What's in it?
Did you know that quality premium dog food contains proper blends of minerals, proteins, meats, antioxidants, probiotics and essential fatty acids? Quality of food for a canine is as important as our nutrition. The better we eat the better our health!
The Benefits of Premium Dog Food
Tip: We'll recommend a few brands a bit down this page:)
Help your Great Dane achieve its full potential and live a healthy, happy life. It's easy, why risk good health? Provide your dog proper nutrition and reward him with level energy, digestive health, strong immune system, healthy skin, shiny coat, and overall wellness simply by feeding a natural dog food.
Natural premium dog food is more nutritious, provides protein from meat sources, and has a greater caloric value than lower quality brands. Most of the ingredients are used by your dog's body resulting in less waste and smaller stools. You'll really appreciate this when cleaning up the yard after your Great Dane:)
Natural dog food is available in kibble and canned varieties, containing human-grade ingredients. There are no by-products, fillers, soybean, artificial colors, or flavors.
Tip: If you've read our RAW pages and want to check out a great source to try it out, Raw Paws Pet Food has everything to get you started, including GREEN TRIPE! And, another great source of all natural canine products, including raw foods, is Only Natural Pet Store , selection, service and support is second to none.
Your Great Dane will benefit from the meat, poultry and fish protein sources. Essential vitamins, omega acids, cultures, and digestive enzymes that are also part of many premium dog food formulas. Most of the finest brands are further enhanced with minerals, antioxidants, and even glucosamine hydrochloride for increased joint health.
The Premium Dog Food Industry Is Evolving
We have mentioned the problems with puppy food being too high in protein with poor ratios of calcium and phosphorus. This is not suitable for growing a Dane! However, many of the top natural premium dog foods have evolved and now cater to the nutritional needs of giant breeds. When sourcing your food read the labels and look for low protein/fat with calcium/phosphorus ratio as close to 1/1 as possible. For dogs with food allergies a diet providing protein from alternative sources such as fish, duck or venison is customarily recommended.
What Premium Dog Food Do We Recommend?
Opinions vary so this is not gospel, simply put, this is our opinion..
And another great formula is Wellness Complete Large Breed Puppy.
Adult Premium Dog Food
For adult Danes, Eagle Pack Large Breed Adult is a good choice of mid-grade "plant based protein" dog food and typically digested well with Great Danes.
More calorie dense and a bit higher caliber, Wellness Large Breed Adult is another great choice for adult Danes.
Also popular with the Dane community is Blue Buffalo Adult Large Breed life protection formula.
Grain Free Kibble?
Grain free formulas like EVO are specifically designed to meet key nutritional needs similar to a raw diet with added convenience and benefits of 21st Century nutritional know how. This Hi-Protein, Low Carb dry kibble is however, can be a bit rich for Danes and end up a runny mess on your floor. Feed gradually until you fully make a switch to grain free formulas.
CAUTION that EVO and many grain free formulas are not nutritionally correct for growing GIANT breeds! Our aim is slow and steady growth so I WOULD NOT recommend grain free kibble to a giant breed under 2-years of age. While not truly RAW, EVO provides a similar nutritional balance as a raw diet.
The main difference with raw is that raw meat typically averages 19% protein due to moisture content. To complicate things but hopefully not confuse you. Feeding raw to giant breed puppies is perfectly OK. With adult dogs, many highly active yet finicky and under weight Danes have thrived on grain free and raw alike. Plus, smaller, firmer stools are an added benefit as these foods are more fully metabolized by a dog.
Any adult premium dog food formulas with low to moderate protein/fat and a calcium/phosphorus ratio as close to 1/1 as possible is generally OK for puppies as well. Remember that healthy food contains ingredients like organic vegetables and fruits; namely, carrots, broccoli, peas and blueberries.
Protein sources like chicken and good whole grains, like flaxseed, oats, brown rice and barley. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and joint health supplements like glucosamine & chondroitin are always a plus. Quality named fish oils provide high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Also popular with the Dane community is Chicken Soup Large Breed Adult Formula. Known for its great taste and palatability, Chicken Soup contains the finest, simplest ingredients including four fresh meats, vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and provides a nutritious, well-balanced base for your Dane. Slightly lower in cost than the previous brands mentioned, Chicken soup is a great choice of premium dog food.
There are a plethora of additional brands that form the rank and file of the natural dog food regime. Many of the Alternative Brands are great foods and also favorite to others. What you will find is that with the lower cost brands, various grains and meat meals will find there way into the foods first three ingredients. The good news is, information is power! You can browse many premium dog food brands plus access ingredients panel and find a brand you are comfortable with here.
Keep it real, assess your budget, your Great Dane's needs and the ingredients.
Tip: When feeding any new kibble formula, switch your dogs food gradually over a period of 2 to 4-weeks to minimize stomach upset and digestive issues.
Certainly premium dog food seems more expensive, yet it is higher in calories and nutrients so your Great Dane will eat less. The truth is that premium food is less expensive to feed than lower quality brands. Since the calories per cup are greater compared to inferior foods, your dog will get superior nutrition with lesser amounts per feeding.
Average price for a 35-pound bag of natural premium dog food is $45.00 to $50.00, about twice the cost of a lower quality brand. The key to savings is you will be buying dog food less often! For instance, a 160-pound Great Dane eats 6 cups per day, the kibble is 557 calories per cup totalling 3,342 calories. By feeding a poor quality food full of fillers at 350 calories per cup, our Dane would have to eat over 9-1/2 cups a day. WOW, that's allot of extra poop to pick up!
Here at home we have actually switched to a Raw Dog Diet and we've included many articles on RAW that are highly recommended reading, all available on our Feeding Great Danes main page.
Friends, our intent for this site is to share information about everything Great Dane, we are not trying to sell or push anything at you. However, if your dogs have on going health problems, you can't find premium food in your area, or you are wondering what the "buzz" is all about, the links on this page should prove helpful.
Our absolute favorite source for premium dog food is Chewy.com, they offer FREE shipping and you can save Save 30% on your first Autoship order! But it's always best to do a little research on your own, narrow down your selection to a couple different brands. Start out with a few smaller bags to find the formula that works best and satisfies your dog at dinner time.
And don't forget our great article on how To Choose Dog Food that's also available on our Feeding Great Danes main page!
Feeding premium dog food is the way to go! Get ready to be rewarded with a healthy, active and energetic companion. Less stool to pick up is also a benefit you'll come to appreciate! I Guarantee it.
Jeff, & the aaGD.com Team:)