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The 9 Best Dog Foods For Great Danes

Caring for a Great Dane is an amazing experience, but you may have difficulty finding the right food for your enormous pet. Many firms make dog food and treats, but just a handful are created specifically for big breeds.

Adult Great Danes require more calories than other breeds to support their massive frames, but their diet should also include vitamins and minerals to keep their joints healthy.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) looked into the best dog foods for Great Danes and made a list with detailed reviews to help you choose the best brand for your dog. 

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Great Danes

Choosing the best food for your Great Dane is very essential, and you can use these guidelines to help you determine which brand is best for your huge dog.

Diets for Great Danes

Despite their size, Great Danes are not as active as other breeds and do not require as much protein as a working dog or racing breed such as the Greyhound. According to PetMD, pet food producers have taken advantage of the idea that dogs, like cats, are obligate carnivores that require high-protein diets to operate.

All dogs, including Great Danes, are omnivores. Unlike other big breeds, Great Danes’ bones take years to grow, and a high-protein, high-calorie diet might lead them to gain weight. Because of its big size, an overweight Great Dane is more prone to joint and bone disorders.

Puppies

Puppy food for Great Danes should have somewhat more protein than adult food, but you must watch the dog’s weight as it develops to ensure that the greater protein does not result in excessive weight gain. When looking at the nutritional facts for Royal Canin’s Giant Puppy Dry Dog Food (#4), you’ll note that the crude protein content is indicated as 32%.

That’s excellent for a puppy but far too high for an adult’s daily diet. The calcium and phosphate ratio, which must be managed to avoid developing bone abnormalities in large breed dogs, is critical.

Seniors and adults

Great Danes can start eating adult food with less fat and protein at 15 to 18 months. The majority of the giant breed meals we tested had crude protein values ranging from 22% to 26% and crude fat levels ranging from 12% to 16%.

Great Danes require more vitamins and minerals for aging joints and fewer calories in their senior years than grownups. When selecting for dog food, consider the brand’s life cycle as well as the ingredients.

Feeding a senior dog the same food as a puppy might have negative consequences for the animal’s health, and vice versa.

Dog Food Varieties

Every year, new brands and kinds of dog food are introduced, but which is best for Great Danes? The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recognizes nutritionally balanced brands based on life stage.

Some dog diets are certified balanced and complete, and may thus be provided on a daily basis. Others are just for supplementary feeding; make careful to read the labels.

Food that is dry

Dry food used to be cheaper than premium wet food, but some high-quality kibble is now as pricey as fresh food from delivery services. Although high-end products are more expensive, they offer several advantages over wet food.

The crunchy kibble aids in the reduction of tartar and plaque accumulation, and it has a longer shelf life after opening than fresh or wet meals. The dry foods on our list are less in fillers and preservatives, but they are richer in protein and fat than wet food.

Food That Is Wet

Although some wet meals are less nutrition rich than kibble, they include up to 70% more moisture than dry brands. High-moisture food keeps your pet hydrated, and wet food is preferred by the majority of dogs. You may, however, give your Great Dane a blend of both sorts rather of just wet or dry.

By combining the two for morning and evening feedings, your pet will reap all of the benefits while avoiding the drawbacks. If your dog isn’t used to eating kibble, introduce it slowly by increasing the quantity in small increments each day. After 7 to 10 days, you can experiment with a half-and-half mixture of kibble and wet food.

Delivery of Fresh Food

Although the premium kibble and wet food on our list wowed us, the fresh meal services won us over with their personalization choices. Pet owners may enter health and nutritional information about their pets into Nom Nom and Spot + Tango to ensure the animals get the right quantities of protein, fat, carbs, and fiber.

You may change the recipes as your dog ages to accommodate medical conditions and age-specific dietary demands. When you deal with a fresh food provider, you have more control over your Great Dane’s nutrition. A Great Dane, on the other hand, consumes more calories than other large breeds, and monthly supplies are expensive.

Conclusion

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) reviews included the best dog foods for Great Danes, but our top pick was Nom Nom. We liked the natural ingredients in its recipes, sourced from local farms, and the impressive customer portal that lets you adjust the portioning and nutritional content of the meals.

Our best value selection was Purina Pro Plan Specialized Giant Breed Adult Dog Food. It has the ideal combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates for giant breeds, and it’s less expensive than most premium products on the market.

Reviews

Best Value: Adult Purina Pro Plan Specialized Giant Breed Dog Food

  • Type of food: dry
  • 34 pound weight
  • Calories per pound: 1,721 (3,787 kcal/kg)
  • 26% crude protein (29.5% dry matter)

Feeding a big beast that requires 10 cups or more of dry food per day might be costly, but Purina Pro Plan Specialized Giant Breed Adult Dog Food can keep your dog healthy at an affordable price.

Pro Plan received our best dog food for the money award, and we were delighted by its nutritious formula, which features chicken as the major protein source.

It contains wheat bran as a natural fiber, as well as glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids, which help with joint health and mobility. Pro Plan is particularly intended for dogs weighing more than 100 pounds, making it an excellent alternative for Great Dane owners.

We found no issues with Pro Plan, and large dog owners were pleased with the kibble, however the formula contains wheat, which is not ideal for dogs with grain allergies.

Pros

  • The main protein source is chicken.
  • 12% crude fat, 26% crude protein
  • For dogs weighing more over 100 pounds.

Cons

  • Not suitable for dogs that are allergic to grains.

 

Best for Puppies: Dry Dog Food Royal Canin Giant Puppy

  • Type of food: dry
  • 30 pound weight
  • Calories per pound: 1,616 (3,556 kcal/kg)
  • 32% crude protein (35.5% dry matter)

Although standard puppy chow will fill your Great Dane’s stomach, it is not designed to promote the breed’s rapid development and late maturity. Great Danes can achieve maturity at 15 months, but most dogs need two years.

You may feed your large puppy Royal Canin Giant Puppy Dry Dog Food, which has 32% crude protein and 12% crude fat. Calcium, chondroitin, and glucosamine are included in the recipe to help support rapidly expanding joints, while psyllium seed husk is used to aid good digestion and solid stools.

The calcium and phosphorus ratio is critical to the healthy skeletal development of large breeds. This meal takes care of everything for you.

Puppies require more protein than adults, and Royal Canin has the optimal protein, fat, and fiber balance for developing giants. It does, however, have more grain and wheat than some of its competitors.

Pros

  • For pups, the ideal protein, fat, and fiber ratio is
  • 32% protein crude
  • The taste appeals to large dogs.

Cons

  • This product contains maize and wheat.

 

Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi Advantage

  • Type of food: Wet
  • Can size: 5 oz (12 pack)
  • Calories per pound: 259 569 calories/kilogram, 201 calories/can
  • 2% crude protein (20% dry matter base)

Obesity is common in large dogs, especially those kept inside. You may restrict your pet’s fat and calorie consumption with Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit to avoid weight gain and other medical conditions. Unlike the other products on our list, Hill’s requires a veterinary recommendation.

Its principal proteins are chicken and hog liver, and it is fortified with antioxidants to support a healthy immune system. A prescription diet can benefit dogs with urinary tract and stomach issues, but it is significantly more expensive than other wet food brands.

Great Danes weighing more than 100 pounds will require at least eight cans per day, so ask your doctor whether you can mix it with W/D dry food as well.

Pros

  • Weight management formulation
  • Encourages good digestion
  • Maintains urinary tract health.

Cons

  • Veterinary permission is required.
  • Price range

 

Natural Choice Nutro Large Breed with a Healthy Weight

  • Type of food: dry
  • 30 pound weight
  • Calories per pound: 1,386 (3,049 kcal/kg)
  • Crude Protein: 22% (24.4% as dry matter)

Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Large Breed is a weight control brand that does not require a veterinarian’s permission. It’s less expensive than most premium dry products and has all-natural components including chicken, full grain brown rice, split peas, chia seed, dried coconut, and rice bran.

You’re unlikely to find another low-calorie dinner with so many healthy elements in this pricing range. Several dog owners were pleased that Nutro helped their large dogs shed weight, but others were dissatisfied with the kibble’s tiny size. Nutro’s flavor did not appeal to certain fussy canines.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Aids in the weight loss of large dogs

Cons

  • Some dogs loathe the taste.
  • Kibble is too little for some people.

 

Grain-Free Instinct Raw Boost Recipe

  • Type of food: dry
  • 20 pound weight
  • Calories per pound: 1,977 (4,351 kilocalories/kilogram)
  • 36% crude protein (38.4% dry matter)

Unlike other raw foods for dogs, Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe does not need to be refrigerated. It blends protein-rich dry kibble with freeze-dried raw beef bits.

It contains a high concentration of omega fatty acids for healthy coats and skin, antioxidants for immune health, and a probiotic blend to keep the digestive tract running smoothly. It is made entirely of natural ingredients and does not contain maize, wheat, artificial colors, or preservatives.

Dogs appear to enjoy the flavor of Instinct Raw, but it may be out of reach for most dog owners. Competing products provide larger bags at the same price, and Instinct contains too much fat for large dogs who are overweight or have pancreatitis.

Pros

  • There is no maize, wheat, or preservatives in this product.
  • Beef grown in the United States is the predominant protein source.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Protein and lipid levels are quite high.

 

Grain-Free Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula

  • Type of food: dry
  • Weight: 25 pounds
  • 396 kilocalories per cup
  • 28% crude protein (28.8% dry matter)

Try Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free if your Great Dane is allergic to chicken or meat. Zignature is an outlier in the pet food industry since its featured protein is kangaroo meat, which dogs appear to appreciate.

Kangaroo is richer in vitamin B and higher in omega fatty acids and iron than other meats used in dog food. Zignature is also good to dogs that have allergies to maize, wheat, soy, dairy, or poultry.

Although customers liked the kangaroo recipe, others thought the kibble was too huge. Premium products are typically more expensive than conventional dog foods, but Zignature would be higher on our list if it weren’t so pricey. Kangaroo meat, on the other hand, is more expensive to import and prepare than chicken or beef.

Pros

  • Excellent for dogs that are allergic to chicken or beef.
  • Recipe using few natural components

Cons

  • Some dogs cannot eat kibble because it is too huge.
  • more costly than competitors

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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