This gentle giant is a lovable mass of dog. This breed holds the world record for tallest dog ever. First bred in Germany, as a mixed breed of the English Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound, these dogs were boar hunters. They were later bred to be giant, luxury dogs. These dogs can weigh up to 150 pounds with even the females being over 100. They are easy going and truly love their families when properly socialized. They can become skittish if not. Their prey drive tends to be fairly low considering they were originally bred as hunters. These large dogs have a unique set of medical concerns due to their stature. They grow fast and for a longer period of time than most dogs and have issues related to wear and tear on their body from their size. Talk to your pet’s veterinarian to assess nutritional needs and include the possibilities of potential health issues such as:
- Joint issues
- Bone problems
- hip dysplasia
- Wobbler disease
- Heart issues
- Eye issues
Your Great Dane is going to be a quieter dog who needs lots of love and good nutrition to give them their best chance at having a comfortable and good life.
What Brand of Dog Food Is Best for Your Great Dane?
Your pet is a special breed of dog that has a slower metabolism and doesn’t need extensive exercise. They are gentle and happy to have a moderate lifestyle. They are not big eaters considering their large size. They need a healthy balance of protein, fat, and carbs, as well as other nutritional requirements. Their protein intake should be around 23% and fat around 16%. These are not excessively high but are good at meeting the needs of their stature. Protein should be named first in the list of ingredients and not just anonymous by-products. Fat should be from animals or fish which will include omega fatty acids. As with all dogs, it’s best to stay away from products that have unnamed ingredients and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
The Best Food Options for Great Danes
Large breed puppies are unique. Great Danes grow fast and for a longer period of time. Their quick growth means they can grow improper bone formation which can lead to joint issues like hip dysplasia or “wobbler disease.” It seems contradictory, but you should try to limit exercise in your younger pup so they do not have excess stress on their growing bodies. It is one more thing to consider as you look at their diet with their veterinarian. By monitoring their food and exercise in the early months you may be able to hold off health issues in their later years.
Feed your Great Dane three to four meals a day for puppies and then down to two per day for adults. At 12 months, this should be split into about four cups of food per meal. Always have fresh water with their meals (but not too much to avoid bloat) and throughout the day to help with digestion and hydration. Whether you prefer wet dog food, dry dog food, Great Dane puppy food, or the very best high-quality dog food with high protein levels on the market, just what is the best dog food for Great Danes? Read on for the best dog food brands.
Food for Great Dane Puppies
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Puppy
This nutritionally-balanced product offers a great start for your new Great Dane puppy. It is protein filled along with DHA to help build healthy cognitive growth. It has enough calcium and phosphorus to support good bone growth in these fast sprouting pets. It is grain-free and has good fat for healthy skin and coats. This product offers a solid nutritional foundation for your pet so that feeding Great Danes with a premium dog food is easier than ever.
Pros: Good antioxidants, named protein (chicken), sweet potatoes, and fruit for carbs
Cons: Chicken can be an allergy trigger, sometimes causes stomach upset
Hill Science Diet Puppy Large Breed
This a great product is one that is often promoted by veterinarians. It’s a well-known brand that has all the ingredients to help your fast-growing Great Dane. It has a good amount of calcium to help bone growth along with a large number of vitamins and minerals in support of a healthy immune system. Its specialized recipe will help in the early growth of your large puppy.
Pros: Controlled calcium, no artificial ingredients, extra nutritional support for healthy joints.
Cons: Allergy triggers, kibble pieces are quite small
Food for Great Dane Adults
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adults
This recipe is a solid product for your Great Dane. It has real meat protein, whole grains and lots of vitamins and minerals. This product has what Blue Buffalo calls the “Super 7” package of ingredients that promote antioxidant-rich nutrition. It also offers great ingredients like glucosamine to help with bones and joints.
Pros: No additives, no by-products, lots of omega-3 and omega-6
Cons: Stronger smell, pieces on the small side for large dogs
Wellness Core Grain-Free Large Breed
This is a great product for your adult Great Dane as it is filled with a good balance of protein and fat. All its proteins are named and no preservatives. It is tailored to fit the needs of your giant dogs. There are no by-products or fillers. Its ingredients are also great for ongoing joint health.
Pros: Larger kibble size, “Wellflex” ingredients for joints
Cons: Can give your pup softer stools, all little higher price point
There are lots of good options that your Great Dane will love. Your dog is a wonderfully, unique animal that needs food with the nutritional options to match. Because they have a shorter lifespan, you want them as healthy as they can be. Their health concerns are important due to their large stature more than the calorie count. Check with your dog’s veterinarian for suggestions on nutritional content and then by a small bag to try it out.