Best Dog food for Great Danes

It is Paw-some! If you are an owner of Great Dane.

You are a happy pet owner as, in spite of their enormous size, these humble giants are one of the greatest dog breeds to own as a family pet as they are confident, loving and most loyal dogs.

The breed is massive and takes 3-4 years to get fully mature, and once they get mature, you expect the dog to weigh min 100 pounds and grows up to 200 pounds.

You might have brought them as cute tiny little puppy, but after gaining weight, they will outgrow your lap and turn into a huge giant that spins, leaps, jumps, gallops and bounces all around the house.

Being different, they require some special needs in terms of nutrition and exercise. Though the massive size brings some challenges and risks, a friendly nature and family-inclined manners makes them a great option as a pet.

Great Danes are also susceptible to many health problems and can have less lifespan. As a parent, it is your duty to ensure this beautiful, big dog leads a fulfilling and wonderful life.

Here in this article, I have reviewed the best dog foods for Great Danes to fulfill their nutritional needs.

What you should know about Canine Nutrition?

However, there are many years in the middle of them, the Great Danes are practically associated to the wild wolf and his developmental nutritional requirements remains same.

The dogs are scavenging carnivores, means the breed perform well on a meat-based food moreover, have the capability to digest plant material.

This thing parts the breed from obligate carnivores (e.g. cats) who are anatomically and biologically designed to eat meat only.

Protein is the main ingredient for a healthy food for dogs. It helps in development and growth of puppies and also help to maintain lean muscle mass.

Fat is the main source of calories and also assist in absorbance of fat-soluble vitamins. There is no requirement of carbohydrates and the dog only needs a collection of minerals and vitamins.

Commercially available foods fulfill minimum nutrient requirement of dogs, however, all dogs are not equally created.

The information mentioned on the pet food might mislead the buyer, so ensure to analyze the guaranteed ingredients and analysis for yourself to judge the quality of a product.

Types of Dog Food

Type 1: Kibble

In US, it is the most common type of food. It has a long shelf life and manufactured in large quantities, so it is one of the affordable option.

You will likely to find many kibble brands while walking down the grocery store.

It is formulated by mixing all the ingredients and crushing to form a dough-like compound. To cook and extrude into small kibble bits, the ‘dough’ is then fed into pressurized machine.

Pros & CONS

Storage is easy Requires extra intake of water for dry composition
Good storage life Selection is difficult as it has large number of options
Available for different life stages  
Easy to carry  
Easy to clean  

Type 2: Canned

It is almost known as the wet recipe of kibble. Canned food is available in variety of brands and locations and is produced in large quantities.

It is formed by combining frozen and raw meats and then ground into small bits with addition of minerals, vitamins and grains.

The mixture is mixed and cooked before being canned. The cans go through a process of sterilization before final shipping for distribution purpose.


Good storage life Expensive as compared to kibble
Increase the intake of water Low calorie density
Easily available Messy
Soft texture make it easier for dogs to eat with oral tissues Needs refrigeration after opening
Strong aroma make it more attractive for dogs who don’t want to eat like sick, elderly etc.  

Type 3: Semi Moist

The type of food was famous during 1960’s and 1970’s and is in a hamburger-like patty. It is also known as ‘soft moist’ food.

As the name indicates, it is semi-moist and is a wet canned food and middle ground to dry kibble with more water compared to kibble however, less than canned.

They do not use preservatives or need refrigeration to increase their shelf life.


Cheaper than canned food Expensive than kibble
Chewable for dogs with oral problems Causes loose stool because of high sugar and salt ratio
Appetizing than dry kibble Artificial colorings and flavor
Less messy  

Feeding Requirements for Large and Giant Breeds

The basic nutritional needs of all dogs is same however, you can’t make all the dogs eat the same way.

The smaller breeds like Yorkshire Terries and Chihuahuas may be small however, they require frequent meals to prevent low blood sugar and have fast metabolic rate.

The larger breeds e.g. Great Dane burn fats at low rate but overall require high calories.

An average of about 30 calories per pound weight of body is required by the body of a dog, although for giant breeds it may be closer to 25.

An adult of Great Dane ranging from 100-200 pounds require almost 2,500 to 3000 calories per day.

Key to Feeding a Great Dane

The feed of a Great Dane is moderate fat and high-protein diet between 350-450 calories per cup.

All you need is to make an adjustment according to activity level and age of a dog. However, moderate calorie ratio ensures that the dog won’t eat much food to cater his calorie needs.

In large breeds, large meals causes bloating, a deadly condition which fills the stomach with twists and gas on itself, causing a shock in a dog.

In actual, bloat is the #1 killer of Great Danes. It can be prevented by feeding scheduled meals to your dog rather than free feeding and take precautions to make sure that dog doesn’t eat too much or too quickly at once.

The Right Food for your Great Dane

The age of a dog is the main point to consider before selection of food. Comparatively, puppies require more calories and proteins as compared to older dogs.

While purchasing food for Great Dane, the requirement of protein is min. 22% however, the ideal ratio is around 25-30 percent. The ratio of fat is about 12-18%, the excess or too high calories might lead to overgrowth.

Below are some main things to look for in Great Dane.

  • Poultry, real meat or fish as the first ingredient
  • Two sources of animal proteins among first three ingredients
  • Normal ratio of animal-based fat
  • Low level of digestible carbohydrates like veggies and whole grains
  • No artificial source for key nutrients along with supplements
  • No additives

The best way to fulfill the needs of Great Dane is to select the recipe designed to for giant and large breeds. The recipe provide the perfect balance of calories and proteins for healthy weight management with optimum phosphorus and calcium content for healthy joint and bone.

The Best Dog Food for Great Danes

Choosing the best dog food with so many options is the most difficult task. Luckily, we have worked so hard for you to bring the best recommendations regarding the best dog food for Great Danes.

Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Formula

While searching for the best dog food for Great Danes, you are likely to go through this large breed formula for dogs above the age of 7.

The food products for Great Dane must cater the high standards because of the gigantic size of the breed, and as all dogs require extra care when they reach adult age.

The breed require more care to ensure their bodies are strong enough for supporting their own weight.


  • Chicken
  • Rice
  • Poultry By-Product
  • Whole Grain Wheat
  • Oat Meal

Key features

Crude protein 29%

Crude Fat      14%

Calories         3,913 kcal/kg


  • Brand: Purina
  • Breed Size: Large and Giant Breeds
  • Special Diet: High Protein
  • Total Weight: 30 pounds
  • Life stage: Senior

Health Benefits

  • Botanical oils for alertness and sharp mind
  • Healthy bones and joints


Chicken as main ingredient Low fiber content
Complete nutrition for senior dogs Not good for dogs with sensitive stomach
Healthy joints  
Oils for healthy mental growth  

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural

Bigger and gigantic dogs have a lot of wright and it builds a strain on both joint and bones. So proper nutrition is a must factor for larger breeds like Great Dane and this recipe fulfills all the nutritional requirement of a dog.

It uses all the natural ingredients like brown rice, deboned chicken and wholesome grains to make a different recipe for large dogs of all ages.


  • Rice
  • Chicken
  • Poultry By-Product Meal
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Vegetable oil

Key Features

Crude protein   22%

Crude fat            6%

Calories               3,516 kcal/kg

Product specification

Brand: Blue Buffalo

Breed size: Large and Giant breeds

Special Diet: No corn, wheat and soy

Life stage: Adult

Total Weight: 30 pounds

Health Benefits

  • Maintain shape of joints and bones
  • Strengthen immune system


No animal or poultry by-products Not recommended for dogs sensitive to pea protein, fish and chicken
Enriched with fiber ad protein  
Supports healthy immune system  

Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diets

If you want the best dog food for Great Danes with sensitive stomach, this option is the best choice. It is manufactured with single animal protein source with no unnecessary corn, fillers, soy or wheat.


  • Lamb meal
  • Brown rice
  • Lamb
  • Brewers Rice
  • Rice Bran

Key features

Crude protein     23%

Crude Fat             14%

Caloric content    3,600 kcal/kg

Product specification

Brand: Natural Balance

Breed size: Large and Giant breeds

Special Diet: sensitive digestion, no corn, wheat or soy, limited ingredient diet, chicken and pea free

Life stage: Adult

Total Weight: 28 pounds

Health Benefits

  • Promote healthy weight and metabolism
  • The kibble size is right to keep the gum and teeth clean and healthy


Mild formula with protein from lamb No probiotics included
Formulated Omega 3 and 6  
Promotes oral health  

Nulo Adult Grain Free Dog Food

It is easy to get lost in a sea products with a promise of million things, when you are looking and how much to feed a Great Dane puppy or an adult. The brand keep it simple with 100% pure kibble, enriched with vitamins and protein and no fillers, artificial preservatives, wheat or grain.

You can select among salmon, lamb, turkey and deliberately the brand left the egg and chicken as some dogs are not able to digest them.


  • Lamb
  • Turkey meal
  • Salmon meal
  • Chickpeas
  • Yellow peas

Key features

Crude protein   31%

Crude fat            17%

Calories              3,608 kcal/kg

Product specification

Brand: Nulo

Breed size: All breed size

Special Diet: grain free, high protein, gluten free, low glycemic

Life stage: Adult

Total Weight: 26 pounds

Health benefits

  • Good for healthy growth and development


100% pure dog food Expensive
For all breed sizes Not easily available
No egg or chicken  
Made in the US  

Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food with Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Feeding a senior Great Dane is more important and to select the best Great Dane food is difficult as the joints and bones are sensitive to weight. Many senior dogs get affected with joint pain and arthritis.


  • Turkey meal
  • Deboned trout
  • Salmon meal
  • Yellow peas
  • Sweet potatoes

Key Features

Crude protein          30% min

Crude Fat                  12% min

Caloric content       3,359 kcal/kg

Product specification

Brand: Nulo

Breed size: All Breeds

Special Diet: grain-free, Gluten Free, high protein, low Glycemic

Life stage: senior

Total Weight: 26 pounds

Health benefits

  • Promote joint and bone health
  • Promote pain-free and long life


Reduce food allergies expensive
80% animal-based protein  
Healthy weight  
Probiotic for digestion  

Common Health Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia and Joint Problems
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Osteosarcoma 
  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy

Ingredients to avoid

  • Avocados
  • Leftover foods
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Chocolates
  • Salty food
  • Sugary foof

Great Dane Dog Food Buyers Guide

Are you thinking if you can be a responsible pet parent and give Great Dane an awesome diet to help them enjoy healthy and happy life?

The answer is yes, you can if you love your pet and can’t tolerate on his diet and you will feed them the best diet to make sure your dog stays healthy and active

Before buying and selecting the best food for Great Dane, make sure to look for the following factors.

  1. Life stage
  2. Level of activity
  3. General height, weight and size


The products discussed in this article might not be 100% perfect however, the products are the best ones available, with best quality ingredients and nutrient content. The dog food should be selected as per the specific needs of your dog. Consult a vet as well before buying the food to keep your pet healthy and strong.


Should Great Dane eat grain free dog food?

Studies have concluded that the dog should avoid grain-free foods as it cause development of DCM.

How many cups of food should a Great Dane eat?

The dog eats between 8-10 cups daily and a mature dog will eat 6-10 cups of food per day.

What human food can Great Dane eat?

Some of the human foods that dogs and cats can eat are:

  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli

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