From a 2 lb. Chihuahua to a 200 lb. Mastiff, different-sized dogs have very different physiological needs, which can make finding the right nutrition complicated. That’s why Royal Canin addresses each size, lifestyle and breed with diets tailor-made for their unique characteristics. Here’s a breakdown of the unique variances among size – and why the right diet is so important.
Characteristics: Very small dogs are under 8 lb. and small dogs are 9-22 lb. These small dogs were originally prized for their hunting skills and today they are very popular as pets. The small size and elegant shapes of these dogs makes them appear fragile, but they’re generally very tough. Very small and small dogs are known for their long life expectancy, which can span as long as 14 to 16 years.
Contrary to what you might think, very small and small dogs actually have much higher energy requirements than larger dogs and require higher levels of protein and calories on a pound for pound basis. They have unique physiological characteristics, such as jaw size, bone strength and sensitive digestive systems, which require special consideration when it comes to nutrition.
Characteristics: Medium dogs weigh 23-55 lb., and they tend to be energetic in nature with advanced physical abilities. They have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
Medium-sized dogs have adapted to a wide variety of lifestyles, from working farm dogs to household pets, but regardless of where they live, it’s essential for medium-sized dogs to get frequent exercise and eat a balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight. Several common factors, such as a sedentary way of life, poor dietary habits, sterilization or the genetic predisposition of some medium-sized dogs can cause weight gain.
Learn more about which MEDIUM diet might be right for your medium dog.
Characteristics: Large dogs weigh between 56-100 lb. and were originally bred as working dogs. As a result, they can typically withstand tests of endurance, like long walks or acting as service or emergency rescue dogs. Their life expectancy ranges from 9 to 12 years.
These large-sized dogs have a longer growth period from puppy to adult. They become adult dogs at 15 months, almost five months longer than the growth period for extra small and small dogs. It’s important to consider the tendency for large dogs to have joint problems when formulating their nutrition.
Learn more about which MAXI diet might be right for your large dog.
Characteristics: Giant dogs weigh more than 100 lb. and have a life expectancy of 7 to 9 years. They were bred to work in cold climates and are commonly used today as rescue dogs as well as being great pets.
It takes 18 to 24 months for giant breed puppies to reach adulthood. Body weight, combined with an active temperament, puts their joints under daily stress. A food rich in vitamins E and C, plus glucosamine and chondroitin may help protect the joints and keep them going strong well into adulthood.
Learn more about which GIANT diet might be right for your giant dog.