5 Best Large Puppy Dog Foods (2022)

In this review, we’ll look at the best dog food for large breed puppies 2022. 

We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money.

New Pup only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

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  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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In-Depth Reviews

Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe with Chicken Wet Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Fresh Chicken (67%)
    2. Potatoes (2%)
    3. Carrots (1%)
    4. Vitamins & Chelated Minerals
    5. Salmon Oil

  • Type: Wet Food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 92 kCal/per 100 g
  • Protein: 10.6%
  • Fat: 5.1%
  • Fiber: 0.5%

For one of the best dog foods for large breed puppies on the market today, it’s hard to go wrong by feeding your pup Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe Wet Food. This canned diet consists of top quality ingredients that are lean and easy for puppies to digest, ensuring the nutrients are readily viable for their bodies to absorb. The foundation of this high performance puppy food is chicken, a highly flavourful meat that encourages large breed puppies to eat with hearty gusto. 

A diet that is completely free from grains, Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe Wet Food makes use of antioxidant and fibre-rich vegetables in its carbohydrate content to assist with good digestion and a healthy immune system. The essential fatty acid content in this food has been enriched through the addition of salmon oil to ensure ample support for coat and skin health as well as brain and eye development during the most critical phases of a puppy’s growth. 

Pros:

  • Owners love that Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe Wet Food is grain-free. They feel this diet is particularly well suited to large breed puppies that regularly suffer with sensitive stomachs and allergies. 
  • Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe Wet Food’s formulation is protein-rich and based on whole chicken. Chicken is a lean meat that is easy for large breed puppies to digest. In addition to this, the chicken included in this recipe is present in sufficient amounts to ensure ample servings of the amino acids required for healthy muscle development. 
  • This top tier canned puppy food is based on a very limited list of ingredients, all of which are of exceptional quality. 

Cons:

  • Potato is the main carbohydrate in this diet, a vegetable that is of limited nutritional benefit for large breed puppies and may be connected to rapid elevations of blood sugar levels. 
  • A few owners expressed they felt this diet was a little costly given the amount required on a daily basis to meet the nutritional needs of large breed puppies. However, all expressed that the nutritional quality of the diet made it will worth the added expense. 
  • This diet is somewhat low in dietary fibre. Some large breed puppies may have difficulty regulating their digestion when first transitioned to a steady diet of Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe Wet Food. 

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James Wellbeloved Complete Wet Puppy Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Turkey (28.5%)
    2. Rice (4.75%)
    3. Dried Carrots (8.1%)
    4. Dried Peas (3.8%)
    5. Minerals

  • Type: Wet Food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: Not Listed
  • Protein: 5.5%
  • Fat: 4%
  • Fiber: 4.8%

James Wellbeloved Complete Wet Puppy Food is one of the best dog foods for large breed puppies available for purchase today. A diet that places a high priority on all natural ingredients, the foundation of this top tier puppy food is turkey, a lean and flavourful meat that packs a powerhouse punch of amino acids to support ideal growth in developing puppies. James Wellbeloved Complete Wet Puppy Food was designed as a vital help for puppies suffering from food sensitivities and allergies. 

This diet is free from artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives as well as the most common allergens for puppies including soya, maize, eggs, dairy, and wheat. Seaweed has been added to this formulation to enrich the iodine content to promote a strong and healthy metabolism in puppies. 

Pros:

  • James Wellbeloved Complete Wet Puppy Food includes rice in its recipe, a nutritious whole grain that provides sufficient dietary fibre to boost digestion in growing large breed puppies. 
  • Antioxidant-rich vegetables also play a starring role in this food, adding vital nutrients to encourage a strong and healthy immune system in developing pups. 
  • Sunflower, linseed, and salmon oil have all been added to this recipe to enrich the essential fatty acid content found in this food. These ingredients provide the support required for strong reserves of energy, cognitive and vision development, and coat and skin health. 

Cons:

  • A few owners expressed that they wished this diet was completely free from grains, indicating they had concerns that it may trigger an allergic reaction in their large breed puppies with food sensitivities. 
  • Some owners felt this diet was a little on the expensive side given the appetites and size of their growing large breed pups. However, they did feel the nutritional quality of the diet more than justified the price. 
  • The protein content is a little low in this food. As a result, some puppies may need to eat larger portion sizes to achieve full eating satisfaction. 

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Arden Grange Puppy Food – Large Breed review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken (35%)
    2. Rice (19%)
    3. Maize
    4. Chicken Oil
    5. Beet Pulp

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: Not Listed
  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 17%
  • Fiber: 7%

Arden Grange Puppy Food – Large Breed is a premium quality food formulation designed to support puppies through each phase of their development. Often recommended as one of the best dog foods for large breed puppies on the market today, this high performance diet bases its recipe on chicken, a lean and nutritious meat that is easy for puppies to break down and utilise effectively. Glucosamine and chondroitin have been added to this recipe to provide added support for large breed puppies’ joints as they grow. 

Arden Grange Puppy/Junior Large Breed contains no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives, making it an excellent choice for puppies with food sensitivities and allergies. Prebiotics play a starring role in this diet, laying a solid foundation for good digestion. Cranberries are also found in this food to assist with urinary and kidney health. This diet is completely free from the most common allergens for dogs including beef, wheat, gluten, soya, and dairy. 

Pros:

  • Most owners were pleased with their puppies’ stool quality and digestion when regularly fed Arden Grange Puppy/Junior Large Breed. 
  • Owners were very pleased with the size and shape of these kibble pieces, feeling they were well suited to large breed puppies and would not pose a choking hazard. 
  • Owners noted that even the pickiest puppies enjoyed the taste of this food, looking forward to their every meal. 

Cons:

  • Maize plays an important role in this diet, an ingredient that is of limited nutritional quality and that is a common allergen for many puppies. 
  • Chicken digest is included in this recipe. This is an easily digestible form of protein but is not as nutritionally beneficial as whole chicken or chicken meal. 
  • Some owners felt the carbohydrate content in this diet was a little too high for growing large breed puppies. 

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Barking Heads Dry Dog Food for Puppies – Puppy Days review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon *(27%)
    2. Dried Chicken *(21%)
    3. Sweet Potato
    4. Potato
    5. Chicken *(10%)

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: Not Listed
  • Protein: 28%
  • Fat: 19%
  • Fiber: 3%

Barking Heads Puppy Days is one of the very best dog foods for large breed puppies available for purchase today. A diet that is highly prized for its focus on flavour, puppies fed a steady diet of this food look forward to their every meal, eating with hearty gusto. Chicken and salmon form the basis of this high performance puppy food, two exceptional quality meats that contribute sufficient services of amino and essential fatty acids to support the needs of growing large breed puppies. 

Barking Heads Puppy Days contains no grains and is free from such common allergens as soya, wheat, maize, artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives. Glucosamine and chondroitin are present in sufficient amounts to support optimal joint health in large breed pups as they develop. Salmon oil has also been included in this recipe to boost the omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids in this diet, providing ample nutrients for coat and skin health, strong reserves of energy, and cognitive and vision development. 

Pros:

  • Barking Heads Puppy Days is completely grain-free. Owners noted that this emphasis on a carbohydrate profile that includes fruits and vegetables instead of whole grains makes it a great option for puppies suffering from sensitive stomachs or allergies. 
  • Chicken and salmon form the foundation of this diet. These meats are lean and highly digestible, making them a good choice for developing puppies.  
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin have been added to this diet to encourage optimal joint functionality in large breed puppies. 

Cons:

  • Some owners expressed that this diet was rather expensive. However, they felt Barking Heads Puppy Days was a top tier food formulation that was worth the added cost. 
  • No prebiotics or probiotic fibre or supplements have been included in this recipe, meaning there is no additional support to help large breed puppies with their digestion. 
  • Peas and potatoes are present in large quantities in this diet. Both of these ingredients are considered to be of limited nutritional quality and may be connected to some health issues including rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and lowered fertility rates in adult dogs. 

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Wainwright’s Puppy Complete Dry Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Turkey (36%)
    2. Brown Rice (26%)
    3. Whole Grain Barley (14%)
    4. Maize Protein
    5. Rapeseed Oil

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: Not Listed
  • Protein: 295%
  • Fat: 12.5%
  • Fiber: 3%

For an exceptional quality diet that well meets the needs of growing large breed puppies, it’s well worth giving Wainwright’s Puppy Complete a try. This diet is rated as hypoallergenic, making it the ideal selection for puppies with food sensitivities or allergies. Wainwright’s Puppy Complete is completely free from wheat and mixed wheat proteins, ingredients that can be troublesome for some dogs. 

The main ingredient in this diet is turkey, a meat of excellent nutritional quality that is easy for puppies to process and utilise well. Full of amino acids, turkey is one meat that boosts the flavour of this food and also assists with muscle development in growing pups. One of the best dog foods for large breed puppies on the market today, Wainwright’s Puppy Complete includes some grains in its recipe to promote optimal digestion in puppies. Calcium and phosphorus are present in the correct amounts to encourage an appropriate rate of growth. 

Wainwright’s Puppy Complete has been rated as suitable for puppies aged 2 to 18 months old. 

Pros:

  • Wainwright’s Puppy Complete contains a healthy dose of yucca to help eliminate foul odours associated with stool. 
  • The turkey added to this diet provides a powerhouse punch of amino acids to support ideal muscle development in growing puppies. 
  • The foundation of this diet’s carbohydrate content is grains, encouraging optimal digestion in large breed puppies as they develop. 

Cons:

  • A few owners expressed that they wished this diet was grain-free, feeling that the emphasis on grains made it unsuited to their puppies’ needs. 
  • Maize protein is found in this diet, an ingredient that is of poor quality and that can be a common allergen for many puppies. 
  • Some owners questioned if this diet’s recipe had undergone a change as their puppies no longer thrived on it as they once did.

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How to Select the Best Dog Food for Large Breed Puppies

Large breed puppies have nutritional needs that differ from puppies of a smaller size. Since large breed pups grow at a much slower pace than their smaller breed counterparts, they require a diet that supports them through each phase of their development. Pups considered to be large or giant breeds take from 24-36 months to reach their full adult size. During this time, they need to be fed the best dog food for large breed puppies since these formulations support an appropriate rate of growth. 

Though large breed puppies may attain a size that could easily lead others to believe they are fully grown, they should not be transitioned to an adult diet until approximately two to three years of age. The best assessment as to when a large breed pup can be fed an adult food is when the dog reaches 75 percent of its adult height or at age 18-24 months. 

Of vital importance in any diet for a large breed puppy is that the food not contain excessive amounts of protein. Foods that are too high in protein content can cause rapid bone growth which could lead to future structural problems. Moderation is key to optimal health in growing large breed pups. 

The first step in the right food for a large breed puppy is determining how much of the selected food your puppy should be fed easy day. Once you have discovered the total daily amount, you then need to break down the total into meal sizes which can then be fed at appropriate intervals throughout the day. As a basic guideline based on age, here is our recommendation for large breed puppies and how often they should be fed:

  • Age 8-12 weeks: four meals per day
  • 12 weeks-6 months: three meals per day
  • 6-12 months: two meals per day

The next step in ensuring your large breed puppy receives adequate nutrition each day is finding out what a proper portion size looks like. To assist you with this, the bag of food you have selected will offer meal sizes based on age, weight, and sometimes even breed. These are simply helpful starting points that will need to be adjusted to until the correct portion for your large breed puppy is determined. Your puppy’s activity level, body condition, and appetite will all serve as helpful guides for you in this process. 

One vital aspect of an appropriate food for large breed puppies is that it includes the proper amounts of calcium and phosphorous in relation to one another. This is rated as 1.2 parts of calcium for each included unit of phosphorous. When included in the right proportions, this chemical formulation supports a proper rate of growth for large breed puppies. 

The ideal diet for large breed puppies is well-balanced nutritionally and contains approximately 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat. 

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Large Breed Puppies

To ensure a healthy rate of growth, large breed puppies should be fed the proper number of calories for their age, activity level, and weight. The best dog foods for large breed puppies are exceptionally calorie-dense, permitting pups to consume smaller amounts of food but gaining the maximum nutritional benefit from their meals. To prevent the large breed puppy from becoming overweight, it is very important that its meals be measured each day, and free feeding avoided. 

As with all puppies, large breed pups look forward to their meals. If allowed to free feed or given to much food or too many treats, large breed puppies can succumb to carrying too much weight for their frames. This can also occur is the puppy does not receive sufficient daily exercise. If a large breed puppy becomes overweight, it puts too much strain on its joints which could negatively impact the pup’s health and structure over time. 

For best results, measure all meals and monitor all intake to ensure a healthy weight for your large breed puppy. 

Dog Food Dietary Requirements for Large Breed Puppies

The best dog foods for large breed puppies should properly nutritionally balanced and made from only the finest quality ingredients. Any food that promotes optimal health and wellness in large breed pups should include a whole meat or meat meal as its foundational ingredient. Meat by-products are taken from inferior cuts of an animal that are often used as animal feed since they are unlikely to be purchased for human consumption. These by-products can be difficult to digest, unpalatable, and of limited nutritional benefit, and thus, are best avoided. 

The plant-based proteins soya, maize, and wheat are common allergens for many dogs. They can be difficult for many puppies to digest and are not nutritionally sufficient to meet the needs of growing large breed puppies. Diets containing them are best left on the shelf. Other ingredients that are not of ideal for growing puppies include fillers, preservatives, artificial flavours, colours, and chemicals of any sort. 

Carbohydrates are the building blocks from which large breed puppies gain the nutrients required for good digestion and healthy immune system. These nutrients can come from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, or a combination of these three food types. Some puppies do poorly on a grain-based diet, and thus, should be fed a diet that gets its antioxidants and dietary fibre from fruits and vegetables. Other puppies can enjoy a grain-inclusive diet without suffering any ill effects. 

From healthy fats, large breed puppies obtain the essential fatty acids to help with coat and skin health, brain and eye development, and strong levels of energy. The ideal sources for these fats are animal in origin and include such foods as chicken fat and oily fish. However, some plant-based oils offer excellent alternatives such as safflower, sunflower and canola. 

It is always a good idea to look for a diet that includes supplements that can benefit a large breed puppy as it grows. Among the most helpful supplements to look for in a large breed puppy food are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin. 

Though kibble contains little water, canned puppy foods do list a maximum of 78% water in their formulations. Whether you feed kibble, canned food, cooked, or raw, none of these foods contains sufficient amounts of water to meet a puppy’s daily needs. For this reason, puppies should always have plentiful access to clean drinking water to keep their bodies well-hydrated, Proper hydration is key to healthy growth and development. 

 

Things to Look for in the Best Dog Foods for Large Breed Puppies

In selecting the best dog food for large breed puppies, here are some guiding principles to keep in mind:

  • Meets APHA nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Free from chemicals, flavours, colours, or other difficult to identify ingredients
  • Fortified with beneficial supplements such as prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin
  • Based on lean meat proteins
  • Contains the correct ratio of calcium to phosphorous to promote a healthy rate of growth
  • Includes sufficient carbohydrates that are rich in antioxidants and dietary fibre
  • Designed with the needs of large breed puppies in mind

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