The Best Large Breed Puppy Food Brands

german shepherd puppy

Your new four-legged addition to the family has some important demands. Apart from wanting love and exercise you need to take cognizance of its nutritional intake. There’s a reason why dog food brands put in effort to supply dog owners with variety and quality options. Food is sometimes an expensive aspect in a dog lover’s life but it’s an essential feature which should be approached with wisdom. With so many options available today, choosing the best large breed puppy food can be challenging, but we’re here to help.

Our 5 picks for the best large breed puppy food

Hill's Science Diet Large
Breed Dry Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Rice

Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High
Protein Dry Puppy Food

IAMS Proactive Health
Puppy Dry Dog Food

Because your dog’s quality of life, as well as its happiness, depends on the food it eats, it’s vital to offer him the right bowl of food. The right food is of the utmost importance especially when they’re still puppies. This is because their formative years determine the muscle tone and bone quality they have for the rest of their lives.

Puppy food is different from other dog food because it’s aimed at assisting in the growth phase. Therefore puppy food has enough proteins for growing muscles as well as calcium for strong bones. Many other ingredients are needed to support a large dog that is still growing. Let’s take a look at these aspects.

Buying guide

When is a dog seen as a large breed?

When you’re searching for guidelines on how to ideally look after your dog, you need to make sure into which category your dog falls. Adult large-breed dogs (such as a pitbull) are in the range of 60 to 90 lbs. Anything larger than this is seen as giant-breed dogs. Remember that this guideline takes healthy dogs into consideration. An overweight medium-sized dog should not necessarily be given large-breed dog food.

What needs do these breeds have?

Large-breed dogs have unique developmental processes. This requires special care in terms of nutrition during puppy years so your dog’s development happens in a way that results in a healthy adult dog. Your dog’s muscles and bones need the right nutrients so they’re strong and well developed to support it throughout its years.

What makes large-breed dogs’ development unique?

Large-breed dogs gain weight and grow much faster than small-breed dogs. Your dog’s food needs to supplement this growth. Dogs need enough protein and calcium for the growth process and their growth will be guided by the number of calories they consume. You need to give your dog a high enough caloric intake so its growth as well as an energetic lifestyle is supported.

Large-breed dogs take much longer to mature. Only at 15 months of age will your large breed dog be seen as an adult. Smaller dogs are seen as adults after only 12 months. It’s vital that puppy food is fed to young dogs throughout their maturation process otherwise certain aspects of their bodies may not develop as it should.

What are the best large breed puppy food brands?

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Hill’s pet food manufacturers put in the effort to offer dog owners products which have been based on proper science. Vets make up part of their advisory panel so you can be sure the food you get from them is aimed at giving your dog exactly what it needs. This can also be seen in Hill’s wide range which caters for many different types of dogs as well as life situations.

This product reflects this approach as it’s designed to offer large breed puppies the exact nutrients they need to flourish and grow into healthy adult dogs. Hill’s follows various guidelines—health and legal—to make sure your puppy only ingests what’s beneficial for it. Therefore, ingredients are sourced from safe suppliers and high-quality products are used. What does your dog gain from eating this brand?

Pros

  • Hill’s uses no artificial flavoring in its production methods. This is great news because these substances can fuel allergic reactions. You don’t want this to start up in your puppy’s early years because it will affect its development and kick off years of struggles to keep it under control
  • This product assists your puppy in all the necessary areas:
  • Bones’ growth is provided for
  • Vitamins, minerals and amino acids help your dog attain overall health
  • Any living organism needs to fight the effects of aging cells. One way is via antioxidants and this product has been clinically proven to help in this process
  • Hill’s offers you the option of returning a product if you’re not satisfied with its result on your dog’s quality of life
  • Through this specific range on Hill’s product list, the company supports activities that feed homeless pets. Your purchase of this product helps them donate funds to help other dogs
  • The kibbles are of a size appropriate for large-breed dogs. This helps so your dog doesn’t swallow his food pieces whole. Proper chewing makes for better digestion

Cons

  • Hill’s is one of the more expensive brands of food. You may find other options at lower prices though their lists of benefits may be shorter than this product

Summary

Hill’s is a great option to support your puppy’s growing years. You need to determine whether you can maintain buying this beneficial food item as you don’t want to switch between different brands and products too often. This could affect your dog as it tends to get used to one type of food and any changes may upset its stomach.

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Rice

It’s great when you see dog food manufacturers offer products which keep harmful ingredients away from your dog. This is what Wellness does as this company’s products don’t contain wheat which causes many health problems in sensitive dogs. What else can you get from this product?

Pros

  • The list of harmful substances not used during manufacturing continues. You won’t have to fight the effects of the following since it’s nowhere in sight:
  • Artificial flavoring
  • Artificial coloring
  • Meat by-products
  • Your dog’s joints are looked after because it will consume enough glucosamine and chondroitin
  • The kibbles’ size is perfect for consumption by larger dogs
  • High doses of protein assist your puppy’s muscle development

Cons

  • This is a great product that comes at a high price since this is one of the most expensive food items on the market.

Summary

Your puppy will definitely benefit from consuming grain-free food which is high in vital nutrients. The question you need to ask is whether the price is acceptable for your budget for your dog’s entire puppy stage since it’s not wise to keep changing a puppy’s source of food.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Purina offers you an all-round great product as the food not only affects physical development but mental benefits too. However, while the food has ingredients such as protein to boost your puppy’s growth, it also contains many grain products. Grain is not always beneficial to dogs especially in terms of activating allergic reactions.

Your dog’s reaction to the food will show you whether this is the right option to consider. Food should activate high-energy levels as well as develop shiny coats and a healthy stool consistency.

Pros

  • The first ingredient is chicken which is a great source of flavor as well as protein
  • This food is a great option if you need to get your dog down to an ideal body weight
  • Your dog’s brain and eye development is assisted through DHA which is rich in omegas
  • Your dog’s joints and bones are well looked after as they’re provided with glucosamine

Cons

  • The many minerals found in this food is not chelated. This means your dog won’t easily absorb it into its system even if it’s present in the food it eats. It’s not only about what is in the bag; it’s also about whether it will end up in your dog’s bloodstream
  • Some ingredients found in this food are controversial. They could have negative effects though it depends on your dog’s sensitivity to it:
  • Menadione
  • Garlic
  • Generic animal fat; this is a low quality product
  • Brewers rice

Summary

Purina goes to the effort of adding many necessary nutrients to its products. This can keep your dog in great condition. Due to the presence of certain by-products and low-quality ingredients, you stand the chance of having to deal with allergic reactions. This all depends on your dog’s sensitivity to the ingredients.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Puppy Food

The Blue Buffalo manufacturers know what dogs want and they aim to give them just that. This is a no-grain product which is great especially for breeds prone to allergies. Grain is never beneficial for dogs with sensitive skins or stomachs. The other great thing about using natural products and real meat is that it comes through in the flavor. Your dog will be drawn to its food which makes mealtimes easier and hassle free.

Pros

  • No grain which means less allergic reactions
  • Blue Buffalo sells its products in resealable bags which means you can keep food fresh for longer
  • If this product doesn’t appeal to your dog you have the option to ask for a refund
  • The use of real meat and natural products produces a great flavor

Cons

  • There are a few ingredients which may be problematic but they’re present in very low doses. They will only be a problem if your dog is very sensitive when it comes to allergic triggers:
  • Tomato pomace
  • Dried yeast
  • There has been some controversies about the accuracy of Blue Buffalo’s ingredient list

Summary

In short, this is a great product that offers your puppy many nutrients to help with its growth process. The best thing about this formula is the fact that you don’t have to be concerned about allergies as no grain is used during manufacturing.

IAMS Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

Your dog’s puppy years are all about growing and also about learning. Are you planning on training it to fetch a ball and even your slippers at night? Mental health is just as important as physical health, and luckily there are brands that look after pets in this way too. IAMS is one of them and the brand gives your puppy all it needs through this Proactive Health product.

Pros

  • Muscles and bones are supported through the right amount of calcium and protein present in the dog food
  • Your pet’s brain functioning benefits from the presence of omega-3 DHA. These acids help for many health aspects but will also make your dog more trainable
  • Your dog will stay healthy due to antioxidants that fight off harmful enzymes in its system

Cons

  • Though many great substances are added to benefit your dog, there are also low-quality ingredients which may affect your dog’s health such as meat by-products. These unnecessary additives can result in allergic reactions.

Summary

IAMS offers you a nutrient-rich product, but caution should be taken about some of its ingredients. If your puppy is very sensitive to grain products, this food may not work in keeping it healthy.

Conclusion

Wellness is the best option available due to its natural approach. Since wheat isn’t consumed, you won’t have any allergy concerns. This will put you under pressure on the financial side though. If you need to choose one of the other options, Blue Buffalo may be the second best as it’s also a wheat free, and therefore less problems.