Great Danes are definitely high maintenance in a number of ways.
If you have just brought one of these dogs home, you’ll need to learn everything you can about taking care of them. This includes how much and how often you have to feed yours.
Importance of a Proper Diet for Your Dog
Your Great Dane needs a proper diet with nutritious food that is given to them in the right quantities. These dogs need food that has a fat and protein content of around twenty percent. Too much protein, however, can be just as bad as not enough.
It is particularly important to focus on proper feeding habits with your dog in the first year or so of its life. Your dog’s body is still growing and developing within this time period, so they need to have enough to eat on a daily basis.
Make sure that you get food that is meant for big dogs, because anything else simply won’t do. This is especially crucial for Great Dane puppies, as it helps to slow down their growth and promote healthy bone development.
Feeding Your Great Dane Puppy
There is no question that Great Danes grow very fast, and it is important to feed them appropriately based on their age. These dogs don’t stop growing until they are a little over a year old.
Most veterinarians will recommend food that is specially formulated for large puppies. Both male and female Great Danes need to eat about 4-8 cups each day from three to six months of age. You should feed males 6-10 cups each day from the time they are 8 to 12 months old, and females 5-8 cups.
Female Great Danes that are 1-2 years of age need around eight cups of food every single day. Males need to eat much more, about 9-15 cups.
Feeding Your Adult Great Dane
Adult Great Danes are huge animals that require a lot of food on a daily basis. They need to consume a minimum of 2,500 calories per day. You can get away with feeding them a little bit less as they get older though.
Males need 8-10 cups per day, while you can feed females 6-8.
What Should I Feed my Great Dane?
As we mentioned above, it is a good idea to give your Great Dane food that is formulated for large breeds. You should look for foods that have a good amount of protein in them. Avoid any food that contains filler ingredients or preservatives.
It is very important that you take a look close look at the label of each food before deciding what to buy for your dog. You only want to give them high-quality food that will meet their nutritional needs.
Giving your dog food with a grain-free formula should prevent bloating from becoming a problem. This is something that you will want to check on the label.
It’s also a good idea to look for foods that have essential fatty acids and probiotics, as they promote healthy digestion. An increasing number of people are giving their pets probiotics because of how beneficial they can be to a dog’s health.
Some people decide to go with a raw diet for their Great Danes. This requires you to give your dog high-protein raw meats, including chicken, beef, and others. Caribou and buffalo meats are also high in protein, but the cost of buying them can quickly add up.
Despite what some people believe, giving a dog raw meat will not cause them to die from a bacterial infection. As long as the meat is purchased fresh and stored properly for the right length of time, you shouldn’t have any issues.
The raw diet that you give your Great Dane should consist of:
- Mostly meat: High-protein meats should comprise about 70% of your dog’s total daily diet.
- A little bone: You can give your Great Dane bones sometimes, but they shouldn’t be too large. Vertebrae bones are too big for dogs, and they present a choking hazard.
- Organs: About five percent of your dog’s diet should consist of organs. Bovine liver and other organs are packed with nutrients and are great for supplementing their diet.
- Fruits and veggies: The occasional fruit or vegetable is acceptable. Do not feed your dog avocado, as it is toxic for them.
Tips for Feeding Great Danes
1. Take it Easy on the Treats
You shouldn’t give your dog too many treats, simply because it is already eating so much every day. This will reduce the chances of them developing any gastrointestinal problems.
2. Wait Before Taking Your Dog Out
You want to wait a full hour before taking your dog for a walk or to the park. This will minimize the risk of bloating, which can cause them a lot of discomfort.
You will notice your dog’s stomach distending, as well as some pretty nasty gas. As harmless of an issue as it might seem, it can actually be fatal for some dogs.
3. Avoid Free-Feeding
It is best to give your dog its food twice a day at the same time. Free-feeding should be avoided, especially with these dogs. If you give your dog access to too much food at once, it will most likely gobble all of it up. These animals don’t have much restraint at all when it comes to food. Eating too much at once can cause serious gastrointestinal problems for your dog.
Feeding a Great Dane can be a little tricky, so you will have to keep all of this information in mind. If you don’t give your dog enough food on a daily basis, it can develop serious health problems. You also don’t want to feed it too much, as excessive weight gain is also very unhealthy for many reasons. Make sure that your dog gets a good amount of protein and is fed the same amount consistently each day.