The Great Dane is a breed of dog renowned for their size and strength. Because of this, prospective owners will have lots of questions over how much you need to feed a Great Dane each day, week, and month.
To get to the bottom of this I asked a friend of mine who owns Great Danes to write the following explainer on how much a Great Dane eats to give you a real-life example. Here’s how she described her Great Dane’s eating habits, but with her short answer first.
How much does a Great Dane eat? As a general rule of thumb, adult Great Danes will eat 6 to 10 cups of food daily, with Great Dane puppies eating 3 to 8 cups of food each day. It will change depending on dog’s gender, so continue reading to how it splits for males and females.
I’ve also included a Great Dane feeding chart which you can see lower down the page to print off and keep.
How much does a Great Dane eat per day?
In our house, we have a Harlequin Great Dane that looks like the result of a romance between a black and white Jersey cow and a dog. Our Great Dane is appropriately named Oreo and she stands a good sight taller on her hind legs than my 6-foot 1-inch husband.
This two-legged behaviour is generally in her desperation to get out of the door when there is the slightest clap of thunder, and she has also been known to hurdle through an open window like it was a mere step.
I may be diverging from my intending topic, but I wanted to initially showcase exactly how great in size that a Great Dane actually is because it can be hard to fathom if you are used to a toy breed… and your food bill is going to be significantly bigger!
I get asked a lot about our Great Dane and how much she needs to eat each day, week, and month. The answer will likely surprise some people because although they are the tallest dog breed in the world, in my opinion Great Danes are not big eaters considering their size.
How much female Great Danes eat each day
We have a female Great Dane, and she will eat 6 to 8 cups of food a day.
Most Great Danes will reach their full stature and weight by about three years of age, and while there is no doubt that a Great Dane is giant in size, they can be a relaxed breed with a low-to-moderate level of energy. Not when they are puppies mind, during their first year, they are anything but a calm breed!
How much male Great Danes eat each day or month
Male Great Danes will typically eat more than their female counterparts, with general guidance being to feed them 8 to 10 cups of feed each day.
As with any dog, the amount of food that your Great Dane will need depends on their age, activity level and the quality of the dog food that you offer. Don’t be conned into buying inferior quality dog food, thinking that this will save you money.
Not only will you likely need to feed your dog more to get the necessary calories and nutritious, but it can also be detrimental to their health.
How much do Great Dane puppies need to eat?
It depends on the age of your Great Dane puppy and their development stages. General feeding guidelines for how much Great Dane puppies need to eat are:
- Male puppy of 3 to 6 months: 4 to 8 cups of food a day.
- Female puppy of 3 to 6 months: 3 to 6 cups of food a day.
- Male puppy of 8 to 12 months: 6 to 10 cups of food a day.
- Female puppy of 8 to 12 months: 5 to 8 cups of food a day.
- Male Great Danes of 1 to 2 years: 9 to 15 cups of food a day.
- Female Great Danes of 1 to 2 years: 8 to 12 cups of food a day.
Their food should be split into 3 servings over the day until they reach adulthood.
When they reach 1 to 2 years old, your Great Dane will eat you out of house and home, sleep a lot, and be somewhat bonkers. Depending on the size of your Dane, and whether they are male or female, don’t be surprised if your dog needs upwards of 15 cups of dry kibble daily during this time… it’s the period in their life when they eat the most.
When we picked up our Great Dane puppy at eight weeks of age, she was approximately the size of a full-grown Beagle and had the appetite of a Gremlin. Your Great Dane breeder should be able to recommend an appropriate puppy food moving forward.
Keep in mind that Great Danes are notorious for having sensitive, weak stomachs and being prone to diarrhoea so don’t change the food that they have been given by the breeder too quickly.
Great Dane puppies grow very quickly. There’s that old cliché that parents say about how kids shoot up so fast, it’s in the blink of an eye – well, humans don’t have anything on the rate that a Great Dane can grow! They have a lot of weight to put on over the course of the first 18 months of life… which will need a lot of food!
Handy Hint: Don’t fall into the trap of feeding your dog every time they beg. This is perfectly normal behavior, and it won’t harm them for you to say no.
Because of this rapid growth, it is important that you feed a Great Dane puppy food that is appropriate for their size and age.
Vet recommend puppy food formulated for a giant breed will have the correct proportion of protein, fats, vitamins, nutrients and carbohydrates for a quick-growing dog. This breed is prone to muscular-skeletal conditions and joint problems which will be compounded if given incorrect food.
Great Dane feeding chart
In addition to the advice on how much you should feed a Great Dane each day from an owner, I also found this feeding chart which offers guidance too. It’s courtesy of the Royal Canin brand who have their own Great Dane dog food.
Here’s that Great Dane feeding chart in text-based format if you need to copy and paste it:
- Great Dane of 50kg: 634 grams a day / 7 cups a day.
- Great Dane of 55kg: 681 grams a day / 7.5 cups a day.
- Great Dane of 60kg: 727 grams a day / 8 cups a day.
- Great Dane of 65kg: 772 grams a day / 8.5 cups a day.
- Great Dane of 70kg: 816 grams a day / 9 cups a day.
- Great Dane of 75kg: 859 grams a day / 9 cups and 3/8s a day.
- Great Dane of 80kg: 902 grams a day / 9 cups and 7/8s a day.
Now you know how much a Great Dane eats each day and month, don’t forget that a Great Dane will be at the perfect height to snatch food from your kitchen counter! Chalk that one up to an expensive learning experience and always keep food out of their reach.
However, in the experience of the owner I spoke to, Great Danes are not highly food motivated, nor are they especially active so these factors play into their need for fewer calories per pound than other canine breeds than you might expect.
You might also like…
- Here’s how much it costs to keep a Great Dane happy and healthy each year
- Why Great Danes get the zoomies
- These signs mean that your Great Dane loves you
Image in header via https://pixabay.com/photos/great-dane-portrait-dog-2793816/