If you are adopting or already have adopted a Great Dane puppy, you might have already been introduced to their big appetites and have been questioning what you should be feeding him.
Knowing how much to feed a Great Dane puppy is essential when determining whether your puppy is growing as well as he should be.
It isn’t just the amount of food, but you will also need to think about frequency and the type of food to be sure that he will grow well.
You want your puppy to grow into a healthy and strong Great Dane. Here’s what you need to know.
How Much Should A Great Dane Puppy Eat?
A Great Dane puppy needs about 2,500 to 3,000 calories a day. An adult Great Dane usually only needs 2,500 calories, but growing puppies definitely need more calories to keep them growing well. They should be fed 3 times a day, in equal portions. Stick to a feeding schedule to keep your puppy as healthy as possible.
The amount of food your puppy needs will depend on whether you have a male or female as well as the pup’s natural size. Throughout puppyhood, puppies will need more food as they go. On the highest end, a Great Dane might need as much as 10 to 15 cups of food a day.
Great Dane Puppy Feeding Chart
How Much? A Great Dane puppy between the ages of 3 to 6 months will need 4 to 8 cups of puppy food each day, divided up into 3 to 4 meals. Female puppies normally will eat less food whereas males will eat more. From 8 months to a year, you can expect to feed your Great Dane 6 to 10 cups of food a day.
What to Expect: Your puppy’s appetite will not slow down until he is fully grown, after 18 months.
Careful: Great Danes are prone to bloat, but feeding them regularly should prevent it. Feeding them right before heavy exercise increases the risk.
Our Recommended Dog Food For Great Dane Puppies
Blue Buffalo Wilderness (Editor’s Choice)
Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy (Runner-Up)
American Journey Lamb and Sweet Potato (Budget Friendly)
How Much To Feed Great Dane Puppy?
2 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
When your Great Dane puppy is 2 weeks old, he will have opened his eyes and begun to take in the world around him. A puppy at this age will be completely reliant upon his mother’s milk and will nurse on demand, as the dam allows.
In larger litters, keep an eye on any pups that are not gaining the same amount as other pups. Pups that cannot gain weight should be supplemented with formula.
3 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
At 3 weeks, your puppy will still be completely dependent on his mother’s milk and be given meals at her discretion.
Your puppy will be more aware of his world at this point and should be moving enough to get away from the litter to urinate. Do not introduce foods at this point or try to wean him yet. It is still too soon.
4 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
Your 4 week old Great Dane puppy will be still reliant on his mother’s milk, but you can introduce some food at this point. Start by making a mixture that is ¼ puppy food and ¾ water.
Offer this to the puppy to see if he is interested. If not, take it away and give him some more time. If he is interested, he most likely will only take a nibble or two since his stomach is still small.
5 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
When your puppy has reached the age of 5 weeks, you can try feeding him more of the mixture of food and water, but he still might not be interested yet. His mother should still be giving him milk without a problem.
Watch out for any pups that are substantially smaller than their littermates. If you have growth concerns, contact your vet. If your puppy isn’t taking food and not getting milk, formula might be needed.
6 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
At the age of 6 weeks, your puppy should be showing more interest in your food mixture. If he is excited by the mixture and eating it well without stomach upset, you can begin to decrease the amount of water in the mixture while increasing the quantity of food.
If this all goes well, you will be able to switch your puppy to eating just dog food. His mother will still be nursing him as well.
7 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
A 7 week old Great Dane may or may not be weaned from his mother. Most mother dogs will be restless at this point and less willing to lie down to nurse. Instead, puppies will likely be offered a quick drink of milk before the mother runs off again.
Your puppy should be eating puppy food without trouble by now, but if he is still struggling, you might need to revisit the water mixture or food choice.
8 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
8 weeks is a big week for puppies. This is the week that they can start to be rehomed and separated from their mother and littermates. 8 week old Great Dane puppy should be weaned by now so the transition should not be too difficult.
When a puppy is on just food, make sure to offer food 3 to 4 times a day to help him grow well. Always take away any uneaten food so you know what he has eaten.
9 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
A 9 week old Great Dane puppy should be adjusting to a new home and steadily eating. This is a big dog, so remember that he has a big appetite. You should be feeding your puppy about 4 cups of food, divided up into equal parts throughout the day. Stick with 3 to 4 meals if possible to get him on a good feeding schedule. He should be growing and gaining weight quickly.
10 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
You will notice that a 10 week old Great Dane puppy has a lot of energy. Your puppy will be growing a lot in a very short period of time. He will need plenty of calories to account for this rapid growth. On average, your Great Dane will still need 4 to 5 cups of food a day, depending on his appetite. If he seems overly thin, you might need to up the food a little.
11 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
When your Great Dane puppy has reached 11 weeks of age, you should have him on a strict feeding schedule. Put the food out for only 10 to 15 minutes before taking it away again if it wasn’t eaten.
This will help teach the puppy to stick to the schedule. Having meals broken up is a great way to prevent bloat, ensuring that overeating is not a possibility and that his meals are divided well enough for good digestion.
12 Week Old Great Dane Puppy
Your 12 week old Great Dane puppy should be a voracious eater full of mischief and energy. Continue to offer your puppy food 3 times a day to keep his digestion running smoothly. It is likely that you will be feeding your puppy 6 cups of food a day as he is growing rapidly and needs the food to accommodate that. Your puppy needs a lot of food to maintain proper growth.
When And How To Change The Feeding Of Puppy To Adult
When a Great Dane is around 1 to 1.5 years old, he is commonly considered an adult. This is a good estimate of when you could consider making the switch. When a Great Dane has attained around 80-90% of their overall growth, it is a good indicator of when the switch should be made.
Be sure do this gradually as an abrupt switch may not be ideal. If you feed your dog twice per day, you can start giving him adult food mixed in with his usual food.
If you want to avoid upsetting your dog’s intestinal tract or causing diarrhea, phase the new food in slowly. You can change from a puppy formula to an adult diet over a few days.
What If My Great Dane Won’t Eat
It is always a cause for concern when your dog is not eating or doesn’t have a healthy appetite. The most typical reasons why Great Dane’s may not eat their food include changes in activity level or hormones, illness, overfeeding, stomach sensitivity, dental problems, anxiety, and vaccines or medications.
Some pets naturally have more sensitive stomachs than others. This also holds true for a Great Dane. First, ensure that your dog has access to anything that they might have accidentally eaten.
Stray food that your dog may have eaten off of the floor such as a piece of trash or other non-edible items, might be the cause of the upset stomach.
Should You Feed A Great Dane Puppy Supplements?
When Great Dane puppies are eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet they will meet their developmental milestone. They will also have no need for dietary supplements. If their diet is not giving them the necessary nutrients, or they exhibit development issues, supplements may be necessary.
Even though supplements are not always needed. However, there are some forms of supplements that can be taken in advance to help reduce the likelihood of future health issues. If you want your Great Dane to have healthy skin and a shiny coat, you should feed him vitamin A. You can give him vitamin E to help support his immune system.
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe
Our choice for the best food for Great Dane puppies is the Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe. This food is made with red meat, which is important for Great Danes.
This food also contains DHA and ARA, both of which are important fatty acids that are commonly found in mother’s milk. This is a grain-free food, so it does not have any wheat, soy, or corn, making it a great choice for easy digestion.
- Contains DHA and ARA
- Has red meat
- Works well with various breeds
- Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
- Cost can be prohibitive given the amount Great Danes eat
2. Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy
Our second choice for the best dog food for Great Dane puppies is the Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy food. This food was developed with large breeds in mind and contains ingredients to reflect that.
You will get a great combination of vitamins and minerals, including Omega 3 and Omega 6 as well as phosphorus and calcium to help promote good bone development.
- Made for large breed dogs
- DHA for brain growth
- Calcium and phosphorus for bone growth
- Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
- Fibre comes from natural source
- Does contain fillers and corn
3. American Journey Lamb and Sweet Potato Puppy Food
If you are working within a budget for your dog food, which makes sense considering the amount a Great Dane eats, we suggest the American Journey Lamb and Sweet Potato.
This is a grain-free food that should be easy on digestion. It gets its fibre from the sweet potatoes and chickpeas, giving your pup a balanced diet.
- High protein dog food
- Salmon oil and flaxseed for Omegas 3 and 6
- Fibre-rich chickpeas and sweet potatoes
- Full of fruits and vegetables
- Taste is not as appealing as other brands
How Much Water Should A Great Dane Puppy Drink
Great Danes are big dogs are naturally large breed dogs. Fully grown Great Danes can weigh approximately one hundred to two hundred pounds.
Great Danes are similarly sized to humans, so they have similar water requirements. Your dog will have similar water demands that you will have in a day. Age also determines the amount of water that a Great Dane needs.
Puppies require more water per pound of bodyweight than their full-selves so its a good practice to have their bowls filled all day. They should be consuming about a half cup of water every hour, but this increases in humid temperatures.
Feeding Great Dane Puppy Raw Food
Many dog parents consider the raw diet which includes feeding your Danes with raw food. By this method, the owner hopes to retain variation so that you would present a balanced diet for the dog. This means you must incorporate a mixture of various protein sources such as organ meat, muscle meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables.
This method is called the BARF model and is as follows:
- 6% other organs
- 5% vegetables
- 5% liver
- 4% fruits
- 10% bone
- 70% muscle meat
What Nutrients Does A Great Dane Puppy Need
Generally, giant breed puppy foods should be lower in fat, have a good calcium content, and provide high-quality protein. Large and giant breed pups like Great Danes should have diets that include at least 30% high-quality protein and 9% fat. You should be aware that protein quality will vary with the source, so high-quality foods may cost more.
If you give your pup treats, examine the calories they contribute to the diet. Select low carbohydrate treats that do not include added calcium. Fruits and vegetables are healthy treat options that add few calories to the diet. But be sure to avoid toxic fruits and vegetables.
2 Month Old Great Dane Puppy Weight
When your Great Dane is 2 months old, your puppy should weigh anywhere between 15 and 30 pounds. The range is big, because the weight can vary based on whether you have a male or female dog as well as the natural size of your dog. Great Danes are large dogs, but they are also slim physically. Your puppy should still have quite a bit of baby fat, so don’t worry if your puppy has a little belly. He’s still a baby.
3 Month Old Great Dane Puppy Weight
By 3 months, your Great Dane puppy’s weight can be anywhere between 25 and 45 pounds. The puppy will be growing steadily and quickly. You might be surprised by the sudden growth, but you should already be aware of how big your puppy is going to get. You should continue to feed him three times a day to help him keep his calories up as he grows. You should notice that your puppy is thinning out as he gets taller.
4 Month Old Great Dane Puppy Weight
At the age of 4 months, your Great Dane should be between 45 and 65 pounds. If your dog is a little off of that range, but still around the same growth curve that he has been on, he will still be fine. Remember that every Great Dane is different, just like humans, so your puppy’s healthy weight might not be the same as other puppies’ weights. Just make sure he’s eating well and looking fit.
5 Month Old Great Dane Puppy Weight
A Great Dane puppy who is 5 months old should be expected to weigh anywhere from 60 to 85 pounds, depending on his natural size. It is likely that you can no longer carry your pup around. You should be able to easily see his waist and he should not have any excess fat anywhere on his body. Your Great Dane should weigh around half of what he will weigh when he is fully grown.
6 Month Old Great Dane Puppy Weight
By the time that your Great Dane puppy is 6 months old, he should weigh somewhere between 65 and 100 pounds. He is still a puppy, however, and will be prone to typical puppy behaviour. Do not let his big size sway you into allowing him more freedoms than you would have otherwise. His feeding schedule should be strict and still at about 3 times a day. Eventually, you can reduce him down to only 2 meals a day.
Great Dane Background
Also known as the Apollo of dogs, the Great Dane is a giant breed. German in origin, this breed has been around for about 400 years. They are descended from mastiff breeds and were bred specifically by the nobility as guard dogs and hunting dogs. They are specifically great at hunting wild boar. The Great Danes that we have as pets now were bred during the nineteenth century to be used as family pets.
Creating A Consistent Feeding Schedule
Keeping your Great Dane or any dog really, on a consistent feeding schedule is incredibly important to your puppy’s overall health. Knowing how much to feed a Great Dane puppy is the key to his happy life. Serving a puppy at least 3 meals a day, at consistent times, will teach him when he should be hungry for dinner.
His development will be steady and he will not be bothering you outside of his meal times. You will also be able to monitor your puppy’s food intake if it is consistent.
How Much Exercise Does A Great Dane Puppy Need A Day
Great Danes typically require a long walk at least once a day, or a large yard to play in. An adult Great Dane needs around 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise, but this depends on their age and activity level. Puppies and adolescents need about more exercise, around 90 minutes of physical activity per day.
Great Danes are great for jogging, but only allow them to go jogging with you when there are at least 18 months old. Before this time, their bones are still developing, and they are unable to maintain that jogging distance.