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Great Dane Dietary Needs and Feeding Guide

Great Dane

Often referred to as gentle giants, Great Danes hold the title of being the tallest of all working-class dog breeds. Great Danes may have an imposing stature and serious face, but they are beloved for their gentle, affectionate, and fun nature. As owners of these beautiful dogs, you need to understand their unique dietary needs to keep them healthy and agile. In this feeding guide, we’ll help you ensure your Great Dane grows up big and strong — and in the process, show you why American Natural Premium is the best dog food for Great Dane pets.

Dietary Needs of Great Dane Puppies

Like all large dog breeds, growing Great Dane puppies need nutrient-rich food to support their rapid growth. Look for puppy kibble that’s made especially for large or giant dog breeds. More importantly, choose dog food that is grain-free, has essential fatty acids, and has a high percentage of animal protein.

  • Protein and Fat Requirements. Great Dane puppies’ dog food should have at least 22% to 23% of animal protein. Animal protein helps puppies’ skin, muscle, and joint development. As for fats, the ideal fat intake of Great Dane puppies is around 12% to 20%. American Natural Premium is one of the best dog foods for Great Dane pups since it meets all these requirements.
  • Feeding Schedule and Portions. Great Dane pups need two to four cups of food at around two months. As they grow, you can increase the amount of food to five to seven cups per day.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Overfeeding is a common mistake when feeding puppies. Great Danes love to eat. So oftentimes, owners give in to puppy dog eyes and overflow food bowls. Other mistakes you’ll want to avoid are:

  • Giving too many treats
  • Not setting a feeding routine or schedule
  • Feeding leftovers or table scraps
  • Feeding processed or canned food
  • Not giving puppies enough water
  • Not checking treat or dog food labels

Transitioning to an Adult Dog Diet

Some Great Dane owners start to transition their pets to adult dog food at around 12 to 15 months. However, some experts recommend waiting until the dogs are around 18 to 24 months of age. Generally, it’s best to consult a vet or breeder about when to switch to an adult dog diet.

Regardless of when you choose to switch to adult dog food, make sure you do it slowly. Start by mixing 25% adult dog food with 75% puppy food for a few days. Then, gradually increase the amount of adult dog food until you’re only feeding your Great Dane adult dog food.

Choosing the Right Adult Dog Food

When choosing adult dog food for your Great Dane, make sure it meets the following requirements:

  • 23% to 30% protein
  • 14% fat content
  • 375 to 450 calories per cup

American Natural Premium’s adult dog food variations contain at least 24% protein, 14% fat, and 4% fiber. In particular, our Chicken and Barley Recipe is the best dog food for Great Dane pets in our shop.

Monitoring Weight and Adjusting Portions

Adult Great Danes need two meals a day. Female adults generally need six to eight cups of dog food. Meanwhile, male Great Danes will need seven to ten cups per day.

However, feeding portions may change based on your dog’s age, weight, and health condition. For example, if your female Great Dane is pregnant, they’ll need about 15% to 25% more dog food. Additionally, you’ll need to switch them to puppy food temporarily at four weeks of pregnancy.

If your Great Dane starts to look overweight, simply reduce portion sizes and increase their physical activity. Remember, always consult a veterinarian for more precise feeding instructions for your dog.

Senior Great Dane Dietary Needs

Great Danes reach their senior years at around five to six years old. By this time, the dietary needs of your Great Dane start to change. You can adapt to your dog’s needs by switching to a senior dog food formula or simply giving them less food.

Since senior dogs become less active and burn fewer calories, it’s important to decrease their calorie intake. Senior Great Danes only need around 2,000 calories per day.

However, the dogs still need around 23% high-quality protein to maintain muscle mass. Take note of the following, as well:

  • Fiber-rich food for healthy digestion
  • Omega fatty acids for joint health
  • Joint supplements, like glucosamine or chondroitin

Common Dietary Issues and Solutions

Great Danes are prone to several health issues, some of which are linked to their diet, such as:

  • Bloat: Bloat is a condition that causes the dog’s stomach to twist and fill with gas, which leads to discomfort. To help prevent bloat, feed your Great Dane smaller meals throughout the day rather than one large meal. Also, avoid vigorous exercise right after eating.
  • Joint Pain or Arthritis: Given the Great Dane’s size, they’re prone to joint issues and arthritis. Adding supplements like glucosamine or omega-3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet can help manage or prevent joint issues.

Creating a Great Dane Diet Plan

Opting for store-bought dog food like American Natural Premium makes creating a diet plan easier since you know you’re getting the best dog food for Great Dane dogs. Below is a basic diet plan guide you can follow:

  • Puppies. Start with two cups of food divided over three meal times. For five-month-old puppies, feed up to seven cups of food split over two meals.
  • Adults. Consider the weight and activity level of your Great Dane. For example, dogs weighing 110 lbs with a normal activity range can stick to seven cups of food per day. But for dogs weighing over 150 lbs that are very active, you can give them a little over 10 cups of food daily.

Homemade vs Commercial Dog Food

While homemade food gives you control over the ingredients, it may not provide the balanced nutrition that Great Danes require. Certain commercial dog food, on the other hand, is formulated by experts to meet all the dietary requirements of your dog.

American Natural Premium, in particular, offers a range of products tailored to the needs of large breeds like the Great Dane. The product contains all the necessary nutrients, including fiber, omega fatty acids, and joint supplements, making it the best dog food for Great Dane health maintenance.

Buying the Best Dog Food for Great Dane Dogs

Providing optimal nutrition for your Great Dane is critical for their health and well-being. This is especially true during their growing puppy years and less active senior years. The best dog food for Great Dane dogs ensures your pet gets a balanced diet. Even better, you don’t need to go through the hassle of preparing homemade meals on top of your busy schedule.

If you want your gentle giant to live a long, healthy, and happy life, they need the best dog food for Great Danes. Buy American Natural Premium dog food today.

Contact us for bulk order inquiries.

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