Great Dane Homemade Dog Food

Great Dane Homemade Dog Food


HELLO DANES

We are advocates for science-backed information, ethical breeding, exceptional rescue practices, balanced dog training, and giant breed dogs.



RECENT POSTS



Popular on Hello Danes

Affiliate Disclosure

Let's be real: Danes are expensive to feed. We use affiliate links to maintain our helpful website and well, yes, feed our dogs. When you click on a link, we may be offered a small commission that does not affect the price you pay. We only link to products that we truly believe in. Your support matters to us!

Are you looking for home cooked dog food recipes for your dog? Great Dane Homemade dog food has it’s benefits, but it’s not for everybody.

We’re going to deep-dive into giant breed nutrition and homemade dog food! Read on, friends…

great dane homemade dog food

The Benefits of Fresh Food for Dogs

There are many bloggers and influencers who claim incredible benefits associated with fresh home cooked food for Great Danes and other dogs.

Many of these benefits are overstated. Some people who promote them might encourage you to ignore veterinary advice including recommended medications, treatments, and foods (uh, yikes).

They might tell you that fresh foods can:

  • Reduce, cure, or even prevent cancer
  • Cure allergies and skin conditions
  • Extend lifespan
  • Provide a shiny coat and more energy
  • Reduce or eliminate the need for medications and treatments
  • Prevent or even treat parasites and worms without the need for veterinary preventatives

Of course, some of these things all sound amazing. But tread cautiously: extreme claims tend to be based on anecdotes or pseudoscience, and are often presented as a means to drive clicks and revenue.

Be smart about it. There is nothing wrong with balanced kibble.

That caveat out of the way, of course there are some legitimate benefits to feeding a home cooked diet to your Great Dane! For example, knowing exactly what goes into your dogs food is one of them.

One study found that fresh foods, added to a dry kibble diet, helped reduce the risk of bloat in Great Danes. That is a huge benefit and the main reason for this article today!

But, you have to do this right. Let’s head to the kitchen….

27

Home Cooked Diets for Dogs Study

Before you start cooking up some ground beef, rice, and veggies, you should be aware of a major study that was done at U.C. Davis.

They tested 200 homemade dog food recipes from bloggers, Pinterest, veterinarians, and board certified veterinary nutritionists.

The study found that 191 out of the 200 recipes tested were deficient in at least one nutrient.

What does this mean for you as a well-meaning pet parent? It means that you should be very, very cautious about making dog food up in your home kitchen, especially when using recipes from dog owners, influencers, bloggers, books, and Pinterest.

To put this simply: a crock pot full of meat, rice, and veggies is not a balanced diet. In feeding something like that, you may actually be doing more harm than good.

21

How to Balance Home-Cooked Dog Food

This doesn’t mean that all homemade dog foods are bad!

As a matter of fact, Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists have responded to this by creating an incredibly useful tool called BALANCE IT.

You simply plug in the ingredients that you wish to include, and it tells you how much of each to add to your recipe as well as what supplements are needed to make it nutritionally complete.

VIEW THE BALANCE IT WEBSITE HERE

For fun, I plugged a popular Great Dane dog food recipe of meat, veggies, and rice.

Balance It replaced the rice with millet and also told me it still had 15 nutrient deficiencies, unless I added a recommended supplement powder. This is because it’s incredibly difficult to reliably get all of the necessary nutrients into the recipe.

BalanceIT.com 3

Nutrient Deficiencies in Homemade Dog Food

15 nutrient deficiencies is not something to mess around with. If your dog food is not correctly balanced, it can lead to some serious health problems.

These health problems include:


Most, if not all popular recipes online are deficient without supplementation; and you can’t just throw a random multivitamin at the problem.

A tool such as Balance It can help resolve this issue. They will move ingredients around and then recommend the exact portion of specific vitamin and mineral supplement to add.

Dr. Judy Morgan’s homemade “Pup Loaf” is a popular and common dog food recipe. However, Balance IT was unable to resolve the deficiencies in the formula without significant changes. The system even said that some ingredients could result in dangerously high levels of certain nutrients and even…toxicity.

6 1

How to Create a Dog Food Recipe From Scratch

If you are still interested in moving forward with home cooking for your dog, the Balance It tool and/or working with a board-certified Veterinary Nutritionist is the only way to do this safely.

Tread cautiously with self-made “nutritionists” and Canine or Pet “food and nutrition experts”. Unless they have a veterinary degree and are boarded in nutrition, they aren’t qualified.

Here are a few additional tips:

  • Work with ingredients that are readily available to you
  • Once you have a recipe dialed in, be careful with substitutes as they can throw off the entire balance of the food
  • Follow the directions given to you in your Balance IT recipe as closely as possible
  • Run your recipe through Balance It on occasion, as updates in nutrition science may change the algorithm that is used by their system
  • Use one of the pre-made recipes on Balance It to get started
  • Follow the directions given to you by Balance It for your recipe regarding how much homemade dog food to feed: every recipe you make will be different!
  • See your veterinarian regularly; they spent nearly a decade in school learning how to keep your pet as healthy as possible


NOTE: what BALANCE IT does not do is differentiate between puppies, adults, and large or giant breed dogs. For this reason, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian or a DACVN as well as diligently reading the nutrient analysis of the recipe you create.

Especially if you are feeding a Great Dane puppy (more on this below)!

24

Homemade Food For a Great Dane 101

I would not recommend feeding a home cooked diet to a Great Dane under the age of 12-18 months, especially if you are not being diligent about formulation.

Giant breed puppies have very particular nutritional needs, and unless you are working directly with a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist, I would steer clear.

For Great Dane puppy food advice, read HERE.

Once your dog is more mature, and you’ve chosen to start feeding some fresh foods, we recommend topping a balanced kibble with balanced fresh.

One study showed that dogs fed a dry-only diet had a higher risk of bloat, and that adding fresh and canned foods to the diet reduced the risk of bloat.

This is where making your own dog food will shine.

I recommend topping your dog’s kibble with fresh, canned, or raw food IF that food is completely balanced according to the BALANCE IT tool.

Make sure that you reduce your kibble to account for the extra calories from the topper. Use calories to calculate the reduction, as cup-for-cup the values may be very different.

28

Kibble vs. Fresh Food for Great Danes

Formulating your own dog food at home can be rewarding and incredibly helpful for dogs that just don’t do well on commercial foods.

However, as you may have noticed, it’s not exactly a cake walk. A misstep could cost your dog its life and health.

It’s important to note that kibble-fed dogs are living long, healthy lives. Properly formulated kibble is safe and healthy. Switching entirely to fresh foods may provide some minor benefits, but for most dog owners, the risk of formulation issues isn’t worth the reward.

I personally feed my dogs a kibble diet (Pro Plan Large Breed and Royal Canin Giant Breed) and top their food with canned, fresh, and raw options.

They thrive on a 90/10 ratio, which is recommended by Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists:

90% complete and balanced kibble

10% balanced fresh, canned, or raw, also including unbalanced treats, toppers, and dental chews

Sometimes I offer up to 40% balanced fresh or raw in lieu of kibble.

The key here is BALANCE. Balanced nutrients and educated feeding.

Click HERE for my favorite raw food brand.

57

Homemade Food for Great Dane Puppies

I have mentioned this above, but felt that this topic was worth it’s own heading.

Homemade food for Great Dane puppies is rarely if ever recommended. This is because they need exact levels of calcium and phosphorus, plus the correct balance of amino acids, proteins, carbs, and fats.

Lacking this balance, Dane pups can suffer from knuckling, painful inflammation, hip dysplasia, flat feet, poor conformation, and poor development of brain, eyes, tendons, and muscle.

We promise, the ‘benefits’ of fresh homemade dog food are massively overstated in this case especially, and you would be smart to stick to a properly formulated large or giant breed puppy food from a reputable company.

Here is our list of quality, approved Great Dane puppy foods. Feed these until 18-24 months of age. If you want to add fresh foods, remember to keep it balanced and reduce kibble intake accordingly, beginning no sooner than 6-8 months of age.

At Hello Danes we support BALANCED, educated fresh and raw feeding, and we believe in sticking with dry foods that are backed by research (Purina, Royal Canin, Hill’s, Eukanuba, Iams), in tandem with appropriate veterinary and veterinary nutritionist advice.

share this POST:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Hello Danes

Hello Danes

I'm a dog training, nutrition, and science fanatic that believes in ethical breeders, responsible rescue practices, veterinarians, and modern balanced LIMA dog training. Love the dog in front of you.

One Response

  1. I recently found your website. Thank you for providing this science based information! The information on bloat has been eye opening!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.