What should the optimum diet be for large dogs?
Nutrition plays a major role in keeping your pet healthy and lively. Whether small or large dogs and small dogs, food plays a decisive role in your pet’s health. Here you can find out what you should pay attention to so that the diet for large dogs is balanced and healthy and keeps your pet fit and agile.
Here is a selection of large dog breeds:
Bernese Mountain Dog
Pyrenean Mountain Dog
The best orthopaedic dog cushions for large dogs that perfectly support the joints and spine can be found at pet-interiors.
Nutrition for large breed puppies.
Adult dogs, whether small or large breeds, need approximately the same nutrients. However, this does not apply to puppies in the growth phase. Large breed puppies have very specific and high nutritional requirements. Large puppies need to gain weight quickly, and their weight increases approximately 100-fold by the time they reach adulthood. In small dog breeds, the difference in weight from birth to adulthood is not so great; they gain about 20 to 30 times as much weight. It is therefore essential to avoid nutritional errors during the growth phase in large dog breeds.
Why do large dogs defecate differently to small dogs?
Large dogs have a proportionally shorter gastrointestinal tract than small dogs, which is why they defecate more often and usually have poorer faecal quality than smaller breeds. Large dogs also release more sodium and water into the large intestine, which increases the water content in their faeces. You can prevent this digestive problem with highly digestible food if you tailor the diet for large dogs perfectly to this.
How should food for large dogs be formulated?
If it is a ready-made food for large dogs from a well-known dog food manufacturer that you trust, the special needs of a large dog should be taken into account. Of course, you can put together the food and treats (you can find the recipe for dog biscuits and dog cookies here) yourself and perfectly customise the diet for large dogs.
Then these easily digestible products should be included: Muscle meat e.g., from beef, pork, sheep, game, plus eggs, dairy products such as quark or cottage cheese, carbohydrates from cooked rice or oatmeal, plus oils or fats. The advantage of homemade dog food is, of course, that you know exactly what is in the food for your large dog. However, it is very important to pay close attention to the composition of the food so that your pet does not suffer any deficiencies.
What are the energy requirements of large dogs?
The energy requirements of large and small dogs are similar. The energy requirement depends more on how active the dog is, the age of the pet and whether it is a long-haired or short-haired dog. Dogs with a thin, short coat with little undercoat need more energy to maintain their body temperature. If the dog has a lot of muscle mass with a low body fat percentage, its energy requirement is also higher.
A very active, agile and lively dog consumes more energy than a calm, comfortable and perhaps older animal. You should definitely take these considerations into account in your diet plan for your large dog.