Best Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Large dog breeds require a different level of care when it comes to feeding. Unlike ‘regular’ dogs, large breed puppies grow faster and longer than smaller breeds, so the nutritional and calorific balance in their food is important. Likewise, once your puppy has grown into a full-blown adult, you’ll want to change their food to reflect their new stage in life. 

We’ve compiled the following guide to help you choose the right food and have selected dog foods from reputable sellers we feel offer the best nutritional value for your large breed dog.

Best Large Breed Adult Dog Food Buying Guide

As mentioned there are important considerations when picking large breed dog food. Here are some key considerations.

Puppy Food vs Adult Food 

Until it reaches adulthood, you should be feeding your large breed puppy, specific puppy food to reflect the particular needs of large breed puppies – they grow longer and faster than ‘regular’ dogs. Once they reach maturity, large breed dogs have a different set of challenges that should also be reflected in the food you give them 

Large breed dogs are more susceptible to arthritis due to their size. Obesity – a problem common amongst many dogs these days due to overfeeding – is especially problematic for large dogs as the extra weight on already heavy dogs puts added pressure on their bones and their heart. This can aggravate pre-existing conditions, especially arthritis. 

Specific large breed adult dog food should be taking these into account, so it’s important to look for that marker when choosing a food. Some brands may include supplements for joint and bone care, for example. 

What are the most important nutrients for large breed adult dogs?

The number one thing your dog needs is protein. In fact, their food should contain at least 30% high quality protein. You also want at least 9% fat to keep them healthy and getting the energy they need. Make sure that you’re getting that fat from quality sources and that it’s healthy fat rather than just added fat in unhealthy formats.

On top of this your dog is still going to need a lot of vitamins and minerals. They may not need things like DHA for eye development but they do need the assistance to keep their eyes strong and healthy. They also need even more support for their joints and especially for their hips, which can be some of the worst joints when it comes to getting older.

If you have a dog with allergies or a sensitive stomach, then you’ll also need to consider hypoallergenic dog food as an alternative. 

Keep up with your dog’s vet about what they need most and how to get them the right nutrients in their food. Your vet may even have specific recommendations of foods to use or specific dog supplements they need.


Dogs that are getting older may not have as much energy, which means they may not get out and run or play as much as other younger dogs. If that’s the case they may need different types of foods to keep them active. Special foods and certain ingredients will give them a little more energy so they’re ready and able to run and play when they get the chance.

If your dog is still active they need a food that can keep up with

them, which may mean they’re not ready for senior foods just yet or that they

need different types of vitamins that interact with their body in different


Again, when choosing a food, look for formulas that are tailored to dogs at different stages of their lives. 

Dog Needs

Keep in mind that you’re getting food for an adult dog, not a puppy. You’re also getting good for a large breed versus small breed dog. All of these factors should change the type of food that you get for your dog. 

Your vet can help you understand what your dog needs and just how you can get it for them with quality dog food. If you get something not designed for their age or size it may not provide what they need overall. 

Best Large Breed Adult Dog Food Reviews

We’ve found some of the best large breed adult dog food so you can make sure your dog stays healthy as they get older. Check out each of these and see what your dog might like best. 

1. Eukanaba Adult Dry Dog Food

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This adult dog food is flavored with real chicken as the very first ingredient. And that’s only the start of what you’re going to get when you feed this high quality product to your dog. It’s filled with DHA and antioxidants that help to improve their brain function, as well as over 50% more glucosamine than you’ll find in standard foods, which helps improve their joints. Not to mention the benefits you’ll get to their energy levels.

With this food, specially designed for sensitive stomachs, you’re getting everything that your large breed dog needs once they get over 15 months of age. Adult dogs have special needs, and you’re not going to have a problem meeting those needs with this product. It even has natural fiber and prebiotics to aid with digestion and 3D DentaDefense to help reduce overall tartar buildup, which will help your dog feel great and look great at the same time.


·         Plenty of nutrients for muscles, joints, brain function, and energy

·         Chicken is the first ingredient

·         Great for dogs over 15 months


·         Second ingredient is corn

·         Some reports of it causing loose stools

2. IAMS Proactive Health Adult Dog Food

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Chances are you’ve heard of this brand because it’s one of the most popular and easy-to-find options, no matter where you go. It’s also available in several different flavors and sizes so you can get something that works for you and your dog. Not to mention it’s great for their overall health in a number of ways. That starts with improving their coat, but with the fiber and prebiotics, they also get help with healthy digestion as well as immunity.

Your dog will love that the first ingredient is real chicken and the kibble itself is small to make it easy to eat. It also helps with building up strong muscles, bones, joints, and overall energy. Recommended by veterinarians, this dog food has absolutely no artificial flavors or preservatives and no fillers. It’s all about giving your dog healthy ingredients that are going to help them feel and look their best at all times. Everything in here is going to help contribute toward what your dog needs most.


·         No fillers included in the blend

·         Chicken is the number one ingredient

·         Veterinarian recommended

3. Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food

[amazon box=”B0040B84Y4“]

If you want something that’s really going to make your dog feel special you should take a look at this dog food. It’s not only dry dog food but actually has shredded pieces of chicken included inside. That can make this dog food into more of a treat that your dog is going to love trying out for themselves. It’s also full of protein and includes live probiotics, which are great for improving immune health and digestion. With this food, your dog is also getting healthy rice, omega-3 fatty acids, and more, with no artificial flavors or colors.

The food is made in the USA and includes plenty of vitamins and minerals that your dog needs in order to continue stimulating their health. Made by a company that’s well known for quality pet food, this one includes 12% fat and 26% protein, so your dog can get in shape and stay healthy. It’s well recommended and emphasizes joint health for larger dogs, which can be a concern especially as they start to get a little older. Once your dog is over 50 pounds this is a high-quality choice to feed them.


·         Focuses on large dogs and specifically joint health

·         Shredded chicken pieces for variety and texture

·         Guaranteed live probiotics


·         Kibble pieces can be too large

  • Quite expensive

4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog Food

This chicken-flavored dog food is designed to give your dog everything they need in order to be healthy and get the vitamins and nutrients they need. It uses chicken as the first ingredient and has a whole lot of protein without the added grains that you get with other types of dog food. Instead, you’re getting what your dog needs for their joints, mobility, muscle mass, coat, skin, and more. In fact, this food includes everything your dog needs and none of the things they don’t.

You won’t find chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, artificial flavors, soy, wheat, or artificial preservatives in this food. You will find glucosamine, chondroitin, EPA, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and plenty of different antioxidants and more. It’s great for large and even giant dogs and includes meat and vegetables as the top ingredients on the list. The food is also made in the USA with ingredients from all over the world.


·         Includes no chicken or poultry by-product meal

·         Chicken is the very first ingredient

·         Includes 13% minimum crude fat


·         Some kibble pieces can be too small

·         Food smells quite strong

Best Large Breed Adult Dog Food FAQs

You may still have some questions about the right dog food for your dog, but there’s no reason to worry because we’ve got some answers to the top questions dog owners want to know. 

What should the first ingredients be in my dog food?

If you’re looking for a high quality dog food for your dog then the number one ingredient should always be some type of protein. Ideally, this should be a real meat product like chicken or salmon. You want something that is going to give your dog the support and energy that they need in order to get through the day and also plenty of ingredients to help them grown.

Protein as the first ingredient is important. From there, additional sources of protein are good. You want to avoid grains within the first few ingredients if possible, especially if your dog has a more sensitive stomach as these could actually cause more irritation. Instead, look for other sources of vitamins and minerals that will help improve your dog’s health.

What type of dog food is best for my dog?

This is going to depend a lot on your dog specifically. You may have a dog that likes different types of meat and protein better than others. Or your dog may have a sensitive stomach that requires specific types of food. In general, a dry dog food will be fine for your dog, though you may want to mix it up a little with some fresh foods or even wet food occasionally, if your dog does well with this kind of mix.

Make sure you talk with your dogs veterinarian as well to find out if there are any special foods they recommend or to find out about allergies that your dog may have to specific types of food. You want to be sure you’re getting the nutrients they need and avoiding the rest.

My dog has allergies or a sensitive stomach, what should I do?

Like humans some dogs have allergies or more sensitive digestion, meaning that many foods on the market may not be suitable for them. In this case find a hypoallergenic dog food is the way to go. Dogs can be allergic to many different things, the most common allergy triggers (in no particular order):

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Dairy Products
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Whey
  • Yeast

Hypoallergenic foods contain only the healthiest, highest quality ingredients with easy to breakdown proteins specifically designed for sensitive dogs. For our full list of recommended foods, see this article

Find the Best Large Breed Adult Dog Food That’s Right for You

Once you’ve taken a look at each of our favorite large breed adult dog foods you may know exactly what your dog needs. If not, be sure to check out the buying guide and frequently asked questions to get you on the right track.

About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone