Bigger breeds, however, will require more protein to support their vulnerable joints, and meat-based dog food often contains glucosamine for this purpose. Large dogs also typically need fewer calories than smaller dogs owing to their slower metabolisms – giving large dogs more because of their size could cause weight issues.
Even if your dog is new to you, it’s possible that they are not a newborn. The dietary needs of an older dog are different to those of a younger dog, so the former will again need more protein to stay healthy. Many brands offer special ‘senior formulas’ for older dogs, but any type of dog food with high-quality protein should be able to do the job and keep them in shape.
On the other hand, younger dogs require special puppy food that gives them all the nutrients they need to grow; adult dog food is not formulated to match the pace of a growing dog. Puppies grow up to 20 times faster than adult dogs, so they need all the help they can get with this.
There are multiple options for the actual type of food, and it has to be something that they like. If they don’t take to it, you might not be able to guarantee they get all the nutrition they require at any age or size. Usually, you can choose between dry food such as biscuits or kibble, wet food with gravy and jelly, or raw meat – but they should always have a regular and healthy amount of meat.
Some veterinarians recommend rotating your dog’s diet every few months, as your pet can eventually tire of a certain food. This generally means switching the company you buy from, but always make sure that every purchase is meeting the needs of your pet.