Top Rated Dog Food for Large Breed Puppies List in 2019 + Buying Guide
We compiled a list of the best large breed puppy food brands, based on the nutritional value of their products and the quality of their ingredients. After we examined this, as well as the value offered by multiple products in this line, we came to the conclusion that Eukanuba’s Puppy Dry is one of the healthiest formulas available for sale for your large breed puppy’s diet. It has plenty of nutrients and proteins that can sustain the proper development of your puppy into a healthy adult. It has an affordable price and it includes high-quality ingredients mostly derived from chicken protein and fat. If you are not able to purchase this product, we recommend you choose from our large breed puppy food comparison table the second product, Hill’s Science Diet Chicken & Oats.
Our Top Choice
This product has a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%, and its basic ingredients are chicken, chicken by-product meal, a concentrate which can contain 300% more protein than chicken meat, and chicken fat. All of these will give your puppy plenty of energy.
It seems that among the contents of this product we find brewers yeast, which is a controversial ingredient. Critics argue that yeast can be linked to different and serious types of allergies, but only if your dog is allergic.
Eukanuba’s alternative is a great choice if you want your puppy to grow into a healthy and strong adult dog.
The main ingredients are chicken and pork meal, both types of meat concentrate which make up for 300% more protein. The fat-to-protein ratio is 60%, this choice being above average in fat content. Beet pulp is another ingredient, which is very good for intestinal health.
The presence of soybean oil is red-flagged because of the link between it and dog allergies. Also, it doesn't contain omega-3’s so it is considered less nutritious than flax seed oil or any animal-based fat.
With its beet pulp content and protein percentage, the Hill’s Science Diet option is another one you should consider.
The presence of flaxseed among the list of ingredients is a good sign. Flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and it is high in soluble fiber. Fiber consumption can prevent constipation, diarrhea, as well as colon and intestinal cancer.
The product has a couple of ingredients such as chicken broth, oat groats, barley, brown rice, brewers yeast which have modest to low nutritional value or a controversial reputation.
This product has a high fiber percentage, 6.1%, which is an ingredient that has a positive impact on your dog's health and overall well-being.
- Dr. Fox Recommends – Comparison & Yearly Report
- Eukanuba Puppy Dry
- Hill’s Science Diet Chicken & Oats
- Fromm Family Foods Gold
- Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy
- Orijen Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Best large breed puppy food brands
- Frequently asked questions about what you should feed a large breed puppy
Dr. Fox Recommends – Comparison & Yearly Report
Below you have more elaborated reviews about the products we recommend you use for feeding your large breed puppy. We can’t tell you exactly what the best food for your large breed puppy is because that depends on the animaL’s size, breed, weight, allergies, and other factors, but we are providing you with a list of some of the critically acclaimed products on the market.
Eukanuba Puppy Dry
If you want a protein-rich formula for your large breed puppy’s diet, you should definitely use Eukanuba Puppy Dry. It has a great absorbance rate, resulting in minimal wastage, and it has great proven effects on the health of your dog’s coat.
It is manufactured with high-quality animal-based protein that helps your puppy build up muscle. Calcium and phosphorus can also be found among Eukanuba’s ingredients, and they are very important for the proper development of the bone structure of puppies. Something you have to take into consideration is that the kibble size is big. Also, the bag can’t be resealed, so if you choose to buy greater quantities you have to store it carefully for it not to go bad.
Pet owners find this product efficient, and it is usually used in combination with other non-dry foods for a balanced diet. It is a very good helper if you want your puppy to gain weight and it also improves your dog’s skin health without causing irritations or other adverse effects.Buy from Amazon.com for ($30.59)
Hill’s Science Diet Chicken & Oats
This product seems to be a premium dry food for large breed puppies, formulated with calcium to improve bone structure and joint control. It contains a clinically proven mixture of vitamin C and E which support a healthy immune system.
It is proven that it helps with weight gain in puppies, another essential step in their development. The high intake of fibers (the product contains 5.6% fibers) improves your dog’s intestinal health. The size of the kibble is quite big and this plays an important role in your puppies dental hygiene, keeping your puppy’s teeth white and plaque-free.
The size of the kibble can also be a disadvantage. If your dog is too small and can’t chew the food or he or she tries to swallow it whole, you should find an alternative. You could trick your puppy into thinking he is getting treats because of the kibble’s size.
Pet owners recommend this product because it seems to do wonders on your dog’s colon, which translates to healthy stools, an important factor for your dog’s well-being.Buy from Amazon.com for ($47.99)
Fromm Family Foods Gold
Fromm’s products are made with high-quality protein from chicken and such a diet provides a well rounded, balanced nutrition for your puppy without using unnecessary fillers. The product supports the health of your dog’s coat and skin. This option guarantees to aid digestion because it is enhanced with probiotics.
The high percentage of fiber in its composition represents a very big plus because it helps with digestion and it also prevents your dog from getting any colon or intestine related diseases.
Fromm’s product seems to be a grain-free large breed puppy food, which is ideal because a lot of dogs tend to have allergies to single-grain dog foods components.
From certified reviews from dog owners, we can see that this product seems to have a positive impact on your puppy’s coat, making it look extra shiny and healthy. Other testimonials state that the pups seem to grow beautifully following a diet with this product included, without getting fat.Buy from Amazon.com for ($66.98)
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy
This product has a moderate price and high-quality protein ingredients, such as chicken, DHA from omega-rich fish oils, which help vision development. It is very rich in antioxidants which support and strengthen your puppy’s immune system. Elements such as calcium and phosphorus are essential for strong teeth and bones for your puppy, and this product promises to offer them along with other beneficial ingredients.
If you want a healthy skin and coat for your furry friend, this product contains vitamin A and a linoleic acid which improve the health of your dog’s epidermis.
The kibbles are crunchy and full of flavor, and they even smell good, which assures you that your puppy will love mealtime. The fat-to-protein ratio is about 56% and the product is not grain-free, containing corn gluten meal.
If your dog is malnourished or needs to gain weight, this product could help. Pet owners state that using this product could help your dog double its weight in 2 months.Buy from Amazon.com for ($47.98)
Orijen Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
Compared to some of the others we have come across, this product contains ingredients such as chicken, chicken meal, chicken fat, turkey, salmon, turkey meal and herring meal, and unlike many fish meals, Orijen’s appear to be ethoxyquin-free, which is a fat preservative sometimes used in dog food that has a controversial reputation.
This product also contains selenium yeast. This natural yeast supplement is considered a safe anti-cancer alternative. It also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to a protein, which makes them easier to be absorbed by your puppy’s digestive system.
It has a high protein percentage, 38%, which makes a huge difference in your dog’s diet. This option is recommended especially if you have an active dog, or if your puppy is a picky eater. It is more of an expensive product but it has very good reviews and a lot of pet owners recommend it.Buy from Amazon.com
Iams Dog Puppy & Junior Large Breed
The Iams option promises a healthy digestion because of its tailored fiber blend including prebiotics and beet pulp. It has an antioxidant blend with Vitamin E to help support the immune system. The first ingredient in the composition of this product is chicken, followed by corn, which is not specifically problematic, but it is not a preferred component in any dog food. It is linked with several dog allergies.
The Iams choice helps your puppy get healthy teeth through the crunchy kibbles and tailored mineral levels to help reduce tartar buildup. The minerals in its composition do not seem to be chelated though, which makes them harder to be absorbed by your puppy’s system.
Another good ingredient is dried egg, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
To sum up, this product is a type of dry dog food which uses a moderate amount of meat and it has a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.Buy from Amazon.com for ($31.49)
Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Food
It seems that the Wellness Complete choice is capable of giving your dog a complete and balanced diet for paced development, with a fair amount of energy. The paced growing process is sustained by using a controlled amount of calories and by using less fat than other brands, to encourage a steady development.
This item is pricey, but other pet owners recommended it, saying that it is worth it. Users state that it improves your dog’s coat and it can help them in gaining weight in the long term. Some puppies prefer this product to be soaked in warm water for it to not be so chunky, but this depends on your dog’s preferences. Other reports state that this food can make your puppy’s stools smelly.
The Wellness Complete Health product is a dry dog food which uses a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, and it has a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.Buy from Amazon.com for ($61.89)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Finding the top rated food for large breed puppies is one of the most important tasks for an owner, to make sure your dog has a healthy lifestyle. Large breed puppies grow faster than other breeds.
Therefore, it is important for them to be fed properly to grow into healthy adult dogs. Large breed puppies can continue to grow until they are 24 months old, so they can’t be fed as adults until then. But what makes the best food for your furry friend? Let’s analyze some features that will help you make the right decision regarding your dog’s diet.
For a healthy diet, your dog needs a high intake in protein, which can be found in muscle meat. The most common meat components in large breed puppy food are chicken, pork, duck and chicken meal, pork meal, which are dry meat concentrates containing up to 300% more protein than fresh meat. Chicken fat is another quality ingredient which you should look for in your dog’s food because it is very high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for healthy development.
High levels of DHA/EPA should be found in your puppy’s food, and you can make sure that your dog gets them by searching for fish oil in the ingredients of your dog food. Fish oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and they are great for the development of your puppy’s brain and internal organs. Check for chelated minerals in your dog’s food, because they are associated with high-quality products.
What to avoid
There are some ingredients that are quite controversial and that most probably should be avoided. Sodium hexametaphosphate is a man-made polymer and an ingredient that has no nutritional value and you should avoid it in your dog’s food. Corn meal is another ingredient that is not preferred alongside brewers yeast.
Also, you should stay away from additives or artificial colors, which can trigger allergies to your dog.
Just like children, puppies need a balanced diet of proteins, nutrients, carbohydrates, and fat. Protein content is crucial because it sustains the paced growth of your puppy. This protein intake needs to be controlled because too much protein can result in an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus concentrations.
The calcium content provided to your dog through his diet should be around 1.5% (or 3 grams/1,000 kcal). The calcium to phosphorus ratios should be somewhere 1:1 and 1:3 to ensure a good absorbance rate.
Vitamin D, vitamin A, copper, zinc, and manganese improve your puppy’s bone health, which is prone to illnesses such as Hypertrophic osteodystrophy, Panosteitis, and Elbow Dysplasia. Panosteitis is an inflammatory condition that affects long bones. Improper bone growth during the development period affects bone blood vessels and that results in inflammation. In general, large breed puppy food should be lower in fat, containing up to 9% fat.
Another important aspect you have to keep in mind when you are buying food for your large breed puppy is the country where that food was manufactured. Countries such as USA, Canada or Australia have very high quality-control standards, so there is a smaller chance for unwanted chemicals to be used during the manufacturing of the product. Those made in many European countries are good, as well.
What is the best large breed puppy food?
A veterinarian might be able to recommend you a suitable diet for your puppy, depending on your pet’s age, size, and breed, as well as predisposition to developing various medical conditions. You should take into account the aspects that we have mentioned in the guide, as well.
Best large breed puppy food brands
This company was founded in 1939 when a blind man asked his vet to help his ailing guide dog. The answer he found was nutrition and the brand has been focusing on this aspect since the beginning.
This company values their commitment to animal welfare and has very high-quality standards. Hill’s pet food contains high-quality ingredients, with up to 50 different nutrients, which are balanced in the best scientifically-proven way, for the most efficient diet.
Their Science Diet large breed puppy food is mainly plant-based, and has a moderate amount of meat, alongside ingredients such as chicken, probiotics, potatoes, and chicken meal.
Eukanuba is a brand which produces large breed puppy food since 1969 and it is known as a super premium food brand among some of the top pet food brands.
All their recipes are tailored around your dog’s size and age, so you can be sure that your dog is getting the best diet. Eukanuba is proud to state that they only use animal-based proteins, and they don’t include any concentrated vegetable-based proteins in their products. Some pet owners argue that this type of dog food is far healthier than others that they have tried in the past.
Fromm pet food is produced and manufactured by Fromm Family Foods. Fromm developed the first canine distemper vaccine in the 1930s and pioneered the process that is still used to make kibble to this day.
It is a U.S.-based pet food company that started its activity in 1904 with the help of the four Fromm brothers. They only use the highest quality ingredients in each of their formulas in order to ensure a complete and balanced nutrition for the animals, proving that they understand the importance of quality nutrition for pets.
Orijen is a premium brand of dog food and cat food manufactured in Alberta, Canada, and Kentucky by Champion Petfoods. It was founded in 1985 by Reinhard Muhlenfeld, and this brand sells their products in 70 countries worldwide.
Orijen food contains botanicals because they are designing their products to match the natural diets as closely as possible in a kibble format. Orijen large breed puppy food does not contain ethoxyquin or any other chemical preservatives. Ethoxyquin is typically used as a preservative in fish ingredients but this brand only uses fresh, raw fish, and fish meal.
IAMS is a brand which was founded in 1946, and it is a popular brand name for dog and cat food. IAMS large breed puppy food promise to reduce tartar build-up within 28 days, but results may vary from dog to dog.
Their recipes are blended with special fibers including beet pulp and prebiotics which improve the health of your dog’s intestinal system and his immune system. Their products include Omega-3s and Omega-6s which are the ideal blend for a shiny and healthy coat for your dog, resulting in very good food for large breed puppies.
Frequently asked questions about what you should feed a large breed puppy
Is large breed puppy food necessary?
The type of food you choose to feed your dog has a great importance over the animal’s general health. It is a common mistake to think that all dogs can eat the same food.
Large breed puppies need special attention regarding their diet because they need a much higher calcium and nutrient intake compared to smaller dogs, to make sure that they have a healthy development.
They need to have a special diet, with a lot of proteins and nutrients included to give them the ability to grow into healthy adult dogs. Calcium is an essential ingredient which guarantees the health of your large breed puppy’s bone structure. Royal Canin large breed food is among pet-owners preferences, but this is a personal opinion.
How much food should a large breed puppy eat?
The amount of food a large breed puppy should eat is based on his or her weight, height, and size. Veterinarians don’t encourage free feeding, and you should consider that your developing puppy should have pre-planned meals throughout the day. You should constantly monitor your pet’s weight and make sure he or she stays within a healthy weight range.
The amount of food can vary between 1 cup for a dog weighing 50 lbs to 7 cups for a dog weighing 200 lbs in the first 6-10 weeks of age. To make sure you are not underfeeding or overfeeding your puppy you should check an online chart or ask your veterinarian.
What to look for in large breed puppy food?
To make sure your dog benefits from the right diet you should take into consideration your puppy’s need for elements such as calcium, protein, and energy. The recommended amount of calcium is between 0.7% to 1.2% on a dry weight basis. Besides, you should make sure the food you use has vitamin D in composition.
Energy levels can principally arise from the consumption of dietary fat, which should be no less than 9% to 12% on a dry weight basis.
The ideal protein concentration is difficult to specify since it depends on the size and weight of the puppy, but the recommended percentage is between 15%-27%.
A brand such as Blue Buffalo large breed puppy food is also recommended by pet owners, but you can choose your favorite after experimenting with some other varieties.