Are you in love with large dogs like the Great Dane, Mastiff, or Newfie? It’s important to note that size plays an important role when choosing the best food for your furry friend.
It can be challenging to pick the most suitable meal for your pet because not all dog foods are created equal. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of the top dog foods for large breeds this year and written reviews for each to make your life a little easier.
Large dogs have specific nutritional demands, and these foods have been formulated with that in mind. Let’s dive in!
A Quick Look at Our Favorites of 2024
|The Farmer's Dog Fresh Food Subscription
|Click to Save 50%
|Dog Chow Complete Adult Dry Dog Food
|Hill's Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food
|Royal Canin Canine Care Nutrition Large Weight Care
|Best for Puppies
|Purina ONE +Plus Natural Large Breed Formula Dry Puppy Food
The 12 Best Large Breed Dog Foods
1. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription Service – Best Overall
|Chicken, Turkey, or Beef
|11% min, 8% min, 11% min
The Farmer’s Dog is our top pick for best dog food for large breeds, as they prioritize fresh, wholesome ingredients over processed meat meals and harmful additives commonly present in traditional kibbles. This subscription-based service takes customization to heart, tailoring meals to each dog’s specific preferences and needs through a straightforward questionnaire and a personalized meal plan designed by veterinary nutritionists. The process is seamless and efficient, offering deliveries of conveniently pre-portioned, frozen meals labeled for each dog and accompanied by precise feeding guidelines.
The Farmer’s Dog upholds strict USDA safety standards for human-grade ingredients, underscoring their unwavering commitment to top-tier quality and nutritional value. Their chicken, beef, and turkey recipes encompass a variety of protein sources and nutrient-rich vegetables, catering to the diverse dietary requirements and tastes of large dog breeds. It is more expensive than your average kibble, but it’s a great investment if you want to keep your dogs healthy and strong. All in all, we think The Farmer’s Dog is the best dog food for large breeds available this year.
2. Dog Chow Complete Adult Dry Dog Food – Budget Buy
|Whole Grain Corn, Meat and Bone Meal, Corn Gluten Meal
You want to give your dog the best, but if your budget is tight, you can still give your pooch great quality food for a relatively low price. Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food is the ideal choice in this case. The delicious chicken flavor in this crispy kibble will tempt your furry friend to eat every bite. It is one of the best large-breed foods for the money.
With 23 vitamins and minerals and real chicken, it offers large dogs a balanced meal at a price that is far lower than many other dry large-breed diets. That said, it does contain corn and meat meals in the top three ingredients.
3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Food
|Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Wheat
We recommend Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food as another great option, and for a solid reason—it’s vet-approved. Ingredients that will support your canine’s health include real chicken, vitamins, natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine (which support healthy joints), omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Every ingredient in this food meets strict standards for nutritional value and purity set by the industry.
It’s also free from artificial flavors, artificial colors, and preservatives. Large dog breeds and other canines weighing over 55 pounds are best suited for this formula.
4. Royal Canin Large Weight Care Adult Dry Dog Food
|Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Pea Fiber
Royal Canin is a reputable, high-quality brand of dog food, and you can consider transitioning to this formulation after your large-breed dog enters adulthood at around 15 months old. Royal Canin Canine Care Nutrition Large Weight Care Adult Dry Dog Food supports strong bones and joints while being easily digestible. EPA and DHA fatty acids, which aid in healthy skin, joints, and coats, have also been included. This food is a premium option for large dogs weighing 56–100 pounds.
The feeding guide suggests giving 75-pound dogs that are moderately active four cups per day, but you can adjust the portion amount depending on your pet’s weight and energy level. The main downside of this option is the high price.
5. Purina ONE +Plus Natural Large Breed Formula Puppy Food – Best for Puppies
|Chicken, Rice Flour, Soybean Meal
Purina ONE +Plus Natural Large Breed Formula Dry Puppy Food is a great choice for large-breed puppies. Real chicken is used as the first ingredient in this formula to give growing dogs the necessary protein. Both sweet potatoes and carrots, which are high in carbs and nutritional fiber, are also part of this food. These can support healthy digestion and maintain your large dog’s energy levels. In addition, this food contains DHA and antioxidants that will strengthen your puppy’s immune system as they grow as well as their vision and brain development.
Plus, the crunchy bits and tender morsels provide a varied texture to keep dogs interested. That said, it does contain corn, rice, and soy high up on the ingredient list.
6. Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
|Chicken with Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard
With 90 to 95% meat, bones, and organs, dry dog foods like Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food are designed to mimic a dog’s natural diet. Since it is made specifically to support the biology of large dogs, it is healthier for your pup than many other foods out there because it contains fewer fillers and preservatives.
Moreover, it’s made of cage-free chicken, packed with added vitamins and minerals from organic fruits and veggies, and fortified with probiotics and antioxidants. Big canines with food sensitivities or allergies can consider this food because it is free of peas, lentils, and potatoes. While it’s certainly a great choice, the patties do tend to crumble easily, and this food will work to be very expensive if you have a large dog.
7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Senior Dry Dog Food
|Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley
Even though aging is a part of life, proper food can help your pooch remain healthier as they age. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food contains antioxidant-rich ingredients to help senior canines be more active. The ingredients in this dog food primarily support their immune health and muscular maintenance. Additionally, it has glucosamine, which prevents joint problems, and vitamin E, which assists in preventing tissue damage brought on by dogs’ aging. That way, you can live more happily with your furry friend for years to come.
Some buyers stated that this food had a strong odor and their dog would not eat it, and some said it caused runny stools in their dogs.
8. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal
American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a great choice of dog food because it contains real deboned salmon and is high in protein and vital amino acids for a healthy canine. Together, these proteins and amino acids help your pup build leaner muscles, and the great flavor of this food will tempt them to eat the whole meal.
In addition to having real salmon as one of the first ingredients, it is also a good source of omega fatty acids for your pet. These fatty acids contain DHA, which supports normal brain and eye development and maintains the quality of their skin and coat. However, a dog’s diet shouldn’t include a lot of peas and beans, which are present in this food in considerable amounts.
9. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
|Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food uses cage-free chicken as the first ingredient to help large breed dogs develop strong muscles. It has antioxidants for immune system support as well as probiotics for a healthy GI tract. This food is a source of balanced and complete nutrition created in the USA, with premium ingredients and added vitamins and minerals. It has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
10. Iams Adult Large Breed High Protein Dry Dog Food
|Chicken, Ground Barley, Ground Whole Grain Corn
Farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient in Iams Adult Large Breed Real Chicken High Protein Dry Dog Food, thus providing a fantastic source of protein. It is designed to support the health of the bones and joints of large-breed canines and with a specially formulated combination of wholesome fibers and prebiotics, it will promote your dog’s immune function and digestion.
However, it contains a lot of grains and artificial colors, so dogs with sensitive stomachs might not take to it well.
11. Wellness Complete Health Adult Dry Dog Food
|Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal
Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food ensures a balanced meal for your furry friend’s daily diet with a highly nutritional formula. This naturally dehydrated food has been carefully developed to fulfill the needs of your dog. It’s rich in premium proteins, wholesome grains, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, probiotics, glucosamine, and taurine. Therefore, using this food can help your dog’s digestion, immune system, skin, and bone health, plus keep them active.
You can be confident your pet is eating the right food because it is made without GMOs, meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives, although it does have relatively high carbohydrate levels.
12. Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
|Chicken, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is specially designed for large breed dogs and is also available in a senior dog version. Its main ingredient is chicken, and there are no maize, wheat, soy, or GMO ingredients in this food. With this food, the emphasis on protein helps keep large canines healthy. In addition, antioxidants will support their immune systems, and the added mineral supplements will maintain healthy joints.
Generally, this food isn’t a bad option for your companion, but it’s also not very good either.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Food for Large Breeds
In terms of a dog’s metabolism, surprisingly, more calories are burned per pound in smaller dog breeds than in large dog breeds. So, large-breed dogs, especially puppies and seniors, need to have their caloric intake carefully controlled to avoid gaining weight too quickly. This is crucial because research indicates that a large-breed puppy who puts on too much weight in the first year of life will be significantly more susceptible to joint issues or even arthritis in later years. Therefore, brands often use fewer calories to produce food for big canines. Larger kibble, which slows a dog’s eating speed, is another characteristic of this type of food.
Large-breed dogs also have big stomachs that need a significant amount of food to feel full. Foods made specifically for large breed dogs are typically lower in overall calories as well as fat to help keep weight down to a safe level.
Keep in mind that large dogs are prone to bloat, so having at least two separate meals every day is considerably better than one large meal. Storing their food in a dry and cool environment is also crucial—the food will stay fresh longer and retain more of its nutrients.
Overall, our choice of best dog food for large breeds is The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription Service. It is packed with high-quality and natural ingredients, comes tailored to your dog’s needs, and has four different recipes your pup is sure to love. The Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food is a more affordable alternative, while Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food is next in line, brimming with top-notch nourishment to keep your dog content and healthy for many years.
Hopefully, our reviews have helped you find the best dog food for your large-breed pooch!