10 of the Best Dog Food For Great Danes (2021 Buyer’s Guide)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall for Great Danes: Wellness Core Grain Free Dry Dog Food
“Keep your Great Dane protected against canine bloat with this dog food. Not only does it have the right ingredients specifically for large breed dogs, it also provides concentrated nutrients that help boost immune health and maintain strong, healthy joints.”

Best Value For Money: Diamond Naturals Adult Dry Dog Food
“Fill your Great Dane up with tasty, well-rounded diet that won’t cause any bloat with this large breed formula from Diamond Naturals. It’s not just safe for your pooch, it’s perfect for your budget, too!”

Best For Great Dane Puppies: Merrick Grain Free Puppy Food Recipe
“This one is specifically formulated to help young Great Dane puppies grow healthy with strong bones. The added supplements help prevent hip dysplasia which is quite common for large breed dogs like Great Danes.

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Great Danes are a gentle, affectionate breed. And while they’re relatively easy to take care of compared to most dog breeds, there are some common health issues that dog owners need to look out for. The most common of which is gastric torsion or canine bloat. It’s a serious condition that sneaks up on you and your dog. One way to prevent it is to make sure your Great Dane is getting balanced, well-regulated diet.

Product Name
Best Overall for Great Danes
Best For Great Dane Puppies
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Large Breed, 26-Pound Bag
Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Puppy, Large Breed Lamb and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag
Merrick Grain Free Puppy Chicken Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food (4 lb)
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Our Rating 89 / 100
Pro 1
Good protein and fat content for active Great Danes
Perfect protein and fat counts for Great Danes
Great calcium and phosphorus levels, as well as added glucosamine to start strengthening joints from a young age
Pro 2
High-quality ingredient list to improve immune system
Has joint-strengthening supplements included
Protein and fat levels are ideal for young Great Danes
Best Overall for Great Danes
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Large Breed, 26-Pound Bag
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Good protein and fat content for active Great Danes
Pro 2
High-quality ingredient list to improve immune system
Custom Button
Best Value For Money
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Puppy, Large Breed Lamb and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Perfect protein and fat counts for Great Danes
Pro 2
Has joint-strengthening supplements included
Custom Button
Best For Great Dane Puppies
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Merrick Grain Free Puppy Chicken Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food (4 lb)
Rating
Our Rating 89 / 100
Pro 1
Great calcium and phosphorus levels, as well as added glucosamine to start strengthening joints from a young age
Pro 2
Protein and fat levels are ideal for young Great Danes
Custom Button
Sources researched
33
Sources researched
Customer reviews
22,000
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
35
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

Best Dog Food For Great Danes

Here are our top picks for the best dog food for Great Danes:

1. Wellness Core Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best Overall for Great Danes: High fat content for active Great Danes

Overall Rating90%
Calorie Count85%
Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio85%
Glucosamine & Chondroitin95%
Protein & Fat Content95%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Good protein and fat content for active Great Danes
  • Contains a decent amount of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • High-quality ingredient list to improve immune system
  • High Omega fatty acids

CONS

  • Contains chicken (some of their other recipes don’t, but all the large breed specific formulas do)
  • This food is a little pricey compared to others

Wellness Core Grain Free Dry Dog Food is ideal for Great Danes who has an active lifestyle. 34% protein is the optimum amount for healthy adults who get plenty of exercise. 12% fat content coming from premium quality sources is exactly what a growing Great Dane puppy needs.

No matter your Great Dane’s size or age, this dry dog food is packed with quality, all-natural ingredients and good levels of fatty acids to build strength and a tough immune system in your pet.

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Premium Quality Ingredients 

This food has three premium protein sources – chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal. Chicken fat and ground flaxseed are premium fat sources. Although this food does have chicken in it, if your pooch is young, healthy, and full of energy, they should have no problems processing it. These are combined with peas and potatoes, kale, blueberries, and a few more fruits and vegetables that adds fiber and antioxidants

Your Giant’s Joints 

The calcium/phosphorus ratio in this food is just the right amount to help build strong bones without making them brittle. It also contains high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your Great Dane’s joints healthy and strong, which is particularly important for Great Danes who gets a lot of exercise.

2. Diamond Naturals Adult Dry Dog Food

Best Value For Money: Packed full of nutrients in a wallet-friendly price

Overall Rating90%
Calorie Count95%
Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio90%
Glucosamine & Chondroitin90%
Protein & Fat Content90%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • Premium animal protein and fat sources
  • Perfect protein and fat counts for Great Danes
  • Has joint-strengthening supplements included
  • Also contains L-carnitine for weight maintenance

CONS

  • Contains no real meat – meat meal is still a decent ingredient but real meat always wins

Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food uses premium quality lamb as its main protein source. This, paired with good quality, gluten-free grains like brown rice, barley, oatmeal, and sorghum, make up an easily digestible food for your Great Dane who is prone to canine bloat.

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Low Price For High-Quality Ingredients 

What’s great about this dry dog food is that aside from the premium protein and healthy grains, it also contains superfoods like kale, chia seeds, pumpkin, carrots, quinoa, blueberries, and oranges. These are great antioxidant agents which, when combined with Omega fatty acids, can boost your dog’s immune system and make their skin and coat extra healthy.

Benefits For Giants 

Joint-fortifying supplements such as glucosamine are not often seen in dog foods at this price point but they’re present in great amounts in this dog food. The calcium/phosphorus levels are ideal to keep your sleek giant’s bones strong, and L-carnitine is an awesome addition that helps regulate weight and metabolism.

3. Merrick Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food Recipe

Best For Great Dane Puppies: Supports proper growth and development of large breed dogs

Overall Rating89%
Calorie Count90%
Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio95%
Glucosamine & Chondroitin88%
Protein & Fat Content90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Puppy-specific formulation
  • Great calcium and phosphorus levels, as well as added glucosamine to start strengthening joints from a young age
  • Protein and fat levels are ideal for young Great Danes

CONS

  • Not much variety in flavours
  • Slightly pricier than others

Merrick Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food Recipe has everything a developing Great Dane puppy needs to grow up into a healthy, well-functioning adult dog. It has a superb ingredient list, with muscle-building proteins, energy-sustaining carbs, joint-fortifying supplements, and fatty acids for healthy brain and eye development.

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Made For Puppies 

This food is formulated based on a large breed puppy’s nutritional requirements. The combination of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fatty acids will help him grow at a good pace and keep him strong as his bones and muscles develop.

It’s grain free formulation is intended to minimize the risk of allergies just in case your Great Dane is on the sensitive side. 

Supplements Added  

Glucosamine and chondroitin are essential additions for pups who need some help keeping bones and joints stable. It’s also a necessary supplement if your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia. The fatty acids DHA and EPA are present in this dog food. These are essential for proper eye and brain development.

4. Gentle Giants Natural Dry Dog Food

Best For Great Dane Seniors: Toned down nutrient profile in an easy to digest kibble

Overall Rating90%
Calorie Count90%
Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio80%
Glucosamine & Chondroitin95%
Protein & Fat Content90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Great for all breeds but specifically formulated for large dogs
  • Made with antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits to boost immune system
  • Good glucosamine levels
  • Decent calorie count for seniors

CONS

  • No real meat
  • The calcium/phosphorus ratio is not specified on the label

Gentle Giants Natural Dry Dog Food meets the AAFCO standards for all life stages. This means it would be perfect for your Great Dane no matter their age. Although, its protein and fat counts work better for older dogs and it contains extra joint-strengthening substances to support your pooch as he grows old.

It is formulated using only natural ingredients, with multiple proteins and a blend of fruits, vegetables, and grains as carbohydrates. New Zealand Green Mussel provides glucosamine and is known as a highly nutritious source of chelated minerals, probiotics, prebiotics, and Omega fatty acids.

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Meat Meal For Easy Digestion 

Chicken and fish meal are the main protein for this dog food which makes for easier digestion, especially for senior Great Dane tummies. Chicken fat and flaxseed make up the fat content (9%) and fatty acids, which is the recommended amount for seniors who may not be so active anymore and don’t need much fat to metabolize into energy. It also contains plenty of healthy fruits and veg, which have been dried for healthier preservation. 

5. Taste Of The Wild Canned Stew

Best Wet Food For Great Danes: High-calorie wet food formula for large dogs

Overall Rating88%
Calorie Count90%
Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio85%
Glucosamine & Chondroitin90%
Protein & Fat Content85%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • High moisture content
  • Nice calorie count for Great Danes
  • Various flavours available
  • No carrageenan in this dog food

CONS

  • Not the cheapest food

If you want to feed your pooch a high-calorie snack between meals, or you want a tasty treat as a training incentive, the Taste Of The Wild Canned Stew is a great option and will add a good bit of extra nutrients to your Great Dane’s meal. It’s also an amazing kibble topper if your Great Dane starts getting picky and you want to switch his food up a little.

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Added Moisture 

One of the greatest things about a wet or canned dog food is that it has a very high moisture content. While your Great Dane should be drinking plenty of water during the day, it can be helpful to have a little bit of extra moisture added, and wet food is a sneaky way to do that.

Dehydration can cause some serious health issues, so adding a bit of this food to your pet’s dry kibble will help. It’s not meant to replace water though – just to help up the level a tiny bit. 

6. Earthborn Holistic Hip & Joint EarthBites Dog Treats

Best Treat For Great Danes: Sugar-free doggie treats

Overall Rating88.75%
Calorie Count90%
Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio90%
Glucosamine & Chondroitin90%
Protein & Fat Content90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Specifically formulated to fortify joints
  • Low calorie (6 calories per treat)
  • Contain L-Carnitine
  • Sweetened with honey – no sugar

CONS

  • Only one flavour available in the hip & joint variety

Great Danes are one of the easiest breeds to train and discipline, but it doesn’t mean they don’t need tasty, nutritious treats every now and then. Earthborn Holistic Hip & Joint EarthBites Dog Treats are packed full of glucosamine, chondroitin, fatty acids, and L-carnitine to keep your Great Dane’s joints and immune system in prime condition.

They’re like medicinal supplements in the form of doggie treats loaded with healthy and delicious ingredients.

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High-Protein and Fat 

Treats often have a lower protein content as they are considered to be just a little tease-taste between your dog’s main meals. These ones, however, contain a good 20% protein and 9% fat in each treat. There’s only 6 calories per treat, which means you can toss your Great Dane quite a few of these as the day goes and not worry about them loading up on calories. 

7. American Journey Beef & Potato Dry Dog Food

Best for All Life Stages: High protein and fat levels in a grain free food for large breeds

Overall Rating88%
Calorie Count90%
Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio90%
Glucosamine & Chondroitin90%
Protein & Fat Content85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Completely grain-free to limit the chances of food allergies or sensitivities
  • High protein and fat levels make this great for active dogs
  • Slow-burning vegetables for sustained energy
  • Contains glucosamine and DHA fatty acids

CONS

  • There is chicken fat in the non-chicken flavours

Earthborn Holistic Hip & Joint EarthBites Dog Treats contain all the good stuff for your Great Dane and none of the artificial, non-nutritious, or allergy-inducing ingredients which are common most dog foods. It’s limited ingredient list means each one is chosen for its contribution to the health-promoting properties of this dog food.

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Slow-Burning Carbs for Energy 

Sweet potatoes and chickpeas are amazing fiber and antioxidant sources as they are slowly metabolized by the body. It means they provide energy over a prolonged period of time. The added blueberries, carrots, and dried kelp increase the antioxidants and vitamins content of this food. 

8. Blue Buffalo Freedom Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Best With Chicken: Optimal protein and fat content using chicken as main protein source

Overall Rating84%
Calorie Count85%
Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio85%
Glucosamine & Chondroitin85%
Protein & Fat Content85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Optimal protein and fat counts for Great Danes
  • Added glucosamine and chondroitin to keep those big joints tough
  • L-carnitine for aiding digestion and regulating energy levels
  • Contains Blue’s LifeSource Bits, an antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral mix

CONS

  • Chicken may not be tolerated by all dogs

Blue Buffalo Freedom Large Breed Dry Dog Food is a tasty flavor option for Great Danes who aren’t too sensitive with chicken. It’s got a good Omega fatty acid profile for a grain free dog food. It features the exclusive LifeSource bits that promotes immune health while providing probiotics to aid digestion.

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Great Additions For Great Danes 

The calcium/phosphorus ratio here is great, so your pet’s bones should be fortified and able to hold their large frames. Glucosamine and chondroitin are essential additions for these big pups to support hip and joint health. There’s a good amount of L-carnitine in this food which helps regulate energy levels and maintain a healthy weight and metabolism, as well as help with liver and brain health.

9. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Best Low-Protein Food For Great Danes: For dogs with kidney issues

Overall Rating80%
Calorie Count85%
Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio80%
Glucosamine & Chondroitin70%
Protein & Fat Content85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Good protein number for Great Danes on a low-protein diet
  • Contains plenty of chelated minerals which help absorption
  • Fewer than 10 ingredients, which leaves little room for food sensitivities

CONS

  • No added glucosamine
  • Slightly lower calcium and phosphorus numbers than other dog foods

If your Great Dane has problems with their kidneys or liver, a low-protein diet is the best way to take some pressure off their body and help manage their health better. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food contains 20% protein and keeps a good fat count, which makes it an excellent choice for Great Danes with kidney or liver issues. Chelated minerals are also added to make the digestive process easier. 

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Low Protein, Average Fat 

With 20% protein and 10% fat, this dry dog food goes easy on the kidneys but still provides enough fat to be burned as energy. There is one animal protein source and a couple of plant protein additions, and salmon oil, flaxseed and canola oil make up the fats and fatty acids.

10. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best For Great Danes With Food Intolerances: Reduces risk of allergies from dog food ingredients

Overall Rating79%
Calorie Count85%
Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio70%
Glucosamine & Chondroitin70%
Protein & Fat Content85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Very limited ingredient, which is super for Great Danes who are prone to dog food allergies or intolerances
  • Plenty of added vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids
  • No grains, chicken, dairy, or other common allergens

CONS

  • Higher in calories than most on this list (but this can be worked around by how much you feed your Great Dane)
  • Doesn’t contain glucosamine or chondroitin

The Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Dog Food consists of a single animal protein and a single vegetable, leaving very little room for food allergies or intolerances while still providing enough nutrients for your Great Dane to thrive. It’s devoid of grains, dairy, eggs, chicken, potatoes, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial ingredients.

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Avoids Common Food Allergens 

This dry dog food avoids nearly all the most common intolerable foods, including chicken, beef, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. You can’t find obvious low-quality ingredients like wheat, corn, soy, and artificial substances in this dog food. That’s why this is one of the safest Limited ingredient formula that’s best for fussy eater Great Danes with food allergies. 


How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Great Danes

1) Calorie Count

Because Great Danes are giant breeds, their metabolisms are a little slower than smaller dogs or even a large breed. Also, because they’re very lanky dogs, any extra weight on them can be a problem as it puts pressure on their bones and joints and increases the risk of hip dysplasia. 

The best dog food for Great Danes will have a lower calorie count, so your Great Dane can get a decent, filling meal but not overeat and gain weight. The average, moderately active Dane will need around 200 calories per day, while a more highly energetic one will need closer to 3000. Puppies will need between 2500 and 3000 a day.

These will need to be spread over a couple of meals, so we’ve tried to stick to foods for Great Danes with calories in the lower to mid-300s unless otherwise specified. This depends on your Great Dane though – you can use this calorie calculator to work out what would be best for your big guy or girl.

2) Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio

Too much calcium in your Great Dane’s diet can cause their bones to become a little too brittle to support their bodies properly, which can lead to problems that can be painful and dangerous for your pet. AAFCO recommends between 2 and 4.5 grams of calcium per 1000 calories, so you’ll most likely need to do some calculating when checking the calcium content of foods. 

Going hand-in-hand with calcium is phosphorus, and these two minerals should be found in a particular ratio. This ratio in the best dog foods for Great Danes should be 1:1 to 2:1 – anything other than that will result in a deficiency of one or the other after prolonged use. This problem is particularly prevalent in a large breed or giants.

3) Glucosamine & Chondroitin

These two things have a very specific property that is highly beneficial for Great Danes – that is, they help strengthen and lubricate joints, which is crucial for giant dogs who are prone to hip dysplasia. 

You should see this on the ingredient list when looking for the best dog food for Great Danes. This breed typically is pretty lanky, so they don’t have as much weight on their joints as some other giants, but they’ve still got quite a bit of weight behind them, even if they’re of average size and weight. 

4) Protein Content & Fat Content

Although it may seem logical that giant dogs would need a higher protein content due to their size, this is not so for Great Danes. Because they are so slim and lean, they actually need less protein than you may think. 

The best dog food for Great Dane dogs should contain 18% protein minimum for an adult dog, but 23% is optimal for healthy muscle growth but minimal weight gain. 25% is a great number for growing Great Dane puppies. Animal proteins are always best, and contain the most amino acids your Great Dane will need to keep his body healthy. Meat by-products should be avoided, though. 

Fats are concentrated sources of energy that are very useful for your pooch. Don’t think more fat equals a more overweight Great Dane! As long as your pet is active, they’ll convert that fat into energy very nicely. Great Danes should eat a food containing between 8 and 12% fat at the minimum. 

5) Affordability

Feeding an enormous, hungry animal is no mean feat! These pups can eat up to 5 cups of food in one meal, so a bag of kibble tends to not last as long as they do with smaller breeds. While affordability is an important consideration no matter what dog breed you own or how much you earn, it’s something you’re far more likely to think about if you’re going through a couple of bags a month feeding your Great Dane. 

We’ve added this criterion to give you a good idea of cost at a glance, so you can compare and make a decision that works best for both you and your pet. After all, while this is mostly about choosing the right food to keep your dog healthy, your mood affects your Great Dane far more than you realise – so a happy owner will also make for a happier pup!


Great Dane Feeding Guide

Great Danes Feeding Requirement

A healthy, active Great Dane who is getting plenty of exercise will need to eat around 3000 calories a day to keep his energy levels where they should be. Seniors and less active Danes should go for around 2500 calories a day, and puppies can eat between 2500 and 3500, depending on how bouncy and energy-expending they are. 

The amount of cups or scoops of food you feed your Great Dane will depend on how many calories are in one cup of food. If your active pup’s food contains 300 calories per cup, they’ll need 10 cups a day, which would most likely be split between 2 meals, making it 5 cups per meal. This depends on a good few things, though – your Great Dane’s appetite, activity level, and whether or not you want to give them a few treats during the day. 

If you want to feed your pooch some treats between meals, you’ll need to give them slightly fewer calories during their mealtimes to make space for a couple of snacks. Be aware of the calorie count of treats too, to make sure you don’t go overboard and give them too many calories.

Essential Ingredients to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Great Danes

Great Danes, like all pets, need wholesome, all-natural ingredients in their food of choice. It may be easier to find a large breed dog food than one specifically for giants.

Animal proteins and fats are the best ingredients to ensure your Great Dane is getting all the necessary amino acids. A healthy, real meat source that is identified is essential, and meat meals are also acceptable protein sources. Plant protein is not advised, because it doesn’t quite offer the same nutrients as animal sources. 

Fats are essential to provide energy, and should also be from animal sources. Salmon oil, chicken fat, pork fat, and so on, are fantastic ingredients. Other fat sources that are good quality include flaxseed and canola oil. 

Carbohydrates aren’t usually found on the guaranteed analysis list, but it’s imperative that these are complex, slowly-digesting ingredients that are all-natural. This means fruits and vegetables, and gluten-free grains such as millet, oatmeal, brown rice, and barley. 

Additional ingredients you should be looking for on the guaranteed analysis list are glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, phosphorus, DHA (especially for Great Dane puppies), and Omega fatty acids. 

Ingredients to Avoid When Feeding my Great Dane

Great Danes can suffer from sensitive tummies, and grains like wheat, corn, and soy should be avoided. These are more difficult to digest, and so you should avoid feeding them to your Great Dane for his own comfort and health. 

  • Chicken. Chicken is another common allergen for these big fluffs. While not all of them are going to react badly to it, it may be best to avoid feeding them a chicken-flavoured food, or a kibble containing chicken fat or other ingredients. 
  • Artifical Ingredients. Anything artificial can also cause digestive upset. This includes artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives, so if you spot any questionable ingredients on the list, it’s best to steer clear. 

It’s also a good idea to avoid feeding your giant breed a general adult dog food, as these usually don’t contain the extras that giant breeds need to live a healthy life. Some large breed dry dog food make great options, but we’ve also gone through a few of them above so you can see which ones are more appropriate for your Great Dane.

In general, though, if you can find a food aimed at giant breeds that contains all the important ingredients here, that would be your best dog food choice.


Common Health Concerns that Great Danes Suffer From

These big guys and girls can suffer from food allergies and intolerances, so it’s really quite important to pay attention to their diet to alleviate these as much as possible. 

1) Gastric Torsion. There are various other diseases and disorders that these giants can be prone to. Gastric torsion is a particularly dangerous one, and is basically a twisted stomach or intestine due to bloating. It’s the number one killer of giant breeds, unfortunately. It’s very important to be aware of the signs and symptoms, therefore, as the only way to fix this problem is emergency surgery. 

2) Hip Dysplasia. These tall, lanky pups can also suffer from joint problems, such as knee and hip dysplasia. This is one of the reasons glucosamine and chondroitin are such great ingredients in a dog food for giant breeds – it helps limit the chances of your Great Dane suffering from this condition. Arthritis is another bone and joint disorder that can affect these pooches. 

3) Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy. Great Dane puppies can also be susceptible to developing something called hypertrophic osteodystrophy, which is when the pup’s bones grow too rapidly and cause pain due to them exerting pressure on the tissues around them. This usually affects puppies and is outgrown when the rest of your pup catches up in the growth department, but it’s a painful condition to suffer from. Making sure to feed your growing puppy the right amounts is essential to keep the chances of this condition at a minimum. 

Other things to be on the lookout for include hypothyroidism, Wobbler syndrome, DCM, and osteosarcoma. 


Questions & Answers

How do the nutritional requirements of a giant breed differ from those of a large breed dog?

Don’t think that just because giant breeds are bigger than other dogs they need more of everything in their food.

They tend to need fewer calories because their metabolisms are slower than others. They also need joint-strengthening supplements to reduce the chances of hip dysplasia and other joint problems.

Puppies need a great calcium/phosphorus ratio to make sure they don’t grow too quickly and put extra pressure on their bones.

Despite popular belief, they also don’t need a whole lot of protein. Around 23% is adequate for these big fellows.

It can be hard to find a food made for these types of giant dog breed. An adult large breed food should provide all the necessary nutrients needed for the best dog foods for Great Danes.

What distinguishes the top puppy food for Great Danes from other puppy foods?

Great Dane puppies need specific nutrients from the start, to make sure they grow up healthy, strong, and with the best start. 

The best dog food for a Great Dane puppy will have some specific traits. It will contain a high-quality animal protein source right up front of the ingredient list, and may contain more than one. There will be healthy carbohydrates – the best dog foods will contain fruits and vegetables, or gluten-free grains (brown rice, oatmeal, or barley – no wheat, soy, or corn). There should be multiple healthy fat sources, preferably at least one animal source. 

A Great Dane puppy food should also show DHA on the label, for healthy development. EPA is another fatty acid that is helpful, and glucosamine and chondroitin are a must. The calcium/phosphorus ratio should be close to 1:1, and an additional fact that is very helpful is that the kibble size should be on the bigger side. This helps decrease chances of eating too fast and being susceptible to bloat. 

Make sure not to simply choose any food that says “puppy” on the packaging – not all puppy foods contain the nutrients and supplements necessary for these big little pets to grow as they should. You should be prepared to feed your Great Dane a puppy formula until about the age of 15 months. 

Can I give my Great Dane puppy more food to make her grow faster?

This is never a good idea, but even less so for giant puppies. As you will have read above, Great Dane puppies can suffer from something called hypertrophic osteodystrophy, which is what happens when your little guy or girl’s bones grow too quickly for the rest of their body. In addition to causing your beloved Great Dane a lot of pain, this can lead to other complications down the line. 

Feeding your Great Dane puppy more than they need can also cause their calcium levels to rise too much, making their bones too brittle. When they get bigger, this can be dangerous as their bones aren’t strong enough to support their big bodies, even though these pooches are leaner than most giants. 

We highly recommend that you stick to the recommended guidelines for feeding your Great Dane puppy and don’t try to add to it. You won’t be helping your pet out at all – in fact, you’ll be contributing to possible health problems. 

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.