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Best Dog Food For Large Breeds (Puppy & Adult) : Dry & Canned

They may not be quite so easy to fit in your lap as a toy poodle, but large breed dogs such as Collies, Labradors and Alsatians make great family pets.

Best Dog Food For Large Breeds

If you’ve just bought home your first Mastiff, are wondering what to feed your growing Lab, or are thinking about adopting a German Shepherd, you’re probably wondering about the best dog food for large breeds.

To help, here’s a guide to choosing the healthiest, tastiest diet for your pet.

 

In this article, we’re going to review the following large breed dog foods:

 

Are Foods for Large Breeds Different from Foods for Small or Medium Breeds?

On a basic level, dog food is dog food…. whether your pet is a 200lb Great Dane or a 4lb Chihuahua, they’ll both need the same basic diet of protein, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins/ minerals.

However, there are some crucial differences between the requirements of large breeds and those of small or medium breeds.

 

Large dogs, for example, are prone to joint problems; to help support mobility, most breed-specific foods will contain supplements like glucosamine.

The difference in requirements is most evident in puppies; due to their rate of growth, large breed pups are more sensitive to nutritional imbalances than other breeds, so its important to choose a food that will address their specific dietary needs.

 

 

 

Need-to-Know Nutritional Information for Large Breeds

You can find some commonalities between the nutritional needs of large breeds and some smaller dogs easily.

However, large dog breeds are capable to deal with certain health conditions. Where as, those don’t suit other breeds.

 

To ward of any health problems linked to nutrition, it’s vital to feed your pet a diet designed specifically for large breeds.

As explained on puppywire.com, large breeds require lower levels of certain nutrients to avoid complications. Look for a food with: –

  • Lower levels of vitamin D
  • Lower levels of phosphorus
  • Lower levels of calcium
  • Lower levels of fat

 

From: AvodermNatural.com

What Makes A Properly Balanced Dog Food for Large Breeds?

A properly balanced diet should consist of a healthy combination of protein, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, vitamins and minerals.

Of these, protein and fat are the most vital. Ideally, you should look for a food that features:

  • A high proportion of animal protein (chicken, beef, fish, turkey etc.)
  • A healthy source of fat (chicken fat, fish oil, flax seed oil)
  • DHA for cognitive and retinal function
  • Fiber from vegetables, fruit or grains

Luckily, most dog foods we get in the market, are nutritionally balanced. Those ensure an good mix of nutrients.

 

Protein

Like all other dogs, large breed dogs require a good amount of protein in their diet to support lean muscle mass.

According to AAFCO your adult dogs need a minimum of 18% percent protein. And, for pups, it is 22%.

 

Protein should ideally come from meat, eggs and fish; protein from vegetable sources are considered an “incomplete” protein, and can be difficult for your dog to digest.

 

Fats

Large breed dogs and puppies are susceptible to weight gain, which can lead to bone and joint problems in later life.

As fat is a good source of calories, monitor your dog’s consumption carefully.

 

According to AAFCO, the adult dogs have a minimum of 5% percent fat in their diet for maintenance; growth and reproduction diets should have a minimum of 8% percent.

 

Vitamins and Minerals

Although vitamins and minerals are vital to health, large breeds need smaller levels of some nutrients compared to other breeds.

Too much calcium in your pet’s diet can lead to bone problems.

 

For example- Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) and some other developmental diseases.

Choosing a complete and balanced formula will meet all your dog’s nutritional requirements, without the need for added supplementation.

 

If you’re concerned whether your pet is getting all the vitamins and minerals they need, speak to your vet before embarking on a supplementation program.

 

Carbohydrates

Your dog’s diet has no minimum requirement for carbohydrates.

However, you can’t avoid them altogether.

 

A healthy amount of carbohydrates is a great source of energy.

These improve your dog’s digestions, provide enough vitamins and source minerals.

 

Carbohydrates are also high in fiber, which is known to improve digestive and colonic health.

These also help your dog feel full for hours.

 

From: AKC.org

What Makes a Good Food for Large Breeds?

Of course, good nutrition isn’t a guarantee of health, but it does help lay the foundations for a long and healthy life.

When you are choosing some best food for your large breed pet, remember that your dog’s nutritional needs will change as they grow…  a boisterous 5-month-old pup, for example, will need a very different diet to a sedentary 12 year.

 

Check out for some handy Information.

Let’s take a closer look at how the life stage of your pet determines their dietary needs.

 

Puppies

Large breeds pups are vulnerable to certain health conditions if they don’t receive proper nutritional support.

Developmental orthopedic disease (DOD), for example, can result from overfeeding, free-feeding, or an excess of vitamins and protein.

 

To avoid complications, you should ensure:

  • Their diet is complete and balanced for “all life stages” according to AAFCO guidelines
  • Your puppy is not free fed
  • Their diet consists of dry matter content of approx.. 30 percent protein and 9 percent fat
  • The calcium-phosphorus ratio of their food should be between 1:1 to 1.3:1

 

Adults

As your large breed dog enters maturity, they’ll need to transition to a new diet that’s either specifically tailored to adult dogs or is suitable for all life stages.

As a general guideline, an adult large breed dog should eat two meals each day, containing high quality sources of protein and fat.

 

Large breeds can have surprisingly sensitive digestions, so try to avoid formulas that contain allergens such as corn, soy or wheat, and stay away from anything with excessive protein or carbs, by-products, fillers, artificial flavors and colorings, and preservatives.

 

Seniors

Once your dog hits their teens, you’ll need to adjust their diet to suit their changing needs.

Large breed dogs are prone to pilling on the pounds as they age, so you may need to consider decreasing meal sizes or switching to a lower-calorie food.

 

As well as gaining fat, large breeds may start to lose muscle mass as they age.

To counter the effects, look for a food with a high percentage of protein (although be cautious of excess protein if your dog has kidney problems

 

Things You Should Look for in Large Breed Dog Food

When choosing a dog food, always make sure to read the list of ingredients.

Large breeds have specific requirements, and the only way of knowing whether a food meets these requirements is by (you guessed it!) reading the label.

 

In the US, manufacturers are compelled to list all of their ingredients in order of dominance.

Take closer look on the first 3 ingredients. These are the most important. However, make sure to check lower down the list for any hidden nasties.

 

Let’s take a closer look at what goes into making a great dog food:-

 

Protein as the Primary Ingredient

Dogs may scoff down anything you dish up, but you should always aim to keep protein as their main nutrient.

Protein is vital at maintaining healthy muscle mass and overall health, and should always be the top ingredient of any formula you choose.

 

Look for whole protein sources from meat, fish and eggs to ensure your dog receives their full quota of amino acids.

 

Manufactured in a Country with High Quality and Safety Standards

Don’t take chances with your pet’s health.

Always look for a formula that’s manufactured in a country that has stringent food quality and safety checks in place.

 

Manufactures in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe are all legally obliged to comply with certain standards, so look for a food that’s produced in one of these countries if possible.

 

No Unidentified By- Products or Meat Meals

If your dog food fails to identify the source of its protein content, put the pack down!

Meat meals and by- products are not necessarily bad (after all, both contain hefty quantities of protein).

 

However, the ingredients list should clearly state which animal these by- products are derived from (otherwise, you might be unwittingly feeding your pooch all kinds of unsavory nasties).

In other words, “chicken by- product” is fine, “poultry by-product” should sound warning bells.

 

No Artificial Ingredients or Additives

Unscrupulous manufacturers will sometimes add all kinds of synthetic additives and flavorings to their formulas to make them more appealing to your pooch.

However, as additives can trigger food allergies (including digestive upset and dermatological problems), it’s best to avoid them as much as possible…trust me, your dog’s health will thank you for it!

 

Contains a Source of Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids will help improve skin and coat condition, support brain function, protect cardiovascular health, and reduce inflammation.

To ensure an adequate supply, look for a formula that contains ample quantities of flaxseed, salmon oil and fatty fish.

 

More on the benefits of Omega-3 can be found at DogsNaturallyMagazine.

 

Contains Probiotics

If you want to keep your dog’s intestine healthy enough, look for a food that contains probiotics.

According to American Kennel Club veterinary expert,  Jerry Klein, DVM, probiotics can provide an array of health benefits to dogs:- “They are believed to help treat and/or prevent a variety of illnesses and diseases, especially those related to the gastrointestinal system.

 

They inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens, as well as provide other advantages to the intestines”.

 

Best Dog Foods for Large Breed Adults & Seniors

 

#1 Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dog Formula- Chicken

Eukanuba caters to the nutritional needs of large breeds.

This high protein formula can complete your dog’s need as it includes additional supplements.

 

This supports the overall health of your large dogs.

As a premium brand Eukanuba has great track records in producing high quality and reliable dog food products.

 

Pros

  • The number 1 ingredient chicken, is the high source of protein
  • Good source of fiber: natural beet pulp along with prebiotic fos, helps nutrient absorption and aids digestion
  • Contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin: great for maintaining healthy joints
  • Omega-6 and -3 Fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin
  • No artificial colors, preservatives, flavoring or additives: some dogs can react to “fillers”, which makes the lack of synthetic ingredients in this formula great for dogs with sensitive tummies
  • Good for dental health: if your dog hates having their teeth brushed, the patented tartar control formula will go a long way to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. EUKANUBA 3D DentaDefence System has been proven to reduce tartar build-up in 28 days
  • Complete vitamin and mineral profile to ensure optimal health and well-being

Cons

  • Contains Corn and wheat products: if your dog struggles to digest gluten, the prominence of grain in the ingredients list may pose a challenge

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#2 Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Large Breed Natural Dry Dog Food

Nutro specialize in producing wholesome, high-quality formulas designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs of all ages, sizes and conditions.

Their products are carefully controlled to ensure the optimal levels of antioxidants, lean proteins and healthy fats for a complete, balanced diet.

 

Nutro Wholesome Essentials is specifically formulated to cater to the needs of large breeds, and is packed with all the necessary nutrients to ensure the health and well-being of your adult dog.

 

Pros

  • The number 1 ingredient is farm-raised chicken, a great source of quality protein to support strong muscles
  • Includes naturally sourced Glucosamine and Chondroitin for muscle and joint health
  • Contains Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids to maintain healthy skin and a lustrous coat
  • Crafted with antioxidants and vitamins to provide exceptional immune support
  • No chicken by-products, corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Made with Non- GMO ingredients
  • Formulated with prebiotic fiber from beet pulp for improved digestive health
  • Provides a carefully combined ratio of proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals to ensure the perfect balance of nutrients

Cons

  • The recipe includes both sorghum and brown rice, which could pose an allergen risk in pets with a pre-disposition to digestive issues (e.g. IBS, leaky gut and bowel problems)

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#3 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Dog Food – Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs

Blue Buffalo formulas are renowned for their high-quality ingredients.

All their recipes are made with real meat (no animal by- products of any kind) and are crafted to provide optimal nutrition at all stages of a dog’s life.

 

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food is specially formulated to meet the specific needs of large breeds.

 

Pros

  • High-quality protein from real chicken will help your dog maintain lean muscle mass
  • Great source of fiber: crafted with wholesome whole grains, veggies and fruit
  • Contains an expert blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support a strong immune system and a healthy oxidative balance
  • Made only with whole ingredients: the recipe is free from corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial flavors and preservatives
  • Formulated with naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin to help support joint health and mobility
  • Rich in fiber: carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries and apples helps support good digestion and gut health
  • Balanced Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids for healthy skin, a silky coat and improved heart health
  • Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles

Cons

  • Contains chicken and rice: in some dogs, these ingredients may pose a small allergen risk

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#4 Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Rice

Wellness is a premium brand and is considered a pioneer in holistic canine nutrition.

Renowned for their high quality, impeccably sourced ingredients, Wellness formulas contain only whole foods, and are free from corn, wheat, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.

 

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food is a great option for dog owners looking for a formula that caters to the specific needs of large breeds.

 

Pros

  • Crafted with wholesome, natural Ingredients with no wheat, corn, soy or meat by-products
  • Contains flaxseed for a healthy coat and skin
  • Includes fibrous apples, sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach to support healthy bowel function
  • Contains supplementary Glucosamine and Chondroitin for healthy hips and joints
  • Larger kibble size to prevent bloat
  • Controlled calories to support an ideal body weight
  • Contains 13% more protein than its other recipes to support the increased muscle mass of larger breeds
  • Made in USA and backed by the Wellness Guarantee
  • Specially formulated to support the digestive health needs of larger breeds
  • Free from additives, artificial preservatives and flavorings

Cons

  • The formula contains chicken. Although it’s rare, some dogs can experience allergic reactions to poultry
  • Contains rice, which could be problematic for dogs with grain allergies

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#5 Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of adult dogs who weigh more than 55 lbs.

Hill’s Science use cutting edge science to develop their recipes, which could account for why Hill’s Science is the number 1 recommended pet food by vets.

 

Pros

  • High in Protein: lamb meal (a great source of easily digestible animal protein) is the number one ingredient
  • Rich in Vitamins: the formula contains a clinically proven antioxidant blend with vitamins C And E, both of which are proven to support a healthy immune system
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Contains Omega-6 Fatty Acids, vitamin E and other nutrients to promote a healthy coat in just 30 days
  • Good source of fiber: apples, broccoli, carrots, cranberries and green peas helps support digestive and colonic health
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain joint and cartilage health
  • Carefully controlled calories: 18% fewer calories (vs. Adult Advanced Fitness) to prevent weight gain

Cons

  • High in Grains: the quantity of grains in the recipe (including corn, whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum, cracked pearled barley and brown rice) could present an allergen risk to susceptible dogs.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#6 Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Maxi Adult Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin is a highly trusted, well-known brand famed for both the quality of their products and their breed specific formulas.

Royal Canin Large Adult dry dog food has been carefully formulated to offer precise nutrition for large dogs aged 15 months to 5 years old weighing 56–100 lbs.

 

Its carefully balanced recipe aims to take the guesswork out of catering to the specific needs of your pet.

 

Pros

  • Nourishes skin and coat with EPA And DHA Fatty Acids
  • Offers a specialized blend of minerals and vitamins to support bone and joint health
  • Contains a highly digestible blend of fiber to support digestion and gut health
  • Highly palatable kibble made in a larger size to prevent bloat and choking risk in larger breeds
  • Contains the optimal amount of protein to maintain lean muscle mass
  • Calcium chelators help reduce tartar formation
  • Specially formulated to meet the calories needs of large breeds
  • Formulated with prebiotics to promote optimal gut health and stool quality
  • Royal Canin offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all its products

Cons

  • A high wheat and rice content make this unsuitable for dogs with food allergies, or who struggle to digest gluten
  • Royal Canin is one of the priciest brands on the market

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#7 Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real Pasture Raised Lamb Protein

Diamond Natural foods are made in the US to strict quality control guidelines.

The brand has become increasingly popular for its impeccable, ethically sourced ingredients, and its range of specialized formulas that meet the unique nutritional needs of dogs of all life stages and conditions.

 

Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real Pasture Raised Lamb Protein will keep your dog in optimal health with its complete, balanced formula.

 

Pros

  • Rich in healthy protein and fats for lean, strong muscles
  • Optimal levels of Glucosamine and Chondroitin to support cartilage and joint health
  • Ethically sourced ingredients: its protein is sourced from pasture raised lamb
  • Made in the USA
  • Made with scientifically advanced food safety protocols
  • Contains dried beet pulp to support colonic health
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Contains proprietary probiotics to help support a healthy gut and digestion
  • Rich in superfoods to provide optimal levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber
  • Contains supplementary L-Carnitine to help convert protein and fat into energy
  • Omega-6 and -3 Fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin

Cons

  • Contains grains (rice and barley), which may pose an allergen risk to some dogs

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#8 Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food – Large Breed Bites

Natural Balance are one of the leading manufacturers of pet food in the US.

They specialize in producing high-quality formulas designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs at all life stages, regardless of breed or size.

 

Their Limited Ingredient range aims to reduce the potential of allergic reactions, and is available in a breed specific formula to suit the specific demands of larger dogs.

 

Pros

  • Made with only a select few ingredients to reduce the risk of allergies
  • Packed with easily digestible protein
  • Fortified with essential nutrients like niacin, vitamin A, beta-carotene and biotin to maintain optimal health
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
  • The size, shape and texture of the kibble has been specially formulated to encourage proper chewing habits in large breeds, and to help support dental health
  • No animal by-products
  • Made in the USA
  • Supports healthy skin and a shiny coat with balanced Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids
  • Quality controlled: Natural Balance products are thoroughly tested for contaminants through the company’s Buy With Confidence programs

Cons

  • Contains grains, which some pet owners may wish to avoid, and canola oil, which is an inferior fat source compared to animal derived fats

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#9 Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Senior Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo’s BLUE Freedom recipes are formulated specifically for all your dog’s life stage needs.

If you’re concerned about the effects of gluten on your dog’s health, Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Senior Dry Dog Food will allow your senior dog to enjoy a delicious, balanced diet that’s completely gluten free.

 

Pros

  • Packed with protein rich chicken to help counter the effects of muscle loss in senior dogs
  • 100% gluten and grain free for sensitive and allergen prone dogs
  • Formulated with an expert blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, hand selected by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians to support a healthy immune system and optimal oxidative balance
  • Includes Glucosamine and Chondroitin to support healthy joints and mobility in older dogs
  • Added taurine to support heart health
  • Free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors and preservatives
  • Rich in fiber (sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, kelp and apples) to support good digestion and bowel health
  • Balanced Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids for healthy skin, a silky coat and good heart health
  • Free from poultry by-product

Cons

  • Although it won’t be an issue for most dogs, the presence of chicken could pose an allergen risk in particularly sensitive dogs.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#10 Nutro Max Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro dog food recipes are crafted in their own facilities in the U.S. from only the finest, freshest ingredients.

Nutro’s foods are formulated to include all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats your dog needs for a healthy balanced diet.

 

If your dog is getting on in years, you’ll be pleased to know Nutro Max Senior With Farm Raised Chicken is specially tailored to meet the needs of senior dogs.

 

Pros

  • Helps prevent muscle loss in senior dogs through optimal amounts of high-quality protein
  • Contains Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract, an excellent source of antioxidants that can help support a healthy immune system
  • No chicken by-product meal, corn, soy, or wheat
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Contains Omega-3 rich flaxseed, which can reduce inflammation and maintain a healthy coat and skin
  • Made with Non- GMO ingredients
  • Complete, balanced diet: Nutro carefully combines proteins, fats, carbs and vitamins and minerals to ensure the perfect balance of nutrients
  • Includes prebiotic fiber from beet pulp for improved digestive health and regular bowel movements

Cons

  • Contains grains: the formula includes sorghum, oatmeal and brown rice. While many dogs can tolerate grains, those that suffer allergies may do better on a grain free diet

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

Best Dog Food for Large Dog Breed Puppies

 

#1 Fromm Family Foods Gold Large Breed Puppy Dry Food

Fromm uses only USDA-inspected ingredients that are freshly delivered each day to the Fromm Family facilities in Wisconsin.

All their formulas are free of corn, wheat and soy.

 

Fromm Large Breed Puppy Gold Formula is specially formulated to cater to the specific needs of puppies of breeds with adult weights of 50 pounds plus, and will provide the optimal nourishment for your growing pup.

 

Pros

  • Correct calcium to phosphorus ratio
  • Contains DHA and ARA (important fatty acids found in mother’s milk) to support cognitive function and retinal health
  • Precisely tailored to meet the nutritional needs of pups up to 1 year old
  • Meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food profiles for gestation/ lactation and growth
  • Contains chicken broth, a healthy source of gelatin which supports muscle and joint health
  • Contains chicken liver, a protein source that’s bursting with vitamins and minerals
  • Rich in sweet potatoes, a highly digestible, fibrous carbohydrate that provides a great, grain- free energy source
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

 

Cons

  • Although it’s free from corn, wheat and soy, the formula does contain rice. barley and oats. While these are some of the most easily digestible grains, they may still be challenging for dogs with food allergies

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#2 Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Rice

Wellness are renowned for their pioneering attitude to holistic canine nutrition.

Their formulas contain high quality, impeccably sourced ingredients, and are free from corn, wheat, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.

 

The Wellness Complete formula is packed to the brim with all the nutrients your growing pet needs, and is specifically tailored to meet the requirements of large breed pups.

 

Pros

  • Complete and balanced nutrition, with precisely tailored quantities of protein, carbohydrates and fats
  • Contains only whole, natural Ingredients with no wheat, corn, soy or meat by-products,
  • Contains flaxseed for a healthy coat and skin
  • Rich in taurine for cardiovascular health
  • Contains a source of DHA for proper brain and retinol development
  • Larger kibble size to prevent bloat
  • Regulated calories with 20% less fat than small breed formulas to support steady, slow growth
  • Made in USA and backed by the Wellness Guarantee
  • Controlled levels of calcium and phosphorus to aid proper bone development
  • Packed with protein from deboned chicken and salmon
  • Free from additives and artificial preservatives and flavorings

Cons

  • The formula contains chicken. Although rare, some dogs can experience allergic reactions to poultry
  • Contains rice, which could be problematic for dogs with grain allergies or who are prone to digestive upsets

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#3 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Dog Food – Natural Dry Dog Food for Puppies

Blue Buffalo is renowned for their high-quality ingredients which are handpicked for their nutritional content.

All their formulas contain real meat (no animal by- products of any kind).

 

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy is designed to provide your growing pup with everything they need to stay healthy, lively, and happy.

 

Pros

  • High in protein: deboned chicken is listed as the primary ingredient
  • Great energy source: packed with wholesome, nutritious grains and carbohydrates
  • Rich in Antioxidants and Vitamins: the formula contains an expert blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support a healthy immune system
  • The recipe is free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors and preservatives
  • Formulated specifically for puppies: the recipe contains a source of DHA and ARA (important fatty acids found in mother’s milk) to support brain development and eye health
  • Rich in fiber to support good digestion and gut health
  • Balanced Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids for healthy skin, a silky coat and improved heart health

Cons

  • Chicken can occasionally be an allergen to dogs. Most puppies will be fine, but monitor yours carefully in case of a reaction
  • Contains rice: while most dogs do well on rice, some pups may find any form of grain a challenge

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#4 Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food

Nutro delivers high quality nutrition using only the freshest ingredients.

The brand employs natural antioxidants, lean proteins and heathy fats to provide a complete, balanced diet.

 

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food will provide all your growing pup needs to keep them healthy and happy.

 

Pros

  • Packed with high protein chicken to build lean muscle mass
  • Provides a healthy amount of fiber- rich carbohydrate from sweet potatoes and brown rice
  • Backed by Nutro’s money- back guarantee
  • No chicken by-product meal, corn, soy, or wheat
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Made with Non- GMO ingredients
  • Complete, balanced diet: Nutro carefully combines proteins, fats, carbs and vitamins and minerals to ensure the perfect balance of nutrients
  • Offers tailored nutrition to meet the unique needs of large breeds
  • Contains Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids to maintain healthy skin and a lustrous coat

Cons

  • Contains grains: the formula includes both Sorghum and brown rice. While most dogs do very well on these kind of carbs, those who have existing digestive issues (IBS, leaky gut and bowel problems) may do well to avoid all forms of gluten
  • Some dogs are sensitive to chicken – monitor yours carefully to check for any adverse reaction

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#5 Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken

If your pup is sensitive to grains, they’re sure to love Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Large Breed Dry Dog Food.

Blue Buffalo products are made with high quality ingredients and real meat.

 

As an added bonus, this formula is specially created to meet the demands of large breed pups.

 

Pros

  • Packed with high quality protein from deboned chicken, chicken meal, fish meal and egg
  • Contains L-Carnitine to promote lean muscle growth
  • Grain and gluten free for pups that don’t do well on grain-based diets
  • Formulated with an expert blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support a healthy immune system
  • No hidden “fillers”: the recipe is free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors and preservatives
  • Rich in fiber (sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, kelp and apples) to support good digestion and gut health
  • Balanced Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids for healthy skin, a silky coat and good heart health
  • Nutritionally complete: all Blue Buffalo products are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles
  • Contains DHA, ARA and Choline to support cognitive function and retinal health

Cons

  • Although it’s rare, some dogs may experience an allergic reaction to chicken

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#6 Instinct Raw Boost Puppy Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature’s Variety

Instinct Raw Boost Natural Dry Dog Food is a grain- free, high- protein option with all-natural bites of freeze- dried raw chicken.

Although there’s question over the value of raw food diets, this formula is a great choice for anyone convinced of its merits.

 

While Instinct Raw are relative newcomers to the market, they’ve already acquired a cult fan base thanks to their great quality, ethically sourced ingredients.

 

Pros

  • Good for mobility: glucosamine & chondroitin will help support joint health
  • Complete & balanced nutrition for large breed puppies
  • Free from grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors or preservatives
  • Complete nutrition: the formula combines natural probiotics, omega- 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants for great digestive health and a healthy immune system
  • Packed with protein: the ingredient list shows chicken as the number 1 protein source
  • Contains calcium & phosphorus for healthy teeth and bones, along with DHA for cognitive & retinol development

Cons

  • Contains Raw ingredients: there is some suggestion that raw foods increase the risk of food poisoning (for example, a study by the US Food and Drug Administration discovered that raw pet food is a greater source of bacteria, including salmonella and listeria, than other types of pet food – for more info, see fda.gov. Whether or not you choose to go the raw route is, of course, up to you, but be sure to consider all the potential risks before you do

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#7 Merrick Grain Free Puppy Food, Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Formula

If your dog struggles to digest grain or gluten, you may want to consider switching them to a grain free formula.

Merrick Grain Free Puppy Food, Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Formula is 100% grain and gluten free, making it an ideal choice for any pet that suffers food allergies.

 

High in quality animal protein, the formula also includes fiber rich fresh fruits and vegetables such as apples, sweet potatoes, blueberries and peas.

 

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • 100% grain and gluten free for dogs who struggle to digest corn, wheat, or gluten
  • Contains DHA for healthy brain development
  • Poultry-free recipe for puppies with sensitivities to chicken
  • Rich source of protein: the formula includes real deboned beef as the primary ingredient, making it a great source of “complete” protein
  • Pure ingredients: no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • No animal by-products of any kind
  • Rich in sweet potatoes, an excellent, easily digestible source of carbohydrate and fiber
  • Crunchy kibble to support tooth and gum health
  • Contains supplementary probiotics and prebiotics to help support nutrient absorption, along with glucosamine and chondroitin to help support joint function

Cons

  • Due to its high-quality ingredients, this isn’t the cheapest of formulas

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#8 Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is specially formulated to meet the specific needs of large breed puppies up to the age of 1 year old that will be over 55 lb when fully grown.

Hill’s Science are a high quality, internationally renowned brand that is recommended by vets.

 

Their formulas are considered some of the best on the market.

 

Pros

  • High in protein to support the energy demands of pups
  • Contains the ideal calcium: phosphorous ratio to support controlled bone growth in large breeds.
  • Includes naturally sourced Glucosamine and Chondroitin for muscle and joint health
  • Contains prebiotic fiber from beet pulp for improved digestive health and regular bowel movements
  • Fortified with a clinically proven antioxidant blend with vitamins C And E, both of which are known to be highly beneficial to a healthy immune system
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Number 1 recommended veterinarian brand
  • Contains taurine to support heart health
  • Contains Flaxseed, an excellent source of Omega-3’s

 

Cons

  • Grains, such as corn, whole wheat, whole sorghum, cracked pearled barley and brown Rice, feature heavily on the ingredients list. In sensitive dogs, grains may cause digestive issues such as IBS, skin allergies, or fatigue

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#9 Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food Breed Size Specific

All Diamond Natural products are manufactured in the US in state-of-the art facilities under strict quality control guidelines.

The brand is known for its impeccably sourced ingredients, along with its range of specialized formulas for pets with unique nutritional needs.

 

Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food Breed Size Specific provides everything your large breed pup needs for optimal health.

 

Pros

  • Rich in healthy protein (lamb and lamb meal are the top 2 ingredients) for lean, strong muscles
  • Optimal levels of Glucosamine and Chondroitin to support cartilage and joint health
  • Ethically sourced ingredients: the protein comes from pasture raised lamb
  • Made in the USA
  • Made with scientifically advanced food safety protocols
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Contains proprietary probiotics are at guaranteed levels to help support a healthy gut
  • Small kibble to prevent a choking risk in puppies
  • Formulated with DHA to support cognitive and retinal health
  • Rich in super foods to provide optimal levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber to support immune function, digestion and improve overall well-being
  • Contains supplementary L-Carnitine to help convert protein and fat into energy
  • Omega-6 and -3 Fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin

Cons

  • Contains grains, which may pose an allergen risk to some dogs

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#10 Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Maxi Puppy Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin is a brand renowned for its high quality, breed specific formulas.

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Maxi Puppy Dry Dog Food is tailor-made for large breed puppies with an expected adult weight of 56-100 lbs.

 

This makes it a great option for anyone looking for an easy, convenient way of meeting the specific needs of their growing pup.

 

Pros

  • Boosts skin and coat health with EPA And DHA Fatty Acids
  • Offers a specialized blend of minerals to support bone and joint health
  • Contains highly digestible proteins and a blend of fibers to improve colonic health
  • Exclusively designed kibble size and shape to encourage proper chewing habits in pups
  • Contains the optimal amount of protein to build lean muscle mass
  • Contains calcium chelators to reduce tartar formation.
  • Specially formulated to meet the calories needs of large breed puppies that are expected to achieve an adult weight of 56-100 lbs
  • Formulated with prebiotics to promote optimal gut health and stool quality

Cons

  • The high grain content (rice and wheat are listed in the top 3 ingredients) makes this unsuitable for dogs that struggle to digest grains, or who suffer food allergies.
  • Royal Canin is a premium brand and can be expensive.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

FAQ on Large Breed Dog Food

 

How Much Food Should I Feed My Large Breed Puppy?

No two pups are the same, and every dog’s caloric needs are unique.

 

Most commercially available dog foods will display feeding guidelines on the back, but you will need to tailor this according to the individual requirements of your pup (e.g. their weight, breed, activity levels, and general condition).   

 

When Should I Transition My Puppy to Adult Food?

Unless you are feeding your dog a puppy food that is specifically tailored for larger breeds (in which case, consult the label for information on when to switch to an adult food), you should transition your pup to an adult formula at around 6 to 8 months of age.

 

 

What Should I Do If My Dog is Overweight?

If your dog is overweight, have them checked over by a vet to rule out any medical issues.

If it’s simply a case that you’ve been feeding them too much, reduce their portions by a third, and cut out all unnecessary treats and snacks.

 

Which is the Best Dog Food for Large Breeds?

Now we’ve looked at what makes the ideal diet for your pet, we come to the question of which is the Number 1 dog food for your large breed dog?

For what it’s worth, I’d back Merrick Grain Free Puppy Food, Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Formula.

 

The recipe is free from any known allergens (unlike some of the others on the list), while its breed- specific formula will ensure all your pooch’s nutritional needs are very well catered to.

I’ll leave the final decision to you and your dog….

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