Best Dog Food For Great Danes

The Great Dane is often known for its gargantuan size and pleasant demeanor. Its profile can make it seem daunting, but it’s a wonderful family pet that deserves a chance. Like many giant breeds, the Great Dane has a shorter life expectancy than average but a high quality diet can help to improve this. To promote optimal health and wellness in our gentle giant, the Great Dane, we recommend feeding a diet that has been specifically formulated to address breeds of this size. Whether you’re feeding your dog as a puppy, an adult or a senior, you’ll find something on our list of top recommendations to keep them in tip-top shape.

Dog Age:Recommendation:Rating:Ingredients:
Puppy:Blue Buffalo Red Meat Puppy Food4.8 / 5.0Beef, peas, pea protein, fish meal, eggs, flaxseed, tomatoes, fish oil.
Adult:Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food4.9 / 5.0Yeast protein, chickpeas, oats, peas, potatoes, canola oil, sweet potato, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, fish oil.
Senior:Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food4.9 / 5.0Yeast protein, chickpeas, oats, peas, potatoes, canola oil, sweet potato, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, fish oil.

Average Healthy Weight of Great Danes

Healthy Male Weight: 100 – 200 lbs

Healthy Female Weight: 100 – 150 lbs

Great Dane Breed Summary

The Great Dane is a dog breed that possesses excellent powers of hunting, and yet also has the gentle temperament of a family pet. This houseful canine does better in an expansive yard with space to roam, so it requires plenty of area for maneuverability.

Great Danes are affectionate and loving pets. However, the dog’s imposing size and intimidating bark makes it an excellent guard dog. Great Danes will eagerly protect their home and hearth, guarding those he or she loves most from harm.

The Great Dane is predisposed to being very thin, but free feeding should be avoided. A good diet of lean meat-based proteins prevents this kind of dog from gaining any weight.

American Kennel Club Breed Classification: Working Dog

Recommended Daily Exercise Amount: 30 minutes – 60 minutes a day

Physical Traits of Great Dane

Great Danes are known for being giant in size, muscular, athletic, and typically will have a short-coat fur.

Personality Traits

Lovable, affectionate, gentle for their size, and friendly

Potential Health Considerations for Great Danes

Sadly, the Great Dane is a breed that has natural predispositions to life-threatening health conditions because of it’s large size. A diet based on lean meats will be of great help in developing good health for a Great Dane.

The Great Dane has a few health problems that can affect its life, including bloat, hip dysplasia, anterior cruciate ligament injury (knee), heart disease, and wobbler’s syndrome.

Hip Dysplasia Issues

Hip Dysplasia is pain and discomfort accompanying deterioration of the hip joint. Diet has been found to be a significant source of relief for this condition in Great Danes. A healthy, well-balanced diet fortified with supplements to support joint health will mitigate the effects of dysplasia in Great Danes – especially those who are kept at a healthy weight. Dog food and supplements for Great Danes should include:

  • Glucosamine
  • Methylsulfonymethane
  • Chondroitin
  • Omega-3 from Fish Oil
  • Green Mussel
  • Taurine
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin E
  • Antioxidants

Hip and elbow dysplasia is common for large dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Greyhounds, and other large breeds. For this reason you must pick a dog food that will be beneficial for their joints and muscle maintenance.

Potential Knee Injuries For Great Danes

Cruciate tears in the back legs can be an issue for larger-breed dogs, such as a Great Dane. Maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in regular exercise can help prevent this type of injury.

Potential Heart Health Issues

Every dog deserves a healthy heart, which can be achieved through following these dietary guidelines:

Any recommended diet has to be able to supply the food essential for your dog’s growth and health. Dogs should never have any table scraps or human foods (except those that are strictly prescribed). Any treats that you give should only comprise 10% of their total diet. Below are a few additional nutrients, supplements, and vitamins that can improve the health of your dogs heart:

  • Taurine
  • Carnitine
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Complete protein
  • Low sodium

Bloat (Gastric Torsion)

The Great Dane is at a high risk of developing bloat, which can be fatal. Experts believe that eating too quickly or consuming too much may contribute to the development of this condition. For these reasons, many pet owners choose food formulated for giant breeds like Great Danes. When feeding your Great Dane we recommend you try the following in order to diminish the risk of bloat:

  • Encourage your Great Dane to eat slowly
  • Feed them dog food designed for large breeds
  • Feed your Great Dane 2-3 smaller meals a day compared to just one meal a day
  • Allow the food to digest for 30 – 60 minutes before physical activity
  • Use additional vitamins and supplements
healthy great danes

Best Dog Food For Great Dane Puppies

Age of Great Dane Puppies:

10 weeks – 24 Months old

The Great Dane has a slow growth pattern with few medical challenges. The breed does best on large breed puppy food until at least 12 months of age, but longer if possible. After this period, the dog should be transitioned to an adult diet appropriate for dogs in that size range based on their weight and height.

Food for Great Dane puppies should have moderate protein and fat. They also need to be fed the correct balance of calcium and phosphorous.

Below are recommended dog food for Great Dane Puppies:

Recommended Dog Food:Key Benefits:Shop Now!
Blue Buffalo Red Meat Puppy Food

blue buffalo puppy food
- High protein red meat recipe crafted with beef to help build lean muscle.

- Grain-free blend specifically designed for puppies that contains healthy antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals selected by veterinarians.

- 32% Protein Content.

- 16% Healthy Fat Content.
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Purina Healthy Puppy Food

purina healthy puppy food
- U.S farm-raised chicken based puppy food with additional vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.

- Contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals with included DHA to support brain and vision development.

- 28% Protein Content.

- 14% Healthy Fat Content.
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Best Dog Foods For Adult Great Danes

Age Range of Adult Great Danes:

2 years old – 6 years old

Adult Great Danes require an increased number of calories per day. Adult Dane diets typically contain moderate amounts of protein and are high in fat. Here are some suggestions from our nutrition team:

Recommended Dog Food For Adult Great Danes:

Recommended Dog Food:Key Benefits:Shop Now!
Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food

wild earth dog food
- Clean protein recipe designed with prebiotics and probiotics for optimal digestion and allergy health.

- Crafted with recognizable superfoods such as spinach, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, pumpkin, oats, and no fillers or additives.

- 31% Protein Content.

- 10.5% Healthy Fat Content.
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Blue Buffalo Duck Blend

blue buffalo adult dog food
- High-protein formula with lean protein duck blend to help maintain healthy lean muscle mass.

- Contains healthy carbohydrates such as green peas and sweet potatoes as well as additional omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.

- 34% Protein Content.

- 15% Healthy Fat Content.
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Best Dog Food For Senior Great Danes

Age range of senior Great Danes:

6+ years old

As a Great Dane ages, you provide fewer calories each day to maintain its healthy body condition. However, senior Great Danes often benefit from additional nutrients to support heart and joint health. A probiotic is also recommended for improved digestion.

Recommended dog food for senior Danes:

Recommended Dog Food:Key Benefits:Shop Now!
Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food

wild earth dog food
- Clean protein recipe designed with prebiotics and probiotics for optimal digestion and allergy health.

- Crafted with recognizable superfoods such as spinach, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, pumpkin, oats, and no fillers or additives.

- 31% Protein Content.

- 10.5% Healthy Fat Content.
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Blue Buffalo Senior Dog Food

blue buffalo senior dog food
- A high-quality chicken protein blend with additional vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help support your senior dog.

- Contains additional omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to improve the joint health and cognitive health of your dog.

- 30% Protein Content.

- 12% Healthy Fat Content.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Food For Great Danes

Our team are routinely asked questions from our readers about the best dog food for great danes and what food they should eat. We have listed these questions and answers below for your to read through and get a better understanding of what type of food is better for this breed. If you have any questions that haven’t been answered then we recommend you contact us and we will answer any questions you have about great danes.

Can Great Danes Eat Regular Dog Food?

Great danes can eat regular dog food but as they grow and become full grown it is typically recommended that they eat dog food that will support their size. Some dog food brands will include a line of food that is specifically designed for large or giant breeds. These types of dog food typically contain more calories and a higher protein content to help support the size of a great dane.

You aren’t required to feed your great dane a large breed dog food but it is important that they receive an adequate amount of dog food to support their caloric needs. A large dog will need more calories and more food to support their digestive system and activity levels. You veterinarian will be able to recommend how much food your great dane should eat on a daily basis.

Is Purina Good For A Great Dane?

Purina is one of the most popular commercial dog food brands on the market and it can be an adequate dog food for great danes but there are a few other dog food brands that will better help support the nutritional needs of your large breed dog. Purina typically has a lower quality protein content compared to our recommended dog food brands which isn’t as great for the growth of your great dane. If you do choose to feed your adult great dane Purina, then it is recommended to choose the Purina Pro Plan For Large Breeds as this line of food is more ideal for larger dog breeds such as great danes because of the increase in calories and protein content.

Is Taste of The Wild Good For A Great Dane?

Taste of The Wild isn’t as well known compared to larger commercial dog food brands but their high quality recipe has proven to be promising for many different dog breeds. Great Danes require a large amount of protein and a large amount of calories because of how large the breed is. Taste of The Wild does provide high quality protein but the amount of calories in each serving size isn’t enough for really large breeds. With that being said, you can still give Taste of The Wild to your great dane by increasing the quantity of food they eat each day. It is important to speak with your vet about how much food your dane should eat each day.

Photo of author

Dr. Jacob Hawthorne, DVM

Dr. Jacob Hawthorne, DVM is a certified veterinarian who graduated from the University of California - Davis Veterinary School in 2012. He specializes in nutrition and veterinary medicine for companion animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and more. He has been featured in websites such as PetMD, Yahoo News, Hills Pet, Daily Paws, and more. Learn more about Dr. Jacob Hawthorne, DVM.

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