Best Large Breed Puppy Food
Nothing is cuter than a roly-poly puppy, but many owners do not realize that overfeeding their puppy can actually be dangerous. This is especially true with large breed puppies which is why it is important to feed your dog a food that is formulated for larger breeds.
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Overgrowth and Other Challenges
A large breed dog is defined as a dog whose mature weight exceeds 50 lbs. Some dogs, like the Great Dane, can achieve an adult size in excess of 150 lbs. which is quite a feat to accomplish in under a year. In order to reach their adult size, many large breed puppies undergo very rapid growth during their first year – especially during their first three months. With such rapid growth comes certain risks, however – risks for caloric and nutritional deficiencies. To make sure that your large breed puppy gets the nutrition he needs is important, but you also need to make sure he doesn’t grow too quickly for his own good.
There are several risks associated with overgrowth in large breed puppies. Some of the most common problems include joint problems, strained muscles, hip dysplasia and hypertrophic osteodystrophy. Overfeeding any dog can be dangerous in that it may lead to obesity but, in a large breed puppy, all of that extra weight can also put stress on the dog’s developing skeleton which can lead to structural defects. Large breed dogs have less bone density than small dogs which makes their bones more fragile to begin with. Add to that the stress of overgrowth and your dog could end up with a significantly heightened risk for injury and orthopedic disease.
Nutritional Needs of Large Breed Puppies
While common opinion used to state that excess protein in the diet was the main culprit of overgrowth in large breed puppies and obesity in older dogs, recent research has disproved this theory. It has now become clear that it is more important to control the caloric density of the dog’s food. According to the American Association of Feed Control Officials, a dog food for large breed puppies should contain about 30% protein and 9% fat. Calcium is also incredibly important for large breed dogs and should be present in the food at a rate of 1.5% or about 3 grams per 1,000 calories. The overall recommended energy density of food for large breed puppies is about 3.5 to 4.0 calories per gram, compared to the 4.0 to 4.5 calories per gram of regular dog food.
Recommended Large Breed Puppy Foods
As you now know, making sure that your large breed puppy or dog gets the right nutrition can be a little tricky. If you want to make sure your dog stays healthy and gets the nutrients he needs, try one of these large breed formulas:
|Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy||$1.58/lb|
|Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy||$1.15/lb|
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Puppy||$1.55/lb|
|Innova Large Breed Puppy Formula (Canned)||$2.29/lb|
|Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Food||$1.65/lb|
Owning a large breed dog can be challenging enough, but don’t be tempted to skip on your dog’s food – make sure to pick a food that is specially formulated to meet your dog’s nutritional needs.