Diet is one of the most important aspects when we talk about canine health. Both the choice of food and the way in which we supply it to our dog are key ...

Food is one of the most important elements for your dog’s health. In large breeds, the right choice of food helps to support growing puppies to help prevent conditions such as joint problems. And by following a few simple guidelines at feeding times, you can ensure that your dog feels more comfortable and avoid the risk of unwanted conditions such as gastric torsion.

Choose a food that is specifically for large breeds: Feeding a complete and balanced food tailored for the life-stage / lifestyle and size of your dog can ensure they receive the right balance of nutrients they need. For larger breeds that are prone to strain on the joints, a feed that contains the nutrients glucosamine and chondroitin can support joint health.

Choose food that is free from additives: Whenever you can, choose a food that is 100% natural and free from artificial flavourings, colours, preservatives and antioxidants. This can help reduce the risk of allergies and ensure that the food your dog eats is sourced from nature.

Don’t just look at the price: When buying food for a large dog, some people think they can’t afford premium-range products because they’re over-budget. Although these products do tend to be more expensive, in the long run they can be the most economical option. The better the quality of the ingredients used in the food, the easier it is to digest and your dog won’t need to eat as much.

Look for dry food that comes in large pieces: It’s a good idea to make sure large-breed dogs don’t eat too quickly or too much. Large kibble can slow down the speed that large dogs eat their food, which is good for digestion.

Learn how to prevent gastric torsion: Gastric torsion (also called bloat), or a twisted stomach, is more common in deep chested dogs than in smaller breeds. Gastric torsion is extremely painful, it happens as a result of the stomach twisting causing gases to build up and become trapped within the dog’s stomach. If your dog is suffering from this condition, you will notice the abdomen looking larger and the dog in severe discomfort. It is a life-threatening emergency situation and needs immediate attention from the vet. To prevent it, you should:

  • Make sure your dog doesn’t drink too much water at mealtimes.
  • Split your dog’s daily food ration into several small meals
  • Try to encourage your dog to eat slowly
  • Don't play with your dog or take him out for exercise for 30 minutes before or after eating

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