The bigger the dog, the more there is to love. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but here we are going to focus on the big boys: breeds like the Mastiff, the Saint Bernard, the Great Dane and the Newfoundland Dog, to name just a few. These gentle giants occupy a special place in our hearts particularly because of their giant, bumbling, sweet personalities. But extra large dogs come with their own unique set of considerations, which is why we at Mammoth Dog Beds have compiled this short list of care tips, broken into three broad categories – Training, Health and Comfort.
Start Early And Be Thorough
They may start out small, but before long they get big… very big. And what was once a cute quirk in your little puppy – for instance, the tendency to jump up on people or attempt to counter surf – becomes a full-fledged problem, as well as a potential danger to the dog and those around it. Teach your dog how to stay, sit and lay down, and teach them proper leash etiquette, having them walk at your side on a loose leash.
Socialize Your Big Buddy
Your big dog is primed to be a sweetheart – that is if they receive the proper socialization, in order to feel comfortable around people and other dogs. Anxiety and fear can lead to aggression in all dogs, but it is of particular concern with extra large dogs, who are able to do real damage. As soon as possible, introduce your pup to other people – all kinds of people – and to other dogs. Let them understand that the world isn’t threatening and that they needn’t be anxious.
Large dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia, which is a developmental abnormality in the formation of the hip joint, which can cause a dog a great deal of pain. If your big pup is showing signs of slowness, decreased activity or is having trouble with stairs and steps, contact your veterinarian immediately to check for hip dysplasia. If your lovely pup is unlucky enough to suffer from hip dysplasia, buy an extra large dog bed with orthopedic memory foam for them. It will be much easier on their sore joints.
An inflammation of the joints, arthritis can be stiff, painful and all around uncomfortable. But it is a common ailment among dogs, especially older dogs and especially older large dogs. Again, making sure your arthritic pup has a bed with high memory fill will go a long way toward alleviating discomfort and pain. You can also ask your vet about the use of steroids, NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) and other pain types of pain relief.
It is always a good idea to consult with a vet about nutrition, but in general large dogs need a rounded diet that is monitored so as not to cause obesity, which can be very hard on a large breed. Check out this informative article from the American Kennel Club, which enumerates a lot of the different diet considerations for large dogs. Also, special precaution needs to be taken with large dogs to prevent bloat, which can be fatal.
Give Them Ample Space
With a tail that could wag a vase right off of a coffee table, it is imperative to give your extra large dog some space. Oftentimes, a very large dog isn’t quite aware of its own size, and can cause damage around the house if they aren’t given enough room. Stake out a spot in your house or apartment where the dog can do the bulk of its dog-ly activities – sleeping, eating and playing with toys – and ensure that the space is clear of obstructions.
Get Them The Right Dog Bed
Check out Mammoth Outlet’s holiday deals on our website, or peruse our breed-specific dog beds to find the best one for your extra large pooch. Don’t go with a generic, pet store dog bed, which is often too small to be comfortable and lacks the joint-friendly memory foam that a large dog needs.
Big dogs grow up quickly, which is why it’s important to pay attention to their training, health and overall comfort. For any further questions about caring for your extra large pup, contact your veterinarian.