Best Dog Food for Great Danes

Great Danes are gorgeous gentle giants who make amazing family dogs. Like all dogs, Great Danes need great food to support their health and keep them around for a long time. 

If you’re a new Great Dane pet parent, you are probably wondering what is the best dog food brand for Great Danes. The reality is that there is no single “best” brand because all dogs and all pet living situations are unique and special! So today, we will share six recommendations for the best dog food for Great Danes. 

best dog food for Great Dane

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Great Dane Nutritional Needs

Great Danes have specific nutritional needs due to their large size and high activity level. Some key considerations for feeding a Great Dane include:

  • Protein: Look for a diet that is made with high-quality animal protein sources, such as chicken, beef, or fish.
  • Calories: Great Danes are large dogs and they need a lot of calories to support their size and activity level.
  • Fat: Look for a diet that is made with healthy fats, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Choose a diet that is fortified with vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, phosphorus, Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and B-complex vitamins.
  • Avoiding certain ingredients: Great Danes may be sensitive to certain ingredients, such as corn, wheat, and soy, which can cause allergies and other health problems. 

Great Dane Health Concerns

As a giant breed, Great Danes have several health concerns. Fortunately, pup parents can get ahead of many of these with good nutrition and proper care. Some common health concerns for Great Danes include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV or “bloat”)
  • Heart conditions
  • Hypothyroidism

6 Best Dog Foods for Great Danes

Now that we know a little more about what Great Danes need to stay happy and healthy, let’s take a look at our top dog food brand picks. 

1. Best Raw: We Feed Raw Venison Formula

We Feed Raw is one of our favorite raw dog food brands thanks to their limited, high-quality ingredients. Each recipe is made primarily from animal proteins and includes an essential mix of vitamins and minerals. 

Since Danes are sometimes prone to allergies, we recommend choosing a novel protein like venison, which is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. This formula also includes added Omega-3s to help enrich your Danes skin and coat while supporting healthy joints. 

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First 5 IngredientsVenison, Beef Heart, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Neck with Bone
Food TypeRaw, grain-free
Guaranteed Analysis (crude13% Protein – 10.7% Fat – 1% Fiber – 69.4% Moisture
Feeding InstructionsA 130-pound Great Dane should eat 2.6 – 3.9 pounds of raw food per day.
Cost Per MealIf you serve your dog 2 meals per day, an average meal is about 1.6 pounds of food. When you buy in bulk, We Feed Raw is $11.63 per pound, so the cost per meal works out to be about $18.61 per meal.

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2. Best Air-Dried: Sundays For Dogs Beef Recipe

Sundays For dogs woman pouring into bowl

If you struggle to get your Great Dane to eat their food, but they love treats, they’ll probably love Sundays For Dogs. Air-dried in small pieces that look, taste, and feel like jerky, Sundays For Dogs can also be used as training treats if you’re working on teaching your Great Dane new tricks, or they just deserve an extra snack at the end of a long hard day of naps. 

Other than the delicious recipe, we think Sundays For Dogs deserves consideration for best food for Great Danes thanks to the turmeric to reduce inflammation, blueberries for antioxidant and immune support, and tart cherries to protect the joints. 

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First 5 IngredientsBeef, Beef Heart, Beef Liver, Beef Bone, Quinoa
Food TypeAir-dried, grain-inclusive without wheat, peas, corn, or legumes
Guaranteed Analysis30% Protein – 20% Fat – 3% Fiber – 15% Moisture
Feeding InstructionsFeed ½ cup (2.2 oz.) per day or ¼ cup (1.1 oz.) per meal*
Cost Per Meal $1.92 per meal* – $69 for 72 oz. (best option for savings)

What Reviewers Say:

3. Best Freeze-Dried: Northwest Naturals Raw Lamb Nuggets

Best Dog Food for Great Danes

These freeze-dried raw lamb nuggets are great for the pet owner who wants to try raw but isn’t sure they have the freezer space to commit to a fresh-frozen raw diet. Your Great Dane will love the hearty taste of lamb, and you’ll love how the fresh meat and vegetables protect their health. 

First 5 IngredientsLamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver, Ground Lamb Bone, Broccoli
Food TypeFreeze-dried, grain-free
Guaranteed Analysis (crude50% Protein – 39% Fat – 7% Fiber – 5% Moisture
Feeding InstructionsFeed 16.25 ounces of nuggets per day
Cost Per MealIf you feed 2 meals per day, the cost is $15.55 per meal

What Reviewers Say:

4. Best Fresh-Frozen: The Farmer’s Dog Beef Recipe

Best Dog Food for Great Danes
Source: @TheFarmersDog

The Farmer’s Dog makes amazing fresh food for dogs, and Great Danes love the tasty beef flavor. You’ll love the convenient deliveries and amazing nutrition– all of The Farmer’s Dog recipes are jam-packed with the nutrients your dog needs to thrive.

First 5 IngredientsUSDA Beef, Sweet Potato, Lentils, Carrot, USDA Beef Liver
Food TypeFresh-frozen, grain inclusive
Guaranteed Analysis (crude11% Protein – 8% Fat – 1.5% Fiber – 72% Moisture
Feeding InstructionsFeeding instructions are customized by The Farmer’s Dog for your Great Dane!
Cost Per MealStarts at $15.19/day.

What Reviewers Say:

5. Best Healthy Kibble: Spot & Tango Cod & Salmon Recipe

Best Dog Food for Great Danes
Source: @SpotAndTango

Giant breeds need healthy support for their joints, and that’s one of the reasons we love this cod and salmon kibble recipe. Fatty fish like cod and salmon are packed with healthy fats and oils that support a dog’s cartilage and bone health– it might just be the best dry dog food for Great Danes!

First 5 IngredientsCod, Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Sunflower Seeds
Food TypeKibble, grain-free
Guaranteed Analysis (crude29.67% Protein – 22.06% Fat – 1.15% Fiber – 3.82% Moisture
Feeding InstructionsSpot & Tango develops personalized plans for your pup based on their information. 
Cost Per Meal$6.88- approximately $120.32 / week

What Reviewers Say:

6. Best Canned: Blue Buffalo Large Breed Homestyle Recipe Chicken

Best Dog Food for Great Danes

This Blue Buffalo recipe is perfect for Great Danes and supports their joints and other health needs. Their “Homestyle Recipe” patés are great for dogs at all stages of life but are especially great for senior dogs who prefer a softer food.

First 5 IngredientsChicken, Chicken Broth, Carrots, Brown Rice, Peas
Food TypeWet, grain-inclusive
Guaranteed Analysis (crude9.0% Protein – 7.5% Fat – 1.5% Fiber – 78.0% Moisture
Feeding InstructionsFeed ½ to ¾ can for every 10 lbs. of body weight per day; for a 130-pound dog this is approximately 7.5-9.75 cans per day.
Cost Per MealIf you feed 2 meals per day of about 4 cans each, it will cost around $10.78 per meal

What Reviewers Say:

*Feeding instructions and cost analysis based on calculations for a 130lb adult Great Dane with an average activity level.

Best Dog Food for Great Danes FAQ

You’ve got more questions and we’ve got more answers! Here are some of the common questions asked by Great Dane lovers like you. 

Do Great Danes need special food?

Great Danes may benefit from a diet that is specially formulated for large breeds, as these diets are typically designed to meet the unique nutritional and calorie needs of large dogs. Remember though, that the best dog food is the one that you can afford to feed your dog– at the end of the day, fed is best!

Is Purina a good dog food for Great Danes?

No. Purina might be a well-known dog brand, but it’s not one of our recommended options. Purina uses lots of filler ingredients including chicken and beef meal, corn, wheat, and soy. 

Is Pedigree good for Great Danes?

Like Purina, Pedigree is a well-known brand that we don’t recommend for Great Danes. Made from low-quality ingredients and formulated with lots of filler, Pedigree is only recommended for people with extreme cost restrictions. 

What is the best dog food for Great Dane to gain weight?

Before you decide that your Great Dane needs to gain weight, talk to your vet. When a giant breed carries too much weight, it can have significant joint problems that make it difficult and painful for them to move. Their bodies already have to do a lot of work just because of their natural size, and your vet’s expert opinion is very important for your Great Dane’s health.

If your Great Dane really does need to gain weight, you can try adding toppers to their regular food for additional calories. Freeze-dried nuggets are a great way to add more calories to their regular diet. You can also go for a raw diet; the raw diet I recommended has more than 700 calories per pound, which will help your underweight Great Dane pack on the pounds. 

What is the best dog food for Great Danes with skin allergies?

In dogs, one of the most common causes of skin allergies is certain ingredients in their food, such as corn, wheat, or soy. Based on your vet’s recommendation, grain-free food might be the best option for your Great Dane with skin allergies. 

What is the best dog food for Great Dane with diarrhea?

The best food for Great Dane with loose stools is usually homemade dog food. Offer small amounts of a bland, easily digestible diet., like boiled white rice mixed with boiled chicken or lean ground beef. 

If your Great Dane continues to have diarrhea after a few days or you start seeing other signs of illness, you need to talk to your vet. It could be a sign of something more serious going on. This type of food is also the best food for Great Dane puppy with sensitive stomach.

What is the best dog food for Great Dane puppies?

Great Dane puppies need food with a lot of calories and nutrients so that they can grow. A Great Dane puppy grows a LOT in the first few years and needs food that can support their growing body. The best dog food for Great Dane puppy varies based on your particular pup’s needs and what you feel comfortable with feeding. 

Want to know our recommendations for German Shepherd puppies; they are both big breeds that grow a lot and have similar nutritional needs.

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