I have a St Bernard. She is six years old. I’ve been told to only feed her food specified for large breeds, though I don’t know why. Anybody have information and recommendations for dry food.
Go to the Diet and Health Issues forum and read the first few pages in the Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition thread for info on why you should be very careful with LBP nutrition. But you really don’t have to stick with large breed food once they are adults, though you might want to make sure you give joint supplements.
I have a Great Dane and 100% agree with theBCnut. Large Breed foods may advertise added joint support but it’s not enough to be therapeutic.
I give her Cosequin DS and Omega 3 capsules with her breakfast. I give her a Milk Bone Brushing Chew each night, which has helped her tartar. She has a good appetite, but doesn’t gulp down her food. She can’t have bones and chewies because she tends to swallow rather than chew.
I’m changing to a better rated food. Probably Pro Pac Chicken and Zbrown Rice.
Thanks for the help
I too am having a hard time deciding on what foods to try next for my giant dog (a mastiff/lab mix) who also happens to be picky eater. It’s so not fair, the neighbor’s dog comes over from time to time and eats up my dog’s rejected food like it’s the best thing ever (HAHA). Affording quality dog food in such large quantities is definitely a challenge that I didn’t think would be quite so challenging when we first got him. 🙂
I’d love to buy him the best of the best no matter the cost, but that’s not possible 🙁
I’ve been giving him Cosequin DS (double-strength) Plus tablets that I find on Amazon for $19 for 60 tablets or $35 for 132 tablets. I give him 2 a day in his food. It seems to make a difference in his stiffness. I ran out of them for a few weeks and couldn’t afford to get more and I can tell he is moving slower and looking like an old man trying to get up from laying down. He’s 6 yrs old.
I used to feed him Purina Pro Plan dry food until the day I became informed on DFA and so now I’m trying to find something I can afford and still be in the 4 or 5 star range. I’ve been giving him Authority Grain-Free dry food and canned food for a few months. He likes the canned food okay but he will leave the dry food in his bowl all day and then give up and eat it eventually when he finds out I’m not giving him anything else. I want so bad to give him food that he enjoys and looks forward to eating but switching around foods is stressful (on him and me) and expensive 🙁
I gave him Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken and Brown Rice dry food this past month. He seems to like that a little bit better but still not “loving” it. I’m looking around to try different canned foods to supplement but gosh, they are expensive! Authority is often on sale for $1 a can. Everything else is close to $2 a can or more.
Just now I was checking out Whole Earth Farms canned food on Chewy.com. They are rated 5 stars on DFA and are $1.69 per can on chewy. They look tasty but I’m sure that’s just good marketing! ha I might try it though. If he won’t eat it, it looks good enough that I could make a meal out of it. HAHA just kidding
Sorry I just did a lot of rambling. I guess I just needed to vent to other like-minded owners of large breed doggies. 🙂
Some very good budget friendly dry food brands are Dr. Tim’s and Victor. Chewy.com has Dr. Tims. You can get Victor on Amazon. Both brands have large bags 40-44 lbs for $50-65. Plus, they will last you longer because they are high quality and you will feed less of them. To stretch out the canned food, try adding other tasty things to his kibble like eggs, canned fish (sardines or salmon), plain yogurt or kefir, or healthy bits of your leftovers (veggies or meat if not seasoned to heavily.
I hope this helps. I know how expensive it is to feed big dogs. I have a 150lb Great Dane.
Great Ideas RescueDaneMom. Thank you! 🙂
Sometimes, I make my own wet food by putting heart, liver, and kidney in the crockpot and then putting it through the blender.
Consider feeding raw chicken or turkey necks for a joint supplement. They have tons of cartilage in them.
Another great source of cartilage is beef trachea. I used to get raw trachea from GreenTripe.com but they are huge and hard to cut up (for me anyways).
I don’t worry about my Saint no liking her food or skipping a meal. Frankly, I think over weight is the biggest health problem for large breeds. A dog will not starve because he doesn’t like the dry food. I think I’m going to try the Pure Balance from Wal Mart. I get Cosequine DS from BJs when they have a coupon. I get the Milk Bone chewies the same way. I have recently started the omega 3 and discussed using people capsules with the vet. When I use up my current supply I will order from Puritans Pride or somewhere. Omega 3 has definetly helped with her itchy skin.
You can put a drizzle of gravy or broth on the food. I would get low or no salt. I make broth for her when we have scraps or giblets.
I once had a trainer tell me that you should train dogs to eat at specific times by picking up food after 10 minutes. Never followed this, but if she doesn’t eat her breakfast until late in the day, I short her supper.
I have two 80 pounders. I feel your pain. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t found this site. It’s costing me too much money! Lol! Anyway, I mostly feed my guys Victor grain free joint health kibble. It isn’t exactly cheap, but it is the best I have found that I can afford. I buy a 50lb bag for $75. For a topper, I use either Pure Balance (Walmart), Nature’s Domain (Costco) or 4Health (Del’s or Tractor Supply) canned foods. They are all $1 or less per can. I give them each a couple of Tbs. The can lasts for two meals each. In the evening I add in eggs and/or sardines a few days a week. Last night, they got left over chicken with their dinner. Victor also has a few formulas with grain that are also popular and are a little less expensive. Good luck!
- This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by crazy4cats.
Thank you crazy4cats! And by the way, I’m crazy about cats too 🙂
I went the next day and found Pure Balance canned food at Walmart for $1.00 each. That was awesome! My dog seems to be liking it. It’s weird, but he seems to like the mushed up canned-shaped slop better than the can of “stew-like” food. I guess what looks appetizing to dogs is totally different than what we think looks appetizing! haha
Patrick S. – I will look into using Omega 3 too. My dog has sensitive skin too. I bet that will help. Thanks!
It could be because the Pate style Pure Balance has a lot more fat in it. Which, is fine if your dogs can handle it. Mine tend to get loose stools with the higher fat formula. I feed my dogs a couple eggs a week and a tin of sardines once a week as well that helps with their skin and fur. Glad to hear we have another cat person aboard!
Do sardines make them stink? My dog’s skin and fur tend to get smelly sometimes when he eats certain things. I haven’t tried fish though.
It stinks in the bowl, but I didn’t notice it on her coat. I fed her Science Diet kibble and it smelled in the bowl, on her breath, on her coat, and in her stool. Don’t know what was in it.
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