Giant Breed Dogs and Proper Health

A Great Dane out in the woods

Dogs come in all wonderful shapes and sizes. From tiny pups that fit inside a teacup to big fluff balls that barely fit on your bed, we love them all. Of course, every dog has different needs and that couldn’t be truer for giant breed dogs.

These gentle giants of the dog world are protectors, hard workers, and great family companions. That being said, there’s a lot of work that goes into raising one properly. Raising giant breed dogs unprepared can lead to serious health issues which none of us want. Canine Caviar wants to talk about giant breed dogs today and the nutrition they need.

What Classifies as a Giant Breed Dog?

That’s a good question. The reality is that there is no official definition or set of minimum requirements for what classifies as a giant breed. What one person may consider to be a giant dog breed may be smaller is someone else’s eyes. For the purpose of this article, we’ll follow classification by the American Kennel Club (AKC). We’ll use the AKC’s list of officially recognized extra-large dogs from their database.

bernese mountain dog with its tongue out
  • Akita
  • Anatolian Shepard
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Boerboel
  • Bullmastiff
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Great Dane
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Leonberger
  • Mastiff
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Saint Bernard
  • Scottish Deerhound
  • Tibetan Mastiff

Obstacles with Giant Breed Dogs

Giant breed dogs come with their own set of challenges. There’s the obvious challenge of giant dogs being bulky and the higher costs associated with taking care of a larger animal. The real big issues come in the form of medical conditions. One of the most common medical issues that arise with giant breed dogs is Hip Dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia is a condition where the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t interact properly, causing grinding and rubbing. The end result is the lost function of the hip joint.

There are other health issues that can occur including ligament damage, arthritis, Wobbler’s syndrome, and bloat. Giant breed dogs are also more prone to develop Dilated Cardiomyopathy and other heart issues. With concerns such as these, it becomes imperative that we pet parents do what we can. What can we do to mitigate these problems and prolong the longevity of our canine companions? It turns out, the biggest area where we can help is nutrition.

The Importance of Proper Nutrition

How and what we feed our giant breed dogs has a big effect on how they’ll develop. There’s very good reason for that. Giant breed dogs grow a lot! Growth patterns between giant breed dogs are very different from smaller breeds. That means you need to find the right food. Failing to do so can lead to overfeeding, which are big contributors to Hip Dysplasia and other health issues. Giant breed puppies can take up to 18 months to grow to full size which means they need steady slow growth. It’s best to look for kibble that’s designed for giant breed pups in mind; low in protein with the right amount of fat and essential nutrients and minerals included. This will help ensure your puppy grows at an even pace.

Special Needs – Perfect for Giant Breed Pups

infogrsphic showing guaranteed analysis for Canine Caviar Special Needs dog food

Now that we’ve established the importance of proper nutrition, it’s time to find the right food. Canine Caviar’s Special Needs formula is a perfect fit for giant breed dogs and their lifestyle. Special Needs is a low protein diet that promotes steady growth and proper weight management. Guarantee analysis shows Special Needs has a crude protein amount of 18% minimum and a crude fat amount of 9% minimum.

Feeding your young giant breed dog the right food early is a surefire way to greatly lower the risks associated with them. Include the fact that Canine Caviar kibbles are Alkaline and designed to improve pH in the body and we have an awesome food for you giant breed dog!

Final Thoughts

Giant breed dogs are special gentle companions that make our lives more fulfilling. It’s their special nature that makes our day brighter and that makes it more imperative to keep them around as long as possible. Proper nutrition is a great step towards longevity so make sure your dog is getting exactly what it needs.

Check out the Canine Caviar Blog for more great articles like The Importance of Ash in Dog Food or learn How Much you Should be Feeding Your Dog.