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The 15 Largest Dog Breeds and How Much They Eat

Image of a dark dog outside

When it comes to the largest breeds, it might surprise you how much one dog can eat in a day

If you’re a dog lover and meet that special pup that melts your heart,  you may decide to scoop him up without a second thought. However, what happens when that dog ends up being a doggy giant? For one thing, large dogs come with several challenges, including requiring a lot of exercise and training and costing you a lot more than you expected.  

Sometimes, when you decide to get a new furry family member, you probably assume that your expenses are going to increase a little; things like vet bills, grooming, and dog food are all no-brainers. The thing is, depending on what dog breed you have, your pet food bill can vary dramatically. For example, small dog breeds, like a Maltese, may only eat roughly two-thirds of a cup of food per day, and medium breeds might eat around 2 cups of food per day, but what if the dog of your dreams comes in the form of a 200-pound St. Bernard?  This powerful canine requires an average of 6.5 cups of food per day. What a difference! 

Your budget aside, it’s important to know what your dog needs, no matter what his size. The largest dogs, such as the Mastiff and Great Dane, need more food, plain and simple, but not all large dogs eat the same amount. Plus, dogs within the same breed may have different food requirements due to things like activity level, existing health conditions, metabolism, and age.  Therefore, your first step is to know your pup, then decide what he needs to eat daily to perform at his optimal level. 

15 Largest Dog Breeds

So what are some of the largest dogs, and exactly how much can one dog possibly eat in one day? Here’s a quick peek at some of the largest breeds and their dietary needs, based on an average of the breed size and activity level. 

Daily food amounts are shown for an adult dog and shown as a range since the exact amount will vary based on your dog’s gender, age, and activity level. For example, a female will usually require less food per day than her male counterpart since females are normally smaller in size than males. In addition, a puppy often needs almost twice as much food as an adult dog since it is still growing, while a senior dog will need less.

So, who exactly are the big dogs? Here’s a look at the 15 largest breeds:
1. English Mastiff  Known for its trademark wrinkled forehead, this patient giant makes an excellent family protector and lovable companion, but as with many of the largest dog breeds, early socialization is important.
English Mastiff large dog

    Weight: 120 to 230 pounds
    Height: 27.5” to 30” and up
    Daily Food Amount: Between 6 and 10 cups per day

    2. Great Dane  Despite its imposing size, this dog likes to make friends, but is still a vigilant guard dog that should be taken seriously.

    great dane large dog

      Weight: 110 to 175 pounds
      Height: 28” to 32”
      Daily Food Amount: Between 5 and 10 cups per day

      3. Irish Wolfhound  This gentle breed is the tallest dog breed, with some males coming in at three feet tall at the shoulder. 

      irish wolfhound large dog

      Weight: 105 to 120 pounds
      Height: 30” to 32” and up
      Daily Food Amount: Between 4 and 8 cups per day

      4. Saint Bernard  This may be one of the largest breeds, but it is also one of the most patient, making it an excellent large dog for homes with children.

      Saint Bernard large dog

        Weight: 120 to 180 pounds
        Height: 26” to 30”
        Daily Food Amount: Between 6 and 7 cups per day

        5. Cane Corso/Italian Mastiff This intelligent breed loves to please and features a strong sense of loyalty to its owners, but early socialization with other dogs and people is crucial to avoid behavior and dominance issues.

        cane corso Italian Mastiff large dog

          Weight: 88 to 110 pounds
          Height: 23.5” to 27.5”
          Daily Food Amount: Between 4 and 8 cups a day

          6. Bernese Mountain Dog This strong, working dog may look imposing, but it is a gentle giant that is good with children, making it a great addition to the family.

          Bernese Mountain Dog large dog

            Weight: 70 to 115 pounds
            Height: 23” to 27.5”
            Daily Food Amount: Between 3 and 6 cups per day

            7. Newfoundland This impressive working breed has a reputation of being a great “nanny” for children; it is an affectionate dog and one of the world’s largest breeds.

            Newfoundland dog large

              Weight: 100 to 150 pounds
              Height: 26” to 28”
              Daily Food Amount: Between 4 and 6 cups per day

              8. Great Pyrenees This powerful mountain dog is usually calm in nature, but can move quickly and fiercely when its family is threatened.

              Great Pyrenees large dog

                Weight: 85 to 100 pounds and up
                Height: 25” to 32”
                Daily Food Amount: Between 4 and 6 cups per day

                9. Black Russian Terrier This confident, smart breed makes an incredible protector and brave guard dog, showing little interest in getting to know strangers. 

                Black Russian Terrier large dog

                  Weight: 80 to 130 pounds
                  Height: 26” to 30”
                  Daily Food Amount: Between 4 and 6 cups per day

                  10. Leonberger This faithful working dog makes an excellent companion, relishing in the affection and attention of its family. 

                  Leonberger large dog

                  Weight: 90 to 170 pounds
                  Height: 25.5” to 31.5”
                  Daily Food Amount: Between 5 and 7 cups of food per day

                  11. Scottish Deerhound Sharing the body shape of a Greyhound, but much larger, this tall dog breed was originally bred to hunt wild red deer.

                  Scottish Deerhound large dog

                    Weight: 75 to 110 pounds
                    Height: 28” to 32”
                    Daily Food Amount: Between 3 and 4 cups per day

                    12. Tibetan Mastiff This ultimate guard dog is loyal and loving with its family, yet will make uninvited strangers think twice before coming close.

                    Tibetan Mastiff large dog

                      Weight: 70 to 150 pounds
                      Height: 24” to 26” (minimum)
                      Daily Food Amount: Between 2 and 4 cups per day

                      13. Dogue de Bordeaux This large dog can make a wonderful, loyal companion, but early training is critical to avoid dominance issues.

                      Dogue de Bordeaux large dog

                        Weight: 99 to 110 pounds and up
                        Height: 23” to 27”
                        Daily Food Amount: Between 5 and 6 cups per day

                        14. Bullmastiff This muscular, impressive canine makes a very reliable and faithful companion, but early training is very important. This dog  is super alert and smart, taking its job as protector very seriously, but also enjoying time with family. 

                        Bullmastiff large dog

                          Weight: 100 to 130 pounds
                          Height: 24” to 27”
                          Daily Food Amount: Between 3.5 and 4.5 cups a day

                          15. Neapolitan Mastiff This powerful dog with its classic wrinkles upon its face, is wary of strangers but makes a loyal family friend. 

                          Neapolitan Mastiff large dog

                            Weight: 110 to 150 pounds
                            Height: 24” to 31”
                            Daily Food Amount: Between 6 and 7 cups per day

                            What’s the Best Way To Feed a Big Dog?

                            Very carefully. All jokes aside, when it comes to feeding your massive canine companion, having the right tools is an essential part of the process. For example, if you try to cram a serving of dog food into a dish that is the wrong size, you’re in for a huge mess. In addition, if you let your 160-pound angel go full force at a bowl lacking a non-skid bottom, then you can bet that bowl will be slipping and sliding all over the place, leaving chaos in its wake. 

                            Besides having the right products, you also need to consider your dog’s feeding schedule. Big dogs eat a big amount of food, and putting all of his food down at once isn’t the best idea. It is a better plan to break up your dog’s daily amount of food into smaller portions that he can eat throughout the day. If you have multiple dogs, make sure to keep their food separate, not only to avoid food fights and food aggression issues but to also ensure that you know exactly what each of your dogs is actually eating.

                            It’s also critical to ensure that your dog receives adequate nutrition from the food he is eating. Nutritional needs vary depending on the size of a dog, and not all foods are created equal. Therefore, carefully read the ingredients of the foods that you serve your furry pal and pay attention to the ratio of different nutrients like protein and fiber. Plus, younger dogs will usually require a lot more than older dogs within the same breed; these are all things to keep in mind when planning your dog’s feeding schedule.

                            How Often Should You Feed a Big Dog?

                            Although the largest breeds will definitely require a substantial portion of food per day,  this amount can vary from breed to breed. Still, it’s a safe assumption that a large dog should eat smaller portions throughout the day. How often your pup eats will depend on several factors. The general rule of thumb is that a dog should eat twice-a-day, but this can change based on your dog’s activity level, age, and any medical conditions that may require them to eat more frequently throughout the day.

                            What Dish Should You Use for a Large Dog?

                            Using a dog dish that is specifically designed for large breeds ensures that your pup’s food will fit nicely and leave room for his muzzle, avoiding frustration and the inability to eat all of his food. Slow feed dishes, like the Neater Slow Feeder, are an excellent option because they encourage your dog to eat slowly, limiting the mess, as well as the potential stomach upset and other health problems that can occur from eating too fast. They even have an option to elevate the bowl which can help reduce bloat and other problems from eating too fast.

                            Three Quick Tips for Feeding Large Breeds

                            In a nutshell, feeding a large dog doesn’t have to be a big deal. Simply keep these three tips in mind:

                            • Verify the appropriate amount of food your dog should eat per day based on his weight, age, and activity level. 
                            • If you’re unsure about what kind of food to feed your dog, or not certain of the correct amount, consult with your vet. Don’t guess. 
                            • Break your pup’s daily amount of food into smaller portions and serve in a non-tip slow feed bowl
                            No matter what size your dog is, he’s sure to have a big heart, and it’s only natural that you love him like one of the family.  Part of caring for your pup is making sure that mealtimes are pleasant and nourishing. Whether your dog is one of the largest breeds or the smallest, at Neater Pets we have what you need to make every meal a big success!

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