Health Needs for Giant Dog Breeds

January 02, 2019

Health Needs for Giant Dog Breeds

    As dog lovers, we don’t really care what they look like or if they’re purebred, at the end of the day we love them all. However, you’d probably be lying if you said you didn’t have some preference as to which breeds we’re most drawn to. Some love the squished face of the French and English Bulldogs, and others just want a small Pom Pom or Chihuahua to cuddle up with at night.

Then you’ve got the folks who are enamored by giant breeds like the Great Dane and Mastiff. It’s hard not to want one when they’re basically life-sized protective teddy bears. Sadly, these gentle giants don’t live very long, with the Great Dane lifespan end at 8 to 10 years.

As they age, their bodies begin to deteriorate fairly quickly toward the end of their short lives. You can still keep them healthy and comfortable as possible through preventive care, just try to start early!

More Weight Adds Pressure to the Joints

With most exceptionally large breeds tipping the scales anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds, gravity isn’t very forgiving on their hips and joints. Playtime on hard surfaces has to be limited, and low impact exercises like swimming help to reduce inflammation and improve mobility.

Osteoarthritis is prevalent in about 20% of canines, but an extra big pup needs extra care, and glucosamine chondroitin is a good place to start in preventing stiffness and pain. Don’t neglect to get them a bed with some cushioning as well!

Saint Bernards, German Shepards, and Giant Schnauzers are all examples of working canines who end spending most of their time lying on a couch in the city. No exercise can be just as bad as too much, and if your big pup starts to pack on the pounds, you might have to prepare yourself for an early goodbye.

It’s a new year, so create a resolution to get a short jog in with your pet or take them swimming more often. Exercise is good for both of you, and a little sweat never hurt anyone!

Larger Breeds Sometimes Have Sensitive Stomachs

Since canines don’t have any amylase, or enzymes in their saliva that break down food, it takes a little longer to process through your dog’s gut. When you add a large, hefty frame that eats big quantities at a rapid pace, the situation is fairly unpleasant coming out the other end.

Probiotics can take away some of the burden, helping to move through the body without causing any irritation. If you plan on getting large breed puppy, it should not only be a possibility, but an expectation for them to experience diarrhea a few times.

We know you love your puppy, but if you love your carpet too you should seriously consider adding digestive enzymes to their diet.

Multivitamins Pick Up Where Kibble is Lacking

The truth is, you could probably go out and buy the most expensive brand of kibble on the market, and that still wouldn’t fully ensure that your dog is getting all their vitamins. It isn’t anyone’s fault, we as owners don’t even get the recommended dose everyday.

It's not a cure-all to your canine’s issues, but giving them a daily multivitamin at least helps to ensure that your giant breed is getting the care they need for healthy organ and brain function.

Start prevention now so when your best friend makes it to their golden years, you know you did everything you could to give them the happiest, most active last days possible.