How to Take Care of Large Breed Dogs: A Guide for Loving Pet Parents

Written by: Sarah Seward-Langdon

Published on: 08/10/2023

Big dogs mean bigger hugs, more play and sloppier kisses. But big dogs also mean a lot more work, care, and costs.

Whether you're an experienced handler or new to the world of large breed dogs, the journey of caring for these magnificent creatures is both rewarding and unique. Even though all dogs are dogs, we truly believe that there are special quirks that come with owning a larger dog.

But that shouldn’t deter you from opening your home to large dogs! If you have questions or you’re looking to get more prepared, you’ve come to the right place.

Use our comprehensive guide to give you the info you need to succeed as a big dog owner. By the end of it, you’ll better understand how to care and nurture your gentle giant so that they’ll live long, happy lives by your side.

Considerations Before Getting a Large Dog

Before you jump into the exciting commitment of owning a big, lovable, four-legged friend, let's pause and review some essential considerations. The worst thing that could happen is that you’re not prepared enough and you become so overwhelmed that you feel the need to rehome your new family member.

Space Requirements

Large dogs typically need more room to move around. Is your living space suitable for a large breed? Do you have enough space indoors? What about your outdoor space?

That being said, some larger breeds are totally fine in a smaller space. It’s more about whether or not they are taken out for a walk and get enough exercise.

For instance, I own a Malamute and a Samoyed in a first floor apartment. We may not have a lot of room or a fenced backyard, but they get lots of exercise and are mentally stimulated!

Budget Considerations

Unfortunately, because of their size, large dogs cost a lot more to care for. Think about it. They require more food, can be prone to expensive health conditions, and cost more to be groomed.

On top of that, big dogs are expected to be better behaved than their smaller counterparts. After all, if a big dog is barking and pulling, it’s harder to pick them up and walk away from the situation. That means professional training costs could also be higher with a large dog.

Lifestyle Fit

This relates a little to the points about spacing. Whether or not you have the home space to accommodate a larger dog, it comes down to lifestyle.

Are you willing to give large dogs the attention, time, and energy they require? Think about your lifestyle and daily routine to ensure that a large dog will fit into your life seamlessly. Or that you’re willing to give up more time to go on daily walks or have play sessions.

Local Regulations

Some locations have breed-specific regulations or restrictions on keeping large dogs, particularly in apartments or community housing. Research local rules and talk to your landlord if you're renting.

Camelina Oil for Equine

✅ Single ingredient, 100% pure Camelina Oil.
✅ Non-GMO
✅ Ideal balance of Omega-3 compared to other products, like soybean oil.
✅ Canadian produced and operated.

Camelina Oil for Canine


✅ Single ingredient, 100% pure Camelina Oil.
✅ Non-GMO
✅ Ideal balance of Omega-3 compared to other products, like soybean oil.
✅ Canadian produced and operated.

Caring for Your Large Dog

Nutrition: A Feast Fit for a King (or Queen)

If you think a small dog eats a lot, wait until you see your big pup's dinner plate! The nutritional needs of large breed dogs can be quite different from their smaller counterparts.

  • Balanced Diet: Protein, fat, and essential vitamins are crucial. Look for specially formulated dog food for large breeds.

  • Portion Control: Just because they are big doesn't mean they need to eat like a horse. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, a common problem in large dogs, which then leads to other, more serious health issues.

  • Monitor Growth: Puppies of large breeds can grow rapidly. They'll need a diet that supports controlled, healthy growth to avoid skeletal issues.

Exercise: Let's Get Moving!

As mentioned, large breed dogs often require a lot of exercise. Whether you've got a playful Great Dane or a spirited Labrador, they'll want to stretch those legs.

  • Regular Walks: Taking regular walks helps keep weight under control and builds a strong bond between you and your furry friend.

  • Playtime: Toys that stimulate them mentally and physically can keep them entertained. Just be sure to choose toys that can withstand a big dog's vigorous energy!

  • Socializing: Dog parks can be a great place for your pup to mingle, but these should be frequented in moderation. Instead, the better option is to find dog friends with similar energy and set up small playdates.

Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary care is a must for these gentle giants. Be prepared to talk about:

  • Vaccinations: Regular vaccinations and annual check-ups are a must.

  • Joint Care: Larger breeds can be prone to joint issues, so talk to your vet about supplements like glucosamine.

  • Spaying and Neutering: Discuss with your vet the appropriate age and procedure for your specific breed. There’s mixed research on when you should spay your larger breed pup.


Brushing, bathing, nail clipping—oh my! Grooming can be a bigger task with bigger dogs, but it's a great time for bonding and maintaining their health.

  • Regular Brushing: Large breed dogs often have thicker coats that need regular brushing to avoid matting.

  • Bath Time: Bigger bathtub or a garden hose may be required. Either way, grab the doggie shampoo!

  • Dental Care: Don't forget about those big teeth. Regular brushing will keep that big smile sparkling.

Training: Every Big Dog Needs Manners

Large dogs need to know their size. A big dog jumping on guests or pulling on the leash can be more than just a nuisance.

  • Obedience Training: Consider a professional obedience class or work with them at home on the basics.

  • Social Skills: Teaching your dog to behave around other dogs and people is essential. Positive reinforcement works wonders here.

  • Specific Needs: Tailor your training to your dog's specific breed. Some large dogs have unique characteristics and behavior patterns.

Big Love, Big Responsibility

Being a pet parent to a large breed dog is a big responsibility, but it comes with even bigger rewards. Those slobbery kisses, the way they think they're a lap dog, and their unwavering loyalty make it all worthwhile.

So, go ahead, pamper your gentle giant with the care and love they deserve. They'll repay you with wagging tails and unconditional love, guaranteed.

After all, they do say the more, the merrier, and with large breed dogs, there's simply more to love!

Camelina Oil for Equine

✅ Single ingredient, 100% pure Camelina Oil.
✅ Non-GMO
✅ Ideal balance of Omega-3 compared to other products, like soybean oil.
✅ Canadian produced and operated.

Camelina Oil for Canine


✅ Single ingredient, 100% pure Camelina Oil.
✅ Non-GMO
✅ Ideal balance of Omega-3 compared to other products, like soybean oil.
✅ Canadian produced and operated.

Follow us!

About Sarah

Sarah is a marketing specialist with a passion for anything creative! Her openness to working across industries and job opportunities has allowed her to gain enormous amounts of experience in graphic design, video production, and written content creation. Animals have a special place in her heart as she grew up with cats and now owns her own Alaskan Malamute. She has spent the last couple of years in Vancouver working with different companies within the pet industry and gained valuable knowledge about the ins and outs of the (alternative) pet food industry, supplementation, and various training methods. When she’s not digitally creating content for pet lovers to consume, she’s out eating great food, dancing at drop-in classes, or exploring the beautiful Canadian scenery with her fur-child Miso.