Best Dry Dog Food for Large Dogs 2023

best-dry-dog-food-for-large-dogs

Do you have a big dog wandering around at home? We will walk you through finding the best dry dog food for large dogs, that are tailored to meet the unique needs for their well-being.

Every dog has distinct dietary requirements. Therefore, you need to consider your pet’s age, breed, health condition, and size before picking a food for their proper nourishment. For example, large dogs need a different nutrition than smaller ones to stay healthy. That’s why you must feed them something that supports their growth, metabolic needs, or stomach capacity is essential.

As a proud owner of a large dog, you probably know well enough that choosing the right food can be a tricky task. But set your worries aside because we have carefully reviewed some great dry dog food brands to help you pick the best diet, specially formulated for large breeds.

Best Dry Dog Food for Large Dogs – Top 6

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Product Name

Features

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe (The Most Popular)

1· High in protein

2· Lean muscle development.

3· Builds strong bones and teeth

Nulo Frontrunner (Best for Adult Dogs)

1· High animal protein

2· Lean muscle development & healthy heart

3· Digestive aid & immune health

Hill's Science Diet (Best for Large Breed Puppies

1· Brain & eye development

2· Bone & teeth development

3. Muscle growth

Royal Canin (Best for Senior Large Breeds)

1· Aging support

2· Bone and joint health

3· Digestive Health

Rachael Ray Nutrish (Best Grain-Free Dog Food)

1· For allergy relief

2· Grain Free

3· Healthy skin and coat

Holistic Select Natural (Best Natural Dog food)

1· Natural wholesome Ingredients

2· Healthy digestion & gut function

3· Strong bones & healthy joints

Benefits of a good dry dog food for large dogs

Dry dog foods, also known as kibbles, are crafted with the essential nutrients to ensure your large dog gets a balanced nutritional profile. These come in a range of formulas tailored for different ages, activity levels, and health conditions to make sure your large dog gets exactly what it needs.

These foods are made by first blending and cooking the ingredients together to make bite-sized pieces, then heated under high pressure. The firm and crunchy texture of these solid chunks helps a great deal in oral health, as these don’t stick to the teeth, giving your dog stronger teeth and healthier gums.

Obesity is a big concern for larger breeds, as it significantly increases the risk of joint, heart, and respiratory problems that can impact their quality of life. For this reason, the kibble sizes are designed in such a way that you can regulate your dog’s meal portions to prevent overeating.

As you know, larger dogs naturally come with bigger stomachs. Also, dry foods are believed to be more cost-effective than wet or natural foods; hence, an affordable meal option for big-dog keepers. Kibbles are favorite of many dog owners because of their accessibility and extended shelf life. So dry food will be a perfect option for you if you are a busy pet parent. Besides, you can even carry them around while traveling, without making a mess.

Large breed

The term large breed usually means dogs with an impressive size of 50 pounds (23 kg) or more with at least 22 inches (56 cm) of height at the shoulder. Hence, they are usually strong and sturdy with a robust build. While Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Great Danes are some of the common breeds that pet parents love to own, Saint Bernard, Newfoundland, and Rottweiler are great choices for rescue work. These large dogs are often seen to serve for police and security purposes.

6 Best Dry Dog Food for large dogs Reviews

A common question among pet parents is “What is the best dry dog food for large dogs?” Although, every product comes with its list of benefits, choosing the correct food based on your dog’s dietary needs can be challenging.

Rest assured, we have put together some of the best dry food brands for large breeds to make your life easier.

Best dry dog food for large dogs with grain Nulo Frontrunner All-breed

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Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Oats, Barley, Turkey Meal

Life Stage: Adult

With a diverse flavor option, Nulo Frontrunner deserves a spot in the list of the best dry dog food for large dogs with sensitive stomachs thanks to its excellent nutritional profile.

Key features:

  • High-quality animal protein
  • Ancient whole grains
  • BC30 probiotic

Sourcing 77.0% of its protein content from animals, Nulo ensures that your four-legged member of the family receives essential amino acids for its muscle development and improved immune system support.

Each of the flavors has ancient grains to regulate your canine’s appetite, leaving your pet feeling full for hours. Adequate natural fiber in these whole grains helps to improve your dog’s bowel movements. Apart from this, the food also contains probiotics to support guts and a well-functioning digestive system.

Finally, each pack has a perfect balance of fatty acids and antioxidants to nourish your dog’s skin and coat health with a well-functioning immune system.

If you have a large breed puppy, you can go for Nulo Frontrunner All Breed Puppy Food.

Pros

  • No common allergens.
  • Lean muscle development.
  • Healthy heart function.
  • Improves digestive health and immune system.
  • Free of artificial additives and flavoring.

Cons

  • Probiotics are available in limited sizes.

Best dry dog food for large breed Blue Buffalo Wilderness

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Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Bison, Beef Meal, Salmon Meal, Oatmeal, Barley

Life Stage: Adult

With 28.0% crude protein, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe is an excellent high-protein kibble diet to keep your big dog’s growth and progression in check!

Key Features:

  • High-quality protein.
  • Wholesome Grains.
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

This product contains high-protein bison to improve your dog’s muscular health. What’s more, complex carbs from grains in the recipe give an energy boost to your large dog to stay active throughout the day. The dietary fibers in these grains also help to maintain a your pet’s digestive health.

Omega fatty acids from fish meals work incredibly to ensure perfect skin and a shimmery coat. Combined with glucosamine and chondroitin, these fatty acids help to prevent inflammation in allergy-prone dogs.

Furthermore, they also significantly strengthen joint mobility by reducing swelling. Above all, this artificial additive-free recipe is rich in antioxidants to support your dog’s overall immune system.

Alternatively, Blue Buffalo offers High Protein Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food in Beef flavor.

Pros

  • Improves muscle and joint health.
  • Good for digestive health.
  • Contains natural ingredients.
  • Free from artificial flavors and preservatives.

Cons

  • Contains grain.
  • Fish meals may contain by-products.

Best dry dog food for large breed puppies – Hill’s Science Diet

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Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whole-Grain Wheat, Whole-Grain Oats, Whole-Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal

Life Stage: Puppy

Highly praised by veterinarians, Hill’s Science Diet addresses the specific nutritional needs of large-breed puppies.

Key Features

  • #1 vet-recommended brand.
  • Premium Protein.
  • DHA from fish oil.

As puppies experience rapid growth, they need unique dietary changes for their bones and muscle development.

Keeping that in mind, this product is formulated with protein from chicken meal and egg products to support your puppy’s muscle formation. With an optimum degree of calcium, this diet will help your puppy grow up with sturdier and healthier bones and teeth. The formula is abundant with fatty acids from fish oil for your pup’s brain development and joint cellular growth.

Even though it has artificial additives, it is considered to be a reasonably safe amount by the vets.Hill’s Science Diet Adult offers the same flavor for dogs between the ages of 1 and 5.

For adults on a journey to weight management, check out this low-calorie Hill’s Science Diet Recipe For Healthy Weight & Weight Management.

Pros

  • Natural ingredients.
  • Lean muscle development.
  • Brain development.
  • Helps in Joint growth.
  • Balanced minerals for strong teeth and bones.

Cons

  • Relatively more expensive.
  • Kibble size is big.

Best dry food for large dogs – Royal Canin

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Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, wheat, corn gluten meal, chicken fat

Life Stage: Senior

Our pups do not remain little forever. As they grow older, their bodies undergo biological changes. Bearing that in mind, Royal Canin has explicitly built this diet for large senior dogs of 8 years or older.  As it is rehydratable, your old canine will not have a hard time eating with its weakened teeth and jaw.

Key Features

  • Targeted Nutrition for dogs weighing 56–100 lbs.
  • Rehydratable kibbles.
  • Packed with Antioxidant.

Large breeds naturally come with joint issues, which may get worse with age. This diet features specific nutrients to sustain sturdy bones and flexible joints for prolonged agility. Rich in antioxidants, each pack is tailored to protect your dog’s cells from damage caused by the aging process.

Furthermore, with plenty of proteins and balanced fiber from animals and plants, this diet promises to be gentle on a senior canine’s stomach.

Pros

  • Research-based nutrition.
  • Gentle on aging jaws.
  • Easy-to-digest proteins.
  • Antioxidant to support cellular health.
  • Maintain vitality and stamina as they age.

Cons

  • Costly.
  • Contains by-products.
  • Contain some common allergens.

Best natural dry food for large dogs – Holistic Select Adult Recipe

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Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Rice, Oatmeal, Oats, Chicken Fat

Life Stage: All Age

Truly holistic! This dry food by Holistic Select uses the finest ingredients like chicken meal, cereal grains, fruits, and vegetables cultivated directly from nature with minimum processing.

Key Features

  • High-quality nutrition.
  • Mineral and antioxidant-rich
  • Prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes

Each bag contains digestive enzymes from natural sources to aid in smoother digestion. On top of that, the food avoids filler ingredients and opts for natural fibers instead. These soluble fibers collaborate with fermented probiotics to improve your pet’s gut flora.

Minerals like Calcium and glucosamine in the recipe will strengthen your pet’s bones and joint health. Likewise, fatty acids and antioxidants work diligently to contribute to healthy skin and a strong heart.

For large and giant breed puppies, Holistic Select Natural offers a dry food option to satisfy your puppy’s dietary needs.

Pros

  • Natural and wholesome Ingredients.
  • No wheat or gluten.
  • Healthy digestion and gut function.
  • Strong bones and healthy joints.
  • Good for heart health.

Cons

  • Larger kibble size.
  • Contains meal instead of real chicken.
  • Contain some preservatives

Best Affordable dry dog food – Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain

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A common myth is that high-quality food always comes with a higher price tag. Although it is vital not to compromise food quality for its cost, it is even better if you can feed your pet quality meals on a limited budget.

Hence, we have listed Rachael Ray Nutrish as the best dry dog food for dogs with allergies because of its hypoallergenic nutritional profile. It is indeed a safe option if you want a quality dog food that is also budget-friendly.

Key Features

  • Grain-Free Formula.
  • Quality protein from real meat.
  • Gluten-free and high-fiber carb source.

This protein-rich diet contains 26.0% crude protein and essential amino acids that your dogs need to live a healthy life. Real chicken is the top protein ingredient, with additional sources like salmon, chicken, and turkey meals to complement it.

Given that it is free from grains, it is a suitable for most large dogs with grain sensitivities. Instead, sweet potatoes, peas, and dried potatoes are added to provide your dog with carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and essential nutrients. Also, salmon and flaxseeds in the recipe provide Omega-3s to help allergy-prone skin due to their anti-inflammatory properties

Pros

  • Real chicken is the number 1 ingredient.
  • No added grains, glutens.
  • No poultry by-product meal.

Cons

  • High carbohydrates and sugar.
  • Some synthetic additives are present.
  • Natural flavors: do not clarify the source.

Guidance for Choosing the Best Dog Food

Factors to Consider
The following factors should help you to choose the best dry dog food for large dogs:

  • Your dog’s dietary needs.
  • Buy according to the life stage and size.
  • Check for guaranteed analysis.
  • Follow the feeding instructions in the packaging.
  • Buy a quality product within your affordability.
  • Check the customer reviews.
  • Go for a reputable brand.
  • Look for the form and texture that your dog prefers.
  • Make sure your dog can tolerate the food.
  • Look out for products probiotics and supplements.

The age

Your large dog’s age plays a factor in choosing the best food. Both puppies and adults require protein, fats, calories, and vitamins in their diets. Puppies need plenty of iron and calcium for bone and muscle growth. Similarly for adult dogs, you need to look for calcium, vitamin B, and D for their joint health. Lastly, add fibers and healthy fats to support their stomach and heart.

The activity levels

Every dog needs enough calories for enough energy to live throughout the day while maintaining a healthy weight.

In other words, to meet the energy demands of highly active dogs, the number of calories from protein and carbohydrates needs to be higher than the average dog.

Contrarily, sedentary dogs require a lower calorie count to prevent the risk of obesity due to their lack of movement.

Identify Nutritional Goals

Your dog’s nutritional requirements may differ if you have a specific objective in your mind. For example, to increase muscle mass, weight loss, allergies infections, and other underlying conditions. Each goal may require unique dietary adjustments.

Health conditions

Your dog’s dietary requirements may have specific needs or limitations due to underlying health conditions.

For dogs with skin allergies or yeast infections, you need to consider a hypoallergenic diet that is made of limited ingredients. Limited ingredient product refers to a diet free of specific proteins, certain grains, dairy products, or artificial additives that may act as common allergens to your dog.

Large breeds with gastronomical conditions require easily digestible fibers and probiotics for a healthy gut. For dogs with heart conditions, diabetes, or obesity, pick a balanced diet with low-fat content and controlled carbohydrates. You can look for dietary supplements to support your large canine’s joint health.

Dogs with health complications like kidney and liver problems will require a specialized diet prescribed by vets. Therefore, it is important to consult a vet before giving your dog a new food, regardless of its health condition!

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I know which is the best dry dog food for large dogs?

Always consult your vet to identify your dog’s dietary requirements and any food sensitivities. Choose products with high-quality protein as the main ingredient and avoid the ones with artificial additives. Carefully read the labels before buying to avoid any problematic materials. It is wise to consider reputable brands to guarantee optimal nutrition.

Are there any specific ingredients to avoid in dry dog food for larger breeds of dogs?

Yes, you should avoid food with unnecessary fillers like corn, soy, or wheat as they offer little nutritional value and often act as common allergens. These are used to bulk up the product without significant cost. Try to avoid products that contain artificial additives, colors, and preservatives.

How do I transition my dog to a new dry food?

If you want to change the food your dog is used to, do it gradually. You can follow these steps  for a week to ten days:

  • Combine both old and new food in a 3:1 ratio for the first 2-3 days.
  • For the next 2-3 days, give half of each.
  • Give 25% of the old and 75% of the new food for the next few days.
  • If your dog is managing well by now, you can give them the new food entirely.

This is just a rough idea. You may modify the ratios based on your dog’s response during the transition period.

Can I mix dry food with wet food for my large dog?

Definitely! It is a good way to maintain your dog’s moisture intake and enhance the meal’s taste. However, make sure that the combined portions meet your dog’s nutritional requirements.

How often should I feed my large dog dry food?

Generally, you can feed your dog dry food twice a day. However, it may vary depending on your pet’s age, health condition, and activity level. Follow the vet’s instructions if you are unsure of the ideal portion.

What if my dog refuses to eat kibbles?

If your large pup is a peaky eater and says no to dry food, feed by mixing a small amount of kibbles with wet food. You can try different flavors of kibbles to check if they prefer any specific ones. Give them meals at scheduled times and put the uneaten food away after a set of times.

Conclusion

To conclude, finding the most suitable food for your large dogs requires a lot of careful consideration. Your dog will often have different dietary requirements than other dogs depending on their life stage and health conditions. Larger breeds also have specific nutritional requirements for their bone and muscle development. Thus, the most important rule before buying dog food is to completely understand your canine’s dietary needs first. Always work closely with a vet or nutritionist to identify the risky ingredients that may pose threats to your furry friend.

Products with a perfect blend of protein-rich ingredients, essential vitamins, and minerals are the best ones to go for. Look for probiotics and dietary supplements in the guaranteed analysis, as they come with many health benefits.

While searching for the best dog food for large dogs, you should also consider your dog’s food preferences. Some dogs may prefer to chew on kibbles while others like to have it easy. So, if it is absolutely necessary to give them something they aren’t familiar with, try to do so gradually so your dog has enough time to get used to it.

 

Further Reading:

 

1. Best Dog Food for Allergies and Yeast Infections.
2. Best Dog Food for Pit Bulls with Skin Allergies.
3. Best dry dog food for skin allergies.

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