Updated 29 Jan 2021
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Essential The Beginning Large Breed

Type of food

Dry extruded complete

Dog types

Pet dogs

Breed sizes

NOT suitable for toy breed dogs
Adult weight 1-4kg. e.g. Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier
NOT suitable for small breed dogs
Adult weight 4-10kg. e.g. Beagle, Dachshund, Jack Russell
Suitable for medium breed dogs
Adult weight 10-25kg. e.g. Border Collie, Staffie, Springer, Vizsla
Suitable for large breed dogs
Adult weight 25-45kg. e.g. Boxer, Labrador, Greyhound
Suitable for giant breed dogs
Adult weight 45kg+ e.g. Bernese, Great Dane, Mastiff

Dog ages

From weaning to 18 months

Pack sizes

12.5kg bags


12.5kg bags = £57.95

AADF rating


At a glance

Natural: Free from added artificial preservatives, antioxidants, colourings, flavourings or other controversial synthetic ingredients
High meat content: Contains at least 30% meat ingredients (on a dry matter basis)
Hypoallergenic: Free from wheat, maize, dairy products, soya products and artificial additives
Not clearly labelled:

It is difficult to tell exactly what is in this food due to a lack of labelling clarity.

Certified nutritionally complete: This food complies fully with the complete food nutrient tolerances as recommended by FEDIAF and/or AAFCO

Price per day

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Mixing bowl:

Fresh Chicken and Duck (30%), Sweet Potato, Dried Chicken and Duck (28%), Peas, Fresh Salmon and Trout (7%), Fresh Whole Egg (5%), Linseed (5%), Chicken Fat (4%), Potato, Liver Stock, Lucerne Sprout, Vitamins, Minerals, MOS, FOS, Glucosamine*, Chondroitin*, MSM* (*All from Natural Sources), Cranberry, Acai, Blueberry, Mulberry, Apple, Tomato, Orange, Pear, Carrot, Spinach, Cauliflower, Seaweed, Marigold, Ginseng, Green Tea, Ginger.

As fed (BETA):

Why is this different from the ingredients list?

Typical Analysis

Protein 28.0%, Fat 16.0%, Fibre 3.5%, Ash 7.5%, Carbs 34.0%, Moisture 8.5%, Calcium 1.40%, Phosphorus 1.20%, Omega3 1.50%, Omega6 1.50%.


362.0 kcal/100g

Dry weight nutrients

Above average


Below average

* NFE carbohydrate level (i.e. not including fibre). Level estimated from available data.


12.5kg bags RRP


Grams per day


Cost per day


Approved supplier:


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Company info
Name: Essential Foods 99 Essential Foods foods listed1010 Essential Foods treats listed
HQ: Copenhagen, Denmark
Manufacturer's product description

" ESSENTIAL THE BEGINNING - LARGE BREED is specifically formulated for puppies and juniors that will weigh over 15kg in adulthood. The meal is developed to perfectly support this specific sensitive growth stage that bigger dogs go through. LARGE BREED follows our BOF principle and is even grain free. TIP: We recommend serving THE BEGINNING - LARGE BREED up to the age of 13-18 months. "

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SkyBritish 4 months ago

My American Akita puppy has been eating Essential The Beginning Large Breed since four months. He is now 19 months old and we are moving to ESSENTIAL Nautical Living and ESSENTIAL Highland Living. My puppy is cheerful and energetic, excellent coat shines with health. I am very glad that I found this product in time. I recommend everyone to try these foods. I am grateful to ESSENTIAL FOODS and also want to thank David Jackson and AllAboutDogFood.co.uk for a job well done. You helped me make my choice! Thanks!

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DP1985 a year ago

We've been feeding our Lab pup (8 months) this brand for about 3 months. We started on the Orijen Puppy Large Breed but it just didn't work for him, always soft/runny stools and it was hard to put any weight on him. He loves this food and, similar to another reviewer below, it is good for treats when training too as the kibble come in quite large pieces. It's difficult to know what is food related, as he's so young, but his energy levels have been great, he's calm, settles well, and thankfully no health complaints. His skin and coat are in great condition too. Be prepared for it to be more expensive than this site advises. We're currently feeding our dog 380g per day at 8.5 months and it will likely go up to about 400g per day before reducing after he passes 12 months.I would definitely recommend this food if you can afford to pay a bit extra. You get free delivery if you order from them directly and a 10% discount for buying more than one bag at a time :)

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James Goldman a year ago

Just switched to this from Royal Canin. I've noticed that my dog seems to have more energy. And using part of his food for training and recalls in the park seems to work well. So I'm happy with the switch.

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krenapia James Goldman a year ago

Thank you, I needed this answer, because I am also thinking of switching from Royal!

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Naomi Rayner a year ago

Just to let you know the calculation per day for Essentials The beginning’ and possibly the other Essential dog foods are incorrect. For the breed /weight I put in, (11mth Labrador) the websites calculations are based on about 100g per day less than they recommend - which makes it seem much cheaper than it is. Great food though. Costs us about £1.60/day

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All About Dog Food Naomi Rayner a year ago

Many thanks for bringing that to my attention Naomi. Should all be fixed now.

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pjl 2 years ago

I was given a complimentary bag of this for my lab pup from his breeder who was in the process of dropping Royal Canin in favour of Essentials the Beginning Large Breed due to her new awareness of the crappy ingredients in RC; these are the first few ingredients listed in Royal Canin Puppy :
Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, brown rice, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, wheat gluten, wheat, corn, and the list goes on and on - what even is chicken by-product meal?? :-(
If you compare these with the ingredients and the 91% nutritional rating above, it's a no-brainer! My pup looks great, he's lean and fit, shiny coat, bright eyes, no insane behaviour (even for a 4 month old lab)...the 12.5kg free bag has only just run out so it should last a couple of months or so using the servings recommended, and I am keeping him on it as he's very happy with it. Hope this review helps, it's just my opinion, but have researched the life out of puppy food and Essentials keeps coming out top for me.

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Annmarie Wilson pjl 2 years ago

Thank you for your comments. My vet recommended I change my puppy/junior food - Chudleys - to RC and I also have been trying to do some research and it certainly does not come out favourable on this site. I will try this one for my lab pup who is also 4 months old. Many Thanks.

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pjl Annmarie Wilson 2 years ago

No problem, apologies for late response! Hope your puppy is getting on well with this, mine is nearly 7 months now and fit as a fiddle, I'm still sticking with this food!

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krenapia pjl a year ago

This is very helpfull, thank you! My puppy is also on RC right now and she has some insane mood swings. I think she is also a bit bloated after RC...

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