From a very early age we can quickly see that small and large breed dogs differ dramatically. But what do these differences mean for our dogs?
Dogs come in many shapes and sizes and sometimes it’s easy for us humans to overlook just how much difference our dog’s body size has on their growth phase, life expectancy, health risks, jaw structure and nutritional requirements.
Small breed dogs weigh between 1-10kg at adult weight. As puppies they have a short and intense growth phase reaching their adult age at 10 months. Due to their short legs, small dogs have a greater energy needs than large dogs.
Medium breed dogs weigh between 11-25kg at adult weight and go through a longer growth period than small dogs reaching adult weight at 12 months. It’s not uncommon for medium breed dogs to have a predisposition to weight gain and long and luxurious coats.
Large breed dogs weigh between 25-44 kg. They experience a longer growth period reaching adult weight at 15 months. Due to their larger frame, they are often prone to joint concerns.
Giant breed dogs weigh over 45kg. Giant breeds go through a 2-step growth phase (first bone development, then muscular development) and reach their adulthood at 24 months. To avoid bone and joint disorders (like elbow or hip dysplasia) lean growth is a must - requiring nutrition with lower energy. In giant breeds, calcium supplementation should also be avoided as it has known effects on bone and joint deformity.
Not only do growth phases differ greatly, the life expectancy varies significantly from small to large breeds. Small breed dogs tend to live much longer lives and, sometimes very different lifestyles than their large counterparts.
Let’s take a look at some of the physical differences between small and large breeds:
When selecting the best nutrition for your dog, always keep in mind that their size plays an important role in choosing the right nutrition for them.