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the Dog Blog

The Dietary Needs of Large Dog Breeds

Picture of owner giving nutritional dog food to their large dog breed

Large breed dogs are defined as dogs who weigh 50 lbs. or more once they are fully grown. If a large breed dog is a part of your family, you know that they can go through quite a lot of food each month. What you may not know is that large breed dogs have special needs when it comes to nutrition. Here are some key ideas to consider when feeding your large breed dog.

Choose the Right Food for Large Breed Dogs

What makes large breed dog foods different? Large breed formulas, like Bil-Jac Large Breed Adult Food, adjust the levels of protein and fat, typically delivering a little less protein and fat per cup than non-large breed formulas. High-quality protein is an essential ingredient in your dog’s diet, so look for a food with real meat, like chicken, as the primary ingredient. Avoid large breed dog food formulas that use fillers to bring down calorie levels. While this may help keep the weight off, it is not as good for building muscle. High-quality protein is an essential ingredient in your large breed dog’s diet for healthy muscles and overall vitality. 

Bil-Jac Large Breed Puppy Food and Large Breed Adult Food both use 25 lbs. of fresh, never frozen, chicken to make a 30 lb. bag of dog food. Dogs evolved from carnivores, and the kind of protein and essential amino acids found in chicken are ideal for their nutritional needs.

While ingredients are a key part of dog food, how the food is made can also affect the nutrition that is delivered. Bil-Jac is slow-cooked, in small batches. Why do we cook it slowly, unlike any other dry dog food? Cooking and drying food slowly and gently helps to protect the essential nutrients your dog needs and provides a delicious taste.

A Weighty Issue

Large breed dogs (depending on their activity level) generally require a diet with a lower caloric density than small dogs. Many pet parents assume larger dogs need more energy to move and therefore think more calories are needed. However, pound-for-pound, most large breed dogs don’t burn through calories as quickly as small breeds because of their slower metabolism. Of course, every breed and individual dog is different. 

Managing your large breed dog’s weight will help support a long life and can help:

  • Reduce hip and joint stress
  • Minimize the risk of skeletal issues

Sadly, too many dogs in the U.S. are overweight. It’s vital for your large breed dog’s health to manage his weight. Measuring and feeding your dog the right amount of food each day helps support a healthy weight and long life. How much is the right amount? All dog foods provide feeding recommendations on the package. If you feed your dog twice a day, be sure to divide that amount in two to determine how much to feed at each meal. Monitor your dog’s weight and body condition. You may need to adjust the amount you feed your dog up or down slightly based on his activity level, lifestyle, and weight.

How can you tell if your dog is at a healthy weight? Use this easy Canine Obesity Check to assess his weight.

Healthy Joints

Added weight can also put extra stress on your dog’s hips and joints. This can cause musculoskeletal stress, especially for larger breeds where their size can magnify the wear and tear on their joints. As a result, diets formulated for large breeds typically contain ingredients like naturally-sourced glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. For additional joint support, pet parents can consider using a joint product such as Bil-Jac® BreakThru Joint Health and Immune Function Formula. It’s easy to use, just feed it once a day each day to support joint health as well as immune function. It has a delicious taste dogs look forward to eating.

Big Dogs Mean Big Love

One of the greatest rewards of having a large breed dog is the huge amount of love they give. Keep yours healthy for life with a well-balanced, nutritionally-complete food specially designed for large breed dogs. Once you give him all the love and nutrition he needs for a long and healthy life, the rest is gravy.

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