Feeding your dog according to size

It is not only necessary to differentiate the nutrition of the dog in the growth stages. Once the dog has become an adult, we must continue taking its size into consideration. Here are the rules to follow.

How to feed a large dog breed

Large dogs are characterized by having a very long growth period and a shorter digestive tract than other dogs, with a significant reduction in their life expectancy, which in turn implies earlier aging. The growth rate of a large breed puppy should be monitored in order to combat the development of bone and joint problems. Foods without too much fat and in proper portion sizes help limit daily weight gain. Protein levels have no effect on growth rate . Uncontrolled calcium supplementation is particularly dangerous for puppies.

An adult large breed dog has a relatively low digestive tolerance. These dogs need highly digestible food with sufficient energy density to ensure that the volume of food is not excessive. Choosing a food that is easily digestible and rich in calories helps prevent gastric dilation or torsion . Adding natural antioxidants (vitamins E and C) to food and reducing the amount of phosphorus are the first measures to help dogs cope with the last stage of their lives in the best possible conditions. From six years of age onwards, large dogs become more fragile and vulnerable. To help keep them in good condition, they need a very palatable and well-balanced diet, made up of high-quality ingredients: dairy proteins, fish, amino acids combined with trace elements, etc. This approach will help you improve your dog’s quality of life and extend his life span.

How to feed a small breed dog

Small breeds tend to be, in general, more “spoiled” by their owners, who quickly develop a bad habit of offering their dogs table scraps . To avoid this practice, the food portions served to small dogs should be particularly palatable. A special type of packaging is required to preserve the freshness of the dry food, even if the small amount they eat daily (less than 200 grams on average) means that it must be kept for a long time. Providing highly digestible food to minimize the volume of stool and the risk of developing digestive problems is particularly important in small dogs, which tend to live in urban environments.

Specific considerations depending on the size of the dog.

Large breeds:

  • Long growth period (around 14 months): avoid excess fat.
  • Risk of ligament problems: avoid excess calcium supplements.
  • Low digestive tolerance: offer highly digestible food.
  • Stomach twisting risk: Choose energy-dense foods to reduce portion size.


Small breeds:

  • “Difficult” dogs (poorly balanced diets due to owners offering food intended for humans): provide a highly palatable canine diet.
  • Common digestive problems: prefer small portions of highly digestible foods.
  • Rapid growth: provide a diet with a high concentration of ingredients that stimulate growth.

Divyesh Patel