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Are you getting a large breed pup for the first time and unsure what to feed him? Or maybe you’re simply looking to switch to a better meal for your large breed puppy. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best large breed puppy food available.
It is especially important because of their rapid growth rate and eventual large size to feed only the right kinds of meals to large breed pups. Anything less than a good quality meal could jeopardize their growth and overall wellbeing.
At the end, we’ll discuss some features you want to consider when selecting a dog food from the tons of commercially produced large dog food available in pet stores.
Granted, you may not always find a meal that completely meets the following criteria, but if it ticks more than a few of the requirements, it is certainly worth considering.
The Best Puppy Food for Large Dog Breeds
- Includes nutrients found in mother's milk.
- Recommended by vets.
- Real ingredients.
- Made with natural ingredients.
- Vet recommended.
- High quality protein to build muscle.
- Contains only premium, natural ingredients.
Complete & balanced nutrition.
- Real meat is the main ingredient.
- Added vitamins & minerals.
- Grain free.
- Precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins & minerals
Please continue reading for more in-depth reviews
Outlined below are our top rated choices of a large dog breed food for your large breed puppy. Hopefully, our selection will help you narrow your search so you can choose the right one for your pet.
1. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Renowned for its quality, Iams again lived up to expectations on this formulation. The highly nutritious chicken diet for large breed puppies is made entirely from real and home-grown ingredients.
It contains real farm-raised chicken as a key ingredient alongside wholesome grains, veggies, fruits, beet pulp, and several other healthy ingredients.
Some things you’ll like about this formulation include its immune-boosting properties, bone and muscle improving ingredients, omega-3 fatty acids, and DHA for healthy skin and coat, the real farm-raised chicken and veggies with their several nutrients.
You’ll also like that it is affordable and budget-friendly even though they pack it with essential nutrients required for a stronger and healthier immune system of your large breed puppy.
Formulated to comply with the nutritional requirements of the large breed puppy, the HILL’S SCIENCE DIET has real meat as its major ingredient and also as a major source of protein for the development of lean and healthy muscles.
Unlike many commercially produced large breed foods, the ingredients used in this meal are made to surpass the purity and nutrient contents of the usual standards to help your large breed pooch develop health and lean muscles.
Not just that, the calcium quantity is controlled for proper growth and development of the large breed puppy.
The DHA from the added fish oil is known to be beneficial for a healthier and better eye and cognitive health. The added nutrients like the antioxidants and vitamins are helpful for boosting the immune system.
Other ingredients in the meal include whole-grain sorghum, whole grain oats, chicken meal, whole grain wheat, and corn gluten meal.
With meat protein as its main ingredient followed closely by carbs, fat, and vitamins, the meal is suitable for even smaller breeds.
It is also favorably reviewed by many pet parents, with some noting improvements in their pup’s skin and fur appearance after only a few months on the meal.
Designed to meet the nutritional needs of the large breed puppy, the Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Food is made with highly nutritious ingredients.
These ingredients include antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, proteins, and whole grains. The meal made in the U.S.A has deboned chicken as its major protein source and then apples, spinach and carrots, and its vitamins and antioxidant source.
Other ingredients in the meal includes whitefish, chicken meal, salmon meal, ground barley, ground brown rice, mixed tocopherols-preserved chicken fat, tomatoes, tomato pomace, natural chicken flavor, salmon oil, ground flaxseed, apples, blueberries, potatoes, chicory, taurine, salt and minerals such as zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, and sodium selenite.
The meal also contains dried Lactobacillus plantarum, enterococcus faecium, lactobacillus and other essential probiotics for better intestinal function.
Like most large breed dog owners who we know, you’ll love the quality of the Wellness Complete Large Breed Puppy Food and how healthy your dog looks after only a few weeks of use.
Your dog will also love the taste, and like many, you’ll likely notice it helped improve your dog’s breath as well.
Overall, the Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Food is definitely an excellent choice for pet parents looking to get only meals in the premium quality category.
The meal is rich in probiotics, omega-3, proteins, antioxidants, and other ingredients your puppy needs to fully grow into a healthy, happy, and good-looking large breed dog.
Few large breed puppy foods boast as many nutritious ingredients required for the large breed dog’s optimum growth and wellness.
The Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Puppy Food is one meal you will find beneficial for your dog. It is tasty and boasts several high-nutrient ingredients, including buffalo, lamb, egg, beef, bison, venison, salmon oil, and peas.
While it is mostly meat/protein-based, it contains just the right amount of veggies for an excellent mix of fiber, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.
The food is also suitable for all puppy breeds even though preferred by many large breed parents.
If you’re in the market for a grain-free option free of additives and is a perfect combination protein from high-quality sources such as buffalo, venison, beef alongside veggies, fruits, and other essential nutrients for a healthier, happier and more energetic dog, then you should consider this meal.
The omega-3 and 6 fatty acids will help to keep your puppy’s skin and fur healthy as they grow to full size. Large breed dogs need to develop strong lean muscles, and the meal fully meets the requirements with its selection of healthy protein and other nutrients.
The meal contains chicory root for even better gut flora, easier digestion, and easy waste elimination.
The meal is made in the U.S and is formulated under strict safety and quality protocols for the health of your puppy.
We highly recommend this large breed formula and just like most pet parents, we’re certain you’ll love its effect on your dog.
One of the genuinely grain-free options available for large dog breed puppies, the food contains the essential nutrients that your pooch needs to thrive.
It is rich in proteins, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, all of which are required for your furry friend's optimum growth.
As expected of a meal in its range, it is fortified with different strains of essential probiotics and made under strict safety guidelines in the USA.
Apart from deboned chicken as a major protein source, other ingredients in the Blue Wilderness Large Breed Dry Dog Food includes; chicken meal, tapioca starch, menhaden fish meal (a great source of omega-3 fatty acids), dried tomato pomace, dried chicory root, tocopherols-preserved chicken fat, fish oil, oil of rosemary, potatoes and dry eggs.
Some other ingredients include parsley, barley grass, cranberries, blueberries, dried kelp, turmeric, carrots, and several beneficial minerals and vitamins such as copper sulfate, amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, and folic acids.
Like many of the pet parents who tried the food for their large breed puppy, you'll love the food formulation, especially the fact that it is completely grain-free. You'll also love how much improvement it will do to your pup's skin if he suffers from itchy skin or currently has dull-looking fur.
You'll also notice an increase in your large breed puppy's energy levels and improvement in his elimination habits, mainly due to the probiotics contained in the meal.
If you're in the market for a top-quality, highly nutritious, and average-priced meal, the Blue Wilderness Large Breed Dry Dog Food is undoubtedly worth considering. The grain-free formula is rich in antioxidants, proteins, and highly beneficial probiotics required by your dog.
Buying Guide for Large Breed Puppy Food
Rich in Antioxidants
Just like in humans, antioxidants are essential for your large breed puppy’s immune system and for overall wellbeing, hence should be a part of any top-quality large breed puppy’s meal. Antioxidants are commonly contained in vegetables and fruits. Some of these veggies and fruits include spinach, celery, strawberries, apples, oranges and beets.
Has Protein as a Major Ingredient
While it is true that dogs are omnivores and can safely eat some foods we eat, including fruits and vegetables, they still need their proteins in large amounts.
Therefore, the food you choose for your large breed puppy should contain rich and healthy animal protein sources such as beef, salmon, turkey, or chicken.
Free of Additives
It is not uncommon to find additives like artificial flavorings and colors included in many commercially produced dog foods. While these are usually added to enhance the taste and appearance of these meals, they’re unsafe for our furry friends. Not only are they harmful in the long run, they easily trigger allergies.
On the other hand, high-quality foods are free from additives and are often made with only top-quality ingredients.
So, avoid foods with artificial taste enhancers and colors; they’re not only unsafe but also unnecessary.
Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Canines need omega-3 fatty acids to lessen inflammation and improve skin and fur health. Our large breed puppies are no exception. When shopping for a large breed dog food, look out for meals containing healthy and suitable sources of these essential nutrients.
Salmon, herring, and flaxseed are some sources of this nutrient, and you should look out for them in meals. Luckily, they’re included in many top-quality large dog breed food types, so it shouldn’t take too long to find one containing these nutrients.
Has Probiotics in It
Like us, our canines require helpful bacteria for better intestinal function. Many manufacturers include it in dog meals, be it kibble or wet food.
You can also buy these probiotics as supplements. So, even if your preferred dog food ticks the other requirements but lacks this valuable ingredient, you can still choose it and supplement it with probiotics.
Thankfully, virtually every high-quality food will have probiotics included in it.
Contains Only Known Meat Meals/Offal or Meat Byproducts
Meat meals and meat by-products are common ingredients included by many manufacturers in dog food recipes.
However, you should only pick foods that contain identified meat meals or by-products. Avoid any food containing vague or unidentified meat meals and by-products. They often use these as fillers and are usually unsafe and tasteless.
If the ingredient says meat meal or poultry meal, it should state exactly which it contains (lamb meal or chicken or turkey by-product).
Just the Right Amount of Calcium
While calcium is a required ingredient in dog food, it should only be contained in moderate amounts. With large breeds, you want to be really careful; too much calcium can lead to irreversible diseases such as permanent bone damage and hip diseases.
So, there you go; our top 5 selection of large breed puppy food based on the criteria earlier listed above. If you’re opting for any other meal not included on our list, you should ensure you base your selection on the same standards.
Ever tried any on our list? Which was it, and how did your large breed puppy like it? We’d like to know; share in the comment section below.
Also, if you found the one you think would be suitable for your dog, let us know how he likes it.
Finally, if your pooch is already placed on a different formula but you’re looking to get something better, ensure that you do not make the switch abruptly as it could cause stomach and digestive issues. Instead, wean him off gradually by mixing some quantity of the old food with the new one for some time before switching completely.
If you notice any adverse reaction from feeding your pooch a new meal, stop immediately and consult your vet for his opinion.
About the Author
Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. If you want to know more please read the About Me page.