Dog Articles: Wellness

The Nutritional Needs of Large Breed Dogs

While dogs of all ages and sizes may share many similar characteristics, when it comes to nutrition they all have their own unique needs.

All Articles
dog outside

In this article we’ll explore some of the differences and nutritional needs unique to our large breed buddies.

The Calories Count

It may sound counterintuitive, but large breed dogs require a diet with a lower caloric density than their smaller cousins. Due to slower metabolic rates, large breed dogs don’t burn through calories as quickly as small breeds which means they need to consume less calories per pound.  For example let’s say Brutus the mastiff needs 3,000 calories per day to maintain an ideal weight at 150 lbs. His best friend Sparky only needs 400 calories per day to maintain his ideal weight of 10 lbs. In this scenario Sparky is getting 40 calories per pound while Brutus is only getting 20 calories per pound, even though he is eating significantly more kibble.

Getting the caloric density just right is also important for keeping your best buddy full and comfortable throughout the day. While a small breed may fill up on just a small scoop of kibble, large breeds have significantly bigger stomachs that will require a greater volume of food to feel full.

Don't Forget Your Vitamins

Due to the nature of their stature, large breed dogs can benefit from the right balance of vitamins and nutrients like those found in BLUE Large Breed Foods. Feeding formulas that contain a slightly lower concentration and careful balance of calcium and phosphorous has been shown to reduce the incidence of orthopedic diseases in large breeds.

With their larger frames and propensity to develop arthritis during their senior years, large breeds can also benefit from the addition glucosamine and chondroitin. These supplements can help promote joint health as your best friend ages and help keep them moving comfortably.  A quality large breed food should also contain EPA to help protect joints and taurine to support heart health, all of which can be found in large breed formulas from BLUE.

So when considering the nutrition needs of your best friend, keep in mind that just like collars and beds, dog foods aren’t always one size fits all.