Giant breed dogs have some unique needs, and Donald Chang admits he was a little naïve when he adopted his big dog, Dad. “I did not expect what came with it,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Dad (who got his unique name after he snored the first night he was home) is now 2 years old, and he’s “very playful,” Chang says. Dad is also 150 pounds and “doesn’t realize it,” he adds. Dad will sometimes sleep in Chang’s bed and, it seems, it’s pretty hard to stop him.
pecial dog food
Large dog breeds require a different diet than their smaller counterparts, and “it’s important to feed them a diet that is specific for their growing needs,” Harris says. Big dogs can be more predisposed to joint disease as they age, which is why Harris recommends talking to your vet about putting your large dog on a special joint mobility diet, like Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Dog Food.
A ball thrower
Exercise is “extremely important” for all dogs, but especially for giant breed dogs, Harris says. She recommends investing in a ball thrower, which allows dog owners to easily throw balls longer distances. Regular exercise can also be helpful for a giant breed dog’s joints, Harris says, to help keep “everything movable, lubricated, and healthy.”
A weighted blanket (additional recommendation for large dogs with anxiety)
Dad suffers from separation anxiety, and it’s been tough for Chang and his partner to leave him alone for longer periods of time. “He’s a very big baby,” Chang says. Chang recently had to leave for a weekend and hired a kennel to come and pick Dad up, care for him during the day and drop him off later. “The first night that we left, they could not get him there. He’s 150 pounds!” Chang says. “We want to be able to feel safe with leaving him alone.”