golden retrievers sitting

Tips for Caring for Large Dogs

Big dogs equal big love

Whether your dog is a big sweetie, a big weirdo or a big athlete, here’s what you need to know about taking care of your big dog.

First, all big dogs start out as little dogs. But pretty soon they grow up — and so does their appetite, their toys, their dog bowls, the vet bill and their need for speed.

He started to grow.
And pretty soon
he was bigger than
the recliner.

dog on couch
 

Large dogs grow more slowly than smaller ones

Sometimes it can take more than two years for them to reach their full size.

And you won’t like to think about it too much, but their life spans are shorter, too: about 10 to 12 years.

No wonder
you'll let him push
you off the bed
at night.

animated dog on bed 
 

So remember: Everything in moderation.

If a large dog gets too much food as a pup, they’re at a higher risk of growing too quickly, which can cause joint trouble.

For large breeds, being overweight is especially problematic. All that extra weight can be a lot for the joints to carry around.

Keep your good old dog healthy by practicing portion control and feeding nutritious food like IAMS™ Mature Adult Large Breed.

How will she catch
a screaming
15-mile-an-hour
Frisbee in midair
if she has knee trouble.

dog catching frisbee
 

A word about exercising with a large dog.

Back in the day, large-breed dogs were especially energetic. They were working dogs, herders, hunters, cart pullers and people protectors.

Who are we to deny their evolution?

Make sure your dog gets exercise every day.

How do you accomplish this? Walk, walk and more walk. And add in some running, jumping, chasing, hiking, fetching, dog-park visiting, swimming and even agility courses.

 

Repeat this mantra:
"I am the alpha."

animated dog sitting 

When it comes to training, think of it this way: The bigger the dog, the harder it is to hide behavior problems. And if you can’t control your super-sized soulmate, they could inadvertently cause damage or hurt someone.

  • Make time for training from day one.
  • Teach easy commands early.
  • Use a firm and confident voice.
  • Keep your dog exercised to fend off boredom-induced behaviors.
  • Reward good behaviors.
 

Living large is all
about biting the
wind and living
that sweet,
sweet life.

dog in car