Devin Harris of Joplin, MO is the owner of Great Danes of the Ozarks, a breeding facility dedicated to raising happy, healthy Great Danes. In the following article, a discussion on the importance of good nutrition for extra large dogs, and why it’s especially critical to employ a balanced diet and proper feeding practices in larger breeds.
The proud owner of any extra-large dog breed would never want to cause their pet any weakness or illness due to a lack of nutrition, but it is a mistake that is all too easy to make unknowingly. Devin Harris of Joplin, MO takes a look at the special dietary requirements needed in oversized dogs.
Large and extra-large canine breeds require plenty of nutrition, specifically in the form of protein and calcium-building ingredients. This is especially true when a dog is in its adolescent stages and growing, but quality nutrition should be maintained throughout a dog’s life to promote stable energy levels, temperament, and overall health.
In this article, Great Danes of the Ozarks reviews the top three reasons a large dog needs adequate nutrition, as well as some tips on how to provide them with the diet their big bodies need at any stage of life.
The Importance of Feeding a Properly Balanced Diet
A large dog is unique, not just because of its size, but because of its dietary requirements for a long, happy, and healthy life. But, why is a big dog’s diet such an important aspect? Below is a list of the top three reasons why it is so important to remain mindful of a large breed’s nutritional intake.
- Puppies Shouldn’t Grow Too Quickly
- Adult Dogs Have Different Nutrition Requirements
- Large Dogs Should Eat on Schedule
Devin Harris of Joplin, MO reviews each of these three factors in detail below.
Puppies Shouldn’t Grow Too Quickly
We all know that younger creatures, especially puppies, are rapid growers. After all, with the number of calories a big pup burns running, playing, and generally loving life, it can seem like a no brainer to feed them often.
Unfortunately, this approach can have negative consequences.
Devin Harris of Joplin, MO explains that despite their ability to burn energy quickly, most of the vigor in a large puppy’s diet goes toward growing. What a large breed needs is a high-quality, nutrient rich food formulated specifically for large dogs that will help a pup grow up into their adult size slowly and steadily.
A dog that receives food high in protein and energy content from a young age can rapidly reach full size much faster than recommended, but with some consequences – often, a giant breed that has eaten the wrong levels of protein and grown too quickly can suffer from skeletal issues, pain, or other serious internal issues – such as unnecessary stress on the lungs or heart.
Instead, while still a puppy, it is important to feed the dog a type of food that has a ratio of 26:14 in protein and fat, with more emphasis on phosphorous and calcium in the ingredients. The pup will grow slowly and steadily and be capable of handling its own weight more easily.
Mature Dogs Need a Different Diet
Great Danes of the Ozarks report that adult dogs require different nutrition than their young puppy counterparts. After a dog reaches maturity, the focus in nutrition should move from growth to managing and maintaining a healthy weight. It is all too easy for already-heavier breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Dane, or Newfoundland to pack on extra pounds and become unhealthy.
This, in turn, puts strain on the joints and internal organs. To avoid this, feed your adult dog a type of food more suitable for their age, including ingredients that are high in levels of Omegas 6 and 3 in fatty acids. Most food brands are labeled as “mature” or “senior”.
Large Dogs Should Eat on Schedule
Finally, Devin Harris of Joplin, MO explains that it is critically important that large dogs remain on an eating schedule. This will not only minimize behavioral issues such as improper house-training, but it will be best for the dog’s digestive system.
A large dog should eat at least twice a day, around 12 hours from each feeding.
Great Danes of the Ozarks say that for large and extra-large dogs, owners should begin their nutritional intake with proper levels of protein and energy so that their bodies take time to grow, with an emphasis on calcium to promote good bone and joint strength.
Providing quality nutrition for extra-large dogs is essential for their overall health and well-being. By choosing the right food and portion sizes, you can help your furry friend live a longer and happier life. Remember, proper nutrition isn’t just about what you feed your dog, but how much and when.
So, make sure to consult with your veterinarian and establish a diet plan that suits your dog’s specific needs. With a little extra effort and care, you can give your big dog the nutrition they deserve and enjoy many years of loyal companionship together.