Getting a new puppy can be one of the most exciting things as well watching him transform into a healthy and happy adult. Small breeds reach adulthood by 9 or 12 months, however large and giant breeds need from 12 to 24 months to fully grow.
Thus, they have different nutritional needs compared to other puppies and need to stay on the puppy diet longer. Lack of proper nutrients can cause bone malformation and obesity so it is important to find the food with premium quality ingredients.
There are different puppy foods available, breed targeted puppy food, regular, or all stages appropriate hence it can be hard finding the right one. So, to make your job a little bit easier we compiled a list of best large breed puppy food of 2018 to let you know what to look for.
|Name||Image||Best For||Main Ingredient||Protein count||Calories||Price|
|Castor & Pollux Organix Puppy Dry Food||For all puppies including large a giant breeds||Organic Chicken||25%||362|
|Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Dry Food ||Controlled growth of large and giant breeds||Lamb Meal||29.3%||355|
|Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food ||Normal growth and development of large breed puppies||Deboned Chicken||29%||367|
|Holistic Select Natural Large & Giant Breed Puppy Dry Food||For healthy growth and good digestion||Lamb Meal||25%||433|
|Fromm Family Gold Large Breed Puppy Dry Food||Normal growth, development and good digestion||Duck||26%||389|
How to find the best large breed puppy food of 2018?
When shopping for a new formula for your large breed pup it is important to know that he has special nutritional needs. Hence, you need to look for the best dog food for large breed or breed targeted puppy formula. Large and giant pup, such as pitbull need more time to grow up and high-quality food will ensure that they grow up healthy and happy.
What are the nutritional needs of large breed puppies?
Different breeds have unique nutritional requirements, and finding the right food for large breed puppy can be particularly hard because of their rapid growth while they are pups. Large breed puppies can go from a pound at birth to a whopping 70 or more pounds in one year.
Since they have an incredible growth rate large breeds are particularly sensitive to nutrient deficiencies, so their diets should be carefully picked.
- Look for foods that have moderate levels of fats and lower calorie content. Diets that are high in fats and calories can cause your puppy to gain weight that will put extra strain on still growing bones.
- Calcium is very important when it comes to large breed puppies, but if not present in the right amounts can cause serious skeletal diseases. Look for foods that have 1.2 to 1.8% calcium.
- It is a common misconception that large breed puppies shouldn’t eat protein-high food because it can cause hip dysplasia. Proteins are good for muscle development and are sources of much-needed energy for active puppies.
- Look for large breed puppy food that is deemed by AAFCO to be complete and balanced. This means that the pet food manufacturer included all the essential nutrients necessary for a healthy growth and development.
- In addition food for large puppies must have DHA, that is a special strain of omega 3 fatty acids that will support eye and brain development.
What are the common health problems in large breed puppies?
Developmental orthopedic disease (DOD) is commonly seen disease in large breed puppies that grow too quickly during their first year. Besides, excess weight can also put a strain on their still growing frame and cause some of these conditions:
- Hypertrophic osteodystrophy is a bone disease that affects front limbs.
- Osteochondrosis is a disease that causes angular deformities in long bones, and cartilage damage in shoulders, elbows, and knees.
- Panosteitis is an inflammation of growing bone and sudden acute lameness in the legs.
- Hip Dysplasia is a disease of the hip that causes ball and socket joint malformation.
- Elbow Dysplasia is a condition in which elbow joint is malformed.
How to feed your pup?
Most people free feed their puppies thinking that they are always hungry. Yet, this approach can cause more harm than good and put your pup’s health in danger.
Too much food can cause your pup to gain weight therefore putting additional strain on his bones. In order to prevent weight stick with following recommendations.
- Three to four small meals: Besides giving your pup more energy, smaller meals are easier to digest and promote steady growth.
- Limit the access to the food bowl: Limiting meal times to 20 minutes will give your pup plenty of time to eat, and once the time is right, remove the bowl until the next meal. This will teach your pup to appreciate his food and not become a picky eater.
- Wait with activities: Large breeds can develop bloat, which is a serious and in some cases fatal condition. To keep your puppy healthy don’t involve him in any activities and exercises for an hour after the meal.
So what is the best large breed puppy food? There are many great puppy formulas, however not all of them are perfect for your pooch. Consider your pup’s individual needs and nutritional needs in order to make the best diet choice.
Top 5 best large breed puppy foods
This is U.S based brand that uses only organic ingredients in order to make healthiest pet food. Besides being organic this puppy formula is also grain-free and an excellent choice if your pup is having troubles digesting food.
The main ingredient is Organic Chicken, followed by Organic Chicken Meal which is a suitable protein source. Combined they create a minimum of 25% crude protein, that provide energy and build well-developed muscles.
Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Chickpeas, Organic Peas, and Organic Tapioca are easy to digest and won’t cause stomach problems. Combined they create a maximum of 5% crude fiber, that will keep your pup’s tummy full for longer periods of time.
The main source of fat is Organic Coconut oil, followed by Chicken fat and Organic Flaxseed. Combined they create a minimum of 14% crude fat, that will keep your pup energized without making too many calories.
Organic Blueberries are reinforced with vitamin and mineral supplements for a strong immune system and healthy organ function. Furthermore, Salmon oil is a natural source of DHA that supports brain development and eyesight.
Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are also present to ensure that your puppy has a healthy skin and shiny coat. This puppy formula contains a maximum of 1.2% calcium and minimum 1% of phosphorus for a healthy teat, strong and well-developed bones.
Castor & Pollux also included Glucosamine and Chondroitin for healthy bones and joint mobility which is very important for large breed puppies. This is a complete and balanced diet that contains 362 kcal/cup, which is a perfect amount of calories for large puppies.
Hill’s Science is a pet brand that specializes in making targeted nutrition for many health problems, and since they want to cater the needs of every dog, they have a special large breed puppy formula. Based on best large breed puppy food reviews this is a great formula for many satisfied owners.
The main ingredient is Lamb Meal, followed by Egg produces. A Meal is a concentrated form of meat with much higher amounts of protein and is suitable as long as you know what meat is used in the rendering process. These ingredients make 29.3% of crude protein, which is a great amount for toned muscles.
Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Sorghum are some of the carbohydrates included in this dry food. Combined they create 2% of crude fiber, that might not be so easy to digest if your puppy has gastrointestinal problems.
The main source of fat is Pork Fat, followed by Flaxseed and Fish Oil. They are main sources of energy but also support healthy skin and coat and create 16.2% of crude fat.
Hill’s Science included all the vitamins and minerals in form of supplements that will keep your pup’s immune system strong and his organs functioning. DHA is present to support brain development and good eyesight.
Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are present for a healthy skin and silky coat. For bone support and development this food contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
The important thing to check when shopping for a large breed puppy are levels of calcium and phosphorus. Calcium makes 1.2% of this food and phosphorus 1%, and with 355 kcal/cup, this formula is a good choice for daily feeding.
Wellness is a premium quality brand that uses only the best ingredients in order to keep your pup healthy and happy. They have many products and lines to cater the tastes of even picky pooches, and with a Health Complete line, you can rest assured that your pup is getting all the right nutrients.
The main ingredient in this dry food is Deboned Chicken, followed by Chicken Meal and Salmon Meal. They provide a variety of delicious flavors and a minimum of 29% crude protein, that will build muscle tissues.
Peas, Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, and Oats are easy to digest wholesome grains that will provide your large breed puppy with essential nutrients. Combined they create a maximum of 5% crude fiber, that makes this food only a choice for puppies that don’t have allergies on grains.
Chicken fat, Ground Flaxseed, and Salmon oil are main sources of fats and energy and they create a minimum of 13% crude fat. Except energy fat will also keep your puppy’s coat and skin shiny and healthy.
Tomatoes, Carrots, Apples, and Blueberries are fresh sources of vitamins and antioxidants for a overall health and strong immune system. All the necessary vitamins and minerals are supplemented thus making this formula complete and balanced for large puppies.
Chicory Extract and Yucca Extract are added to help with digestion and better nutrient absorption. Wellness also included a minimum of 1.3% calcium and 0.90% of phosphorus.
Salmon oil is the natural source of DHA that supports brain and eye development, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids will keep skin and coat healthy. With 367 kcal/cup, this is a great diet choice for all large breed puppies that don’t have grain allergies.
This is a specially designed formula for puppies that will grow to weight 50+ pounds. Besides high-quality and natural ingredients this food is reinforced with prebiotics for easier digestion.
The main ingredient is Lamb Meal, followed by Chicken Meal as protein-rich sources. Combined they create a minimum of 25% crude protein, that will give energy and help your pup develop toned muscles.
Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Barley, and Peas are wholesome sources of carbohydrates that give energy to always active puppies. Combined they create a maximum of 4.5% crude fiber, that is suitable for puppies who don’t have problems digesting grains.
The main source of fat is Chicken Fat, followed by Salmon Oil that is a natural source of DHA that supports brain and eye development. Combined they create a minimum of 16% crude fat, that is the main source of energy.
Pumpkin, Cranberries, Apples, Blueberries, and Pomegranates are fresh sources of vitamins that will keep your puppy healthy. They are supplemented to provide optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy growth.
This food contains live yogurt cultures that help with digestion and nutrient absorption. This formula contains 1.3% of Calcium and 1% of Phosphorus for strong teeth and well-developed bones.
With omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, your puppy will have a shiny and silky coat and healthy skin. With 433 kcal/cup, this is a complete and balanced dry food that is suitable for daily feeding of large and giant breed puppies.
This is a family owned brand that uses premium quality ingredients to make the best tasting and healthiest dog food. This formula is designed keeping in mind the unique nutritional needs of large breed puppies and their fast growth.
The main ingredient is Duck, followed by Chicken Meal, Chicken, and Menhaden Fish Meal. They provide a variety of tasty meaty flavors and a minimum of 26% crude protein for well-developed muscles.
Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, and Brown Rice are carbohydrates included in the formula. Combined they create a maximum of 3.5% crude fibers, and are great wholesome grains if your puppy doesn’t have problems digesting them.
The main source of fat is Chicken Fat, followed by Salmon oil as a source of DHA for brain and eye development and Flaxseed. They are main sources of energy and create a minimum of 14% crude fat, that also supports your puppy’s skin and coat.
Carrots, Lettuce, and Celery are natural sources of vitamins that are reinforced with supplements for a strong immune system and healthy puppy. Calcium is present as 1.45% with 1.02% Phosphorus on dry matter basis.
Fromm Family included Chicory root extract as a source of prebiotics and probiotics that support healthy and easy digestion. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are present for a good looking skin and coat, and with 389 kcal/cup, this is a great food for daily feeding of large and giant puppies.
Large breed puppies grow very fast and need specially designed food that is able to provide all the necessary micro and macronutrients for a steady growth. They are also, at higher risk of developing skeletal diseases so it is important to feed your puppy with food that supports normal bone growth and isn’t calorie rich.
Our choices for the best large breed puppy food of 2018 can give you an idea what to look for when it comes to diet and healthy options for still growing large breed puppy. Make sure that you aren’t overfeeding your puppy ( Read more about how much to feed a puppy) since they can easily develop obesity that will put an additional strain on their still growing bones.