How long to feed Great Dane Puppy Puppy food

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.


Barked: Thu Feb 14, '13 2:55pm PST 
I know that this topic is a huge discussion between Dane owners.
But the breeder and the vet recommended that we feed her Giant Breed puppy food when we first got her.
But how long should we be feeding her puppy food? Its Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Puppy Food. The bag goes up to 1 year on the feeding chart. And I have been mixing some adult food in with her food because is so skinny and ALWAYS hungry.

Shadow- *CGC*CL2*CL3- *

Is it time for- agility yet?
Barked: Thu Feb 14, '13 3:42pm PST 
Ideally a great dane should be on puppy food for 18 months- 2 years. Eagle Pack isnt the greatest brand. I would try Blue Buffalo, Wellness, or Nature's Variety. Remember she is also still a puppy and is growing. She could be growing through a growth spurt and may need a little more food right now. You can always try to feed her green beans(not canned unless you rinse them really really well) or carrots. They are both pretty filling and help keep the dog from feeling hungry all the time
Rosey Belle- Stewart

Mommy, let\'s- Snuggle!
Barked: Fri Feb 15, '13 8:43pm PST 
I agree Blue Buffalo is an excellent food. It's a little costly though thinking Another Excellent food is Taste of the Wild. It's not as expensive and it's awesome! That's what I feed mine. They're coats are shiny and soft, and they have tons more energy dancing They just seem healthier. A high quality food really does make a difference.
It may cost a little more, but in the long run, you save money because your dog doesn't have to eat as much of it to get full, so one bag lasts longer because of all the protein in it. If you notice, on these lower quality brands like purina and what not, they eat a ton of it because it takes a lot to get full. Because all it is, is a lot of fillers like corn, wheat, and soy a MAYBE a little bit of meat, but not much. It also has arteficial colors, flavors, and chemical preservatives, all of which is not good for your dog.

Member Since
Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 8:15am PST 
Definitely feed a puppy food to a Great Dane until 18-20 months. Great Danes have a VERY long growth phase and switching to an adult food too early could really cause severe joint problems. Until about 12-14 months, the amount of puppy food you feed should gradually increase, since they are growing most rapidly up until that time and need the most energy. But after the growth rate levels out a bit at about a year, the energy requirements are a bit less again, so the amount of food should decrease slightly again until they are full-grown adults.

I'm not familiar with the Eagle Pack brand, but when I looked up the food and their feeding guide it made me skeptical about using it for a giant breed. The chart doesn't go over 100lbs, which is where the giant breed weight generally starts. The amount they suggest is also very general and does not change much over the growth span... not very helpful.

I personally like the Royal Canin brand for giant dogs because it is really meant JUST for giant dogs, and their needs during growth are different than even a large breed's. They have a longer growth phase and different energy needs, plus the stress on their joints is even greater. The Royal Canin giant food actually splits up the giant puppy food into two phases (puppy and "junior") since it's been shown that giant dogs have two distinct growth phases (as I mentioned earlier).

I would start by going to your vet to make sure your dog's weight is on track, then making adjustments to the food if needed.
Riversedge- of Chaos- "Erebus"

Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 8:45am PST 
Am I operating on dated advice? I've always been told to avoid feeding puppy food to large breeds beyond about 6 months of age for the same reason a prior poster cited to KEEP feeding it to them, namely: joint problems. The increased level of calcium, I was told, that is normal for medium/average sized dogs is not good for a large breed puppy's growing joints.

Member Since
Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 10:02am PST 
If you're feeding a giant breed dog a puppy food meant for small or medium breeds, then that might be a problem, since small dogs grow quickly and have a short growth span (like 8-12 months as opposed to almost 2 years). But if the food is specifically meant for large breeds, then the calcium, phosphorus and energy levels have been considered in formulation. These foods can also include glucosamine and chondroitin to help support joints. That is exactly why an adult food shouldn't be fed until the dog is an adult, because an adult food was not made for the needs of a growing large breed puppy, and the nutrient and energy levels are meant for an adult dog. It has been proven that puppies need different nutrition than adult dogs, and especially large and giant breeds - so what is the benefit of feeding an adult food? Puppy foods for large breed dogs are not just out there for marketing, there is research and science behind their formulations (if they are actually good companies that do the research and trials).
Betty Boop

I love a- challenge
Barked: Tue Jul 16, '13 11:53am PST 
Puppy food is not good for many dog breeds not just large and giant breeds but it's worse on giants because they grow extremely fast, they need to grow at a slow and steady rate (which is still going to appear fast, because they're dane puppies) and puppy food increases their growth rate. Commercial brand puppy food in particular, science diet for example, is high in plant based protein, fat, and calcium which causes uneven growth patterns between the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Most vets do not understand this issue because they have minimal or no training in small animal nutrition and little experience in large/giant breed growth patterns. Grain free adult formulas, or feeding raw have animal based protein which is ideal for dogs and puppies, especially giant breeds.
Bam-Bam, CGC

Lil' Rubble
Barked: Tue Jul 16, '13 12:36pm PST 
Large and giant breed puppies should be on a large and/or giant breed food until 18 mos minimum, although there are a few all life stages foods out there that are also appropriate.

Foods formulated specifically for growing large/giant breeds have the appropriate levels of nutrients to support slow growth, over a long period of time. The idea that large breed puppy food will cause fast growth or other problems is a myth started years ago when we didn't realize that there was a correlation between calcium in-take and growth disorders.

Despite our best efforts, sometimes large/giant breed puppies will still grow too fast due to genetics or other factors beyond our control. However, the recommendation now is large breed puppy food, up to 18 mos.

Also, to the OP, let your dog be skinny. It is better for growing giants to be slightly underweight than even an ounce overweight. Those joints need to support a very large body for a very long time, the lighter you keep your pup now, the better it is for him/her down the road. Good luck.

The Ultimate- Watchdog
Barked: Wed Jul 17, '13 1:51am PST 
You should feed puppy food until he is 18 months old. I feed Kayla on Iams. She will be on the puppy formula until she is 18 months old. Then I will switch her to the adult formula. Small breeds only need puppy food until 8 months old. You don’t necessarily need to feed puppy food, as long as you get an All Life Stage formula. But, I do believe it’s better to put your pup on a puppy formula.