5 Best Dog Foods For Great Danes

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best dog food for Great Danes.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best Dog Food for Great Danes?

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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Great Dane Dog Food Reviews

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine)
    3. Turkey Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate)
    4. Lentils
    5. Peas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 342 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 6%

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food hits all of the high points a Great Dane needs from its diet. This food formulation includes both glucosamine and chondroitin to promote optimal joint health in this giant breed.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free, a diet that is considered to be among the best dog foods for Great Danes, is built on the foundation of fruits and vegetables that are packed with antioxidants and are known to be easy to digest. A food that is rich in proteins, this recipe also includes vital healthy fats to ensure an adequate supply of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat. The addition of probiotics assists with maintaining optimal digestion.

This food formulation contains no by-products or filler foods.

Pros

  • Dogs love the flavor of this food, eating heartily to the very last morsel.
  • When fed a steady diet of Wellness CORE Large Breed, dogs display coats that are shiny, healthy, and soft.
  • Dogs regularly fed this diet had strong reserves of energy.
  • Owners love that this diet includes glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health in the Great Dane.
  • Owners like that this recipe contains no grains, making it a good selection for dogs with allergies.

Cons

  • Some owners feel this diet is rather costly.
  • A few owners would prefer to feed a diet that includes some whole grains in its recipe, believing they are an important help in achieving ideal digestion.
  • Several owners commented that this diet had a strong smell that they found quite off putting.
  • Some owners felt that kibble pieces in this diet are quite big and may be difficult for dogs to break down well.
  • A few owners commented that the price of their food has increased while the amount found in their bag has been reduced.

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Merrick Grain Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Turkey Meal
    4. Sweet Potatoes
    5. Potatoes

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 382 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 3.5%

Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed Food is a food of excellent quality that has been specifically formulated to address the needs of large breeds like the Great Dane. A diet that is high protein, deboned chicken is the first ingredient in this recipe. The chicken has been deboned and included in its whole form.

Merrick is free from grains, taking its carbohydrates from antioxidant-dense fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, peas, apples, and blueberries. This food, easily among the best foods for Great Danes, has also been enriched with flaxseed to ensure a healthy portion of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support good skin and coat quality.

This diet is gluten-free. Glucosamine and chondroitin have been added to support optimal joint health and an excellent metabolism.

Pros

  • Dogs that struggled with recurring itchiness found complete relief from the symptoms with a steady diet of Merrick Grain-Free Large Breed.
  • Dogs find this diet quite flavorful, eating their meals with hearty gusto.
  • Owners reported their Great Danes had excellent energy levels when fed this diet on an ongoing basis.
  • Owners felt this high quality food was available at a price point that was quite affordable given its premium nutritional content.
  • Owners love that this diet focuses on the use of natural ingredients whenever possible, giving them confidence that this food is a great choice for dogs suffering from food-related allergies.

Cons

  • Several owners shared that they felt the kibble pieces in this diet were not large enough for large breed dogs like the Great Dane.
  • Some owners indicated they wished this diet was available in larger bags as their large and giant breed dogs go through the smaller bags quite quickly.
  • A few owners expressed they felt this diet was costly.
  • Some owners preferred to feed a diet that includes some whole grains in its recipe.
  • Several owners commented that this formula has recently changed, and their dogs are not doing as well on it as they once were.

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Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Puppy Grain-Free Salmon Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Salmon
    2. Salmon Meal
    3. Chickpeas
    4. Chickpea Flour
    5. Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid)

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy and Adult
  • Calories: 438 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Fiber: 5.5%

Nulo Freestyle Limited Grain-Free Dog Food provides all of the high-quality nutrition a Great Dane needs to thrive. A food formulation founded on a single protein from animal sources, salmon is the first ingredient in this diet, a meat rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as well as DHA.

Powerful probiotics have been included in this food to ensure healthy digestion and a strong immune system. Nulo Freestyle, one of the best Great Dane dog foods, is low in carbohydrates and contains no potatoes or tapioca, two ingredients that can be difficult for some dogs to process well.

This diet is free from chicken, eggs, peas, pea proteins, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, and preservatives.

Pros

  • Dogs regularly fed this diet saw an improvement in both their coat and skin. Their skin was well-hydrated and free from dandruff while their coat was healthy, shiny, and soft.
  • Owners happily reported their dogs had excellent stool quality when fed Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus on a regular basis.
  • Even very picky eaters love the taste of this food, licking their bowls clean at every meal.
  • Dogs with sensitive stomachs do very well on this food. The limited ingredients list ensures this diet is free from some of the most common allergens that negatively impact many dogs.
  • Though this food is a little pricier than other brands, owners like that it is calorie-dense, meaning less of it needs to be fed for dogs to achieve eating satisfaction. This increases the food’s value.

Cons

  • Owners disliked that the larger size bags are not resealable, making it difficult to keep their dogs’ food fresh.
  • Some owners felt this diet was too cost prohibitive for their budgets.
  • Some dogs do not like the taste of this food and will not eat it. Another Nulo formulation based on a different protein may be better for them.
  • Some owners expressed concern that the kibble pieces were too large for small to medium sized dogs.
  • Both chickpeas and chickpea flour are included in this diet, two questionable ingredients that may be linked to such problems as lowered fertility rates in breeding dogs and DCM.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed Chicken, Turkey & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken
    2. Turkey
    3. Chicken Meal (Source Of Glucosamine Hydrochloride And Chondroitin Sulfate)
    4. Turkey Meal
    5. Cracked Pearled Barley

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 374 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 23%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 5%

Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed Chicken, Turkey & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is a food that delivers big on excellent quality nutrition at a price point that families can easily afford. This diet was crafted specifically with the needs of large breeds in mind, making it well suited to the Great Dane and its nutritional requirements. Its primary proteins are chicken and turkey which are included in both whole and meal forms.

Chicken Soup for the Soul includes such powerful supplements as glucosamine and chondroitin to support the joint health of the Great Dane. This diet contains no corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, ensuring its places as one of the best dog foods for Great Danes.

Pros

  • Dogs that previously suffered with recurring gastrointestinal distress had improved digestion and relief from their symptoms when regularly fed Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed.
  • Owners love that this diet is available at a very reasonable price point, giving them confidence they are feeding a premium quality food for an affordable cost.
  • Several owners reported their dogs had better energy levels with a change to this diet.
  • Dogs regularly fed Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed displayed coats that were lustrous, thick, shiny, and soft.
  • Most dogs enjoy the taste of this food, looking forward to their every meal.

Cons

  • Several owners noted that their recently purchased bags of this food contained kibble pieces that were a different shape and size from what they were accustomed to. They questioned whether or not the formula had changed.
  • In a few instances, some dogs began to struggle with itchiness when fed this diet consistently. This may be due to a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in the recipe.
  • Some dogs don’t like the flavor of this food and will not eat it.
  • In rare cases, a few dogs began to shed more when regularly fed this food.
  • A few dogs experienced loose stool when fed Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed. This may be the result of too quick a change to the new diet.

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Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb & Brown Rice Formula Large Breed Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Lamb
    2. Brown Rice
    3. Lamb Meal
    4. Brewers Rice
    5. Rice Bran

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 370 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 23%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 4%

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food contains all of the high-quality nutrition that Great Danes need to achieve and maintain optimal health. This food is rich in essential fatty acids and fiber to encourage optimal digestion and excellent coat and skin health.

Each piece of kibble is large enough to encourage giant breeds like the Great Dane to eat slowly while providing scrubbing action to help keep the breed’s teeth free from the accumulation of plaque.

With so many nutritional benefits to offer large breed dogs, it is not difficult to see why Natural Balance is among the best foods for Great Danes today.

Pros

  • Dogs with sensitive stomachs did very well on this diet, finding relief from their gastrointestinal distress.
  • Owners love that this diet is based on a limited list of exceptional quality ingredients, feeling it is a good choice for dogs with allergies.
  • Owners noted their dogs’ stool was of excellent quality and less offensive smelling when fed this diet consistently.
  • Dogs enjoy the flavor of this food, eating their meals with enthusiasm.
  • Dogs that regularly struggled with flatulence saw an improvement in this problem with a switch to Natural Balance L.I.D. Large Breed.

Cons

  • Some owners felt this dog food was quite pricey though they did agree the food was of exceptional quality.
  • Some dogs were disinterested in the taste of this food and would not eat it. Natural Balance has several other limited ingredient formulations based on different proteins. One of these foods may be a better choice for these dogs.
  • In only a few instances, some owners indicated they found this food to have a strong and off putting smell to it.
  • In rare cases, a few dogs developed problems with itching when fed Natural Balance L.I.D. Large Breed. This may be due to a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in the food.
  • Some owners would prefer to feed a diet that is grain-free, particularly those with Great Danes with allergies.

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How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Great Danes

The Great Dane is truly a gentle giant. A dog of immense size, the Great Dane is soft of heart and a wonderful family companion.  A breed originally intended to hunt wild boar, today’s Great Dane is equally at ease cuddling on the couch with its family and renowned for being exceptionally good with children.

Great Danes can suffer from some serious health issues including arthritis, hip dysplasia, and heart conditions. To ensure the Great Dane’s body is in good condition, it is vitally important to maintain a healthy weight as a precautionary measure against the development of some of these problems. The best dog food for Great Danes should be carefully measured and the dog’s weight monitored to prevent this breed from becoming overweight.

Bloat is another ailment that can affect the Great Dane. Though it is not known exactly what causes this problem in dogs, experts recommend feeding a diet that is designed with large breeds in mind. These types of food typically contain large pieces of kibble that encourage dogs to chew and swallow each piece, an important help in combatting bloat which is believed to be influenced by eating too much or too quickly.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Great Danes

Great Danes require a high-quality diet that is nutritionally balanced to meet the needs of a dog their size. As a general rule, the best foods for the Great Dane should ideally contain a minimum of 23 percent protein and 9 percent fat.

Great Danes who are only moderately active will thrive on a diet of 2,200-2,500 calories per day. However, larger dogs that are exceptionally energetic and kept busy will require more calories to fuel their activity. These dogs should be fed approximately 3,000 calories daily. The individual calorie count will also vary depending on factors like whether the dog is spayed or neutered. The Pet Nutrition Alliance calorie calculator is an excellent guide but remember to consult your veterinarian for more detailed nutritional information.

Dietary Requirements for Great Dane Dog Foods

Great Danes thrive on a meat-based diet. Whole meats are preferable; however, meat meals also offer all of the nutrition the breed needs to support optimal health.

Great Danes are not particularly known to suffer from allergies. As a result, most dogs can enjoy foods that are grain inclusive. Any food selected for the Great Dane should contain carbohydrates that are easy to digest and full of fiber. These can be selected from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables.

Healthy fats are an important part of any food for the Great Dane. These fats help to keep the dog’s coat and hair in good condition and also provide the dog with vital energy to maintain its active lifestyle. The best sources for healthy fats include chicken fat or oily fish such as mackerel, herring, anchovies, or salmon.

The best dog foods for Great Danes should be properly nutritionally balanced and optimized with the correct vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to support the dietary needs of large breeds.

Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Great Danes

Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Great Dane:

  • Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list

Great Danes thrive on a meat-based diet. Any food that is best suited to this breed’s nutritional needs should contain meat, preferably in its whole form, as one of its primary ingredients

  • Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements

Since no food is complete on its own, the addition of probiotics and supplements can help it to become more well-rounded. The most important supplements to look for in a food for the Great Dane include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food

All foods appropriate for the Great Dane should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.

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