In our society, bigger is better (just look at iPhones these days!). Unfortunately, the “bigger is better mentality” has transferred into dogs, especially giant breeds. Many people want their giant breed as big as possible, as soon as possible. I often see people exclaim proudly, “My 5 month old is already 80 pounds!” However, promoting rapid growth for a giant breed puppy is one of the most detrimental things a new dog parent can do.Growth in giant breeds is a topic that is starting to be studied more thoroughly. The nutrition we give to a Maltese puppy surely shouldn’t be given to a Great Pyrenees puppy, but it happens all of the time. Most of the time it occurs from a simple lack of knowledge and inaccurate data from dog food companies. But just what should new giant breed puppy parents look for in a dog food?For many years, low protein content was the recommended food strategy for giant breeds. However, that was debunked in 1991 by Nap et al. that found dry matter protein from 23% to 31% did not have an adverse effect on skeletal growth. We know now that there are two important factors when choosing a food for your giant breed puppy: overall caloric intake and calcium level. Both aspects play an important role in your puppy’s growth rate which should be kept slow to avoid developmental orthopedic diseases, such as osteochondrosis.