Best Dry Dog Food for Great Danes

Pet parents around the world agree that Great Danes are the most kindhearted giants ever to walk the earth. With a big dog comes big responsibility and this is not limited only to the best dry dog foods. These lovely dogs have a lot of health issues that can cause their early departure and leave their owners heartbroken. Providing them with balanced nutrition and the right feeding protocol, we can avoid the most common health issues that can affect our great danes. The best dry dog food reviews for great dane caters for nutritional needs. So this is a review of some dry food diets that you must take into consideration when picking a perfect feed for your beloved pet. They are suitable for any great dane puppy too.


5 of the Best Dry Dog Foods for Great Danes


  1. Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Large Breed Adult Lamb and Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food 


Nutro Limited ingredient diet makes it to the first spot as one of the best dog foods for pets. The dog food is specially made for large breed dogs. Its ingredients are a great mix for large great dane adults and pups with intolerance and poor digestion. With a combo of protein, Lamb (protein source) & sweet potato, the mix offers dogs a difference in taste. B vitamin and omega fatty acids added in the mix keep our dog’s fur soft and looking healthy. Nutro is an ideal dry dog food because it works for immune system function too. 


Benefits for puppy great Danes 

  • A perfect diet for Great Danes with food sensitivity or allergy common in large breed dogs. The Food allergy can coexist with flea allergy and cause severe skin pruritus.
  • There are Non-GO ingredients, no preservatives, no artificial colors that can trigger skin allergies as well as gastrointestinal issues such as watery stools.
  • High-quality protein from Lamb; thus making it an ideal great dane food. 
  • Grain-free content is important to prevent bloating and keep Dane puppy growing.
  • It contains B vitamins, an essential nutritional need for  healthy skin, shiny fur and support your dog’s appetite.   
  • Sweet potato and lamb combo have a great taste.

Room for improvement:

  • 20 % of protein content is a little lower than the average need of the adult-sized Great Dane. A regular great dane puppy food needs more than this for fast growth.  
  • The digestive enzymes, probiotics are missing in this mix, and they are very important to keep your pet (especially a dane puppy) gastrointestinal tract working properly.
  • Older dogs need to have Glucosamine added in their feed to keep their joint health. This dog food does not have any and ultimately no impact on joint health. 
  • Chickpeas, added in this mix, can cause slight blotching and ultimately mess up the diet of the giant breed.

2. Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan created a recipe for all large breed dogs. The diet contains a perfect nutrient content to help our young Great Danes. The diet helps build up and maintain healthy body weight in the giant breed. Omega-3 fatty acids and balanced calcium-phosphorus levels are crucial for the right development of our youngsters. Purina 



  • The mix contains high-quality protein sources. It’s chicken constituent completes the diet of a great dane puppy as much as it does an adult’s.


  • Addition of natural prebiotic ingredients supports digestion in large breed dogs. 
  • Ideal diet that provides the right weight management for our Danes. 
  • Omega 3 fatty acids are important to keep your dog’s eyes healthy and bright.   
  • Fish meal is the main protein component. It also doubles as a source of glucosamine while protein caters for joint health in dogs.
  • Calcium and phosphorus levels contained in this Purina mix provide a healthy balance to keep our Dane’s bones strong. The large dogs tend to use their legs more.


Room for improvement: 

Foods for great danes contain minimal or no amount of grains. This mix is not grain-free but contains whole Grain Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn present in the mix can cause bloating danes.


3. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredients Diets – Sweet Potato and Fish Dry Dog Food


The makers of Natural balance diet mix had Large Danes and their delicate gastrointestinal tract in mind. They created one of the best puppy foods great Danes long for. Easily digestible food for dogs while using a few carefully picked ingredients. It has salmon as its major protein source with a sweet potato combo to satisfy the special needs of Dane dogs. This diet is rich in taste as much as any other dog food on the list. 




  • The minimal number of ingredients with no additives, no artificial flavors, and colors provided by Nature Balance is a perfect choice for Great Danes with a sensitive gastrointestinal tract.
  • Low protein and fat levels in this diet can be beneficial for Danes with excessive body weight.
  • Salmon protein source is not commonly used and therefore it is the perfect dog food for a great large dane puppy suffering from food allergies.
  • Sweet potatoes are a source of highly digestible carbohydrates and potassium. Thus aiding the immune system function. 
  • Canola and Salmon Oil is an excellent source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that provide glossy coats for our beloved great giant breeds.



Room for Improvement:


  • There is no addition of Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Two ingredients that are well known for providing better motility to Great Dane’s joints. This drawback is not ideal in great dane diets.
  • Low protein and fat levels may not be sufficient for a growing dane breed as they need dog food balanced in nutrients.

4. Fromm Four-Star Highlander Beef, Oats, N Barley Dog Food

Fromm Four-star is a Scottish inspired dog food brand that made a lovely beef and lamb combo to suit the needs of active Great Danes. The flash combo makes a great pick for any great Dane – growing or adult. Optimal levels of protein and fat will give them the energy they need, while fibers and probiotics will keep their gastrointestinal tract working properly. 



  • Optimal levels of protein and fat in the feed by the Fromm family are designed for young and vibrant Great Danes.
  • The first main protein source is high-quality beef, while the second source is yummy lamb. This protein content stands the brand out as one of the best dog food for great Danes.
  • Fibers in this feed promote motility of the intestinal tract and reduce the chance of watery stools in your dog.
  • Probiotics used in the feed provide the “good bacteria,” which play a big role in general dog digestion. 
  • Vitamins in dog food help build up great Dane’s immunity.
  • Salmon oil provides fatty acids that keep fur nice, soft, and shiny.


Room for Improvement:

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are missing.
  • The whole wheat present in this feed can cause bloating thus making it less ideal for a growing great Dane.

5. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Giant Adult Dry Dog Food


 Royal Canin managed to craft dog food specially designed for our large breed giants. They had in mind all the health issues dogs can face. To aid digestion, the food contains rich protein. Furthermore, there’s a proper blend of fermentable and non-fermentable fibers for great Dane health. Added supplements support the bones, joints, and heart thus making it one of the best dog foods for great Danes. This large breed food is fully embedded with the right ingredients any dog lover could ask for.



  • This feed contains highly digestible protein ideal in all kinds of dry dog food.
  • Crude Fiber added to this dog mix promotes a good passage and absorption of nutrients. 
  • Optimal levels of calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate will provide healthy bones and joints – a necessity for a regular great dane puppy.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids added to the mix help your dog to keep a shiny coat.
  • Addition of Taurine in addition to amino supports the heart health of dogs. 


Room for Improvement:

  • Chicken as the main protein source may not be acceptable for a dog who needs a special diet due to food allergies. Also, taste matters for a great Dane in transition.
  • Dog food can be pricey for some of the owners.

What Are The Best Ingredients For a Great Dane?


The perfect kibble food for our Great Danes needs to contain quality options such as:

  • Protein from quality meat in the form of deboned chicken, beef, lamb etc. The protein content through FDA standards for adult Great Danes should be between 23% and 30%.
  • Fat content should be around 20% but not over.
  • Calcium levels remain between 1% to 1.2%. Food for great Danes with “added” calcium should be avoided. This is  because the total volume of calcium levels cannot be estimated in them. Excess calcium causes seizures and loss in muscle control.
  • Phosphorus levels should be 0.7% to 1.2%.
  •  Calcium to phosphorus ratio should be between 1:1 and 1.4:1. It is very important to keep a balance between these two minerals in great Dane dogs. Imbalance in these minerals in puppy feed can cause severe orthopedic disorders.
  • Grain-free kibble food: has an advantage because whole grain can cause bloat in some Great Danes. 
  • The addition of Glucosamine and Chondroitin – important to keep the joints of our giants healthy.
  • Danes need their Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to keep their coat and eyes healthy.
  • Digestive enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, and fibers are important for their delicate gastrointestinal tract to function properly.



Common Health Issues Great Danes Face


There are many health problems a Great Dane could face during their lifetime. However, most of them can be corrected with the right amount of high quality food. The best dog foods keep these conditions and Doctors away.  But for the complete health of  our giant breeds, some medical aid may be inevitable:



  • Great Danes are prone to orthopedic diseases such as Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy, Panosteoitis, and Osteochondritis Dissecans. These hard to pronounce conditions have something in common – a balanced formula is one of the best preventive measures. Other congenital conditions such as hip/elbow dysplasia and Wobbler syndrome can be delayed by managing dog body weight and providing them with the right kind of supplements.


  • Gastric dilatation and torsion.

This condition in great Dane dogs is almost always fatal. The reason for this is most attributed to bloating. It is a very serious life-threatening condition in large breed dogs. That is why we must put much consideration on the giant’s food carefully and provide them with a high-quality feed and the right feeding schedule. Again, hip dysplasia deforms the ball and socket joints. 

  • Cardiomyopathy and Tricuspid valve disease 

These conditions are related but diagnosed when it is too late. It is prevalent in senior Great Danes by providing them with low fat in their food. Also consider giving them grain-free, taurine, and omega 3 fatty acid-rich food. This will help maintain their healthy heart function and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases in these dogs.

  • Osteosarcoma 

Cancer in our favorite animal occurs. This type is known as malignant tumor of the bones, this is common in large Dane pups. It is often diagnosed in senior Great Danes. The saying goes: You are what you eat. The same goes for your dog. The right kind of nutrition can prevent abnormal cell growth that can develop into cancer.

  • Skin allergies 

Allergies are largely due to environmental,genetic and product factors. The genetic factor in the elucidation of any disease cannot be overemphasized. That is why knowing the genetic history of your Dane from the puppy stage. Food intolerance can manifest as gastrointestinal issues together with skin pruritusin dogs. Great Danes need quality products that contain the minimum requirement of essential fatty acids, which keeps their skin healthy. Also, a grain free diet reduces the risk of allergies or sensitivity. 


How Much Food Does a Great Dane Need?


The amount of food our Great Danes need should be designed to provide for their health needs. That’s natural dry dog ingredients if you prefer. Overfeeding adds extra pounds to their weight. The regular puppy food ranges from one to a few cups depending on professional advice. 


  • Great Dane puppies  need 2000 to 2800 calories per day, depending on their age and size. The best choice for your growing puppy is high protein and calorie content of 350 to 400 calories per cup. Also, brand bags come with recommendable serving.
  • Adult healthy and active Great Danes need like 3000 to 3400 calories per day. Ideal kibble for a Great Dane is one with 350 to 450 calories per cup. The average female gentle giant weighs about 100 pounds while the male weighs 120 in spite of accurate nutritional requirements. 
  • Take into consideration that during gestation and lactation, mothers need 20% more calories than in normal circumstances.


Feeding Schedule for the Average Great Dane 

Once you have chosen the best dog food for your great Dane, you need to follow up with a strict feeding schedule. Recommendations that suit your dog best are through veterinary consultation although food with high quality ingredients will suffice.


Why is the feeding schedule so crucial? 


The food that works for a dog is based on preference. Once the dog’s stomach is filled with gas, food, or fluid, it will expand and put pressure on other organs. Sometimes, bloating can ensue. Consider natural dry dog food in your dog’s diet. In some cases, the dog has stomach sensitivity resulting in rotation and preventing blood from going back to the heart. If not treated surgically within half an hour, this condition has the worst outcome.

Our friendly giants can bloat from just about anything so the best dog food great danes enjoy should be proportionate.

Some of the triggers are:


  • When Dane has one big meal a day.
  • Eating food with less nutrients. 
  • Grain inclusive meals. 
  • Eating too quickly.
  • Running or playing after the meal. 
  • Having too much water after the meal or during the playtime.


We need to avoid this horrifying experience by creating the right daily feeding routine. These are the things we need to consider when setting up a correct feeding schedule for our lovely giants.

  • Three smaller meals a day go a long way. Great Dane puppies under 4-months old should be fed high-quality dog food at least five times a day, while puppies over 4- months should be fed 3-4 times a day. Our grown-up Danes (over one year of age) should be fed at least two times. It is highly recommended, however, for our dog to have three smaller meals a day. This prevents the stomach from filling up too much at once.
  • We must make sure they do not eat too fast. If our Dane has a healthy appetite, it can swallow an entire meal within seconds. To prevent this from happening, we should give them their meal little by little. There are many food bowls available specially designed to make dogs eat more slowly. 


  • We must let our pets rest for at least an hour after their meal. Any activity right after a meal is a big no-no when it comes to our Danes. 


  • This giant breed loves to drink water after their dry food meal, but we should never allow them to take a huge amount at once. Too much water at once during a walk can trigger bloat as well.  


  • Gastropexy is a routine surgical procedure, proven to prevent torsion in at least 95% of the cases. The vets can suggest this procedure once the time for neutering and spaying comes (when our Danes are already under anesthesia). 



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


“Do Great Danes need large breed food?”


Great Danes are one of the largest breeds of Dogs. The Great Dane breed is referred to as a giant breed. Even though both breeds can act as gentle protectors, they need higher numbers of calories.  Yes, these giant breeds may require a diet designed for large breeds but only if the diet is recommended for the dog breed. 

You want to avoid food containing: 

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolates and raisins 
  • Avocados and candy-like food
  • Canned food with garlic or onion base 
  • Milk or other dairy products 
  • Salty or sugary drinks.

 After all, you now know more about a grain-free dry diet.


“What kind of food should I feed my Great Dane puppy?”


Weaning a great dane puppy from mother’s milk is not always as easy as it seems. The transition from smooth milk to brown-rice filled or animal protein source diets may cause gassy reactions from the pup because the gentle giants are prone to bloating. The best dog food great dane puppies favor will depend on their taste, recommendation and current state of health. So, like you’d possibly treat a child, feed a pup with only recommended meals (two servings per day is common for adult great Dane). Also, make sure you have them rest up after raw meals.


“Is Royal Canin good for Great Danes?” 

Note that this article touched only 5 brands and this is not to say there are no other brands out there. The Royal Canin, Blue buffalo ,Taste of the wild etc are also great for large and giant breeds. Royal Canin is an example of a nutrient rich, grain free dry dog pet food ideal for growing and adult Danes. 

It’s made for easy digestion with the inclusion of high-quality proteins and plenty of dietary fiber.


Its first ingredient and protein source is chicken byproduct meal. It also contains healthy chicken fat and lots of supplement.

Glucosamine and chondroitin keeps the joints strengthened. antioxidants and vitamins boost immune function while Taurine and L-carnitine promote heart health.



We shouldn’t take the nutrition of our loving companions for granted. Many nutrition experts claim that there is no such thing as a universal dog feed. Every Great Dane is unique. There are many things that we, as their guardians, need to consider when deciding on the right dog feed. To make this decision easier, it is essential to communicate with the vet about our dog’s needs. Doing so, we can provide our loving companions with the best possible nutrition that will keep them healthy, active, and happy. Even if you own an English Bulldog and are interested in the Best Dry Dog Food for English Bulldogs. It is important to provide our loving companions with the best possible nutrition regardless of the species.