When we think about a dog or a cat we consider them as pure carnivore animals however meat is most important food requirement for a dog but your puppy also requires other nutrients too. Protein is essential nutrient for muscle and bone development and fat for sufficient amount of energy. They also require omega fatty acids to keep their immune system working properly. In addition to this, a limited amount of carbohydrates as a form of dietary fibers and key vitamins are required to support their digestive system to work properly. The basic nutritional value of food does not change significantly but there is a general perception that dogs have different nutrition requirements at different stages of life. However, nutritional requirements also vary with different breeds. The framework of body depends on proper development of bones and muscles therefore, you must consider following things when you are opting to buy dog food for your large breed puppy so he may grow up happy and healthy.
Aim for Steady Growth:
As your child requires balanced diet to stay healthy your dog requires same. As their size differ, the food requirement of small and large breed dogs also differ from each other. Small dogs are small in size but they require higher calories as compared to large breed dogs because their metabolic rate is faster than them. Usually it is assumed by people that large dog breed requires more calories as they grow fast and they end up over feeding them. However, large breed dogs grow faster than small dogs but for healthier development they must grow at a certain growth rate which requires balanced diet because rapid growth may lead your large breed puppy to obesity or orthopedic diseases. Gaining weight at a faster rate will cause stress on the skeletal system of your dog.
Fat and Calcium Requirement:
Growth rate is affected by level of energy that is provided by intake of carbohydrates, fat and protein in the food. By limiting amount of carbohydrate and fat you can stop excessive weight gain in your puppy. In addition to this, you must need to feed your large breed puppy on food specifically designed to feed them because these foods are also low in calcium, phosphorous and Vitamin D. Due to large breed dogs faster growth rate you can assume that they require more calcium intake for better development of bones. But in contrast large breed puppies are more prone to development orthopedic diseases caused due to excessive intake of calcium and vitamin D. Restricted intake of calcium and vitamin D will reduce the risk of DOD. In addition to this, Vitamin D, vitamin A, copper, zinc, and manganese also play important role in maintaining healthy development of bones. Therefore, deficiency or excess of such nutrients may cause your dog to counter with abnormal orthopedic diseases.
Veterinarians do not support free eating in large breed puppies instead they suggest breaking your large breed puppy’s meal in to 5-6 smaller portions. This will keep them full and the caloric intake would be limited. They also suggest keeping any eye on your dog’s weight to keep it in healthy growing range.
Age Specific Requirements:
Your dog enters in the category of senior dog when it reaches 75% of his breed’s life expectancy predictions. Aging brings in many other health issues in senior dogs as the immune system becomes weak with years. However, feeding them healthy food may help them to maintain their health. There are various dog foods available in the market but deciding on which food will suit your dog best is yet another critical decision you have to make. As senior dogs have low level of activity therefore it is ideal to feed on low caloric diet. In addition to this they require more protein to maintain muscle mass and high fiber to avoid digestion issues. Moreover, they can be fed on food that contains natural anti-oxidants that will help them to decrease the risk of getting sick.
You may also visit your vet to help you out what kind of food your large breed dog requires according to his health. However, Orijen Puppy Grain-Free dog food, Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken and Wilderness Large Breed Puppy Chicken Recipe are few dog foods for large breeds.
Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two; life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves – writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.com