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Large Breed Dog Recipes

Dog Food for Large Dogs

Big dogs may seem invincible at times, but they need just as much care as their littler counterparts — right down to the foods we feed them. The best dog food for large dogs is crafted with premium, purposeful ingredients, chosen with size-specific needs in mind. Read on to find a great option and more info.

Specialized, Healthy Dog Food for Large Dogs

For adult large breed dogs, our experts recommend the following, specially crafted recipe.

What Weight Qualifies as ′′Large′′ for Dogs?

Although there are various groups weighing in on this matter, in general, large breed dogs are considered to weigh 70 pounds or more.

For the sake of creating and recommending a healthy dog food for large dogs, the Nature′s Recipe® team defines ′′large′′ as any dog that would ideally weigh 50 to 99 pounds as an adult. Dogs that are even larger would be considered ′′giant breeds.”

Examples of Large Dog Breeds

Well-known breeds of large dogs include golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, greyhounds, German shepherds, boxers, Dobermann pinschers and Alaskan malamutes. Of course, there are plenty of other examples, and many more mixed breed large dogs.

Nutritional Needs Specific to Large (Adult) Dogs

Different large breeds tend to have slightly different health concerns, statistically speaking — and you should always talk to your veterinarian about how to best prevent and address specific issues. But when it comes to general dietary needs, the following factors are worth considering.

Caloric Needs

It may seem counterintuitive, but large breed dogs need fewer calories per pound than smaller dogs. That means large breed dog food should have a lower ′′caloric density′′ or ′′energy density,′′ which is measured in kilocalories per kilogram. The ideal range is 3,200 to 3,400 kcal/kg. You can find this measurement under ′′Calorie Content′′ on the back of your Nature′s Recipe® dog food bag.

Joint Health

Joint disease is a common issue among most large breed dogs, which makes it especially important to help your dog maintain a healthy weight and avoid putting extra strain on joints. That means making mealtime count with high-quality nourishment, and avoiding empty calories.

In other words, your dog′s food should have a high ratio of nutrients to calories, like you′ll find in the healthy large breed dog food recipe mentioned above.

Cardiovascular Health

Large dogs may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular issues, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, arrythmia and aortic stenosis. This may be due in part to a deficiency in two substances called taurine and carnitine. Dogs′ bodies generally produce their own taurine and carnitine, but this happens at a slower rate in larger dogs. Therefore, a healthy dog food for large dogs should help provide these nutrients.

Digestive Health

Due in part to a naturally longer colon, some large dogs may have digestive issues and poor stool quality. So it′s especially important to choose a dog food that′s gentle on the digestive tract. Nature′s Recipe® large breed dog food is specifically crafted to be easy to digest.

Heads-Up: Large Breed Puppy Food Is Different

The food on this page is meant specifically for full-grown large dogs, not puppies. Puppies of all breeds need different food from their adult counterparts, but for some large breeds, not just any puppy food will do. This is because they grow at a different rate from other breeds.

To help prevent certain large breed puppies from growing too quickly, which can cause developmental joint disease, you may need to choose a puppy food with lower levels of calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D compared other puppy foods.

Ask your veterinarian whether these concerns apply to your pup.

How Much to Feed a Large Dog Per Day

When in doubt, check the back of your dry dog food bag for feeding instructions. If you′re using Nature′s Recipe® large breed dog food, follow these guidelines, and adjust based on your dog′s breed, size, age, level of activity and environment.

Weight of Adult Dog (lbs.)   Cups* Per Day
50 to 703 to 3¾
71 to 903¾ to 4¾
91 to 1204¾ to 5¾
121 to 1505¾ to 6¾
More than 150Add ½ cup for each additional 10 lbs. of body weight over 150 lbs.

*Based on a standard 8 ounce measuring cup. Serving recommendations are for Nature’s Recipe® dog food only.

A dog catching a ball in a lake

Find Healthy Food for Dogs of All Sizes & Ages

Need to feed more than one dog? Check out our many other tasty and wholesome dog food recipes.