What Should You Feed Your GREAT DANE? Best Food For GREAT DANE
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NUTRITIONAL NEEDS Now, I won’t be telling you exactly what type of food you should be giving you Great Dane, instead I’ll be highlighting the key aspects that should be included. You can then make your own mind up how best to provide that for your Great Dane. Despite its impressive size, a Great Dane doesn’t necessarily need mountains of food! You just need to make sure it’s of good quality and contains the correct calories for their size and activity level. The structure you want to go for is high protein, moderate fat, low carbs and moderate calories. Great Danes have a fairly slow metabolism. When looking for suitable food for your dog, you want there to be little to no by-products. So you want to check for real protein sources such as lean muscle, fish, seeds ect. Dogs are carnivores by nature, you want their food to include animal proteins wherever possible. Essential fats are another key part of their diet, key word being essential. The fats you want to be aware of in your Great Dane’s diet is omega 3 and 6. A fish based diet of either salmon, mackerel or sardines would give your dog an abundance of these fats. But for a less smelly option, pork, beef, hemp and flax seeds are also good option. As they get older, it may be worth adding extra Omega 3 into their diet to help ease the movement in their joints. Much like humans when they reach a certain age! Now to the non-essential aspect of their diet; carbs. You want to stay away from starchy carbs, for example, rice or potatoes. These are less digestible and can be high in sugar. And try to include little to no grains to reduce the chance of bloating. Instead try them with blueberries, apples, carrots, bananas, pumpkin seeds or almonds, to name a few. To keep their carbohydrate intake low, use their favourite option as training treats. Lastly, vitamins and minerals. If you choose a more raw based diet, a lot of the protein, fat and carb sources I have mentioned contain a varied combination of what a Boston needs. But if you instead decide on looking for a ready made kibble or wet food. I’ll tell you the ones to look out for! The vitamins to include are D, E and B1, which can be found in good protein and carbohydrate sources. Don’t worry too much about vitamin C, whilst it’s good to include it, dogs are clever enough to manufacture it themselves! For minerals, you want to look for magnesium, selenium, phosphorous, manganese, sulphur and iodine. Again, these can be found in the forementioned protein, carb and essential fat sources. Now, this can sound over-whelming, we aim to educate and guide all types of dog owners here at Fenrir. So we recommend to always consult a vet or registered canine nutritionist if you have concerns or queries. DRY/ WET/ RAW We’re going to do a brief comparison of pros and cons of a dry, wet and raw food diet, relating to how well they’d suit a Great Dane. Something to know that may influence your choice is that a Great Dane should be given smaller, frequent meals throughout the day and forced to eat slowly using a slow feeder. This is to prevent from suffering a serious condition known as GDV, or bloat. Let’s start by looking at dry food. Arguably the most common way to feed a dog. Dry kibble is usually cheaper per serving, cleaner and it’s also convenient. It has a long shelf life, so you don’t have to worry too much about suitable storage, any airtight container will do the job! It’s also commonly a complete food, which tends to mean that it has a higher energy content, but this normally comes in the form of a higher carbohydrate percentage. Now, we’ve already explored that Great Dane’s aren’t made for a high carb diet. If you choose this type of diet, make sure to check the type of carbs are listed in the ingredients. Moving on, let’s look at wet food. Maybe the biggest pro, from a dog’s point of view, is that it will be more palatable than a dry diet. Whilst a high-quality wet food will contain meat products, lower quality wet food may provide meat by-products, bringing the overall value of the food down. A wet diet also does what it says on the tin; it’s hydrating. It has a higher water content, so a dog that common suffers with urinary issues may benefit from the additional fluids. Wet food also tends to be lower in carb content whilst maintaining a high protein content. This is more in-keeping with a Great Danes nutritional requirement. Now the next bit can cause some controversy; raw diets. In recent times, it seems as though feeding a raw diet has gained some popularity. The benefits of a raw diet are that they are completely unprocessed, you’re feeding a dog almost straight from the source! It’ll be incredibly interesting and tasty for your pooch. And it is extremely adaptable to your dogs needs. You can be sure you’re Great Dane is getting everything they need! But there are set-backs, it can be a high maintenance way to feed your pooch. It’s also a bacteria risk if the food isn’t prepared with care, salmonella is a high risk when handling raw food. In short, a raw diet is high risk-high reward. OVERVIEW Let’s quickly recap before we finish. Great Dane’s are fairly sedate dogs for their size, and so they need a moderate calorie, high protein diet with a small amount of good carbs. It’s important to stay away from grains to reduce the chance of bloating. It’s important to do your research into what type of diet you choose for your dog, they all have their pros and cons. But if you find yourself stuck on making a decision, it’s always best to consult your vet or a certified canine nutritionist.