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18 Best Large Breed Puppy Foods in 2021

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Large breeds dogs with special traits and unique characteristics have different food requirements to their small and medium breed counterparts. The best way to give your large breed puppy the ideal foundation to grow into a big, healthy adult is to pave the way when they are young by using only the best large breed puppy foods.

Large breed puppies have a host of additional needs, which you can help to support by only choosing puppy foods with the correct ingredient content and grain-free, protein-rich composition. Large breed puppies need support for their growing joints from the outset, as they are prone to hip dysplasia and certain orthopedic diseases. Large and giant breed foods often contain protein meals, such as lamb meal and chicken meal. These ingredients contain glucosamine and chondroitin to help ensure healthy joint development.

If you feed your large breed puppy a high-quality food that is specifically engineered for their unique needs, you can significantly decrease the risk of these diseases and more. Large breeds, such as Great Danes and St. Bernards, also require much higher amounts of animal protein content in their foods to promote growth. Many large breed dry dog foods also contain digestive aids such as brown rice and prebiotics, as larger dogs are also more prone to gastric issues.

Finding the best large breed puppy foods which don’t compromise on taste can be a daunting task. However, the list below will help you evaluate your options.

Vet Approved Content
  • Sara Redding Ochoa DVM
  • Certified content. This article has been fact checked and verified by our veterinary advisor.

    Approved By: Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

Notes from our DVM, Sara Ochoa: “Large breed puppies require large breed dog food as it helps make sure that they have all the needed nutrition for their fast-growing bodies.”

Everything starts with food. You want your dog to live a long and healthy life, and this can put a lot of pressure on you to find the best food for large breeds. Every choice available will claim to be the best. We’ll break down each choice and show you what to look for next time you venture down the puppy food aisle.

View The Best Large Breed Puppy Foods Below

1. Wild Earth Dog Food

Wild Earth Dog Food

Our number one choice of best dog foods goes to the excellent company Wild Earth. This company offer an extremely high-quality product which is kind to your wallet, your dog and the earth.

Wild Earth only use the very best, sustainable ingredients to ensure that your dog gets all of the tailored nutrition they need. They understand that dogs are omnivores and so include plenty of high-quality fruits and vegetables alongside specially selected meats to ensure a high protein content which is achieved in a sustainable way. You’ll find no meat by-products or inferior products like corn gluten meal here, only ingredients specially selected for their high content of vitamins and minerals.

What’s more, our choice of the best food is delivered straight to your door. It really couldn’t be more convenient.

Pros:

+ Developed by veterinarians for the best dog nutrition content.
+ Ecologically sustainable without compromising on protein content.
+ Delivered straight to your door.
+ 100% money-back guarantee.

Why We Like It – Our choice of best dog food is an all-round ideal meal for your pet. The special blend of fruits and vegetables work alongside ethically-sourced meat to ensure a high protein content. These dog foods are convenient, environmentally friendly and packed full of health benefits.


2. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food

farmers dog food

Large breed puppies require specific nutrient profiles to grow into strong and healthy adults. All Farmer’s Dog Food recipes exceed AAFCO standards. These foods score our best dog food rating by containing lots of animal protein content and a natural flavor, complemented by wholesome fruits and vegetables.

Their business model of delivering fresh puppy foods straight to your door also makes them the best large breed puppy foods in terms of convenience.

Pros:

+ Exceeds AAFCO standards.
+ Doorstep delivery.
+ Guaranteed freshness.
+ No preservatives.

Why We Like It – Our choice for the best large breed puppy foods for your dog couldn’t be more deserved. These human-grade foods are created with minimal processing for maximum nutrient absorption.

Want to learn more about The Farmer’s Dog Food? Read our in-depth Farmer’s Dog Food Review.


3. Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food

nom nom dog food options

Nom Nom Dog Food is as delicious as it sounds. Each recipe is tailored to the nutrient specifications of your large breed puppy. All ingredients are carefully selected and put together by a team of scientists and vet nutritionists.

Large breed puppies need more nutrition than the average puppy. Nom Nom ensure all their ingredients are sourced in the USA and guarantee high-grade dog food for your pet.

Pros:

+ Made specifically for your large breed puppy.
+ USA-sourced ingredients.
+ Delicious recipes.
+ Formulated by professionals.

Why We Like It – As well as offering one of the best large breed puppy food personalization programs, they also stock joint and mobility support supplements designed for large breed dogs.

Want to learn more about Nom Nom Dog Food? Read our in-depth Nom Nom Dog Food Review.

Get 50% Off Your First Month of Nom Nom Dog Food

Fresh dog food is the better, healthier option for your fur baby.

Nom Nom a service that delivers balanced, freshly made pet food perfectly balanced with fresh, whole natural ingredients.

The formula is carefully developed by Dr. Justin Shmalberg DVM so you can trust your dog is in good hands.

COUPON: GET 50% OFF NOM NOM Learn More

4. Ollie Fresh Dog Food

Ollie Chicken Recipe

Don’t worry about your large breed dog running out of food, because Ollie Dog Food has a flexible delivery schedule to ensure your puppies never go hungry. Alongside delicious food tailored to the needs of your large breed puppy, you can also enjoy free delivery.

Feed your large breed puppy food that makes a difference. Within just a few days, the specially formulated nutrient composition in their large breed puppy food blends will be hard at work ensuring your healthy dog is also a happy dog!

Pros

+ Tailored for your large breed puppy.
+ A difference you can see.
+ Delicious recipes.
+ Free shipping.

Why We Like It – As well as providing nutrition tailored for large breed puppies, Ollie Dog Food care about all dogs. This is why they donate 1% of their revenue to dogs in need.

Want to learn more about Ollie Dog Food? Read our in-depth Ollie Dog Food Review.

Get 50% Off Your First Month of Ollie Dog Food

Fresh dog food is the better, healthier option for your fur baby.

Ollie tailors your dog’s meal plan based on their age, breed, activity level, allergies, and ideal weight—creating the perfect portion for your pup.

It's loaded with quality human-grade meat, fruits, veggies and superfoods with zero fillers.

COUPON: GET 50% OFF OLLIE Learn More

5. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Puppy Dry Dog Food

Protein is so important in the diet of your large breed puppy. Purina Pro Plan focus on deboned chicken and chicken meal in their ingredient list to create a large breed dry dog food packed with protein. Chicken meal also contains glucosamine and DHA to help prevent joint issues and hip dysplasia in the future of your large breed puppy.

Related: Best Dog Food for Small Dogs

Purina Pro Plan focus on efficient formulas for maximum nutritional content. This large breed dog food is made with additional antioxidants to support the developing immune system of your puppy.

Pros:

+ High-quality, protein-rich ingredients.
+ Specialized nutrition.
+ Natural flavor sources.
+ Delicious taste adored by large breed puppies.

Why We Like It – With the above-average protein and below-average fat content, this large breed puppy food will help your canine will grow to be strong, without improper weight gain.


6. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Maxi Puppy Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Maxi Puppy Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Large Puppy Dry Food is designed specifically for large breed puppies who will reach 50-100lbs at full size. Special mineral blends in this large breed puppy food promote healthy bone and joint growth, while antioxidants and vitamins support the immune system.

The grain-free recipe is helped by prebiotics to ensure this dog food for large breed puppies is easily digestible. Grain-free, all-natural and holistic, this large puppy food won’t be hard on your pup’s stomach.

Pros:

+ Large breed puppy formula supports bones and joints.
+ Grain-free recipe.
+ Easy to digest.
+ Holistic and all-natural.

Why We Like It – Royal Canin have optimized their large breed dog food with all the nutrients your puppy needs to develop strong muscles and bones which will support their large bodies.


7. Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food Chicken – Large Breed

Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food Chicken – Large Breed

Eukanuba is clinically proven to contain high DHA levels derived from natural fish oil. These help with brain and eye development, so your large breed puppy will grow smarter and more easily trained each day. For digestion and nutrient absorption, Eukanuba utilizes natural beet pulp and prebiotics.

To maintain a healthy coat and skin in your large breed puppy, this food employs optimal levels of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. With high proteins and calcium content, this large breed puppy formula will aid strong and healthy growth in no time!

Pros:

+ Clinically proven to aid brain and eye development in large breed puppies.
+ Promotes healthy skin and coat with Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids.
+ Supports bones and joints.
+ Easily digestible.

Why We Like It – This large breed puppy food provides complete and balanced nutrition. All the ingredients will support your fast-growing large breed puppy so they can grow to enjoy a happy and healthy life.

Got a large Weimaraner puppy? You may be interested in these foods specifically for Weimaraners.


8. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula Dry Puppy Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula Dry Puppy Food

Give your large breed puppy the nutrition they need with Purina ONE dog food for large breed puppies. Featuring real chicken protein, chicken meal and easily digestible brown rice with two textures, these tender morsels and crunchy kibbles are irresistible to large breed dogs.

Chicken meal also gives this food for large breed puppies a natural source of glucosamine to lower the risk of hip dysplasia and joint issues.

Pros:

+ Deboned chicken and chicken meal for protein content and joint protection.
+ Highly digestible composition featuring high-fiber brown rice.
+ Two textures.
+ Comprehensive support for large breed puppies.

Why We Liked It – Many large breed puppies grow rapidly. This can put a great deal of strain on their bodies. Using large breed puppy foods like Purina which are nutritionally comprehensive can help to ease the strain of growth on your puppies.


9. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

The diet-friendly large breed puppy foods offered by Hill’s Science Diet get a high rating for the way they tailor nutritional content for large breed puppies. Chicken meal helps to support bone growth. Vitamins A, C, and E support a healthy immune system along with antioxidants and amino acids.

No artificial additives are included to ensure optimal nutrition for large breed puppies!

Pros:

+ All natural composition.
+ No preservatives.
+ Chicken meal promotes bone and joint care.
+ Clinically proven.

Why We Like It – Made in the USA with ingredients sourced from trusted international sources, Hill’s Science Diet makes sure their suppliers meet stringent quality standards.

Large breed puppies love the taste, while their bodies love the healthy ingredient focus.


10. Fromm Gold Puppy Food Large Breed

Fromm Gold Puppy Food Large Breed

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Fromm guarantees only the highest quality ingredients are used in their large puppy foods. As a family-run company, they pay extra attention to what’s best for your puppy. Fresh protein in the form of duck and deboned chicken means this food achieves a high protein rating.

Fromm large breed puppy food consistently achieves a high satisfaction rating and is recommended by breeders and trainers.

Pros:

+ Naturally formulated.
+ High-quality ingredients.
+ Trainer and breeder recommended.
+ Digestive support for growing puppies.

Why We Like It – Fromm Gold Puppy Food Large Breed provides balanced protein, fat and carbs in this formula. Designed for larger puppies, this food will fuel your dog every day.


11. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food

Wholesome and essential, Nutro is true to its name. With non-GMO ingredients and farm-raised chicken for protein, they deliver great taste which supports muscle growth.

You will find no artificial additives in Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food. However, you will find Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, chicken meal, pea protein and fiber-rich brown rice perfect for growing puppies.

Pros: 

+ Non-GMO ingredients.
+ Chicken meal builds strong bones while chicken fat helps brain development.
+ Supports joints.
+ Healthy growth development.

Why We Like It – Nutro Wholesome Essentials scores a high rating for health content for growing puppies. Brown rice promotes healthy digestion, lean chicken fat helps brain development and this is just the start.

This blend rich in animal and pea protein is great for even the pickiest of eaters.


12. Origen Puppy Large Breed 25LB Dry Dog Food

Origen Puppy large Breed 25LB Dry Dog Food

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Orijen’s goal is to provide puppies with protein the way Mother Nature intended. Origen Puppy Large Breed Dog Food contains free-range chicken, turkey, whole eggs and wild fish. These help your dog to build muscle without unnecessary calories.

No preservatives are involved, with all ingredients being sustainably farmed and arriving fresh each day.

Pros: 

+ High-quality ingredients.
+ 85% premium animal ingredients.
+ Rich in protein.
+ Focus on developing lean muscle.

Why We Like It – Orijen understands the fine line between nurturing and overfeeding. Ingredients such as deboned chicken fat help to promote brain development without calorific overload.


13. Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

. Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals large breed puppy food works hard to provide the perfect ratio of protein, calories and fat to fuel your pup. In addition to lamb and rice for protein, this large pup food also offers phosphorus and calcium. These two minerals are used for bone and joint development.

DHA and the L-carnitine help your pup to convert fat into energy, decreasing the chances of them becoming overweight. Diamond Naturals contains absolutely no corn, wheat, fillers or artificial contents.

Pros:

+ Premium ingredients.
+ Smaller kibble size.
+ USA made.
+ No additives.

Why We Like It – This formula is enhanced with superfoods to provide complete and holistic nutrition for your large breed puppy. The L-carnitine will help regulate your pup’s body fat by converting it into energy.


14. Nutro Max Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food

Nutro Max Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food

Nutro Max Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food is made to support the development of puppies from 1 to 12 months with farm-raised chicken protein. While this recipe contains grains, they are wholesome grains designed to aid digestion.

Made in the USA in their own facility, safety is a number one concern for Nutro. This food for large puppies is all-natural and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Choosing Nutro also means you will benefit from their affordable price range!

Pros:

+ USA made.
+ All natural.
+ Tailored nutrition.
+ High-quality ingredients.

Why We Like It – High amounts of EPA in this food aid your pup’s immune system. These are coupled with high levels of DHA which aid cognitive development, so your puppy will be the smartest around!


15. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food

Wellness only uses all-natural ingredients to take complete care of your dog’s health. This food is made in the USA with DHA for healthy bone, brain and eye development. It also contains no wheat, corn, soy or meat by-products.

Their kibble size is also tailored for those larger mouths, for easy chewing. You may mix this dry kibble with wet dog food for an extra textured treat that dogs love.

Pros:

+ USA made.
+ All natural.
+ Regulated calories.
+ High-quality ingredients.

Why We Like It – Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Puppy Food provides overall support for the most important foundation year of your pup’s life. If you start feeding early, you can ensure you’re giving your furry friend the best chance in life!


16. Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food

Nutro make a large range of foods for large breeds. Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food contains a trio of proteins from chicken, lamb and salmon. Each bowl is nutritionally balanced, serving your dog with the necessary vitamin-rich ingredients they need every day.

Other than the protein content, Nutro supplements their blend with superfoods like coconut, chia, kale, blueberries and more. These make sure your large breed pup will be getting all the vitamins and antioxidants they need for a healthy immune system.

Pros:

+ Trio of protein.
+ Superfood supplemented.
+ Non-GMO ingredients.
+ Balanced nutrition.

Why We Like It – Nutro have designed their product range to accommodate your dog at every stage of their life. After your pup’s first birthday, feel free to switch to the adult type of kibble for your pup.


17. Solid Gold – Wolf Cub with Real Bison and Oatmeal – Natural Large Breed Puppy Food

Solid Gold – Wolf Cub with Real Bison and Oatmeal – Natural Large Breed Puppy Food

Solid Gold use bison meat for their protein source, instead of the usual chicken! This natural bison meat will be a new and enticing flavor for your dog and is supplemented with superfoods. Everything is balanced for your pup to have controlled growth.

You won’t find any fillers in this all-natural allergy-free formula. For digestion, fiber-rich probiotics will give your dog a healthy gut.

Pros:

+ 100% satisfaction guarantee.
+ Superfood blend.
+ Real bison meat.
+ No fillers.

Why We Like It – You do not want your big pup to grow too fast, as growing too fast could be harmful to their bones and joints. The balanced formula of Solid Gold promotes controlled growth to prevent this.


18. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Large & Giant Breed Puppy Lamb

Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Large & Giant Breed Puppy Lamb

Made in the USA, rest assured that Holistic Select aims to give your dog the best. You won’t find any by-products, wheat, or artificial content in this mix.

The ingredients in this food include pre and probiotics, natural fibers, digestive enzymes and helpful botanicals. These help to ensure a healthy guy composition for those breeds prone to digestive issues. High protein content also helps to give your dog all the fuel it needs to grow.

Pros:

+ Made in the USA.
+ All Natural.
+ Premium ingredients.
+ No fillers.

Why We Like It – They key to your dog’s health is through their stomach. This is especially true with large breed dogs who are genetically predisposed to digestive and gastric issues.


19. Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food – Chicken

Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food - Chicken

Another chicken blend, Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food is a vet recommended large puppy food. Real, farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient. As well as this, the Iams formula includes 22 ingredients that are typically found in a dog mom’s milk. This is perfect for those puppies growing up away from their families.

The Omega-3 and DHA ingredients also help to support cognitive developments and create smart puppies. Get all-around support with Iams!

Pros:

+ Vet recommended.
+ Supports cognitive functions.
+ Builds strong muscles.
+ Tailored fiber blend.

Why We Like It – Tailored for large dogs, it’s most suitable for pups that weigh from 5o to 120lbs as adults. Taking into consideration ingredients which help to contribute to healthy skin, bones, immune system and coat, Iams has the best for you and your dog.


Large Breed Puppy Food Buyer’s Guide

For large breed puppy parents, ensuring proper nutrition is paramount. Your dog’s future health and happiness depend on it.

The following sections will break down the aspects of nutrition specific to a large breed puppy.

What to Look for When Buying Large Breed Puppy Food?

Black and White Border Collie PuppyHealth Issues

Large breeds often suffer from bone and joint issues, especially later in life. Growing too fast increases the strain and can lead to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis and developmental orthopedic diseases

The best puppy food for large breeds will contain low-fat content, vitamin D, calcium and phosphorous to prevent this. Brown rice is also fiber-rich and helps to prevent digestive issues.

You should also ensure you do not overfeed your large dog. A grain-free large breed recipe can help reduce fattening filler content.

Weight Issues

Weight issues contribute to the risks associated with joint problems, heart disease and more. Ensure that you stick to the recommended portion size and consider a grain-free recipe to reduce fatty fillers.

Remember that not all fats are explicitly bad, chicken fat from deboned chicken aids brain development.

You should also ensure your pet gets lots of consistent exercise to supplement their healthy, grain-free diet.

Calcium

Calcium helps with bone reinforcement. However, too much calcium can cause skeletal issues in your dog.

Puppies suffer from this the most, as they are unable to control how much their intestines absorb.

Bloating

Gastric Dilation-Volvulus, or bloating, is seen common in large breeds. If this condition is allowed to fester, it could be fatal.

Here are some tips to prevent bloating:

+ Feeding smaller meals throughout the day.
+ Ensure their bowl is at ground level, to reduce air intake when feeding.
+ Avoid high-fat content foods, and opt for ingredients such as grain-free compositions and brown rice to help prevent gas and other digestive issues.
+ Use large breed dog foods with larger kibbles to slow feeding.
+ Ensure enough time to fully digest food before exercising after each meal.

Types of Food

Dry food is usually better than wet food, being both more cost-effective and healthier.

Dry food is widely available and easier to measure to prevent overeating. Dry food can be stored for longer and also benefits your dog’s oral hygiene by cleaning their teeth.

Cost

Try not to cut corners when it comes to food for your pup. We can understand cutting corners on things like diaper puppy pads, but when it comes to food, your dog’s health should outweigh any cost.

Buying quality, grain-free food for your large pooch can be expensive, but it saves money on vet bills in the long run.

Ingredients

Next, we will discuss which ingredients you should look for and which to steer clear of.

Protein

Protein is the main ingredient in dog food. It is especially necessary for larger breeds.

If the label on the food doesn’t display protein as the main ingredient, it’s time to rethink your purchase. Good examples of protein include chicken, salmon, beef, pork and lamb. Free-range, wild-caught and grass-fed varieties are best.

Some companies substitute meat with grain, while others offer grain-free formulas. Grain is a controversial ingredient. If you don’t buy a grain-free blend, ensure the grains in your food are whole grains.

While grains aren’t necessarily bad, they won’t provide enough nutrition to support the growth of your large breed baby. This is why we encourage you to buy grain-free recipes.

Pro and Prebiotics

Many of our suggestions above also contain probiotics and prebiotics. These are healthy and beneficial bacteria that support the digestive system and maintain a healthy gut.

Probiotics are for the digestive system and intestinal function, while prebiotics are a kind of dietary fiber that help bacteria in the belly.

For further digestive support, choose a food containing fiber-rich ingredients like brown rice.

Omega Fatty Acids

Most good food for large breed pups should contain Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. These help improve eyesight and general cognitive functioning. They also help to maintain healthy skin and a glossy coat.

Where can you find these great acids? They are most commonly found in fish and flaxseeds.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants help keep dogs young! They promote healthy overall living and boost the immune system, which is imperative during the puppy life stage.

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are often a great source of these compounds.

Avoid Anything Artificial (Colors/Flavors)

Artificial ingredients are rarely added to benefit your dog. They make food look and taste better with no added health benefits.

Conversely, they often cause of allergies and other long-term health problems. This is why we recommend an additive and grain-free diet. If made with good quality ingredients, your dog should love the taste of their food regardless.

Avoid Unidentifiable Ingredients and Meats and By-Products

Everything tastes good to your dog. However, untrustworthy ingredients may even contain things such as wood chips!

You don’t want to know what they put in meat by-products. But for the sake of your pet’s health, we’re going to tell you. They use rendered parts from the slaughterhouse. These ‘parts’ include leftovers like lungs, bone, fatty tissue, brain, intestines etc. Gross!

Best Puppy Food for Giant Breeds

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Food

This option comes in lamb and oatmeal flavor, providing double nutrition. Additionally, they supplement your large pup’s diet with other sources of protein including deboned chicken, chicken fat and fish. The fish provide DHA which is what your large pup needs for brain and eye development.

This food has a lower percentage of fat and calories to encourage slow growth in giant breeds.

How Much to Feed a Large Puppy?

Domestic life with pet. Feeding hungry labrador retriever. The owner gives his dog a bowl of granules.

Every dog breed has different calorific and nutritional needs. For a generic and standard guide, read the nutrition label on your pup’s food or talk to a vet.

Let us break down some fundamentals for you to keep in mind.

You must take into consideration factors such as breed, activity level, individual metabolism and age when deciding on portion sizes. Since we are talking about large breeds, we’ll look at pups with a mature weight of 70-140 lbs. As your pup gets older, their amount of food needs to be increased.

Remember this is per day, so spread out your meals. The larger amount of smaller-sized meals, the better. Remember, this is only a loose guideline.

From 6-11 weeks of age:

70lbs: 186-318 grams of food per day.

90lbs: 212-345 grams of food per day.

110lbs: 247 to 371 grams of food per day.

14lbs: 292 to 389 grams of food per day.

When they get to 3 to 4 months:

Add around 100-130 grams to the amount.

From 5 to 7 months of age:

70lbs-110lbs add about 60 grams.

140-170lbs add about 130 grams.

From 8 to 11 months of age:

70lbs subtract 8-16 grams.

90lbs add 16-27 grams.

110lbs-170lbs add 27 grams.

When your pup gets to be a year old, you can either maintain that level or subtract 20 – 60 grams, depending on their condition.

* There are lots of growth weight charts to refer to online that give you a good estimate of the amount of food needed. It’s a good idea to weigh your pup, keep a record and refer to breed appropriate charts.

How Often to Feed a Large Puppy?

First, let’s talk about how to wean your puppy on to solid food. Whenever you make any sort of adjustment to your pup’s diet and food, it should never be an overnight job. Always ensure a slow and gradual transition adjusted to their individual needs.

At about six weeks of age, you should begin introducing your large breed pup to solids by mixing the kibble with a milk substitute, or milk replacer. Milk replacer is a milk substitute made for dogs. Don’t feed a pup cow, goat or infant formula.

Your pup should ideally be fed 3-4 times per day. Slowly but surely, reduce the milk replacer day by day, until your pup eventually accepts solid food. This will greatly minimize the risk of upsetting his or her stomach. At about eight weeks, your pup should be eating solid meals.

Puppies should have smaller and more frequent meals compared to an adult. Experts recommend around 3-4 mealtimes per day. Smaller meals are easier for large breed pups to digest, especially since they often suffer from digestive issues. This also helps ensure their energy spikes throughout the day won’t be as sporadic.

For most pups, at around the 6-month mark, pet parents will switch to 2 feedings per day. However, because we are talking about large breed pups, consider sticking to 3-4 times per day.

When to Switch Your Dog from Puppy Food to Adult Food?

Two Pomeranian puppies eating

Puppy food is very high in calories and nutritional content because we need to lay a good foundation so that our large pups can grow to their full potential. As such, it’s necessary to switch to adult food as your pup approaches maturity. This is even more important for large breeds, to avoid overfeeding.

There is no set age or time for when to switch, it all depends on your breed and individual pup.

If you’ve read our other articles, you’ll know that small breeds have a more rapid growth rate. Which means they reach maturity faster. Medium breed dogs reach that point at about 12 months to a year and a half. Some larger dogs or giant breeds can take up to two years to reach maturity.

Consult your vet to determine what’s best for your breed of large pup. Remember, when making the switch to adult food, follow the advice above. It’s a gradual process that should take around two weeks.

Here is a general first-year feeding timeline for large breed puppies!

6-12 weeks: Four feedings of nutrient-rich food per day spread out to once every 3 hours. Large breeds should be accustomed to dry food at about 8-10 weeks.

3-6 months: Around this time, you can decrease feeding from 4 to 3 times per day. At 12 weeks, your large pup should be losing their pot-belly roly-poly look. The portion size should be maintained until you notice this change in their body type.

6-12 months: Other breeds are fed twice daily, though your large breed may need to remain at 3 feeding times per day. 12-14 months is when larger breeds can switch to adult food. Giant breeds may take up to 2 years. The procedure is the same as when you switching food brands. Mix the adult food in slowly with the puppy food and slowly increase the adult amount over a period of two weeks.

Over 1 year old: Since large breeds mature slower, keep a close eye on your pup from 1 year to 1.5 years old. Ask your vet when would be the best time to make your dog’s transition.

Conclusion

After so much information and research, the answer remains the same. There is no right or wrong standard answer for large breed nutrition.

As a large or giant breed pet parent, you need to determine for yourself what the best food for your puppy is. Breeds and individual needs vary widely. Maybe you have an inactive and sedentary puppy. If so, the amount of food you feed him or her should be less.

Don’t skimp on the price. Your dog deserves the best. You can find some great cheaper dog foods here which don’t compromise on quality.

Good, high-quality ingredients with transparent sourcing and well-researched formulas will lead to a longer and healthier life for your large breed puppy.

Expert Tip

When a dog is spayed or neutered, their need for energy consumption decreases. If you recently had your large breed spayed or neutered, please follow your vet’s directions carefully, instead of relying on generic feeding charts.

Did You Know

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets guidelines for pet food brands to follow.

Most brands follow these rules. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Check the package label and see if the brand you choose adheres to these guidelines. This will help to guarantee balanced nutrition.

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