Picking the Right Food for Your Large Breed Puppy

Q:           How do I know if my puppy needs large breed puppy food?

A:            A puppy that you expect to reach 70 pounds or more should have food specifically made for large breed puppies.

Q:           What is the difference between regular and large breed puppy food?

A:            Calcium levels and calorie density. Large breed puppies need LESS calcium and LOWER calorie density.

Q:           Why is that?

A:            Large breed puppies have a narrower safe range for calcium intake than small and medium -size dogs. Large breed puppy food should have between 3 to 4.5 grams of calcium per 1,000 calories. Studies have shown that large breed puppies can’t regulate how much calcium their bodies absorb and use as well as smaller puppies.* If they get too much, it can lead to bone disease, including arthritis and hip dysplasia.

When it comes to calorie density, if a large breed puppy grows too fast they may be predisposed to joint problems. There is no specific regulation for the calorie density of large breed puppy food, but  it tends to be lower in calories. In the near future, manufacturers will be required to be more specific with labeling. In the meantime, all of us at Noble Beast are happy to help you find the best food for your puppy.

Q:           If I am feeding a large breed puppy and a small breed puppy, do they need to have different food?

A:            No, it is OK to feed them both the food for the large breed puppy.

Q:           How long should I keep my large breed puppy on puppy food?

A:            Use large breed puppy food until they have stopped growing, usually between 12 and 18 months.

*Source: Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University