  • Omega fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat

Low-budget Choice

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Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Large Breeds, Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe, 30 lb Bag
  • A large breed puppy food specially made with an optimal level of...
  • Uses a balanced set of minerals to promote strong bones and teeth in...
  • Uses DHA from fish oil to support healthy brain and eye development...
  • High-quality protein helps your large pup build and maintain lean...
  • Made with natural ingredients

Last update on 2019-07-19 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API

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