What Are The Best Foods For Large Breed Puppy? All You Need To Know!

While it may seem that the type of puppy food which you buy makes no difference, nothing can be further from the truth. Depending on the breed of dog, the food that they are fed as a puppy can affect how they develop and grow.

If you own a large breed puppy, you will want to get puppy food that helps the pooch to get the nutrition it needs to support its larger frame in adulthood. For this, you'll want to get the best possible large breed puppy food you can buy.

In this article, we will take a look at these large breed puppy foods, along the way showing you the good and bad of each option, and helping you to find the perfect food.


Quick Picks: Our Top 5 Best Foods For Large Breed Puppy

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

What Makes Large Breed Puppy Food Special?

As your puppy grows into adulthood, the muscle mass, bone structure, and overall weight of a large breed puppy can grow exponentially in a short period of time. In fact, over the course of a year, a large breed puppy's weight can grow by 70 times what it starts out as.

Due to this extreme, rapid growth, the nutrition that a large breed puppy gets for developing their bones and muscles is different from that of other smaller breeds. This is where large breed puppy foods will come in, as they contain the proper ingredients in their food mixes to help promote healthy growth for larger dogs.

Does The Type Of Food Matter That Much?

Of course it does! As stated above, the proper nutrition for large breed puppies is important for their growth. Should the feeding needs of the puppy not be met, it can have effects on the puppy when it becomes an adult.

Issues such as arthritis, obesity, and just general malnutrition can be prevented in adult dogs with the proper diet when they are a puppy, making choosing the right food for your breed of puppy all the more important.

What Should I Consider When Looking For Large Breed Puppy Food?

While there are certainly plenty of large breed puppy foods out there to choose from, there are a number of factors that you will want to know about before making a final decision. These factors include:

AAFCO Approval

The Association of American Food Control Officials (AAFCO) is responsible for regulation of all pet foods, and put their pet foods through various testing to ensure their nutritional value. If the food you are buying is not AAFCO Approved, then the food may be of suspect quality and not good for your puppy.

The Quality of Ingredients

While it may not seem like much of an issue at first, the quality of ingredients in your puppy's food is very important, as low-quality ingredients (such as by-product) can provide lower nutritional value to your pup. In addition to this, lower-quality ingredients can sometimes be harder for your puppy to digest, leading to your puppy potentially getting sick.

Vitamins and Minerals

A large breed puppy will need certain vitamins and minerals in order for them to grow up to be strong adults, such as calcium and higher protein. Try to look for foods that are high in these, and other vitamins and minerals, as it will be sure to assist your puppy's health in the long-term.


As much as you love your puppy, you need to eat too, so you'll want to make sure to not empty your wallet on the most expensive puppy foods available. Try to get the most out of your money by finding the best quality food for the lowest price possible.

Our Recommendations For Large Breed Puppy Foods

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

#1. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Puppy Food

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“Superfood” is a term that has recently entered the lexicon as of late, being used to describe foods that promote health and longevity. Nutro Ultra uses these Superfoods to make their large breed puppy food, giving these same benefits to your growing pup.


  • Made using a combination of Superfoods.
  • High-level Proteins.
  • No additives or preservatives.
  • Small, easy to eat kibbles.


  • None to speak of.

Including ingredients such as Kale, Coconut, and Chia Seed, the Superfood ingredients used in Nutro Ultra are unlike those found in any other larger breed puppy food. These Superfoods, as mentioned above, helps to keep your dog healthy well into adulthood by providing them with a number of different vitamins and minerals.

Other ingredients besides the Superfoods include high-level proteins, such as chicken and salmon, helping your puppy to grow big and strong. All these ingredients are packed into a small, easy to eat kibble that can be enjoyed by puppies from a young age.

All-natural and lacking in any additives and preservatives, Nutro Ultra is a large breed puppy food unlike any others on the market, and it more than deserves its place on this list.

#2. Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Puppy Food

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While not explicitly labeled “for large breed puppies”, Wellness CORE offers up a puppy food that is formulated to give puppies of any size what they need to grow big and strong.


  • Contains high levels of Calcium and Phosphorus.
  • No artificial flavors, additives, or meat by-product.
  • ​High in Protein.
  • Uses Fish Oil and Omega Flax.


  • Some puppies may have trouble digesting the food.

Wellness CORE uses only natural ingredients to make their food, which results in food that has no additives, artificial flavors, and other items that may be bad for your puppy.

Instead, Wellness CORE utilizes a number of high-end meats, such as de-boned chicken, to give your puppy the highest possible protein value. Other high-end ingredients provide your puppy with nutrients such as calcium and fish oil, which are good for the bones and fur of the pup, respectively.

The downside of all these quality ingredients and high levels of nutrients is that some puppies may have trouble getting adjusted to the food. As a result, you may expect a few digestion issues for the first couple of days on the food.

Overall, you can't really go wrong with Wellness CORE puppy food; an all-natural puppy food for growing dogs both big and small.

#3. Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Puppy Food

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One of the biggest issues that some puppies have when starting on new puppy food is digestion. This is an issue that Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Puppy Food addresses with it's unique, “Digestive Health Support” formula.


  • Formulated for easy digestion.
  • Includes DHA for Brain Development.
  • ​Contains only high-quality ingredients.
  • Filling food.


  • Taste may not be to all puppy's liking.
  • Larger kibbles are sometimes hard to eat.

If your puppy has ever had trouble digesting other large breed puppy foods, then Holistic Select may have your answer. Containing a mixture of probiotics and enzymes, your puppy will be able to easily stomach this food even if they have had issues with other dry foods in the past.

The problem with this is if you can get your puppy to actually eat the food, as not all dogs seem to enjoy the smell and flavor of Holistic Select's all-natural ingredients. Should they want to eat the food, they may still find themselves having some issues with the larger-than-normal kibbles, which can be hard to eat for smaller puppy mouths.

Should your pup be able to get past these problems, they will be able to enjoy a filling meal that is packed with essential nutrients, including DHA, which helps to develop a dog's brain and aids cognition. For all the benefits that your little furry friend can get from Holistic Select, you may want to take the gamble and try this food out with your puppy.

#4. Purina Pro Plan Focus Large Breed Puppy Food

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One of the most popular names in pet foods, Purina is a go-to for many people for all their pet food needs. With a wide range of pet foods available from this brand, it's no surprise to find that Purina has an option available for large breed puppy owners as well.


  • Many high-level proteins.
  • High in antioxidants.
  • ​Uses Natural Glucosamine, which helps joints.
  • Includes DHA for Brain Development.


  • None to speak of.

Purina Pro Plan Focus uses a varying degree of meats to create their food's formula. These meats include chicken, lamb, and salmon, which are all considered high-level proteins that will help your puppy to develop strong muscle.

With large breed puppies, joint pain can sometimes be an issue that is developed in adulthood. Using a range of ingredients that include natural glucosamine, your puppy will be able to build strong joints, which will help to prevent any future health issues.

Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Food also contains a high-level of antioxidants, which help to keep your puppy's immune system strong. All the health and growth benefits in Purina Pro Plan combine to make a large breed puppy food that gives owners and dogs something to be happy about.

#5. Iams Protective Health Large Breed Puppy Food

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Feeding a larger breed puppy the right kind of food can sometimes be a bit expensive. Thankfully, brands like Iams exist with their Protective Health Large Breed Puppy food, giving consumers a more affordable option to feed their little pals.


  • Affordable.
  • Packed with antioxidants.
  • Contains DHA for cognition development.


  • Contains a few low-quality ingredients.
  • Digestion may be hard for some dogs.

If you are looking for large breed puppy food that won't break the bank, look no further than Iams Protective Health, which was, at the time of this writing, the cheapest of the food options on our list today.

For the price you pay, you get a filling meal that is packed with antioxidants, which makes sure to keep your large breed puppy as healthy as possible. This food also includes omega-3 DHA, helping your puppy to grow a strong brain, which in turn helps them with their memory and learning commands.

To keep the cost down, the Iams Protective Health food does contain a decent number of low-quality ingredients, including some grains and meat by-product. For younger puppies this can cause some bad digestive issues, meaning that the pup will either have to grow accustomed to the food or that you will need to find another food option.

If your dog can stomach the chow and you want to save some money, this large breed puppy food could be what you are looking for, with Iams Protective Health giving your puppy a strong body and a strong mind.


While any of the foods above can be considered great choices for a large breed puppy, I personally feel that the Nutro Ultra Large Breed Puppy Food is just a step above the others. This food uses a unique formula to give puppies all they need to grow up as healthy adult dogs with a combination of protein, calcium, and a number of vitamins and minerals. Add in a decent price point, and you have a puppy food that just barely edges out its competition.

In the end, it is up to the puppy's owner to decide what is

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best for their little friend, and no matter what choice you make, any of the foods above have the potential to make you and your puppy very happy.

If you have any questions or suggestions of your own, feel free to leave us a comment below. We hope that you found today's article helpful, and we look forward to seeing you again. Don’t be forget to share this article with your friends and family if you’ve found it useful.

June Frazier

Hello, Everyone! My name is June, and I live in North Dakota with my dog, Toby.Dogs are my passion, which had led me to dedicate my life to caring for and training dogs, a life that I began to lead as soon as I graduated high school. With a wealth of knowledge to pass on, I decided to make this blog and share my experience with my fellow dog lovers!

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