What To Look For In Good Dog Food
There are many things to consider when looking for high-quality kibble.
While I could just give you a list of recommended foods, I think every owner should understand whats important and use that knowledge for making their own informed decisions. If you just want to skip straight to the full list, you can click here.
With that, lets walk through each item to see how it would impact the overall quality of the food.
What Is The Best Protein Level For Great Dane Puppy Food
Many people believe that protein is the most important thing to look at. This is fairly dated information, based again on old observations. Some people believe you should keep protein levels less than 24%.
Many Great Danes are being starved of protein in the name of this. Protein provides amino acids that are necessary for health. Protein must come primarily from a meat source. Meat meals and meat by-product meals are ideal, as they offer a concentrated source of amino acids and protein!
Food brands that use fresh deboned meat and no meat meals will be deficient and likely heavy in starches dont fall for marketing that is designed to appeal to your tastes. Foods that are extremely heavy in peas, lentils, garbanzo beans, potatoes, or derivatives of them are not safe to feed.
Meat meals contain biologically appropriate meat tissue, bone, cartilage, and organ. These ingredients have also been shown to reduce the risk of bloat by 53%!
Some of the best foods will have protein levels up to 32%! Royal Canin Giant Breed Puppy, for example, which has been scientifically proven for growth.
Large and giant breed foods from science-backed companies such as Purina, Iams, Hills, Eukanuba, and Royal Canin will have been correctly formulated for growth, regardless of the protein level indicated on the bag.
How to Choose a Healthy Food for your Dog:
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has put together some common-sense guidelines for choosing food.
How Many Calories Does A Great Dane Need
Depending on your Great Danes age, weight and activity level, it will require 2,500 to 3,000 calories each day. To be exact, an adult Great Dane weighing 120 pounds , needs 2507 calories per day.
For Great Dane puppies, the recommended dry food calories per cup is 350 to 400 calories. However, if the puppy is too lean, you can increase its food intake accordingly by half a cup or a whole cup.
As Great Danes grow older, they will need lesser calories than puppies, but enough to maintain their energy levels.
The ideal weight for a Great Dane is not even included in the weight calorie chart of the National Research Council. Yet there are several standards in the Great Dane muscle build that needs to be followed. The following can help you determine if your Great Dane has the right amount of muscle it needs to be healthy. These can also guide you in feeding you Great Dane.
- Keep the Great Dane puppy light and lean. By being lean, they are thin but look strong and healthy.
- The puppy ought to have a smooth coat.
- You should be able to feel the outline of the Great Danes last rib with your palm. If you feel the sharp edges rather than the outline, then your Dane is too thin.
Some owners want their Great Danes to have a heavier and bigger build, so they end up free feeding them starting from a young age. This can actually put the dog in danger and will lead to the development of different medical problems.
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Royal Canin Aging Large Breed 8+ Years
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This recipe is made with older dogs in mind thanks to its precise blend of antioxidants which support his aging immune system and long-life vitality. Thanks to the higher levels of glucosamine and chondroitin compared to their adult and junior recipes, it supports his aging joints and keeps them as supple as possible.
The kibble is large in size, and rehydratable if your Great Dane is struggling to crunch the kibble pieces, which is a big hit with many of the reviewers dogs.
We love that this recipe has the lowest calorie count which suits those senior Great Danes who are a lot less active in their senior years.
Choosing The Correct Calorie Count For Great Danes
Great Danes require a high-quality diet that is nutritionally balanced to meet the needs of a dog their size. As a general rule, the best foods for the Great Dane should ideally contain a minimum of 23 percent protein and 9 percent fat.
Great Danes who are only moderately active will thrive on a diet of 2,200-2,500 calories per day. However, larger dogs that are exceptionally energetic and kept busy will require more calories to fuel their activity. These dogs should be fed approximately 3,000 calories daily. The individual calorie count will also vary depending on factors like whether the dog is spayed or neutered. The Pet Nutrition Alliance calorie calculator is an excellent guide but remember to consult your veterinarian for more detailed nutritional information.
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Canidae Pure Real Bison Lentil & Carrot Recipe
First 5 Ingredients: Bison, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Lentils
This Canidae PURE Land Formula with Fresh Bison recipe is loaded with fresh meat and whole foods for complete and balanced nutrition that also offers good digestibility.
Not only is this formula made with a limited number of main ingredients, but the primary protein is a novel protein for most dogs which further reduces the risk for food allergies and sensitivities.
This formula features fresh bison with grain-free carbohydrates and plenty of omega fatty acids for skin and coat support. All in all, this is a natural, delicious, and nutritious recipe for adult dogs.
As promised, this formula is made with fresh bison as the main ingredient. It is important to note that fresh meats contain up to 80% moisture by volume once the product is cooked to remove moisture, some of that volume will be lost.
That isnt a problem for this Canidae Grain-Free PURE Land Adult Formula with Fresh Bison recipe, however, because lamb meal is the second ingredient.
Meat meals contain up to 300% more protein by volume than fresh meats because they have already been cooked to remove moisture. Overall, this bison recipe is an excellent source of high-quality and digestible nutrition for adult dogs.
This recipe starts off strong with two meat-rich sources of protein at the top of the list, followed by three gluten-free and grain-free carbohydrates.
Considerations To Take Before Buying Great Dane Dog Food
A Great Dane can be your best friend almost from day one, and they will love you throughout their life! Return this love by feeding them with the best dog food for Great Danes. But, what is the best Great Dane diet? There are a few things you should consider when buying dog food for such a large breed!
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How Much Should A Great Dane Eat
How much a Great Dane eats depends on their age and developmental stage. The general feeding guidelines for adult Great Danes are the following:
- 1 to 2 year old Male Great Danes: 9 to 12 cups a day, divided into 2 meals.
- 1 to 2 year old Female Great Danes: 6 to 10 cups a day, divided into 2 meals.
A Great Dane eats more food than many breeds out there due to their size. And this calls for nutritious and scheduled meals appropriate for their size. Food and feeding habits are factors that impact a Great Danes growth.
Great Danes should grow at a slow and steady pace. Overfeeding them and not dividing their meals will encourage a lot of health problems like bloat and hip dysplasia.
Adult Great Dane Diet Tips
- Feed kibble of quality ingredients, see our Feeding Dry Section for more info.
- Choose kibble with calorie content of 375 to 450 calories per cup based on your Dane’s activity level.
- We recommend kibble with primary protein sources from quality named meats.
- Ideal protein content between 23% & 30% .
- To minimize chances of bloat, grain free kibble formulas preferred over grain based.
- Feeding Great Danes foods with added Glucosamine and Chondroitin and Omega 3 & 6 EFA’s are a plus.
- Your Great Dane will require between 2,500 to 3,500 calories per day depending on age, weight & activity level.
- Two daily meals recommended, free feeding should be avoided.
- Raw Feeding Great Danes is awesome for adults and puppies.
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Picking A Dog Food For Your Great Dane: Breed
As with any breed, youll want to think critically about what your Great Dane needs in his food to support his unique stature. Here are just a few things all Great Dane owners will want to keep in mind while selecting food for Spot:
- Select a food designed for large breeds. Its no surprise that Great Danes will need food designed for large breeds since theyre one of the biggest breeds you can find. Foods designed for large breeds are specifically crafted to satisfy the unique needs of big pups.
- Look for moderate protein levels. Protein levels for your furry friend should ideally be between the 25% and 30% range. And to the extent possible, youll want that protein to come from nutritious meats, like chicken, pork, beef, or fish.
- Shoot for low to moderate fat levels. Youll want to make sure your Great Dane stays fit and trim, since excess body weight can put unnecessary pressure on your dogs joints. Shoot for a fat range between 12% and 18%.
- Seek out joint-supporting supplements. These long-legged friends are unfortunately prone to joint issues, so its a good idea to seek out joint supporting supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Pack on the probiotics. Great Danes are prone to stomach issues and sensitivities, so its a good idea to find a dog food thats packed with dog probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, or Bifidobacterium breve.
What Are The Most Common Great Dane Health Issues Related To Food Intake
The Great Dane dog breed is prone to severe joint and bone issues. However, being prone to something doesnt exclude other potential illnesses. There are numerous other health problems that a Great Dane can suffer from.
Heres a complete list of the most common Great Dane health issues:
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Now Let’s Break Down The Recipe For My Easy Homemade Dog Food Shall We
The recipe box below contains a printable version of my go-to recipe for homemade dog food, which consist of lean ground sirloin, brown rice, carrots, hard boiled eggs, parsley, and a few tablespoons of oil that is high in Omega’s. But sometimes, especially since social distancing, I’ve found that it is helpful to have a list of easy substitutes for when ingredients run low. Plug in or swap out any of the items below based on what foods your pup likes/needs and what you have on hand to create your pup’s ideal dog food flavor profile.
Holistic Select Giant Breed
This formula is designed specifically for giant dog breeds, and the Great Dane is definitely part of that gang. Chicken and Pork meal provide him with the protein he needs to maintain his lean muscles, as well as high levels of glucosamine to support his bones and joint health.
Digestion is the focus of this kibble, with added prebiotics, probiotics, live yogurt cultures, and digestive enzymes to keep his digestive tract healthy. A list of superfoods are present, such as pumpkin, papayas, and pomegranate to name just a few, which all boost his immune system and keep his body fighting fit.
We love that this recipe offers the highest number of calories per cup while not being extremely high in protein or fats, so he will still get all the energy he needs.
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Puppy Food Is The Foundation Of Your Dogs Future
If you are going to be a dog parent, please plan to feed your puppy a quality food. This is the most important time to feed the best you can afford. Stong lean muscle development and controlled growth will help you to avoid visits to the vet and needless suffering. Great Danes are a Giant breed, and that means that special consideration should be made.
Scout found a lot of great picks for you that are in a reasonable price range as well as some higher-end foods. Of course, if you have any questions just ask your vet.
What Are Wsava Guidelines
The WSAVA is a non-profit, worldwide organization dedicated to supporting veterinarians, health, science, and nutrition. Any food brand can sponsor these important efforts, however, most boutique brands do not.
The WSAVA has released a set of common-sense guidelines to consider when choosing food for your dog. These guidelines are simply a set of recommendations. There is no such thing as WSAVA Approved, and the WSAVA does not make kickbacks or money from food brands.
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Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
This Wellness Large Breed Recipe has chicken as its base ingredient. Other nutrients and minerals including calcium and phosphorus have been added to ensure your dog gets the best for healthy growth. Yucca Schidigera extract has been particularly added to reduce the smell of your Danes stool. This formula contains no corn, no wheat, and no soy.
Food Facts What Your Great Danes Food Should Be Made Of
In terms of nutrition, because they have a slower metabolism, it is important that you choose high-quality dog food for your huge hound. Like all dog food, food for Great Danes should have the highest amount protein, then fat and then fiber. For a Great Dane, however, these levels should be slightly lower than they are for the general pooch population.
For an adult Great Dane, you should aim for 23% protein and 12% fat.
An important note on feeding Great Danes that is unrelated to nutrition: break up your pups feedings into as many small meals as possible and do not allow exercise after meals.
Great Danes are particularly prone to gastric dilatation and volvulus, also known as bloat.
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Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Brown Rice
- Key Feature: Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Sensitive Digestion, Chicken-Free, With Grain
Reasons to suggest
- Many dogs have food allergies, and it can be difficult when your pet is currently allergic to the standard components of pet food.
- If you are looking for a high-quality puppy recipe that can fulfill all the requirements of your Great Dane Puppy, then this is the excellent choice
- It features boneless lamb and lamb meals as its main proteins, along with digestible carbohydrates such as brown rice.
- Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Brown Rice recipe comes with 24% Crude Protein, 12.5% Crude Fat, and 4.5% Crude Fiber which is great for your puppys healthy life
- It is created from a limited number of ingredients and also contains beneficial nutritional supplements such as chelated vitamins and probiotics for digestive aid.
Buyers Guide: Choosing The Best Food For Great Danes
When it comes to finding the best dog food for your Great Dane, there is no shortage of choice. With hundreds of different brands and thousands of different products available, it can be difficult to work out which dog food is best for your pet and which food is best left sitting on the shelf at the store.
As a responsible dog owner, it is still a good idea to know how to make this choice. Firstly, we know that everybody has a budget. Some premium dog foods are considerably more expensive than others, so financial considerations may limit your options. Figurately, there are good, quality dog foods available at most price points.
When it comes to choosing a top-quality Great Dane dog food, here are the things you need to consider.
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Soft Dry Dog Food Faqs
Soft dry dog food is a relatively new product on the market, and so it is natural for you to have some questions about this kind of food. Heres answering some frequently asked questions that most pet parents have.
Is there soft kibble dog food?
There is a wide range of soft kibbles available in dog food. They are neither hard and dry nor of wet gravy but soft, juicy, and chewy. They are ideal for puppies and senior dogs for it is easy to consume, hassle-free, and less messy.
Should you moisten dry dog food?
Moistened dry dog food is very suitable for pups, old dogs, or dogs with dental problems. This food is easy to chew and is palatable. By adding some amount of water or any other prescribed liquid, the food gets softened and is easy to eat. Moistening dry food for a dog also depends on the food choices of the dog. Some dogs are very picky and fussy about the type, form, and flavor of the food they are served. So, depending on their preferences, one must decide on whether to moisten dry food or not.
Is soft dog food good for old dogs?
As a dog grows old, they tend to develop sensitive and weak teeth. Replacing their dry food with soft, wet, and moistened food can help them in easing out their eating process. Thus, grinding on hard and dry food can become difficult and painful for them. One can also add some amount of fruits, vegetables, and canned food to their diet to fill in their nutrition requirements.
What is moist dog food?Should I mix wet and dry dog food?