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Complete Guide to Newfoundland Dog Nutrition

Newfoundland dogs, known for their gentle and loving nature, are a large breed that require specific nutritional guidelines to maintain their health and well-being. This article delves into the nuances of proper nutrition for Newfoundland dogs, from puppyhood through adulthood, including recommendations for commercial dog foods, healthy snacks, and a homemade treat recipe.

Optimal Diet for Newfoundland Dogs

Understanding Nutritional Needs

Newfoundland dogs are giant breeds with a predisposition towards certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and heart conditions. A balanced diet rich in specific nutrients is essential to support their bone health, cardiovascular system, and overall vitality. High-quality proteins, controlled fat content, and a careful balance of calcium and phosphorus are crucial to support their muscular and skeletal structure.

Importance of Omega Fatty Acids

Including sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in a Newfoundland’s diet is vital for maintaining healthy skin and coat. These nutrients also play a critical role in reducing inflammatory responses, which is particularly important for large breeds prone to joint issues.

Monitoring Caloric Intake

Due to their size, Newfoundlands may seem like they can consume a large amount of food. However, it’s crucial to monitor their caloric intake to prevent obesity, which can exacerbate health issues like arthritis and cardiac problems. Feeding guidelines should be strictly followed, and adjustments should be made based on the dog’s age, weight, and activity level.

Top 5 Commercial Dog Food Brands for Newfoundland Dogs

  1. Orijen Large Breed – This brand is known for its high protein content and quality ingredients, including free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and nest-laid eggs. Orijen’s formula helps maintain muscle mass and supports joint health.
  2. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Giant Adult – Specifically formulated for giant breeds, this food includes glucosamine and chondroitin which are essential for maintaining healthy joints, and taurine to support heart health.
  3. Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food for Large Breeds – Eukanuba’s formula focuses on sustainable energy with optimal levels of fats and carbohydrates, and it is enriched with antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.
  4. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed – Hill’s offers scientifically developed nutrition to support cardiovascular health and muscle maintenance in large breeds. It’s also infused with an optimal level of vitamins and minerals to support overall health.
  5. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Adult – With specialized formulas that cater to the nutritional needs of large breeds, Purina Pro Plan includes probiotics for digestive health, omega-3 fatty acids for joint health, and protein-rich ingredients for muscle maintenance.

Feeding Newfoundland Puppies from Birth to 12 Months

Early Development

From birth to around 8 weeks, Newfoundland puppies should ideally nurse from their mother. If this is not possible, a high-quality puppy formula can be used. These weeks are crucial for puppies as they develop foundational growth.

Transition to Solid Foods

At about 8 weeks, Newfoundland puppies can begin transitioning to solid food by slowly mixing in dry puppy food (formulated for large breeds) with formula or water. It’s important to ensure that the food is appropriate for large breed puppies to manage growth rate and prevent developmental orthopedic diseases.

Growth and Development

Between 3 to 12 months, Newfoundland puppies should be fed a large-breed specific puppy food that’s designed to support slow, steady growth. Overfeeding and excessive calcium intake must be avoided to prevent rapid growth, which can lead to health issues.

Healthy Snacks and Treats

Healthy Snack Suggestions

  • Cooked Pumpkin: Great for digestion, low in calories, and high in fiber.
  • Apples (without seeds): A crunchy, sweet treat rich in vitamins A and C.
  • Carrots: Perfect for a low-calorie crunch, also good for dental health.

Recipe for Healthy Training Treats “Newfie Nibblers”


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix all ingredients to form a stiff dough. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more broth.
  3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes using a cookie cutter.
  4. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Cool completely before serving.

Further Reading

  • The Newfoundland Club of America: Extensive resources on health and nutrition specific to Newfoundland dogs.
  • PetMD: A comprehensive veterinary resource offering detailed dietary recommendations.
  • The American Kennel Club: Offers feeding guides and nutritional advice tailored to large breeds like the Newfoundland.

Providing the right diet for your Newfoundland dog is paramount to their health and happiness. By choosing high-quality commercial foods, preparing nutritious homemade treats, and ensuring a balance of all necessary nutrients, you can support your Newfoundland’s overall well-being and vitality.

Remember, each Newfoundland may have unique nutritional needs, so it’s important to adjust food intake and diet based on individual health and lifestyle requirements.


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