Newfoundlands typically love to eat just as much as they enjoy swimming, so keeping them fed is a big commitment. The key to good nutrition is finding a food that features high-quality ingredients, plenty of protein, and vitamins from whole food sources. The problem is that there are many foods on the market that meet these standards, so it can be overwhelming to figure out just which ones would be best suited for your Newfoundland.
We understand the importance of choosing the right food for your pooch, so we’ve tested out the best food options on the market and narrowed them down to a handful that we think will help your Newfoundland thrive over time. They all offer features that will benefit your dog in one way or another, and they are all nutritionally complete. Here are the best dog foods for Newfoundlands on the market.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022:
The 6 Best Dog Foods for Newfoundlands
1. VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food — Best Overall
This high-quality dog food is formulated for all life stages, from puppyhood to the senior years. It’s a gluten-free food that is packed with 88% protein from sources such as beef, chicken, and fish. Whole grain millet and alfalfa meal provide the sustained energy that working dogs like the Newfoundland needs to power through their day. VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus formula is fortified with a variety of important vitamins and minerals, resulting in a nutrient-rich food that will keep your pooch satisfied between meals.
Both prebiotics and probiotics are included to support a strong and healthy gut and digestive system. Also included is selenium yeast, which works to regenerate cells and helps support a healthy immune system. This formula will help keep up their energy when your dog is especially active, but it won’t put on extra weight when they aren’t. However, it doesn’t have as many whole fruits and veggies in it as some of the other options on this list.
2. Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food — Best Value
Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition is the best dog food for Newfoundlands for the money because it is made with non-GMO ingredients that are formulated specifically to support large breed dogs. This food features a blend of real chicken, brown rice, and barley, as well as a variety of produce, such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, peas, and spinach. Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition also includes New Zealand green mussels to effectively support joint growth and minimize inflammation, which is important for large dogs like the Newfoundland.
The included fish meal delivers essential omega fatty acids that are important for proper brain development and optimal vision. This food is designed to nutritionally satisfy dogs of all ages. The kibble pieces are small and easy to chew, which makes this an excellent choice for young puppies that are still growing teeth and senior dogs that have dental problems. One downside is that “natural flavors” are included in the ingredients list, and we can’t be sure what those flavors actually are.
3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Dog Food — Best for Puppies
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is made just for puppies, so it contains a little more protein and fat than adult foods and those made for all life stages. It’s made with deboned chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes, peas, and a variety of other fruits and vegetables that support a strong immune system and proper muscle growth. It features LifeSource Bits, which is a blend of antioxidant-rich nutrients designed to keep your puppy healthy as they explore the world around them.
This food also features both DHA and ARA to support proper vision and calcium phosphate for strong bones. What you won’t find in this food is wheat, soy, corn, or any artificial ingredients. The kibble pieces are small and softer than adult foods to ensure proper chewing and digestion. The only problem is that this formula tends to give puppies gas.
4. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This is a food that most dogs can’t resist, thanks to its smokey, beefy flavor. Merrick Dry Dog Food is free of grains yet full of protein and healthy carbohydrates. Deboned beef, lamb, and salmon provide all the protein that your big pup needs as they age into and through adulthood. Sweet potatoes, peas, and blueberries offer the energy and nutrition needed for optimal health. Also included is fish oil, which provides a healthy dose of omega fatty acids, essential for a healthy coat.
This formula happens to be gluten free, which makes it easy for dogs to digest even if they have a problem like irritable bowel syndrome. Made in the United States, Merrick Dry Dog Food is preserved with natural tocopherols, never artificial ingredients. But because it’s made for all dog breeds, it doesn’t provide the same targeted nutrition that a large breed food does.
5. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
What’s different about this food compared to the others on our reviews list is that it contains lamb protein rather than chicken, beef, or fish. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food is easily digestible and suitable for puppies and adult dogs. Real fruits like blueberries and raspberries provide immune support, while veggies like white and sweet potatoes offer long-lasting energy to sustain your busy Newfoundland all day long. In addition to real fruits and veggies, this formula contains a proprietary probiotic blend to promote a healthy gut and chelated minerals to ensure proper nutrient absorption.
Tomatoes are even found in the ingredients list to provide a reliable source of vitamin C and lycopene to your dog’s diet, which works to stave off illness and serious health conditions like cancer. There are a couple of downsides to consider before opting to invest in this food, however. First, the bag is hard to keep closed between meals, so it should be transferred to a sealable container after purchase. The kibbles might also be a little too big for puppies to comfortably chew.
6. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Nutro Ultra dog food is made for large breeds and includes non-GMO chicken, salmon, and lamb and as many (if not more!) fruits and vegetables as most of the other options on this list. You can smell the chicken as soon as you open the bag, which lets you know that it has a rich flavor that your Newfoundland is sure to love. What this food contains that others don’t is a unique blend of 15 antioxidant superfoods that will keep your pooch’s immune system in tip-top shape.
For a food that caters to large dog breeds, the kibbles are quite small and dainty, so dogs tend to swallow some without chewing them up, which can result in delayed digestion. Also, large breeds like the Newfoundland typically eat several cups of food a day, and this food only comes in 15- and 30-pound bags, which means you’ll likely have to buy it more often than you’d like.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Newfoundland Dog Food
Before choosing a new food for your Newfoundland, take a look at the buyer’s guide that we have put together. It’s filled with helpful advice and practical tips that you can use to ensure that you and your pooch will be satisfied and won’t have to look for another food again anytime soon.
Understanding the Life Stages
Some dog foods are formulated for all life stages, which are designed to meet the basic nutritional needs of puppies, adults, and seniors. But many are formulated to meet the specific dietary needs of each life stage. Here’s what you should know.
Puppies grow quickly, so puppy food is typically formulated with a higher protein and fat content than foods designed for older dogs or all life stages. These foods are also generally infused with antioxidants to support a puppy’s fragile immune system as they get to know the outside world where viruses and ailments can be picked up. The kibble pieces are generally small and less dense than adult food so puppies as young as a few weeks old can easily chew it. This food is suitable for dogs up to about a year old.
Adult dog food is designed to meet the needs of pooches that aren’t growing anymore. They need all the same nutrients that puppies need, but they don’t need those nutrients in the same amounts, and they don’t need as much protein or fat unless they’re highly active or function as working dogs of some kind. Most adult dog foods feature large kibble pieces that are super crunchy to satisfy their chewing instincts. This food is generally fed to adult dogs between the ages of 1 and 7 years.
Food made especially for senior dogs include higher amounts of calcium to support healthy bones and lower amounts of protein because they are typically less active in old age. Antioxidants are typically a priority to help minimize the onset of diseases like canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome.
Some foods are made just for high-performance dogs, which means that they cater to the intense nutritional needs of pooches that do agility, hike, herd, or hunt all day long. These foods can also be geared toward puppies, adults, or both life stages, but they are rarely available specifically for seniors.
Looking for the AAFCO Statement
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has the responsibility of making sure that animal feed is nutritionally adequate for the species that it is intended for. The AAFCO sets and maintains nutritional standards for the dog food industry that help ensure that pet dogs get all the nutrients they need and that are essential for good health.
If a dog food meets the AAFCO’s standards and passes feeding trials, it can have a statement on its packaging that says so. Finding an AAFCO statement on your dog food’s packaging will give you peace of mind in knowing that your pooch won’t miss out on any nutrients that they need to stay happy and healthy for a lifetime.
Checking out the Ingredients
Never count on labels that say “all-natural ingredients” or “holistic” unless you know exactly what is in the food. To know this, you’ll have to inspect the ingredients list from top to bottom. What you should look for is a list that includes real meat, whole food vitamins and minerals, and fish oil or flaxseed for essential omega fatty acids.
What you should avoid is highly processed ingredients like animal by-products and fillers like corn and soy because they serve more to fill your dog up than provide them with the nutrition that they need. You should also avoid foods that include artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Reasons for Sticking With Dry Food
Both wet and dry food can be nutritionally sound for dogs in all life stages. However, there are some perks to choosing dry over wet. First and foremost, dry food is typically less expensive by the pound, which is something all Newfoundland owners must consider because they eat a large amount of food. Secondly, dry food helps clean your dog’s teeth by scraping plaque off, which is something that wet food can’t do. In fact, wet food can contribute to a plaque problem. Another benefit of dry food is that it’s easier to keep fresh after opening the package. It doesn’t need refrigeration, and it typically doesn’t require a separate sealable container to maintain its integrity.
Consulting With a Veterinarian
Once you find a food option or two that you want to start feeding your Newfoundland, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to make sure that there won’t be any possible challenges to worry about. They can do a blood test to determine whether your dog might have any food allergies and to find out whether they are low in any particular nutrients. They can also inspect the ingredient list of the food that you’re interested in to verify that it will meet all your dog’s unique nutritional needs over time. If not, they can help steer you in the right direction by making ingredient and brand recommendations.
VICTOR Hi Pro Plus formula is our number-one pick because it serves the nutrient needs of dogs in all life stages and it is specifically designed to support a healthy immune system. Our second pick, Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition, also deserves attention because it’s made with non-GMO ingredients that support the growth of large dog breeds like your Newfoundland. But every food featured on our reviews list is worthy of consideration due to the high-quality ingredients that they all have in common.
No matter your dog’s specific nutrient needs, we hope that the reviews we’ve featured here make it easy to find and choose the perfect formula for your pooch and that our buyer’s guide provides you with the insight you need to make sure your dog’s new food supports their health with quality ingredients and sensible formulations. What feature is the most important to you when searching for a new dog food and why? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
Featured Image Credit: Pandas, Shutterstock