Adopting a large dog can be extremely rewarding for a family. Many large breeds look imposing enough to scare away intruders, but are actually extremely gentle. Large dogs make great companions on walks, hikes, and runs, and most are not nearly as high maintenance or as yappy as small breeds. However, there are some concerns that are unique to large dogs that potential owners should be aware of before choosing a dog of considerable size. Large dogs weigh anywhere form 60-120 pounds and require adequate space to walk, move, and run. Small apartments are generally not the most ideal living situation for large breeds. Big dogs also require much more exercise than small dogs. If they don’t get that exercise, they can become destructive when left alone. Big dogs are ideal for active owners who have plenty of indoor and outdoor space for a pet.
Large breeds come with some very unique health predispositions, and it is important for potential owners to understand these concerns before they adopt. Large breeds are prone to joint issues including arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia. These degenerative conditions cannot be prevented and will continue to get worse with age, so owners must be financially and emotionally prepared to provide adequate support for their pet over the long term. Obesity is extremely common among large breeds, especially as they age. It’s important to keep a large dog’s weight in check so that it does not cause added stress on joints, and to prevent heart and cardiovascular issues.Big dogs are also prone to something called Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, also known as bloat. Bloat occurs when the stomach twists on itself, cutting it off from the rest of the body’s systems. The stomach fills with gas and has nowhere to escape to, causing rapid expansion. That expansion will eventually put pressure on other organs and will cause death if not treated immediately.
Large breeds are a great addition to many homes, and when owners are fully prepared to handle the unique responsibility of sharing their lives with a big dog, the rewards can be endless. To help choose a breed that is right for you, browse our Large Dog Breed Center to learn more about the personalities, temperaments, and health predispositions of big dogs.
Featured Large Dogs