Owning A Large Dog

Owning A Big Dog

The first thing to realise about a big dog is that they are big, often very big. Big dog breeds generally weigh more than 50 pounds when they are fully grown. These dogs take up a lot of room. Just by wagging their tails they can knock everything off a coffee table.

If they're lying in a doorway you would normally have to ask them to move before you could get through.

And there is absolutely no question of them snuggling up on your lap to watch TV in the evenings.

Big Dogs Eat More Food

A big dog needs an incredible amount of food to keep it going. Large dog breeds generally mature later then smaller breeds. Many of them are not mature until they are 18 month old. During this growth period they may eat as many 10 to 12 cups of high quality kibble every day.

When they are fully grown, they will eat a little less. This can make the food bill for a large dog around $200 every week.

Many large dog breeds have specific nutritional needs.

Of course, you can save some money by preparing your own food. Just bear in mind that you will have to prepare lot of it.

You have to be careful not to overfeed large breed dogs during their growth phase. Because they mature more slowly, their growth plates harden more slowly. If they become overweight during their growth phase it can damage the plates and cause permanent harm to their joints.

Big Dogs Need A Big Size Of Everything.

Whether it is the size of the leash or collar, the size of their bed or even the size of the worming tablets lane need to take - everything will be bigger and more expensive. Because they are bigger and stronger, they will need stronger toys. Their toys need to be bigger. Toys designed for smaller breeds will be swallowed whole by large dogs.

Big Dogs Are Strong

If not properly trained to walk on a leash, big dogs can be hard to handle. If they want to go one way and you want to go another, they will win any tug of war. If they decide to chase something and you are unable to restrain them this could lead to a dangerous situation for you both.

Your dog will grow to be as big as you and, in many cases, much stronger. You need to teach them who is boss early on in your relationship. Every dog problem is intensified with large dogs. If your dachshund jumps up on visitors when they arrive, that is annoying. If your bull mastiff jumps up, he could push someone over.

Exercising Large Dogs

Many breeds of large dog need a lot of exercise to keep them happy. As an owner, if you also enjoy a lot of exercise it may be a perfect partnership. If not, there could be problems ahead. Dogs that are not adequately exercised are prone to destructive behaviour when left alone. A large dog can be really destructive. With smaller breeds, it is possible to conduct some of the exercise indoors. With a small breed, you could roll a ball down the hallway and your dog could bring it back to you. Try this with a large dog and everything in the immediate vicinity could be wrecked.

Health And Longevity Issues.

None of the longest-living dogs are large breeds. The life expectancy of some smaller dogs such as a Maltese Terrier is 12 to 15 years. Larger breeds usually don't live as long. The life expectancy for a Great Dane is between 8 and 10 years with six or seven years being common.

Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, arthritis, wobbler syndrome, dilated cardiomyopathy, hypothyroidism and bloat are all more common in the large dog breeds.

Veterinary fees are usually higher for a large dog.

Large dogs often make gentle, loving family members. You just need to know all the implications of your choice before deciding to get one