Best food for giant breed puppy


I have an 11 week old pup weighing 7.5kg today. I am in the process of transferring her from burns puppy food because they don’t do a large breed specific one. I have bought a large bag of Arden Grange Large Breed Puppy food (chicken) and will switch her across to this over the coming days.

Can you tell me if this is a good enough food for this breed? I scoured the shelves for a puppy food with low protein as it says everywhere to be as low as possible. I am aware some feed adult food but I’m assuming there is a reason they sell large breed puppy food and this would be best.

What would you suggest? Budget is limited but adequate to get a mid range food.


Hello and welcome to the forum dizzy65,
It is very hard to give advice on what is best as the best food will be the one that suits your dogs individual needs. There is a thread discussing the issue of protein and many believe that keeping it low is not necessary and others who have found a high protein diet suits their dogs. It is often lots of trial and error. I would recommend that you go to the dog food directory and use the filter to add in your pups age and weight and any other requirements that you have including budget and any ingredients you want to avoid. You should then get a list of suggested foods to pick from. Good luck .

Hello and welcome to the forum. I have to say from the outset that I have no experience of giant breed dogs. I have heard that protein should be restricted in young dogs to prevent acceleration of bone growth which may be harmful to joint development. However, that is just anecdotal so I don’t know whether it is scientifically correct or not.

I have just looked at your chosen food - Arden Grange Puppy and the formula is here:
Chicken, (chicken meat meal 30%, fresh chicken 5%), rice 19%, maize, refined chicken oil, beet pulp, chicken digest, krill, minerals, yeast, whole dried egg, whole linseed, prebiotic FOS, prebiotic MOS, glucosamine (370mg/kg), MSM (370mg/kg), chondroitin (260mg/kg), yucca extract, cranberries, nucleotides.

Crude Protein 26%, Fat Content 16%, Crude Ash 7%, Crude Fibres 2.5%, Calcium 1.4%, Phosphorous 0.95%, Omega-3 0.84%, Omega-6 2.92%.

The review on the Dog Food Directory is here and it scores a respectable 3.5 out of 5. The two red ingredients are chicken digest and maize.

Personally I would avoid maize if possible, especially in a young dog. Also, the rice is probably white although that is an assumption because if it was brown, I would imagine they would say so. Brown rice is thought to be better then white. There are far worse products than this and with budget taken into account, perhaps it would be worth trying a smallish bag to see how puppy takes to it. You will know after a short while if it suits her.

As Tinyplanets says, the filters on the Dog Food Directory are very useful for selecting a suitable product. We can give you further advice on that if you are not sure how to use it. However, there are plenty of threads on the forum where I have described the process so maybe have a look at those.

Hi Dizzy65, thanks for posting and apologies for my very late reply. You’re absolutely right that the internet is full of claims that too much protein can lead to accelerated growth and joint problems in puppies but the fact is that there are no scientific grounds for the theory. Overfeeding and excessive calcium, on the other hand, have been consistently shown to contribute to the development of joint problems in puppies, especially in large breeds.

Most nutritionists now recommend a diet with roughly 0.3% calcium and a calcium to phosphorus ratio between 1.1:1 and 1.5:1. This information is not always available on the packaging and I’m afraid the Dog Food Directory doesn’t yet allow visitors to filter products by calcium content of calcium:phosphorus ratio (although it is in the pipeline) so it might mean contacting the manufacturer directly.

Getting the amount right is also key as even a small amount of excess weight can mean a lot of additional strain on the joints. Have a look at our feeding guide for some tips:

There is a very good article on the subject here:

I really hope that helps.

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Just did a quick digestibility check and compared against what I just used on my pup (Oscars Lg Breed Pup). You would need to feed twice as much so more stress on the digestive system and as bags cost the same a feed costs twice as much.

The calcium levels are appropriate for a large breed and would be suitable just not a bad feed but also not a great feed.