Knuckling in Great Danes is a serious issue, but one that is very treatable!  

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 to preventing knuckling in Great Danes! 

prevent knuckling


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.

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

3. Trim those 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 introducing a rotary tool asap for when they are bigger.

4. Feed an appropriate diet. Choose a large or giant breed adult OR puppy formula with meat and meat meals in the first ingredients, protein levels below 28%, calcium at or below 1.4% and phosphorus close behind. Nutrisource Large Breed and Nulo Front Runner are favorites of ours.

Other Dane owners love Diamond Naturals Large Breed, Purina Pro Plan Large or Giant Breed and Eukanuba Large Breed.

Do NOT mix kibble brands. Choose one and stick with it.

5. Watch the treats. Do not let supplements, toppers or treats make up more than 10% of the overall intake. An unbalanced diet is a leading factor in knuckling.

6. Add Ester C
and Probiotics to the diet. We like Esther C as it’s non-acidic and digestible
and Probios, Native Pet or Nature’s Farmacy Probiotics. 

7. Minimize crate time. Crates are important for training, however Great Dane puppies need 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 of these things we listed work together to help prevent and treat knuckling over in Great Dane puppies. Protect the joints, strengthen the joints and lastly, provide the correct nutrition. 

Need more Great Dane puppy knuckling resources? See our knuckling articles HERE.

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The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. We do our best to present the most up-to-date research, however it is up to the reader to make decisions regarding the health and well-being of their dog. We make no claims here to prevent or treat bloat or any other condition related to Great Danes. Find a veterinarian with GIANT breed experience, and chat with them. 

Some of the products we list on our website contain affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, we may receive a small commission for referring you. This commission does not affect the price of the product and is used to fund this website and our content. 

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