Although all dogs need a similar diet with the same key nutrients to stay healthy, the fast growth rate of the giant Great Dane means they have some unique nutritional needs.
For example, their food must be carefully balanced to ensure they grow slowly and without causing additional bone and joint problems. So, what do you need to look for when you’re trying to find the best dog food for Great Danes?
The best dog food for Great Danes will have:
Carefully balanced calcium to support their big bones
Have enough protein for healthy growth and muscles
But not too much protein; to prevent developmental problems
Plenty of calories to provide enough energy without the need for massive meals
Because Great Danes are prone to bone and joint disorders you would think they need plenty of calcium to support a strong skeleton.
Although Great Danes need calcium to help grow strong bones, too much calcium in their food can actually cause serious problems with their bones and cartilage, including osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).
The best dog food for Great Danes will have carefully balanced calcium levels, as well as other essential nutrients like phosphorous which help to support this giant dog’s fast growth whilst preventing problems in their skeletal development. A tailored food like Pure could go even further to make sure your Great Dane’s food is formulated to their individual needs.
Fatty acids like omega-3 are amazing for preventing inflammation and for keeping joints healthy. The best dog food for Great Danes should have enough of these essential fatty acids to help keep their joints supple.
Omega-3 can also help to manage arthritis, which is often a result of hip or elbow dysplasia which Great Danes are prone to. It’s also great for naturally reducing inflammation.
Omega-3 can also help to alleviate allergies, which some Great Danes can suffer from. Pure is specially formulated to provide plenty of omega-3, vitamin D, and phosphorus to support healthy bones and joints.
Because Great Danes grow to giant size and are muscular dogs, they need plenty of protein to support healthy growth and strong muscles.
High-quality, whole cuts of meat like those found in Pure will provide plenty of easily-digestible protein for your pooch. It will also provide all the amino acids they need to stay healthy. (Unlike kibble, where the harsh processing used to make brown biscuits has been proven to destroy amino acids and other nutrients). The best dog food for Great Danes will be made using a high-quality protein that’s minimally processed, so the essential nutrients like amino acids aren’t destroyed by extrusion.
A deficiency in taurine (an amino acid) could be linked to the development of dilated cardiomyopathy in some dogs, so making sure your Great Dane gets all the amino acids they need will help to keep their heart healthy as well as their other muscles.
Although Great Danes need plenty of protein to maintain muscle and support growth, and plenty of fat to meet their calorie needs, it’s vital not to give them too much, especially as puppies.
It’s sometimes advised to avoid generic puppy food when feeding your Great Dane puppy because the high protein and fat content inside the food can speed up their already fast growth rate, causing a number of developmental issues and health conditions.
In the case of Great Danes, you want to control their protein and fat content, at least while they’re young, to ensure they grow in a slower and more controlled manner. Ideally, their food should have between 25-30% protein and 12-18% fat.
Meeting this careful balance can be hard, but tailored dog food can be the answer as the diet is specially formulated with your dog and their needs in mind. The portions are worked out for you too, so you always know exactly how much to feed your growing Great Dane.
Although Great Danes have a relatively slow metabolism and don’t burn too many calories, they still need more calories and carbohydrates than average to fuel their huge frame. Simply put, big dogs need bigger portions and bigger energy requirements.
Complex carbohydrates from nutritious sources like brown rice and sweet potato can help to provide long-lasting energy to fuel your huge hound, as well as dietary fibre to help them feel full and keep their gut in good shape. These sources of carbohydrates are also far more nutritious than “fillers” like wheat, providing vital vitamins and minerals as well as carbs.
Having a moderate fat and carbohydrate level will not only give your Great Dane plenty of energy, but it will also help to increase the calories in their food. Although we humans often try to cut calories, it’s important your dog gets plenty to survive.
In the case of Great Danes, their food needs to have a higher calorie content provided by more fat or complex carbs. Higher calories mean they need to eat a lower volume of food in order to survive, so they can eat smaller meals.
Feeding your Great Dane smaller meals won’t just help your wallet, it’s a vital step to avoid bloat, one of the biggest killers of this giant dog. This is because big meals increase the risk of bloat in dogs.
The best dog food for Great Danes will make it possible to feed your huge hound smaller meals and still provide all the nutrients and energy they need to stay healthy whilst lowering their risk of deadly bloat.
How you feed Fido can also help to keep your hound healthy because slow-feeder bowls can also help to prevent bloat. Because bloat affects around half of Great Danes, making sure you stick to scheduled mealtimes, smaller meals, and slow feeders is vital to keep them happy and healthy.
Usually, we don’t think too much about the size of our dog’s food. And although we discussed how meal sizes help to prevent bloat, the actual size of the pieces of food can help reduce the risk of bloat too.
A food with large chunks of whole meat could help to prevent bloat in Great Danes. And generally, a diet with larger pieces or chunks of food inside seems to be linked to a lower risk of bloat.
Since Great Danes need a really careful balance of nutrients to stay healthy and to grow without deformity, the best dog food for Great Danes is often a tailored diet. Tailored dog food like Pure Pet Food contains natural ingredients that are carefully selected and balanced with your dog’s nutritional needs in mind, unlike generic dog foods which are often imbalanced for the unique needs of giant breeds like the Great Dane.
The portions are also worked out for you, making life as an owner easier since you know exactly how much your dog needs to eat.
This avoids underfeeding your big dog so they always have the energy and nutrients they need to stay healthy, but it also prevents overfeeding which can lead to obesity and overusing food and spending more on meals than you have to.
There’s no denying that giant dogs need an equally large amount of food to stay healthy. Whilst balancing the protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels can help to keep your dog full, making sure their dog food is natural and highly digestible can also reduce the amount of food they need to eat.
This is because digestible food is easier for your dog to digest and they can absorb more nutrients from the food, so they need to eat less to stay healthy.
As we said, eating less helps to prevent bloat and avoid overfeeding and weight gain. But digestible food also produces less waste because more of it is absorbed and used by the body. That means a lot less waste coming out the other end of your dog. (And trust us, that matters when your dog’s almost as big as a horse!)
So, a highly digestible dinner will lower the risk of bloat, make less mess, and help to reduce the amount of food your dog needs to eat whilst still providing the nutrition they need. (Which can also help to save you some money on the dog food bill).
Tailored dog food like Pure Pet Food is one of the best diets your Great Dane could have because the ingredients and nutrients are specially chosen and balanced to suit your dog and their individual needs. In the case of Great Danes, this is vital to ensure they grow slowly and without causing developmental problems in their bones and joints.
Pure also makes a great choice of dog food for Great Danes because it’s completely natural and never has any nasties or harsh processing. That means your dog gets wholesome, easily digestible food that provides all the nutrients they need without the need for massive meals.
The portions are also carefully worked out so you can avoid underfeeding or overfeeding your Great Dane, preventing obesity and avoiding spending more money on dog food than you really need.
To see how Pure could work for your Great Dane, tell us about your dog today and we’ll fetch the perfect recipe to fuel your huge hound whilst keeping them happy and healthy.