Large Breed Puppy Nutrition

Adequate puppy nutrition is essential in large breed dogs to ensure good bone and muscle growth. Large dog breeds tend to have shorter life spans due to extensive strain on their cardiovascular and skeletal system. The following will provide general information on how to properly feed your larger breed puppy and make sure she is getting the proper nutrients she needs to grow healthily.

Choosing the Right Food

It is crucial for your puppy to consume a proper balance of water and food. Puppies need to eat 2 to 3 times a day. The back of the food bag will help determine the correct amount of food for the weight, size and age of her breed. A dry kibble specifically made for puppies is the best choice to ensure she is getting the right amount of calories and vitamins. It is also a good choice to gradually switch from one food to another, to prevent stomach problems resulting from a sudden change in diet.

Depending on the breed, she will reach adult age by 12 to 24 months. When she reaches her adult age, start mixing 25% adult food with 75% puppy food and gradually add more adult food each day until she is eating 100% adult food. That way you will avoid any stomach issues related to switching foods. Make sure to keep fresh water available at all times for her. It is also important to keep the water bowl clean and filled because puppies need a lot of water.

Puppy Treats

Treats come in handy for rewarding good behavior and other training purposes. However, it is important to give treats in moderation since they could make her gain weight overtime. Avoid giving her human food since it leads to begging and weight gain. Hard chew treats like rawhide and nylabones are great for teething and overall dental hygiene. Never give her real bones since they cause intestinal infections and raise the threat of choking hazards.

Ingredients to Avoid

There is a variety of puppy foods at your super market. However, expensive food does not necessarily mean healthier. Stay away from foods that are high in grains since they can cause allergies to rise and stomach issues. Choose a brand with no additives like food coloring and artificial sweeteners like sucrose. Preservatives such as BHT or BHA are unnecessary as well. Lean towards foods that advertise as “organic” and “human-grade”.

Vitamins and Minerals

Since larger breeds grow at a faster rate, their bones need vitamins and minerals to ensure stable bone growth in the developmental months. Natural ingredients like turkey, lamb and beef provide a great source of protein, fat and calcium. Even though vitamins and minerals are good for her, they still need to be in moderation. Calcium as well as protein provide nutrients for bone and muscle growth but too much of both can lead to bone and muscular problems. Also, make sure she gets a healthy amount of exercise on a daily basis.