If you love the idea of owning a giant dog such as a Great Dane or an Akita and think it’ll be pretty much the same as having a Lab, then think again. The extra size changes virtually every aspect of raising it, from the space it needs to the food it eats. First, you need to do your research before considering whether it’s appropriate for you to buy one.
We’ve put together a guide to help you know everything about having a large breed dog.
Medium breeds vs. large breed dogs
If you own a medium-sized dog already, you’ll be familiar with how much space they need and what you need to do to keep them healthy. It goes without saying that a large dog needs more room to exercise, but they also need a strong owner who can hold them back when out on a walk – if you struggle a bit with a Lab, imagine adding another 45 pounds!
Large dogs are often gentle souls, but they might not realize their own strength when they jump up, so they need to be particularly well trained from a very young age. They’re also prone to various health problems, such as arthritis and elbow or hip dysplasia, as well as digestive tract disorders, so expect large vet fees later in their life.
Exercise and food
Whatever you do, don’t feed your large pup adult food or tucker for medium-sized pups. They grow quickly enough as it is, and it’ll strain their muscles, joints, and skeletal structure if they grow any faster. Your dog will need food with calories, nutrients, and vitamins suitable for large breed pups, so check with your vet about the type of food it needs and how much to feed it each day.
Plenty of exercise is also important — a large dog shouldn’t be a fat one — and you should check the original purpose of your animal’s breed to determine how much and what sort of exercise they should do.
Your home arrangements
Be honest, do you have space for a large dog? If you have a small place, it’ll be like having a new housemate and a clumsy one at that. They’ll bump into things and knock them over and will reach up and grab just about any food left lying around. Have you got a big enough bed for them? Is there room in your car?
It might all sound rather daunting, but you must consider what you’re taking on when buying a big dog. If you do your research and prepare properly and devote the time you need to it, you’ll find a big pooch is a wonderful creature to have around and be a fun, loving, and cuddly friend.