Are you the proud owner of a large dog? Perhaps you’re considering buying a Great Dane, Newfoundland, or German Shepherd. Owning a large breed dog brings tons of fun, adventure, and slobber into your daily life. But being a responsible dog owner is about more than just purchasing a fluffy dog bed and chew toys. You must know how to properly care for large dogs, which are prone to different health problems than small breeds.
If you need help selecting a dog food, training your pup, or treating health problems, Village Vet of Urbana is the best resource in Frederick County. We’re experts at caring for large breed dogs—in fact, several of our staff own large breeds, including German Shepherds.
To ensure your dog stays healthy and happy, please call Village Vet of Urbana at 301-228-0681 with any large breed dog care questions you have.
Your Mastiff Puppy Won’t Stay Small for Long
All dog breeds, no matter how large they eventually grow, start out as tiny puppies. Just remember, that little fur ball could grow to be 100 pounds or more! Make sure your home and family members are prepared to handle the size and power of a large breed dog before you decide to buy that puppy in the window.
Big Dogs, Even Bigger Appetites
Owning a big dog means being prepared to feed it, and a St. Bernard eats more than a Chihuahua—it’s as simple as that. Dogs over 80 pounds can easily eat 4 to 6 cups of dog food per day.
We highly suggest selecting the best-quality food you can afford to help your large breed dog live the longest, healthiest life possible. You know you’re getting a good-quality dog food if the first few ingredients are meat products rather than grains. Two brands we recommend include Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild. If you need help selecting food for your large breed dog, visit Village Vet of Urbana for diet and nutrition counseling.
For Large Breeds, Behavior Training is a Must
With all that power and muscle comes the potential for destructive or dangerous behavior. Even if you have the strength to rein in your dog, the ability to give a vocal command and have your dog obey makes life much happier for you and your dog. If you notice behavior problems in your large breed dog, we suggest enrolling in obedience training classes and then practicing what you learn at home.
Some Health Problems are More Common in Large Breeds
Many health problems affect all dogs in equal measure, but others are disproportionately seen in large breeds due to their different physiology. Here’s what to watch out for in your large breed dog:
- Bloat: Deep-chested breeds, including Great Danes, are most commonly affected by bloat. This problem occurs when your dog swallows too much air, which can happen when eating too fast or too soon after exercising. If you notice your pup pacing, salivating more than usual, retching, or exhibiting an enlarge abdomen, visit Village Vet of Urbana immediately for emergency vet care.
- Joint issues: Arthritis and hip and elbow dysplasia affect large breeds more than small dogs. Keep your dog’s joints healthy by avoiding running on hard surfaces and maintaining a healthy weight with good-quality dog food.
Start Your Large Breed Dog Off On the Right Paw
Whether you just added a Bernese mountain dog to your family or it’s time for your Irish wolfhound’s annual checkup, come to Village Vet of Urbana for all your large breed dog care needs.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your dog.