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Newfoundland Diet – What & How Much Do They Eat?

As a Newfoundland owner, it’s crucial to make sure your dog is healthy and receives the right nutrition. Providing your Newfoundland with a balanced diet is key to maintaining their health and supporting their large size and gentle nature. But what exactly should Newfoundlands eat, and how much is the appropriate amount?

What Do Newfoundlands Eat?

Selecting premium commercial dog food is paramount:

  • Prioritize brands that list real meat (like beef, chicken, or fish) as the primary ingredient.
  • Look for foods fortified with beneficial supplements like glucosamine (for joint health) and omega fatty acids (for skin and coat health).
  • Given their size, specialized large-breed formulas are often more nutritionally appropriate.

Nutritional Needs of Newfoundlands

Being one of the giant breeds, the Newfoundland has exceptional nutritional requirements:

  • Protein: A muscle-building block, which should come from high-quality sources like fish, lean meats, and eggs. Aim for at least 25-30% protein content.
  • Fats: Necessary for sustained energy and maintaining their glossy coat. Sources like fish oil, flaxseed, and chicken fat are valuable. Ideally, fats should make up about 15% of their diet.
  • Carbohydrates: These provide essential fibers and energy. Opt for complex carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, and barley, which also aid digestion.
  • Vitamins & Minerals: These foster cellular functions, bone health, and metabolic processes. Minerals like calcium and phosphorus are particularly essential for their massive bone structure.

Special Dietary Considerations for Newfoundlands

Given their unique needs, keep in mind:

  • Bone and Joint Health: Due to their size, they’re susceptible to issues like hip dysplasia. Diets rich in omega fatty acids and glucosamine can be beneficial.
  • Sensitivity to Bloat: Large breeds are at risk for bloat. Feeding smaller, frequent meals and avoiding vigorous activity post-eating can help.

What is the Best Type of Dog Food for Newfoundlands?

  • Dry Kibble: Beneficial for dental health as it can reduce tartar buildup. Ensure it’s formulated for large breeds.
  • Wet Food: Good for hydration, especially if your Newfoundland doesn’t drink water frequently.
  • Raw or BARF (Bones and Raw Food) Diets: Advocates believe it mirrors what dogs would eat in the wild. Ensure it’s well-researched, balanced, and free from harmful bacteria.

Newfoundlands and Human Food

Treats from your plate might be tempting, but exercise caution:

  • Safe options include boiled chicken, plain rice, carrot sticks, and apple slices (seeds removed).
  • Never offer foods cooked with spices, salt, or sauces.

How Much Food Do Newfoundlands Eat?

Life StageAmount of FoodFeeding Frequency
Puppies (2-6 months)2-4 cups of high-quality dry food formulated for large breed puppies, divided into 3-4 meals per day3-4 times per day
Puppies (6-12 months)4-6 cups of high-quality dry food formulated for large breed puppies, divided into 3 meals per day3 times per day
Adults (1-5 years)5-8 cups of high-quality dry food formulated for large breeds, divided into 2 meals per day2 times per day
Seniors (6+ years)4-7 cups of high-quality dry food, depending on health and activity level, divided into 2 meals per day2 times per day

Key Points to Consider:

  • Quality of Food: It’s crucial to choose high-quality dog food that meets the nutritional needs of a Newfoundland’s life stage, with special attention to large breed formulas that support joint health and prevent excessive growth in puppies.
  • Adjustment for Individual Needs: The precise amount of food may vary based on the dog’s activity level, age, and metabolism. It’s important to monitor their weight and adjust portions as necessary.
  • Dietary Transitions: When changing your Newfoundland’s diet, such as transitioning from puppy to adult food or changing brands, do it gradually over a week to prevent digestive upset.

Newfoundlands and Weight Management

Monitor weight, using tools like body condition scoring:

  • Use portion control and opt for measured feedings over free feeding.
  • Ensure regular exercise, but avoid intense activity immediately after eating.

Newfoundland Diet – What & How Much Do They Eat?