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10 Best Dog Foods for Great Danes – 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

Great Dane puppy eating food from his bowl

If you have a Great Dane, then you probably realized very quickly how important the quality of your dog’s food is. After all, lower-quality dog food requires feeding more and results in more poop, so sticking to high-quality dog foods will keep your dog healthy and reduce the poop in your yard. It’s hard to know where to start when selecting a dog food, though. The following reviews cover the best of the best options on the market for your giant breed pup, but it’s best to talk to your vet about your dog’s dietary needs, especially if your dog has any medical conditions.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Winner
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  • Whole foods are the first ingredients
  • Fortified with glucosamine and EPA for joint health
  • Easy to digest
  • Second place
    Iams Proactive Health Large Breed Adult Food Iams Proactive Health Large Breed Adult Food
  • Budget-friendly pick
  • Easy to find in stores
  • Whole foods are the first ingredients
  • Third place
    Royal Canin Large Adult 5+ Royal Canin Large Adult 5+
  • Good source of protein and fat
  • Highly palatable
  • Special antioxidant blend fights early aging signs
  • Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Formula Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Formula
  • Good source of glucosamine for joint health
  • Good source of DHA for brain and eye development
  • Prebiotic fiber supports healthy digestion
  • Farmina N&D Ancestral Grain Lamb & Blueberry Medium Farmina N&D Ancestral Grain Lamb & Blueberry Medium
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Whole foods as the first ingredients
  • Free of legumes
  • The 10 Best Dog Foods for Great Danes

    1. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Large Breed Formula – Best Overall

    Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin

    Check Price on Chewy
    Main ingredients: Salmon, barley
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 12%
    Calories: 373 kcal/cup

    The best overall dog food for Great Danes is Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Large Breed Formula. Not only does this food have whole foods as the first few ingredients, like salmon and barley, but it’s also fortified with glucosamine to support your dog’s joint health. It’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA, which also supports joint health. Omega-6 fatty acids support healthy skin and coat for your dog, while prebiotic fiber supports healthy digestion and gut microbiome. This food is easy to digest and great for sensitive tummies.

    Due to supply chain issues, it may be difficult to find this food on occasion, although this issue seems to be improving.

    Pros
    • Whole foods are the first ingredients
    • Fortified with glucosamine and EPA for joint health
    • Good source of omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
    • Good source of prebiotic fiber to support a healthy gut microbiome
    • Easy to digest
    Cons
    • May be hard to find sometimes

    2. Iams Proactive Health Large Breed Adult Food – Best Value

    Main ingredients: Chicken, ground barley
    Protein content: 5%
    Fat content: 12%
    Calories: 353 kcal/cup

    The best dog food for Great Danes for the money is Iams Proactive Health Large Breed Adult Food. Not only is this food budget-friendly, but it’s also widely available, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding it. The first ingredients are whole foods, including chicken and barley, and this food is formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of large and giant breed dogs. Prebiotic fiber supports healthy digestion, while glucosamine and chondroitin support the health of your Great Dane’s joints.

    Multiple customers have reported that this food’s formulation was recently changed, and pickier dogs seem to not like it as much, so this may not be a good option if your Great Dane is a picky pup.

    Pros
    • Budget-friendly pick
    • Easy to find in stores
    • Whole foods are the first ingredients
    • Prebiotic fiber supports healthy digestion
    • Good source of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
    Cons
    • May not be a good option for picky dogs after reformulation

    3. Royal Canin Large Adult 5+ – Premium Choice

    Main ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, wheat
    Protein content: 24%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories: 337 kcal/cup

    If you have a higher budget for your Great Dane, then you may appreciate Royal Canin Large Adult 5+ food. This food is higher in protein and fat than the previous two options, so it’s a good option for thinner and more active dogs. A special blend of antioxidants helps fight the first signs of aging in your dog before they hit their senior years, and a balanced supply of fiber and high-quality proteins support healthy digestion. This food is made to be highly palatable, and it contains nutrients that are specific to the needs of large breed dogs over the age of five years.

    The downside to this food is that it’s formulated for dogs up to 100 pounds, so larger Great Danes may need a different food.

    Pros
    • Good source of protein and fat
    • Special antioxidant blend fights early aging signs
    • Balanced fiber and protein support healthy digestion
    • Highly palatable
    • Specifically formulated for the needs of large breed dogs over 5 years of age
    Cons
    • Formulated for dogs up to 100 pounds

    4. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Formula – Best for Puppies

    Main ingredients: Chicken, rice
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 13%
    Calories: 419 kcal/cup

    If you have a Great Dane puppy to feed, the top food is Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Formula. This food is high in protein and calories to support the healthy growth of your large breed pup. Glucosamine supports joint health, while a precise blend of calcium and phosphorus supports strong bones and teeth. DHA-containing fish oil supports the development of your puppy’s brain and eyes, while prebiotic fiber supports digestion.

    Like the Purina Pro Plan adult formula, this food can sometimes be difficult to find due to supply chain issues.

    Pros
    • High in protein and calories to support growth and development
    • Good source of glucosamine for joint health
    • Calcium and phosphorus support healthy bones and teeth
    • Good source of DHA for brain and eye development
    • Prebiotic fiber supports healthy digestion
    Cons
    • May be hard to find sometimes

    5. Farmina N&D Ancestral Grain Lamb & Blueberry Medium & Maxi Adult – Vet’s Choice

    Main ingredients: Lamb, dehydrated lamb
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 18%
    Calories: 394 kcal/cup

    If you’re in search of a food recommended by veterinarians, our vet’s choice is Farmina N&D Ancestral Grain Lamb & Blueberry Medium & Maxi Adult food. This food contains whole foods as the first few ingredients, including lamb, spelt, oats, eggs, and herring. It contains healthy grains, and it’s free of legumes, including peas and lentils. The nutrients in the food retain freshness during a special preparation process, ensuring that your dog receives all the nutrients necessary for good health.

    This food is higher in fat and lower in fiber than many other food options, so it may not be a good option for overweight Great Danes or dogs with digestive issues.

    Pros
    • Veterinarian recommended
    • Whole foods as the first ingredients
    • Good source of healthy grains
    • Free of legumes
    • Nutrients are retained through a special preparation process
    Cons
    • Higher in fat and lower in fiber than many other options

    6. Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, corn
    Protein content: 23%
    Fat content: 13%
    Calories: 331 kcal/cup

    Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Food is specifically formulated for dogs over 55 pounds and 15 months of age, making it ideal for adult Great Danes. Chondroitin and glucosamine support joint health, while high-quality protein supports muscle development. DHA and vitamin E support mental sharpness and brain health, while 3D DentaDefense reduces tartar buildup on teeth, keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthier.

    Unfortunately, due to supply chain issues in the last couple of years, the price of this food has gone up and it has become more difficult to find.

    Pros
    • Formulated for dogs 55+ pounds and 15+ months
    • Good source of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
    • DHA and vitamin E support brain health
    • 3D DentaDefense reduces tartar buildup on teeth
    Cons
    • May be difficult to find

    7. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Adult

    Main ingredients: Chicken, cracked pearled barley
    Protein content: 20%
    Fat content: 5%
    Calories: 363 kcal/cup

    Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Adult food provides a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health in your Great Dane. It’s also a good source of omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health, as well as vitamin C and vitamin E to support immunity and overall health. The clinically proven antioxidant blend also supports overall health and wellness in your dog.

    This food is lower in both protein and fat than most of the other foods, so it may not be a suitable option for active dogs or those needing to gain weight or muscle mass.

    Pros
    • Natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
    • Good source of omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
    • Vitamins C and E support immunity
    • Clinically proven antioxidant blend for overall health and wellness
    Cons
    • Lower in protein and fat than most options

    8. Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior Recipe

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal
    Protein content: 22%
    Fat content: 10%
    Calories: 304 kcal/cup

    Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior Recipe is specially formulated to support the health of your senior Great Dane and other large and giant breed dogs. Essential antioxidants support your dog’s health and wellness, while prebiotic fiber supports healthy digestion. It’s a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin to support the health of your aging pup’s joints, and the lower protein and fat content of this food will help support a healthy body weight as your dog’s activity level declines as they age. Some people have reported this food not being a great option for picky eaters, though.

    Pros
    • Top pick for seniors
    • Antioxidants support health and wellness
    • Good source of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
    • Lower protein and fat content help maintain a healthy body weight
    Cons
    • May not be suitable for picky eaters

    9. Purina ONE +Plus Large Breed Adult Formula

    Main ingredients: Chicken, rice flour
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 12%
    Calories: 320 kcal/cup

    Purina ONE +Plus Large Breed Adult Formula is one of the more budget-friendly dog foods for Great Danes. Four sources of antioxidants ensure your dog’s immune system stays strong, while omega-6 fatty acids support skin and coat health. This food contains crunchy kibbles and meaty morsels, making it a highly palatable option with interesting textures, as well as being a highly digestible formula.

    Although highly digestible, this food may not be suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

    Pros
    • Budget-friendly option
    • Good source of antioxidants for immune system function
    • Good source of omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
    • Contains crunchy and meaty pieces
    • Highly digestible formula
    Cons
    • May not be a good option for dogs with sensitive stomachs

    10. Firstmate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Large Breed Formula

    Main ingredients: Ocean fish meal, Burbank potato
    Protein content: 25%
    Fat content: 12%
    Calories: 400 kcal/cup

    Firstmate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Large Breed Formula is a grain-free dog food that contains potatoes, so it may not be suitable for many dogs due to risks of dilated cardiomyopathy associated with foods that are free of grains and contain potatoes.

    This food is a great source of high-quality protein, though, and it’s a high-calorie food, making it a good option for dogs that need to gain weight. This is a single-source protein formula, so it’s a good food option for dogs with certain food sensitivities. Glucosamine supports joint health, while omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support joint, skin, and coat health.

    Pros
    • High in calories
    • Single-source protein
    • Good source of glucosamine for joint health
    • Good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
    Cons
    • Grain-free food
    • Contains potatoes

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Food for Great Danes

    How to Choose a High-Quality Food for Your Great Dane

    There are a lot of things to look at on a bag of dog food, which can make it confusing when searching for the right food for your dog. All commercial dog foods are required to meet AAFCO guidelines, which provide for the basic nutritional needs of pets. Foods that meet WSAVA guidelines, however, have been extensively researched and shown to provide exceptional nutrition to dogs.

    great dane dog eating dog food from the feeder bowl
    Image Credit: Alicia Fdez, Shutterstock

    Look for foods with high-quality protein as the first ingredient, but don’t be fooled by the bad press surrounding ingredients like by-product meals. By-product meals are created from the animal parts left over after processing out the muscle meat from an animal, and while this sounds gross on the surface, this means that by-product meals contain things like bone and organ meats, which are exceptionally healthy.

    Of course, you should always pick a food that is appropriate for your dog as well. Choose a food that is formulated for their life stage, as well as their current and ideal weight, activity level, and health conditions. If you find things too confusing when trying to select the right food for your dog, your vet or a board-certified veterinary nutritionist can help you find the perfect food to meet your dog’s needs.

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    Conclusion

    Let’s recap the reviews of the top foods for Great Danes. The best overall option is Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Large Breed Formula, which is a high-quality food that is formulated specifically to meet the needs of large-breed dogs with skin and stomach issues. For a budget-friendly food, Iams Proactive Health Large Breed Adult Food is a great option, and it’s typically easy to find in stores. For puppies, Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Formula is the best option to support the growth and development of your Great Dane pup. For a more premium budget, the top pick is Royal Canin Large Adult 5+, to help your dog stay healthy as they begin to age. For a veterinarian-recommended food, we like Farmina N&D Ancestral Grain Lamb & Blueberry Medium & Maxi Adult food.

    See also:


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