Great Danes are one of the largest breed of dogs in the world. But despite their massive size, they are actually affectionate, gentle and loving dogs. They can be a great companion if you are looking for one. They were once used for hunting deer, bear and wild boar during the Middle Ages in Europe. Now, Great Danes are a popular family pet. Great Danes weigh more than 100 pounds, so knowing how to feed them properly is a very important issue for this breed.
What are the Nutritional Needs of Great Danes?
⦿ The standard weight for most Great Danes is at least 100 pounds for female and 120 pounds for males. Although, it is not an unusual if you will see some of this breed to weigh more than that. Unlike with smaller breeds that use more energy, Great Danes on the other hand uses lesser energy per pound as compared with the other dog.
⦿ Even if Great Danes are giant breeds and you may expect that they will eat a lot – they actually do not eat contrary to what you may think of.
⦿ Many dog owners love to take care of Great Danes because they are friendly, dignified and gentle. Adult Great Danes are also calm and laid back in temperament. This breed of dogs requires exercise, but only in moderation particularly for young puppies.
⦿ Great Dane puppies grow fast and they keep on growing for a long period. Even if they are already one year old, they are still growing. One issue of this breed is that they are prone to have muscular-skeletal and joint problems, so it is very important for dog owners to limit their exercise.
⦿ It is also important to make sure that they are adequately fed with the right diet specially designed for giant breed puppies. This breed weighs so much that they are not included in the weight caloric charts of the National Research Council of the National Academics. But with a little computation you can determine that an average weight Great Dane adult weighing 120 pounds requires an average caloric intake of 2507 daily.
Dogs that are older may require fewer calories while some dogs may need more. It depends on their individual metabolism and activity level. A growing puppy for example, may require more calories than their adult counterparts. For example, a young adult Great Dane weighing approximately 100 pounds, and doing lots of exercise may require roughly 3061 of calories per day.
Feeding your Great Dane
Great Dane Breeders and veterinarian recommend at least 23% of protein and 12 % of fat in their diet. Premium dog foods that are commercially available in the market have much higher protein and fat content than the recommended values. But do not be easily deceive by these labels, because other brand has substandard quality.
You have to be very careful in choosing dog food products and make sure that you know the manufacturer has good reputation and only offers quality dog foods.
Issues to Watch out For
⦿ Great Danes are known for their massive size. Because of this, they are also prone to arthritis and hip dysplasia. Since Great Dane grow rapidly, it is important to feed them puppy foods that are specially made for giant breed puppies. This kind of puppy food promotes slow growth allowing time for the bones and muscles to grow and develop in its optimum level.
⦿ This breed is also prone to bloating which is due to gastric dilatation that may lead to volvulus or twisting of the intestine. This event can be fatal if your dog is not immediately taken to the veterinarian. If this happens, experts suggest feeding your dog several yet small meals per day instead of giving them one or two larger meals.
⦿ Dogs that are prone to bloating should not have too long in between meals. It would be better if you have some healthy treats or snacks with you, so you can give it to them, if you notice that your dog is hungry.
Best Food Ingredients for Great Danes
⦿ Just like other dogs, Great Danes also needs protein and fats in their feeding. But keep in mind that not all protein and fats are the same. You need to be sure that they come from quality ingredients.
⦿ Great Danes needs only lower percentage of fats and proteins compared with other dogs. This statement holds true for the growing puppies. Ideally a dog food should have at least five meat proteins. Meat meals and whole meats are great sources of protein.
⦿ Whole meat includes lamb, beef, fish and whole chicken. But be careful because whole meat also contains moisture. If there is no moisture in the meat, it is assume that they have lower components in the ingredients.
⦿ Some dog owners don’t like to buy meat meals because they are concentrated form and the moisture is already removed. But they are actually very good because it contains much protein as compared with the whole meat. Most premium products actually contain meat meals as compared with whole meats.
⦿ If you see in the label meat meals it means they are made by good companies. If you see labels such as “by-products” or “digest” better to ask more questions in the seller so you would know the quality of the product.
⦿ Great Danes also need good sources of fats. Some of the vitamins are fat soluble and this is best for your dog’s diet. But the fat content varies depending on the sources. Look for the products with named fat sources like chicken fat.
⦿ Other fat products like fish oil can offer omega 3 fatty acids which helps keep your dogs coat and skin healthy.
Quick Tips: Recommended Dog Food Brands
When feeding Great Danes here are the top dog food brand choices:
Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food
⦿ This brand helps strengthens your Great Danes immune function. It also helps keep their muscles lean to keep their ideal body weight. It also enhanced joint and mobility support.
⦿ The best thing about this product is that it is easily digested to promote healthy digestion and for consistent stool.
Royal Canin Giant Breed
⦿ Royal Canin Giant Breed is one of the most popular dog foods online. In fact, it is one of the best-selling brands in major online stores. Many dog owners trust this brand because it is made of high quality ingredients at a reasonable price.
Eukanuba Large Breed
⦿ The Eukanuba Large Breed is a perfect dog food for your Great Dane. It is specially designed for large breeds. The product also uses high quality meat sources that your Great Dane will surely love.
⦿ This brand is also popular online and it belongs to the top lists of best-selling dog foods both online and offline.
Hill ScienceDry Dog Food
Royal CaninDry Dog Food
Adult Giant Breed
Dry Dog FoodAdult Large Breed
When you are feeding your Great Dane, you may also give them canned foods if you like. But try not to keep their diet mostly of canned food because of obvious reasons. Canned foods are more expensive than kibble. Of course, you don’t want to get broke just trying to feed your dog a canned diet.