If you are an owner of a Great Dane, there is a good chance that you have heard the same questions a lot. How tall is he? Is he friendly? Just how much food does it take to feed a dog like that?
This last question is important because the diet of a Great Dane needs to be just right to meet their needs. They need plenty of food but, more importantly, they also need the right type of food.
In this guide, we will look at what that actually means. This means taking a closer look at the best ingredients for Great Danes, as well as some of the feeding and health considerations. From there, we will take a look at some of the best Great Dane dog food products on the market at the moment, including some Great Dane puppy food recommendations.
Hungry Bark Dog Food
Great Danes given their large size should be fed a nutritionally dense kibble since their dietary requirements are often over 2,000 calories a day. Hungry Bark doesn’t contain any fillers or soy, so you know your Great Dane will be getting real meat, vegetables, probiotics and vitamins with each bite. Monitoring a well balanced feeding schedule as well is important especially for Great Danes, since they can experience bloat when eating too much & too quickly. Hungry Bark also offers custom nutrition plans, so you’ll know exactly how many calories are going into each scoop.
Best dog food for Great Danes : Our top picks
This table highlights some of the best product for Great Danes. There are lots of high-end brands that provide foods with just the right calorie contents and ingredient. See our top list here and you will see the review later.
|Eukanuba Giant Breed Dry Dog Food||Adult|
|Blue Buffalo Freedom Large Breed Food||Adult|
|Royal Canin Giant Breed||Adult|
|Precise Holistic Large Breed Dry Dog Food||Adult|
|Taste of the Wild High Prairie||Adult|
|Nature’s Variety L.I.D Dog Food||Sensitive stomach|
|Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Food||Puppy|
What do we need to know about feeding Great Danes?
Before we look at some of best dog food products for Great Danes, we need to understand a little more about their needs. This means a better idea of portion sizes, potential allergies and other health issues. We will then look at some of the most important ingredients that you will find in the best Great Dane foods.
Understanding portion size
How much does a Great Dane eat per day? Many people that don’t own Great Danes expect these animals to go through mountains of food. The reality is that they don’t need as much as many suspect. This all comes down to the slower metabolism of Great Danes compared to more active, smaller breeds. If you give a relatively inactive Great Dane a diet with too many calories, this could lead to health issues down the line. The same rules apply to dogs as they do to humans. We need to burn off what we eat or risk obesity and related conditions. Puppies can get by on 5 to 10 cups per day depending on size and sex. This increases to 8-15 in adolescence and around the same in adult life. Active, healthy adults need between 2,500 and 3,000 calories a day.
Great Dane allergies
All dogs have the potential to develop allergies within their diet. Some Great Danes may struggle with certain types of meat. Chicken is a likely culprit, so it is best to avoid this if your Great Dane has a reaction – especially if the product has chicken by-products. The good news is that there are plenty of dog food brands that work to provide different options and healthier formulas to help animals avoid these reactions.
Other Great Dane health issues to keep in mind
Unfortunately, Great Danes can develop many different health conditions over their lifetime. Some will deal with musculoskeletal issues as they develop. Heart problems are also common in these large breeds, so they will need a diet that works to improve heart health. Then there is the issue of bloat. These deep chested dogs can experience dangerous levels of bloat with the wrong feeding habits. This is why experts suggest feeding Great Danes several small meals per day. This should limit the chances of gaseous build-ups in the stomach.
Key ingredients to look for:
- Protein: Protein is essential when creating a strong diet for a strong, healthy dog. It is recommended that Great Danes get a minimum of 22% as puppies and 18% while they are adults. Lean meats like turkey, lamb and wild meats are great for those looking to avoid allergies.
- Fat: Experts also suggest an 8% of fat for Great Dane puppies and 5% for adults. However, this is easier said than done with many store-bought dog food. Look out for oils that are rich in Omega 3 and 6 to help with skin and coat health.
- Vegetables: Look for good sources of fibre that steer away from grains and soy. These also provide vitamins for good health and growth
- Glucosamine and/or chondroitin: These bonus elements help to enrich a formula and ensure that it helps with bone and joint health.
- Taurine: This is another helpful supplemental ingredient for heart health.
Finding the best Great Dane food for your pet
1. Eukanuba Giant Breed Dry Dog Food
When looking for the best dry food for Great Danes, it helps to look at products with “giant breed” in the name. This means that they have a specific formula for larger animals and can handle their nutritional needs. There are some people that won’t like this Eukanuba option because it contains a few more fillers than other brands.
However, there are some great benefits for dogs with no allergy risks. This option has a 22.5% protein count and 12% fat. This is a good balance for this breed. There is also the addition of glucosamine to enrich the formula and help with joint health.
2. Blue Buffalo Freedom dog food for Large Breed
Blue Buffalo is a brand growing in popularity because of the range of formulas available and the accessibility of the products. The former means a great choice for specific needs. The latter could help with those financial issues.
This Large Breed Option is great for Great Dane because of the high protein content and additional vitamins and minerals. This one is a little different as it also includes taurine to help with any heart issues. Some owners prefer to use the lamb version to the beef because it is a little kinder on their dog’s stomach.
3. Royal Canin Giant Breed Dog Food
Royal Canin is another house hold name that many people respect. This product appears to tick a lot of boxes for Great Dane owners in need of an effective solution. The first is the use of proteins. There is a protein content of 26% mixed with simple, digestible fibre and no questionable filler.
The kibble pieces also have a number of additional nutrients on board to help with health issues. These include antioxidants, glucosamine for joint, DHA for brain health and taurine for heart health. There is also the fact that you can get a fair amount of kibble per bag.
4. Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Holistic brands are perhaps more appealing to many dog owners because of the focus on healthy ingredients. Yet, some people will end up paying a little more for the pleasure. This one is another product build for larger dogs – specifically those over 50 pounds. formulated for moderately active adult dogs weighing 50 pounds or more.
It provides the proper balance of protein, fat and calories and a modified calcium to phosphorus ratio to promote good skeletal health at their full size. Many will appreciate the use of triple meat proteins, while others celebrate the addition of glucosamine, calcium and chondroitin for joint and bone health.
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie
This option may not be to everyone’s liking because of the slightly higher price tag and the higher fat content. It all depends on your budget and the activity levels of the animal. This option is appealing because the 32% protein content consists of allergen-free bison and venison.
This is enhanced with peas and sweet potatoes. There are no grains or nasty fillers here either. This is a premium alternative, but one that should be considered where affordable.
Best dog food for Great Danes with sensitive stomachs
Great Danes with sensitive stomachs may need something a little different. A LID diet could be a great choice if they are to get the very best diet plans with minimal digestive discomfort. These diets tend to focus on one main source of protein – generally one with a lower allergy risk – and fewer fillers. There are lots of brands that try and offer these plans for lots of different breeds. Try and find one that offers larger quantities at a fair price, rather than lots of small, expensive cans.
One such example is the Limited Ingredient Diet option from Nature’s Variety. This product contains simple pieces of food that are easy to digest and not as complex as those in other brands.
These grain-free options don’t have the complex carbs and fillers of many cheaper dog foods. Instead, there is one vegetable and one animal protein. The turkey flavour is a great choice for dogs that struggle with other meats or fish. Another oddity with this option is the use of a green tea coating. This source of antioxidants is said to help improve digestion further.
Finding the best dog food for Great Dane puppies
A good Great Dane puppy food is essential because these animals need all the right nutrients and help to grow big and strong. Some new owners wonder when to switch a Great Dane from puppy food to adult food. Remember that Great Danes take a while to grow. A big 1 year old dog still has room for a growth spurt before he is fully mature. Also, those are some big bones and muscles to grow, with a big need for all the best nutrients. You don’t want to put your pup at risk of joint issues early on. Many Great Dane dog food providers recommend that owners use their adult food from around 18 months or 2 years.
This is where we recommend Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Food. This product is a great option that brings together many of the most important aspects of Great Dane food, but turns them into a reliable puppy food.
The protein source is lamb and there is just the right balance of fat and protein for growing pups. There are also plenty of nutrient and helpful extra such as glucosamine, chondroitin, sunflower oils and antioxidants. At the same time, there are no artificial colours, preservative, corn, soy or wheat.
How much does it cost to feed a great dane?
This is another important question that many new Great Dane owners need to ask. The truth is that the costs can vary dramatically depending on the approach you take. The biggest issue here is the fact that you will need large bags of food, and lots of them. This can eat into a weekly budget quite significantly. Some dog owners will go for cheaper brands to compensate. But, these products may not have the best ingredients. Those with a larger budget can enjoy the very best formulas and speciality foods.
The alternative is to give up on store-bought food and home-cook meal to suit their needs. The only issue here is finding all the supplements they will need to enrich their diet. Home cooked meals for Great Danes can be cheaper with a little careful planning. This is also a great way to try a Great Dane raw diet if you believe this will help them.
What have we learned about finding the right dog food for Great Danes?
These dogs may not require the mountains of food that some people expect, but they still need a strong, healthy diet with the right portions. This means plenty of small, protein-rich meals to aid with growth and prevent bloat. Products that are enriched with supplements and antioxidants are great when trying to improve the health of these gentle giants. Leaner meats like turkey, lamb and venison are also great for reducing the risk of allergies.
The products mentioned here may not all be 100% perfect. Some have a couple of ingredients that Great Dane owners may prefer to avoid. Others may be too expensive for dog owners on a budget. However, the breadth of options here shows that there are solutions out there for different needs and tastes. If you have any further queries about finding top Great Dane food products or supplement, talk to your vet.
Dawn Bradley is a content writer, blogger and animal lover. She is also a pet parent. She has written many reviews and guides aimed at helping our four-legged friends and, in turn, their two legged owners. She also runs a nature blog about her home town of Plymouth, UK.