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5 Best Large Breed Dog Foods

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best dog food for large breed dogs.
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 Food for Large Breed Dogs?

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Vet’s Advice

If you have a large breed of dog then you will want to do everything you can to keep him fit and well for as long as possible. Nutrition is an important part of that so selecting the right diet for your dog’s health is crucial. Picking a large breed-specific commercial dog food that is Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) approved is a good starting point. But here are some specific things you should look for when choosing the best diet for your large breed dog.

Look for a diet that supports joint health with omega-3 fatty acids

Large breed dogs are more prone to joint issues including arthritis, so selecting a diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids can help support them. These are found in ingredients like fish or linseed oil and act as natural anti-inflammatories. Other nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin will help

promote healthy cartilage, again supporting joint health.

Choose a diet with a good-quality protein source

Pick a diet that contains high-quality animal protein at the top of the ingredients list. Protein is essential for the growth and repair of muscles, which is important for your large breed dog.

Keep an eye on calorie and fat levels

Large breed dogs are more prone to weight gain so care needs to be taken to keep them in good condition. Excess weight can put a strain on joints as well as on the heart. Look for foods that have a low fat content of 10%, and compare the calories per cup between different diets.

Don’t automatically choose grain-free

Grain-free foods have risen in popularity but should only be chosen if your dog has been diagnosed with grain allergies or sensitivities. Grain-free diets have been associated with potentially increasing the risk of dilated cardiomyopathy.

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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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Large Breed Dog Food Reviews

Solid Gold Wolf King Bison & Brown Rice Recipe with Sweet Potatoes Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

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

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 340 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 22%
  • Fat: 9%
  • Fiber: 4%

Solid Gold Wolf King Large Breed provides all of the high-quality nutrition large breed dogs need to thrive. A diet that bases its foundation on a novel protein source, bison is the first ingredient in this food, a meat included in its whole form and that is unlikely trigger any skin or stomach sensitivities. To help fortify the protein included in this food, ocean fish meal has also been added, providing powerful amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to encourage healthy skin and coat.

A grain-inclusive formulation, Solid Gold Wolf King is packed full of fiber-rich whole grains as well as many antioxidant-dense fruits and vegetables to assist with eating satisfaction, excellent digestion, and good immunity against disease. Prebiotics have also been included to ensure good digestion.

Solid Gold Wolf King is free from soy, corn, wheat, and artificial preservatives, making it an excellent choice for families seeking the best food for large breed dogs.

Pros

  • Dogs that regularly suffered with allergies found relief from their symptoms when transitioned to a steady diet of Solid Gold Wolf King Large Breed.
  • Owners love the price of this food, feeling it offers them excellent nutrition and great value for their dog food dollar.
  • Dogs love the taste of this food. They look forward to their every meal.
  • Owners love the size of the kibble pieces in this diet. Their large size encourages careful chewing, and the textured outer coating assists with oral hygiene in dogs.
  • Owners reported that dogs that previously struggled with soft stool saw a return to normal stool quality when fed this diet regularly.

Cons

  • Some dogs disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it. Solid Gold offers many different formulations with other protein bases. One of these may be a better choice for these dogs.
  • A few owners disliked the size of the kibble pieces in this diet. They expressed that they found them too large and hard for their dogs to break down well.
  • Some owners dislike that this diet contains whole grains, preferring to feed a diet that is grain-free.
  • This diet contains chickpeas, peas, and potatoes, all ingredients of questionable nutritional value and that may be connected to such health issues as rapid elevations of blood sugar and lowered fertility rates.
  • There are no supplements included in this diet to assist with optimal joint health in large breed dogs.

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Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine)
    3. Turkey Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate)
    4. Lentils
    5. Peas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 342 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 6%

One of the best dog foods for large breeds available for purchase today, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed is well worth giving a try. This diet includes large kibble pieces to encourage careful chewing of each piece, a vital strategy to help prevent bloat from occurring.

A diet that places a high emphasis on lean meat proteins, the main ingredients in this recipe are chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal. A grain-free food, the carbohydrates in this diet are taken from antioxidant and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally present to provide support for joint health in large breed dogs.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed is free from fillers, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. This makes this diet a great choice for dogs suffering from food-related allergies.

Pros

  • Dogs love the taste of this food. They look forward to their meals with hearty enthusiasm. Even notoriously picky eaters lick their bowls clean.
  • Dogs fed this food on an ongoing basis displayed coats that were shiny, healthy, and soft.
  • Owners noted their dogs’ energy levels increased when fed a steady diet of Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed.
  • Owners love that this diet contains large kibble pieces, feeling their size helps encourage their dogs to carefully chew each morsel and thereby helping to prevent bloat.
  • Owners expressed that the transition period from their dogs’ old food to the new one proceeded seamlessly.

Cons

  • Some dogs were uninterested in this food and were hesitant to eat it. A different Wellness formula with another protein base may be a better option for those dogs.
  • A few owners felt this diet was too costly.
  • A few owners indicated they felt the kibble pieces in this diet were too large for their dogs to break down well.
  • Some owners found the smell of this food strong and off-putting.
  • A couple of owners indicated that the price of this food has increased while the amount of food found in their bags has decreased.

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Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. De-Boned Turkey
    2. Whole Dried Egg
    3. Potatoes
    4. Peas
    5. Potato Flour

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 393 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 27%
  • Fat: 13%
  • Fiber: 4%

Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Adult has the taste and the nutrition that large breed dogs love in their food. This diet is chock full of high-quality proteins; most of which are included in their whole form. Also included in this recipe are coconut and canola oil, two vital sources of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to encourage skin and coat health.

Now Fresh is a grain-free diet and contains no by-products, wheat, corn, or soy, all items that can be known to cause skin and stomach sensitivities in some dogs. Both pre and probiotics have been included in this formulation to assist with excellent digestion.

For a diet that delivers big on all of the nutrition that big dogs need, Now Fresh Grain-Free is among the best dog foods for large breeds.

Pros

  • This diet is highly flavorful. Dogs consume their every meal with hearty gusto.
  • Owners noted that dogs fed this diet consistently saw an increase in their energy levels.
  • Owners like that this diet contains pieces of food that are the ideal size for large breed dogs. These bigger morsels encourage dogs to carefully chew their food and help to prevent the development of bloat.
  • Dogs that regularly struggled with gastrointestinal distress found complete relief when fed a steady diet of Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Adult.
  • Owners reported that dogs that previously had unpleasant breath no longer had this issue when fed this diet regularly.

Cons

  • Some owners expressed that their dogs experienced excessive gas when fed this diet consistently. This could be due to a sensitivity to one of the ingredients or may be the result of too rapid a dietary change.
  • Some owners feel this diet is a little on the costly side.
  • A few dogs did not like the taste of this food and would not eat it.
  • A few owners felt the kibble pieces in this diet were better suited for use as a treat than for meals because of their size.
  • Several owners indicated that the price of this food fluctuated on a regular basis, making it difficult for them to budget for this expense each month.

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Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Adult Health Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken Meal
    2. Rice
    3. Oatmeal
    4. Oats
    5. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 453 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 4%

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Adult Health Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Recipe places a high emphasis on a highly digestible food formulation to help large and giant breeds utilize their diet more effectively. Included in this recipe is a proprietary blend of probiotics, fibre, and digestive enzymes to encourage intestinal health.

Since large breeds can be predisposed to heart problems, Holistic Select includes both taurine and l-carnitine in its formulation to promote excellent cardiac health. A diet that contains carbohydrates from both the whole grain and the fruit and vegetable families, this food is rich in fiber and antioxidants for a healthy immune system and good digestion.

A diet that prioritizes the things large pooches need to maintain optimal health, Holistic Select is truly one of the best foods for large breed dogs.

Pros

  • Owners like that this diet includes whole grains in its recipe, believing they are a great help in achieving ideal digestion.
  • Dogs that previously suffered with poor stool quality saw a return to normal consistency and regular bowel movements when fed this diet on a regular basis.
  • Owners reported that dogs fed this diet consistently displayed coats that were shiny, healthy, and very soft.
  • This diet is highly flavorful. Dogs eat their every meal with hearty enthusiasm.
  • Dogs with sensitive stomachs did very well on this diet, finding relief from their symptoms.

Cons

  • Some dogs dislike the taste of this food and will not eat it. Another Holistic Select formulation with a different protein base may be a better fit for those dogs.
  • A few owners expressed that their dogs had very soft stool when fed this diet. This may be the result of too rapid a dietary change and may resolve in time.
  • A few owners indicated their bags of food contained a large amount of crumbled kibble pieces.
  • Some owners felt the kibble pieces were too small for large breed dogs and may pose a choking hazard.
  • Several owners expressed that they felt that this diet was rather expensive.

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Horizon Complete Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken Meal
    2. Whole Grain Barley
    3. Whole Grain Oats
    4. Chicken
    5. Whole Grain Rye

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 373 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 28%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 3%

Horizon Complete Large Breed Adult packs a powerhouse punch when it comes to nutrition and value, giving you added bang for your dog food dollar. Horizon’s first ingredient is chicken meal, a dense protein source that is rich in amino acids to support the needs of the large breed dog.

A diet that takes its carbohydrates from whole grains, this food is fiber-rich and also includes fruits and vegetables for added antioxidants. Horizon Complete hits all the high points that the best dog food for large breeds should offer.

Pros

  • Owners shared that dogs previously suffering from gastrointestinal distress found complete relief from their symptoms when fed this diet regularly.
  • Even extremely picky eaters love this diet and look forward to their every meal.
  • Dogs fed this diet consistently had coats that were soft, shiny, and healthy.
  • Owners are pleased with the kibble size in this diet, feeling it is ideal for large breed dogs.
  • Several owners shared that they felt this diet was highly affordable. They are pleased that this food offers them excellent quality nutrition for a reasonable cost.

Cons

  • Some dogs suffered with mild gastrointestinal distress when fed this diet. This may be the result of too quick a dietary change or a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in the diet.
  • Some dogs are uninterested in this food and will eat it only reluctantly.
  • Some owners feel this diet lacks sufficient fiber. This may result in soft stools in some dogs.
  • A few owners expressed that they would prefer to feed their dogs a diet that is grain-free.
  • This diet contains no prebiotics or probiotics to assist with fluid digestive processing in dogs.

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How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Large Breed Dogs

Large breed dogs add a lot of adventure and love to a home. To help keep a large dog healthy and well, a diet that is properly balanced and made from the highest quality ingredients is an absolute necessity.

Large breed dogs can be predisposed to several different health conditions that can be impacted by diet. Among the problems that can plague them include hip and elbow dysplasia, arthritis, and osteochondrosis. In addition to this, excess weight can greatly exacerbate the potential for disease. To prevent any nutritional impact on potential health problems in large breed dogs, it is recommended that all food be measured and all intake carefully monitored.

Bloat is another condition that can affect large breed dogs. This is of particular concern as bloat is often life-threatening. Although it is not known what causes bloat, experts agree that two of the most important things to avoid are eating too rapidly or too much. Feeding the best large breed dog food with pieces of kibble that encourage careful chewing and swallowing can help combat these tendencies.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Large Breed Dogs

It can be challenging trying to determine how much food to feed a large breed dog. Many different factors come into play when making this assessment. The dog’s age, activity level, and breed will all need to be considered in this decision. As a starting point, it is an excellent idea to use the suggested serving size on the bag as a guideline, making adjustments as needed with weight and appetite serving as helpful guides.

Dietary Requirements for Large Breed Dog Foods

Any food selected for a large breed dog of adult size should contain a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat. Care should be taken not to choose a food that goes to extremes in either of these categories as excess weight can cause strain on the dog’s body, possibly leading to injury.

Since large breed dogs can be prone to hip and elbow problems as well as arthritis, it is important to select a food that will provide support for the large dog’s joints. Foods containing glucosamine and chondroitin are a great help in encouraging excellent joint health.

Large breed dogs require a diet that is formulated specifically to meet their needs. For this reason, the average generic adult food is not ideal. Foods designed specifically for large breed consumption are the optimal choice. The best foods for large breed dogs are dense in calories, meaning the dog needs to eat less food to achieve the same result.

To prevent overeating and assist with maintaining oral health, it is a good idea to select a large breed food that contains big pieces of kibble. In addition to these benefits, big kibble pieces encourage dogs to eat more slowly, thus helping to prevent bloat.

Protein should be the first ingredient in any food for a large breed dog. It should come from animal origins and is best in whole form whenever possible. Meat meals provide a powerhouse punch of concentrated nutrition; however, foods based on by-products and plant-based proteins should be avoided.

Dietary fiber is derived from the carbohydrates included in a food. Large breed dogs typically can eat grain-inclusive or grain-free foods with no adverse effects. The best choices for the large dog breed’s diet include carbohydrates that are high in fiber and antioxidants to assist with digestion and fortify immunity.

Healthy fats are an important building block in keeping large breed dogs healthy. They provide vital energy and encourage coat and skin health. The best sources for healthy fats come from animal sources and include such items as chicken fat and oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and salmon.

Things to Look for in the Best Food for Large Breed Dogs

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

  • Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
  • Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
  • Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food

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