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The Newfoundland is the definition of a gentle giant – it is a very large dog breed known for its friendly and docile temperament. These dogs may be large, but so are their hearts. The Newfoundland has a very calm disposition and it forms very strong bonds with family members. This breed makes an excellent family pet because it is very loyal and it does very well with children, but it also excels as a working breed, known for its swimming ability.
If you are looking for a dog breed that has an unlimited amount of love to give, consider the Newfoundland. Just be sure that you choose a healthy diet for your dog in order to ensure that his nutritional needs are met. Below you will learn the basics about the nutritional needs for Newfoundlands – you will also learn about some special considerations to keep in mind when feeding your dog. You will also receive recommendations for three top-quality commercial dog food products that would be ideal for your Newfoundland.
Nutritional Needs for Newfoundlands
The Newfoundland is a very large breed of dog that stands between 27 and 30 inches tall at maturity and weighs between 100 and 150 pounds. These dogs share many traits with the St. Bernard and the English Mastiff including their size and thick coats. The Newfoundland was developed as a working breed, bred to pull in fish nets, haul carts, and do other heavy-duty tasks. Although the Newfoundland has a strong work ethic and a massive build, it is still one of the gentlest and most loving breeds you will ever encounter. These dogs are known as much for their intelligence and work ethic as they are for their friendly and loyal personalities.
As a large-breed dog, the Newfoundland requires a diet that will support his lean muscle mass and energy needs without going overboard on calories. Like all dogs, the Newfoundland requires a blend of protein, fats, and carbohydrates in its diet. Protein is the top consideration for dogs because it provides the building blocks for healthy muscle and tissue – it is the key to supporting your dog’s lean muscle mass. In a dog’s diet, protein should come from high-quality, animal-based sources like meat, fish, and eggs. Plant-based sources of protein like pea protein and alfalfa are less biologically valuable to your dog and they are lower in nutritional value.
In addition to protein, your Newfoundland needs animal-based fats in his diet to provide concentrated energy, immune support, and to keep his skin and coat healthy. Some of the best fat sources for dogs include chicken fat, fish oil, and other animal-based fats. Plant-based fats like flaxseed and canola oil can provide your dog with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids but, again, they are less biologically valuable than animal-based fats. Carbohydrates for dogs should come from highly digestible sources like whole grains as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid dog foods made with low-quality filler ingredients made from corn and soy – you should also avoid foods made with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and dyes.
Special Considerations for Feeding Newfoundlands
Because the Newfoundland is a very large dog, you want to be sure to feed him a commercial dog food diet specially formulated for dogs of his size. Start your Newfoundland puppy on a large-breed puppy formula to make sure he gets the nutrients he needs without growing too quickly. If a large-breed puppy grows too quickly it could put unnecessary strain on his bones and joints which will put him at an increased risk for musculoskeletal issues as an adult. It could take 18 to 24 months for your Newfoundland puppy to reach his full size, so keep him on a large-breed puppy formula until he reaches about 80% of his maximum size then switch to a large-breed adult formula.
Another thing you need to think about in regard to feeding your Newfoundland is the risk for gastric dilation volvulus, or bloat. This is a condition in which the dog’s belly fills with air, causing the stomach to twist (or torque) on its axis. As a result, blood flow to the stomach and other vital organs is cut off. This condition is very serious and it can even become fatal if not promptly treated. You can help to prevent this condition by making sure your dog doesn’t eat too much at once and by avoiding strenuous exercise and large amounts of water within one hour of a meal. Feeding your dog from a raised dog bowl may also help.
Top-Recommended Foods for Newfoundlands
If you need some help in finding the right food for your Newfoundland, consider one of the commercial dog food brands discussed below. Be careful when considering a breed-specific formula for your dog – do not just assume that the formula will meet your dog’s needs without evaluating the product for yourself. Consider the ingredients list to make sure the product is of high-quality before offering it to your dog.
1. Orijen Large Breed Puppy Formula
The Orijen pet food company is known for producing high-quality biologically appropriate diets for cats and dogs. These diets are made with fresh meats, including organs and cartilage, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Orijen offers a variety of different products made with regionally sourced ingredients including a large-breed puppy formula that would be a good choice for your Newfoundland while he is still growing. The Orijen Large Breed Puppy Formula is made with boneless chicken, chicken meal, and chicken liver as the top three ingredients followed by whole herring, boneless turkey, and turkey meal. Other notable ingredients include whole eggs, chicken liver oil, chicken fat, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Overall, this formula is an excellent source of protein, fats, and digestible carbohydrates for your dog.
2. Nutro Large Breed Adult Dog Food Formula
The Nutro Company is known for producing all-natural diets for both cats and dogs that are made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Nutro offers six different lines of dog foods and treats including the self-named line of classic diets for adult dogs and puppies. The Nutro Large Breed Adult Dog Food Formula is an excellent example of a high-quality product that is specially designed for large-breed dogs like the Newfoundland. This formula is made with chicken, chicken meal, and whole brown rice as the top three ingredients followed by brewers rice, rice bran, and whole grain oatmeal. Other notable ingredients include chicken fat, sunflower oil, and a variety of supplements. This formula contains chelated minerals which are chemically bonded to protein molecules to increase nutrient absorption as well as various vitamin supplements. The Nutro Large Breed Adult Dog Food Formula is designed to promote healthy digestion and it is supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin to support your large-breed dog’s bones and joints.
3. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult
The Wellness pet food company is devoted to supporting the whole-body health and wellness of dogs and cats. This company uses only the finest natural ingredients in the products to ensure holistic nutrition for pets in all life stages. In addition to providing traditional dog food formulas for adult dogs, Wellness also offers several size-specific formulas like the Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult formula. This product is made with deboned chicken, whitefish, and chicken meal as the top three ingredients followed by ground brown rice, oatmeal and peas. Other notable ingredients include ground barley, salmon meal, and chicken fat as well as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. This formula contains protein from four different animal sources to support your dog’s lean muscle mass as well as live, naturally occurring microorganisms to support digestive health. Overall, if you are looking for a high-quality commercial diet for your Newfoundland, consider this Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult formula.
Because the Newfoundland is such a large dog, it needs a certain diet to provide for its energy needs. If you need help choosing a commercial dog food diet for your Newfoundland, consider one of the top-rated brands reviewed above.