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Important Information about Great Dane Puppies

Updated on June 2, 2013

My Great Dane Puppy Yuna


Bloat or Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) as it is medically known can be a serious issue for your Great Dane, not just as a puppy but its whole life. It is believed to be caused is swallowing air and not being able to burp it back up. This can happen when stomach that has turned causing nothing to be able to escape from either end.The chances of GVD is doubled in dogs that are ages of 2 - 4 and over the age of 7.

Things to look out for in your Dane as signs of GDV are; an abnormally swollen abdomen, the inability to vomit or defecate even thought they are giving effort to do so, extreme salivating which is an indicator of pain in dogs. If untreated symptoms will continue to worsen. Your dog will begin to exhibit signs of shock and eventually collapse. At the first signs of GDV you should contact your vet and get your dog to them as soon as possible. Up to 35% of Danes receiving treatment can still die of this condition.

There are a few different listed causes for GDV. Below I discuss information about eating habits that may help reduce these risks. Also it is believed that a dogs genetics can play a significant role. Danes with deeper, narrower chests tend to have a higher rate of occurrence then dogs with wider chests. When choosing a puppy you may want to look at the parents and see if they have very narrow chests. Also female dogs are half as likely to have occurrences of GDV.


There is a big difference between a Great Dane puppy and most other types of puppies when it comes to the food that they eat. After a Dane puppy is weened from its mother it starts right away eating large breed adult dog food, in most cases. The reason for this is Great Danes grow at an alarming rate. Some mornings you will actually see a difference in your puppies size. Puppy food would encourage this growth to happen even faster then it is supposed to. This can cause many future problems in your dog as they mature including; joint problems, back problems and leg problems. Adult large breed dog food has a lower protein and calcium content to allow your dog to mature at a natural pace. It also has things like glucosamine which will help strengthen your dogs joints to prevent future injuries.

The best levels of nutrients for your Danes health are 22 - 25 % protein and 11 - 13% fat. Make sure that for you puppy you have no more then 1 - 1.1 % calcium to avoid rapid bone growth and eventual bone issues.

Bowl Designed so Dogs Eat Slower




Now that you have the type of food picked out for your puppy monitoring how they eat it is important. Most puppies tend to eat too fast, in Great Danes and any deep chested dog this increases the chance of bloat. Finding a way for your puppy to eat slower will help decrease the chances of bloat because they are less likely to swallow large amounts of air while eating. There are a few different methods to help slow your puppy down. The some of these methods include;

Placing your hand in the dish – This will allow you to slow the puppy down by taking up space in their food bowl and forcing them to nuzzle your hand around as they eat. Another reason why this is a good method is that it can teach your dog to not be aggressive with their food dish. They understand that it is ok for humans to touch the dish while they are eating and can prevent future problems in this area such as nipping.

Placing a large item in the dish – Placing something like a chain or a ball in their dish can also slow them down. Mixing the food into a large chain that the puppy can not bite though will make they have to move it out of the way to get the next kibble. A ball in their bowl can also have the same effect they will have to nuzzle the ball out of the way to get at their food, thus slowing them down.

Purchase a specially designed bowl – There are special bowls on the market which you can purchase that will have the same effect as the chain or ball but the obstruction can not be removed from the dish making it a safer choice for your puppy.

Napping Danes

Before and After Meals

Great Dane puppies need to have a period of rest before and after each meal to further reduce their risk of bloat. This doesn’t mean that they can't walk around or go outside to the bathroom. What this means is not to let them jump around and play like crazy little puppies. If you are kennel training, take this time for a puppy nap. Get them in the habit right away of resting and it will be easier then you think. This will also give you time to get things done because a puppy is almost like having a baby, especially if you are training them to “go” outside right away. It is recommended that they rest approx 1 hour before and 2 hours after a meal.


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    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 4 years ago from Central PA

      Those puppies are SO cute!!!!