Welcoming a large or giant breed dog into your family is a joy, but these oversized fur babies bring along some unique responsibilities. Our Memphis vets look at nutrition, exercise, and joint health related to big dogs as well as, exercise requirements, preventive care, and how a Pet Wellness Plan can help.
Wellness for Large Breed Puppy
Giant and large breed puppies experience rapid growth not seen in smaller dogs, so providing them with a balanced diet that meets their unique needs is essential.
Speak to your vet about how best to meet your dog's dietary requirements while avoiding rapid weight gain that can strain bones and joints. Feeding large breed dogs a diet that fosters exponential growth can result in skeletal malformations, less dense bone structure and weak joints.
When deciding on the best food to feed your puppy be sure to choose a food specifically tailored to larger breeds. These formulations usually feature controlled calcium and phosphorus levels to bolster bone health without encouraging excessive growth.
Overall Wellness for Large Breed
As your large breed puppy matures, it's crucial to fine-tune their well-being strategy. Adult large and giant dogs often face challenges such as joint issues and obesity. Optimize their overall health by following these guidelines.
Provide Balanced Nutrition
Ensure your oversized pup receives a well-balanced diet appropriate for their breed, age, weight, and activity level. High-quality dog food with real meat as the primary ingredient can contribute to overall health. Your veterinarian is always available to provide you with recommendations for appropriate food for your dog and can calculate your pup's caloric requirements so that you know exactly how much to feed them.
Ensure Regular Exercise
Large breeds require regular, moderate exercise to maintain a healthy weight and prevent boredom. It is important to note that not all large and giant breed dogs are cut out for long vigorous bouts of exercise. Tailor activities to your dog's specific needs, considering their breed characteristics and energy levels. Your veterinarian or breeder is a great resource when it comes to understanding your dog's exercise requirements.
Consider Joint Health Supplements
Large breeds are prone to joint problems including hip dysplasia and arthritis. Speak to your veterinarian about incorporating joint health supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin into your pup's diet to support joint function and reduce the risk of mobility issues. Your veterinarian can provide valuable guidance in choosing the best supplements to support your dog's joint health.
Preventative Measurement for Large Dogs
To prevent joint issues in large breed dogs, take a proactive approach with key preventative measures. Ensure your dog maintains a healthy weight by closely monitoring and adjusting their diet and exercise based on your veterinarian's recommendations.
Schedule regular veterinary check-ups for your pup. Many veterinarians recommend that large and giant breed dogs undergo routine exams twice yearly to catch potential health issues early, allowing for timely interventions.
When exercising, engage your dog in low-impact activities like swimming or walking to protect their joints, especially during growth phases.
We prioritize your pets' well-being, offering Wellness Plans for Dogs and Cats of all sizes. These plans are designed to provide proactive and cost-effective preventive care by bundling the preventive services your pet needs, applying great cost savings, and then dividing the cost over 12 monthly payments.
Our Wellness Plans include a range of preventive annual and biannual wellness procedures (e.g., wellness exams, parasite testing, and parasite prevention). These plans also mean that your veterinary team gets an opportunity to get to know your beloved pet while regularly monitoring their overall health.
At Southwind Animal Hospital, we have Cat and Dog Wellness Plans to cover the needs of pets of all sizes, shapes, and ages. We have Dog Wellness Plans for small, medium, large, XL, and giant dogs, as well as Cat Wellness Plans that cover the needs of both indoor and outdoor cats.
Deciding if a Wellness Plan is Right For Your Large Dog
Since your vet has the best understanding of your pet's healthcare needs, they can let you know whether they think a Pet Wellness Plan could save you money and be a good investment for your pet's health. Pets with special needs, such as large and giant breed dogs benefit from the routine vet care included in many Wellness Plans, including early detection screenings, necessary preventive vaccinations, and physical examinations.