Large breed and small breed playing

Do you know what makes the world pretty great? That it contains hundreds of different breeds of dog! We don’t think much could be any better than that.

It does mean though that when it comes to feeding our dogs, one size most certainly does not fit all; after all, consider the difference between a Great Dane and a Chihuahua. You couldn’t possibly feed them the same thing or amount, because they have entirely different bodies, biological make-ups and nutritional needs.

Now, that kind of logic needs to be applied to dogs of all sizes. These two breeds aren’t alone in having their own health requirements. When picking out dog food, you need to be considering your pooch’s breed size.


What breed size is your dog?

Two Dogs squeezing into a cage

For the most part, your dog’s size will be determined by their breeds. For example, Jack Russell Terriers are small dogs, whereas Dalmations are medium size, and German Shepherds are large.

There can be some leeway, but it’s generally thought that:

  • Between 1 and 10kg = small breed
  • Between 11 and 26kg = medium breed
  • Above 27kg = large breed

Small Dogs and Toy Breeds

Small breed dogs surrounding Barking Heads food

If you have one of these little fellas, it’s important to keep them fit and healthy by providing them with the right diet. 

See, because of their tiny bodies, smaller breeds have a lot of energy, which is burnt off very quickly due to a high metabolism. This means that they need slightly more calorific food, with kibble that has a higher density of calories and energy. They also require a lot of fatty acids, like Omega-3 and Omega-6, as well as protein to help them stay nice and active.

Having tiny tummies means they can’t eat a lot at once. They need feeding little and often to ensure that their blood sugar doesn’t drop, and this is important because they’re at a greater risk of a nasty thing called hypoglycemia which causes all sorts of horrible symptoms, and can even prove fatal in some cases.

Because of their unique nutritional needs, it’s important to give your teeny pals special small breed dog food to ensure these are being met.


Medium Size Breeds

Dog running along the grass

Obviously, feeding a high calorie and energy-dense kibble to your medium size pup isn’t a great idea. Why? Because if they can’t burn off all those calories and all that protein, they’ll quickly gain weight. Their bodies aren’t suited to carry the extra weight, which means it places a strain upon them and can cause health problems.

We have a huge range of medium breed dog food, as well as specially formulated recipes for older pooches, those watching their weight, and grain-free food to suite all taste buds and cater for the nutritional needs of these breeds.


Large Size Breeds

Rottweiler standing next to puppy days Barking Heads

The biggest of our four-legged friends, these hounds grow very big, very quickly! It’s important to tackle their dietary requirements from a young age by feeding them large breed dog food from puppyhood like Cadence here, who won’t stay this tiny for long!

Additionally, their growth rate means that they actually reach adulthood faster than other dog breeds. What this means is that their joints need extra support from a younger age, as they will be affected not only by growth, but by size as they are supporting a larger body. It’s important to ensure that your pet food contains plenty of tasty nutrients that look after joints; such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and recipes rich in lamb. 


Playing it Safe

Small dog going on a walk

Putting breed health requirements aside for a moment, there are other reasons why feeding the wrong kind of food for your breed of dog could pose a risk to them.

Firstly, weight. Like we’ve already mentioned, putting on a few pounds can become highly risky for our four-legged friends; their bodies simply aren’t built to carry it. To avoid horrible illnesses or even fatal cases, ensure that you are always feeding the right amount of product.

Feeding guides should be based on weight, not breed exclusively. While we offer a rough guide on all of our products, it’s important to speak to your vet to be exact. If you have noticed your pooch carrying that little bit of extra weight, nip it in the bud by helping them slim down.

Another issue is kibble size. Remember, smaller tummies mean smaller mouths (and throats) so toy breeds may not be able to chew kibble in standard sized dog food, and it could become a choking hazard. Feeding for breed size really is important!

Medium breed dog sat next to Barking Heads Fish-N-Delish

Whatever size your canine companion is, we hope they’re loving their Barking Heads dinners as much as Bonnie is! Make sure to send us a picture on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or let us know if you have any other doggie diet questions!


Read next: How to Keep Your Puppy Entertained


*The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified pet health provider with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health*