How To Choose The Best Large Breed Puppy Food For Your Dog (2017 Edition)
Large breed dogs, such as the Mastiff, Great Dane, Akita, German Shepherd, Old English Sheepdog and the like, require a lot of nutrition from large breed puppy food to fill their tummies. In this article, we give you pointers on choosing the best large breed puppy food for your dog.
**Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
Large Breed Puppy Food - How To Choose
Whether it is canned puppy food or the best dry puppy food, you should be able to know what your large breed puppy needs. Below are some considerations on choosing what to feed puppies.
Choose Protein-Rich Foods
Consider high protein puppy food to help in fat burning. Protein helps build muscle mass for young pups to stay active and this is why it is a very important thing to look for in puppy and dog foods. Most protein-rich foods that your puppy can munch on include beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck and the like. Fish products such as salmon and herring can also be a source of protein.
However, do not put too much protein in your puppy's food. It can lead to hip dysplasia and miscellaneous skeletal disorders and may also result in obesity. Protein content should be only 28% of a puppy's diet (18% for an adult dog).
No to Preservatives and Fillers
Make sure you only buy good puppy food brands that do not contain preservatives, fillers or anything that is artificially made. It is good to have natural puppy food for your growing canine friends.
You should avoid dog foods that contain BHA, TBHQ, Ethoxyquin, BHT and other preservatives that are artificial. Instead, they should contain natural vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin E and the like, which are found on dog foods with natural ingredients such as fruits, vegetables and the like.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to determine whether dog foods contain such fillers if they are not listed in the ingredients unless you contact the manufacturers or check their website for more information.
Ethoxyquin is the same preservative used for pesticides and synthetic rubber. BHA and BHT have been studied by the World Health Organization and found out to have compounds that may cause cancer. TBHQ, on the other hand, may increase the food's shelf life but may lead to many types of cancer. It is commonly found in resins, varnishes, and lacquers talk about being toxic to your pet.
In addition, you should also avoid propylene glycol (used antifreeze) and propyl gallate due to its negative effects on the reproductive health of your dog.
Specifically Formulated for Large Breeds
Some puppy foods are for general breed types but you can find ones that have specific formulas for large dogs, small dogs, etc. There are also particular puppy mixes for those with digestive upsets or those with specific allergies, so you should look for those.
Balanced Amount of Ingredients and Nutrients
Any dog food should contain significant amounts of each nutrient for your dog or puppy. Protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fat and whole grains are important for every dog, while larger breeds may also require glucosamine.
Protein should make up 18% to 25% of a dog's diet while fat should be 10% to 15%. Make sure the dog food also has natural vitamins such as A, C, and E for healthier coat, skin, and teeth. Carbohydrates should be regulated to around 30% to 70% of their daily diet. Foods with fiber will also contribute to weight management. Last but not the least, water is important to keep your dog (or pup) from dehydration.
Dry or Wet Dog Food?
Some people prefer wet puppy food over dry food but this can be a matter of opinion and choice. Some people suggest that wet or canned dog food retains more nutrients than heated dry food.
Check the allergen information
Some dogs will be allergic to one or two food ingredients, which may include: corn, soy, dairy, wheat, chicken, pork, fish, egg, and others. It is important to know your dog allergies first before choosing any dog or puppy food. Itching, diarrhea, rashes, vomiting, nausea, poor coat, constant licking, and chronic gas are just some of the signs of food allergy.
Assess reviews with specific dog breeds
It is a good idea to check the reviews of a product to see if there are breeds similar to your puppy, so you could know if there are specific reactions to the food (e.g. picky eating, loose stools, etc.).
A well-known natural dry formula, the Taste of the Wild Dog Food is absolutely grain-free and contains a lot of high-protein ingredients such as buffalo and lamb meat. Salmon oil and other natural fish extracts are included, which are a source of DHA for brain development. A mix of veggies, fruits and meat in one 30-pound pack, it contains numerous amounts of natural vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A and so much more.
- Made of natural and authentic roasted meats as the main source of hearty protein for your puppy's lean muscles to be strong as they grow.
- Antioxidants are present in the fruits and veggies that are in this mix, which help boost your puppy's immune system.
- Lactobacillus is also present for keeping your pup's healthy digestion and eliminating bad bacteria that cause digestive upsets.
- It is rich in DHA which is found in its salmon oil, fish oil, and other fish extracts. DHA is great for your puppy's brain development.
- Phosphorus and calcium also aid in a dog's appearance for a shinier coat and a stronger set of teeth. It also enhances the dog's bones and joints.
- Some picky eaters may not really like it at first, so gradual introduction is recommended.
As a grain-free mix, the Wellness CORE Natural Dry Dog Food is rich in protein coming from its chicken meal, turkey meal and deboned chicken, which is a requirement for most large breeds. Not containing any artificial flavorings and preservatives, this 26-pound bag of dry dog food is filled with all the necessary ingredients to raise a happy and healthy pup.
- Contains antioxidants which are naturally derived from fruit and vegetable ingredients such as green tea and rosemary.
- Good for your pup's heart health and immunity due to its omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- Free from grain so it is richer in flavor and nutrients. Dogs with grain allergies may exhibit itchiness, hot spots, hair loss and inflammation so they need healthy puppy food that is grain-free.
- High in protein content, which makes it ideal for large breed puppies who need all of the muscle and strength they can get while growing.
- Promote healthy digestion for dogs due to its probiotics and fiber content. This is highly important if you have a dog with a sensitive stomach.
- Improves your dog's skin, coat, gums, teeth and eyes due to its flaxseed, vitamins, and minerals.
- Also works well for a low-calorie diet plan and weight loss due to its balanced fat and calorie content.
- Not for dogs with allergies to poultry or fish diets.
The Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Food is yet another dry and recommended puppy food for large breeds. Containing chicken for a high source of protein, it is a mix of chicken and rice. It is also rich in various nutrients such as glucosamine for joints, fish oil for brain development and heart health, antioxidants for the dog's immune system, and so much more.
- Good for your dog's brain due to its fish oil that is rich in omega fatty acids and DHA. What's more, omega fatty acids are also heart-friendly.
- Strengthens the immune system of your dog due to its antioxidants that are naturally-derived from fresh food sources.
- Develop your dog's joints, bones, and cartilage with better support due to its natural glucosamine content.
- With chicken as the main ingredient, you know your puppy is getting all of the protein he needs for his journey to dog adulthood.
- Stronger teeth are to be expected as the dog food also contains phosphorus and calcium. Along with this is a shinier coat.
- Great for dogs who are picky eaters – the natural taste can get them to eat right away.
- Packaging condition can vary on a case to case basis.
- May not work well with dogs who are allergic to corn, as it is an ingredient.
Rich in a lot of nutrients, the EUKANUBA Puppy Dry Dog Food puts chicken as the main ingredient as well. Containing no fillers at all, it can give your puppy the shiny coat and the healthy digestion that your large breed needs. Providing strong and lean muscles for your puppy, it also contains DHA for brain development.
- Chicken is the main ingredient, which means more lean meat for your growing puppy and can result to stronger muscles due to the protein content.
- Calcium is present to help your dog attain stronger bones and joints, which is needed as your puppy grows.
- DHA in this puppy food helps a lot in brain development so your dog will be easier to train.
- Contains Vitamin A and beta carotene for healthy eyes.
- Great for your puppy's coat and teeth due to its amounts of vitamins and minerals.
- Fish oil content in this dog food helps give your dog a healthy heart due to the omega fatty acids.
- Prebiotic and fiber aid in puppy digestion, especially for those with frequent stomach upsets.
- May not appeal to dogs who are picky eaters, but this can be remedied by gradually introducing it to them.
Great for its all-natural formulation, the Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food contains amino acids, minerals, and vitamins for your puppy's health and well-being. Specifically targeting your pup's bones and joint strength, it is a great puppy dry food to consider.
- Rich in vitamin C and E for antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants are important to help reduce free radicals that damage the cells in our bodies – the same is true for dogs.
- All-natural, without preservatives, artificial colors or flavorings.
- Supports bone growth and joint strength. This is highly important because bone growth is important for large dogs due to their mass and strength.
- Contains fresh ingredients such as apples, carrots, green peas, cranberries, broccoli, and others. Such ingredients provide your dog a balance of fruits and veggies along with the lean chicken already present in the mix.
- Also contains fish oil and flaxseed for a healthy heart. Fish oil is a great ingredient for both dogs and cats alike due to its omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to the heart’s well-being.
- It is a vet-recommended formula, which means it’s good for your dog.
- Can also be used for weight loss programs for dogs.
- Great for dogs with sensitive stomachs and digestive problems.
- Minor packaging issues which are unlike the Ziploc bags.
- May not work for picky eaters.
Out of all the best large breed puppy food out there, the Taste of the Wild Dog Food is our top recommended puppy food due to its diverse amount of natural ingredients. Most of the reviews stated that their dogs love the natural taste and hearty amounts of nutrients that their puppies can benefit from. While the other four dog foods are great, this one takes the cake due to its list of ingredients.
Remember that you should still consult with your vet if your puppy may require specific types of food or if there are allergies and that the best large breed puppy food will depend on a lot of factors.