Caring for a Big Dog

Do you have a big dog? Our canine friends come in all shapes and sizes. We love them all! While all dogs have slightly different care requirements, large breeds have some very specific needs. If your furry best friend is larger than life, read on for some great tips from an Upper Arlington, OH vet on caring for big pooches.


Training is extremely important for big dogs, as they can easily overpower their owners. You don’t want your pet walking you! Start school when Fido is young. In addition to being housebroken, your furry pal should know basic doggy obedience commands like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. Needless to say, you probably also want to discourage Fido from jumping into your lap.


Never punish your pooch for doing something wrong. Dogs don’t understand punishment, so Fido may not associate his behavior with his reaction. You can tell your pet ‘No’ firmly, but aside from that, focus on the positive by rewarding good behavior.


Proper nutrition is essential for all dogs, but it’s especially crucial with big ones. This is particularly important when Fido is young, as he will grow very fast. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.


Be sure to only choose toys that are appropriate for big dogs. Fido can choke on toys made for smaller pooches. Tennis balls, for instance, can be very dangerous for large breeds.


Big dogs need big beds! Fido will probably squash a regular bed fairly quickly, so look for an orthopedic bed, or a hammock bed. You can also use a child’s mattress.


Just like any other dog, your gentle giant will need proper activity to stay healthy. Be sure to choose suitable activities, however. Many large breeds should not be encouraged to jump or stand on their back legs. This can stress Fido’s bones and joints, contributing to painful bone/joint disorders, like arthritis and hip dysplasia. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.


Large breeds age more quickly than smaller dogs. Fido’s needs will change as he matures, so be sure to follow your vet’s specific care recommendations.


Big dogs have big hearts! Spend time with Fido: pet him, play with him, and offer lots of belly rubs.

Do you have questions or concerns about caring for your pet? Call us, your Upper Arlington, OH animal clinic, today!