The Great Dane Dog is… well, great. This dog is not a large breed — it’s a giant breed. However, they are also known as gentle giants, which makes them charming companions.
You probably have discovered that your Great Dane puppy has a huge appetite, and you are wondering how to feed it properly in order to make sure it is growing as it should.
As your large breed puppy is developing, you want to make sure it is getting everything it needs, so that it becomes not only the big dog that it will become, but a healthy one at that.
People often make the mistake of thinking that the amount of food is the most important thing when it comes to feeding dogs, but what you are feeding your dog as well as how many times you are feeding it is equally important.
A great way to go about it all is to have a Great Dane feeding chart to follow — it makes the whole process way easier, without half of the stress.
Why Use A Great Dane Feeding Chart?
Great Dane puppies are prone to certain health risks like wobbler syndrome or Pano. Having an adequate amount of protein levels is necessary in Great Dane puppy feeding because of such risks.
Not only that — the amount of food you feed your dog will affect its weight and height. Your Great Dane might not become so great — or, in other words, it might become a miniature version of itself — if not given proper nutrition.
These are great reasons to utilize a feeding chart.
A Great Dane’s Calorie Intake
Surprise, surprise — this puppy needs a whopping 2500 to 3000 calories in order to maintain its size and weight. An adult might require less, but since your puppy is growing, it definitely needs the extra calories to keep it developing properly.
These big dogs should adhere to a proper feeding schedule in order to become healthy. They should also be fed around three times a day.
Another factor when it comes to the amount of food you will give your Great Dane pup is whether the dog is male or female as well as how big it naturally is.
A female Great Dane will probably require less food than a male.
Fun fact: on the highest end, this dog breed might need as much as ten to fifteen cups of food spread throughout its day. This is another great reason to utilize this Great Dane feeding chart we have prepared for you!
The Great Dane Feeding Chart
We have prepared a simple Great Dane feeding chart for you to stick to when you are thinking about how much to feed your pup.
Food intake will depend on a variety of factors — we will touch upon them down below.
Overall, how much food you feed your Great Dane puppy will depend on its age. You can expect to feed four to eight cups of puppy food per day to your three to six-month-old Great Dane pup, spread out into three to four meals.
As we have discussed, gender affects your dog’s diet, too. Dog owners should know that male Great Dane puppies will usually eat more than female puppies.
When your pups are between the ages of eight months and a year, you will be able to feed them approximately six to 10 cups of food per day — and, yeah, we know that’s a lot!
You can expect your pup’s appetite to slow down only when it is fully grown at the eighteenth-month mark.
A word of caution: When compared to other dogs, Great Danes will more likely have bloating problems, but feeding them properly should put a stop to that issue.
What can aggravate this issue is exercising your puppy right after they eat — which is a terrible idea for dogs as well as for humans!
The two-week-old Great Dane pup
We know: awww!
Even though Great Danes are large breed dogs, they can be quite adorable as puppies!
If you are lucky enough to have young puppies of this age, you will notice that they have just opened their eyes to the world around them.
During this time period, these pups will be entirely dependent on their mother’s milk. There is not much for you to do but watch them grow and make sure momma is paying attention to her young!
In some litters, momma can neglect certain pups, which means that they aren’t getting enough milk for them to develop.
In this unfortunate case, you should learn more about feeding puppies with a puppy milk formula.
The three-week-old Great Dane pup
Not much will change by this time mark — the pups will still rely on their mother’s milk.
Your puppies will try to move away from their momma and siblings in order to urinate, and will definitely explore their environment more.
However, don’t try to feed them any other food just yet! Let nature do its thing!
The four-week-old Great Dane pup
Exciting! At this point, you can try to introduce Great Dane puppy food, even though the puppies will still mostly depend on momma!
You can try feeding them a paste that is one-fourth puppy food and three-fourths water.
You will have to check with your puppies to see if they are curious about trying this new food. If they are not too interested, you can try some other time, but there is no need to force anything.
Since their digestive tract is tiny, they will only be able to take some nibbles of the new food here and there.
The five-week-old Great Dane pup
At this time mark, your puppy might be more interested in trying more of the paste you made for it, but don’t fret if it still isn’t too keen on eating it.
It’s still alright for it to be completely dependent on mom.
Once again, check if certain puppies might not be getting the nutrition they need from their mother.
If you sense anything fishy going on, you might need to contact your vet to see if there is anything you can do to help the puppies’ growth — like feeding it a formula.
The six-week-old Great Dane pup
Around this time period, your puppy will probably be showing more interest in the food paste you keep trying to feed to it.
If you see that your pup is eating the paste without a problem — that is, without any digestion issues — you can start increasing the ratio of food you give it to the ratio of water.
If everything goes as planned, you could switch your pups to dog food while they are still feeding off of mom as well.
The seven-week-old Great Dane pup
You shouldn’t be surprised if your seven-week-old pups are still dependent on mom for milk at this point. Some might be completely weaned off, whereas others might still rely on her a bit.
However, mother Great Danes won’t be as patient with their pups at this period of time.
They will probably not want to lie down for their puppies to nurse. You will notice the puppies running to her to take a quick sip before momma runs off to do her own business.
At this point, you will notice that your puppies will be eating regular food without much trouble.
However, some puppies might still be having issues eating puppy food. In this case, you can consider the watery paste you have prepared for them in the earlier weeks.
Maybe your puppy might need a different food formula or option.
The eight-week-old Great Dane pup
If you happen to have gone through this process of watching Great Dane pups grow, you already know that this week is a fun one for pups!
It is the time when puppies start finding their forever homes and finally have to say goodbye to momma and their littermates.
The puppies should be entirely weaned off of their mother’s milk to ensure that such a change in their lives isn’t hard on them.
You should be feeding the Great Dane pups with a proper diet three to four times a day.
A tip to ensure you know how much they are eating is to consider taking away any uneaten food — that way, you will always know how much your pup has eaten.
The nine-week-old Great Dane pup
Some of you have now gotten your nine-week-old Great Dane puppy! Congratulations!
At nine weeks of age, your puppy should be eating readily and getting used to its new environment and home.
Remember, these dogs have a huge appetite and eat a lot of food, which should come as no surprise considering how big they get!
This is the time period when you should feed your puppy about four cups of food per day, split into equal parts of three to four meals.
You should consider maintaining a healthy and steady feeding schedule so that your pup can adjust more quickly and gain a healthy amount of weight.
The 10-week-old Great Dane pup
This time period for your 10-week-old Great Dane pup is fun!
At this point, your puppy will have a great amount of energy and be growing very quickly. You will have plenty of fun playing with it!
You will need to ensure that they are taking in enough calories that follow their rapid growth.
When it comes to their feeding schedule, you will still need to feed your pup around four to five cups of dog food a day, and meal times should be split into equal portions.
If you think your dog might be getting thinner, you might need to increase the rations you give it.
The 11-week-old Great Dane pup
The 11-week mark is when you should have a stricter feeding schedule regime for your Great Dane puppy.
You might think it is somewhat cruel, but you will have to remove the food for only 10 to 15 minutes after serving it to your dog if it wasn’t eaten.
This helps to teach your dog to follow a schedule and to help it adjust more quickly. When you have meals spread out and not always readily available, it can also help prevent bloating in your pup.
This, in turn, supports good digestion and steady weight gain in your puppy.
The 12-week-old Great Dane pup
At 12 weeks of age, your Great Dane pup will be running around, filled with elfish mischief.
You need to ensure that the calorie intake suits the high energy levels your pup will have while running around and getting into everything.
You should feed your dog three times a day to ensure that it has good digestion and steady energy levels throughout the day.
You will probably be feeding your dog around six cups of food as it will still need the protein and carbohydrates in order to follow its natural growth.
Your puppy will need enough food to maintain steady and healthy development.
After the twelfth-month mark, until your puppy is around 18 months old, it will probably be considered an adult.
After your puppy reaches this age, you will have to make a switch in its diet because its needs will not be the same.
Of course, not all Great Dane puppies reach adulthood at exactly the same month, so a good rule of thumb is to make the change when it has reached 80% to 90% of its general growth.
Like with all big changes in your puppy’s life, you will have to make the change in its diet slowly and gradually because sudden changes might cause unwanted reactions.
Switching your dog’s food abruptly might cause digestion issues like diarrhea, and we don’t want that!
You can start mixing a bit of adult dog food in its puppy food and increasing the amount gradually over the span of a certain amount of days until the change is complete without your puppy going through any problem.
Great Dane Weight Chart
• 2-month-old pup — between 15 and 30 pounds
• 3-month-old pup — between 25 and 45 pounds
• 4-month-old pup — between 45 and 65 pounds
• 5-month-old pup — between 60 and 85 pounds
• 6-month-old pup — between 65 and 100 pounds
Dry Food or Wet Food?
Ah, the famous question!
There can be so many different options when it comes to getting your Great Dane’s diet right — the most common one being whether to feed it dry food (also known as kibble) or wet food.
In order to make the correct decision for you and your dog, you will have to take into account the benefits of each — but whatever your decision is in the end, make sure that the food you get your dog is of high quality.
Kibble is known to be super convenient — being the tried and tested option for so many dogs! However, it might not be suitable for all dogs, so you will have to consider what the best food is for your Great Dane, in particular.
The benefits of kibble is that it was created to ensure that all of your dog’s nutritional needs are met. It can also last for a significant amount of time without it going bad.
Wet food comes in pouches, trays, or cans, and they are known to be unable to remove plaque like kibble tends to do. They can also cause periodontal disease in certain cases.
However, wet food has the benefit of being good for your dog’s hydration.
You might also want to consider feeding your dog a raw diet. Great Danes do well on a raw food diet, but that doesn’t mean that raw feeding is for all Great Danes.
You can prepare such a diet at home, but in the end, it all comes down to what is best for you and your dog.
A good idea is to ask your vet what would be the best option for your dog, and stick to that.
You also might want to consider what kind of supplements that food brands offer in the packaging that might address health problems your Great Dane pup has or can get.
Free-Feeding Your Great Dane
There are a couple of things you should know when you want to consider free-feeding your Great Dane pup!
You should never free-feed your dog if you use wet food. Wet food wasn’t designed to be left out in the open for days. It will go bad, and your poor dog will get sick by ingesting harmful bacteria. Feeding your dog old food is just not a good idea.
Free-feeding can only be considered if you are using kibble, but we must warn you that this isn’t ideal because water can still get in the food by accident when your dog is eating it.
When your dog dribbles into its food, it adds water levels into it, which can instigate bacteria growth in the food — again, increasing the chance that your dog will get sick.
The best idea is to have a proper feeding schedule for your Great Dane so you will ensure its safety in this department.
You also might want to consider how free-feeding might affect digestion and your dog’s activity level. How Great Danes eat is just as important as what they eat.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to ask your vet about questions concerning free-feeding your dog if you are still uncertain about what to do because of your own schedule.
Can Great Danes Eat Human Food?
Although Great Danes mostly benefit from a Great Dane diet provided by kibble, wet food, or raw feeding, there are some human foods that they can eat as long as they are eaten in moderation.
One simple example of this is a variety of meats from chicken, turkey, and beef. Proteins like eggs are great as well.
Your Great Dane pooch might be able to consume a variety of vegetables or fruits, but they should not consume these in large amounts.
You also have to do your research about what kind of fibers your dog can consume because some fruits and vegetables can be toxic for your dog.
Your dog can probably also consume some dairy products, but like the other food groups, this also shouldn’t be overdone.
Your Great Dane can have issues with obesity if it is not fed a proper diet and if it doesn’t get proper exercise, which is why you have to make sure that it is getting the quality care that it needs.
Even though fiber, for instance, might be excellent for their digestion, they should mostly be eating a high protein diet coming from high-quality dog food.
Also, don’t try to feed your dog seasoning as a lot of different kinds of spices can do your dog more harm than good.
A list of foods to avoid feeding your dog
Like we mentioned, certain foods can cause more harm than good for your dog, so we tried making this incomprehensive list to make things a little easier for you.
These are probably the worst foods you can feed your dog. If your dog eats these foods, it might get diarrhea or even die if the toxicity levels are too high.
Great for us, horrible for dogs! Chocolate can cause serious problems if dogs decide to consume it. It might get muscle tremors, seizures, or in the worst case scenario, your dog might die.
Definitely do not leave chocolate lying around the house for your dog to find!
Raisins and grapes
These delicious fruits can be harmful to certain dog breeds and not others, but it is best not to experiment.
Certain pups can be prone to kidney failure if they consume raisins and grapes. You don’t want to see if your Great Dane is one of them!
Garlic and onions
The common kitchen spices!
We know it makes almost all food much tastier, but overall, the onion family is not fun for your dog’s digestive track at all as it can be toxic.
Some dogs can develop hemolytic anemia by eating these spices, so how about we have Rex stick to other foods, agreed?
Caffeine is also pretty toxic for your dog. You might not know this, but many snacks that you may have around the house have caffeine in them.
We advise you not to feed your dog snacks from around the house because you never know if it might do damage to your dog’s health.
Raw bread dough and alcohol
As for raw bread dough, it can cause great problems, such as breathing difficulties and stomach expansion, because it, itself, might expand in your dog’s stomach. That doesn’t sound like fun, does it?
Ethanol is poisonous to your dog. In “milder” cases, it would sedate your dog, and in worse cases, it could kill it, so let’s avoid that, too.
What To Do If Your Great Dane Lacks An Appetite
We fret over our pups sometimes like they are our kids.
It’s always worrying when your puppy or adult Great Dane won’t eat, especially since this is a breed known for its larger appetite.
However, sometimes this isn’t always a cause for concern because the most common reasons why a Great Dane — or any dog, for that matter — might not be eating is because of some underlying changes.
Maybe your Great Dane has had fluctuations in its hormone levels, or it has some sort of digestive issue you can’t quite pin down.
Maybe the underlying cause is pain from illness, dental issues, medications, vaccines, or even anxiety.
Certain Great Danes might have more sensitive bodies than others, especially when it comes to the food department.
Pay attention to whether your Great Dane has accidentally ingested anything or has been eating anything differently.
That is why you shouldn’t be leaving around any stray food on tables, night stands, or floors.
Make sure you clean up the food you have eaten because if you don’t, your Great Dane might do it instead of you, and while that might look cute, it can lead to more serious problems!
We know that supplements can really aid our dogs’ development if they don’t get everything they need from their food.
Usually, Great Dane puppies will get everything they need from a nutritious, high-quality diet fed from good protein sources.
However, it might be the case that your Great Dane pups might need a little extra push if you see that they are displaying signs of developmental or health issues.
There are also supplements that reputable breeders and dog owners give dogs in order to try and prevent certain common health issues from developing, which is excellent.
For instance, it is commonly known that if you give your dog vitamin A, it can help it have shiny fur and healthy skin. Vitamin E is excellent for your dog’s immune system.
Probiotics can help aid your dog’s digestion.
Dog Food Brands: What To Look For
You also might be wondering what to look for when you are out and about searching for proper food when it comes to your dog’s health.
Your dog should be on a diet that contains between 12% and 20% fat, and 26% protein in order for it to develop properly. This kind of diet helps your dog with the right amount of calories as it is growing.
Research shows that besides the kind of food your puppy consumes, the micronutrients within the foods should also be paid a special amount of attention to — especially when it comes to the amounts of phosphorus and calcium you find in different brands.
You should search for brands that have ideally 1% of calcium (although this amount can go up to 1.5%).
The amount of phosphorus should be the same — the best ratio of calcium to phosphorus is 1:1, but it should not be more than 1.5:1.
You should also make sure that the dog food brand you purchase for your pup does not have corn-based fillers, has natural ingredients, and has a different range of protein sources. A high-quality brand will have protein as the first ingredient.
Some good dog food brands are American Journey Lamb and Sweet Potato Puppy Food, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe, and Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy dog food.
There is a myriad of dog foods out there that can ensure that your dog lives a long and healthy life. Just make sure to do your research, and if you still can’t figure out what is best for your dog, consult a vet!
We talked a lot about food. You’re now probably wondering how much water you should give to your Great Dane.
Since Great Danes are large breed dogs that can weigh from a whopping 100 to 200 pounds, they will need as much water as a human, seeing that they weigh about the same.
Make sure to give your puppy enough water every day.
Your puppy’s age will also play a role into how much water it needs.
Your Great Dane puppy will need to drink around half a cup of water each hour, but this might increase depending on exercise and climate.
Exercise For Your Great Dane Puppy
Your Great Dane puppy needs either a huge yard to get all of that excess energy out, or a longer walk every single day to maintain good health.
Adults need about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise, but you also might need to consider their personal activity levels as well as how old they are.
You might have already guessed it, but pups and teens need about 90 minutes of exercise every day in order to develop properly.
If you are the kind of dog owner who loves taking dogs out for jogs, then the Great Dane is great for you, but make sure you only do this once it is over 18 months old since its bones are still growing.
Conclusion: Great Dane Feeding Chart
We hope that we have answered any questions you have had about your Great Dane’s food needs.
We also hope that the Great Dane feeding chart we have prepared for you has been useful as you watch your adorable puppy grow into a healthy adult dog.
If you have any additional questions, always make sure to ask a vet who will always give you useful tips and nuggets of knowledge about your Great Dane puppy!