Put a Bernese Mountain Dog next to a Bichon Frise and you’ll easily see the difference between these two breeds. But as well as the obvious size difference, there are a few other differences with how you care for large breed vs small breeds dogs.
The biggest consideration comes from how you meet their nutritional needs.
Many people think it’s simply a case of giving a large breed more food, and a smaller breed less food - but there’s actually more to it than that.
Adult food recipes such as the kind you find in the McDug range are nutritionally balanced for the majority of dog breeds - you simply feed your dog based on their current weight and they’ll be getting all the protein, carbohydrates, fats and nutrients that they need.
However, large & small breed dogs have their own health & diet considerations to be mindful of. Read on to see how you can find the best nutrition for your large or small breed dog.
Large Breed Dogs
Whether your large breed dog is still a puppy, or has matured into an adult, they have particular health conditions you need to look out for, many of which are controlled through a healthy and nutritious diet.
According to the American Kennel Club, “large breed puppies require special diets to avoid certain health risks, and large breed adult dogs require careful monitoring for signs of orthopedic disease, obesity, and bloat.”
If a large breed puppy grows too fast during the first 18 months of its life, it’s at an increased risk of developing some forms of orthopedic diseases. Therefore, a large breed puppy food should be lower in fat, lower in calcium, lower in phosphorous and lower in vitamin D.
As they grow into adulthood, obesity is a big risk for your large breed dog which can affect their health and longevity of life. At this stage you should be careful to monitor your dog’s weight regularly and change the amount they’re eating where necessary.
Small Breed Dogs
Many people think that they simply have to feed less to their small breed dogs - and while they might need less calories overall than their large counterparts, it’s not quite that straightforward.
According to PetMD, smaller breed dogs (especially puppies) have an extremely high metabolic rate and can burn through meals in a matter of hours. So if they don’t take in enough calories, they’re at risk of developing hypoglycemia resulting in weakness, lethargy and even seizures.
In fact, when you compare calories per lb to body weight, a small breed needs more calories to the lb than your large breed.The size of kibble is important for a smaller breed dog - their small mouths need a smaller kibble for comfortable and happy meal times, so you want to look out for food especially formulated for small breeds.