Best large breed puppy food Reviews | AuthorityDog

Best large breed puppy food Reviews

How Nutrition Plays a Factor

Feeding a large puppy can be surprisingly confusing, especially for the uninitiated who chose a large breed as their first dog.

Larger dogs have considerable energy and caloric requirements compared to other races.

Add to the fact that the Association of American Feed Control Officials keeps adding to its guidelines, editing and publishing yearly nutritional guidelines for pet foods; it's straightforward to see how some people may become disoriented, even intimidated by the whole process of selecting the best large breed puppy food.

Before You Go Out Buying Dog Food

Puppies grow fast, but it is vital that large breed puppies grow at the proper rate.

Rapid growth rates can stress developing joints and result in skeletal abnormalities that will affect the dog in its adulthood.

However, underfeeding can force the dog's metabolism to consume muscle in an attempt to nourish itself, causing muscular issues and malformations.

A bit of foresight needs to be made with selecting the best kibble because larger breeds tend to have a prevalence of developmental orthopedic disease stemming from nutritional imbalances.

Understanding Orthopedic Disease in Large Breed Puppies. 

Fast-growing large and giant breed dogs tend to have a propensity to develop osteochondrosis, which consists of a group of developmental orthopedic diseases and malformations.

Some of the more popular dog breeds that tend to be inundated with the disease include Rottweilers, Great Danes, Newfoundlands, and the St. Bernard.

Osteochondrosis tends to affect the cartilage, causing growth abnormalities like lame limbs or irregular bone formations.

Epiphyseal cartilage is commonly affected by osteochondrosis in the hock and shoulder blade. The acute inflammatory joint disease typically follows osteochondrosis, when the cartilage is disrupted, and the underlying bone is subjugated to synovial fluid.

Inflammation and cartilage fragments dissipate within the joint, perpetuating the destruction of the joint.

Puppies, in particular, are in danger of osteochondrosis, especially before physical closure.

During the first 12 months of a puppy's growth, their skeletal system is susceptible to physical and nutritional abnormalities due to the puppy's increased metabolic activity.

Since larger breed puppies grow much faster to meet the size typical of their breed, there is the potential for osteochondrosis.

How Nutrition Plays a Factor

Factors that can contribute to osteochondrosis and other skeletal abnormalities include overfeeding higher energy and high caloric foods, and free choice feeding where the dog can eat whenever they want without any preset schedule.

Factors also include excessive or imbalanced consumption of calcium.

High caloric foods are associated with increased production of growth hormones, including insulin. 

The best large breed puppy food must be nutritionally sound, with the right amounts of micro and macronutrients for optimum bone development.

With cheaper dog foods, there tends to be an excess amount of calcium. The excess calcium disrupts the healthy development of the dog's skeleton. 

When selecting puppy food, there are two determinants that you need to be aware of:

1- Excess calcium

Excess calcium is linked to kidney disease and urinary stones. It also undermines the dog's health.

Keep in mind that inefficient levels of calcium in the dog's diet can also jeopardize its health. 

For dry kibble, the calcium content should be between 1 and 2.5 percent. 

The calcium also needs to be balanced against phosphorus. An improper ratio between calcium and phosphorus may lead to nutritional deficiencies.

2- Higher Energy and High-Calorie Foods

Higher Energy and High-Calorie Foods Fed Free Choice even if the food is well-balanced, energy-dense foods when the fed free choice may adversely affect the development of the dog.

If you invest in the best large breed puppy food, then it is essential that they are fed at appropriate times to ensure their health.

Feeding the right amounts on a schedule can help avoid skeletal issues.

With today's commercialized foods that are designed for the different stages in the dog's life, dietary supplements aren't necessary. 

Recommended for you!  Best Puppy Food

Best Large Breed Puppy Food - Our 5 Picks 



Our Rating


Our #1 Pick

Purina Pro Plan Focus Large Breed

large breed puppy food

Diamond Naturals Premium Dry Dog Food

Larg breed puppy food

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food

puppy large breed food

Purina One SmartBlend Natural 

large breed puppy food

Purina One SmartBlend Natural 

puppy food

Purina Pro Plan Focus Large Breed Dry Dog Food.

Purina's Pro Plan are made without fillers like wheat, corn, or other forms of grains that are formulated with dog food to give it more weight.

Not only that, but these filler ingredients can cause an allergic reaction to sensitive dogs.

 Purina's Pro Plan is formulated without dyes or artificial colors, making it one of the more affordable and nutritionally sound best large breed puppy food in the market.

Unlike other dog food, Purina is known to be affordable, with the Purina's Pro Plan Focus Large Breed Dry Food being at an affordable entry price, especially in large breed dogs that are known to have an insatiable appetite.

Our #1 Pick

large breed puppy food

Purina Pro Plan Focus Large Breed

The chicken and rice flavor is a crowd favorite.It is made with high-quality protein, with actual chicken being one of its first ingredients.

For large breeds, protein is critical to help synthesize nutrients, as well as to support a rapidly growing body.

It's also made with a natural source of glucosamine, a derivative of glucose that helps to reduce skeletal diseases.

Fish oil in the dog food helps nourish brain and vision development in growing puppies.


  • While the chicken and rice flavor are favorites, there are more than 14 dry formulas to choose from, offering an option for even the pickiest of dogs
  • Purina Pro Plan Focus is backed by decades of science, and veterinarians recommend it


  • It may affect the dog's breath
  • The second ingredient is brewer's rice - while it offers caloric energy, it provides only modest nutritional value. Might be a problem for the most sensitive of dogs.

Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals focuses on complete nutrition, with a holistic approach for every flavor.

There are myriad of dry and canned food options from Diamond Naturals, but the Diamond Naturals Premium Dry Dog Food formulated with lamb, rice, and a vegetable formula is a favorite for many puppies.

The dog food is enhanced with probiotics, providing 80 million colony forming units per pound of beneficial bacteria that will support the healthy gastrointestinal tract of your growing puppy.

Probiotics can be particularly beneficial for young dogs.

Our #2 Pick

Larg breed puppy food

Diamond Naturals Premium Dry Dog Food

It's a dry dog food that is designed sans the corn, wheat, and filler, making it one of the best puppy food.

It helps with digestion and also aids in the modulation of the immune system.

Short-chain fatty acids inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria, as well as help to guard against diarrhea and intestinal inflammation.

Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Dog Food is made with a smaller and easily digestible kibble, making it ideal for the little mouths of dogs, while still being palatable for a growing puppy.

It's a dry dog food that is designed sans the corn, wheat, and filler, making it one of the best puppy food.


  • Dog's with skin allergies are alleviated due to the kibble being formulated without grain filers.
  • Probiotics help to ward of diarrhea, which can be dangerous for young puppies.


  • Probiotics may cause smelly farts.
  • High sodium content may be a cause of concern.

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food

Hill's Science provides balanced dog food for growing large breed puppies.  

The reason why this is one of the best large breed puppy food is that it's formulated with balanced calcium.

The calcium has glucosamine and chondroitin.

Glucosamine is a natural substance that is found in the growing bodies of your dog, with the highest concentration of it being located within its joint and cartilage.

Our #3 Pick

puppy large breed food

Purina One SmartBlend Natural 

It is specifically designed to support controlled joint and bone growth, ensuring that it grows at a pace that is comfortable to the puppy while preventing degenerative skeletal diseases.

It is used to help the body produce amino sugars which are used to help repair body tissues such as cartilage.

A large breed puppy that is raised on food formulated and enriched with glucosamine will be safeguarded from joint pain and stiffness later in life.Chondroitin is part of the structural integrity of the cartilage.

Diets are formulated with it also helps to prevent issues with joint tissue.


  • Healthy stools. Dog fed this kibble seem to tend to create complete, and solid stools - which is a good thing. It's easier cleanup and means that the food is clumping properly.
  • The kibble helps to clean tartar from the dog's gum line, warding off bad breath.


  • May not be suitable for picky eaters.
  • The actual kibble may be a bit bigger than you might expect. So it may be best for dogs in the later stages of their puppyhood. 

Purina One SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Puppy Food

Purina is known for its affordable dog food, while still spotlighting the importance of wholesome, healthy kibble.

The large breed formula formulated for growing puppies uses real meat as its first ingredient, as well as a myriad of secondary elements and nutrients including glucosamine.

The dry kibble helps minimize stress in the bones and joints, with the right balance of minerals and nutrients helping to support the skeletal and muscular growth of a growing large breed puppy.

Purina has been particularly helpful with my large breed dogs mainly because Purina is highly accessible and affordable.

Our #4 Pick

large breed puppy food

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food

Protein-rich and is designed to help maintain the ideal body condition of your dog while providing the nutrition it needs to live a healthy life.

This is a formulation that is easily accessible at my local pet store.

Since it is a well-known brand, I knew that I am buying quality kibble.

The kibble has meaty and crunchy morsels that not only taste good, but it's rough texture also help to ensure that the jaws of your puppy stay developed.

Also, it's rough texture helps to prevent tartar from building up along the dog's gum line, which can be an issue with some large breeds. 


  • Purina Smartblend is a complete solution - no need to add supplements. It provides 100% complete nutrition for your growing puppy.
  • The first ingredient is chicken, and dogs seem to enjoy the fact.


  • Oddly enough, some Amazon shoppers report that their dog does not come with an expiration date stamped on it - so be aware of this. Mine always came with an expiration date on it
  • The actual kibble has a smell that some might call "greasy." While most dogs are okay with it, you might find it offensive.

Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food

Eukanuba puppy food provides complete nutrition for your growing large breed puppy, focusing on over 30 of the same nutrients that are found in a mother's milk, including DHA.

 DHA helps to encourage healthy brain development, which can help your dog with cognitive function.

Most sources of DHA come from fish --- including salmon, tuna, and sardines.

Before being weaned, most dogs get their DHA from their mothers. Exposure to DHA rich foods especially in the initial stages of a puppy's development has been linked to improved trainability.

Our #5 Pick

puppy food

Purina One SmartBlend Natural 

​Eukanuba Puppy Food has chicken as one of its first ingredients, followed by a myriad of antioxidants and nutrient-dense derivatives like glucosamine.

Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food is formulated with high quality, animal-based protein.

Animal-based protein helps with almost every function in a growing dog's body.

The protein supplies the amino acids that are required for the dog to help build a healthy coat, healthy teeth, and cognitive function.

It also supports the antibodies that make up the immune system. ​

The protein found in Eukanuba products make it one of the best large breed puppy foods.

It has been found that dogs that are fed dog food that focuses on actual meat - like Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food have an increase in lean tissue and reduced body fat when compared with dogs that were fed plant-based proteins.

Eukanuba Puppy  Food has chicken as one of its first ingredients, followed by a myriad of antioxidants and nutrient-dense derivatives like glucosamine.


  • It has helped dogs with joint pain. When a dog stretches, you might hear a cracking noise - not when dogs are fed Eukanuba Puppy Dry dog food.
  • Dogs fed this kibble is less gassy.


  • The second ingredient in this dog food is corn meal, which is a filler ingredient.
  • You might need to switch up the flavors from time to time, because some dogs may become bored of the taste.


Even though all of these selections are viable options, I tend to pick  Purina's Pro Plan  since I think it is one of the best large breed puppy food. 

It satisfies the nutritional requirements for a growing dog, including a great balance set of nutrition.

Purina's Pro Plan  also evaluates their calcium to ensure that the dog has a balanced diet, with the dog food formulated with a calcium concentration of 1.1 percent, which is within the realms of the appropriate levels of calcium that a large breed puppy should be consuming. 

Not only that but Purina is a brand that is accessible to almost anyone.

While other brands may require that I make an online purchase or hunt their products down at specialty shops, Purina is found at my local grocery store.