10 Best Large Breed Dog Food Choices [2022]

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Picky eaters are one thing, but the breed of your dog could also sometimes play a role in how much dog food you need to buy and what kind of dog food you should get. This is when you may be looking for the best large breed dog food.

best large breed dog food

Unlike regular dog food, those that are meant for larger breeds usually pack a lot more protein and carbohydrates because they are supposed to supplement the overall diet plan of the dog. Also, it’s important to look for one for weight loss in case your dog has a serious case or family history of obesity.

There’s no need for you to fuss – we’ve got some reviews right here about some great dog food to shop for your big canine friend.

  1. Iams Puppy Dry Dog Food
  2. ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food for Large Dogs
  3. Royal Canin Giant Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  4. Eukanuba Senior Large Breed Dry Dog Food
  5. Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food
  6. Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe
  7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
  8. Weruva Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food for All Life Stages
  9. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Wet Dog Food
  10. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food Recipe

Saint Bernard lying on the grass

Top 10 Best Foods for Large Breeds

Here are our top picks for the best large breed dog food:

1. Iams Puppy Dry Dog Food

iams proactive health smart puppy dry dog food and pate wet dog food cans chicken recipesEnsure your puppy has a strong foundation as he transitions to adulthood by starting him on a healthy recipe like this one from Iams.

The first ingredient in this large breed puppy dog food is real farm-raised chicken, a healthy source of proteins.

After starting your dog on this formula, the added Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) will strengthen its cognitive function. With that, all puppy training sessions will be smoother than before.

Chicken fat, in this giant breed puppy dog food, provides omega 6 fatty acids that nourish your dog’s skin.

This large breed dog food has glucosamine and chondroitin, vital in keeping your dog’s bones and joints healthy.

Consequently, the blend of antioxidants in this recipe will be crucial in keeping your dog’s immunity strong. Moreover, the natural fibers and prebiotics maintain your dog’s digestive health. After consuming this recipe, your dog will have well-formed poop and fewer episodes of diarrhea or constipation.

If you are a fan of grain-inclusive recipes, then this is a dog food we know you and your dog will like. The reason is, this giant breed dog food has wholesome grains that provide essential nutrients and carbohydrates.

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Pros

  • Chicken is the first ingredient.
  • This recipe has Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), promoting cognitive function health.
  • Features 22 key nutrients for overall body health
  • Fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin
  • This recipe has prebiotics to maintain large breed dogs digestive health

Cons

  • This recipe may not be great for giant breed dogs with grains sensitivity
  • Not a great recipe for large breed adult dogs
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2. ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food for Large Dogs

orijen puppy dry dog food for large breeds grain free high protein fresh and raw animal ingredientsAre you still searching for the best dog food for large breed puppies? Then you ought to consider this Orijen Puppy Dry Dog Food.

First, this recipe contains 85% animal ingredients, mirroring what your dog would have eaten in the wild.  Your dog will like the fresh and raw animal ingredients like organs, bones, and cartilages. These ingredients provide plenty of nutrients and a tail-wagging taste.

With high protein content, this large breed dog food will keep your large puppy’s muscle lean and healthy as he transitions to adulthood.

Consequently, this recipe brims with plenty of antioxidants that will toughen your dog’s overall immune system.

Noteworthy, this recipe features no meat by-products, gluten meals, or filler ingredients that can be tough on your dog’s tummy.

Lastly, this recipe comes in two packages. You can get the 13 pounds bag for trial. If you are satisfied with this dog food, you can get the 25-pound bag.

Whichever you choose, all we can assure you is that your large breed puppy will eat complete and balanced nutrition.

Pros

  • No fillers or artificial preservatives
  • High protein content
  • No grains or gluten

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not for senior dogs
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3. Royal Canin Giant Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

royal canin giant breed adult dry dog food 35 lb bagRoyal Canin is a reputable brand when it comes to high-quality recipes. And one such recipe is this Royal Canin Giant Breed Adult Dry Dog Food.

According to this brand, this large breed dog food has specific nutrients packed for large dogs 15 months to 5 years and weighing 56-100 pounds.

This recipe has easy-to-digest protein sources that support your dog’s overall muscle health. These easy-to-digest protein sources and high fiber content ensure giant breed dogs have stable digestion.

The precise balance of macro and micronutrients spiked in this food will be crucial in supporting your dog’s general wellbeing.

In each bite, your dog will get a nutrient-dense and tasty kibble that will keep your large dog full and energetic.

Moreover, this recipe has key nutrients tailored to keep your large dog’s joints healthy. This is crucial as you know large breed dogs are at risk of developing musculoskeletal issues.

The omega fatty acids strengthen your dog’s eyesight and make its coat and skin healthy. After consuming this recipe for a while, your dog will have a lustrous and shiny coat.

Lastly, the kibble in this large breed dog food has a nice texture and shape suitable for your large dog’s mouth.

Pros

  • With specialized nutrients to maintain joint health of large breed adult dogs
  • With easy to digest proteins for lean muscle mass
  • This recipe has omega fatty acids for a healthy coat.

Cons

  • Recipe not great for large breed dogs with grain allergies
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4. Eukanuba Senior Large Breed Dry Dog Food

eukanuba senior large breed dry dog food 30 lbEnsure your senior dog enjoys his golden years by giving it complete and balanced nutrition like this one from Eukanuba.

This Eukanuba recipe features 100% natural ingredients that provide nutrition to senior large breed adult dogs over 7 years.

Ranking top as one of the best large breed dog food, this recipe has glucosamine and chondroitin that keep your energetic dog’s hips and joints healthy.

Moreover, the Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in this recipe keeps your dog’s cognitive function upright even though he’s aging.

Key antioxidants have also been added to this kibble to maintain your dog’s immune system, thus barring all diseases.

Moreover, this large breed dog food features Eukanuba 3D DentaDefense that supports your dog’s dental care by reducing the buildup of tartar.

Don’t hesitate to get this large breed dog food if you have an active dog breed. Why? This kibble has optimal levels of carbohydrates and fats that provide enough calories to fuel your dog as he romps all over.

Moreover, the low levels of fats keep your senior dogs at a healthy weight

Lastly, this recipe has an irresistible chicken flavor that will make your dog drool anytime a whiff of this kibble strikes his nostrils.

Pros

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • This formula has ingredients like chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health.
  • No grains, gluten, or wheat
  • Features Eukanuba 3D DentaDefense
  • Dog food for senior dogs

Cons

  • Not for dogs sensitive to chicken
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5. Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food

chicken soup for the soul pet food large breed adult dog foodsoy free corn free wheat freeThe best large breed dog food should provide your dog with complete and balanced nutrition without triggering tummy issues.

And that’s all Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food brand is all about—fulfilling your dog’s nutritional needs with simple but premium ingredients.

This formula’s first ingredient is beef, which satisfies your dog’s desire for animal proteins.

Next, the superfoods in this recipe for giant breeds provide plenty of macro and micronutrients that will keep your dog’s body systems working optimally.

Moreover, this recipe has a boost of antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium that support your dog’s immune system.

Next, the prebiotic fiber from chicory roots will ensure your dog has well-formed poop after consuming and digesting this recipe.

Additionally, this nutrient-dense large breed dog food has glucosamine and chondroitin that keeps those massive hips and joints on your large dog breed strong.

If you like it when your large breed dogs consume the best of ingredients, this is a recipe that should be on your bucket list. All because the ingredients here are 100% natural with no artificial preservatives or flavors.

Pros

  • Real beef provides proteins
  • No wheat or corn
  • Enriched with chondroitin and glucosamine for healthy bones and joints
  • With plenty of antioxidants for the immune system

Con

  • Some dog parents still complain that their dogs developed diarrhea after eating this dog food
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6. Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe

taste of the wild roasted bison and venison high protein real meat recipes premium dry dog food with superfoods and nutrients like probiotics vitamins and antioxidants for adult dogs or puppiesMade with roasted venison and bison, we think this is an ideal top pick for big dogs because it is packed with protein, nutrients, and the like.

It even has ancient grains, such as sorghum, chia, quinoa, and millet seeds, which can balance your dog’s diet. This may be helpful for dogs that are frequently active, such as those into sports and dog shows.

It is free from grains, such as corn, wheat, or soy, so they are easy to digest for your canine friend without the extra added fillers.

This recipe also has probiotics to help their tummies improve over the course of time. Dogs such as the cocker spaniel could definitely have a bite of these just fine.

Things We Liked

  • Real bison and venison are the first ingredients
  • Has ancient grains that are easily digestible
  • No filler grains
  • Great source of protein for large dogs
  • Has probiotics for a healthier tummy

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Maybe a bit more expensive than commercial brands
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7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

blue buffalo life protection formula natural adult dry dog food 1As a dog food that contains the signature LifeSource bits for added nutrition, this dog food contains chicken as the first ingredient, which can be a decent source of protein.

Since the included grain is brown rice, it is easily digestible, unlike corn or wheat, and can be okay for most sensitive tummies.

The dog recipe also comes in 3 bag sizes depending on how big your dog is. Plus, it contains absolutely no chicken or poultry by-product so you only get pure meat as a protein source for your canine friend.

It even has added veggies, fruits, and nuts to balance their diets, such as sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, cranberries, blueberries, and flaxseed.

Things We Liked

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • 3 bag sizes are available
  • Contains potatoes, carrots, and peas
  • No chicken or poultry by-product
  • Easily-digestible brown rice

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Maybe a bit more expensive than commercial brands
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8. Weruva Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food for All Life Stages

weruva dogs in the kitchen grain free natural wet dog food pouches 1Whether your dog is still young or already in their later years, this dog food could be ideal for them. It is a mix of turkey, chicken, and salmon dinner, so it can be a decent protein source.

Salmon oil can be beneficial for their skin and coat health while the added taurine could be healthy for their heart.

The dinner also includes pumpkin, which can balance out the meal of meat to include a nutritious veggie that may benefit their eyes.

The company is a USDA-approved facility so it’s guaranteed safe. There are no fillers included, such as corn or wheat.

Things We Liked

  • A healthy mix of chicken, turkey, and salmon
  • Good ingredients for your dog’s heart health
  • Can make your dog’s coat shiny and healthy
  • USDA-approved facility
  • Includes pumpkin as a veggie

Things We Didn’t Like

  • A bit pricier than our previous picks

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9. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Wet Dog Food

blue buffalo homestyle recipe natural adult wet dog food 12 5oz canIf you prefer dog food that’s wet or canned, this chicken dinner might be what you’re looking for. Its main ingredient and first meat is real chicken and can support your dog’s needs for protein on a daily basis.

It has no fillers or corn so your dog can digest it easily. We think this is decent dog food for the money since it’s not that expensive.

Each can of chicken dinner is at 12.5 ounces and even comes with garden veggies so that your dog’s dinner tastes wholesome and can be quite healthy.

You can mix it with your dog’s kibble or other staple food. Dogs of all life stages can have this wet canned food and they can even use it for weight management.

Things We Liked

  • Not that expensive
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • A decent source of daily protein for your dog
  • Has garden veggies
  • Good for weight management

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Some batches may smell bad (a common case for wet canned dog food)
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10. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food Recipe

merrick puppy dry dog food with real meat 2If your dog is still a young pup, this would be for them. This puppy recipe is intended for labs and for similar breeds and it contains 60% of protein while 40% of fiber and other vitamins that your dog needs. It even has omega 6 fatty acids and omega 3 to boost their immune system, heart health, coat health, and the like.

Since it is grain-free, your dog won’t easily get digestive upset from it. Dog food even has antioxidants so your dog could be free from most toxins and could digest food easily to get their nutrients. Chicken is also the first ingredient in this protein-packed dog food, with a mix of sweet potatoes.

Things We Liked

  • Ideal for pups and Labradors
  • Contains a decent amount of protein
  • Grain-free
  • Has sweet potato
  • Chicken is the first ingredient

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Some kibble clumps could be hard to defuse together
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Things to Consider Before You Buy

To look for the best large breed dog food, here are some FAQs you may be asking and wanting to know the answer to:

newfoundland dog breed

How do I choose the best large breed dog food?

To choose your ideal large breed dog food, you should know about the following first:

The age of your dog. Is your dog a puppy, an adult, or a senior dog? You have to know how old your dog is before you can give them anything. Certain food is best for pups but others are ideal for the older ones that are about 10 years old and above. They all have different nutritional needs and can be different from adults in terms of regular calorie and protein intake. This is to avoid obesity and other health problems.

Your dog’s common feeding schedule. Does your dog regularly feed on a certain schedule? This is when you will want to decide how much to buy. If you have dog food that is available in more sizes to choose from, you can just buy in bulk and then let it do the rest to feed your dog and keep them nourished.

Your dog’s health condition. Does your dog suffer from any kind of health condition? If so, they may want to have some certain kind of food that has specific ingredients. For example, there are dog food formulas that are aimed at the following conditions:

  • weight problems
  • autoimmune disease
  • flatulence
  • joint problems
  • bad breath
  • congestive heart failure
  • dull coat
  • tear stains
  • digestive upset

it’s best to get to know first which dog food works best for which kind of condition that your dog has. For instance, bad breath dogs should have something that is less on the preservatives and that is more on the natural ingredients. The same is true when looking for one that’s meant for dogs with digestive upsets. Dog food with no grains is ideal for sensitive tummies.

The budget of the owner. Not all dog owners have the same budget, so consider where you will get the most out of your money before you buy one. But don’t compromise your dog’s health by buying cheaper brands but you don’t know if they are nutritious or not.

Consider grain-free. Many people will tell you that when you do own a dog, feeding them food that doesn’t have grain in it can help with their digestive system a lot. Examples of grains are wheat, corn, and soy, and they are also called simple carbohydrates that your dog may not be able to break down, due to their digestive system not being the same as their owners.

The solution here is to look for sweet potatoes instead of a carbohydrate source. Many combos of meals for your dog do contain sweet potato and they are often included in any chicken, turkey, or beef meal as an add-on for a balanced diet and energy source.

Little to no additives or preservatives. Vets will tell you that additives could actually affect your dog’s digestive system because these preservatives aren’t really natural for their tummies. Look for a dog food that is made without any artificial flavors, preservatives, and the like, and make sure that chicken, turkey, or whatever meat source, should be the first ingredient.

Reputable reviews and recommendations. Reading online reviews is one thing, but asking your vet seems to be a more powerful double-check to know which dog food is the best for your canine friend. However, you could get some ideas from online reviews before you do buy the ideal one to match your Labrador (or whatever breed it is).

Why should I buy the best dog food for my large breed?

Buying dog food for your large breed that is of high quality could be important because of the following:

To maintain a healthy lifestyle. In fact, most dog foods are actually made for weight loss. Therefore, it helps to keep their lifestyle on the right track when giving them any kind of dog food.

To ensure they get the right amount of proteins. Most dogs need protein to keep their muscles strong and their energy intact throughout the day.

To keep them active and strong. This is when you’ll need a dog food that has a sufficient amount of calories if your dog is a sporty one.

To help their immune system. It can help them to resist most illnesses so that they can live longer and enjoy life.

To manage their weight. A dog that is obese could not only be unhealthy but they could also not perform daily tasks as easily as other dogs.

great dane dog

FAQ’S:

What Is Different About Large Breed Dog Food?

Small, medium and large dogs have unique nutritional needs. This section will dig deeper to understand why large-breed dog food is different from the rest.

Large Breed Puppy Food

Large breed puppy food is not much different from small or medium dog food. However, there are a few exceptions— in that this large breed puppy dog food has low levels of fat, calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin d3.

A large breed dog food for puppies should not contain high-calorie content. And one nutrient with plenty of calories is fat.

A high-calorie diet keeps your puppy at an accelerated growth rate which is not recommended. The reason is, excessive growth exposes your dog to orthopedic diseases, which can be hard to manage.

Also, too much phosphorous, calcium, and vitamin D3 can adversely affect your dog’s skeletal system. Excess absorption of these minerals can cause abnormal bone and joint growth. That is why large breed puppy food tends to have low levels of these minerals.

Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Large breed adult dog food has its uniqueness. Since these dogs can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, a dog food considerate of their needs will be perfect.

You will find large breed adult dog food has certain nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin to maintain the dog’s joint health.

These large-breed adult dog food also contains fewer fats. Why? High fatty food can cause bloat. A disease characterized by the excess gas accumulation in your dog’s tummy.

The kibble size is another difference. Large breed adult dog food has a large kibble size compared to small dogs’ food.

What Is A Good Diet For A Large Dog?

A good diet for large dogs should have the beneficial nutrients that will meet your dog’s needs without causing any health issues.

When looking for the best large breed dog food, ensure it’s following all Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines.

For example, a large breed puppy food should have high protein content that ensures optimal growth during the rapid growth phase.

However, note that excessive proteins can lead to calcium and phosphorous imbalance. Such an imbalance leads to improper joint development.

Reading the label on that dog food is essential. Some brands will put in a huge font that their dog food is ‘human grade’ and ‘100 % natural’.  However, that might not be the truth.

Reading the list of ingredients is crucial. Good food for a large dog, first and second ingredients should be animal proteins.

Whether the diet should be grain-free or with grains depends on your dog’s reaction to such a recipe- not you. If your fur kid has no issues with grains, there is no reason not to get a grain-inclusive recipe.

And the reverse is true. Don’t get your dog a recipe full of grains if it gets bloat or diarrhea whenever it consumes a grain-inclusive diet.

What Is Considered A Large Breed In Dogs?

Dogs can be small, medium, or large. Some people adore large dogs.  And those who like them tiny.

So, how does one tell if he has a giant breed dog? According to petLife, a dog is large if it weighs over 50 pounds and height of 24 inches.

Dogs who weigh above this mark include golden retrievers, German shepherds, Akita, and the Alaskan malamutes.

However, dogs beyond the 100 pounds limit are under giant breed dogs’ digestion.

These dogs include the Great Dane, bullmastiff, and Newfoundland.

When it comes to these large or giant dog breeds, you need to be careful when choosing the best diet for them. Give them a diet with special nutrients able to meet their needs. This diet should have digestible ingredients gentle on your dog’s tummy.

bullmastiff dog running

Does The Size Of Dog Kibble Matter?

The kibble size does matter a lot for both large and small dogs.

You see, large breed dogs need large kibble that is relatively easy to chew or pick up once on the food bowl. A large dog may not do well on small kibble. The reason is, if it’s a fast feeder, it risks choking if it gets a mouthful of these small kibbles.

Moreover, your dog will find the food enjoyable if it consists of large pellets.  On the contrary, your large breed adult dogs will become frustrated if it’s feeding on small kibble sizes that it’s barely picking up from the bowl.

Kibble size also matters when it comes to smaller dogs. These small dogs don’t need big kibble size, as they may find it hard to swallow or crack it down. If swallowed whole, your dog risks choking itself.

A good size kibble for small dogs should be small enough that your dog finds it easy to chew and swallow.

What Is The Best Vet Recommended Dog Food?

With many unscrupulous pet food manufacturers mushrooming and some dogs suffering from health issues— most dog owners are moving towards vet recommended dog food.

So what is the best vet recommended food for dogs? According to World Small Animals Veterinary Association (WSAVA) 2021, there are some criteria the best dog food should follow.

Such criteria include the manufacturer of this dog food should have a nutritionist who does a thorough check up on what gets in each recipe.

This dog food should also adhere to all the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials or European Pet Food Industry Federation.

Moreover, this association, with vets from 13 different countries, insists that every brand should reveal the calorific content of the diet. Mainly because of high incidences of pet obesity.

If the brand does not reveal the calorie content, there should be a channel for you to access this information by contacting them.

Some of the best vet-recommended dog food brands include hills, Iams, Royal Canin, Eukanuba, and Purina pro plan.

Can I Feed My Large Breed Puppy Adult Food?

Puppy and adult dogs have different nutritional requirements. According to the American Kennel club, feeding your puppy adult dog food may deprive it of essential nutrients it needs while growing.

And this statement is further backed by the two food categories set by the AAFCO. According to this association, there are two nutrient profiles for dogs. Dog food for growth and reproduction, this food is suitable for puppies and nursing dogs. Then there is adult maintenance food.

The main difference between these two nutritional profiles is the protein percentage. You will find food for puppies has high protein content needed for its growth.

Whereas large breed dog food for adults has less protein content.

If you feed your puppy food for adults, it may get less protein needed to sustain its growth.

When should your puppy transition to large breed dog food for adults? When it comes to this, consult a vet. A vet will discuss the right time to start your dog on adult dog food.

However, you will find smaller dogs can start transitioning slowly to adult food when they are 7-9 months. In contrast, large dogs may take 12 – 18 months to start eating adult dog food entirely.

Conclusion

To wrap it up, our top pick for the best large breed dog food is the Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe because it is made with real bison and venison are the first ingredients and it even has ancient grains that are easily digestible with no filler grains at all.

The dog food can be a great source of protein for large dogs due to its ingredients, and it even has probiotics for a healthier tummy. While it could be a bit more expensive than commercial brands, this is a minor caveat if you want the best nutrition for your big dog.

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