10 Best Large Breed Dog Foods in 2021
Big dogs have different needs than small dogs. They are not only built differently, but they also have different health concerns. For instance, large breeds are prone to develop joint issues. For this reason, dog food brands tailored to large breeds must be a little less energy-dense. This allows them to grow at a slower rate to support healthy bones and joints. In this review, we will explore some of the best large breed dog foods to suit your dog’s needs!
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
10 Best Large Breed Dog Foods in 2021 – Overview
Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for more details and picks 6-10).
Note: Large breed puppies require different food than large breed adult dogs. Check out our list of the best large breed puppy dog foods here.
1. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Adult Dry Food
- One (1) 34 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan Joint Health Large Breed Dog Food, Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula
Purina Pro Plan is a crunchy kibble laced with shredded softer pieces that make it a pleasure for dogs to eat. Packed with real chicken protein and probiotics to help support good digestion and a healthy immune system.
- First 5 ingredients: chicken, ground rice, whole grain wheat, poultry by-product meal (source of glucosamine), soybean meal
- Type: grain-inclusive (rice, wheat, corn, barley)
- Best for: adult dogs weight management
Purina Pro Plan large breed formula features glucosamine, DHA, and EPA, ensuring your pet strong joints. This combined with the high protein content will allow your dog to run farther and faster. The formula boasts 26% protein and 12% fat which helps with healthy weight management. Keep your large adult dog in good shape with this popular dog food.
Sample buyer review: “Our dogs love this food blend. They still get excited even after having it regularly for 2 years. They both have maintained a healthy athletic build while eating this. I have worked with my vet to give them the correct amount of calories to prevent weight gain. The food itself has come from Amazon in good shape, with no torn bags, and no pantry moths. As a bonus subscribe and save shipping has saved me a ton over the years.”
2. Iams Large Breed Adult Dry Food
- Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of IAMS Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food Chicken
Often recommended by veterinarians and easy on the wallet, Iams for large breeds targets healthy bones and joints. Including glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, this kibble helps fight against osteoarthritis, a disease that affects 25% of dogs.
- First 5 ingredients: chicken, ground whole grain barley, ground whole grain corn, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal
- Type: grain-inclusive (barley, corn, sorghum)
- Best for: large-breed adults aged 1+
With ingredients like farm-raised chicken, carrots, and fiber-rich beets, you can be sure the quality of this pet food is wholesome and will support the overall health of your dog. The omega-6s that come in the form of chicken fat will provide a healthy and shiny coat while the whole grains ensure the carbohydrates needed for lots of playtime energy. Your dog’s teeth will also be healthy with the crunchy kibble bites that help clean plaque and thus reduce bad breath.
Sample buyer review: “This food is so great for him! His coat is healthy and his weight is very healthy as well! If you want to give your large breed dogs large breed food but can’t afford the price point, this food is for you! Also my cats love it too, they sneak a few pieces of kibble every now and then when he hasn’t cleared his bowl! :D”
3. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Large Breed
- A dry dog food specially formulated to fuel the energy needs of large breed adult dogs
Hill’s Science Diet for large breed dogs is great for joints, skin, and coat. Recommended highly by veterinarians, you can’t go wrong with this option!
- First 5 ingredients: chicken, whole grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, whole grain sorghum, whole grain corn
- Type: grain-inclusive (wheat, barley, sorghum, corn, oat, soybean)
- Best for: large-breed adult, aged 1-5 years
This formula includes natural glucosamine and chondroitin which contribute to healthy joints. Omega-6s and vitamin E will give your best friend a beautiful shiny coat as well as well-nourished skin. The protein in Hill’s Science Diet contributes to powerful lean muscle. Customers are impressed with the freshness of the product and the quality of the ingredients.
Sample buyer review: “We have two big dogs eating Hill’s exclusively for the last year and a half. The change to their coats and stool (strange to most maybe but yes, I track it) is amazing. Really, amazing! Our 13-year-old German Sheppard has colors back that I haven’t seen for years.”
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Dog Food
- REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient; High-quality protein from real chicken helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles; Plus they contain...
Life Protection Formula features real meat as well as glucosamine and chondroitin. This ensures large dogs get the joint health, strong muscles, and flexible mobility they need.
- First 5 ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley
- Type: grain-inclusive (brown rice, oat, barley)
- Best for: large-breed puppies
Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula is full of high-quality protein that will help your growing puppy maintain lean, healthy muscles. Rich with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help support a strong immune system as well as good digestion. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are added in the form of fish oil, contributing to the healthy skin and coat of your doggo. This formula contains no corn, wheat, or meat by-product meals. A healthy and smart choice for your growing pup!
Sample buyer review: “Fast shipping, great price, great dog food. This 30lb bag of Blue Buffalo is hard to find at a decent price. I can get it on amazon for almost half the price than at any pet store. This dog food is of great quality. This food has helped with my dog’s allergies, whatever stuff the shelter was giving him he had redness, skin issues. Started him on Blue and no more issues.”
5. Wellness Complete Health Natural Large Breed Dry Dog Food
- This adult large breed dry dog food's #1 ingredient is chicken; high quality protein with wholesome grains like rice
Wellness Complete Health features a healthy diet for a large adult dog, honing in on your dog’s joint and digestive health, as well as maintaining a moderate level of calories for optimal body weight.
- First 5 ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, ground brown rice, barley, peas
- Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, barley, oats)
- Best for: large-breed adult
This all-natural kibble includes 26% high-quality protein for strong muscles, spinach and blueberries high in antioxidants, and flaxseed for healthy skin and coat. Prebiotics, probiotics, chicory root extract, and fiber all combine to ensure proper digestion. The product emphasizes all aspects of overall health, providing your dog nutrition and great taste. Carrots, a source of beta-carotene, have been added to this formula to protect against cataracts and heart disease.
Sample buyer review: “I have a 9-year-old Golden Retriever. All of last year a tried another top-quality dog food that was less expensive than Wellness. It had a slightly lower protein content but it didn’t have any potentially harmful fillers. Then I accidentally reordered Wellness because at that time its price was comparable to the other brand. What I noticed is that her stools began to look “better” and were so consistent. I hadn’t really paid attention to that before but it was noticeable. I decided to stick with this brand despite its higher price. Her body seems to take to it better and a healthy dog is a happy owner.”
6. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Large & Giant Breed Adult
- (1) 22.0 pound Bag - Merrick grain free dry dog food real texas beef & sweet potato recipe
Holistic Select for 50lb+ dogs focuses mainly on digestive health by incorporating balanced nutrition, providing immune system support, ensuring regularity and reduced bloat.
- First 5 ingredients: chicken meal, rice, oatmeal, oats, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
- Type: grain-inclusive (rice, oats)
- Best for: large-breed and giant breed dogs 50lb+
The combination of 24% protein for muscle maintenance, plus prebiotics and probiotics, live yogurt cultures, fiber, and enzymes will allow for easy digestion for sensitive stomachs. Additionally, calcium, phosphorus, glucosamine, and chondroitin ensure strong bones. This healthy choice for large breed dogs not only targets digestion and bones, but it provides overall health with its antioxidant-rich superfoods and natural ingredients. Wheat-free and contains no gluten. Many buyers are impressed with how shiny and healthy their dogs’ coats look after switching to this option.
Sample buyer review: “My Rottweiler‘s coats are exceptional. The veterinarians repeatedly ask us what they eat as they are impressed with how they look and their general health. You are what you eat My dogs up gobble it up. It is recommended by our breeder and seems to be the perfect balance of healthy and relatively affordable. To our knowledge, there have never been any problems with recalls or problems with the ingredients.”
7. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
- Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO ULTRA Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food with a Trio of Proteins From Chicken, Lamb and Salmon
Nutro Ultra’s large breed option is full of healthy, high-quality, non-GMO ingredients that are sure to meet your dog’s nutritional needs. This kibble features 3 protein sources including chicken, lamb, and salmon to make muscles lean and strong.
- First 5 ingredients: chicken, chicken meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran
- Type: grain-inclusive (rice, oats)
- Best for: large-breed adult
Not only is Nutro Ultra dog food full of great protein, but it is also accompanied by 15 superfoods including coconut, chia, kale, and blueberries. These ingredients come from trusted farmers and suppliers, ensuring good quality that you can depend on. There are no chicken by-product meals, corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors. Caring for your dog means providing him or her with the best ingredients. In this case, man’s best friend may be eating better than the dog owners!
Sample buyer review: “We tried this food and have not had any stomach issues since we started and his skin isn’t flaky anymore and we can’t believe it! We would have settled for anything that didn’t cause severe diarrhea by the time we tried this food. And our dog really likes this food. He didn’t love a few of the ones we tried. We will probably be buying this dog food for the rest of his life!”
8. Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dog Food
- Contains (1) 24 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food
Nature’s Recipe for large breeds contains real animal protein and is grain-free. The addition of sweet potatoes and pumpkin provides bigger dogs with food allergies a great source of carbohydrates for their energy source.
- First 5 ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, garbanzo beans, peas, pea starch
- Type: grain-free
- Best for: large-breed adult dogs 50lb+
This product has no corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, or flavors, supplying your doggo with all-natural ingredients with the best vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for all-around health. This is the answer you’ve been looking for if your pet has a sensitive stomach or allergies.
Not only that, it includes a special formula for larger breeds to target their joints. These essential ingredients for strong bones are copper, zinc, L-carnitine, vitamin E, glucosamine, iron, selenium, omega-3 and 6s, and chondroitin sulfate.
Sample buyer review: “My dog was suffering from bad allergies, dry patches, and hot spots. We switched to this grain-free formula and have not looked back. She is healthier and happier. As soon as I put this food out, she goes and eats it immediately so I believe she loves the flavor. This food is great! Worth the price..”
9. Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus, Dry Dog Food
- Nutrient-dense recipe made with premium-quality beef, chicken, pork and fish meals
For adults or puppies, Victor Classic is suited for dogs of all life stages. It will work for large breeds, but not those over 70lb. This formula is especially helpful for those puppers with sensitive stomachs.
- First 5 ingredients: beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pork meal, chicken meal
- Type: grain-inclusive (sorghum, millet)
- Best for: puppies, pregnant or lactating females, high-performance dogs
Victor Classic’s kibble is full of good quality beef, chicken, pork, and fish meals, providing a great protein source for growing puppies and pregnant or lactating females. Filled with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids and is also gluten-free. You will see your little pup grow healthy and develop strong immune and digestive systems with this brand.
Sample buyer review: “…this is the perfect dog food for you large/giant breed owners. Another plus is his poop is much more solid and consistent(pugs too)…pretty smelly, though…lol. I had them on Taste of the Wild before this and their poop was much softer(and still smelly anyway). That food also had good nutrient levels, but this seems to be better for my dog’s digestion.”
10. Nutro Natural Healthy Weight Dog Food
- Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Healthy Weight Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe for large breed dogs; real chicken is the #1 ingredient
Nutro’s Healthy Weight dog food helps prevent obesity in dogs. There are also options available for small breeds as well as regular adult size. This also works well for senior dogs.
- First 5 ingredients: chicken, chicken meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), whole grain sorghum, rice bran, split peas
- Type: grain-inclusive (sorghum, rice)
- Best for: large-breed adult
Nutro Natural Healthy Weight dog food is made with non-GMO ingredients and there is no chicken by-product, corn, wheat, or soy used. If your beloved doggo is beginning to look a bit plump, this kibble will provide enough protein and fiber to help shed the pounds. Additionally, the formula provides antioxidants that support a healthy immune system. This is the kind of food that is sure to get your best friend in shape and allows them a longer, happier and healthier life.
Sample buyer review: “Just started using this food for my dachshund. He initially turned his nose up at it but he’ll eat anything out of my hand. As soon as he TASTED it, he took right to it and really likes it. … Update: (After a couple of weeks) I can’t say enough about how PLEASED I am with this food. My dog’s energy level is REMARKABLY improved & it’s obvious he feels younger and healthier after having starting eating something healthy. I wish I had tried this food MUCH sooner. I HIGHLY recommend it! Oh, & he is losing weight at a nice healthy pace too.”
Choosing the right dog food for your beloved pet can be overwhelming. So many choices! It is important to first assess the age and size of your dog and go from there. Also, consider things like weight, and any allergies he or she has. Carefully examine labels and decide what quality of ingredients you prefer. Understanding the ingredients and how they will affect your dog’s energy, weight, and longevity is key.