BEST PUPPY FOOD FOR LARGE BREEDS: The Best and Things to Consider

Best puppy food for large breeds
Image source: NBC News

As it turns out, there’s a wide variety of puppy food out there. To ensure your big UK and Canadian puppy breeds get the proper nutrition they need for a long and healthy life, you should give them a meal formulated specifically for large breed puppies, without chicken, but which recipes are the best? You should consult with many veterinarians to learn why feeding your large puppy breeds a particular food is so crucial and which recipes are the best in their professional opinion. In this article also, we will be looking at the difference between large-breed puppy food and regular puppy food

Best Puppy Food for Large Breeds

If you’re the proud owner of a huge breed dog, you already know that they need a particular kind of food to be strong and content. Finding the best meal for your dog can be challenging because not all dog foods are created equal.

One of the most crucial choices you’ll ever make is selecting the right diet for your giant breed dog. This is due to the possibility that feeding your large breed puppy improper puppy food—one with too much calcium—will result in hip problems and permanent bone loss.

These foods are certain to keep your pet feeling his best because they were specially created to fulfill the demands of big dogs.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 dog foods for huge breeds because of this.

  1. Pupper’s Chicken Topper
  2. Merrick Grain-Free
  3. Nom Nom Fresh
  4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
  5. Holistic Select

What should a large breed puppy eat? 

Different types of dog food exist. Not every puppy is the same. It’s crucial to feed the proper nutrition to the appropriate puppy, especially when it comes to large or giant breed puppies.

Fact: There is no all-purpose dog food.

Suitable Growth Rate

#1. Puppies Grow Up, but It’s Crucial That They Do So at the Right Pace.

Muscle and bone make up the body’s structure and must develop together. Skeletal abnormalities can be caused by rapid development rates that strain developing bones and joints. Too-rapid bone growth results in less dense bones, which makes the skeleton, particularly the joints, weak. Increased body bulk and exponential growth place additional stress on bones and joints. Therefore, it’s important that puppies don’t gain too much weight! Developmental orthopedic disease (DOD), which is influenced by growth pace, is more common in large breed dogs. Many large breed puppies are affected by bone and joint conditions such as hip dysplasia and OCD (osteochondritis des scans).

#2. Some Skeletal Issues Are Genetically Based and Beyond Your Control.

Diet also has an impact on bone growth, and you can manage your dog’s diet! Puppies thrive on a balanced diet of vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, much like human children do. Dogs, however, have a much wider range of sizes than do humans, necessitating “size-specific” meals. Great Dane puppies should eat different diets from Chihuahua puppies since they grow more quickly. Puppies need high-energy diets regardless of size since they use a lot of energy. They burn more calories since they are continuously moving. During the first year of life, caloric needs dramatically increase, yet they must be controlled. Obesity develops later in life from eating too many calories, and this contributes to orthopedic issues as well.

#3. A Pup’s Development Rate Has to Be Regulated.

Large breed pups develop EXCELLENTLY! However, they shouldn’t mature too soon. Puppies need half of their calories for skeletal and tissue development. These calories must come from a diet that fosters robust bone and muscular development. An extremely calorie-dense diet (high in fat) may induce skeletal deformities in pups by pushing them to develop too rapidly. Important is the protein content. Proteins are the body’s building blocks and help produce strong muscles. Adult dogs require less protein than developing pups. Consuming too much protein may be hazardous to proper development and lead to a calcium and phosphorus imbalance, which can damage bone and joint formation.

#4. Vitamins and Minerals Affect Bone Growth Differently.

Copper, zinc, manganese, vitamin D, A, C, and E support healthy bones. These nutrients may also induce atypical orthopedic development. Giant breed puppy feeds should be low in fat, rich in calcium, and have a balanced Ca:P ratio. 1.5% calcium, or 3 grams/1,000 kcal, is good. Giant and large-breed pups need 9% fat and 30% protein (dry matter basis). Premium meals may cost extra since protein quality varies by source. Consider the additional calories snacks add to your dog’s diet. Choose low-carb, calcium-free desserts. Fruits and veggies are calorie-efficient snacks. Grapes, raisins, and onions are poisonous.

Do Large Breed Puppies Need Large Breed Food?

A huge breed puppy may reach its adult weight of 80 pounds or more in just one year—much quicker than humans! 

A large breed diet plays a key role in slowing the rapid growth of large breed puppies, which calls for special attention.

Best Puppy Food for Large Breeds Canada

The precise amounts of calories, vitamins, amino acids, digestive enzymes, dietary fiber, and other nutrients have been carefully calculated in the best large breeds puppy food in Canada. Overfeeding can result in an overweight puppy, which puts a lot of stress on the bones and joints when they are still growing. Contrarily, underfeeding can quickly result in malnutrition, which can cause skeletal deformity and misalignment.

The best large breeds puppy food in Canada has 3200 to 4100 calories per kilogram. Each brand has particular eating guidelines; follow them. Don’t be afraid to change these guidelines depending on your metabolism, degree of activity, dietary sources, and more.

Remember that feeding recommendations for different brands may differ significantly. Because certain foods are higher in calories than others, you won’t need to feed your pup as frequently to satisfy his or her specific nutritional requirements.

Divide your puppy’s daily caloric intake into three or four parts and feed them at regular times throughout the day for optimal results. For many huge and giant breed dogs, free feeding is not advised because excessive eating can cause obesity, digestive disorders, and other problems.

Once or twice a month, weigh your dog to ensure optimal growth. By monitoring their weight increase, you may learn about their health and how much to feed them. This is the best puppy food for large breeds in Canada.

  1. Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy
  2. Orijen Large Breed Puppy Food
  3. Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Puppy Food
  4. Acana Heritage Large Breed Puppy
  5. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Food
  6. Fromm Heartland Gold Large Breed Puppy
  7. Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy
  8. Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Puppy Food
  9. Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Food 
  10. 1st Choice Medium & Large Breed Puppy Food

Is There a Difference Between Puppy Food and Large Breed Puppy Food?

Standard puppy feeds frequently contain between 10% and 25% fat, whereas foods made specifically for large breed puppies typically have a fat level of between 8% and 12% on a dry matter basis. Of course, if a dog consumes too much food, the advantages of fat and calorie limitation can be completely negated.

Best Puppy Food for Large Breeds UK

We advise “Symply Large Breed Puppy Food” for large breeds puppies in the UK because it has lower levels of calcium and phosphorus, which allows growing bones to develop at the proper rate and reduces the risk of skeletal and joint issues in later life. We can’t suggest it enough because it’s been carefully created for huge breeds to aid in their proper development in their early years. Available in our online store, it’s unquestionably one of the best large breeds of puppy food in the UK.

How Long Should Large Breed Puppies Eat Puppy Food?

For at least the first 12 months and up to 24 months for large breeds, it’s crucial to provide a high-quality puppy food formula.

Best Large Breed Puppy Food Without Chicken

As a responsible pet owner, you want to ensure that your dog is receiving the best nutrition available. Furthermore, picking the appropriate diet is crucial when it comes to large-breed puppy food that contains chicken. Many commercial dog diets contain chicken, but there are many different options available if your dog is sensitive to fowl or you’re just seeking an alternative. The ten best large-breed puppy food free of chicken are listed below.

Given that it looks like many dog breeds are turning their thumbs up at beef and hog, it can be difficult to avoid dog food made with chicken. Although different dog foods use different protein sources, not all of them are made equally. Even some that were fantastic on paper failed our dog’s sniff test!

Our team has finally discovered the best large breed puppy food without chicken that not only tastes great but also improves the health of the dog’s fur. This review was written so you can read our findings and pass them along to your four-legged friend.

  • Whole Earth Farms Dog Food without Chicken
  • Instinct Be Natural Chicken-free Dog Food
  • Natural Balance Ingredient Diets
  • Purina Pro Plan Adult Dog Food.
  • Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient Dog Food
  • Nature’s Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
  • ACANA Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • GENTLE GIANTS Natural Dog Food
  • Zignature Goat Dry Dog Food

What Is Considered a Large Breed Puppy?

When a dog is an adult and stands roughly 25″ or taller at the shoulder or weighs 60 lbs. or more, it is referred to as a large breed.

Also read, “Dog Food Branding: Best 2023 Practices & Tips For Any Business

Large Breed Puppy Food vs. Regular Puppy Food

The biggest distinction between large breed puppy food and standard puppy food is that the former contains fewer calories. According to pet nutritionist Mark Finke, Ph.D., larger breeds are not considered adult dogs until they are 18 to 24 months old, which explains why.

Large breed puppy diets differ from “normal” puppy feeds in that they feature a carefully balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, less fat and calories, and somewhat lower quantities of calcium and phosphorus.

Is Too Much Protein Bad for Large Breed Puppies?

Adult dogs need less protein than growing puppies need. On the other hand, consuming too much protein can be harmful to normal development and lead to a calcium and phosphorus imbalance, which can impair the growth of bones and joints.

Calcium is essential for healthy bones, but too much of it can be dangerous.

How Often Should I Feed My Large Breed Puppy?

Once you’ve established the daily meal amount for your puppy, just divide it into three or four smaller servings. After that, give your dog those smaller servings at regular intervals throughout the day.

Try feeding your dog whenever YOU eat—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—to make it simple.

When Should I Switch My Puppy to Adult Food?

Overly high calcium levels in adult dog kibble might make it dangerous for a puppy still developing. Therefore, it’s crucial to DELAY introducing adult food to your puppy.

In light of this, the ideal timing to transition your puppy to adult food will depend on her breed.

Is It Safe to Let My Puppy Eat Whenever She Wants?

A common feeding technique called “free choice” keeps the food in the bowl all day so that a puppy can eat whenever she wants.

Sadly, a lot of parents of large breed puppies wrongly think that allowing their animals to eat in this way without restraint is the best method to feed them.

Free-choice eating, however, has been found to accelerate a puppy’s growth and result in long-term bone injury.

How Long Should You Feed Puppy Food to Large Breeds?

A large-breed puppy’s bones do eventually cease growing, and at this point, you should transfer them to adult dog food. Puppies, however, grow to their full adult height at varying ages.

Large breeds can typically switch between 12 and 18 months, as a general rule. Giant breed puppies may benefit from eating a large-breed puppy diet until they are about 24 months old (those that weigh 90 pounds or more when fully grown). You can work with your vet to decide when it’s time for your puppy to start eating adult dog food.

Can I Just Give My Large-Breed Puppy an Adult Dog Food?

The quick response is no. Keep in mind that puppies of huge breeds are still young. No matter their size, pups require more protein, specific amino acids, lipids, specific fatty acids, electrolytes, and various minerals. These requirements are still met by large-breed puppy meals, which also make minor changes to restrict growth. A puppy who is fed adult dog chow runs the danger of nutritional deficiency.

What Makes Large Breed Dog Food Different?

Dogs of enormous and giant breeds also have bigger stomachs, which means they need more food to feel satisfied. Large dogs are often kept in ideal body condition (4 to 5 on the Purina Body Condition System’s 9-point scale) by eating foods that are lower in calories and fat.


Although all pups have big hearts, some will also have big bodies to match. In this article, we took care to only present the best nutrition choices for your puppy. However, it’s vital to speak with your veterinarian before adding anything new to your puppy’s diet, including the foods we’ve included below. Your veterinarian can evaluate your puppy’s health history and special dietary and nutritional needs in order to assist you in choosing the best dog food for your growing puppy’s development and general health.

Best Puppy Food for Large Breeds FAQs

What is special about large breed puppy food?

The calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in large-breed puppy diets is more carefully regulated, and the fat and calorie content are lower than in “normal” puppy feeds.

Do I have to feed my large breed puppy large breed puppy food?

In only one year, a large-breed puppy may put on as much as 80 pounds. That’s a lot quicker than humans! Large-breed puppy food is essential for helping owners keep their dogs’ rapid development under control.

Can large breed puppies eat all life stages food?

Although it may appear that any meal suitable for a dog’s life stage would suffice, some dogs actually fare better on a puppy-specific formula or a more calorie-dense formula. The first six months of a dog’s life are the most formative, therefore it’s possible that a special puppy meal may be necessary for large and high-energy breeds.

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