If you have a large breed dog, you know how important it is to feed them the right food. Large breed dogs have different nutritional needs than smaller dogs, and they need a diet that supports their growth, health, and energy levels. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the best one for your furry friend?
In this article, we will review the 5 best large-breed dog foods in 2023 based on their ingredients, quality, customer reviews, and value. We will also explain why large breed dogs need special food and what we look for in dog food. Whether you have a Labrador, a German Shepherd, a Great Dane, or any other large breed dog, you will find the perfect food for them here.
Here is a quick overview of our top 5 picks for the best large-breed dog foods in 2023:
|ORIJEN Amazing Grains Regional Red Dry Dog Food||5/5||$89.99|
|Ollie Fresh Lamb||4.5/5||$59.00|
|Farmina N&D Adult Medium and Maxi||4/5||$74.99|
|Nutro Ultra Large Breed High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food||4/5||$89.98|
|Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands with Ancient Grains||3.5/5||$48.99|
Why Do Large Breed Dogs Need Special Food
Large breed dogs are not just bigger versions of small dogs. They have different physiological and metabolic characteristics that affect their nutritional requirements. For example, large breed dogs:
- They grow faster and longer than small dogs, which means they need more protein and calories to support their development.
- They have bigger bones and joints that are more prone to stress and injury, which means they need more calcium, phosphorus, and glucosamine to keep them strong and healthy.
- They have larger hearts that work harder to pump blood throughout their body, which means they need more taurine and omega-3 fatty acids to support their cardiovascular health.
- They have slower metabolism and lower activity levels than small dogs, which means they need less fat and carbohydrates to prevent obesity and related health problems.
Therefore, large breed dogs need a special food that is formulated to meet their specific needs and prevent potential health issues. A good large breed dog food should have:
- High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient to provide essential amino acids for muscle growth and maintenance.
- Moderate amounts of fat and carbohydrates to provide energy without excess calories.
- Optimal levels of calcium, phosphorus, glucosamine, and chondroitin to support bone and joint health.
- Added omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support heart health and immune system function.
- No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or fillers to avoid potential allergens, toxins, and unnecessary ingredients.
What We Look for In a Dog Food
When choosing a dog food for our large breed dogs, we look for the following criteria:
- Quality: We want dog food that is made with high-quality ingredients from trusted sources. We avoid dog foods that contain meat by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or other low-quality fillers.
- Nutrition: We look for dog foods that meet or exceed AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards for complete and balanced nutrition for large breed dogs. We also check the guaranteed analysis and ingredient list to make sure the dog food has the right proportions of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, moisture, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
- Reviews: Real-world experience is important to separate what’s on paper from what actual users notice. So, we look for positive feedback from other customers who have large-breed dogs. We read online reviews and ratings to see what other people think about the dog food’s taste, digestibility, quality control, customer service, and value.
- Price: We want dog food that offers a good value for our money. We compare the price per pound of different dog foods and look for discounts or coupons when possible. We also consider the feeding guidelines and serving sizes to see how long a bag of dog food will last us.
Our Top 5 Picks
Based on our criteria above, we have selected the following 5 products as our top picks for the best large-breed dog foods in 2023. We have also included a brief review of each product, highlighting its pros and cons.
1. ORIJEN Amazing Grains Regional Red Dry Dog Food
ORIJEN Amazing Grains Regional Red is a premium dry dog food that features a variety of fresh and raw animal ingredients, including beef, bison, wild boar, lamb, pork, and fish. This dog food is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates, providing a biologically appropriate diet for large-breed dogs. It also contains wholesome grains, such as oats, sorghum, millet, and quinoa, which provide fiber and other nutrients. ORIJEN Amazing Grains Regional Red is made in the USA with ingredients from trusted sources, and it does not contain any artificial additives or fillers.
- High-quality animal protein from multiple sources
- Low-carbohydrate and grain-inclusive formula
- Made in the USA (Kentucky) with fresh and raw ingredients
- No artificial additives or fillers
- More expensive than other brands
- Might not suit dogs with grain sensitivities or allergies
2. Ollie Fresh Lamb
Ollie Fresh Lamb is a fresh dog food that is delivered to your door in pre-portioned trays. This dog food is made with human-grade lamb, vegetables, fruits, and superfoods, such as chia seeds, blueberries, and kale. It is gently cooked to preserve the nutrients and flavor, and it is customized to your dog’s age, weight, breed, activity level, and health goals. Ollie Fresh Lamb is grain-free and gluten-free, making it ideal for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies. It also contains added supplements, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, taurine, and omega-3 fatty acids, to support your large breed dog’s health.
- Human-grade lamb and other fresh ingredients
- Grain-free and gluten-free formula
- Customized to your dog’s needs
- Delivered to your door in convenient trays
- Requires refrigeration or freezing
- Subscription-based service
3. Farmina N&D Adult Medium and Maxi
Farmina N&D Adult Medium and Maxi is a dry dog food that is specially formulated for medium and large-breed dogs. This dog food is made with high-quality chicken and ancestral grains, such as spelt and oats. It is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, providing a balanced diet for your large-breed dog. It also contains natural antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics, and botanicals, such as turmeric, rosemary, and green tea, to support your dog’s immune system and digestion. Farmina N&D Adult Medium and Maxi is made in Italy with ingredients from Europe and New Zealand, and it does not contain any GMOs, artificial preservatives, or by-products.
- High-quality chicken and ancestral grains
- High-protein and low-carbohydrate formula
- Natural antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics, and botanicals
- No GMOs, artificial preservatives, or by-products
- No whole peas, legumes, meals, or by-products.
- May not be widely available in some areas
- May not suit dogs with grain sensitivities or allergies
4. Nutro Ultra Large Breed High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food
Nutro Ultra Large Breed High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food is a dry dog food that is designed for large breed dogs. This dog food is made with three types of animal protein: chicken, lamb, and salmon. It also contains a blend of 15 superfoods, such as coconut, chia, kale, and blueberries, to provide antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients. Nutro Ultra Large Breed High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food is grain-free and gluten-free, making it suitable for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies. It also contains added glucosamine and chondroitin to support your large breed dog’s joint health.
- Three types of animal protein: chicken, lamb, and salmon
- Grain-free and gluten-free formula
- Blend of 15 superfoods for antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients
- Added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
- Expensive due to recent price increases
5. Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands with Ancient Grains
Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands with Ancient Grains is a dry dog food that features roasted duck as the first ingredient. This dog food also contains ancient grains, such as sorghum, millet, quinoa, and chia seeds, which provide complex carbohydrates and other nutrients. Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands with Ancient Grains is high in protein and low in fat, providing a lean diet for your large breed dog. It also contains probiotics, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to support your dog’s digestive health, skin health, and overall wellness.
- Roasted duck as the first ingredient
- Ancient grains for complex carbohydrates and other nutrients
- High-protein and low-fat formula
- Probiotics, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals for digestive health, skin health, and overall wellness
- Some dogs may not like the duck flavor
Choosing the best food for your large breed dog can be challenging, but it is worth the effort. Large-breed dogs have special nutritional needs that require a high-quality, balanced, and appropriate diet. By feeding them the right food, you can help them live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
We hope this article has helped you find the best large-breed dog food for your furry friend. We have reviewed the 5 best products on the market in 2023, based on their ingredients, quality, reviews, and value. Whether you prefer dry or fresh food, grain-inclusive or grain-free food, chicken or lamb or duck or fish, you will find a suitable option for your dog here.