Giant breed dogs have special health concerns to consider when choosing the food that’s right for them. Giant breed dogs are especially prone to a few health issues ranging from mild to life-threatening, so it’s important to choose the right food for their particular size issues. When your pooch has allergies, it gets even more complicated. Today we’re going to talk about how to pick the right hypoallergenic dog food for giant breeds.
What to Consider When Buying Hypoallergenic Food for Giant Breed Dogs
Canines weren’t mean to eat things like corn, gluten, and soy. Wolves in the wild are primarily carnivores, getting their secondary nutrition from plant sources. These plant sources are generally from the stomach of the animal they’re eating. So I’m a strong advocate of hypoallergenic food. Now that you’ve chosen to go the hypoallergenic route, let’s look at what to consider when choosing a food for giant breed dogs, like Great Danes.
You’ll see this on my list of what to look for in a dog food for any breed, but it’s critically important for giant breed dogs. Giant breeds are prone to various joint issues including arthritis, prematurely degraded joints and hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is the most concerning issue for these dogs. It’s a condition in which the head of the femur doesn’t seat correctly in the socket of the hip. Mild cases may only be painful, while severe cases may require surgery just so the dog can walk.
Due to the incredible strain that their huge bodies put on their joints, giant breed dogs should always be on a reduced calorie food. Keeping a giant breed dog lean will not only lessen the wear and tear on his joints and reduce hip complications, it will also reduce his risk for cancers and diabetes as he ages.
Large and giant breed dogs are also prone to a condition called bloat. Bloat occurs when a dog eats and/or drinks too fast and his belly swells up with gas. On its own, the condition is just painful. However, if his stomach “flips” – twists on itself – the dog can die a horribly painful death if not rushed to surgery immediately.
I don’t recommend adding wet food to large breed dog diets strictly to prevent bloat, but large breed dogs are a different story. These guys are so huge, they can easily bloat. When you replace some of the dog’s dry food with wet food, you prevent the likelihood of bloat, because wet food doesn’t expand.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids are important for joint health, so it pays to find a food with added omega 3 and 6 fatty acids or a food with fish as a main ingredient. Omega fatty acids help reduce inflammation and promote joint mobility, so it’s a vital ingredient to look for in food for giant breed dogs.
There are foods on the market that have added glucosamine in the mix. Glucosamine has been shown to improve joint health by promoting cartilage retention and growth and stimulating joint fluid production, all of which are important to giant breed dogs.
Antioxidants are added to almost all dog food these days. It’s more than just a gimmick. Antioxidants have been shown to help reduce general cellular wear and tear as well as to help fight off cancer-causing cells. Always look for a hypoallergenic dog food containing berries or an antioxidant complex added. It will help your dog’s overall health.
Giant Breed Dogs Need Nutrition Geared Towards Giants
Between their almost guaranteed joint issues and their propensity to bloat, giant breed dogs are not as rough and tough as they look. It’s important to take these two major issues into account when looking a hypoallergenic dog food for your giant breed dog. Talk with your vet about which hypoallergenic foods he or she recommends for giant breed dogs, and use the above information as a sort of guide to find the best hypoallergenic dog food for your giant breed dog.
Do you already have a favorite hypoallergenic dog food for your giant breed dog? Share your recommendations in the comments!