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5 Best Giant Breed Puppy Foods

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best food for giant breed puppies.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best Dog Food for Giant Breed Puppies?

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Vet’s Advice

If you have a giant breed puppy then you are probably already aware of some of the health complaints that they could potentially suffer from, including joint and heart issues. You might therefore be wondering what you can do to try and keep your dog as healthy as possible as he grows. It’s important to get the nutritional balance correct so choosing an Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) approved giant breed diet should give you some reassurance. Here are some other things to look out for.

Choose a diet that is between 1.2% and 1.8% calcium

Too much calcium can cause skeletal abnormalities affecting the joints of growing giant breed puppies. Choose a diet that is around 1.5% calcium (or 3 grams/1000kcal).

Pick a diet with a calcium-phosphorus ratio of 1:2

A ratio of between 1:1 and 1:3 calcium to phosphorus is important to ensure healthy bones and joints. If the calcium level is too high it can cause a detrimental deficiency in phosphorus.

Choose a diet that contains around 25% good-quality animal protein

Most puppies need around 22% protein, but giant breeds of dog need a bit more than this at around 25% to 30%. Protein levels that are too high could cause problems affecting calcium-phosphorus balance and could also encourage growth that is too rapid. Protein levels that are too low can cause problems with muscle development and growth, so make sure the balance is right.

Pick a diet with moderate fat levels

You mustn’t overfeed your puppy as being overweight will put a strain on his growing heart and joints. Measure out his daily rations accurately according to packet guidelines. A diet that is around 10% fat or less can also help to ensure your puppy doesn’t gain unnecessary weight as he develops.

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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Giant Breed Puppy Food Reviews

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Lamb & Chicken Meals Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Lamb Meal
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Potatoes
    4. Chickpeas
    5. Lentils

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 433 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 4.5%

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy is a diet of exceptional quality that has been carefully crafted to meet the precise needs of large and giant breed puppies. A grain-free food, Holistic Select takes its carbohydrates from easily digestible fruits and vegetables to encourage excellent digestion.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids have been supplemented to encourage healthy brain and eye development in puppies. Probiotics feature prominently in this diet to support optimal gut flora to maintain excellent digestive health. Flaxseed has been included for good coat and skin health.

This diet is free from corn, by-products, artificial colors, flavors, fillers, and preservatives, just one quality that makes it one of the best foods for giant breed puppies on the market today.

Pros

  • Puppies suffering from recurring gastrointestinal distress found complete relief from their symptoms when transitioned to this diet.
  • Owners of puppies suffering from regular itching saw a return to healthy skin when fed this diet on a regular basis.
  • Puppies love the taste of this food and look forward to their every meal.
  • Owners were pleased to report that they found this food did not have an unpleasant smell to it.
  • Puppies fed this food regularly displayed coats that were shiny, soft, and healthy.

Cons

  • In rare cases, some puppies struggled with itchy skin and ears when fed this diet. This is likely the result of a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in the food.
  • A few owners noted that their bags of food list one weight, but the amount of food that they actually receive is nearly two pounds less.
  • Some puppies dislike the taste of this food and will not eat it. Holistic Select offers a few different puppy formulations with other proteins. One of these foods may be a better option for those puppies.
  • Some owners expressed that they felt this diet is a little on the costly side.
  • This diet contains chickpeas, potatoes, lentils, and peas; all ingredients of questionable nutritional value for puppies.

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Solid Gold Wolf Cub Bison & Oatmeal Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Bison
    2. Ocean Fish Meal
    3. Brown Rice
    4. Oatmeal
    5. Peas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 345 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 26%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 4%

Solid Gold Wolf Cub Large Breed Puppy is a natural diet that is rated highly amongst owners as one of the best dog foods for giant breed puppies. This high-quality food has been optimized with the specific purpose of meeting the needs of large and giant breed puppies to support them through their critical developmental periods. This high-quality diet includes the correct rate of calcium to phosphorus to encourage a healthy rate of growth.

Solid Gold’s main ingredient is whole bison, a meat that is lean and unlikely cause skin or stomach sensitivities in puppies. This recipe includes 20 different superfoods to support health and wellness including such ingredients as pumpkin, cranberries, blueberries, carrots, broccoli, almond oil, kelp, and lentils.

This food is free from corn, wheat, and soy.

Pros

  • Owners love that this food includes nutritious whole grains in its recipe, expressing that they feel these carbohydrates lay an important foundation for good digestion.
  • Puppies fed a steady diet of Solid Gold Wolf Cub Large Breed Puppy had coats that were shiny, healthy, and soft.
  • Owners noted their puppies had an increase in energy when fed this diet regularly.
  • Puppies fed this diet consistently had excellent stool quality.
  • This diet contains prebiotics and probiotics to help puppies to achieve fluid digestion.

Cons

  • In rare cases, some puppies struggled with mild gastrointestinal distress when fed this diet. This is most likely the result of too rapid a dietary change and will resolve in time.
  • Some puppies were disinterested in this food and ate it only reluctantly. Adding in a topper, broth, or some meat can help increase puppies’ interest in this diet, or alternatively, owners can switch their pups to a different Solid Gold puppy food.
  • A few owners indicated they found this diet was a little on the costly side.
  • Several owners noted that the feeding instructions online are different from what is listed on the side of the bag of food, making it hard for them to understand what the correct portion size is for their puppies.
  • Some owners felt this food had an overpowering fishy smell that they found off-putting.

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Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Peas
    4. Ground Brown Rice
    5. Salmon Meal

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 367 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 29%
  • Fat: 13%
  • Fiber: 5%

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy’s exceptional food formulation makes it the perfect choice for growing giant breed puppies. Enriched with a generous serving of DHA, this food supports brain and eye development, an important help during a puppy’s critical growth periods.

Flaxseed has been supplemented to assist with skin and coat health. Since giant breed puppies can be predisposed to heart issues, Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy has included taurine in its recipe, a vital help for cardiac health.

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy is a well-rounded diet, earning it a high spot on the list of best giant breed puppy foods.

Pros

  • Owners are very pleased with their puppies’ rate of growth when fed this diet consistently. This is very important for large breed puppies as too rapid a growth rate can lead to permanent structural issues when the puppy reaches adulthood.
  • Owners noted that puppies that previously suffered from gastrointestinal distress found relief from their symptoms when regularly fed Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy.
  • Owners really like that this diet contains nutritious whole grains in its recipe. They believe these ingredients play an important role in a puppy’s digestion.
  • This diet is so flavorful that owners are able to use it for their puppies’ meals as well as for training treats.
  • This diet contains prebiotics and probiotics to boost digestion in puppies.

Cons

  • Some puppies disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it.
  • Several owners shared that they felt this diet was too expensive for them to be able to feed their puppies on an ongoing basis.
  • A few owners reported that even with a slow transitioning from their puppies’ old food to the new, their puppies still had trouble with soft stools. This may be due to a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in the diet.
  • Some owners prefer to feed a diet that is grain-free, particularly those with puppies with sensitivities to grains or allergies.
  • A few owners indicated that their bags of food contained a large amount of kibble crumbs.

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Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Lamb
    2. Lamb Meal
    3. Whole Grain Brown Rice
    4. Cracked Pearled Barley
    5. Grain Sorghum

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 342 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 27%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 3.5%

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy offers families with giant breed puppies excellent nutrition coupled with good value for their dog food dollar. This diet has been carefully designed with the specific needs of giant breed puppies in mind. It is based on whole lamb and lamb meal, two proteins that are rich in amino acids to encourage the development of strong and healthy muscles.

This diet contains both whole grains and fruits and vegetables as the basis for its carbohydrates. Each item was selected for its ease of digestibility and high antioxidant content to support a strong immune system. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids have been supplemented to assist with coat and skin health. The Diamond Naturals focus on high-quality ingredients and support for digestion, makes it worthy of mention as one of the best puppy foods for giant breed pups with sensitive stomachs.

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy contains no corn, wheat, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Pros

  • Owners were pleased to share that the coat quality of their puppies greatly improved when transitioned to a regular diet of Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy.
  • Owners feel this diet is very reasonably priced, offering them exceptional quality nutrition at a cost that is affordable for them.
  • Puppies love the taste of this food, eagerly consuming their every meal.
  • Owners noted an improvement in their puppies’ stool quality when fed this diet on an ongoing basis.
  • Owners like that this diet contains nutritious whole grains in its formulation. They believe these ingredients form an important part in helping puppies to achieve ideal digestion.

Cons

  • A few puppies struggled to achieve ideal digestion when fed this diet. This is most likely the result of too rapid a dietary change and will resolve in time.
  • Several owners expressed that their bags of kibble contained a lot of crumbs.
  • Some puppies disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it.
  • A few owners noted their puppies’ stool was an unusual color when fed this diet consistently.
  • This diet does not contain any supplements to assist with joint health in growing large breed puppies.

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Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate)
    3. Whole Grain Sorghum
    4. Whole Grain Brown Rice
    5. Whole Grain Barley

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 379 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 26%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 3%

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy is a food that delivers big on taste, nutrition, and value, making it an excellent choice for families with giant breed puppies. Chicken meal is the foundation for this good quality food, providing pups with a powerhouse punch of amino acids to support their growth and encourage a healthy metabolism.

Whole grains are the primary carbohydrate sources in this food. Each grain was included for its high fiber content, making it easy to digest. With its emphasis on complete foods and well-balanced nutrition, Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy is considered to be one of the best giant breed puppy foods, offering owners excellent food quality and value.

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Pros

  • Owners like that this diet is based on a very limited list of ingredients; all of which are of exceptional quality. This gives them confidence that this diet is well suited to the nutritional needs of their growing large breed puppies.
  • Owners are pleased that this diet has been designed specifically to address the requirements of large breed puppies. Of particular importance to them is the emphasis on the correct balance of calcium to phosphorus and moderate amounts of protein to encourage a healthy rate of growth.
  • Puppies love the taste of this food. It is highly flavorful. They look forward to their every meal and lick their bowls clean.
  • Owners expressed that they like that this food contains nutritious whole grains in its recipe.
  • The price point of this diet is very reasonable, offering families excellent nutrition for an affordable cost.

Cons

  • Some puppies did not like the taste of this food and would not eat it.
  • In rare cases, some puppies had poor stool quality when fed this diet. This may be a matter of too quick a dietary change and most likely will resolve in time.
  • In only a few instances, some puppies developed dull coat and itchy skin when fed Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy regularly.
  • Some owners expressed they would prefer to feed their puppies a diet that is grain-free. Nutro offers many different puppy formulations; some of which contain no grains. One of these puppy foods may be a better fit for those puppies.
  • This diet contains potato protein, a low quality filler that offers very few nutritional benefits for growing large breed puppies.

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How to Choose the Best Giant Breed Puppy Food

Determining the right food for a giant breed puppy can feel like a daunting task. Since puppies of this size experience a far longer growth period than the average puppy, it is important to select a diet that will support the giant breed pup through each stage of its development.

Since giant breed puppies often take up to two to three years to reach full maturity, it is important to feed them a puppy food suited to their size for their first year of life or until the pup has reached 75 percent of its adult size. Rapid growth can cause permanent structural issues in puppies, and thus, a puppy food fed past these boundaries can cause irreparable harm due to its high protein and fat content.

Giant breed dogs bear several health problems in common. Though most of these conditions are not brought on by diet, they can be aggravated by poor nutrition, making it vital to select a food that will be a critical help in encouraging good health. Among the health issues that can plague giant breeds are hip and elbow dysplasia, heart problems, obesity, osteochondrosis, developmental orthopedic disease, and bloat.

Any diet for a giant breed puppy should contain a moderate amount of fat and must also include the correct ratio of calcium to phosphorus to support the correct growth rate. The optimal proportion for a giant breed puppy is 1.2 parts of calcium to each unit of phosphorus.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Giant Breed Puppies

The correct amount of food is important to prevent giant breed puppies from becoming overweight. To determine how much of the best giant breed puppy food to feed a pup of this size, the bag of itself can serve as a helpful guide through its suggested serving size. Use this as a starting point, adjusting as needed for the puppy’s weight, age, and activity level. The amounts of food may need to be calibrated several times as the pup the grows to ensure adequate nutrition.

To prevent hunger from occurring, giant breed puppies should be fed several mini meals throughout the day. Care should be taken not to overfeed as this can quickly lead to weight gain.

Since bloat is a common problem in giant breed puppies, it is important for owners to do all they can to try to prevent this from occurring. Unfortunately, veterinary professionals are not certain what causes bloat. It is believed that both eating too much and too quickly can be contributing factors. To avoid this common problem, feed a large or giant breed puppy food that includes big pieces of kibble to encourage chewing, thus making it difficult to overeat or consume food too rapidly.

Dietary Requirements for Giant Breed Puppy Foods

The primary ingredient in any diet for a giant breed puppy should be a high-quality protein of animal origins. Whole meats are preferred, but meat meals are also an excellent option. By-products are of little nutritional value and foods containing them should be avoided. Plant-based proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat are common food allergens and difficult for giant breed puppies to digest; avoid them.

Good digestion is the key to puppies receiving the maximum benefit from the best giant breed puppy food. To ensure this happens, the addition of prebiotics and probiotics to a formulation are a great help. If not included in a food, these can be supplemented by purchasing a product from a reputable pet retailer or a veterinarian. Prebiotics and probiotics support digestion and encourage the development of healthy gut flora.

Healthy fats are vital for the health of giant breed puppies. It is from healthy fats that pups get their energy and also receive the dietary assistance they need to maintain good coat and skin health. These are best obtained from animal sources such as chicken fat or salmon oil. These fats also contain DHA, a powerhouse fatty acid that aids in cognitive and vision development.

Carbohydrates form a lesser part of the giant breed puppy’s diet. Whether they are derived from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains, the primary importance is that they be easy to digest and rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are responsible for strengthening a puppy’s immunity to fight off disease.

Lastly, giant breed puppies can greatly benefit from supplements to support their joint health. Look for a food that contains glucosamine and/or chondroitin, two powerful helps in maintaining excellent joint function. These can also be supplemented outside of the puppy’s food if necessary.

Things to Look for in the Best Giant Breed Puppy Food

Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a giant breed puppy food:

  • Whole meat or meat meal proteins heading up the ingredients list
  • Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
  • Enriched with probiotics, digestive enzymes, and helpful supplements
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Includes healthy fats such as chicken fat or salmon oil
  • Contains the correct ratio of calcium to phosphorus to promote a healthy rate of growth

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