If you have a Great Dane at home, you know how truly special these furry friends are. This majestic breed deserves only the best, which starts with a high-quality food to support your sweetheart’s super stature.
Below, we’ll share some of the most important factors to keep in mind to fuel your four-footer, as well as some of our favorite food options for your big best buddy.
Best Dog Foods for Great Danes: Quick Picks
- #1 Ollie [Best Overall Dog Food For Great Danes]: Your canine companion will go nuts for this terrifically tasty, human-grade dog food packed with nutritional benefits, and these recipes are custom-crafted for your specific canine.
- #2 Blue Buffalo [Best Dry Food For Great Danes]: Blue Buffalo provides an excellent kibble if fresh foods are too expensive. This formula features tons of antioxidants, fiber, and all of the vitamins your dog needs.
- #3 Purina ONE [Most Affordable Food For Great Danes]: While this food isn’t our top pick, it’s still a good choice that won’t empty out your wallet while feeding your gentle giant. As a bonus, most dogs appear to like the taste.
General Dog Food Considerations
There are a couple of key points to keep in mind while finding the right dog food for any furry friend. Any meal for your canine companion should check the following boxes:
- Your food of choice should meet the AAFCO guidelines for your dog’s life stage.
- You’ll need to make your food selection in conjunction with your veterinarian.
- You should select a food that addresses your dog’s individual health concerns.
These three mandatory characteristics make it relatively easy for you to find a good food for your pooch. But in order to take it a step further, consider the following factors to find your furry friend the most nutritious food for his needs:
- Prioritize western-sourced ingredients and foods. Generally speaking, western countries tend to impose stricter quality control standards than others, usually leading to higher quality dog food. It’s a good idea to look for foods made in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, or any members of the European Union. Foods that have ingredients sourced from Western countries rather than globally sourced score extra points.
- Your brand of choice should have a canine nutritionist on staff. Having a veterinary nutritionist on staff is the mark of a credible dog food brand.
- The dog food company should perform regular safety checks. Reputable dog food companies perform regular safety checks to ensure that contaminated food doesn’t reach the consumer. Ideally, your brand of choice invests in third-party safety certifications of their testing process.
- Select a food with only fully cooked proteins. While some owners may find that the pros of feeding a dog a raw food outweigh the cons, most pooch parents should opt for a food made with fully cooked meats. This is because cooking the meat greatly reduces the risk of spreading bacteria and other harmful microorganisms to your furry friend.
- Purchase food from brands that own their manufacturer’s or kitchens. While food prepared in a third-party kitchen isn’t necessarily bad, companies that own their kitchens have more control over the food itself and its overall quality.
Picking a Dog Food for Your Great Dane: Breed-Specific Things to Think About
As with any breed, you’ll want to think critically about what your Great Dane needs in his food to support his unique stature. Here are just a few things all Great Dane owners will want to keep in mind while selecting food for Spot:
- Select a food designed for large breeds. It’s no surprise that Great Danes will need food designed for large breeds since they’re one of the biggest breeds you can find. Foods designed for large breeds are specifically crafted to satisfy the unique needs of big pups.
- Look for moderate protein levels. Protein levels for your furry friend should ideally be between the 25% and 30% range. And to the extent possible, you’ll want that protein to come from nutritious meats, like chicken, pork, beef, or fish.
- Shoot for low to moderate fat levels. You’ll want to make sure your Great Dane stays fit and trim, since excess body weight can put unnecessary pressure on your dog’s joints. Shoot for a fat range between 12% and 18%.
- Seek out joint-supporting supplements. These long-legged friends are unfortunately prone to joint issues, so it’s a good idea to seek out joint supporting supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Pack on the probiotics. Great Danes are prone to stomach issues and sensitivities, so it’s a good idea to find a dog food that’s packed with dog probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, or Bifidobacterium breve.
While these factors are important for most Great Danes, don’t forget to consider any specific health needs for your pooch. Every dog is different, which is why it’s so important to work in tandem with your vet to ensure that you find food that checks all of the boxes for Buddy.
Seven Best Dog Foods for Great Danes
Without further ado, here are some of our favorite food options for your gentle giant. Don’t forget to check in with your veterinarian before switching Spot’s diet.
Ollie is human-grade premium food that’s delivered fresh-frozen to your doorstep.
About: If you want to spoil your big best buddy, Ollie fresh foods are a great place to start. These fresh dog foods feature things like whole beef and fiber-rich sweet potatoes to support healthy digestion. Ollie dog foods are minimally processed to preserve nutrients, and they’re made without soy, corn, or wheat.
- Human-grade food delivered fresh frozen to your doorstep
- Real meat is the number one ingredient
- No “fillers” or artificial flavoring
- Choose between beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb as the main protein source
- Vet-designed recipes
- Made in the USA
Beef, peas, sweet potato, potato, carrot...,
beef kidney, beef liver, spinach, blueberries, dicalcium phosphate, chia seeds, iodized salt, fish oil, zinc gluconate, rosemary, vitamin E supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), potassium iodide
- Dogs can’t get enough of this delicious and nutritious fresh food.
- Some owners noted improvements in their dog’s overall health after switching to Ollie.
- The wet food comes with a tupperware container so that you can easily portion out your dog’s dinner and save leftovers.
- This is an expensive choice, which may be too pricey for many pooch parents, especially considering the size of Great Danes.
- You’ll need to thaw these frozen-fresh foods before serving, which can make mealtime on the go somewhat difficult.
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection
Blue Buffalo Life Protection
A high-quality kibble packed with real meat, antioxidants, whole grains, and vitamins.
About: Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Chicken & Brown Rice serves as an excellent made-in-the-USA dog food which is specifically designed for Great Danes and other large breeds. The dog food is delicious and nutritious for your furry friend with plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and real meat to keep Spot satisfied.
- Real meat is the first ingredient
- Recipes are grain-inclusive but made without corn, wheat, or soy
- 3 flavor options to choose from
- Kibbles mixed-in with antioxidant-rich “LifeSource Bits”
- Crafted by veterinary nutritionists
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley...,
- Large breed owners were impressed with the quality of this food for the price and had no trouble feeding it to their canine companions.
- This kibble is packed with nutritional “extras,” like antioxidants and probiotics.
- Plenty of pooches loved the taste of this nutrient-rich food.
- A couple of owners noted that their dogs picked around the “LifeSource Bits.”
- Some dogs with sensitive stomachs didn’t respond well to this food, however other pooches made the transition without any issues.
3. Canidae Wet Food
Canidae Wet Food
A grain-inclusive, US-made wet food with real lamb and no corn, wheat, or soy.
About: If your big best buddy prefers wet food, this canned option from Canidae has a rare grain-inclusive dog food recipe, but it leaves out things like corn, wheat, and soy. This made in the U.S.A food makes a great meal on its own, though it can also double as a tasty kibble topper for your furry friend.
- Real meat is the first ingredient
- Full of lean protein that is ideal for Great Danes
- Contains inflammation-fighting omega 3 fatty acids
- Recipes supports joints with glucosamine
- Made in the USA without corn, wheat, or soy
Lamb, Lamb Broth, Vegetable Broth, Lamb Liver, Ocean Fish...,
Brown Rice, Peas, Dried Egg Product, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Agar-agar, Choline Chloride, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Kelp, Dried Cranberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Iron Proteinate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Riboflavin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Rosemary Extract
- This nutritious wet food includes joint supplements, antioxidants, and a lean protein source making it an amazing pick for Great Danes.
- Owners loved that this wet food was grain-inclusive, which can be somewhat hard to find in the wet-food category.
- Most dogs adored the taste of this canned food.
- Canned food can be difficult to properly portion out for your pooch (storing leftovers is also a pain).
- You’ll go through cans somewhat quickly with a large breed like a Great Dane.
4. Nutro Natural Choice
Nutro Natural Choice
Grain-inclusive kibble made with lean protein to help keep your dog fit and trim.
About: It’s important for our gentle giants to maintain a healthy weight, and this kibble from Nutro supports this completely. This weight-maintenance recipe from Nutro is made with lean meat, grains, and antioxidants to keep your furry friend’s tail wagging while providing a nutrient-rich meal.
- Real meat is the first ingredient
- Added antioxidants and vitamins to keep your hound healthy
- Made without corn, wheat or soy
- Cooked in the USA from globally-sourced ingredients
- Great source of fiber to support digestion
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice Bran, Split Peas, Whole Grain Brown Ricel...,
Whole Grain Barley, Powdered Cellulose, Lentils, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salt, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), DL-Methionine, Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract
- Owners were pleased with this food’s ability to help their dogs lose weight.
- Despite its low-cal composition, most dogs seem to love the taste of this food.
- Even dogs with sensitive stomachs were able to chow down on this kibble without issue for the most part.
- Some owners reported that the food made their pooch a little gassy.
- The kibble is medium-sized, which may be smaller than your giant Dane would like.
5. Purina ONE
An affordable, US-made kibble made with prebiotic fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
About: This kibble by Purina has joint-friendly ingredients and serves as a great source of fiber. It’s a super affordable dog food choice for pooch parents as well, which makes it great for large dog breed owners.
- Real meat is the first ingredient
- Made in the US at an affordable price
- Great source of fiber to support Spot’s digestion
- Added antioxidants and vitamins
- Bulk sizing options
Chicken (Source of Glucosamine), Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal (Source of Glucosamine)...,
Whole Grain Wheat, Soybean Meal, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Glycerin, Liver Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Caramel Color, Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Sulfur. X-4154
- Many pooch parents are impressed with this kibble’s quality for the price.
- Dry food contains antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins to support canine companions.
- This grain-inclusive food comes in bulk sizes which is convenient for Great Dane owners.
- Some dogs didn’t enjoy the taste of this dry food.
- Dogs with sensitive stomachs didn’t always respond well to this food.
6. Natural Balance
A limited-ingredient kibble perfect for pups with food allergies or stomach sensitivities.
About: This limited ingredient kibble from Natural Balance is ideal for dogs who suffer from food allergies or stomach sensitivities. This dry dog food is made without legumes, potatoes, corn, wheat, or soy to meet your furry friend’s needs.
- Limited ingredient (LID) dog food for canines with food allergies or stomach sensitivities
- No artificial colors or preservatives
- Made in the US with globally sourced ingredients
- Real meat is the first ingredient
- Grain-inclusive formula made without legumes, potatoes, corn, wheat, or soy
- Added taurine helps promote heart health
Duck, Duck Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran...,
Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Dl-methionine, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Citric Acid (Used As A Preservative), Lactic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
- Most dogs seemed to love the taste of this kibble.
- Owners were impressed by the affordability of this kibble, especially within the LID space.
- The limited ingredient dog food is well-crafted for canines with sensitive stomachs.
- Some dogs had gastrointestinal issues after switching to this food.
- A couple of dogs did not like the taste of this kibble.
7. Nutro Natural Choice For Puppies
Nutro Natural Choice For Puppies
A nutritious kibble formulated for young Great Danes (and other large breeds).
About: If you have a growing furry friend, this puppy kibble by Nutro is an excellent choice. This Great Dane-friendly puppy food is formulated for large breed puppies, and it contains real meat, joint supplements, and omega 3 fatty acids.
- Nutrient-rich food featuring antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids
- Meat is the first ingredient
- Made in the USA with globally-sourced ingredients
- Kibble is crafted without corn, wheat, or soy
- Antioxidant-rich recipe
Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal , Brewers Rice, Split Peas, Rice Bran...,
Whole Grain Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potato Protein, Natural Flavor, Lamb Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salt, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract
- This is a great option for growing large breed puppies.
- Some owners saw minor improvements in coat condition after switching to this food.
- Food is a great source of joint supplements, antioxidants, and fiber for your furry friend.
- This kibble is somewhat more expensive than many other choices.
- A couple of dogs with sensitive stomachs didn’t do well with this recipe.
Finding a food that’s fitting for your gentle giant can be daunting, but with a few key pointers, you’re sure to find an excellent meal for your canine companion.
Has your Great Dane enjoyed any of these foods? What’s his favorite thing to eat? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!