THE SCOOP ON DOG FOOD
We can’t emphasis how important a good diet is for your dog. There are so many dog foods out there that “claim” to be good for your dog, but when you take the time to actually look into the ingredients you will see that their claims are misleading and the food itself is not a good diet for any animal.
We ask you to take the time to do a little research yourself, you be the judge, but remember this your dog is a mammal just like you, what happens to you when you eat junk food all the time and have a terrible diet? The same thing will happen to your animal. So be the great person your dog thinks you are and do the right thing by them and feed them a good dog food.
In this section we are going to cover many items like kibble, raw, toxic to dogs, what should not be in your dog food like by products.
Raising a Dane from puppyhood to their senior life stage is more than just food and water……it takes being aware of Dane specific feeding requirements and commitment to providing your Dane quality food for their accelerated growth through their varying life stages. Maintaining good nutritional support will help produce a healthy, long lived member of the family. Here we’ll address food, supplementation & recall information:
Dry Kibble – feed based on your Dane’s stage of growth, feed according to the content, not the marketing label (e.g. puppy, growth, large breed puppy,etc…..) check the protein/fat content and ratios, read & compare nutritional labels . Example: the average protein/fat ratio (23/12) is ideal for growing pups up to two years of age (slow steady growth). If your adult Dane is more active, and as they age, you will want to consider other protein/fat ratios to meet their life stage feeding requirements. Remember feeding a great Dane puppy food can do more damage than good depending on the protein/fat ratio.
Feeding amounts – consider the growth rate of your pup, (they grow up to the age of two) and most reach their maturity between the ages of 2.5 & 3 years. Pups eat more frequent smaller meals, and adults ideally should eat twice a day, based on a schedule (free feeding is not recommended for this breed, as it is considered one of many triggers that can lead to bloating).
Raw feeding - We are modeling our dogs' diet after a biologically-appropriate prey animal. Therefore, we follow a guideline that mimics the bone-meat-organ ratio of a typical prey animal:
10% organ (5% of which should be liver)
Home Made Diets - unless you are prepared to provide a nutritionally balanced dog food to meet your dog’s complete daily nutritional needs, consider the knowledge, prep time and supplementation products to use on a consistent basis. If committed 100% to this method it may be considered an alternative life style feeding choice. (It’s not for everyone).
Microwaving or adding warm/hot water to food destroys its nutritional value.
Canned Foods – a spoonful, (tablespoon) may be used to mix in with dry kibble or diet, suggest using the companion canned food product that is formulated as your dry kibble so that it doesn’t trigger stomach upset due to formulation variances. Some Danes have more sensitive digestive systems than others, so it will depend on your Dane. Some folks like to vary the canned flavors while others feed the same food to avoid tummy upsets. It will depend on our Dane’s tummy tolerance as to which way works best.
Treats – even though given to pets on occasion or as a training reward (used in positive training methods) be sure to read the labels to see what’s in the treat, wheat, soy, corn, are ingredients to avoid, label reading as you would for food choices are good practice to follow.
Feeding & Watering elevated or on the floor – there are varying opinions as to which way is best. Some folks have better experience /out comes for feeding /watering elevated and others opt to feed and water on the floor. It may depend on your Dane, their size, their comfort level eating raised or lowered (do they struggle more or less, when eating elevated or on the floor). Do they gulp their food or water less when the food is on the floor, than when it is raised/elevated? The factors vary; each owner who can speak from experience will choose what’s best for their Dane. .
Toxic to dogs – no chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, as they can cause trigger organ failure and may be fatal. There are many things that are toxic to dogs, plants like certain bulb plants, some ferns, certain houseplants, shrubs event fruit trees, so be aware of what is in your house, your garden so you can protect your pets. Please do your research on everything.
Food Recall – in recent years the pet industry has had one recall after the next, so it is a good idea to keep watch on your food of choice, investigate alternate food companies and have a backup plan incase should you find it necessary to change your dog’s food. (Don’t wait until your food is recalled and you face a food change in a panic .be prepared). Click HERE to visit the FDA information to keep up to date on recalls.
Food Becomes Unavailable – have a back up food in mind in the event, your dog’s food becomes unavailable due to recall or retailer stops carrying, company gets bought out, goes out of business………...so you aren't caught scrambling to find a new food in a panic situation.
Dog Food Changes – whether changing foods as a result of digestibility issues, food recall, for food becomes unavailable in your area…….when making a food change, introduce new food gradually over a period of time (varies based on type of food, food brand, and protein source variances beef to beef, chicken to beef, lamb to chicken, chicken to lamb based foods, etc.......) This will reduce stomach upset and lessen the chance of having digestive issues.
Supplementation - is acceptable, as even most good dog foods with enhanced formulas do include probiotics, digestive enzymes/enhancers, or glucosamine/ chondroitin……may not contain the appropriate amount for the growing needs of great Danes in their early stage growth period and later in their senior stage of life. Danes do well with digestive enzymes to enhance their digestive systems and for orthopedic health do well with Vitamin C supplementation, in addition to glucosamine/chondroitin supplementation.
Avoid food/diets & treats that contain corn, soy, wheat, which can trigger food allergies, also soy may cause (in Danes gas, may lead to bloat which may result in gastric torsion and is often fatal).
No table scraps- not recommended as it can cause tummy upsets & upset the balance of the digestive tract. Foods high in fat content or greasy foods (example: bacon, fried foods,) should be avoided as these things can lead to pancreatitis.
No free feeding - not recommended in great Danes and if fed unmonitored can trigger bloat, leading to gastric/torsion and may be fatal.
Activity - do not exert prior to and after feeding 1-2 hours, limit play time activities, exercise, training times, *if fed unmonitored can trigger bloat, leading to gastric/torsion and may be fatal.
Food when you travel - Pack and bring enough food/supplements when you travel. This will help reduce stomach upset and prevent digestion issues. Adhere to their feeding routine as much as possible, as the stress of traveling or eating in a place that’s not familiar to them can affect how they eat and their digestive process.
Disaster Preparedness - In a situation where there is a disaster always have a disaster kit ready for them – food, first aid, clean fresh water, any necessary medications, up to date paperwork, proper leash, collars , etc…