4 Best Foods For Your Great Dane : Affordable Diets for Gentle Giant

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Great DaneGreat Danes are truly majestic (and giant) dogs that turn heads wherever they go. With super-sized dogs come super-sized appetites. We've selected some great foods that not only meet and exceed the nutritional requirements of dogs and their owners, but alsowon't break the bank. With as much as Great Danes eat you'll appreciate an affordable food.

The epitome of the phrase “gentle giant,” the Great Dane is not only one of the largest dog breeds out there, but also one of the most mild-mannered.

Great Danes are nothing if not sweet and they have the ability to get along with just about everyone they meet. These dogs do have a bit of a protective side and they make good watch dogs, though they can also be great family companions as well.

This breed needs a great deal of space, but their needs for exercise are surprisingly low for their size. The Great Dane has very low maintenance requirements and, despite their size, they are adaptable to condo or apartment life.

Unfortunately, this breed is prone to a number of serious health problems which contribute to a low life expectancy of 7 to 10 years. Any time you are able to spend with a Great Dane, however, is time well spent.

Great Dane Breed Overview

  • Pedigree: Purebred
  • Size: 28 to 32 inches, or more
  • Weight: 110 to 190 pounds
  • Energy Level: Low
  • Lifespan: 7 to 10 years

The Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds out there and therefore also one of the most easily recognizable. These dogs grow up wards of 28 to 32 inches tall and it isn’t uncommon for them to weigh more than 150 pounds at maturity. Although they may be massive, these dogs have hearts of gold and they bond very closely with their masters. This breed generally responds well to training, though they can be stubborn at times and may require a few more repetitions than more intelligent breeds to master a command. They will always do their best to defend their family, however, and they make wonderful family companions. Great Danes have short, low-maintenance coats and low needs for exercise, but they do have some important health considerations you need to keep in mind and the quality of their diet will significantly impact their long-term health and longevity.

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Dietary Considerations for Great Danes

The Great Dane generally achieves an adult weight between 110 and 190 pounds with males of the breed reaching the higher end of the spectrum and females being a little smaller. Because the Great Dane is so large, you might assume that his daily calorie needs are very high. They are, in fact, much higher than the needs of a smaller dog but you must keep in mind one important thing – large-breed dogs have lower calorie needs measured per pound of bodyweight than smaller dogs. For example, a 22-pound Dachshund might need about 750 calories per day while your 110-pound Great Dane needs 2,500. If you divide it out, however, you’ll find that the Dachshund needs about 34 calories per pound of bodyweight while the Great Dane needs less than 23. Large dogs simply have slower metabolisms so while their daily calorie goals may be higher, you still need to be careful of overfeeding.

In addition to knowing that your Great Dane’s calorie needs per pound of bodyweight are a little lower than for smaller breeds, you should also be mindful of the fact that these dogs reach their full size much later than small dogs. While a small dog might reach his adult size between 10 and 12 months of age, Great Danes often take two years or more to reach maturity. During this time, it is important that your dog gets plenty of protein to support his growth and development, but without too many extra calories that cause him to grow too quickly. Growing too fast is dangerous for large-breed puppies because it can put extra strain on their developing bones and joints, predisposing them to musculoskeletal issues in adulthood. A large-breed puppy formula is recommended for this breed because these recipes are typically rich in protein but moderate in fat to control the calorie count. Feed your dog a large-breed puppy formula until he reaches about 80% of his maximum size then switch to a large-breed adult recipe from then on.

In addition to controlling your Great Dane’s intake of fat and calories, there are some other nutritional considerations you may need to make based on the health conditions to which the breed is prone. The average lifespan for the Great Dane is only 7 to 10 years, largely because this breed is affected by some serious health problems that can limit his life expectancy. These dogs are highly prone to cardiomyopathy, for example, which can cause the dog’s heart to grow too large as well as gastric torsion, or bloat, which can cause the stomach to twist, cutting off blood flow to the rest of the body. These dogs are also highly prone to musculoskeletal issues like hip dysplasia, so choose a dog food that contains supplemental glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. In general, your Great Dane should be eating a high-quality diet that is rich in animal protein and limited in both fats and carbohydrates with just enough fiber to support healthy digestion.

The Best Dog Food Brands for Great Dane Adults and Puppies

After reading the information above, you should have a better understanding of your Great Dane’s unique nutritional requirements, but you may be wondering how to choose the best dog food for this breed. Below you will find three reviews for recommended brands of dog food for Great Dane adults as well as one recommendation for Great Dane puppies:

Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed Buy It

Our Pick : Best Overall Dog Food For Large Breed Puppies

First 5 Ingredients : Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Yellowtail Flounder, Whole Eggs, Whole Atlantic Mackerel

Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed

The Precise Pet Products company offers three distinct product lines – Naturals, Naturals Grain-Free, and Holistic Complete. Every recipe this brand makes contains wholesome, nutritious ingredients that nourish your dog’s body from the inside out. What makes the Precise Naturals product line unique is the fact that it is designed with a holistic principle of pet nutrition – it is designed to promote your dog’s health, happiness, and harmony for the duration of his life. Every recipe is made with real meat proteins, wholesome carbohydrates, and other healthy ingredients with beneficial supplements like probiotics and chelated minerals. The Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed recipe is particularly good for your Great Dane because it is designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of very large dogs. This recipe contains 25% crude protein and 15% crude fat, featuring protein-rich chicken and chicken meal as the primary ingredients. It is also supplemented with salmon meal and lamb meal as well as digestible carbohydrates like brown rice and oatmeal.

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Recipe Dry Buy It

Our Pick : Best Overall Dog Food For Large Breed Puppies

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Recipe Dry

The Nutro pet food company follows a “feed clean” philosophy that is focused around real, natural ingredients combined in healthy ways to ensure complete and balanced nutrition for dogs in all life stages. This brand chooses only the highest quality non-GMO ingredients that are sourced from reputable suppliers and combined in recipes that will nourish your dog’s body from the inside out. The Nutro brand has several distinct product lines but the Nutro Ultra product line is designed around high-quality animal proteins, healthy whole grains, and vibrant superfoods. The Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Recipe dry food meets these requirements and more. It features 23% crude protein and 12% crude fat, made with both chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients. For carbohydrate support, this recipe relies on brown rice and oatmeal with dried fruits and vegetables for supplementary fiber and natural sources for key nutrients.

Holistic Select Large Breed Health Chicken Recipe Dry Buy It

Our Pick : Best Overall Dog Food For Large Breed Puppies

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)

Holistic Select Large Breed Health Chicken Recipe Dry

Holistic Select has been making high-quality pet foods for over a decade and they are known for their healthy, natural recipes made with premium ingredients. Not only is each recipe designed to deliver complete and balanced nutrition, but they are supplemented with their Unique Digestive Health Support System to ensure healthy and regular digestion. This is a combination of prebiotics and probiotics as well as digestive enzymes and natural fibers to keep your Great Dane’s digestive tract working as it should. This brand guarantees the quality and safety of their products, offering a money-back guarantee. The Holistic Select Large Breed Health Chicken Recipe is a good choice for your Great Dane because it hits on all the major nutritional hallmarks – it is made with high-quality animal protein, supplemented with whole grains, and contains a blend of omega fatty acids. The high protein content will help your dog maintain his lean muscle mass while the dried fermentation products support his digestion. It also contains supplementary glucosamine and chondroitin for bone and joint health.

Orijen Puppy Large Dry Food Buy It

Our Pick : Best Dog Food For Great Dane Puppies

First 5 Ingredients : Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Yellowtail Flounder, Whole Eggs, Whole Atlantic Mackerel

Orijen Puppy Large Dry Food

Though the Orijen pet food company is based in Canada, there is no reason to question the quality or safety of their products. Simply put, this is one of the top pet food brands on the market and would be an excellent choice for your Great Dane puppy. Some customers have complained that they moved some production to their facilities in Kentucky, but rest assured that this dog food is top notch. Orijen makes it their goal to create “biologically appropriate” diets for dogs which means that their formulas are rich in animal ingredients and limited in carbohydrates. The Orijen Puppy Large formula in particular is a great choice for your Great Dane puppy because it is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of large-breed puppies without going overboard on calories. It features 85% poultry, fish, and egg ingredients with no gluten, grains, or potatoes. This formula offers 38% crude protein and 16% crude fat, both of which are well above the recommended minimum for puppies. You’ll also be glad to know that it is supplemented with probiotics for healthy digestion and fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance.

Your Great Dane deserves a high-quality diet that will support his growth and development as a puppy and help him maintain his lean muscle mass as an adult. The best way to ensure that your Great Dane’s nutritional needs are met is to choose a quality large-breed formula for whatever life stage he is in. Once you’ve chosen the right formula, carefully transition your dog onto the new recipe and follow the feeding recommendations to ensure that he gets the nutrients he needs without going overboard on calories. Any of the recipes reviewed above would be a solid choice for your Great Dane if you need somewhere to start your search.

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