If you have ever owned a Great Dane, you will know what a ferocious appetite they can have. These noble, gentle giants of the dog world have been popular with dog owners for hundreds of years. Great Danes are a considerable size so require unique nutrition.
Male Great Danes can grow up to 32 inches whilst females can reach up to 30 inches. Along with their weights of 110 to 175 pounds, it is important they are fed properly and eat enough.
It is vital to plan a Great Dane’s diet out in advance to save you time and money. This is where we step in. We have listed 5 separate dog foods that we have found are the best on the market.
To help you further, we have also included a handy buyer’s guide and FAQs, containing our top tips for buying the right dog food for your beloved pet.
Are you in a hurry?
If you don’t have time to continue reading, here is our top choice:
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Great Danes are larger than life, even from birth. Newborns can weigh an average of 2 lbs and these little pups can demand a lot of food 24/7.
As Great Danes don’t mature into adults until they are around 20 months of age, it is important to feed them correctly. Our top pick for this stage in their lives is Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food.
Eukanuba has worked tirelessly at improving the formula of their large food puppy food for many years. This work has heralded fantastic results.
Top-quality ingredients contain DHA-rich fish oil and prebiotics that improve your dog’s digestion. Your dog will find delicious large kibble, perfectly suited to larger breeds.
There are reports of puppies sporting beautifully smooth coats when on this particular food.
Eukanuba is a favorite amongst dog owners and their pets and we discovered this through our research with positive reviews overall. This food is a top-quality nutritional pedigree.
- Complete and balanced nutrition for large breed dogs
- Supports muscle growth and bone health with top-quality protein
- Contains high-quality chicken as a protein to keep them active
- Tasty large kibble perfectly suited for Great Danes
- Reports that it can affect a dog’s coat making it beautifully soft
- On the expensive side at $0.09 / ounce
Our second pick today is guaranteed to provide quality proteins and grains to create a balanced diet.
Wellness Complete Health Natural Large Breed Dry Dog Food is packed with nutrients for your Great Dane to power through the day.
The base ingredient of this Wellness Large Breed food is chicken and includes no meat by-products or artificial preservatives.
Nutrients and minerals, including phosphorus and calcium, have been included for optimal growth in your dog.
An interesting addition is Yucca Schidigera. This will reduce the smell of your Great Dane’s stool.
Antioxidant-rich ingredients help support your Dane’s immune system alongside even levels of Omega Fatty Acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.
The formula contains no wheat, corn, or soy. What is included are glucosamine, taurine, and probiotics for a fit, healthy heart.
- Contains antioxidant-rich ingredients that support strong immune systems
- Includes balanced nutrients promoting energy
- Omega fatty acids, antioxidants, probiotics glucosamine, and taurine to promote a healthy heart
- No wheat, soy, or corn included, and no meat by-products
- Can have a pungent smell, especially the fish versions
If you are looking for a dog food that strives to reduce the number of ingredients that goes into your pet’s stomach, then Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient dog food is the one for you.
Formulas for this dog food have limited protein sources such as salmon, bison, and duck.
Therefore, if your Dane is a little on the fussy side, Natural Balance’s simplified recipe should have you covered.
Brown rice contained in the 28 lb bag includes fiber to support your dog’s healthy digestion.
Thanks to its limited ingredients and single animal protein, Natural Balance L.I.D helps support healthy skin and a glossy coat.
This is a high-quality dog food that should keep your Great Dane healthy and fit whilst giving them energy for fun throughout the day.
- Reduced number of ingredients to not upset your Dane’s stomach
- Limited protein sources like duck, bison, and salmon resulting in a simplified recipe
- Fiber within the brown rice to help support your dog’s digestion
- Helps support healthy skin and a glossy coat
- Grain-free meaning it is suitable for those dogs who may have allergies to grain
- The largest size can be quite costly
Here is another brilliant product that your Great Dane will find delicious.
Priding itself on only using farm-raised chicken in its formula, Nutro uses essential vitamins, minerals, and omega fats to produce a balanced diet for Great Danes and other large breed dogs.
The GMO-diet from Nutro is a perfect choice for Great Danes who suffer from food allergies or are sensitive to certain ingredients.
With no soy, wheat, or corn in its formula, Nutro is a good option for many Danes.
The ingredients within Nutro are easily digestible and help support your dog’s energy levels.
The natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine support Great Dane’s joint health, which is vital for dogs of such large sizes.
The health benefits of Nutro food are impressive. Using a balanced set of minerals, the formula promotes a healthy heart and kidney in your Great Dane.
Alongside internal benefits is the support of healthy skin and a shiny coat. This is due to the use of omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E.
- Only used farm-raised chickens so you know where the source of food comes from
- Uses essential vitamins and minerals to support a balanced diet
- A GMO-diet that is perfect for Danes who suffer from food allergies and other sensitivities
- Easily digestible ingredients
- The inclusion of chondroitin and glucosamine help support your Great Dane’s joint health
- On the pricey side but most dogs have expensive tastes
At number 5 on our list is the nutritious Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food.
Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed recipes are made specifically for larger dog breeds over 50 lbs such as a Great Dane.
Larger dogs are known to suffer from joint pains and problems as they get older. Therefore, it is important to keep them fit and healthy.
A selection of ingredients is added to help support joint health along with prebiotics and probiotics, digestive enzymes, natural fiber, and live yogurt cultures. These enhance our dog’s digestion and overall body health.
Phosphorus and calcium are included to maintain healthy bone strength.
The addition of glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate work together to support healthy hips and joints to keep your Great Dane in the best shape possible.
For your Dane to sustain good levels of energy, Holistic Select’s recipe is potato-free, therefore using extremely digestive carb sources.
- Formulated especially for larger dogs to meet their unique nutritional needs
- Provides important vitamins and minerals, helping to support your dog’s healthy immune system
- Prebiotics and probiotics stimulate the growth of your dog’s healthy gut bacteria
- Includes digestive enzymes that aid in the breakdown of food, optimizing your dog’s health
- Natural ingredients with a variety of good bacteria in the gut to promote healthy digestion
- Kibble sometimes expands in water resulting in heightened thirst
- Price has increased in recent times
Best Dog Food For Great Danes Buying Guide
Great Danes are an incredibly special dog breed with unique dietary requirements. It is crucial that owners understand these requirements and nutritional considerations.
We have included essential information to consider before buying dog food for your gentle giant. Below you will find some important points to ensure you are satisfied with your choice of dog food.
Correct calorie intake
If you are unsure how much to feed your Great Dane, you should read on. It is vital you understand which food supports your dog’s nutritional needs. Overfeeding your Dane is just as simple as underfeeding.
For instance, Great Dane puppies usually eat far more than adult Danes. Therefore, it is imperative that your dog gets its daily energy requirements to help boost healthy growth and digestion.
Key nutritional needs for your Great Dane
Like most animals, dogs need a balanced, healthy diet. These diets should be rich in different nutrients and vitamins. A Great Dane’s nutritional needs are determined by a few factors such as age and size.
Diet is critically important for a growing Dane. A healthy, balanced diet will ensure a dog doesn’t suffer from any joint or muscular-skeletal problems going forward.
A few things to look out for in healthy food options are proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and the amount of water. Great Danes require a large number of proteins in their diet.
These provide the vital amino acids that help the dog grow fit and healthy. It is important to note that puppies or lactating females require double the amount of proteins to that of an adult dog.
A great source of energy for Great Danes are fats. These help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.
Vitamins are equally important but in smaller numbers. These will provide efficient metabolic functioning and keep your dog’s immune system up to scratch.
Great Danes are extremely sensitive to vitamins so their amounts should be monitored closely. Larger amounts of vitamin D can even be deadly to Great Danes.
Minerals are another essential aspect of a Great Dane’s diet. 12 minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium are the most important. These are responsible for keeping bones and teeth strong.
Cell signaling and muscle contractions can also be affected by minerals so it is key your Dane has the right amount.
Water is crucial to just about every diet. A Great Dane is no exception. Adult dog’s lean body mass is made up of at least 80% water, so having enough in their diet is imperative.
Water affects the metabolic functions, bodily functions, regulates the dog’s temperature, and rids their body of any toxic waste.
Older dog’s dietary requirements
Even for their gigantic size, Great Danes are still considered puppies up to around 18 months. It is not until the dog reaches around 3 or 4 years old that they reach physical maturity.
Unfortunately, Great Danes age rather quickly compared to many breeds. As they mature, their physical activity will decline.
Therefore, calorie intake needs to be reduced by up to 20%. Exercise is fundamental to a Dane’s health. Nonetheless, as they grow older, too much exercise can cause bone disorders. Exercise is still crucial in keeping off obesity and the risk of diabetes caused by weight gain.
Great Dane’s weight considerations
As we have mentioned, Great Danes are wonderfully large animals. It is a highlight of many people’s days when they see one walking along the street, almost like a mythical creature to children. Full-grown adult males can weigh over 120 lbs.
This extreme weight on such a delicate frame can, unfortunately, harm their muscular and skeletal structure. Too much weight can decrease heart health and, in time, reduce the lifespan of a Great Dane.
Overeating along with little exercise are the main causes of obesity in Great Danes. It can be difficult figuring out the correct amount to feed a Dane but you should try to avoid giving table scraps when possible.
Deciding on the right amount of food for your Great Dane can be a minefield. Some brands allow you to try sample-sized items first to see if your dog likes the food.
This will allow you to know if your dog suffers from any allergies too. Once you have found the right food for your Dane, a bulk bag is a good option. These last a long time and will save you money in the long run.
Pet food should always be preservatives and artificial flavors free. Most pet foods these days include fillers that are irrelevant.
These make up most of your pet’s food but can cause adverse effects on your dog’s health. Food bags should have a low concentration of fat and carbohydrates for healthy organs.
Thankfully, most pet food manufacturers print the percentage of macros available on their product packaging. Before purchasing, always read details of the carbohydrate and fat amount in the product’s description.
Kibble, canned food, and home-meal options
There are different types of food to feed your Great Dane. These foods can be split into four different types which are kibble, canned or wet food, homemade options, and raw food meals.
Overall, raw feeding is preferred as Great Danes are naturally carnivorous animals. Dry pet food known as kibble is a popular choice and has the bonus of being more affordable.
Canned food is another option but shouldn’t be the main source of your dog’s diet. You should always make yourself aware of any additives such as xylitol as this can be dangerously toxic to all dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a Great Dane eat per day?
Great Danes don’t eat as much food as many would think, especially for their sizes. Generally, an adult Great Dane will eat around 6 to 10 cups of food a day.
Great Dane puppies will eat about 3 to 8 cups of food daily. These amounts differ due to sizes and gender, however. Male Danes will usually eat more than females.
A male will eat around 8 to 10 cups a day compared to a female’s 6 to 8. This varies as the dog ages and on the quality of the food.
What can’t Great Danes eat?
Most dogs love table scraps and dog food. Great Danes are no different. There are many foods that Great Danes can eat safely. These include apples, oranges, bananas, berries, peaches, pears, potatoes, and so on.
What is crucial is not to feed your Great Dane any foods that will harm them. The following foods are not to be eaten by any Great Dane:
- Macadamia nuts
- Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
Some fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and giving them the correct amount will keep them happy and content. Great Danes are known for having sensitive stomachs so make sure any foods such as dairy products are kept away from them at all times.
How many times a day should I feed a Great Dane?
We have discussed how much you should feed your Great Dane but how often is another key point. It is generally recommended that an adult Great Danes should be fed twice a day.
One large meal a day is considered inappropriate for Danes and any other dog for that matter. You should build a routine around feeding your dog and even if this involves feeding three meals a day, rather than two, this is perfectly fine.