Great Dane Puppies - Watch 'Em Grow!
Great Dane Puppies
We had a litter of Great Dane puppies born on June 25, 2013. Five pups were born, but one female was just half the size of the others. She was nursing, but the veterinarian didn’t expect her to survive. According to the vet, such puppies often have congenital defects or abnormalities. Sure enough, the runt died the next day. The four remaining puppies were big and healthy. There were two males and two females. When the babies were just a week or so old, they and their mother came down with kennel cough. The mom, Kayla, was very sick and had to be admitted to our local animal hospital, where it was discovered that she had developed megaesophagus. She had to stay at the clinic for about two weeks, so we had to bottle feed puppies with puppy milk replacer. Of course, this allowed us to get very close to the little guys, and they thrived on Esbilac. To learn more, keep reading. Also, enjoy the pictures of Great Dane puppies at the end of this article!
Best Puppy Food
Most puppies are started on puppy food around the age of four weeks. Since out Great Dane pups were without their mom for part of the time they were nursing, we started them on solid food a little earlier, at three weeks old. Even when Kayla returned home to be with her babies, she wasn’t producing much milk, so we continued bottle feeding the puppies some, in addition to feeding them puppy food.
According to our vet, the best puppy food for our Dane babies included a good brand of dry puppy food mixed with warm water and puppy milk replacer. Sometimes we used canned liquid milk replacer, and sometimes we used powdered puppy milk. At first, we’d grind the concoction in the blender to make a soupy gruel. As the pups got used to lapping and eating the gruel, we gradually made it thicker. When the pups were about four weeks old, we stopped using the blender. Instead, we just soaked the dry puppy food in the warm water until it was soft. We then stirred in a little milk replacer. At the age of five weeks, we began including a little dry puppy kibble in with the softened mixture.
As you can see in some of the Great Dane puppy pictures, pups are super messy when they first begin eating! Our babies would be covered with puppy food after chowing on a meal, and Kayla would clean them up quickly. While she was away, we had to wash the pups after each meal and dry them with a blow dryer. Of course, the pups gradually became more proficient at eating puppy food, and soon, they weren’t making such a mess. We also kept a bowl of clean water available for the babies to drink.
Our veterinarian recommended that we stop adding the milk replacer to the puppy food when the pups reached the age of eight weeks – as long as they were growing and gaining weight. There was no problem there! The Great Dane puppies were growing like weeds. By about eight weeks, the pups needed to be switched gradually to large breed puppy food.
Fawn Great Dane Puppies:
Blue Great Dane Puppies:
Large Breed Puppy Food
When the pups were seven weeks old, we gradually began substituting part of the regular puppy food with large breed puppy food. We didn’t want to change their diet suddenly because that can easily lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. Puppies can dehydrate quickly with diarrhea, and we certainly didn’t want that to happen.
Why is it important for Great Dane pups to eat large breed puppy food? Great Dane growth should be slow, steady, and consistent. If they grow too quickly, extra stress and strain is placed on the developing bones and joints. This is true for any large or giant dog breeds – not just for Great Danes. Fast weight gains can cause permanent damage to bones, connective tissues, and joints. Since many large dog breeds are already prone to joint problems, it’s extremely important to prevent them as much as you can.
What’s the best puppy food for Great Danes and other large dog breeds? According to my vet, there are several excellent choices. Personally, we like Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food. It’s what we’ve fed all our Great Dane puppies, and we’ve always had excellent results. If there’s a different large breed puppy food you’d like to try, check it out with your vet first.
Large Breed Puppy Food:
Great Dane Growth Chart
It’s easy to find a Great Dane growth chart online, so I’m not going to provide that same exact information here. Instead, I’m going to give you the growth rate of my Great Dane puppy, Shylock. Shylock developed dog pneumonia when he was three weeks old, and he almost died. With the right veterinary care, antibiotics, and home care, he rebounded quickly. In fact, if you compare his growth to another Great Dane growth chart online, you’ll see that his growth rate was a little above average.
Don’t get too hung up on the growth rate of your Great Dane puppy. Remember – slow and consistent is best. It might take your puppy almost two years to attain its full size, so be patient. My adult fawn male, Hamlet, was a smaller puppy than our harlequin male, Grendel was. Now, however, Hamlet is taller than Grendel and weighs just as much. By the way, Hamlet now weighs 170 pounds and is thirty-five inches tall at the withers. He’s a pretty big boy, even for a Great Dane!
Birth - 1 pound, 8 ounces
1 week - 2 pounds, 6 ounces
2 weeks - 3 pounds, 5 ounces
3 weeks – 4 pounds, 15 ounces
4 weeks – 6 pounds, 13 ounces
5 weeks – 10 pounds, 2 ounces
6 weeks - 12 pounds, 2 ounces
7 weeks - 17 pounds, 4 ounces
2 months - 25 pounds
3 months - 44 pounds, 6 ounces
4 months - 65 pounds
5 months - 86 pounds
6 months – 95 pounds
7 months – 107 pounds
8 months – 121 pounds
9 months – 135 pounds
10 months – 138 pounds
11 months – 140 pounds
12 months – 145 pounds
During their second year, the Danes will grow more, putting on more weight. They probably won’t get any taller, but they’ll “fill out” some. By the way, Shylock is 36 inches tall at the withers!
Great Dane Puppy Pictures
Below are some Great Dane puppy pictures you might enjoy. Most are from our June 2013 litter, but there are also a couple of pictures of my two adult Danes when they were puppies. Hamlet is the fawn, and Grendel is the black and white, or harlequin Great Dane. All the puppies from this recent litter are black. The mother is fawn, and the father is black, and the black gene is dominant. Kayla is the full sister to Hamlet, by the way, which is why we wanted to breed her. Hamlet was neutered as a puppy, but he and Kayla are such amazing dogs that we wanted more like them. Hamlet’s and Kayla’s parents are dead now, so it’s not like we could buy another puppy from the same bloodlines. Our only choice was to breed Kayla. If you’ve never owned a Great Dane, you don’t know what you’re missing!
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