Best Dog Food For Great Danes And Other Large Breeds: What Is Best?
The question “What is best?”
is a very common one among pet owners. It’s not just a matter of personal preference; it’s a matter of what your pet needs to survive in the wild. Some dogs are better suited to live on the ground or in trees than others, so they need different diets. Others thrive on fresh grass and hay, while other breeds require more specialized foods.
In addition to the diet, there are many other factors that go into making a good dog food. These include things like how much exercise your dog gets, what kind of shelter your pet lives in (if any), whether or not he/she is housebroken at all, and even which breed of dog he/she is. There are also some breeds that have certain health problems that make them less suitable for certain types of foods.
So what makes a dog food for great danes and other large breeds?
That depends on the individual dog, but here are some general guidelines:
Dogs over eight pounds need high protein foods. Dogs under six pounds do fine on low-protein foods. A small amount of meaty bones or liver will provide most dogs with their daily requirement of essential amino acids. All dogs need some vegetable fiber to help with their digestion. You can supply this by feeding vegetables, grass, or hay.
Each dog has slightly different vitamin and mineral needs. You should ask your veterinarian whether or not you need to supplement his diet with additional vitamins and minerals. All dogs do best with some sort of exercise everyday. This can be as easy as a daily walk around the block. Dogs that get no exercise at all will become obese much more quickly than those that do.
These are just a few factors to take into consideration when deciding what is the best dog food for your Great Dane or other large breed.
Here are some examples of good foods for large breeds:
Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Formula is a 28 pound bag of dry food that contains 30 percent protein. This food has good quality grains like rice, oatmeal, and barley to supply carbs for energy. It has additional vitamins and minerals that promote healthy bones and joints and omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat. It also has glucosamine for healthy joints. The glucosamine is especially important in large breeds that are prone to problems like cruciate ligament tears.
This food helps promote weight control and digestion.
Another good food for large breeds is Iams Large Breed Mature Formula Dry Dog Food. This food has 24 percent protein and carbohydrates for energy. It has antioxidants for a healthy immune system, plus omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote a shiny coat. It’s made with high quality ingredients like whole grain wheat, rice, and oatmeal. It has natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to help support healthy joints.
It helps reduce tartar buildup for cleaner teeth and fresher breath. The kibbles are adjustable so you can increase or decrease the size to suit your dog’s needs.
You’ll need to take your dog in for a checkup within a week or two of changing his diet. The doctor will make sure that the food agrees with your dog and doesn’t cause any intestinal issues. He may also suggest some additional vitamins or minerals if he feels they are needed.
Dogs are predators by nature, so unless they catch and kill their own food, most of them view kibble as a treat rather than a meal. Dogs by nature are scavengers, so if your dog is used to table scraps or treats then this won’t be a problem. If your dog isn’t used to table scraps however, then you’ll need to gradually introduce them. Never feed your dog people food straight out, it must be mixed with his regular food so that he gets used to the taste. If you try to switch suddenly from one food to another, your dog may become sick.
Never give your dog food from the table, even if you are sure it’s okay for him. Some human foods can be very dangerous for dogs and can cause severe stomach upset or even death. It’s best not to take the chance. Always ask your veterinarian which foods are okay for your dog and in what amounts.
Human vitamin and mineral supplements are not necessary for dogs unless recommended by a veterinarian. Too much of some vitamins and minerals can be bad, so it’s best to stick with the balanced foods. In particular, dogs do not need extra vitamin C. This is part of the reason that people get colds. If a dog is getting enough meat in his diet, then he gets all the vitamin C he needs.
There are however some human foods that can help improve your dog’s health and well being.
Green beans are helpful for digestive issues. They help reduce gas and create a healthier coat and skin. You can offer these to your dog raw or lightly steamed.
Oatmeal is soothing for itchy skin and helps hydrate dry skin. You can mix it with your dog’s regular food or you can add a little bit of water and give it to him as a cereal.
Yogurt is full of healthy bacteria that helps a dog’s digestive system stay healthy. Mix this with your dog’s food or give it to him as a treat. Plain, low fat yogurt is best.
Some dogs like pickles or olives. These are very salty so only give one or two as a treat.
Meat is a great treat for your dog. You can dry out or cook up the leftover meat you were going to feed to your cat. You can also give your dog low-fat cuts of ham, roast beef or chicken. Be careful with hot dogs and other processed meats as they are often high in sodium and fat.
Grapes and raisins can be poisonous to dogs. Even a few grapes or raisins can cause severe health issues. If you want to give your dog a treat and he likes grapes or raisins, make sure he doesn’t eat more than a couple.
Green vegetables such as broccoli, peas, spinach, kale and collard greens are all good for your dog. These are healthy ways to supplement your dog’s diet without additives or extra salt. Dogs can have a bit of green veggies without any negative health effects.
Fish is very healthy for dogs and most dogs enjoy it. You can give your dog cooked or raw fish (make sure it’s not stale and does not smell bad). Canned tuna and salmon are good as well, but only give him about one teaspoon per day.
Cheese is high in fat and salt, so only give your dog a very small amount once in awhile as a treat. Most dogs enjoy cheese, but very old or strong smelling cheese can make your dog sick.
Scrap meat offal, bone and fat are all good for your dog. These types of food are very nutritious and your dog will love you for it.
Bananas are good for female dogs that are in heat or are pregnant. This is a good way to keep them calm and regulate their blood sugar levels so they don’t experience cravings or have an upset stomach.
Cherries are a healthy treat that most dogs enjoy. They are high in anti-oxidants and vitamin C, so they’re good for your dog.
Cucumbers are an excellent way to re-hydrate your dog if he gets overheated or dehydrated. Cut them up into slices and feed them to him.
Grapes can help keep your dog’s blood platelets from clumping together and help keep his blood vessels flexible, which is why some veterinarians recommend a small amount once in awhile.
Molasses is high in iron and helps keep your dog from getting anemia. Molasses can have a bit of a strange taste, so you may want to mix it with peanut butter or something else your dog likes on his food to make it more appealing.
Oysters are packed full of zinc and vitamins that can help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.
Whole-wheat bread is a good treat for your dog and contains more fiber than white bread. Most dogs enjoy the taste of whole-wheat bread and it is good for them.
But What If My Dog Eats Too Much Junk Food?
If your dog becomes overweight, do not take away his treats or food. You need to cut down on the amount of food you are feeding him in general. Increase the amount of exercise he gets and make healthier food choices. Your veterinarian can also help you determine if your dog needs to go on a diet or get vitamin supplements to help him lose weight.
As with most things, eating junk food in moderation is fine for your dog. Eating too much junk food can cause health issues and make him overweight. If you want to treat your dog once in awhile, pick the healthier options listed above.
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas?
If your dog gets fleas, he may start scratching a lot and possibly biting and licking himself. This is obviously uncomfortable for your dog. You can pick up a bottle of flea medication at the pet store or at your veterinarian’s office. Follow the directions and apply the medicated shampoo or spray on your dog (be careful not to get it in his eyes).
You can also pick up special collars that claim to repel fleas. These don’t kill the fleas, but they keep them from landing on your dog and biting him. You can also put a bit of mint or cedar chips in with your dog’s bedding. Many types of mint and cedar are known to repel insects of all kinds.
You may also notice small red bites on yourself or other people in the house. This is no fault of your dog. Fleas can jump really high and if your dog sleeps in your bed or on the sofa, he probably brought fleas into your home. You will need to treat your home (as well as your dog) to get rid of the fleas.
Flea combs can be very helpful in removing fleas from your dog’s fur.
Talk to your veterinarian about what treatment options are best for your dog and your household.
What are the Signs of a Heart Attack in Dogs?
You are settling down for the evening when you start to notice your dog’s behavior is a bit off. He starts to restlessly pace around the house, whining a bit. After a few minutes, he lies down and begins to groan. His stomach is hard and you notice he is drooling.
You rush your beloved dog to the emergency vet. After a few tests, the doctor tells you your dog is having a heart attack and does not have long to live. You are devastated. The next few days are a blur as you watch your dog struggle to stay alive until he finally passes away.
There were several signs that could have tip you off that something was wrong with your dog, but you did not know what to look for. If you had only taken five minutes to notice what was happening, you might have been able to save your dog’s life.
What are the Signs of a Dog Heart Attack?
The most common sign that a dog is having a heart attack is restlessness. Dogs will begin to pace back and forth or seem restless in their bed. They may start drooling and whining.
Other signs include:
Seeming tired or weak for no reason
If you notice your dog having any of these symptoms, take him to the veterinarian immediately. If your dog is having a heart attack, treatment must begin as quickly as possible. Without treatment, a dog will die. With treatment, most dogs will live to see another day.
What are the Causes of a Dog Heart Attack?
There are several conditions that can cause heart attacks in dogs. The most common is heartworms. These parasites grow inside a dog’s heart and lungs, causing them to become blocked and unable to pump blood through the body properly. A clot may also be the culprit. Blood clots that block blood vessels in the heart or brain are also common causes of heart attacks in dogs.
A less common cause is hyperthyroidism. This condition is caused by an overproduction of thyroid hormones. It is fairly easy to treat with medication, but if it goes untreated, the increase in heart rate and strength can put an unnecessary strain on a dog’s heart.
Aging can also cause heart attacks in dogs. As dogs grow older their bodies wear out, just like ours do. Old age can weaken the heart until it is unable to pump blood effectively.
How are Dog Heart Attacks Treated?
If you think your dog is having a heart attack, prompt treatment is a must. The first thing you should do is take your dog to the emergency animal hospital or call their after-hours number. If the vets think your dog is having a heart attack they will admit him immediately and run a battery of tests. Once the doctors know what’s wrong they can begin treatment and get your dog on the road to recovery.
Treatment for a heart attack typically involves keeping your dog calm and relaxed. The doctors will probably also give your dog drugs to keep his blood pressure down and relieve any pain he may be experiencing. After a few days, the vets should know whether or not the attacks are due to heart worms, blood clots, or something else.
If it turns out that your dog does have heartworms, treatment is easy. The vets will give him a series of injections of an arsenic-based drug which kills the worms. After a few weeks, the dead worms will pass from your dog’s body. He should make a full recovery.
If the problem is not heartworms, the treatment can vary. If it’s due to blood clots, blood thinners such as heparin can be given to break them up and restore blood flow. In some instances, surgery may be needed to remove obstructions. If a tumor is found, surgery can be done to remove it.
Living and Recovery after a Dog Heart Attack
Once your dog’s heart attack has been properly treated, there are some things you need to do at home to help him get better. First of all, it’s important that your dog does not get too excited or overly active. Play with him and take him for walks, but don’t let him engage in any extremely energetic activity for at least a month. Next, you will need to feed him a low fat, low cholesterol diet. Ask your vet to recommend a brand that’s good for your dog.
Most importantly, keep a close eye on your dog and take him back to the veterinarian at the first sign of any problems. A dog can suffer another heart attack up to a year after his first attack. It’s also important to remember that although most dogs who have a single heart attack will live normal lifespans, some may have recurrent heart attacks and suffer sudden death.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effect of diets with different calcium and phosphorus contents on the skeletal development and blood chemistry of growing Great Danes by I Schoenmakers, HAW Hazewinkel… – Veterinary …, 2000 – veterinaryrecord.bmj.com
Colonic permeability is higher in Great Danes compared with smaller breed‐dogs by DC Hernot, J Nery, VC Biourge… – Journal of animal …, 2009 – Wiley Online Library
Growth and skeletal development in Great Dane pups fed different levels of protein intake by RC Nap, HAW Hazewinkel, G Voorhout… – The Journal of …, 1991 – academic.oup.com
Normal handling of diets‐are all dogs created equal? by J Zentek, H Meyer – Journal of Small Animal Practice, 1995 – Wiley Online Library
A radiographic study on the development of the antebrachium in Great Dane pups on different calcium intakes by G VOORHOUT, HAW HAZEWINKEL – Veterinary Radiology, 1987 – Wiley Online Library