Choosing a Quality Kibble
We have seen many positive benefits from feeding
raw and feel it
is the healthiest way to feed. However, we realize that raw diets
are not for everyone, so have included this page about kibble.
Dane puppies should not be fed puppy food.
The high calories and protein levels of puppy food encourage
rapid growth spurts, which is linked to growth related problems
(i.e. Pano, HOD) in giant breeds.
In general, when feeding kibble, pay attention to
the protein level for still-growing Danes. The recommended guideline
is 21-24%. Do not go above that guideline when feeding a giant breed
puppy. Notice that even some foods marketed as giant or large breed
exceed that limit, so they are to be avoided.
Calcium supplements are a no-no.
The supplementation causes a calcium/phosphorus upset, which is
can lead to skeletal issues.
Choose a quality diet, don't look for bargain foods
as your vet bills will likely make up the difference. Here are some
food choices to consider:
Back to Basics
/ Cal Natural
Flint River Ranch
For additional ideas on quality
kibbles, visit Linda Arndt's List
of Better Foods.
Her website also has information on dealing with growth related
There seem to be many misconceptions about what makes
a quality kibble. A good rule of thumb - if you can pick it up at
Wal-Mart or your local grocery store, it probably isn't all that
While I am not advising to disregard a vet's advice,
it seems many vets are unaware of a giant breed puppy's nutritional
needs. Some vets also tend to push the foods they sell in their
office, most of which leave a lot to be desired.
Some general feeding tips:
- I recommend scheduled feeding as opposed to free feeding. Makes
house training easier and tends to help with weight issues (both
too thin & too heavy). Most giant breed owners feed two meals
- Whenever switching foods, do it gradually, by mixing the old
and new foods together, increasing the new food a little each
meal. This helps avoid loose stools.
- Feed out of clean, stainless steal bowls. Plastic bowls harbor
bacteria and can cause issues, like canine acne.
- Many giant breed owners feed out of elevated bowls. The raised
bowls are merely for the dog's comfort, it neither prevents or
- There are various supplements that are good to use. For general
use, Vitamins C & E and Glucosamine. These are not canine
specific, so you can pick them up anywhere. For Vit C, start out
slowly and work up to desired amount to build bowel tolerance
(can cause loose stools when starting on Vit C).
- Do not fall into the trap of trying to encourage your puppy
to eat. I've been there, done that - you'll create a picky eater
before you know it. If your dog refuses a meal, pick it up until
the following meal. Do not resort to hand feeding or adding tasty
items, unless you want to commit to always doing it!
Help for an under eater: cut back on the amount offered until
they can clean their bowl and then gradually increase back up
to the desired amount.
- Dane puppies tend to be lean while growing up.
- After maturity, don't allow your Dane to become over weight.
Spaying/neutering doesn't cause a dog to become over weight -
over feeding and not enough exercise does! Many people seem to
believe that if a dog's fat doesn't jiggle, the dog isn't fat
- not true. Ideal
body condition chart
Central Iowa residents, check out
the Iowa Pet Foods store on 22nd Street in West
Des Moines. They carry only premium quality foods, so most any food
choice from there is a good one. I've also had good experiences
with their staff, who have always been knowledgeable and friendly.
our page about how we feed and raw diets