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How to Prevent Knuckling in Great Danes in 6 Easy Steps

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Knuckling in Great Danes is a serious issue, but one that is very treatable! Today we’re talking about how to prevent knuckling in Great Danes.

While catching it early is important, ideally you want to prevent knuckling in the first place! 

Before we get started, you may also be interested in information about whether or not your Great Dane is knuckling and how to treat it.

Read on for our tips for preventing knuckling in Great Danes! 

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1. Avoid hard and slick surfaces.

This includes wood, tile, and yes, concrete! Puppies need soft places to rest their joints, walk, and exercise. Do not allow your puppy to slide around on floors or jump off furniture. Healthy play on soft, varied terrain is appropriate and will help strengthen joints!

Put down lots of area rugs to keep joints safe and cushioned. We love washable rugs from Ruggable; they are perfect for homes with puppies, look beautiful, and offer just enough softness and traction.

2. Strengthen Toes and Feet

Strong feet are important to ensure that your puppy has a solid foundation to grow on. Walk and play on soft surfaces such as bedding, gym mats, sand, gravel, dirt, and grass.

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By allowing your puppy to play on a variety of terrain, you are building muscles and strength that will help their feet grow correctly.

3. Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Keep nails short with weekly maintenance, starting as soon as your puppy is home with you! We love Millers Forge Red Handle clippers for tiny puppy nails, and we are introducing a rotary tool ASAP for when they are bigger.

7 Best Dog Nail Clippers: Great Dane Toenail Problems

4. Feed an Appropriate Diet

Choose a large or giant breed puppy formula with meat and meat meals in the first ingredients, calcium at or below 1.2%, and phosphorus close behind. The food must also contain the AAFCO large breed growth statement.

Do NOT mix kibble brands. Choose one and stick with it. The following foods meet the criteria:

Check out THE GIANT DOG FOOD PROJECT to compare brands and values.

5. Watch the Treats

Do not let supplements, toppers, or treats make up more than 10% of the intake. Excess nutrition is harmful for Dane pups!

6. Minimize Crate Time

Crates are important for training, however, Great Dane puppies need the freedom to move naturally to develop joints, tendons, and bones. Limit crate time, especially if your puppy is in a crate overnight.

Great Dane puppy joints are fragile and need to be cared for.

With proper care, knuckling over is preventable and treatable. Without care, knuckled limbs may become painful and permanently deformed.

All these things we listed work together to help prevent and treat knuckling in Great Dane puppies. Protect the joints, strengthen the joints, and lastly, provide the correct nutrition.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

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