When I first got Chopper I thought the only downside to having a bigger dog was that I couldn't find as many outfits or put him in a bicycle basket. (He still has to wear outfits that was part of the deal when I got him - he got a home, bed, food, etc., all he had to do in exchange was wear outfits. I've had to have some custom made and make some myself but he wears them without complaining.) Another downside is that I can't pick him up when he's barking at something like you can with a small dog - hence all the training. Anyway the other real downside is that they cost more - more to board and more to feed.
In terms of the feeding, when we started out I bought Chopper some real cheap food. It was six bucks for a whole huge bag. That didn't last long and Chopper now eats organic and grain free food. He also gets organic and grain free treats. I think the change is diet has been great for him - it helps his attitude, his coat and I think long-term he will be a healthier guy. The downside - it costs a lot more to keep all that bad stuff out of his dog food. His wet food was about $2.79 a can and his big bag of dry food was upwards of $40 a bag.
On top of that I couldn't find a place that sold both his wet and dry food - so that meant two different stops for dog food. I usually couldn't go after work because there wasn't enough time so that meant schlepping Chopper all over on a weekend to buy his food. Not to mention that some of the bigger chain stores in West LA seem to have the worst customer service. One doesn't even have carts. How are you supposed to get a 35 lb bag of dog food, a case of wet food and assorted treats to the cashier and then your car (forget it if you are also lugging around a 70 lb dog who is trying to shoplift the treats from the open treat bar)? It was usually a disaster.
Then a friend turned me on to Global Pet Food Outlet. They had just opened a store in Culver City (I think they've been in Torrance for a long time). This place is the heaven of dog food. They have all the good brands (we use Party Animal wet food and Before Grain dry food) and it cost so much less than everywhere else. They have carts, they are open to 9 p.m. and Chopper behaves himself in there every time he goes (this may be my doing). The treats are also a good price too. They have a parking lot upstairs and there is an elevator so you can take your cart right on up. Also everyone there is so friendly. I like to stop by before I take Chopper to a class at the Zoom Room and we can usually get in and out in five minutes.
They also seem to carry an extensive collection of raw food in the back - there is a wall of refrigerators. I don't know much about that as Chopper doesn't seem to do well with raw food so we haven't tried it. But I never seen as much variety anywhere else in LA.
Also no open treat bar so that's one more day Chopper stays out of the slammer.