Great Danes are very
susceptible to bloat and torsion, so the less stress on the
gastrointestinal tract the better. Good highly digestible diets are a
MUST for this breed, and many even recommend a RAW food diet, aka BARF.
(For more info on RAW or BARF diet, visit
www.barfers.com/barf.html.) Great Danes should never be
“free fed”. They should have 2 small meals per day. You should never
soak kibble as a means of preventing bloat. Great Danes should be fed
3-4 times daily as pups, decreasing to 2-3 times a day at around age 6
months. It can be dangerous to feed a Dane only once a day, due to the
increased chance of bloat and stomach torsion. You can also decrease the
chance of this by limiting activity at least 60-90 minutes following a
meal and 30-60 minutes prior. Great Danes should be fed with their food
raised off of the floor. There are commercially made raised feeding
tables that can be purchased at pet supply stores. Or you can feed them
on a kitchen chair, stool, etc. This helps lessen the air intake during
feeding and will prevent the dog from straining his back at mealtime.
foods for Great Danes and Giant/Large Breeds include the following:
Back to Basics
1-800-219-2558 or www.backtobasicspetfood.com
Eagle Brand only
Holistic Select 1-800-255-5959
Innova and Karma
(switch over slowly) 1-800-532-7261- Available @ Canine Commissary
Health Wise (from
folks that make Innova) - Available at Canine Commissary.
Wellness Super 5 Mix
(baked kibble) (switch over slowly) - Available @ Canine Commissary
1-800-772-7178 - Available at Canine Commissary & Feed Stores
1-800-748-0188. Tx. Distributor
Solid Gold Millennium - Available @ Canine Commissary & 1-877-LMRPETS
California Natural -
Available @ Canine Commissary
Available @ Canine Commissary, Petsmart & Petco
Merrick Pet Foods
Cowboy Cookout 1-800-664-7387
Newmans Own Organics
“Chicken and Rice” 1-800-465-8266
Ultra Premium 1-800-829-4493 available at Canine Commissary
RAW Suppliers and Products
Nutrition! 1-214-529-8355 D/FW Distributor Buddy’s chicken, Bravo,
Farmore frozen RAW
diet - Avail @ T-Bone’s Legacy for Canines (817-361-9855), & Canine
many of the above quality foods can be found at Canine
Missing Link as a supplement to
the nutritional gaps that even high quality processed dog foods may
have. Available at Canine Commissary, Petsmart, Petco and feed
If you do not
see your Brand of food listed above, then it is not one that we
recommend for your pets!
constitutes the most appropriate diet is quite a controversial subject
and there are as many opinions as there are brands on the market. The
following information is important to understanding what you are feeding
and is compiled from “The Nature of Animal Healing” by Dr. Martin
Goldstein, DVM, and “Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats” by Dr. Shawn
There are at least three classifications of pet food:
- the least expensive and also the least
healthful for your dog. These are made with the cheapest ingredients and
fillers, such as animal and plant by-products. They are likely to
contain numerous chemical preservatives and additives. Owners should
steer away from this type of food because health problems, due to
nutritional deficiencies, may result.
- available at most pet stores and vet.
clinics. They usually have higher quality ingredients, however, you
must read the labels! Many contain animal and plant products raised with
chemicals and hormones. For many of these diets, the only premium thing
about them is their price!
- the most premium of foods. These diets
usually contain nothing artificial. They use natural preservatives.
Instead of by-products, they use more expensive quality products.
Depending on the brand, these products are raised naturally, with no
chemicals or hormones. However, some of these diets can also rely
heavily on grains. Be wary! Many companies are seeing the potential for
financial benefits creating their own “natural diet”, often leaving the
consumer to pick which food is better. The term “natural” is open to
interpretation and can be very misleading.
Learn to read the labels and know
what the ingredients are!
“by-products” in protein? It is
impossible to know what exactly makes up by-products because no law
governs what can and can’t be used. As a rule, meat “by products”
includes heads, feet, viscera (internal organs such as heart, lungs,
thorax, abdomen), beaks, feet, hooves hair, mammary glands, connective
tissue and feathers. Unless stated as “Human Grade Meat” most meats come
from rendered animal substances such as dead animals, dying animals,
diseased animals disabled animals and drugged animals. Meat does not
refer to choice human grade cuts, unless otherwise stated on the
packaging. While organ meats (kidneys, liver) have high protein value,
the high amino acid content of hooves, hair and connective tissue can’t
possibly meet the minimum needs of your pets.
the carbohydrates in pet food? As is
the case with proteins, some carbohydrates are better than others. Rice
is an easily digested starch, brown being preferred to white. Potato or
macaroni are 2nd and 3rd choices for
carbohydrates. Soybeans are not easily digested by dogs. Certain
breeds such as Akita, Doberman, German Shepherd and Labs tend to be
allergic to soybean. Soybean meal does not refer to the soybeans but to
the husks left on the ground. Beans, wheat and oats are not easily
digested either. Ground corn or corn meal is regarded by many as the
worst carbohydrate. It is not easily digested and some dogs exhibit many
different reactions to corn.
Common chemical preservatives
Propylene glycol - a compound whose molecular structure is nearly
identical to ethylene glycol, which is antifreeze. Used in most
semi-moist pet foods to keep them fresh looking.
syrup - Corn syrup is not only useless to pets, it can actually be
harmful, over stimulating the production of insulin and potentially
causing diabetes or other diseases.
gallate - a preservative that doctors believe causes liver damage.
carboxy-methyl-cellulose - an edible plastic filler that used to be
put into thick shakes at some fast food franchises to make them thicker,
until the FDA outlawed it…. for human consumption.
and guar gum - all used to bind poultry beak bits, ground bones, and
other ingredients into chunks, burger or kibble.
BHA and BHT-
almost universally used. Can cause allergic reactions and affects liver
and kidneys. Both are suspected carcinogens. BHT is sometimes labeled as
Ethylenediamine - used as a substance to promote color retention in
food. Irritates the skin and mucous membranes. Can lead to asthmatic
reactions and skin allergies.
sorbate - a preservative used to preserve things that weren’t
preserved before they went into the food!
- Originally concocted by Mansanto in the 1950’s originally as a rubber
stabilizer. It is the major preservative in tires. As a synthetic
antioxidant, it works the same magic in your dogs’ food, keeping fats
from turning rancid, so that the food is more or less edible, forever.
Ethoxyquin has been associated with a staggering array of medical
complications including infertility, neonatal illness, skin and hair
coat problems, immune disorders, thyroid, pancreas, and liver
dysfunction and behavioral disorders.
(monosodium glutamate) - functions as a flavor enhancer. In people
can cause severe headache and a tingling in the fingers.
Sodium metabisulphite - In people has been linked to weakness, loss
of consciousness and brain damage.
Sugar, sorbitol - used as a sweetener. May relate to diabetes and is
an empty source of calories.
tocopherols - natural preservative made from
Vitamin E. Does not keep food as long as chemical preservatives.
- Natural source of preservative made from Vitamin C.
Are any chemicals safe? A number of chronic disorders,
such as various cancers, immune diseases, arthritis and allergies, are
blamed on the use of chemical preservatives in pet food. Although direct
proof of this is lacking, these chemicals are not inert and can be
metabolized in the intestines and absorbed by our pets.
To summarize, when selecting a commercially prepared dog
food, chose one with the least number of by-products, fillers and
chemical preservatives. Processed foods purport to be complete and
balanced. Consumers feed them because they are convenient and easy. Yet
processing removes many of the ingredients that are not added back to
the diet after high heat processing. For this reason, a baked food is
preferred to any other. While cost of the ingredients in a natural diet
is higher than generic or premium foods, the health benefits and lesser
amount of food needed at each feeding compensates for the higher price.
“Whole Dog Journal”
www.whole-dog-journal.com or 1-800-829-9165
“RAW dog food-make
it easy for you and your dog”- Carina Beth MacDonald
“The Nature of
Animal Healing” by Dr. Martin Goldstein, DVM
Bible for Dogs & Cats” by Dr. Shawn Messonnier, DVM
“Complete Guide for
Natural Health for Dogs and Cats” by Dr. Pitcairn
“Foods Pets Die For”
by Ann Martin
Natural Nutrition for Dogs” by Kymythy Schultze
Created as a
courtesy of Great Dane Angel Network, Inc. by Dusti