When you adopt a new family member of a Great Dane, you want to be able to know the right amount of food, types of food, and the right feeding schedule for his age.
This helps your Great Dane puppy grow as he should and reach his full potential as a giant breed dog to be the best family protector and guardian that he can be.
When are Puppies Usually Adopted?
Puppies are generally adopted from breeders at the age of 8 weeks old. The first 8 weeks of a puppy’s life are spent with the mother drinking her milk and then transitioning to eating puppy food.
This is also the age that the puppy is usually fully weaned and he has learned about the world around him and how to interact with other animals and people.
At this age, your new pooch should be eating hard dog food easily and drinking water.
You should ask the breeder what brand of puppy food your new pet is currently eating and buy the same brand. This will keep your puppy’s sensitive tummy from having issues with changing his food.
8 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
An 8 week old Great Dane Puppy will weigh between 8 and 20 pounds, depending on if your particular pooch is a male or female and its natural size. Great Dane puppies at this age are already 13 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder.
Your puppy should be eating around 2 to 3 cups of food that is split into 3 to 4 meals a day. Spreading the meals out into at least 3 meals a day will help to give your puppy energy all day and it will also keep him from developing bloat from overeating at one time.
Your puppy should eat all of the food in his bowl at feeding time. Take away any food he leaves in the bowl and if he continually doesn’t finish the food, you may need to decrease the amount of food in each meal by a bit. Chances are that he will have a voracious appetite and eat all of the food at each feeding.
If your new puppy doesn’t seem to be eating hard food well, you might try adding a bit of low sodium plain beef broth without any other flavorings to its bowl.
This is a step backward but it is how your puppy was weaned with water on kibble when he was younger.
9 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
At this age, your puppy should be settled into your home and eat his hard food very well. Your pup should be eating about 4 cups of food per day split into 3 to 4 meals a day.
Your puppy will be growing quickly as a big dog with a big appetite. Try to time his meals on the same schedule each day for the best results in growth.
Timed meals also give your puppy some structure, so he knows about when it’s time to eat again, even at this tender young age.
10 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
Your 10 week old Great Dane puppy will be a big ball of energy and will also be growing super fast in a short amount of time.
This is when your pup needs a lot of calories to support his rapid growth, as he is burning calories with all his energetic antics.
At this stage, your Great Dane will eat from 4 to 5 cups of food per day to satisfy his appetite. Great Danes do have a slim build, but at this point you want him to have enough food to support his growth and if he has a little pudgy belly, it’s okay.
11 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
When your pup reaches 11 weeks old, you should have him on a feeding schedule. Put his food out at each of his 3 to 4 meals per day and allow him to eat for about 10 or 15 minutes. Then you should pick up the remaining food–if there is any.
This approach will keep your puppy on a feeding schedule so he knows to eat when the food is down and then he’ll have to wait for more food at the next scheduled feeding.
This will also prevent bloat from not allowing him to overeat at one feeding and it helps his digestive system as well for a healthy pup.
12 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
At 12 weeks old, your Great Dane will be somewhere between 17 and 23 inches tall at the shoulder and have a weight of 30 to 45 pounds.
Your pup will be eating about 6 cups of food a day and you can feed him 3 times a day now instead of 4 times a day.
Your pretty pooch will be very active and playing a lot to burn a lot of calories while he’s also experiencing fast growth in height and weight.
Over 12 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
Your puppy will continue to grow both in height and weight until he is about 1.5 years old to 2 years old, which at this point will be his mature size and weight.
At 5 months of age, you can switch your Great Dane to 2 meals a day. Between 5 and 8 months of age, he should eat 5 to 9 cups of food.
From 9 to 12 months old, your gentle giant should be eating 7 to 10 cups of food and between 12 and 18 months old your Great Dane should be eating 7 to 10 cups a day if he is a male or 6 to 9 cups of food per day if it is a female.
At 4 months old, your dog will be 21 to 26 inches tall and weigh between 45 and 65 pounds.
A month later, at 5 months, he will be 23 to 30 inches tall and weigh between 60 and 85 pounds.
When he reaches 6 months old, he will be 26 to 33 inches tall and have a weight of 70 to 105 pounds, depending on if it’s a male or female.
At 7 months, your larger-than-life pup will be 27 to 34 inches tall and 75 to 110 pounds of puppy weight. Your puppy will continue growing at a slower rate now until he is fully grown, adding another inch or so to his height and up to an additional 60 or 70 pounds in weight.
This sounds like a very heavy dog, but since he is so tall, he will be of a slim build as an adult. You should never be able to see his ribs clearly, but he should also not appear chunky or overweight.
What Kind of Food Should I Feed My Great Dane Puppy?
There are several options for puppy food, including dry food or kibble, moist foods in a pouch, and wet foods in a can. The best food for your puppy is always the dry kibble type of food.
This is shown to keep tartar from building up on his teeth as the hard food scrubs the tartar off as he eats. Tartar buildup can lead to periodontal disease and your dog can have big issues in a big dog if this occurs.
What Nutrients to Look For in Great Dane Puppy Food?
Your puppy should eat dry dog food that contains the correct nutrients for his stage of life. The puppy food you choose should state that it’s a complete and balanced diet, meaning that it has all of the vitamins and minerals your big baby will need in it and you don’t need any supplements. The best foods for your giant breed are foods marked for large breeds or giant breeds.
Giant breed puppies need a lot of protein in their diets for good growth. The puppy food you choose should have at least 26% protein.
Also, when reading the labels on the bags, look for actual meats like chicken as the first ingredient listed to note that it is a great source of protein.
Animal by-products are much less desirable as these words don’t mean actual meat, such as chicken, beef, or fish.
Great Danes are susceptible to having hip dysplasia because they are a giant breed of dog and they will be very large as well as very heavy when they are mature.
Foods that are rich in glucosamine in his puppy food will help to keep his joints healthy as he is actively growing.
You should also choose a giant breed of adult food at around 1.5 years old with glucosamine added to it.
Calcium and Phosphorus
Your ideal puppy food has balanced amounts of calcium and phosphorus at the rate of about 1 to 1.5%. Too much or too little of these micronutrients is bad for your puppy.
Other Considerations of Great Dane Puppy Food
Choose a puppy food that has natural ingredients without any by-products to help in your pup’s digestion and health.
Choose food for your Great Dane puppy that is free of artificial additives and fillers. Fibers such as wheat, soy, and corn don’t really benefit your pooch, but instead, choose vegetables such as peas and carrots.
Artificial fillers and flavorings aren’t good for puppies as they can make them full but they don’t add nutrients to the stomach for good growth and strong bones.
Artificial additives and flavorings can also cause great digestive upsets and this can lead to bloat in your Great Dane puppy.
Keeping all of these things in mind when feeding your new Great Dane family member will help him to grow, have strong bones and be very healthy into adulthood for many years to come.