The Best Large Breed Dog Food for Adult Canines

Supplying your dog with the right food can make a world of difference to their health and well-being. This is especially true with large or giant breeds because they require dog food that has more proteins and carbohydrates.

Depending on their age (puppy or adult), you can select one of the best large dog food products in this guide to keep them healthy and happy.

A smiling Bernese Mountain dog laying down

Top 5 picks for the best food for large breed adult dogs in 2021

We understand that you might not have time to read this whole review, which is why we’ve selected the top dog food products for large breeds.

Choose from the most nutritious and popular brands and recipes, including wet and dry options for large breed dogs.

  Food for Large Breed Adult Dogs Our Rating
 

Best Overall Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Also recommended for all breed sizes
  • Made with K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics
  • Free of artificial colors or flavors, wheat, and corn
 

5

Best Budget Large Breed Adult Dog Food Instinct Original Wet Dog Food

  • Free of potato, wheat, gluten, corn, grains, by-product meals, preservatives, and artificial colors
  • 95% of the product contains real chicken
  • High in omega fatty acids that promote healthy skin and a shiny coat
4.5
Best Dry Food for Large Breed Adult Dogs IAMS ProActive Health Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

  • With a tailored blend of prebiotics and wholesome fibers
  • The first ingredient is real, farm-raised chicken
  • Made with premium sources of protein for maintaining strong muscles like dried egg
5
 

Best Wet Food for Large Breed Adult Dogs

Wellness Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

  • Suitable for your doggo’s snacking, mixing, and feeding
  • Has no artificial preservatives, fillers, additives, or any meat by-products
  • Free of soy, wheat, or corn
 

5

Best Grain-Free Food for Large Breed Adult Dogs Whole Earth Farms Red Meat Recipe Canned Dog Food

  • Made with nutritious ingredients like sweet potatoes, carrots, and protein-rich beef
  • A grain-free option that has no soy, wheat, and corn
  • Can be mixed into your pet’s dry food or as a meal itself
4.5

Best dog food for large breed adult dogs

Unlike small breed dogs, large-sized canines require high levels of nutrients, fats, and proteins in their diet to support a healthy and active lifestyle.

Below you’ll find a selection of the best value for money and top-pick doggie foods that meet the specific needs of your dog, like grain-free wet and dry products.

This video can serve as a quick glimpse of how large breed puppies should be fed:

Best dry dog foods for large breed adult dogs

If you’ve opted for dry products for a large breed puppy, adult, or giant breed, these dry food products include vitamins and minerals for a balanced diet and meet nutritional standards.

Plus, crunchy kibbles promote strong teeth and reduce plaque.

Two adult Great Dane dogs waiting for dinner
The two black Great Dane dogs waiting for dinner – Image source

1. Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula All Life Stages

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice
Type: Dry

Have a multiple-pet household? This chicken and rice formula is not just for breeds of all sizes, but also for all life stages.

In addition, it supports your canine’s overall health and development with its guaranteed prebiotics and superfoods.

Pros:

  • Has Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants and added vitamins
  • Highly digestible and nutrient-rich recipe that supports your pet’s digestive health
  • Free of preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, filler, wheat, soy, or corn

Cons:

  • One owner thought this dog food is too expensive, especially since their pet didn’t eat it

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice
Type: Dry

Crafted for your fido’s well-being and holistic health, all Blue Buffalo recipes are made of a precise blend of nutrients called LifeSource Bits. It’s also enhanced with ingredients rich in antioxidants, like cranberries.

Pros: 

  • A recipe that’s free of poultry or chicken by-product meals, soy, wheat, and corn
  • Promotes strong teeth and bones with its essential vitamins, phosphorus, and calcium
  • Has added glucosamine that supports mobility and healthy joints

Cons:

  • Not suitable for all dogs as some owners complained that it made their pets sick

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. IAMS ProActive Health Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

IAMS ProActive Health Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Whole Grain Corn
Type: Dry

If your large dog isn’t allergic to grains, IAMS is included in our list. It’s crafted explicitly for active large-breed canines who love chicken.

It’s formulated to support their joints and bones, and promotes a healthy immune system and digestion.

Pros:

  • With a tailored blend of prebiotics and wholesome fibers
  • The first ingredient is real, farm-raised chicken
  • Made with premium sources of protein for maintaining strong muscles like dried egg

Cons:

  • A few owners said their fur babies don’t like this product

CHECK PRICE HERE

4. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes
Type: Dry

Looking for a chicken-free and grain-free dry kibble? This formula gets its novel proteins from roasted lamb to support lean muscles, and healthy bones and joints.

It’s also crafted with prebiotics, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and superfoods that help with digestion and overall health.

Pros:

  • Also recommended for all breed sizes
  • Made with K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics
  • Free of artificial colors or flavors, wheat, and corn

Cons:

  • Some doggos don’t like this particular flavor

CHECK PRICE HERE

5. Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Adult Health Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Recipe

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Chicken Meal & Oatmeal

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken Meal, Rice, Oatmeal
Type: Dry

Big dogs need a big meal, and this gluten-free and pea-free formula will provide all the nutrients and minerals – plus added carbohydrates and proteins to fill your dog up and offer a balanced diet.

Not only that, but it’ll also provide a satisfying meal. High-quality real chicken and chicken fat are the main ingredients in this product.

Pros:

  • Has probiotics and taurine that help promote a healthy heart
  • Omega 3 fatty acids show off a shiny coat and healthy skin
  • Pleases your dog’s palate with natural sources

Cons:

  • Kibble size is small, causing some dog breeds to eat their food too quickly

CHECK PRICE HERE

6. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal
Type: Dry

Another high-protein pet food that’s suitable for households with multiple dogs, this large breed formula is free of gluten and grains.

It’s crafted and fortified with minerals, vitamins, taurine, probiotics, glucosamine, chondroitin, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids.

Pros:

  • Nutrient-rich recipe that’s developed without any preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, fillers, wheat-gluten, or any meat by-products
  • Designed to encourage muscle tone and lean body mass, support healthy skin and coat, and promote overall health
  • Made with premium proteins like salmon oil, chicken, and turkey

Cons:

  • Some dogs refuse to eat this dog food or particular flavor

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best wet dog foods for large breed adult dogs

Greyhound dog tongue's out licking peanut butter
Image source

Like humans, dogs have preferences when it comes to their meals. Wet dog food is as fantastic as dry kibbles while containing all the essential nutrients. And don’t worry if your dog is a large or giant breed.

These top-tier options are well-suited for both.

1. Canidae All Life Stages Canned Dog Food

CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken & Rice Formula Canned Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver
Type: Wet – Pate

Keep things simple and stick with a lifelong product suited for dogs of all ages and sizes. Given that it’s suited to pups, adults, and senior dogs, it’s the perfect fit for families with a pack.

It also has the ideal amount of protein and grain to keep your baby upbeat.

Pros:

  • Wholesome grains and has no soy, wheat, corn, or peas
  • Vet-formulated wet food
  • Great for dogs with stomach problems

Cons:

  • Contain no omega-3’s
  • A few fidos don’t like this dog food

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. Wellness Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Water Sufficient for Processing
Type: Wet – Stew

This natural pet food for dogs of all sizes is made with nutrient-rich veggies and tender cuts of premium protein slowly cooked in savory gravy.

It’s crafted by animal lovers, vets, and nutritionists so your fur buddy can have a balance of natural ingredients in his meals.

Pros:

  • Suitable for your doggo’s snacking, mixing, and feeding
  • Has no artificial preservatives, fillers, additives, or any meat by-products
  • Free of soy, wheat, or corn

Cons:

  • Some dogs aren’t a fan of this recipe
  • Too rich for sensitive stomachs

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. Weruva Paw Lickin’ Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Weruva Paw Lickin’ Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Water Sufficient for Processing, Potato Starch
Type: Wet – Chunks in Gravy

Does your pooch suffer from bloat? Then give the Weruva line a try. They make natural and GMO-free pet foods that pass the strict standards of the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

So dogs of all sizes will enjoy the yummy taste of real chicken.

Pros:

  • High-quality protein diet that’s suitable for all life-stages as a meal or topper
  • Contains added vitamins and minerals for a balanced diet with fewer carbs
  • No gluten, grains, peas, and carrageenan

Cons:

  • A few owners thought that this canned food is full of water than usual

CHECK PRICE HERE

4. Instinct Original Wet Dog Food

Instinct Original Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5 
Top ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Broth
Type: Wet – Pate

Instinct makes high-quality dog food products, including raw meats, allowing your pet to thrive and reach its full potential.

Combined with whole fruits and vegetables, vitamins, and fatty acids, your pooch will show off a glorious coat and healthy skin.

Pros:

  • Free of potato, wheat, gluten, corn, grains, by-product meals, preservatives, and artificial colors
  • 95% of the product contains real chicken
  • High in omega fatty acids that promote healthy skin and a shiny coat

Cons:

  • Some owners who think this wet food is too greasy

CHECK PRICE HERE

5. Whole Earth Farms Red Meat Recipe Canned Dog Food

Whole Earth Farms Red Meat Recipe Canned Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver
Type: Wet – Pate

Formulated in the USA with natural, high-quality ingredients, this wet dog food offers balanced and complete nutrition.

You won’t even have to change your canine’s meals because they can eat this from puppyhood to adulthood and into their golden years. And that goes for all breed sizes, too.

Pros:

  • Made with nutritious ingredients like sweet potatoes, carrots, and protein-rich beef
  • A grain-free option that has no soy, wheat, and corn
  • Can be mixed into your pet’s dry food or as a meal itself

Cons:

  • Some owners complained about the smell, while one said it gave their dog the runs

CHECK PRICE HERE

6. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Canned Dog Food

Hills Science Diet Adult Hearty Vegetable Chicken Stew

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken Broth, Pork Liver, Carrots
Type: Wet – Stew

If you’re looking for a meal that would help Rover with weight control, this brand and recipe might be it.

It’s formulated to help dogs achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and it helps with gentle digestion with its prebiotic fibers.

Pros:

  • Has a blend of Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and antioxidants help promote a healthy immune system
  • No artificial preservatives, colorants, as well as animal by-products
  • With fewer calories that help with weight management and overall quality of life

Cons:

  • Has a pungent smell

CHECK PRICE HERE

Guide to buying & feeding large breeds with the best dog food

Weimaraner dog excited for beef, fish and fruits breakfast
Image source

Large and giant breeds need 15-25% protein in their diet and sufficient minerals and vitamins that help fight diseases. So what should dog owners look for?

Finding the best dog food brands for large and giant breed dogs

The first step is to read the label of a dog food before buying it because the price itself or being expensive doesn’t mean good.

This will help you know what you’re feeding your pet and making sure it has high-quality ingredients.

Because dogs are natural carnivores, supplementing their diets with meat is essential.

Ensure the dog food you opt for has protein sources from real meat and not unknown animal by-products. It should be the first ingredient listed.

If the product is made with real meat, it should contain no artificial ingredients, like flavorings and colorants. If it does, it’s a dead giveaway the product is making up for its lack of natural ingredients.

Top dog foods include omega fatty acids to support joint junction, strengthen their immune system, and boost cognitive function.

DHA from Fish oil can even help fight canine cancer. Added probiotics help improve their moods and reduce stinky breath.

Nutrition 101: What kind of food does your large adult dog need?

On a biological basis, large and giant dog breeds are different from smaller dogs and are at higher risk for orthopedic diseases, elbow dysplasia, obesity, and bloat.

To lower susceptibility to these health issues, opt for a super pack formula food that comprises calcium and chondroitin, and added supplements such as glucosamine.

They also require rich lean protein, food free from animal fillers, and antioxidant-rich ingredients.

Keep an eye on high-calorie foods when it comes to large dogs, which is necessary if your dog needs to bulk up.

Lifestages are another factor to consider when finding the perfect food fit for your dog. There are many great options I’ve included for dogs of all ages.

However, it’s crucial to ensure that any dog food you purchase is approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

The only time you’d need to reconsider a product is if your dog is suffering from a significant issue and requires specialized food. This may include higher or lower amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, chondroitin, and more.

Things to look for when selecting a large breed dog food: What should large breed adult dogs eat?

To ensure you’re providing a balanced meal that’s delicious and nutritious, here are some ingredients you should look out for:

  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Probiotics & prebiotics
  • Vitamins
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Real fruits and vegetables like beet pulp and pumpkin
  • Real meats
  • Flaxseed

Now you know the goodies, these are some of the ingredients to avoid:

  • Animal by-products (chicken and fish meal)
  • Wheat
  • Corn syrup
  • BHA
  • Meat meal
  • Soy
  • Xylitol

Dry VS. Wet Food: Which type is best for your large breed adult dog?

Canned dog food and dry kibbles both offer advantages for your pup and provide adequate nutrients and immune support.

But, in all honesty, it comes down to personal preference and knowledge of your dog’s individual needs.

Preference also comes down to your dog’s age, weight, metabolism, and health. Like, do they have issues with their teeth that require softer food? Are they teething and in need of teeth strengthening kibbles?

In general, wet food has a high protein content which fits bouncy dogs living an active lifestyle. To determine which works best for your pooch, have a friendly chat with your veterinarian.

Do large breed adult dogs need grain-free food? 

There’s no simple answer as to whether your dog’s diet should include grain or not. Grain has its place in their diets and provides essential nutrients. Barley and oats are great examples of superfood grains.

However, if your dog has allergies, sensitivities, or digestive issues, your vet may recommend feeding your pooch a grain-free diet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Labrador Retriever dog waiting for the bread snacks
A Labrador Retriever dog patiently waiting for the bread snacks – Image source

How to find out if you need to buy large breed food for your dog?

Most dog owners give their fur babies dog food for their breed size. If you’re not sure whether your fido is a large breed canine, you can bring him to the vet.

Luckily, we provided plenty of options above that caters to all life stages and breed sizes.

Looking for a large breed puppy food? You can also check out Nutro, Eukanuba, and Purina Pro Plan.

How much should you feed your large breed dog?

Speak to your vet and find out what a healthy weight for the breed is – from there, you can determine the appropriate portion control.

Generally, large and giant breeds are fed about 3 to 3 ½ cups a day if they weigh 60 to 70 pounds (27 to 32 kg).

When and how often should you feed your large breed adult dog?

It’s advisable to feed large dogs twice a day – one in the morning and evening. This allows food to be digested while preventing bloat. Setting a routine also encourages good behavior.

Can your large breed dog have food sensitivities, and what are the symptoms to watch out for?

All dogs can suffer from food sensitivities due to allergens and intolerances. Flatulence, vomiting, diarrhea, poor growth, inflamed skin, chronic ear issues, and even health problems can indicate an allergic reaction.

When should your large dog transition from puppy to adult dog food?

Large and giant breeds reach adulthood by the time they’re around 12 to 24 months.

To avoid your dog getting sick from the sudden switch, you can adjust the puppy formula to adult food by mixing the two diets gradually until the change is complete.

Can I feed my small-breed or medium pup large-breed food?

This depends on the product. For example, dog food designed for all breed sizes is okay. You can find this information on the label, and sites like Chewy already classify products based on breed sizes.

Pellets have a dog’s mouth in mind. Smaller and medium-sized dogs will struggle to break down the large breed kibble, which can lead to digestive problems.

They also contain higher amounts of minerals and vitamins, which may upset smaller dogs’ stomachs.

Can you give homemade food for your large breed adult dog?

Homemade meals require your energy and a thorough understanding of your dog’s needs. Take a look at this nutritious recipe for large dog breeds offering a balanced meal: 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of peas (frozen or canned)
  • 1 zucchini (shredded)
  • 2 carrots (shredded)
  • 3 cups of baby spinach (chopped)
  • 3 pounds turkey (ground)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of brown rice

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, cook the rice in 3 cups of water and allow it to cool.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan – add the ground turkey and cook gently for about 3 minutes. Set aside to cook.
  3. Stir in the chopped spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas, and your cooked rice. Heat through for 3-5 minutes until the spinach has wilted.
  4. Once cooled, let your pup enjoy it!

One thing I must note is that you can’t feed your dog all human food. Instead, allow your dog to eat prepared food or doggie treats.

Best large breed dog food products to meet their nutritional needs

Golden Retriever dog loves watermelon
A thirsty Golden Retriever dog loves watermelon – Image source

This post covered the best large breed dog food, suitable for giant breeds too. Bigger pups require special attention and lower-calorie meals to avoid a chunky pooch and support joint health. 

We want to keep our dogs healthy and happy, which is why they need a diet consisting of minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and probiotics.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us in the comments section – we’d love to hear from you!

Further Reading: Dog food for specific large & giant breeds

 

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