- 1 A Glance at Our Winners in 2022
- 1.1 1. Purina ProPlan Puppy Large Breed Chicken & Rice – Best Overall
- 1.2 2. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed – Best Value
- 1.3 3. Ollie Baked Beef with Sweet Potatoes – Premium Choice
- 1.4 4. Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Turkey Large Breed Puppy Dry Food
- 1.5 5. Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy
- 1.6 6. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Chicken, Rice & Salmon
- 1.7 7. Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy Chicken And Brown Rice
- 1.8 8. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Chicken Meal and Oat
- 1.9 9. American Journey Large Breed Puppy Chicken And Sweet Potato
- 1.10 10. Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Lamb and Oatmeal
- 1.11 11. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula
- 1.12 12. Royal Canin Large Puppy Dry
- 1.13 13. Purina One SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy
- 1.14 14. Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy
- 2 Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Large Breed Puppy Food
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 Extra Information About best puppy food for large breed That You May Find Interested
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions About best puppy food for large breed
- 5.1 What should puppies of large breeds eat?
- 5.2 Which puppy and dog food is best for large breed dogs?
- 5.3 Can puppies of large breeds eat typical puppy food?
- 5.4 Is there a distinction between puppy food for small and large breeds?
- 5.5 How long should a puppy of a large breed eat puppy food?
- 5.6 When should I stop feeding large breed food to my puppy?
- 5.7 What exactly qualifies as a large breed puppy?
- 5.8 What time should a puppy eat their final meal?
- 5.9 How often a day should a large breed puppy be fed?
- 5.10 How soon after eating does a puppy poop?
- 5.11 How often should a puppy poop?
- 6 Video About best puppy food for large breed
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arge Breed Puppy Foods in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks
All humans may be created equal, but not all puppies grow at equal rates or end up the same size when they’re done growing. If you’ve lost your heart to a large or giant breed puppy, there are many considerations you’ll need to take that the owner of a small dog never will. For one, your puppy may very well grow up to outweigh you so obedience training is a necessity. Large and giant breed puppies are also prone to some developmental bone and muscle problems that smaller pups usually aren’t.
Proper nutrition plays a vital role in making sure large breed puppies grow and develop properly but not too quickly. To help you find the best food for your enormous pup, we’ve rounded up reviews of the 13 best large breed puppy foods in 2022. Hopefully, you’ll find our thoughts helpful as you choose the right diet for your big baby dog.
A Glance at Our Winners in 2022
1. Purina ProPlan Puppy Large Breed Chicken & Rice – Best Overall
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Chicken, rice, corn gluten meal|
Our pick for the best overall large breed puppy food is the Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Dry food. Packed with protein from real chicken, this food provides plenty of fuel for your large breed puppy as they grow their big bones and muscles. Purina is one of the most well-known and oldest dog food manufacturers and this food is just one of their many quality offerings.
This food contains added probiotics to help ensure your pup can easily digest their meal. With glucosamine and fatty acids also included, Purina Pro Plan Large Breed is designed to support your big dog’s joint health, crucial given the strain heavy dogs can put on these areas. Users give this food generally positive reviews although some recent purchasers have noted there seems to have been a formula change that their puppies disliked.
- High-quality protein
- Designed to support joint health
- Contains probiotics
- Some puppies dislike recent formula change
2. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed – Best Value
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Chicken, ground corn, chicken by-product meal|
Our choice for the best large breed puppy food for the money is Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed. Made by another well-known manufacturer with 60 years of experience, this is a solid, cost-effective option for feeding your growing puppy. Real chicken is the top ingredient but this food does contain chicken by-products, common for most lower-cost dog foods. Some owners prefer to avoid feeding by-products although they aren’t necessarily less healthy for dogs.
This food actually contains a little bit more calcium than our top pick, although it doesn’t pack as many calories per cup. Some users complain that their puppies still seem hungry after eating this food and that lower calorie count could be to blame.
- Real chicken protein
- More calcium than our top pick
- Does contain by-products
- Fewer calories per cup
|Calories:||1804 kcal ME/kg|
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Lamb, butternut squash, lamb liver, kale, rice, chickpeas, cranberries|
Ollie’s makes our list at #3 as the best premium choice dog food for large breed puppies. If you’re not familiar with them, Ollie’s makes all-natural, healthy dog food recipes designed to ensure the well-being of your dog. They operate as a meal subscription service, so they are a bit pricier than other brands, but if you’re looking for fresh, raw foods or healthy baked foods like their Baked Beef with Sweet Potatoes recipe, you might want to give them a try.
When it comes to their Baked Beef with Sweet Potatoes recipe, you’ll find it has 26% minimum crude protein, making it an excellent option for large breed pups. And as far as ingredients go, the Baked Beef recipe contains real beef as the first ingredient, sweet potatoes for fiber, oats for omega fatty acids to keep skin and coat looking great, and carrots to support eye health. Add to that Vitamin E, taurine, and fish oil, and you’ve got a pretty great food that will help your dog grow up healthy and strong!
The downside of this recipe is that it contains lentils, and peas and legumes have been tentatively linked to heart disease in dogs, so keep that in mind.
- Healthier than other dog food brands
- Tons of protein
- Excellent whole ingredients
- Contains lentils
- Pricier than other brands
4. Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Turkey Large Breed Puppy Dry Food
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Deboned salmon, turkey meal, red lentils|
If you don’t mind paying a little more to feed your large breed puppy, Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Turkey Large Breed Puppy food might be the pick for you. Not only does this food have one of the highest protein percentages on our list, but that protein also comes from the highest quality sources, including wild-caught salmon. This food is also grain-free, a popular choice for some dog owners, although not automatically a healthier one.
Also made with both probiotics and fatty acids, this food supports both joint and digestive health. All those premium ingredients don’t come cheap and the cost is the biggest drawback of this food, especially when feeding large puppies with even bigger appetites!
- High-quality protein sources
- Supports joint and digestive health
5. Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Chicken, chicken meal, peas|
Packed with protein, Instinct Raw Boost will help your large breed puppy build up their adult muscles and develop strong bones at the same time. A mix of dry kibble and freeze-dried raw chicken, this food is also grain-free with no artificial colors or preservatives. Like most food made with whole meats rather than by-products, this food is on the higher end of the price range. With both probiotics and antioxidants, this food gives your pup an immune boost and digestive aid at the same time.
This food does have a higher fat content than some others on our list so monitor your puppy’s weight carefully while feeding. Although some owners believe raw food is the most nutritious for their dogs, there are some health and safety concerns involved with feeding it. Freeze-dried raw food is a little less problematic but you should talk to your veterinarian before feeding raw food to learn how to do it safely.
- A mix of kibble and freeze-dried raw pieces
- One of the highest protein percentages we reviewed
- Some safety concerns with raw food
- Higher fat food
6. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Chicken, Rice & Salmon
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas|
Made with two all-natural protein sources, Wellness Large Breed Complete Health also contains an assortment of fruits and vegetables for added nutrition. Made with GMO-free ingredients, this food appeals to dog owners who value a more all-natural diet, free of fillers or artificial preservatives. Wellness has a good balance of protein and fat content, as well as one of the highest calcium percentages on our list.
Some users report that their puppies had a difficult time chewing these kibbles, which are unusual shapes and very hard. Others report their pups disliked the taste of the food. Since this isn’t the cheapest of puppy foods, you may be out some dollars if your pup refuses to eat it.
- High calcium content
- All-natural, no fillers or preservatives
- Hard, unusually shaped kibble
- Some pups dislike the taste
7. Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy Chicken And Brown Rice
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain sorghum|
Also made with non-GMO ingredients, Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Chicken and Brown Rice is less expensive than the Wellness diet, making it a good choice for those who value both a natural diet and their budget. This food is designed to be fed until your puppy is 18 months old, ideal for slow-growing large and giant breeds. Free of artificial colors or flavors, this food prioritizes using real food ingredients that are easy to identify.
A highly-rated choice among users, this brand also has a lot of loyalty with some owners using its products for over 20 years. Some owners do report that their puppies don’t care for the taste of this food and others found it seemed to upset their stomachs.
- Non-GMO ingredients
- One of the most cost-effective natural foods
- No artificial colors or flavors
- Some pups don’t like the taste
- It may not be a good choice for sensitive stomachs
8. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Chicken Meal and Oat
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain oat|
Hill’s Science Diet is one of the brands most often recommended and sold by veterinarians and this puppy food is made of high-quality, natural ingredients. It contains no artificial ingredients or by-products but does contain grains, including wheat and corn. Hill’s prioritizes both safety, quality, and taste, and, based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews of this food, they seem to be doing a good job at all three.
We ranked this food lower on our list because it contains less protein and calcium than others. Some users also report this food has a strong, somewhat unpleasant smell. As with some other foods on our list, some puppy owners found that this food upset their dogs’ stomachs, with excessive gas being the most common ailment reported.
- Safety and quality prioritized
- Natural ingredients
- Often recommended by vets
- Strong smell
- Lower protein and calcium content
- May cause excess gas
9. American Journey Large Breed Puppy Chicken And Sweet Potato
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal|
Relying on sweet potato, blueberries, and carrots for their nutrient density, American Journey is one of the lower-cost grain-free options on our list. Whole chicken is the main protein source for this food with no by-products used. With antioxidants and fatty acids present, this food helps your large breed puppy’s brain and eyesight develop properly.
Only available from two retailers, this isn’t the most convenient brand of food on our list. Users give the food high marks for quality, even those whose puppies didn’t like the taste! Some users also found the large kibble difficult for young puppies to eat.
- One of the most cost-effective grain-free foods
- Uses high-quality ingredients
- Not widely available to buy
- Large kibble size
10. Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Lamb and Oatmeal
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Lamb meal, chicken meal, oatmeal|
Holistic Select contains plenty of ingredients designed to aid your pup’s digestion, including probiotics, fiber, and digestive enzymes. However, some users still report their dogs having tummy trouble on this food while others rave that this was the only food their sensitive pups could tolerate. With high protein and calcium, this food hits the recommended nutrition requirements for large and giant breeds and offers a high-calorie count per cup.
With the increased calorie needs of growing large breed pups, feeding them gets expensive, and more nutrient-dense foods like this one are often preferred. This brand is not the easiest to find so it’s not a good choice for those who value convenience.
- Designed for sensitive stomachs
- Some puppies still don’t tolerate it well
- Not widely available
11. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Lamb, lamb meal, whole grain brown rice|
Free of corn, wheat, soy, and any artificial colors or flavors, Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy is manufactured by a family-run company and counts real lamb as its number one protein source. This food is also packed full of superfoods like blueberries, kale, and quinoa offering plenty of natural antioxidants and possibly leading you to wonder if your dog is eating better than you!
While most of the foods on our list include probiotics, this food is the only one that contains a special, dog-specific strain. Some users report this food has a strong smell and unusual texture, while others found their dogs dislike the taste and seemed to prefer a different protein like chicken.
- Made by a family-owned company
- High superfood content
- No corn, wheat, or soy
- Strong smell and unusual texture
- Some puppies don’t like the taste
12. Royal Canin Large Puppy Dry
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Corn, chicken by-product meal, wheat|
Royal Canin Large Puppy is designed to be fed until a dog is 15 months old, making it one of the longest-lasting puppy foods on our list, ideal for slow-growing large and giant breeds. This is the only food on our list that doesn’t include added calcium, so if you feed this product your vet may recommend a calcium supplement.
Royal Canin is known as a premium dog food brand and the price of this product reflects that although unlike the other high-priced foods on our list, this one doesn’t contain a whole meat protein source. The company does prioritize high quality and production standards, however. Most users report their dogs enjoy this food and it’s overall highly rated.
- High-quality production standards
- Most dogs enjoy the taste
- Can be fed until 15 months
- No added calcium
- Contains by-products
13. Purina One SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Chicken, rice flour, soybean meal|
Purina One SmartBlend is a less-expensive option made by the same company as our best overall choice. With real chicken also the first ingredient, this food is high in protein but does contain wheat, corn, and soy which make it likely to be poorly tolerated by dogs with allergies or food sensitivities. The texture and taste of this food are very desirable to most puppies.
Made in the USA, Purina One SmartBlend contains no artificial flavors or colors and is free of preservatives. Some repeat buyers of this food have noticed some inconsistencies with quality between bags. Owners of picky eaters report their dogs to have mixed feelings about this food.
- Unique texture
- Real chicken as the protein source
- Contains wheat, corn, soy
- Some quality issues
- Picky eaters may avoid it
14. Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy
|Top 3 Ingredients:||Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn|
Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy can be fed until your dog is 2 years old, making it a particularly good choice for the slowest growing giant breed puppies. Eukanuba focuses on using nutritional science to make the best dog food they can.
While this food uses real chicken as its main protein source, it does contain by-products and grains which some owners don’t like to feed. It’s also priced a little higher than foods with comparable ingredients and nutrition facts. Users found that the kibble tends to be too large for very young puppies to easily chew. Some owners with picky dogs reported good results with this diet.
- Can be fed up to 2 years of age
- Real chicken as the protein source
- Well tolerated by many picky dogs
- Large kibble
- Contains by-products
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Large Breed Puppy Food
There you have it: Our reviews of the top large breed puppy foods. Now that your head is bursting with new knowledge, how do you narrow down your food choices and pick just the right one? Here are a few points to consider that might help you decide.
Large-breed puppies should eat food with at least 30% protein and 9% fat on a dry matter basis. To help you compare the different foods on our list, learn how to interpret the dog food labels and how to calculate dry matter correctly. Added calcium is also important to help large and giant breed puppies develop their bones properly. Only one food on our list lacks added calcium so keep the need for potential supplementation in mind if you choose that diet.
Some dog breeds are more prone to allergies and food sensitivities than others. Even puppies of these breeds could show signs and symptoms of these issues. These dogs may do better on grain-free food or one free of common allergens like wheat, soy, and corn. Keep in mind that some common symptoms of food sensitivities, like vomiting and diarrhea, can also be signs of many other puppy health issues. See your vet to rule out other causes before trying to treat them yourself by changing your dog’s diet.
For most of us, the cost will be a factor in our decision-making. When you’re feeding a growing giant breed of dog, cost becomes even more important. These dogs can consume an enormous amount of food per week and your dog food budget could escalate quickly as your dog grows. Ingredients considered “lower quality” like meat by-products can still produce perfectly nutritious food so don’t assume you’re short-changing your dog’s health if you can only afford our best value choice.
As our best overall large breed puppy food, Purina ProPlan Large Breed Chicken and Rice offers high nutritional value at a reasonable price. Our best value choice, Iams ProActive is a convenient, cost-effective food that still brings high-quality protein to the table. Our premium choice of best dog food for large breed puppies. If you’re not familiar with them, Ollie’s makes all-natural, healthy dog food recipes designed to ensure the well-being of your dog.
With so many choices and so much money spent on dog food advertising, it can be hard to cut through it all to reasonably evaluate the options available to you. We hope our reviews of these 14 large-breed puppy foods have been helpful as you hunt down the best choice for you and your future giant dog.
Featured Image Credit: Victoria Antonova, Shutterstock
Extra Information About best puppy food for large breed That You May Find Interested
If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.
14 Best Large Breed Puppy Foods in 2022 – Pet Keen
We Found the Best Dog Food for Large Breed Puppies …
20 Best Dog Food for Large Breeds in 2022
Best Large Breed Puppy Food for 2022 (Reviews & Guide)
The Very Best Dog Food for Puppies – New York Magazine
Frequently Asked Questions About best puppy food for large breed
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic best puppy food for large breed, then this section may help you solve it.
What should puppies of large breeds eat?
Considering that protein quality varies depending on the source, high quality foods may be more expensive, large and giant breed puppies should consume diets that contain at least 30% high quality protein and 9% fat (dry matter basis). If you give your pup treats, take into account the calories they add to the diet.
Which puppy and dog food is best for large breed dogs?
Here are their top recommendations:
- Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Food.
- Purina One Large Breed Puppy Food.
- Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food.
- Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Food.
- Royal Canin Large Puppy Dry Dog Food.
Can puppies of large breeds eat typical puppy food?
It is crucial to feed your large or giant breed puppy food that has been specially formulated for his nutritional needs because large breed puppies, such as Labrador Retrievers and Great Danes, require a very different diet for optimal growth than a tiny Yorkie or Chihuahua.
Is there a distinction between puppy food for small and large breeds?
The primary distinction between large breed puppy food and regular puppy food is that the former has fewer calories because larger breeds aren’t considered adult dogs until they’re 18 to 24 months old, according to pet nutritionist Mark Finke, PhD.
How long should a puppy of a large breed eat puppy food?
For at least the first 12 months and up to 24 months for large breeds, it’s crucial to feed a high-quality puppy food formula.
When should I stop feeding large breed food to my puppy?
When switching from puppy food to adult dog food, a good rule of thumb is to wait until the following ages: 9 to 12 months for small breeds (under 25 pounds expected adult weight), 10 to 12 months for medium breeds (25 to 50 pounds), and 12 to 16 months for large breeds (50 to 100 pounds).
What exactly qualifies as a large breed puppy?
Which Dogs are Considered Large Breeds? Dog breeders actually have a whole dog sizing system, which determines that a dog must weigh at least 50 pounds (sometimes 70 pounds) and be around 24 inches tall in order to be classified as a large-breed dog.
What time should a puppy eat their final meal?
The best times for your puppy’s first meal are around 7 a.m., lunch at noon, and dinner at 5 p.m. This will give him enough time to digest his food and go potty one last time before bedtime.
How often a day should a large breed puppy be fed?
For the first three months of their lives, toy-breed puppies need four to six meals daily, medium-breed puppies need three, and large-breed puppies typically need three to four meals daily.
How soon after eating does a puppy poop?
Most puppies eat three to four meals a day while they’re growing and they’ll have to pee and poop after each meal. For younger dogs, wait about 20 minutes after a meal to take him outside to potty. The younger the puppy, the sooner you should take him out after a meal.
How often should a puppy poop?
It is not uncommon for a puppy to defecate 5-6 times per day. Some will eliminate even more frequently. The good news is that the pace of pooping will slow down as the dog matures. Although a 2-week-old puppy may defecate at every feeding, by 12 weeks, they may be down to only 4 times per day.