Every dog needs food that is tailored to its body and needs. A large dog obviously needs more food than a small one. In addition, the musculoskeletal system is much more stressed by size and weight, so that not only the amount of food, but also the composition is completely different. In particular, nutrients that protect the joints must be sufficiently available. Proteins are also of particular importance for the stressed musculoskeletal system.
Unfortunately, the body size tempts many owners to simply give their animal more of some kind of food, which can lead to serious digestive problems as well as being overweight. Boys are particularly at risk: an excess of nutrients can accelerate muscle growth and damage the skeleton. To determine whether your four-legged friend has too much on his ribs, all it takes is a look from above: can you still see something like a waist? If not, he is clearly getting too much food – or too little exercise.
Large breeds are also much more susceptible to the notorious gastric torsion compared to their small counterparts. You should therefore make sure that the dog does not frolic or run around after eating.
Another special feature is that large dogs age faster than small ones. While a small dog can still be in top shape at 10 years of age, many a big dog is a real grandpa at this age. A dog that tended to put on fat at a young age can suddenly lose muscle mass and energy quickly while eating the same diet. So nutrition depends not only on size and temperament, but also on the age of the animal. If you are unsure what your dog really needs, it is best to seek advice from your veterinarian.
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