11 Best (Highest Quality) Dog Foods for Great Danes in 2019

Are you looking for the best dog foods for Great Danes?

Anyone who has ever owned a Great Dane will tell you about the voracious appetites of these dogs!

Great Danes definitely feature on the list of the largest dog breeds in the world. Adult male Danes can grow up to 30-32 inches, with females being slightly smaller at 28-30 inches. Weight wise, adult males can weigh anywhere between 140-175 pounds, while females can weigh anywhere from 110-140 pounds.

Runner Up

American Journey Dog Food

  • Nutrient rich featuring proteins
  • Affordable @ $1.49/lb

Check Latest Price

Best Overall

Taste of the Wild Dog Food

  • High-quality protein
  • Made in the USA
  • Affordable @ $1.74/lb

Check Latest Price

Best (Priced) Value

True Acres Dog Food

  • USA-raised chicken
  • Affordable & $0.94/lb

Check Latest Price

Despite their massive stature, these dogs are considered as lovable, very friendly, and can be a little aloof at times. They make favorable companions because of their patient and dependable nature. Sadly, Great Danes have a life expectancy of only 7-10 years.Opting to adopt a Great Dane is a big responsibility. One key factor to remember is that these dogs grow very quickly from puppy to adult. As a result, planning their diet ahead of time will save you both time and money.

5 Key Nutritional Needs of a Great Danes Diet

Dogs, just like most animals, require a balanced diet furnished with different kinds of nutrients, in the right quantities. Your Great Dane’s nutritional requirements will be determined by the dog’s stage in life, its size, as well as various other factors. Diet is especially important in growing Great Dane puppies as good nutrition will prevent muscular-skeletal complications.

  • Proteins and amino acids – Great Danes require high-quality proteins in their diet. Proteins are a macronutrient in a Great Dane’s diet and provide the much-needed building blocks of life – amino acids. There are 10 specific amino acids that dogs are not able to make which they obtain from eating foods rich in proteins. These amino acids are used to make hormones, antibodies, enzymes, fur, skin, muscles and bone. Growing Great Dane puppies and lactating females need to double the regular protein requirement of adult dogs.
  • Fatty acids and fats – Fats are a source of energy for Great Danes. They are recommended for healthy dog skin, and coat appearance. Your Dane’s diet should include a generous amount of fats obtained from seed oils as well as animal fats. Diets poor in good fats will result in Great Danes with dry, coarse fur, and painful skin lesions. Fatty acids are an indispensable requirement for your Dane because they prevent all these conditions as well as aiding in the transportation of fat-soluble vitamins around the body. They are also needed for the creation of new cells in growing puppies and injured dogs. Fats go a long way in improving the meal texture and taste too.
  • Vitamins – Great Danes require vitamins as part of a well-balanced diet, albeit in minute quantities. Vitamins are organic substances needed by Great Danes for efficient and proper metabolic functioning. Vitamin deficiency in these dogs will result in poor immune systems, poor blood clotting, and nervous system malfunction. Lack of Vitamin A, for example, will result in poor vision; while thiamin deficiency may lead to neurological abnormalities and brain lesions. Great Danes are especially sensitive to vitamins and therefore, their amounts need to be carefully monitored. Too much vitamin D can be fatal to Great Danes.
  • Minerals – There are 12 minerals that are considered as essential for Great Danes. This list of minerals includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. These minerals are responsible for aiding in the formation of strong bones and teeth. Minerals also play a vital role in nerve impulse transmission, cell signaling as well as muscle contraction. Dogs with mineral deficiencies will develop problems such as hyperparathyroidism and muscular-skeletal abnormalities. Excess minerals in the diet are also cause for concern particularly with large-breed puppies like Great Danes. For example, too much calcium in a Great Dane puppy’s diet will result in abnormal bone growth.
  • Water – Yes, water is among the key nutritional needs of a Great Dane. If you consider that at least 80% of an adult dog’s lean body mass is water, you’ll see just how important its role is in a Great Dane’s diet. The majority of metabolic functions require water as a solvent. That’s not all, however, because water also helps to regulate a dog’s body temperature, acts as a cushioning for organs, and aids in ridding the body of toxic waste products. Ensure your Great Dane always has access to good, clean water. If your dog is always thirsty, this might be a sign of a medical problem or too much sodium in the dog’s diet.

6 Special Dietary and Nutritional Considerations of Great Danes

Great Danes are a special dog breed that requires potential pet owners to understand the dog’s unique dietary and nutritional considerations before heading out to adopt. Here are six of the leading dietary considerations you need to think and plan around if you have a Great Dane, or are thinking of adopting a Great Dane.

  • Correct calculation of caloric intake – Do you know how much to feed your Great Dane? Does the food you are currently providing your Great Dane support the dog’s nutritional needs? It is very easy to overfeed or underfeed your dog. Use this Great Dane Calorie Calculator to figure out the exact dietary requirements for your dog based on the dog’s weight and age. Great Dane puppies, in particular, tend to eat more than their adult counterparts. Make sure your pup is getting their due daily energy requirement.
  • Puppies’ special dietary needs – For the first four weeks of the Dane puppy’s life, allow them to nurse from their mother. After that, you may begin to introduce them to solid food. You’ll soon discover that Dane puppies are voracious eaters whose diets need to be monitored carefully. Their meals should be provided in small quantities, periodically throughout the day. Great Danes, unlike other dogs, should eat regular, well-spaced meals throughout the day instead of two large meals. This is to prevent bloating, a condition Great Danes often suffer from. Expect your Dane puppy to go through 10-12 cups of dog food each day. Not to worry though, as the food quantity will reduce over time as the puppy grows.
  • Older dogs’ dietary concerns – From birth right up to about 18 months, Great Danes are still considered as puppies despite their enormous size. Full physical maturity is reached when the dog is around 3 to 4 years of age. As the dog matures, physical activity may decrease and the dog’s total calorific need will reduce by up to 20%. It is important for Great Danes to exercise as they get older, but not too much as they are a breed that’s known to suffer from bone disorders in old age. Exercise is still key, however, as it will prevent obesity. An obese Great Dane’s blood glucose concentrations may fluctuate because of the weight gain which disturbs the body’s metabolism and can potentially lead to diabetes.
  • Lactating dogs’ nutritional considerations – When a dog is lactating, its calorific requirement almost doubles. This is particularly true of giant breed dogs such as Great Danes. It is recommended that a Great Dane puppy feed from its mother for the first four weeks. From week five onwards, it is best for mother and pup to revert to supplemental food. Prolonging the lactating season might prove burdensome for the mother as Great Danes have petite digestive tracts, and as a result, might not be able to eat enough to keep themselves at optimum.
  • Weight considerations – Great Danes are massive dogs biologically, with a full grown male adult weighing well over 120 pounds. As can be imagined, the additional weight on such a frame will do great harm to the dog’s muscular-skeletal structure, decrease heart health, and reduce lifespan. The leading cause of obesity in Great Danes is overeating and not enough exercise. Use this Great Dane Calorie Calculator to ensure your dog is eating the right quantities to guarantee a healthy weight. As tempting as it might be, avoid giving table scraps to your dog.
  • Kibble, canned food, or home-made meal options – Which feeding options or foods are best for your Great Dane? Should you opt for raw feeding, offer kibble (dry dog food), go the canned food route, or simply prepare your own home-made meals? In a nutshell, raw feeding is preferable as Great Danes are by nature carnivorous animals. They can, however, be trained to eat otherwise. Dry pet food often in the form of pellets known as kibble is another popular and affordable option. Canned food is another option, but not one that should be become a staple in your dog’s diet. Always read the labels so you know exactly what your Dane is eating. Be aware of additives such as xylitol which are extremely toxic to dogs. This list of human foods which are toxic for dogs is definitely worth pinning up on your refrigerator.

We’ve done all the hard work and searched high and low to bring you the best dog foods for Great Danes.

Overall Best Dog Food for Great Danes in 2019

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features

  • Made from real protein – buffalo & bison
  • It is as the name says, grain-free dry food for your Great Dane
  • Perfect for feeding pups right through to adult dogs

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a revolutionary and innovative dog food that is designed to provide your Dane with its daily protein requirement. It boasts natural antioxidants extracted from real fruits and vegetables which aid in promoting dog health.

Additionally, the inclusion of K9 proprietary strain probiotic ensures your Dane has a healthy digestive tract. The grain-free nature of the product makes it ideal for feeding weaning pups and even senior dogs.

Pros: 

  • High-quality protein diet featuring buffalo meat
  • Well-balanced dry food inclusive of vitamins, antioxidants, essential omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Contains no grain, corn, fillers, preservatives, and wheat
  • Locally produced in the USA

Cons:

  • Might not be suitable for Danes with sensitive stomachs
  • Might take 7-10 days for dogs to get used to the taste

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features

  • Available in 4lb, 12lb, and 24lb bags
  • Nutrient-rich food featuring proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals
  • Designed with Great Danes with sensitive stomachs in mind

Most Inexpensive (Cheap) – The American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a specially crafted dog food that takes into consideration pets with sensitive stomachs. This feed boasts sufficient nutrients to ensure your dog is getting a well-balanced meal each time.

Made up of real, deboned salmon alongside other protein sources, fruits, and vegetables, this dog food provides your Great Dane with its daily protein, fats, and mineral nutrients. This recipe is an all-around winner thanks to its grain-free nature.

Pros:

  • Grain-free and made of wholesome real foods
  • Nutrient rich featuring proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals in proportionate amounts
  • Ideal for dogs with food sensitivities and stomachs
  • Locally made in the USA

Cons:

  • Preferred feed for adult dogs only

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables & Brown Rice Canned Dog Food

Key Features

  • Homestyle type of meal
  • Well-balanced nutrients with added vitamins and minerals to boost dog health
  • Wheat and corn free pate making it ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies
  • Recommended for dogs with food allergies or sensitive stomachs

Best Canned Food for Great Danes – It’s no secret that most dogs love homestyle meals. This Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables & Brown Rice Canned Dog Food certainly does not disappoint.

It has all the good things young growing pups need to develop strong bones, healthy skin, and coat. Featuring buffalo meat, high-quality chicken, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, this pate is definitely a winner.

Pros:

  • Food texture is of a pate nature and therefore is easy for young pups to eat
  • Healthy well-balanced food boasting proteins, carbohydrates, chelated minerals and fruits

Cons:

  • Not available in dry food form

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula Large Breed Bites Dry Dog Food

Key Features

  • Scientifically formulated to deliver a well-balanced meal option for puppies, adults and senior Great Danes
  • Dry food specifically designed for large and giant dog breeds
  • Recommended as a special diet for dogs with sensitive digestion problems

Best Limited Ingredient Food for Great Danes – The Nature Balance L.I.D Limited Ingredient Diets are manufactured to be stress-free dog food for pet owners looking for simple dog foods which aren’t inundated with diverse proteins, preservatives, and artificial flavors.

This kibble dry food can be had by puppies, adults and senior dogs alike. The large sized nature of the kibble encourages Great Danes to eat slowly. Something which is very important for these dogs as it will reduce the chances of gastrointestinal problems such as bloat.

Pros:

  • Contains no soy, wheat, and corn making it a great alternative for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • This meal’s limited ingredient constitution makes it a favorable option for dog owners seeking hassle-free high-quality dog food
  • Kibble nature of dog feed encourages Great Danes to eat slowly which aids in reducing flatulence and bloat

Cons:

  • Limited protein and carbohydrates may mean you need to supplement this meal with another dog food to ensure your dog meets their daily energy requirements.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features

  • Designed for large and giant dog breeds
  • Dry food
  • Recommended for puppies
  • Contains no wheat or soy, can be used as a special diet

Best Great Dane Puppy Food – Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is a dynamic meal formula designed for giant dog breed puppies in mind. As a result, it contains high-quality nutrients from real food that support and encourage healthy growth in Great Dane puppies.

Gas and bloating are reduced thanks to the puppy-sized kibble pieces which allow the young pups to eat slowly and properly digest. The formula is infused with LifeSource Bits, which are a unique blend of nutrients that promote a healthy immune system.

Pros:

  • Fabricated with giant breed puppies in mind, therefore, contains enough proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins to encourage healthy growth
  • Real ingredients are used in this meal formula – real meat, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables
  • Kibble particle size is suitable for young dogs

Cons:

  • Not available in pate or wet food format.

6 More Top Rated Great Dane Foods:

If you’re looking for other Great Dane foods that come highly recommended, here are some of our top choices.

True Acre Foods Chicken & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The True Acre Foods Chicken & Vegetable Recipe is a dry dog food especially fabricated for small, medium and large dog breeds. Recommended for adult dogs, it can be fed to Great Danes in need of a special diet thanks to its grain-free and gluten-free nature. This formula boasts US-grown chicken meat, farm-grown fruits and vegetables, and the much-needed antioxidants and fats for healthy dog growth.

Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken Dry Dog Food

Gentle Giants is a kibble food for small, medium and large breeds. It can be fed to young pups, dogs with sensitive stomachs, and those in need of special diets. Formulated from a natural blend of wholegrain rice, oatmeal, and non-GMO vegetables and fruits, and complemented by farm-raised chicken, this meal option is a worthy consideration if you’re searching for a reliable meal for your Great Dane.

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

Nature is a brand that’s dedicated to ensuring that dogs eat real food. With this objective in mind, this Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe is made using real chicken, nutritious oils as well as fruits and vegetables. This meal does not contain corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives or colorings. The kibble is also infused with natural probiotics which promote good digestive health, skin, and hair.

FirstMate Large Breed Pacific Ocean Meal Formula Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Is your Dane allergic to chicken? Then give this Ocean Meal Formula a try. Made from wild herring and potatoes, this meal is designed to be easy on your dog’s stomach and perfect for use as a rotation feed. This unique feed made in Canada is both gluten and grain free. Kibble particles are large in size because this feed has been formulated for large and giant breeds.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Farm Raised Chicken

Nutro prides itself in using farm-raised chicken in this formula, along with essential vitamins, omega fats, and minerals designed to provide a balanced diet for giant and large breed dogs. Great Danes that suffer from food allergies and sensitivities can benefit immensely from this GMO-diet. Additionally, there is no soy, corn, or wheat used in this formula.

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

This Wellness Large Breed Recipe has chicken as its base ingredient. Other nutrients and minerals including calcium and phosphorus have been added to ensure your dog gets the best for healthy growth. Yucca Schidigera extract has been particularly added to reduce the smell of your Dane’s stool. This formula contains no corn, no wheat, and no soy.

Our 2019 Great Dane Feeding Guide

Most dog owners have a tendency of overfeeding puppies. In the case of Great Danes, this should be avoided at all costs because this dog breed grows very fast, in a short space of time. If you overfeed your Dane puppy you risk promoting abnormal bone growth in the pup. Use our comprehensive feeding guide below to help you get started off on the right foot with your feeding schedule.

Great Dane Puppy

How much should you feed your puppy? How many meals per day?

The general weights in the following table are designed to help you keep track of your puppy’s growth and ensure that your little pup is growing at a healthy, recommended pace. The monthly meal plan is geared at helping you effectively plan out your pup’s daily meal requirements and avoid overeating.

Ideal Weight for a Great Dane Puppy

LIFE STAGE:Puppy
GENERAL WEIGHT:At birth 1 – 2 pounds*

2 weeks 3 – 5 pounds

4 weeks 5 – 9 pounds

6 weeks 10 – 20 pounds

3 months 30 – 45 pounds

6 months 70 – 105 pounds

9 months 85 – 125 pounds

12 months 90 – 140 pounds

*Great Dane Growth Dog Chart

Recommended Food for a Great Dane Puppy

AGE

(Months)

FOOD

(Cups)

MEALS PER DAY
22-43
33-53
44-63
55-72
66-82
76-92
86-92
97-102
10-127-102
12-18 (females)6-92
12-18 (males)7-102

Great Dane Adult

Great Danes are considered adult once they have reached the one year mark. At this age, most male and female Danes have grown out, reached maximum height and weight. You’ll also notice that their meal requirements remain relatively stable with limited to no change. If you want a more accurate estimate of your own dog’s specific calorific requirements, you can use this Great Dane Calorie Calculator to get your Dane’s unique feeding needs.

Ideal Weight for an Adult Great Dane

LIFE STAGE:Adult
GENERAL WEIGHT:140-170 pounds (Males)

110-140 pounds (Females)

Recommended Food for an Adult Great Dane

AGE

(Months)

FOOD

(Cups)

MEALS PER DAY
12-24 (females)6-83
12-24 (males)8-103

Senior Great Dane 

Great Danes reach their twilight years around the age of 5-7 years. These dogs are considered senior or elderly Great Danes. In this life stage, it is important to monitor the dog’s feeding even more carefully, to ensure that the dog isn’t at risk of becoming overweight. An overweight Great Dane will be subject to a host of medical problems ranging from osteochondrosis, dysplasia, heart failure, diabetes to osteoarthritis.

Ideal Weight for an Adult Great Dane

LIFE STAGE:Senior
GENERAL WEIGHT:Maintain adult weight. A decrease in weight may signal a health problem. An increase in weight may signal reduced physical activity or a diet that’s now too high in calories compared to the level of activity. 

Recommended Food for a Senior Great Dane

AGE

(Years)

FOOD

(Cups)

MEALS PER DAY
5+ (females)6-83
5+ (males)8-103

FAQ

  • Should a Great Dane eat dry or canned food? – It is preferable to vary the food you give your Great Dane to avoid monotony. Opting to feed raw is good, dry foods are equally fine, and canned foods should be kept to a minimum. Because Great Danes eat small regular meals spaced out throughout the day, it’s important that you make a plan where feeding is concerned. Canned foods are not entirely recommended as the chief staple of a Great Dane’s diet because they can be expensive. Kibble is good especially when its primary protein sources come from high-quality meats.
  • Should my Great Dane eat a grain free diet? – The debate raging around grain free diets is still very controversial. Should Great Danes eat a grain free diet? Is it good for them? In our expert opinion, we have remarked that Great Danes thrive on a well-balanced diet. It is not so much a question of whether they should eat no grains or whole-grains as much as it is about the quality and type of grains. If you opt to feed your Dane on grains, we recommend that you buy certified organic grains. Avoid corn, soy, wheat, and any other grains that your dog might struggle to digest. We are wary of grain-free diets because they are still very new, and we believe more research is needed in order to ascertain their value in a Great Dane’s life. The general rule of thumb is that grain-free diets should be avoided at all costs for large and giant breeds when weaning puppies.
  • Do Great Danes have sensitive stomachs? – There is no hard and fast rule concerning Great Dane stomach sensitivity because every dog is different. There are some dogs that are just more prone to getting sensitive stomachs. This is congenital and you usually notice this early on in the dog’s life. If the dog has been eating normally all along, but suddenly appears to have developed a sensitive stomach this might be due to a number of reasons, chief-most being the dog’s diet. Symptoms of a sensitive stomach include blood in the stool, excessive gas, vomiting, nausea, hypersalivation, lack of appetite, and diarrhea. Senior Great Danes stand the greatest risk of developing sensitive stomachs. The best way to rectify the situation is to visit the vet. A series of tests will reveal the root cause of stomach sensitivity and a plan can be established to get the dog healthier and eating regularly.
  • Why does my Great Dane fart so much? – Let it be known that Great Danes are infamous for their flatulence! This is a condition whereby gas is formed and collects in the stomach and intestines, and is periodically released as ‘farts’ by your Dane. You need to know that this is normal. Flatulence occurs in all dogs, not just Great Danes. Its frequency, however, is determined by your dog’s diet. If you notice an increase in the frequency and potent smell being released by your Dane, this might signal something spoilt in the dog food.  Diets rich in milk products, fats, and spicy piquant foods are all culprits of aggravated flatulence in Great Danes. If you change your dog’s diet, and still the flatulence continues (or even becomes worse), you may need to take your Dane to see the vet. The dog may be suffering from malassimilation, also known as poor dog digestion or nutrient absorption.
  • Is a Great Dane Considered an Extra Large breed? – There is no doubting the fact that Great Danes are among the largest dog breeds in the world, and thereby meriting the term ‘extra-large breed’. In fact, legendary Great Dane Zeus holds the world record of being the tallest dog to ever live. Zeus measured an impressive 44 inches from shoulder to paw. Interestingly, the tallest living dog is again a Great Dane by the name of Freddy. Freddy currently stands at a staggering 40.7 inches. So are Great Danes extra-large breeds? Most definitely!

Conclusion

Your Great Dane’s greatest joy is to be a good companion to you. The dog relies on you to make the best food choices for it, to understand its sensitivities, and congenital weaknesses. Food is the one area you simply cannot mess up where your Dane is concerned. These dogs already have a short life-span compared to other dog breeds, don’t shorten it by making poor food choices for your dog. Try any one of the recommended products we have reviewed. For a more tailored approach, you may want to get the advice of your local vet before introducing a new dog food, particularly if your dog is already on a special diet.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *