Dog Care Tips For Large Breeds

Posted on: 28 January 2022

All dogs need love, attention, good food, and regular vet care to thrive. But dogs do vary in their other needs. Large dogs, in particular, need some precise care that's not always as important for smaller dogs. Here are some key ways to care for your large-breed dog.

Invest in good training early on.

Behaviors that may seem "silly" and easy to dismiss in small dogs can be downright dangerous in larger dogs. For example, a small dog that jumps up on someone is a minor annoyance. A big dog that jumps up on someone is dangerous. And they're not just a danger to people. Big dogs that jump on people are more likely to get kicked, pepper-sprayed, or otherwise harmed by people who are just trying to protect themselves. So, with big dogs, early training is an important part of care. Take them to obedience classes early on, and stick with it.

Buy properly sized beds, crates, and other gear.

If you ever crate your dog, make sure the crate you're using is large enough. Dogs kept in too-small crates can develop joint problems and stress-related health problems as time goes on. Dogs who are 70 - 90 pounds generally need a 42" crate or larger. Dogs who are 90 pounds or more need a 48" inch crate, or larger. When in doubt, always opt for the larger crate. The same guidelines apply when buying dog beds, bowls, and other items. If it looks too small, it probably is.

Make sure you're feeding enough.

While small dogs often tend to be over-fed, it's really easy to under-feed a large dog. Owners who are used to having smaller dogs are especially likely to do this. Weigh your dog regularly, and then read the back of the dog food bag to see how much you should be feeding your dog based on their weight. You can also directly ask your vet how much you should be feeding your dog. They can not only tell you how much to feed, but also recommend food that's a good choice for your larger-breed dog. 

Larger dogs do require different care than smaller dogs in some ways. Follow the tips above to take better care of your big, furry friend, and don't be afraid to reach out to your vet for extra advice. They're a great resource for more breed-specific information, too.

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