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Not only are Great Danes one of the gentlest breeds around, they’re also affectionate and playful. Having said that, they’re as energetic as they are large and teenage Danes can be prone to the “zoomies,” a term used to describe their wild abandon and Joie de Vie. This involves galloping and bouncing, leaping and spinning, and jumping on or over things and while it’s certainly not meant to be harmful, a child could get hurt in the process.
Unfortunately, larger dogs (and you don’t get much larger than this giant breed, even as a Great Dane puppy) typically have limited lifespans and will live between seven and 10 years. Sadly, these majestic mutts are prone to a number of serious health problems like bloat, which means they have very specific needs in terms of nutrition and exercise.
At a Glance: Our Choices for the Best Dog Food for Great Danes
- Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult Fish & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food
- Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make for your Great Dane, other than deciding what to call him, is what food to feed him. For his health’s sake, it’s essential to choose a high-quality premium dog food when he’s still a puppy. Great Danes grow to more than 100 pounds and it can take them approximately two years to reach their full size. In that time, you want to make sure he’s getting the protein to help fuel this growth, without too many extra calories.
This begs the question, what to feed a Great Dane puppy? The best thing you can do is give your very own Marmaduke look-a-like a large- or giant-breed puppy food until he reaches 80% of his maximum size. Then make a change to adult food. But which one? Let’s take a look at what is the best food for Great Danes? Let’s take a look.
1. Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food
Wondering what diet to feed Great Dane puppies? Instinct By Nature’s puppy grain-free food not only meets your puppy’s nutritional needs, it exceeds them. It’s packed with premium proteins, digestible carbohydrates and healthy fats. This recipe is also grain-free and chicken is the primary ingredient.
For additional health and wellness, it’s supplemented with omega fatty acids and DHA that helps with eye and brain development while the calcium and phosphorus support your pup’s steady (and rapid) growth, as well as the health of his teeth and bones. All in all, Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy food provides quality nutrition, with the right balance of supplements for a happy, healthy pup.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula makes an appearance in a lot of food reviews. It’s great for large breeds and one of the best dog food choices for Great Danes.
The antioxidant-rich ingredients are cold-pressed to preserve their natural goodness. The antioxidants support their immune system and help prevent diseases like cancer. Blue Buffalo is high in omega-3s, low in carbohydrates, and contains zero artificial ingredients. Glucosamine and chondroitin can also be found in the formula to provide support for joints.
However, if your large baby already suffers from joint problems, you’ll want to give him additional supplements. There’s added salt so it’s not recommended for pups with heart conditions.
Castor & Pollux Organix is the leader in natural and organic pet food and contains only the highest quality ingredients.
The main ingredient is organic free-range chicken and it’s enhanced with carbohydrates brown rice, barley and peas, which all help with digestion and dietary fiber.
Your dog gets complete and balanced nutrition that’s all natural and he’s going to love the natural flavor.
Earthborn Holistic dog food is gluten and grain-free with no additives and is enriched with blueberries and cranberries, nature’s very own antioxidants.
Although it’s higher in fat and protein than recommended, it’s healthy fish-based protein sources. There are also real roasted fruit and vegetables included in the formula, along with healthy sources of carbohydrates.
Earthborn Holistic contains taurine, which helps with long-term heart health and it promotes the growth of healthy muscles. Omega-6 and 3 fatty acids contribute to a shiny coat and support the joints.
The unique selling point of Taste of the Wild products is that they’re designed to simulate the food types your dog would eat if it were living in the wild. It’s a good quality food that’s affordable and is made up of real roasted vegetables and meats plus it’s high in fiber.
The food has no additives like soy, wheat, and corn, simply because it’s not what your pup would eat in the wild. Again, Taste of the Wild is a little high in fat and protein, at 15% and 25% respectively, but the sources for both are high quality, which is why it’s recommended.
The food is rich in antioxidants which helps with the immunity system and the omega acids support joint health and give your dog a sleek, shiny coat. Because Great Danes suffer from gastrointestinal issues, Taste of the Wild is high in fiber and helps with sensitive tummies.
Feeding your gentle giant is a fine balancing act. You need to ensure they are getting enough food, but you also don’t want them having too much.
By starting off with a high-quality nutritional large-breed puppy food you’re making sure those loving Great Dane puppies grow big and strong, but not too quickly. Then, when your teenagers are all grown up, you can switch to a large-breed adult food. This will maintain their health and weight throughout their adult years and avoid minor problems like a sensitive stomach and far more serious illnesses like bloat.
Our recommended premium pet food brands for giant breeds should put you on the right track. If you are still unsure about what to feed your pet, you should visit your local vet for more advice.
Top Picks For Our Dogs
- BEST PUPPY TOY
We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
- BEST DOG CHEW
We Like: Bones & Chews Bully Sticks - All of our puppies love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Bully Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
- BEST DOG TREATS
We Like: Crazy Dog Train Me Treats - One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.
- BEST FRESH DOG FOOD
We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.
For a list of all the supplies we get for our new service dog puppies check out our New Puppy Checklist on the PuppyInTraining.com blog.