Best Dog Food For Great Danes

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What Kind of food does a Great Dane need?

Name a dog that has a big heart – both physically and metaphorically speaking.

If you answered Great Dane, then you are 100% correct. Great Danes are one of the largest and most loving dog breeds in existence. In fact, they have even earned the nickname “gentle giant.”

And these dogs have big appetites, too! This leads many people to wonder, “What is the best dog food for Great Danes?

Additionally, Great Dane parents are eager to know:

• How is Great Dane puppy food different from adult Great Dane food?
• Is raw or homemade dog food for Great Danes a good choice?
• What to do about a Great Dane picky eater?
• Are there any foods Great Danes can’t eat?
• Do Great Danes need a lot of exercise?
• What is the best wet dog food for Great Danes?
Clearly, there is a lot to know abut caring for these magnificent dogs.

Luckily, Dog Food Specialist is here with answers!

As a veterinarian technician I had always harbored a soft spot for big, lovable dogs, and now that I’ve looked into the ideal dog food for Great Danes, I’m here to help you give your pal the nutrition he needs.

Holistic Select Giant Breed Dog Food was determined to be the finest overall solution for feeding Great Danes, but your gentle giant can have unique needs, so I’ve included some of the best brands for every Great Dane.

In this article we will look at:

  • The best Great Dane dog food reviewed
    • A guide to buying dog food for a Great Dane
    • How much food do Great Danes need?
    • Health issues & Great Dane diet
    • 5 cool facts about Great Danes!
    Let’s get started!

VIDEO: facts you didn't know about Great Danes!

Great Danes are one of the largest and most loving dog breeds in existence

Table of Contents

11 Best Dog Foods for Great Danes Reviewed

Feeding a healthy diet is the #1 way to extend the lifespan of a Great Dane. Sadly, these gentle giants only live between 8 – 10 years on average. However, a highquality Great Dane food will go a long way when it comes to their life expectancy.

Whether you go with dry or wet food, one of the easiest ways to determine good dog food is by reading the label and looking out for the AAFCO Statement. [1] Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet.

All of the dog foods on this list are in accordance with the AAFCO nutrient profile recommendations for dogs.

Best Dog Food for Great Danes

First on the list of best dog food for Great Danes is Holistic Select Giant Breeds Dog Food.
Here’s why:

Holistic Select Giant Breeds Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Rice, Oatmeal, Oats, Chicken Fat
  • Key feature: Specialized nutrition for giant breeds
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 453 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, Pea-Free, Gluten Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for Overall

This formula features a moderate 24% protein content from chicken meal. Average protein levels are ideal for maintaining muscles in large bodies without contributing to excess weight. [2]

That makes it a fantastic pick for an obese Great Dane who could benefit from shedding a few pounds. For more information on managing an
overweight Great Dane with low fat food, click here.

An optimal 14% fat content provides healthy omega-3 fatty acids that support a healthy coat. Low-fat content also helps limit the risks of obesity. [3]

Controlling weight and growth is critical because a Great Dane’s giant body can place additional stress on his joints. Added glucosamine and antioxidants may help manage joint discomfort in your Dane.

Bloat is another common health issue in Great Danes. [4] This condition involves the stomach overextending with gas when dogs overeat in one meal. The digestive support and probiotics in this food maximize nutrient absorption so your dog can eat smaller meals.

Great Dane owners find that this food is suitable for dogs with sensitive digestion. For that reason, it is also one of the best dog foods for Great Danes with diarrhea or who are especially sensitive to food and treat ingredients. However, the kibble size is not as large as other giant breed dog foods.

Best Grain Free Dry Dog Food for Great Danes

Next up on our list of Great Dane dog food is Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Formula.

This is an excellent dog food for Great Danes with sensitive stomachs as well. Why? It’s all thanks to a highly digestible recipe.

That means no fillers or meat by-products.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Formula

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey meal, Lentils, Peas
  • Key feature: Specialized nutrition for giant breeds
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 453 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No meat by-products, fillers, grain, soy, wheat-gluten, or artificial colors or flavors
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for Overall

Developed using advanced natural nutrition that features premium proteins balanced with nutrient-rich superfoods. This grain-free dry food for large breed dogs is formulated with chicken, turkey, fruits and vegetables and fortified with antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins, minerals,
glucosamine, chondroitin and omega fatty acids.

It is crafted into a larger kibble size for easy eating and designed to promote lean body mass, muscle tone, and a healthy coat and skin.

This dry dog food is developed using advanced natural nutrition that features premium proteins balanced with nutrient-rich superfoods. It encourages whole-body health without any meat by-products, fillers, grain, corn, soy, wheat-gluten or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.

Best Puppy Food for Great Danes

What is cuter than a wiggly Great Dane puppy?

Not much! Despite being so young, Great Dane puppies still weigh about 30 lbs at twelve weeks old. Their bodies explode with growth during the first few months.

Therefore, choosing the right Great Dane puppy food is critical. The best dog food for Great Dane puppies will minimize the chances of heart and joint problems later in life.

For these reasons, Dog Food Specialist recommends:

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Puppy Limited Ingredient Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils, Peas, White Dried Eggs
    Key feature: Specialized Limited Ingredients Nutrition for giant breed Puppys
    Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
    • Caloric Content: 520 kcal/cup
    Type of Product: No meat by-products, fillers, grain, soy, wheat-gluten or artificial colors or flavors
    Life Stage: Puppy
    Best for Overall

This is among the best puppy food for Great Danes, period. Formulated with just nine simple, wholesome ingredients, this recipe boasts chicken as its first ingredient, for a protein-rich, muscle-boosting meal your growing puppy will love.

Wholesome veggies provide a powerhouse of whole food nutrition, while a blend of probiotics, antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins provides the digestive, immune and nutritional support your baby dog needs to thrive.

They never add any corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients, so you can be sure your puppy is getting everything he needs (and absolutely nothing he doesn’t).

Consequently, it ranks high on our list of Great Dane puppy food recommendations

Healthy Dog Food for Great Danes

Next, we cannot leave out Nutro Ultra. This is another Great Dane dog food many
owners have had success with over the years.

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Real Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice
  • Key feature: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Pea-Free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 520 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No meat by-products, fillers, grain, soy, wheat-gluten, or artificial colors or flavors
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for Overall

Nutro Ultra Holistic Superfood Blend contains the perfect mix of premium lean proteins, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils to help your dog be at his best.

Combined protein sources from high-quality natural and holistic ingredients ensure optimal Amino Acid levels and great taste for your dog.

Ultra Large Breed Adult dog food is designed specifically for them – using natural sources of Glucosamine & Chondroitin to help promote healthy joints and keep your furry friend active and vibrant.

Best Senior Dog Food for Great Danes

A Great Dane is generally considered a senior once they reach 7 – 10 years of age. Just like how there is puppy food for Great Danes, your Great Dane diet needs to change to meet new needs as they enter their “golden years.”

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Senior Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Meal
  • Key feature: Antioxidant-rich formula helps keep senior dogs active
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 7% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 344 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Best for: Senior Great Danes

This large breed dog food supports elderly Great Danes with specialized ingredients for muscle maintenance and immune health. Giant breeds have shorter life spans, so owners should consider feeding senior food sooner than smaller dogs.

A lower 20% protein content from high-quality sources like deboned chicken is appropriate for older dogs. L-Carnitine helps promote lean muscle maintenance. And whole-grain carbohydrates provide energy to keep your senior active. [5]

Antioxidants like vitamin E help protect tissue from damage associated with aging. And glucosamine helps manage joint disease in elderly dogs.

This formula does not contain any corn, wheat, or soy. And a high 7% fiber content helps promote healthy digestion. So, owners may find this formula ideal for a senior Great Dane with a sensitive stomach.

Best Budget Food for Great Danes

Great Danes are easy to fall in love with. So long as you don’t mind a little slobber and drool, this breed will return your love tenfold! However, before rushing off to adopt a puppy, do you know the price of a Great Dane?

A puppy from a reputable breeder will cost upwards of $1000. Then there is Great Dane food to think about. For those who desperately want to share a home with one of these dogs (but are on a budget) we recommend the following Purina Pro brand.

It has:

Purina Pro Plan Focus Giant Breed Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Brewer’s Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Oatmeal, Whole Grain Wheat
  • Key feature: Budget-friendly formula with meat as the first ingredient
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4.5% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 383 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: High Protein, Weight Control
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Budget Great Dane Food

The specialized formula of this Giant Breed dog food supports the unique needs of dogs over 100 pounds. Unlike other budget options, this dog food features real chicken as the first ingredient.

A 26% protein content is ideal for Great Danes. And a low 12% fat content helps limit calories that could cause weight gain in larger dogs. This protein to fat ratio promotes healthy lean muscle in Great Danes. A key aspect of a Great Dane Diet.

Dog owners share that this food helps keep their large pups in excellent condition. The large kibble pieces of this dog food also help prevent dogs from bolting  their food. A slower eating pace is essential for reducing the risks of bloat.

Nutritious Dog Food for Great Danes

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Barley, Peas
  • Key feature: Whole food formula that supports the entire body
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 340 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Premium Great Dane Food

This dog food features specialized ingredients that address every aspect of your Great Dane’s health. The whole foods formula helps build lean muscle with a 26% crude protein content from premium chicken.

Whole grains such as brown rice, barley, and oats provide digestible carbohydrates for active large dogs. And the caloric content of 340 kcal/cup offers enough energy for large breeds without promoting weight gain. High concentrations of calcium and phosphorus promote strong bones that can support giant skeletons. [6]

Great Danes are famous for flatulence. But owners also noticed that their dog’s gas smells less offensive when fed this product. Therefore, Wellness Complete Health Largs Breed Dog Food is recommended for Great Danes with sensitive stomachs resulting in stinky gas – phew6

Best Grain free Wet Dog Food for Great Danes

Did you know?

According to breed experts, it can cost between $70 – $100+ per month just to feed a Great Dane – whoa!

A strictly raw food diet for Great Danes is similar. These big fur babies sure aren’t easy on a pet owner’s wallet. Fortunately, Taste of the Wild makes keeping a Great Dane raw diet easy.

Those considering the benefits of raw food for Great Danes should absolutely check out the following.

Let’s break down why:

Taste of The Wild Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Lamb Broth, Beef Broth, Vegetable Broth, Lamb Liver
  • Key feature: Wet food formula with premium animal proteins
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8% Crude Protein, 3.5% Crude Fat, 1.0% Crude Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 322 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Wet Food for Great Danes

This dog food from Taste of the Wild is a grain-free wet food with nutrient-rich ingredients ideal for Great Danes. The formula features several sources of lean animal protein. Real meat ingredients include beef, lamb, and venison.

An 82% moisture content makes the protein and fat percentages of this wet food deceptively low. But this recipe still meets your Great Dane’s nutritional requirements.

Wet food is an excellent choice for fussy eaters. Owners often find that their Great Danes prefer this food to dry alternatives. So, if your Great Dane is a picky eater, try wet food.

Whole food ingredients provide nutrient-dense sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The inclusion of organ meat boosts also boosts Vitamin A content. [7] Potatoes and peas enable this grain-free formula to meet your dog’s energy requirements with sources of complex carbohydrates.

A “paw-some” overall choice for a 1-Year-old Great Dane and older who prefers wet, grain-free food.

Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food for Great Danes

Uh oh!

Seeing your dog struggle with skin issues is unpleasant, to say the least. From Great Dane itchy skin to red hives, swelling, and flaking, sometimes food is the main culprit behind why a Great Dane coat is having problems.

And while supplements such as fish oil can improve symptoms, if diet is the cause, perhaps it’s time to opt for a hypoallergenic Great Dane food like Natural Balance.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Large Breed Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran
  • Key feature: Gluten-free limited ingredient formula
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 355 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Limited Ingredient Diet, Pea-Free, Chicken Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Great Danes with Allergies

Selecting a limited ingredient diet for your Great Dane with allergies is critical for managing allergic reactions. This dog food is grain-inclusive but gluten-free to meet your big dog’s energy requirements while limiting common allergens.

Lamb is the single protein source of this formula. Using a single source of protein limits the risk of new allergies developing.

This formula does not include chicken, a common ingredient and allergen. [8] A simple recipe helps avoid other common food sensitivities in Great Danes. The kibble is also specifically designed for large breeds. The size encourages proper chewing while a coarse texture helps clean teeth.

Most dog owners have success switching sensitive dogs onto this diet. 

Best Dog food for Joints for Great Danes

Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Mobility Large Breed Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Wheat
  • Key Feature: Specialty diet supports joint health in large and giant breeds
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 367 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Mobility Diet
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Great Danes with Joint Problems

This formula’s 28% protein content comes from chicken meal. It includes several whole-grain ingredients to provide safe sources of energy for large dogs. Fish oil offers high levels of omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce joint inflammation.[9] These healthy fats help reduce inflammation in irritated joints.

A concentrated level of glucosamine and chondroitin provides the building blocks of healthy cartilage. These ingredients are critical for improving comfort in dogs suffering from joint disease. [10]

Extra vitamins E and C act as antioxidants to help protect joints from free radical damage. [11] Most dogs fed this formula experience increased mobility after 30 days of use.

Some owners are concerned about the large kibble size. But the more prominent pieces are ideal for Great Danes.

Best Dog Food for Weight Loss for Great Danes

It’s not surprising that Great Danes enjoy eating. In fact, sometimes they like food a bit too much. But an overweight Great Dane is cause for concern.

If your veterinarian is worried about obesity, check out the following:

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Large Breed Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Split Peas
  • Key Feature: Non-GMO weight control formula for large breeds
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 12% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 239 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Weight Control, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Non-GMO
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For Weight Management for Great Danes

Real chicken is the first ingredient of this food and contributes to a 24% protein content. Nutrient-rich ingredients allow this formula to meet the nutritional needs of your Great Dane without excess calories. AKA, less risk of an obese Great Dane!

A low 239 kcal/cup caloric content helps promote weight loss. Lean proteins and complex carbohydrates provide energy, while extra fiber keeps your pup full.

Most overweight large dogs also suffer from joint problems. The inclusion of glucosamine in this recipe helps ease discomfort associated with the extra stress of additional pounds.

Most owners report successful weight loss when feeding this product correctly, but some dogs do not like the taste.

Guide to Buying Dog Food for Great Danes

The Great Dane is a huge, magnificent dog. Because of their enormous proportions, however, they have unique nutritional needs. 

The Importance of Reading The Label!

The Association of American Feed Control Officials reported that this breed requires approximately 24% of a maintenance protein diet.

As with all dog foods, ideally, you want to see a NAMED meat or protein 1st on the label and preferably 2nd and 3rd on the label too!

If it’s meat 1st but 2nd, 3rd, and 4th are grains (barley, oats, grain) then you are primarily feeding your dog a grainbased food which is not an effective diet.

So, are there any other foods Great Danes can’t eat?
Stay away from human foods including:

• Chocolate
• Grapes and raisins
• Avocado
• Onion
• Garlic
• Macadamia Nuts

Instead, look for nutrient-dense veggies and fruits (carrots, peas, kelp, blueberries, or pumpkin), as well as natural hues and preservatives (rosemary, vitamin C [ascorbic acid], vitamin E [mixed tocopherols].

While these natural preservatives don’t have a long shelf life, they are beneficial to the long-term health of your dog.


Nutritional Requirements & Calories

Your Great Dane’s adult weight ranges from 100 to 200 pounds, and it needs roughly 2,500 to 3,000 calories each day. The key to feeding your Great Dane is to select a moderate-protein, moderate-fat diet with between 350 and 450 calories per cup.

Moderate Protein

Protein is an essential component of a dog’s diet.

High Protein diets, on the other hand, might cause Great Danes to bulk up excessively or grow too quickly.

Skeletal abnormalities may occur as a consequence of rapid development, so protein in moderation is best!

Moderate protein is best to avoid skeletal abnormalities

Low Fats

Obesity is a major concern for Great Danes and other big breeds. Their size puts additional strain on their bones, making them more prone to joint problems.

The ideal dog foods for this breed have an maximum fat content of 20% However, fish oil and other sources of beneficial fatty acids can aid in the maintenance of a healthy coat and heart.

Digestible Carbohydrates

Choose a dog food that contains whole grains.

Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as rice and potatoes, are readily absorbed and converted into energy.

Grain-free alternatives can also be fed with carbs in the form of potatoes or peas to satisfy energy needs.

Giants require a substantial amount of energy. However, keep in mind that you should not overfeed on filler carbohydrates.

Refined carbohydrates can quickly contribute to weight gain.

Harlequin and Boston Great Danes running and playing in a field of dandelions


Dogs do not get energy from fiber. Fiber, on the other hand, helps to nourish the beneficial bacteria that reside in your dog’s gut.

Make sure you feed your dog a diet that includes insoluble and soluble fibers, these components will aid in the absorption of nutrients. This will guarantee that your Great Dane can utilize the nutrients in his food.

Vitamins and Minerals

Giant breeds require a diet that provides the necessary vitamins and minerals on a daily basis.

Puppies are particularly susceptible to nutritional deficiencies, which can have a long-term negative impact on their health.

Again, this is why choosing the best food for a Great Dane puppy truly matters.

The average height of a Great Dane when fully grown is between 24 and 26 inches, it might take them up to four years to reach their complete dimensions.

Vitamins such as calcium and phosphorus, which are important minerals, will ensure that they grow into healthy adults.

Developmental bone disorders can be caused by mineral

The nutrient profile requirements established by the AAFCO for dogs should be met by any dog food you consider.

Vitamins such as calcium and phosphorus, which are important minerals, will ensure that they grow into healthy adults.


Antioxidants, such as vitamin E and C, protect body tissues from harm caused by free radicals. Vitamins A and C are especially important for cell development.

By reducing inflammation, eating a diet high in antioxidants can improve your Great Dane’s immune system. This aids in the treatment of numerous diseases, including joint discomfort and heart disease.


Bloat is a disease that affects this breed frequently.

Great Dane probiotics assist to maintain a healthy digestive balance by boosting the number of good germs in the body.

Probiotics are live cultures of bacteria that, when consumed in supplement form, help to break down food and regulate bowel movements.

This reduces the chance of excess gas accumulating in the stomach and causing bloating.

Not sure if your Great Dane could benefit?

Here are 5 Signs Your Dog Needs Probiotics.

mixture of probiotic fruit and veg
Probiotics help to break down food and regulate gut health

The best probiotics for Great Danes

Did you know that a dog’s gut health has a significant influence on its overall health?

A recent scientific study reports that 70% to 80% of all illness begins in the gastrointestinal tract! discover why this supplement is vital for your dog’s immune system and overall health-Full Bucket’s Probiotic supplements

Joint Friendly Ingredients

A Great Dane’s adult weight may reach 200 pounds. The additional strain that all that weight places on their bones and joints is worth noting. Glucosamine, a frequent component of dog food, helps preserve joint cartilage. Look for a formula that includes chondroprotective ingredients to help your dog feel his best.

Did you know that there is an all-natural method to relieve inflammation, pain, and discomfort in dogs that works better than pharmaceuticals? Check out our page on Canine Cush for Dogs.

How to Choose Dog Food for Great Danes

The best dog food for your dog will vary depending on his age, activity level, and special needs.


Your Great Dane’s early years are spent growing to his full mature size. Proper feeding is critical during puppyhood to prevent your pet from developing too rapidly.

Protein requirements for puppies are greater than those of adult dogs. They should, however, avoid high-carbohydrate meals that might induce excessive development.

The diet for a Great Dane puppy should be adequate to support its full adult weight of 140-170 pounds. To minimize the chances of weight gain, they should eat low-fat diets.

Protein needs are reduced in Great Danes over the age of three. Many great breeds endure joint disorders as they get older, and as a result, the greatest senior diets give significant nutritional support to assist with joint pain.

How Much Food Do Great Danes Need?

Activity Level

Known as “couch potatoes,” the truth is Great Danes do require adequate exercise to stay healthy.

So, the answer to the question “Do Great Danes need a lot of exercise?” is a definite yes. At least 2 hours of exercise a day is recommended.

The Great Dane is a large, muscular breed of dog that was originally developed as a working animal. The requirements of calorie intake vary significantly depending on their level of activity.

A high-calorie diet is required to keep a great Dane’s energy
levels up. However, an overabundance of calories might cause a sedentary Dane to become overweight.

After all, nobody wants a fat Great Dane!

Great Danes need high calories

Kibble Size

To round out the package, Great Danes have enormous muzzles to match their huge bodies. The majority of kibble is small enough for them to swallow quickly. Selecting a dog food with a big kibble size can encourage appropriate chewing, this can help reduce the risks of choke and bloating.

How Much Food Do Great Danes Need?

As your Great Dane grows, his nutritional requirements will vary. However, spitting up his food into multiple meals per day to avoid bloating is critical at any age. This is a mandatory part of a Great Dane diet!

How Much Should You Feed a Great Dane Puppy?

Your Great Dane puppy’s weight will fluctuate considerably as he matures. Select a good puppy food for him, and adjust the amount provided as he grows. Make sure your dog gets three to four meals each day by splitting his dinner into three to four portions.

For a detailed look at how much you should feed your dog, please refer to the Great Dane feeding chart below.

Great Dane Puppy AgeDaily Food Amount
8 – 11 Weeks2 – 4 Cups
12 – 15 Weeks3 – 5 Cups
16 – 19 Weeks4 – 6 Cups
20 – 23 Weeks5 – 7 Cups
24 – 27 Weeks6 – 8 Cups
28 – 35 Weeks6 – 9 Cups
9 Months – 1 Year7 – 10 Cups

How Much Should You Feed a Great Dane Adult?

The food you select for an average Great Dane should provide around 350-450 calories per cup.

Female dogs generally require less than male dogs. Split your adult Great Dane’s food into at least two meals per day.

Great Dane GenderDaily Food Amount
Female6 – 9 Cups
Male8 – 14 Cups

When calculating how much food Great Danes need, don’t forget to factor in treats. Great Dane training treats are a fabulous way to reinforce good behavior.

The best puppy treats for Great Danes will use high-quality ingredients, smell delicious, and not add unwanted calories.

The same goes for adults. The best dog treats for Great Danes older than 1.5 or 2 years will be approximately 5% to 10% of their overall daily meal intake.

How Much Should You Feed a Great Dane Senior?

Adult Danes can consume around the same number of calories as older Great Danes. Choose a food developed for old dogs and feed them at least two meals each day.

Be sure to monitor your dog’s weight as he ages carefully and reduce his food as necessary.

Health Issues and Diet

Unfortunately, the Great Dane’s enormous size comes with a number of health problems. Create a diet that meets your dog’s specific requirements in cooperation with your veterinarian.

Bloat and Gastric Torsion

This is one of the most prevalent Great Dane health problems, as well as the most deadly. When bloat strikes, the stomach grows in volume due to gas buildup. This can quickly cause it to curl in on itself (gastric torsion), cutting off the blood supply.

Gastric torsion is a dire condition that requires rapid treatment with surgery. There is no cure for gastric torsion, but emergency surgery can help. If your dog has any of the following symptoms, go to the vet without delay:

  • Abnormal, distressed panting
  • Restlessness – lying down and getting up repeatedly
  • A distended abdomen
  • Blue-tinged gums

If your dog has gastric torsion once, it is more likely to experience it again, and many Great Dane owners opt to have their dogs’ stomachs “tacked” as a preventative measure.

Splitting your dog’s meals into multiple portions each day can help prevent bloat. When eating, a large kibble size might assist you in slowing down your pup.

Joint Problems and Hip Dysplasia

The enormous size of the Great Dane puts additional pressure on their bones and joints. Weight control is an important component of lowering the chances of developing arthritis and joint disease.

Food that includes glucosamine can help dogs with joint disease. This component helps relieve joint pain.

Puppies that develop too quickly can suffer from hip dysplasia [12] .Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip joint develops incorrectly, causing arthritis. A healthy diet is important for promoting Danes’ physical and mental development.

Best joint supplement for Great Danes

Did you know that there is an all-natural method to relieve inflammation, pain, and discomfort in dogs that works better than pharmaceuticals? Check out our page on Canine Cush for Dogs.

Heart Issues


Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that causes an enlarged heart in Great Danes.

There is no happy ending for dogs who are afflicted with this condition. Heart failure is inevitable, but it can be delayed with proper therapy.

Your vet should check out your Great Dane at least once a year to check for symptoms of cardiomyopathy, which might go unnoticed until it’s too late.

This condition can manifest without warning and is unanticipated, making it impossible to prevent. It may not show any outward indications until it is extremely advanced.

Medication will make your dog’s life a lot easier during his final months.

Your vet should check out your Great Dane at least once a year to check for symptoms of cardiomyopathy

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) operates in the opposite manner, making the heart wall thin and dilated. Extreme difficulties can result from this, including loss of blood circulation and fluid accumulation in the lungs or tissues. Heart failure is inevitable once again, but medical therapy may extend the dog’s life.

Congenital heart problems

Tricuspid valve dysplasia and mitral valve defects are two more serious heart problem affecting Great Danes.

Aortic and sub-aortic stenosis occurs more frequently in Great Danes than in other breeds, owing to a heart structure problem.

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) (also known as a heart murmur) and persistent right aortic arch (PRAA) are the only ones that may be treated surgically.

Adequate taurine levels in the diet are vital for heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids also help promote a healthy heart. A good supplement to consider is EverRoot Heart Health + Taurine & Green Lipped Mussel supplements.

Immune and Endocrine Health

The most common malignancies that afflict the Great Dane are osteosarcomas and lymphomas.

Bone tumors called osteosarcomas can develop.

Increased vitamin D consumption will aid in lowering the incidence of this disease. [13]

Lymphoma is caused by malignant cells that have developed in an abnormal way.

Vitamin A may aid in the formation of normal cells. [14]

Great Danes can also suffer from hypothyroidism. This endocrine disorder results when your dog’s thyroid gland fails. [15]

Dog foods that provide iodine can help manage the unexplained weight gain associated with this disease.

vitamin D consumption will aid in lowering the incidence of Osteosarcomas

5 Cool facts about Great Danes

1) They’re known for their height, but are not the tallest breed!

Great Danes are large canines with huge heights when compared to most other dog breeds. 

When these dogs stand on their hind legs, they may reach over seven feet in height. Great Danes rank second in height only to Irish Wolfhounds.

In fact, because this was one of the dog breeds crossed in order to create them, the Great Dane is a combination of a Mastiff and an Irish Wolfhound.

Great Danes are known for their love of food, so it’s unsurprising that obesity can be an issue if they eat too much or the wrong types of foods.

If you’re looking for a smaller breed, consider a Great Dane hybrid. For example, a Great Dane English Bulldog mix. Or a Labradane, Great Danoodle, Boxane, etc.

Great Danes rank second in height only to Irish Wolfhounds!

2) Scooby Doo was a Great Dane?

Scooby was the ideal companion for meddling kids because he was thought to ward off ghosts and malevolent spirits. While that wasn’t on the cartoonists’ minds when they created characters, there was a lot of debate about Scooby’s breed throughout the show’s inception.

Nowadays, would-be Great Dane parents often look for the classic “Scooby doo Great Dane puppies” born with fawn coats. Brindle Great Danes are also popular.

3) A Great Dane Joined the Navy!

The Navy has enlisted no fewer than 11 dogs, including the only Great Dane to be recognized as official member. The dog was born in the late 1930s and lived its early years at the USI!

4) The name is misleading.

Despite their name, these dogs are not from Denmark!

Some think the moniker was derived after French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon saw the breed while traveling in Denmark in the early 1700s and referred to it as “le Grand Danois” or Great Dane.

Great Danes make the Ideal Family dog.

5) They make amazing family dogs

The Great Dane is well-known for its gentleness and quiet nature. Sure, they may be playful from time to time, but the majority of these dogs have a peaceful, pleasant disposition. They’ve built up a solid reputation for being trustworthy and dependable. They’re simple to train and usually good with youngsters.

Just be sure your family is prepared for the drool and hair.

Do Great Danes shed? Yes.

Do they slobber all over the floor and walls after drinking water? Also yes!

Our Verdict

With enormous nutritional demands, Great Danes are massive dogs with substantial nutritional requirements. The best Great Dane dog food will promote proper growth and weight management. Holistic Select Giant Breed Dog Food is a great overall food for your Dane, but remember, your gentle giant can have unique needs.

I hope you find the above list of the finest dog foods available for your individual Dane’s dietary requirements helpful.

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