6 Best Newfoundland Dog Foods Plus Top Brands for Puppies & Seniors

Our Picks for the Best Newfoundland Dog Food

Born and bred in Canada, the Newfoundland is a giant breed known for his gentle temperament and his long, thick coat.

Developed as a working dog for fishermen, the Newfoundland is a strong swimmer. Not only do they swim well thanks to their webbed feet, but their muscular build makes them a great choice for water rescue operations. Though they don’t have a problem working hard when they need to, the Newfoundland is naturally a docile breed. As such, they make excellent family pets if you have the space to accommodate them and the budget to keep them fed.

The Newfoundland is a giant breed that stands 26 to 28 inches tall and weighs 100 to 150 pounds. These dogs have an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years, though they are unfortunately prone to a number of health problems which can limit that lifespan. To keep your dog around for as long as possible, feed him a high-quality diet and make sure he stays active.

Keep reading to learn more about your Newfoundland’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the best dog food for Newfoundlands.

Understanding a Newfoundland’s Diet Requirements

All dogs require a balance of protein and fat in their diet for healthy muscle and energy. Protein provides the foundation for strong muscles in puppies and, in adult dogs, helps your Newfoundland maintain a healthy body weight. Animal sources like meat, poultry, and fish are the best options for your dog because they are complete proteins which means that they contain all 10 essential amino acids your dog needs. Lean proteins are good as well.

Fats provide your dog with a concentrated source of energy and fuel for his metabolism. Because the Newfoundland is a giant breed, however, he has a very slow metabolism so his needs for fat are fairly low. They still need to come from high-quality sources, however, like chicken fat and salmon oil. Plant-based fats are more difficult to metabolize but they can be used to balance the omega fatty acid content of your dog’s diet.

Your dog doesn’t require any specific amount of carbohydrates in his diet. Things like whole grains, vegetables, beans, and legumes are considered digestible sources for dogs and they provide energy, fiber, and essential nutrients. In terms of dietary fiber, look for a recipe that contains between 3% an 5% crude fiber – anything too high might upset your dog’s digestion.

  • Puppy Newfoundlands Diet – As a puppy, your Newfoundland needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat in his diet but don’t go too much higher or you could risk your puppy growing too fast, increasing his risk for musculoskeletal problems later in life. Protein between 22% and 24% with 12% to 15% fat is ideal.
  • Adult Newfoundlands Diet – When your Newfoundland reaches his full size, maintaining lean muscle mass becomes the priority so he’ll still need at least 18% protein, but his fat requirements go down to 5%. Try to keep the protein content moderate and the fat content low.
  • Senior Newfoundlands Diet – As your Newfoundland gets older, his metabolism may slow down even more so you’ll need to adjust his feeding or switch to a large-breed senior or healthy weight formula.

In addition to meeting your dog’s basic needs for protein, fat, and carbohydrates, a high-quality dog food for giant breeds will contain natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. Calcium and phosphorus are also important to support healthy bones and teeth. Other beneficial supplements may include prebiotic fiber and probiotics for healthy digestion, chelated minerals as a biologically valuable mineral supplement, and fresh fruits and veggies for antioxidants.

Special Dietary Considerations for Newfoundlands

Weighing over 100 pounds at maturity, the Newfoundland is a giant breed, so it should come as no surprise that he has a relatively short lifespan of 8 to 10 years. This breed is unfortunately prone to a number of significant health problems which have the potential to impact his lifespan.

Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the Newfoundland may be prone:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cancer
  • Cystinuria
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Eye Problems
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Gastric Dilation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Subaortic Stenosis

Let’s take a closer look at some of these health problems.

Many of the health problems to which the Newfoundland is prone can be categorized in groups such as eye problems, musculoskeletal issues, and inherited health problems. Some of the eye problems to which the breed is prone include cataracts and cherry eye. A cataract is an opacity that forms in the lens of the eye and cherry eye happens when the third eyelid gland prolapses. Neither of these is particularly serious, nor do they generally lead to blindness.

As a giant breed, it should come as no surprise that the Newfoundland is prone to musculoskeletal issues like hip and elbow dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint in which the femoral head slips in and out of place. Elbow dysplasia is a similar condition affecting the elbow joint and both can lead to early arthritis. The Newfoundland is also prone to ruptured cruciate ligament, a knee injury commonly seen in puppies or in large or overweight dogs.

In terms of inherited health problems, the Newfoundland is prone to Addison’s disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, hypothyroidism, and subaortic stenosis. Addison’s disease is caused by underactive adrenal glands and hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland. Dilated cardiomyopathy is a heart problem in which weakened heart contractions causes the heart to become enlarged, often leading to organ failure. Subaortic stenosis is a narrowing of the connection between the aorta and the left ventricle which can lead to sudden collapse and even death.

In addition to these health problems, most large and giant breeds are prone to gastric dilation or bloat. This is a condition in which the stomach fills with air and twists on its axis, cutting off blood flow and causing a life-threatening condition. It happens when your dog eats too much, eats too fast, or swallows too much air while he is eating. The risk is particularly high in deep-chested breeds and you can reduce your dog’s risk by making sure he eats slowly and by avoiding raised dog bowls.

Newfoundland Feeding Chart

As a giant breed, the main priority for feeding your Newfoundland is to maintain a healthy body weight. These dogs grow to over 100 pounds so there is already a lot of stress on their bones and joints – if a puppy grows too fast or if an adult dog becomes obese, the extra strain can lead to serious bone and joint problems. Feeding your puppy a large-breed puppy recipe can control his growth and feeding your dog a large-breed adult or healthy weight recipe can maintain his lean muscle mass.

When your Newfoundland is a puppy, you should follow the feeding recommendations on the package according to his age and weight. Because your puppy will grow quickly, you’ll need to adjust his feeding every few weeks to make sure he grows properly but not too fast. Keep in mind that your puppy may not reach his full size until 18 to 24 months of age. You may need to wait until his growth slows own to switch to an adult recipe. Once he reaches senior status around 6 or 7 years, you might need to adjust his feeding again or switch to a senior or healthy weight formula.

The Best Dog Food for Newfoundland: Our Top 15 Picks for 2019

Now that you have a better understanding of your Newfoundland’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for a healthy giant-breed dog food! Remember, the best Newfoundland food will be made from wholesome natural ingredients such as lean protein, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. It should help your dog maintain lean muscle mass with low fat to control calories. Here are our top 15 picks:

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe

Overall Best Food for Newfoundlands: If you want to support your Newfoundland’s lean muscle mass in the healthiest way possible, this Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe might be a good choice. Though not specifically formulated for large breeds, this recipe offers over 30% lean protein with just 11% fat. It features a high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces, so you get the convenience of dry food while your dog gets the nutritional benefits of raw food. This recipe features real chicken and turkey as the main ingredients with beneficial supplements like freeze-dried organ meats, chelated minerals, and fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional support.

  • Pros: High-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw pieces, lean animal proteins, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, 33% protein and 11% fat, chelated minerals, fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Cons: Expensive to feed as a staple diet, may be too high in fiber for some dogs

Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Salmon Recipe Dry Food

Most Affordable Food: If you’re looking for an affordable dog food that will meet your Newfoundland’s unique needs for protein and fat, consider this Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Salmon Recipe Dry Food. This recipe is made for large breed, so it contains 24% protein and 10% fat. This recipe features salmon meal as a concentrated source of protein as well as a rich source of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It is supplemented with prebiotic fibers and probiotics for healthy digestion, plus it contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. This recipe also contains a blend of dried fruits and veggies to provide natural sources for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

  • Pros: Ideal protein and fat ratio for giant breeds, wholesome natural ingredients, digestible carbohydrates, premium animal source of protein, glucosamine and chondroitin, probiotics
  • Cons: supplements aren’t chelated, not a grain-free recipe

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food

Most Popular Food: With so many dog foods to choose from, it can be difficult to make a smart choice for your Newfoundland. If you’re stuck, try a popular recipe like this Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food. This recipe features lamb as a single source of novel protein with digestible grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and lentils. It contains fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for supplemental fiber and as biologically valuable sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This recipe also contains dried fermentation products for probiotic support.

  • Pros: Novel source of animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, prebiotics and probiotics
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery Service

Super Premium Food: If you want the best of the best for your Newfoundland and you’re not working with a limited budget, you can’t do better than a fresh food company like NomNomNow. This company offers fresh food custom-made for dogs and delivers it right to your door. Simply fill out a profile online with basic information about your dog, choose a recipe from the collection, and you’ll start receiving monthly deliveries. Every recipe is prepared fresh from high-quality ingredients and perfectly portioned for your dog. You can even make adjustments according to your dog’s calorie needs or any special dietary requirements. What more could you ask for?

  • Pros: Made with the freshest ingredients, custom meals for your dog, delivered fresh to your door, perfectly portioned pouches, automatic shipments
  • Cons: Limited number of recipe options, very expensive to feed, delivery restrictions in some areas

FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Weight Control Formula

Best Food for Newfoundlands with Allergies: If your Newfoundland has developed food allergies, switching to a limited ingredient diet could help. This FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Weight Control Formula is a great option because it contains a lower number of main ingredients including a novel source of protein to reduce the risk for food allergies and sensitivities. Pacific Ocean fish meal is a novel protein for most dogs and a valuable source of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. This recipe also contains digestible grain-free carbohydrates as well as chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption.

  • Pros: Limited ingredient diet, single source of novel protein, moderate protein and low fat, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, supplemental glucosamine for joint support
  • Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs, could be higher in protein for some dogs

Holistic Select Chicken Meal & Peas Weight Management Recipe

Best Food for Newfoundlands with Sensitive Stomachs: For a Newfoundland with a sensitive stomach, a holistic natural recipe like this Holistic Select Chicken Meal & Peas Weight Management Recipe would be a great choice. This formula features a collection of all-natural ingredients including lean protein from chicken meal and digestible grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes, peas, and lentils. It contains prebiotic fibers as well as probiotic supplements to ensure healthy and regular digestion, which herbs for natural flavor. It also contains fresh fruits and vegetables which are a biologically valuable source of key nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

  • Pros: Holistic recipe, all-natural ingredients for digestibility, lean source of animal protein, prebiotics and probiotics, fresh vegetables and fruits, chelated minerals, 26% protein and 8% fat
  • Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs

3 more Top Rated (5 Star) Newfoundland Adult Foods

Canidae All Life Stages Less Active Formula Dry Food

Though not specifically formulated for large breeds, this Canidae All Life Stages Less Active Formula Dry Food is a great option for your Newfoundland because it contains 20% protein and 10% fat. This recipe features four premium sources of animal protein with digestible carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and veggies. It also contains probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids.

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Dry Food

Packed with superfoods, this Nutro Ultra Large Breed Dry Food is a nutritious source of protein for your Newfoundland. This recipe features chicken, chicken meal, and salmon for plenty of lean protein as well as omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It comes in at 23% protein and 12% fat with plenty of beneficial supplements including glucosamine and chondroitin, chelated minerals, and fiber.

Adirondack Large Breed Recipe Dry Food

Formulated specifically for large-breed adults, this Adirondack Large Breed Recipe Dry Food could be a good choice for your Newfoundland. This recipe features premium-quality protein and a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It is supplemented with probiotics for maximum digestibility as well as vitamin and mineral supplements for balanced nutrition.

3 More Top Rated (5 Star) Newfoundland Puppy Foods

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Farm-Raised Chicken Large-Breed Puppy Recipe

For wholesome natural nutrition catered to your Newfoundland puppy’s needs, try this Nutro Wholesome Essentials Farm-Raised Chicken Large-Breed Puppy Recipe. This recipe features farm-raised chicken as the main ingredient with digestible whole-grain carbohydrates. It also contains omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat with dried fruits and vegetables for biologically valuable nutrition.

Solid Gold Wolf Cub Bison & Oatmeal Large-Breed Puppy Recipe

Made with protein-rich bison and digestible whole-grain carbohydrates, this Solid Gold Wolf Cub Bison & Oatmeal Large-Breed Puppy Recipe is packed with nutrition. This recipe features optimal levels of calcium and phosphorus for controlled growth with lean protein for healthy muscles. It is also supplemented with 20 superfoods like cranberries, blueberries, and pumpkin for biologically valuable sources of key nutrients and antioxidants.

Eagle Pack Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe

If you’re looking for a large-breed puppy food that will easily transition into an adult diet, try this Eagle Pack Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe. This recipe features the ideal blend of protein and fats for your puppy to grow with glucosamine for strong joints and calcium and phosphorus for strong bones. It also contains a special blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for balanced nutrition and immunity.

2 More Picks for Senior Newfoundland Foods

Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Weight Control Adult Recipe

If your Newfoundland has food allergies or sensitivities, a grain-free senior recipe like this Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Weight Control Adult Recipe might be a good choice. It features natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support with a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It also contains L-carnitine to support healthy metabolism and lean mass.

AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Senior Formula

If you’re looking for a nutrient-rich diet for your senior Newfoundland that will support his healthy bodyweight, try this AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Senior Formula. With 20% protein and just 10% fat, this healthy weight recipe contains lean protein from chicken meal which is also a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. There are also plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.

Our FAQ and Newfoundland Feeding Guide

Not only do you need to pick a high-quality giant-breed dog food for your Irish Wolfhound, but you also need to think about practical things like choosing a dog bowl and keeping your dog’s food fresh. What many dog owners don’t realize is that dog food starts to lose some of its nutritional integrity after being exposed to air. To keep your dog’s food fresh, you should store it in an airtight container. Don’t just pour the food into the bin, however. The inside of the dog food bag is usually treated to help preserve the product, so put the whole bag in there to maximize the benefit.

When it comes to feeding your Newfoundland, you’ll need a fairly large dog bowl – one that can hold at least 2 or 3 cups of food. Stainless steel is one of the best materials because a bowl that size will still be fairly lightweight. It is also a durable material that is nearly impossible to break and very easy to clean. You don’t want a softer material like plastic that will scratch easily because those scratches can harbor dangerous bacteria that could make your dog sick.

And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding a Newfoundland:

How much food should I feed my Newfoundland? – Your dog’s needs for calories will depend on his age and body weight but you’ll be feeding him something in the range of 4 to 5 cups per day. Giant breeds have slow metabolisms and only need about 20 calories per pound of body weight. To determine exactly how much to feed your Newfoundland, choose a high-quality dog food formulated for large or giant breeds and refer to the feeding recommendations according to your dog’s age and weight to determine his daily portion.

How many times a day should I feed my Newfoundland? – When it comes to feeding large and giant breeds like your Newfoundland, you need to avoid feeding them too much at once to limit their risk for gastric dilation. Using a slow-feed bowl can help your dog slow down at mealtime, but you still need to control his portion sizes. Most dogs do well with two meals per day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Take the daily feeding recommendation from the package and divide it into two meals.

What kind of food do Newfoundlands eat? – The best dog food for any giant-breed dog is made from high-quality, natural ingredients and formulated to meet his calorie and nutrient needs. If you want the best for your dog, consider dehydrated, freeze-dried, or fresh food for your Newfoundland. These foods are likely to be very expensive, however, and since you’ll be feeding your dog anywhere from 4 to 5 cups a day, it might be prohibitively expensive. Buy the highest quality dog food you can consistently afford and if that is just a good quality kibble, that’s perfectly fine.

What vegetables are good in a Newfoundland food? – All dog foods contain vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure balanced nutrition, but your dog can still benefit from the inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables in his diet. These provide natural sources for key nutrients which are always more biologically valuable than synthetic supplements. Here are some of the best vegetables for Newfoundlands:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchini

Even if your dog’s food does contain fresh vegetables, it isn’t a bad idea to give him a few bites as a healthy snack. In fact, fresh veggies are a low-calorie snack that work great for giant breeds who need to be on a calorie-controlled diet. Just make sure that the vegetables you choose are safe for dogs to eat and that you clean them well before feeding. You should also feed small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach from an overload of fiber.

Do Newfoundlands need grain-free dog food? – Whether or not your Newfoundland needs a grain-free diet depends on the individual dog. Most dogs of this breed are able to tolerate grains and whole grains are a nutritious source of carbohydrates. Before you decide one way or the other, you should know that there is a great deal of controversy surrounding the long-term safety of grain-free recipes for dogs. There is some evidence that links grain-free diets with an increased risk for dilated cardiomyopathy – a condition to which the Newfoundland is already prone. The fact remains, however, that there is no conclusive evidence as of yet so, unless your dog is allergic or sensitive to grains, a grain-free diet may not be necessary.

A Final Word

Now that you know the basics about your Newfoundland’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best Newfoundland food. Remember to look for a product that is made from wholesome natural ingredients such as lean protein, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. It should help your dog maintain lean muscle mass with low fat to control calories.

If you’re still not sure where to start in choosing the best Newfoundland dog food, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above!

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