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The 15 Best Large Breed Dog Food

The nutritional requirements for large-breed dogs are unique among dog breeds.

For example, because their joints bear more weight, they need vitamins designed to strengthen those joints.

Most commercial dog foods for large breeds are specially formulated to address these issues.

However, there are times when this is not the case. Some dog diets are better than others because they provide many of the nutrients your dog needs.

Finding the right dog food is not easy. There are lots of rules to keep in mind. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has saved you time and effort by researching and reviewing the best large breed dog food for large breeds.

Read on for some helpful suggestions on how to choose the ideal dog food for your large breed.

Buying Advice for the Finest Dog Food for Giant Pooches

Finding the right food for your large dog may feel like trying to learn a new language. Just what exactly are by-products? Is there a recommended amount of protein for canines?

Here, we break down all the nutrition jargon so you can confidently select the finest food for your dog.

Dog Food and the Different Meats It Contains

First and foremost, every dog food formula needs to include meat. But the quality of the meat is also important. Unless your dog has an allergy, it probably doesn’t matter what kind of animal the meat came from. In such a circumstance, avoiding exposure to the allergen is essential.

Beyond that, it’s really the shape of the meat that matters. Read on to find out:

  • Cuts of beef that have been left unprocessed. Whole meat is indicated when the product label just reads “chicken” or “deboned beef.” This meat is one of the best choices because it tastes and looks like real meat. But it also has a lot of water in it, which might make it appear higher on the ingredient list than it actually is.
  • Bone food. It’s true that meat dinner has a bad rep, but in this case, it’s your best bet. Meat meal is dehydrated whole meat. It’s like a powdered concentration made from meat. Per ounce, it has more nutrients than whole beef.
  • Ingredients derived from slaughtered animals. By-products may also be of high grade. The term “non-human edible” is shorthand for any part of an animal that is not typically consumed by humans. These might be high-quality organ meats or filler materials like feathers. Since you can never be sure what’s hiding in a food’s by-products, it’s best to steer clear of them whenever feasible.

What Dog Owners Should Know About Dog Food Additives

It’s common knowledge that large-breed dogs have a higher risk of developing particular diseases. For example, big dog breeds are disproportionately affected by hip dysplasia. As a result of their weight, these dogs’ joints often wear out prematurely.

As a result, it is suggested that you seek for a food that has additives such as:

  • Chondroitin and Glucosamine are a great combination. The combination of these two substances is commonly used to treat canine arthritic pain. These ingredients are beneficial for a dog’s joint health regardless of whether or not he currently has arthritis. Because of this, they are commonly found in meals formulated for big breeds.
  • Fats called omegas. Although they are not considered “essential,” these fatty acids play a crucial role in a dog’s well-being. Omega fatty acids, which are included to most commercial dog diets, are beneficial for your pet’s joints, skin, and hair. It’s possible they could even stop people from being violent.
  • In order to avoid oxidative stress and its associated health issues, antioxidants are crucial. This damage builds up during a dog’s lifetime, making rehabilitation an ongoing battle.

What Should a Big Dog Eat?

A huge dog’s nutritional requirements are about the same as those of any other canine. However, supplements such as omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin may help. Search for a high-quality, basic dog food that also contains these supplements.

Particularly in the formative stages of their lives, a big dog’s diet should consist of at least 30 percent protein. Extra protein is crucial for their continued growth and development. However, it can still be useful to them as adults, when it can be administered to assist maintain muscular tone.

There is a wide range in the quality of proteins available. Complete proteins, including those found in animal foods, have been shown to improve your dog’s health and wellbeing.

Does Large Dogs Require Special Dietary Attention?

To be sure, it is not always the case. You wouldn’t dream of giving a little dog food meant for a huge dog, and vice versa. Nonetheless, commercial dog food could do the trick.

Your dog will benefit greatly from a high-quality diet supplemented with glucosamine and omega fatty acids. All dogs, regardless of size, can benefit from these supplements for huge dogs.

As a result, they may be present in foods that aren’t specifically marketed at big breeds.

Even if it isn’t specifically labeled as food for big breeds, a product that has these elements may be an excellent choice.

On the other side, these essential ingredients may be absent from certain meals marketed to large dogs despite carrying the appropriate labels.


For most large dog breeds, we recommend Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula Dog Food. Ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics are included in this blend to meet the special nutritional requirements of giant breeds. It is handmade without using any grains or legumes that contain gluten.

For individuals on a tighter budget, we recommend Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Recipe. Chicken, omega-3 fatty acids, and glucosamine all make up this preparation. You get what you pay for, and that includes some low-quality ingredients.

Dry dog food made by Taste of the Wild called Pacific Stream Grain-Free is another great option if you have the money because it is both healthy and easy to use.

Unfortunately, many high-quality dog meals are not correctly labeled. Quality dog food that includes nutrients that giant breeds often lack is generally good for large dogs.

Of course, you should also think about what your dog needs. For example, if your pet is experiencing skin or coat problems, feeding them a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help. With luck, you were able to choose the best large breed dog food for your pet based on reviews by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).


In Conclusion, the Best Dog Food Is Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula

  • Dried foods are a specific category of food.
  • Stage of life: Adult
  • Ingredients: White rice, cracked pearled barley, whole-grain brown rice, chicken meal, and chicken.

The Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula Dog Food is the greatest all-around option for large breed dogs now on the market. Unless your dog has a chicken allergy, this is a perfect choice because chicken is the first component. There are grains in it, but they are whole grains, therefore the nutritional value is high.

The probiotics in this meal are great for your dog’s digestive system. It’s great for pups of all ages and stages of development and contains a lot of protein. The same food may be fed to a dog from the time it is a puppy all the way until adulthood.

In addition, all of the company’s products are made in the United States, thus it does adhere to some norms.

The omega fatty acids in this recipe are great for your dog’s skin and hair. Also included are a variety of antioxidants, most of which come from natural sources like fresh fruit like blueberries.


  • The primary component is chicken.
  • Including omega-3 fatty acids
  • Supplementation with probiotics
  • Completely free of GMO ingredients, wheat, and synthetic dyes/flavors
  • Originating from the United States of America.


  • Allergies to chicken are extremely common.


Adult Formula Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice, Lowest Price

  • The Dry Food Group
  • Stage of life: Adult
  • Chicken, corn flour rice, gluten meal, whole grain maize, and chicken by-product meal make up the bulk of the ingredients.

When compared to other brands of dog food, Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula is rather cheap. Still, it’s a better alternative for individuals on a tight budget because to its relatively excellent quality.

The first component is chicken, which is standard for dog food. However, the protein level is boosted because to the inclusion of ingredients like gluten meal in this composition. However, as it is not derived from animals, the quality of this substance may be poorer than that of alternatives.

With the addition of omega fatty acids, the condition of your dog’s hair and skin will be greatly enhanced. Healthy joints can also be supported by the addition of glucosamine derived from natural sources.

If you have a huge dog, this is the greatest meal you can buy for them. It may contain some low-quality ingredients, but it still has most of what your dog needs to flourish.


  • The primary component is chicken.
  • Inexpensive
  • Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
  • Glucosamine
  • Intense protein


  • It’s made using subpar ingredients.


Dry dog food made by Taste of the Wild called Pacific Stream Grain-Free

  • The Dry Food Group
  • Stage of life: Adult
  • Salmon, fish meal from the ocean, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and peas make up the bulk of this dish.

If you have a lot of disposable income, you might want to check out Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The majority of the ingredients are fish, which are a good source of protein. This food’s high protein content helps maintain lean muscular mass and an active lifestyle in canines.

It also has a wide selection of fresh produce. These offer your dog the natural nutrition they need to thrive.

Your dog’s hair and joints will appreciate the inclusion of omega fatty acids. When it comes to omega fatty acids, the bigger the dog, the more assistance their joints need.

The company behind Taste of the Wild is proudly American. However, this formula is made with ingredients sourced from all over the world.

Although there are a good amount of lentils in this dish, it has no grains at all.


  • Grain-free
  • Including omega-3 fatty acids
  • Heavy with protein
  • Company owned by the S.A.
  • Excellent raw materials


  • Expensive


Chicken and Brown Rice with Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula

  • The Dry Food Group
  • Stage of life: Adult
  • Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, and oats are the mainstays here.

A fan favorite is Blue Buffalo’s Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe using their Life Protection Formula. In general, this is a healthy alternative for large-breed dogs. It contains both whole chicken and chicken meal, which are both excellent sources of protein and amino acids.

In addition, the recipe contains whole grains, which offer your dog the supplementary nourishment it needs to flourish. To get quick energy, you can also eat grains.

For optimal joint health, glucosamine is included. Also, we like that the chelated minerals are more readily absorbed by dogs. This dog food has a far better chance of providing all the nutrients your dog needs.

But there are a few drawbacks as well. As a first point, this corporation engages in “component splitting,” which creates some confusion in the ingredient list.

Several preparations of peas are shown as an example. Peas would probably be one of the main components if you mashed them all up.


  • The primary component is chicken.
  • Combining Glucosamine with
  • Minerals that have been chelated
  • Grains that are completely whole


  • Excessive numbers of peas


Dog food by American Journey containing salmon and sweet potatoes

  • The Dry Food Group
  • Stage of life: Adult
  • Salmon meat without the bones, chicken and turkey meals, peas, and sweet potatoes make up the bulk of this dish.

If you’re looking for a high-quality dog food, American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato is a touch more pricey than the competition.

There are, however, a few explanations for this. The first thing to note is that salmon, chicken, and turkey are only some of the meats used in this recipe. These additions raise the recipe’s protein and fat levels, making it a healthier option for dogs.

On the other hand, peas are a prominent component. Dogs should generally avoid eating large amounts of peas due to possible links to various health issues. They also increase the food’s protein content in an artificial way.

Also, no corn nor wheat nor soy are used in the production of this dish. It’s meat-free as well, albeit not necessarily more so than grain-inclusive options.

Foods rich in vitamins and minerals found in nature, such as blueberries and carrots, are included. Omega fatty acids are present due to the use of salmon oil and flaxseed. Chickpeas, which are a good source of fiber, are also included to help your dog’s digestive system.


  • None of the three major grains
  • Value-added produce
  • Heavy on the meat, with salmon as an example
  • Omega-3 fatty acids have been added.


  • Expensive
  • A lot of peas


Dry Dog Food with Chicken by Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition

  • The Dry Food Group
  • Stage of life: Adult
  • Chicken meal, pearled barley, brown rice, oatmeal, and peas are the mainstays here.

The Chicken Dry Dog Food from Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition may look odd at first. After all, this is not your average canine diet. There are better quality alternatives, but this one stands out.

Chicken used in its production is of the farm-raised kind, and it contains no genetically modified organisms.

It also has certain high-quality whole grains, such as brown rice. Peas, spinach, and sweet potatoes are just some of the fruits and vegetables included.

Extra glucosamine and chondroitin from New Zealand mussels help your huge dog’s joints stay healthy. There are also increased quantities of omega fatty acids and chelated minerals. There are additional probiotics to help your dog’s digestive system.

However, because to the abundance of grains in this dish, the protein content is slightly low.


  • Including New Zealand Mussels
  • Ingredients that haven’t been modified in any way genetically
  • Minerals that have been chelated


  • Very little protein
  • A lot of peas


Chicken and Oatmeal Soup for Grown-Ups, Completely Deboned

  • The Dry Food Group
  • Stage of life: Adult
  • Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oats, ground barley, and peas are the mainstay ingredients.

The Adult Deboned Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe from Wellness Complete Health is widely regarded as a top-tier dish. It costs more than competing solutions but offers less value in return.

Chicken broth and chicken meal are the first two components. Food is prepared without using any ingredients that have been genetically modified, any fillers, or any artificial preservatives. Omega fatty acids and glucosamine, two additional nutrients, are also present.

In addition, it is produced domestically in the USA, despite its international constituent base.

This diet contains a significant amount of peas, which might be harmful to some canine species. Whole grains like oats and ground barley are excellent for many dogs, and therefore they’re included.


  • Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
  • Glucosamine
  • Anti-genetically modified organisms


  • A lot of peas
  • Expensive



Dog food by Merrick that’s made with real Texas beef and sweet potatoes

  • The Dry Food Group
  • Stage of life: Adult
  • Boneless beef, lamb meal, salmon meal, sweet potatoes, and regular potatoes make up the bulk of this dish.

Authentic Sweet Potato and Texas Beef Recipe by Merrick In fact, it’s one of the finest choices for your dog. However, the cost is prohibitive for some. This formula is twice as expensive as others on the market.

But the quality of the components is superb. The first component is beef that has been removed from its bones, followed by lamb meal and salmon meal. Both grains and chicken are absent from this recipe. Though it is grain-free, it does not include a lot of peas.

It also has a high protein content. Unlike the protein found in grains or vegetables, this is almost entirely found in animal products. Glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids are added to boost joint health.

Unfortunately, there are no probiotics in this formula, and some users have complained of stomach distress after taking it (possibly due to the rich ingredients).


  • Authentic materials
  • Supplementation with glucosamine and omega fatty acids
  • Not made with any ingredients from chicken or grains


  • Expensive
  • The richness of this dish could upset some stomachs.


Recipe for an Adult Dog or Cat Fed Nutro Natural Choice Chicken and Brown Rice

  • The Dry Food Group
  • Stage of life: Adult
  • Ingredients: Chicken, brown rice, sorghum, brewer’s rice, and chicken meal

It’s not horrible, but the nutritional value of Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is poor. It’s pricey without delivering a lot of added value.

Chicken is listed first, but after that there are a lot of grains. Even if the grains themselves aren’t the problem, they do contain contentious additives like brewers rice.

In addition, the protein content of this formula is minimal, coming in at just 20%.

This formulation, on the other hand, is manufactured with natural, non-GMO components. Corn, wheat, and soy are not included. Your dog’s general health will be enhanced by the addition of antioxidants, glucosamine, and chondroitin.


  • Antioxidants are a part of
  • Ingredients that haven’t been modified in any way genetically
  • Combining Glucosamine with


  • Expensive
  • Countless grains
  • Very little protein

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


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