review of the best large breed dog foods

10 Best Large Breed Dog Foods in 2024

Sara Redding Ochoa DVM

This article has been fact checked and verified by our veterinary advisor Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

If you’ve taken the time to go through our article on the best large breed puppy foods, you’re already aware that big breeds and small breeds require different types of care. As dogs of larger breeds grow older, they tend to face issues related to their joints, bones, and muscles. These health concerns can range from hip and elbow dysplasia to osteoarthritis.

It’s never too late to help your dog through their diet. Feeding your larger breed dog a specially formulated diet formula will help reduce stress on their joints and minimize other risks. There are certain ingredients to look for in dog food for large breeds, and we’ll take you through them today.

Big dogs tend to bulk up more quickly, leading to added strain on their skeletal frame. We can fix this problem with the right food and nutrients coupled with regular exercise.

I found that Taste of the Wild is the best overall dog food for large dogs because not only that it’s healthy, but it also guarantees a great taste that is irresistible, however, we have plenty more options depending on your pups individual needs.

Our Top 3 Picks

Our Top Pick
Taste of the Wild High Prairie

Taste of the Wild High Prairie

  • Grain-free formula
  • 32% protein
  • With antioxidants for immune health
Best dry adult food
Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula Adult

Purina ONE Adult Plus Formula

  • Real chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • Offers 100% complete and balanced nutrition
  • Packed with protein
best dry puppy food
Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE Large Breed Puppy

  • Supports vision and brain development
  • Natural sources of glucosamine
  • Great for Joints

Our team has spent hours researching products to find the best food for your large breed dog, read our in-depth reviews below.

Quick Look at the Best Large Breed Dog Foods

  1. Taste of The Wild Grain-Free Premium High Prairie Adult (Best Overall)
  2. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula Adult (Best Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food)
  3. Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food (Best Large Breed Dry Puppy Food)
  4. Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food for Active Adult Dogs)
  5. Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Senior 7+ (Best Dog Food for Mental Sharpness)
  6. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food for Natural Joint Health Support)
  7. NUTRO Ultra Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food (Best High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food)
  8. Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Dry Dog Food (Best for Increased Endurance)
  9. Holistic Select Natural Large & Giant Breed Dog Food for Adults (Best Dog Food for Digestive Health)
  10. Iams Proactive Healthy Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food (Best Real Chicken Large Breed Dry Dog Food)

Learn more about our 10 point inspection checklist.

Best Dog Food for Large Breed Dogs

1. Taste of The Wild Grain-Free Premium High Prairie Adult

Taste of The Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food High Prairie Adult

With roasted bison as the number 1 ingredient and optimal amino acids, your dog will have lean and strong muscles from pet food with a great taste. As for the skin and coat, this grain-free large breed dog food has antioxidants and fatty acids from fruits and vegetables working overtime.

The sources of the ingredients are vital, and Taste of the Wild only sources from trusted and sustainable suppliers around the world. No grain, corn, wheat, filler, or artificial ingredients are added to this recipe. Made in the USA and a family-owned business, the food follows scientifically advanced food safety protocols.

Why We Like ItTaste of the Wild is a grain-free dry large breed adult dog food that is not only healthy, but it also guarantees a great taste that is irresistible to your large breed’s tummy. Your dog will be licking its lips after every meal, formulated with real protein, fruits, and vegetables. This formula is great for dogs that feel better with limited ingredients.

Nutrition Information

Calorie Content370 kcal/cup
Crude Protein32.0% min
Crude Fat18.0% min
Crude Fiber4.0% max
Moisture10.0% max
Vitamin E150 IU/kg min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids2.8% min
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.3% min


+ Grain-free formula
+ 32% protein to support healthy joints and promote lean muscles
+ Species-specific probiotics for healthy digestion
+ With antioxidants for immune health
+ Balanced levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
+ Fruits and vegetables with essential vitamins and minerals


– Not recommended for dogs with a poultry allergy
– Not great for dogs with sensitive stomachs

2. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula Adult

Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

This Purina ONE Plus Large Breed Recipe uses real chicken as the number one ingredient. This recipe is made specifically for larger breeds with healthy levels of glucosamine to help support joints and high protein levels to support their muscles and heart. This Purina recipe is a smart blend with two textures.

Juicy and tender morsels mixed with crunchy kibble leave your dog with a delightful taste in its mouth. With zero fillers in this recipe, dog owners can feel comfortable and confident that every ingredient serves a purpose. For ideal health and body support, offer your dog Purina One SmartBlend for large breeds today.

Why We Like It – Purina One delivers a unique and wholesome essentials recipe for your large breed dog. The two textures can provide taste and fulfill your dog’s nutritional requirements with no fillers or artificial additives.

Nutrition Information

Calorie Content355 kcal/cup
Crude Protein26.0% min
Crude Fat12.0% min
Crude Fiber4.5% max
Moisture12.0% max
Vitamin E460 IU/kg min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids1.5% min
Calcium1.0% min
Glucosamine400 ppm min


+ Real chicken as the #1 ingredient
+ Packed with protein for muscle development
+ With glucosamine to support joint health
+ Added essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
+ Offers 100% complete and balanced nutrition
+ No fillers, artificial flavors, and preservatives


– Contains poultry by-product meal
– Not recommended for dogs with grain allergies

3. Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Formula

Purina, a well-established and popular dog food brand, also introduced to us a large breed puppy food that caters to the nutritional needs of your giant breed puppy. The Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Puppy Dog Food makes sure to support your pup’s overall wellness. Give your puppy a chance at a healthy lifestyle and provide them this puppy food with high-quality ingredients starting with real chicken as the top ingredient. It’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, Omega-6 fatty acids, and glucosamine to provide complete and balanced nourishment.

Why We Like It: This Purina large breed puppy food is sure to deliver all the essentials your puppy needs. From vitamins and minerals to a high-quality protein that nourishes and supports lean muscle development. What more could you ask for from this high-quality dog food?

Nutrition Information

Calorie Content3,759 kcal/kg, 361 kcal/cup
Crude Protein28.0% min
Crude Fat13.0% min
Crude Fiber6.0% max
Moisture12.0% max
Vitamin E250 IU/kg min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids1.8% min
Calcium1.1% min
Glucosamine400 ppm min


+ Real chicken as its #1 ingredient
+ High protein for healthy muscles and heart health
+ Natural sources of glucosamine to promote healthy joints
+ Supports vision and brain development with Omega-6 fatty acids
+ Complete and balanced diet for your large breed puppy
+ Natural ingredients with added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients


– Contains chicken by-product meal
– Not recommended for large breed puppies with chicken and egg allergies

4. Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food Chicken – Large Breed

Eukanuba’s first choice for protein is chicken to help with the maintenance of lean muscles. For healthy dog digestion, this large breed dog food offers a specialized fiber system containing beet pulp and prebiotics. The glucosamine and chondroitin levels help support joint health.

For external benefits, Eukanuba Adult Dry Large Breed Dog Food has added optimal levels of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to help your large dog have healthy skin and a radiant coat. This food delivers the key ingredients to help your giant breed reach its full potentials, such as a Doberman or Great Dane. The large breed food is also proven to reduce tartar build-up in 28 days!

Why We Like It: Designed for large and giant breed dogs, this Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dog Food is one of the best large breed dog foods out there that provide overall nutrition. Keep your dog healthy with high-quality ingredients like this one, and you will have the best health defense for your giant pupper!

Nutrition Information

Caloric Content331 kcal/cup
Crude Protein23.0% min
Crude Fat13.0% min
Crude Fiber3.9% max
Moisture10.0% max
Vitamin E154 IU/kg min
Glucosamine368 mg/kg min


+ Chicken as the #1 ingredient!
+ Provides complete and balanced nutrition
+ With DHA and Vitamin E to promote brain function
+ 3D DentaDefense that reduces tartar buildup for clean teeth and healthy gums
+ Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints and muscles
+ Designed to meet the nutritional needs of large and giant breeds


– Has meat by-products and corn fillers

5. Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Senior 7+ Adult Dog Food

Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Senior Dog Food

Large breeds need extra support from the puppy stage all the way through to old age. This Purina Pro Plan dog food is for senior dogs aged 7 or above. When a dog ages, so make their minds. There are enhanced botanical oils infused in this food to help with mental alertness and sharpness in elderly large breeds.

The protein used in this senior dog food formula is chicken, part of the omega-3 fatty acid and glucosamine blend, to help with joint health, mobility, and muscle support. A perfect proportion of 29% protein and 14% fat in this large breed dog food helps senior dogs maintain their ideal body condition.

Why We Like It – If you have an aging large breed dog, care for its health by switching to the Purina Pro Plan chicken recipe and help him nourish his mind and stay sharp like in the younger days. For your beloved pooch, you will want nothing but the best senior dog food, and this is the one for them. Check what this brand can offer through the reviews about Purina Pro Plan dog food.

Nutrition Information

Caloric Content451 kcal/cup
Crude Protein29.0% min
Crude Fat14.0% min
Crude Fiber5.0% max
Moisture12.0% max
Vitamin E500 IU/kg min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids1.8% min
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.45% min
Glucosamine500 ppm min
Calcium1.0% min


+ First ingredient is made from real chicken
+ Specially formulated to support senior dogs aged 7 and above
+ Botanical oils with nutrients to maintain mental alertness as they age
+ With EPA and Omega-3 fatty acids for joint health
+ Includes guaranteed live probiotics to promote immune and digestive health
+ Maintains an ideal body condition for senior dogs


– Has grains and poultry by-product meal
– Not suitable for pets with a sensitive stomach

Alternative: Best Low-Fat Dog Foods

6. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Large Breed Dog Food

Hill’s always comes at dog food from a scientific perspective. This blend is recommended for large breed dogs who weigh more than 55lbs at maturity. The bigger the dog, the more support their joints need. The natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin do just that. This formula is made in the USA with global ingredients that you can trust, you’ll know your canine will be well supported.

You will be able to see the difference in their skin and coats within 30 days. The exclusive blend of omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals will ensure a glossy coat. This dry large breed dog food is only for mature large breeds and not for large breed puppies, pregnant or nursing larger dogs.

Why We Liked It – When larger breeds get to a certain age, mobility issues can be hard to avoid. The glucosamine and chondroitin levels in this food to buy online will keep joints and cartilage healthy. Not for large breed puppies!

Nutrition Information

Caloric Content363 kcal/cup
Crude Protein20.0% min
Crude Fat11.5% min
Crude Fiber4.0% max
Moisture10.0% max
Vitamin E400 IU/kg min
Glucosamine300 mg/kg min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids2.5% min


+ Made with premium quality protein from real chicken as its #1 ingredient
+ Promotes healthy joints with glucosamine and chondroitin
+ With Omega-6 fatty acids and Vitamin E for healthy skin and shiny coat
+ Designed to support lean muscles on large breed adult dogs
+ Antioxidant blend for the immune system
+ Veterinarian-recommended


– Big kibble size is not ideal for puppies’ jaws

Related: Best Diet Dog Foods

7. NUTRO Ultra Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

NUTRO Ultra Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Nutro often contains a blend of 3 proteins to give your pup the maximum amount of muscle support. The trio of lean proteins in this formula is from farm-raised chicken, pasture-fed lamb, and salmon. You get your omega-3’s for your dog’s skin and coat health from the salmon meal. The percentage of the three proteins is specially formulated for larger breeds.

Aside from the premium quality protein, 15 vibrant superfoods include coconut, chia, kale, blueberries, etc. In this large breed-specific dog food, you won’t find artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, corn, soy, wheat, or chicken by-product.

Why We Like It – Dogs deserve to enjoy their food, just like we do. Nutro provides good-tasting food that’s nutritious for our large breed adult dogs. Sign me up, please!

Nutrition Information

Caloric Content346 kcal/cup
Crude Protein23.0% min
Crude Fat12.0% min
Crude Fiber4.0% max
Moisture10.0% max
Vitamin E80 IU/kg min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids2.5% min
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.4% min
Calcium1.0% min
Glucosamine80 mg/kg min


+ High-quality ingredients that provide a balanced and complete diet
+ Contains essential vitamins, minerals, and Taurine for healthy eyesight and hearing
+ Specially formulated for giant dog breeds
+ Without chicken by-product meal, corn, soy, or wheat
+ Includes 15 superfoods to support your dog’s health
+ Promotes healthy bones and teeth


– Not recommended for sensitive stomachs
– Small kibble size is not ideal for a large breed dog

Alternative: Nature’s Recipe Dog Food

8. Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Dry Dog Food

The creator of some of the best dog food recipes, Purina has also made one of the best large-breed dog foods for active adult dogs and active puppies. Chicken is the number one protein to provide lean muscle nourishment for your sporty doggo. With 30% protein and 20% fat, the higher ratio will help fuel the metabolic needs and maintain muscles for your active large breed adult dog. Unlike us, dogs get their energy from fat, not from carbs.

This large breed chicken dog food has higher amounts of fat and protein to increase endurance. This is to make sure they reach their full potential. So if your focus is on your dog’s physicality rather than mental focus, choose the SPORT formula over the Bright Mind option mentioned above.

Why We Like It – Feeding your dog a bowl of this SPORT formula will help nourish their muscles, especially after exercise. Include this large breed dog food in your dog’s diet, especially if they are constantly active. The amino acids will help rebuild and maintain their physical health.

Nutrition Information

Caloric Content484 kcal/cup
Crude Protein30.0% min
Crude Fat20.0% min
Crude Fiber3.0% max
Moisture12.0% max
Vitamin E500 IU/kg min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids1.9% min
Calcium1.1% min
Glucosamine500 ppm min


+ Real chicken as the #1 ingredient
+ With amino acids to support muscle nourishment
+ Higher fat and protein content
+ EPA and glucosamine for joints
+ Supports digestive health with fortified live probiotics
+ Antioxidant-rich ingredients for the immune health


– New recipe/formula may not be suitable for all dogs

9. Holistic Select Natural Large & Giant Breed Dog Food for Adults

Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Large & Giant Breed Adult dog food

This adult recipe is rich enough to maintain the health of large-breed adult dogs and giant breed dogs. The unique blend of prebiotics, probiotics, natural fibers, digestive enzymes, and botanicals help your large dog’s digestive system in the most holistic way possible. The larger kibble size helps slow down a speedy eater and cleans teeth at the same time.

Only containing premium, all-natural ingredients, no meat by-products, wheat, or artificial ingredients are included. Made in the USA, Holistic Select gives you their guarantee. The key to your large breed dog’s overall health is through their stomach. And this Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Large & Giant Breed Adult Dog Food is a great example of the best large breed dog food.

Why We Like It – Made to meet the unique needs of adult dogs weighing 50lbs or more, the ingredients of this giant breed adult dog food blend together to enhance digestion and overall body health.

Nutrition Information

Calorie Content453 kcal/cup
Crude Protein24.0% min
Crude Fat14.0% min
Crude Fiber4.0% max
Moisture10.0% max
Vitamin E165 IU/kg min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids3.60% min
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.60% min
Calcium1.30% min
Glucosamine750 ppm min


+ Complete, healthy, natural, and balanced diet
+ Includes Omega fatty acids and antioxidants for skin and immune health
+ With calcium and phosphorous to promote healthy bones
+ Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
+ Promotes optimal digestive health with probiotics, healthy fiber, and digestive enzymes
+ Taurine for heart health


– Small kibble size is not ideal for large breed dogs

10. Iams Proactive Healthy Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Iams Proactive Healthy Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food - Chicken meal

A vet-recommended formula, Iams dog food has real chicken with L-carnitine to help burn fat and transform it into energy, to maintain a healthy metabolism. A healthy metabolism for a large breed dog means less risk of obesity. A scientifically researched blend specially formulated for large breeds, Iams helps maintain healthy bones and joint health in your dog.

If your dog suffers from osteoarthritis, glucosamine and chondroitin can help with this issue and ease your dog’s pain. The high-quality real chicken protein promotes strong and healthy muscles, and Omega-6 fatty acids can also be found to help with skin and coat health. Give Iams a try and see the difference for yourself!

Why We Like It – If your dog suffers from skin issues, Iams has consumers testifying to Iams’ effectiveness in clearing these issues right up. The image of a healthy dog starts with their skin and coat!

Nutrition Information

Calorie Content351 kcal/cup
Crude Protein22.5% min
Crude Fat12.0% min
Crude Fiber5.0% max
Moisture10.0% max
Omega-6 Fatty Acids1.80% min
Calcium0.90% min
Glucosamine350 mg/kg min


+ Supports muscle and heart health with quality protein from real chicken
+ With bone and joint support from glucosamine and chondroitin
+ L-carnitine to help regulate healthy weight gain
+ Complete and balanced dog food for large breed adult dogs
+ No artificial preservatives or flavors
+ Maintains a healthy metabolism with a tailored blend of fiber and prebiotics


– Not for dogs with sensitive tummies
– Not recommended for picky eaters

Tip: If you can find a product with deboned chicken, this is a safer option for your large breed dog.

How We Chose the Best Large Breed Dog Foods

choosing the best large breed dog food
Photo by Bruce Williamson on Unsplash

All dog foods have a specific nutritional value. For every breed and breed size, the nutritional requirement for them to thrive and grow differs also. That’s why a small breed dog food may not complete a large breed’s diet. So to help you decide what large dog food you should buy, we listed the things specifically needed in food for big dogs.

Complete and Balanced Diet

Dog foods that offer a complete and balanced diet are the ones large pooches need the most. And a healthy diet should include just that, the right amount of protein, carbs, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to keep your large and giant pupper thriving. The #2 on our list, the Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula Adult Dry Dog Food, is exactly what your lovely fur friend needs to achieve optimal health.

High-quality Protein

As always, protein should be the first ingredient in your dog’s food, especially for a larger breed.

Large and giant breed pups should consume diets that contain at least 30% high quality protein and 9% fat (dry matter basis).

VCA Hospitals, Nutritional Requirements of Large and Giant Breed Puppies

This goes the same with large breed adult dogs. They will need at least 25-30% of protein from a premium source to get lean muscle support. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Praire Recipe is not listed as our top 1 for no reason. This dog food has the quality protein (32%) your large doggo needs to support muscle and heart health.

Natural Ingredients

Large breed dog foods made with natural ingredients are good for the ones that are food-sensitive. With wholesome and natural ingredients, your dog also gets healthy fiber that aids their digestive system while also gentle on your pooch’s stomach. Our #9 does just the perfect job for your dog’s digestive system, the Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Large & Giant Breed Adult Food.

Essential Nutrients, Vitamins, and Minerals

Nothing matters more than your fur baby getting the right nutrients to support their needs. We also give you our previous recommendation for this one. The Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Large & Giant Breed Adult Food has all the essentials you need to provide whole-body nourishment.

It has Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and antioxidants for boosting the immune system. What’s more is calcium, phosphorous, glucosamine, and chondroitin for bone and joint health. Let’s not stop there. There’s also Taurine to promote a healthy heart and healthy fiber and digestive enzymes for the digestive system. An all-around food for your large doggo!

Important Ingredients to Look for When Buying Dog Food for Large Breeds

Large Breed Dog Food Buyers Guide

There are tons of dog food brands out there to choose from with a wide variety of recipes and ingredients. What do dog owners have to look out for? Do we pick dry, canned, raw, or freeze dried dog food? Whatever you do and choose, remember to pay attention to your dog, not the food. Observe your large pup carefully when you’re trying out new pet foods that you buy online.

Some large-breed dogs need to eat more than others, even dogs of the same breed. Take their activity level and habits into consideration. Look for any changes in their coat, skin, and stool. Let’s go into further detail about what ingredients to look for and which to avoid in adult recipes when shopping for large breed dog foods.

Important Things to Look for When Buying Dog Food for Large Breeds
Image by Anna Kwast from Pixabay


Large breed dog food should contain joint supplements, like chondroitin and glucosamine. These two supplements help with joint health, as well as cartilage and bone health, so your doggo can maintain their strong physique.


Because our large babies are larger in size, they require more calories. But more doesn’t mean too much. The pet food should contain a moderate amount and fulfill nutritional requirements, enough to gain energy, but not so much that it leads to obesity. Which is also a common problem among large breed dogs. Monitor their intake well!


Protein should always be the top and first ingredient. Older large-breed dogs need more protein, and this is due to the higher protein turnover and lower protein production in their system. Make sure they get highly digestible proteins, like lamb and chicken meal in their diet to help them maintain their muscle mass and prevent loss of protein.


Fiber is also important for their digestive system. The older the dog gets, the easier it is for them to suffer from constipation. Some examples of good sources of fiber include beet pulp, kelp, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and brown rice formula.


The next on the list is antioxidants. This can be found in colorful fruits and veggies such as carrots, blueberries, kale, etc. Antioxidants are responsible for boosting large dogs’ immune systems and keeping their overall health protected.

Omega Fatty Acids

DHA is a type of omega-3 that can help with brain and eye development. This essential fatty acid is vital for your dog’s mental awareness, especially as they grow old. Another fatty acid you need to consider is Omega-6, making your dog’s skin and coat healthier and shinier. You can typically get Omega-6 from fish oil or vegetable oil like salmon oil and flaxseed oil.

The most important thing is making sure the ingredients are all naturally sourced from trusted suppliers. Don’t put anything artificial in your dog’s body. Only feed them what you’d eat yourself.

Ingredients to Avoid in Large Breed Food

Ingredients to Avoid in Large Breed Food

Here we delve into the ingredients dog owners should try their hardest to avoid. Don’t feed your large pup something you wouldn’t eat yourself. Here we will provide a list of ingredients to look out for. Hopefully, next time you’re overwhelmed by the number of choices, this list can help you narrow it down.

Meat by-products

These are cheap fillers used to add to the protein amount already in your dog’s food. Protein is good, but not when it’s a by-product. By-products are usually leftovers that people don’t want to waste. You might find parts of animal carcasses and ground-up bird beaks in your large breed dog’s food. Yum? I think not.


These are preservatives. You definitely do not want this in the food your dog eats every day. BHA is considered to be more dangerous than BHT, but both are still not recommended to have. They can cause long-term issues in your dog and can possibly lead to cancer. Make sure you don’t have these in your food as well!

Food Dye/Artificial Colors

Like we’ve mentioned before, anything unnatural is a no-go. Some of these dyes are considered animal carcinogens and are only used to make pet food look tastier.

Animal Fat/Rendered Fat

Fat is hard to decipher where it’s sourced from, making it unsafe for consumption. The rendered animal fat, like chicken fat your large pup, devours, maybe from roadkill, dead zoo animals, or euthanized animals.


Lots of us humans avoid gluten. No matter how small or how large he is, sensitive pooch dog food with gluten is good to avoid. Gluten can be found in grains and can cause a slew of allergic reactions. If your dog is especially prone to skin problems, avoid this and opt for grain-free large-breed dog food.

Related: Best Dog Food for Allergies

Common Health Problems For Large Breed Dogs

Common Health Problems For Large Breed Dogs
Image by Светлана Бердник from Pixabay

Now let’s take a look at the most common health issues that plague larger breeds, which ingredients help these issues, and how to prevent them.

Orthopedic Disease

Large dogs are prone to more orthopedic diseases. Such issues include hip and elbow dysplasia, arthritis, and osteochondrosis. Hereditary factors, as well as lifestyle, can contribute as well, but the best way to fight against these issues is the right diet. Regular exercise and monitoring of his/her diet will help as well. Helpful ingredients are the above-mentioned chondroitin and glucosamine.

Veterinary diets are advised for dogs that are in pain, so always consult your vet first.


Large dogs are prone to obesity and overgrowth. This happens when they grow too quickly. This is especially dangerous among just neutered or spayed dogs. Dogs that have just finished these procedures are prone to more weight gain (not healthy weight gain, either). The right balanced nutrition will prevent this with proper feeding.


Bloating in large breeds could be fatal, and it can happen when the stomach is filled with food, gas, or fluid. Larger kibble and large breed formulas should be effective against this issue. Don’t do any form of strenuous exercise for an hour or two after feeding. It can sometimes become even more complicated and develop into a worse condition called the Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) or twisting of the stomach. Aside from a bloated stomach, symptoms of bloating include depression, vomiting, sudden weakness, collapse, restlessness, and cold spots.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many meals a day should I feed my large breed dog?

Large breed dogs can survive on two meals a day. And according to American Kennel Club, large breed puppies require two to three meals per day to thrive.

Is it okay to feed my large dog regular dog food than a large breed food?

Regular dog food is fine; however, it’s not specifically tailored to meet the nutritional needs of large breed dogs. There’s a reason why pet food companies make a large breed recipe. It’s because a large breed recipe is better in providing your dog the essentials they need to grow healthily. Still unsure if you should be feeding your dog a large breed food?

Is a grain-free diet okay for large breed dogs?

A grain-free diet is unnecessary unless your dog has a sensitive stomach and has food allergies specific to grains. You can still feed your dog a grain-free diet, but if it’s not necessary for their health, you can opt for the grain-inclusive ones. Just make sure that they have good quality.


The best large breed dog food will still depend on your pooch and what doesn’t agree with them and their body. You must know your furry friend well and their habits to make the best choice on their behalf. If you’re still unsure after our guidance or researching the web, feel free to ask your vet for a more precise suggestion.

With each of the life stages and change of habits, you and your vet should be able to come up with the best nutrition and exercise plan to best benefit your large pooch. A bigger pup means bigger responsibilities. As we’ve said before in previous articles, look for AAFO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) approved dog supplies for the safest bet.

Expert Tip

When reading the label, don’t buy into unregulated phrases such as “all-natural” or “human-grade ingredients.” These phrases are used to suck you in. These phrases are easily said and written because there are no set standards of all-natural or human-grade. Everyone has a different definition. So unless there are solid standards or proof, ignore such phrases.

Did You Know?

Dog food labels won’t tell you much about the quality of the ingredients. Technically, a reference to quality isn’t even allowed! Just make sure the source is labeled so you can make the best and most informed decision this way. Aside from where the ingredients come from, what is being used is just as important.

Similar Posts