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.
American Kennel Club Breed Classification: Working Dog
Recommended Daily Exercise Amount: 30 minutes – 60 minutes a day
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.
Physical Traits of Great Dane
Great Danes are known for being giant in size, muscular, athletic, and typically will have a short-coat fur.
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:
- Omega-3 from Fish Oil
- Green Mussel
- Vitamin E
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:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- 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
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:
Blue Buffalo Red Meat Puppy Food
Purina Healthy Puppy Food
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:
Wild Earth Clean Protein Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Duck-Based Dog Food
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: