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Hello, As the owner of 2 Danes, I could resist signing up and sending a response. I truly appreciate your dilemma as it seems pet food manufacturers and veterinary research seems to think all dogs are under 130 LBS. 🙂 We too have struggled with the same challenge when trying to look for a “Dane” friendly food that is reasonably priced and tbh, I have yet to find many that fit the bill.
Before I get into brands, I thought I would give you my “rules of food thumb” which, is based on science but also personal experience so, I am definitely biased. On the other hand, when I suggest this rule of food thumb to others, it seems to do the trick.
1. In growing Giant’s no more than 1% calcium with an absolute 1.2% max. This is due to their bones and the higher potential for Pano/HOD.
2. Lower Protein is actually better for the big guys as many cannot process (find the food too rich) and end up with chronic GI upset. I generally suggest no more than 25-28% and if you are having issues, 21-22%. Seems low, but it actually has science behind it.
3. No more than a 10% difference in Protein to Fat – so if the food is 22% Protein, it should sit around 12% Fat.
Understanding some may disagree with these theories (I have heard it before) there is a fair bit of science, albeit not a lot, regarding the dietary differences required for Danes, Mastiffs, Irish Wolfhounds, Saints, Newfs etc.
I can share a couple of foods that my Dane and Mastiff owning friends use but I am Canadian so I am not sure if they are available where you live.
1. I am a huge fan of https://www.petcurean.com/ dog foods (I use the GO! LID salmon). They are available in the USA and feature locally sourced proteins etc. They do bring in minerals and some unique proteins from other countries but they were the only brand to help me with my one Dane and their nutritionists will call you personally to discuss your situation if you message them. (the Gather, Now! and Go! lines are pricey though)
2. President’s Choice dog foods (not sure if you can get that in the USA.) However they are super reasonable and many of the mastiff and dane owners I know use their Sensitive Skin and Stomach because they find the “high protein” diets like Orijin and Blue etc are too rich for their guys.
3. Diamond Naturals is one that many of our Dane breeders use and recommend as well. I do know you can get this in the USA if you live there. https://www.diamondpet.com/our-brands/diamond-naturals/large-breed-adult-dog-chicken-rice-formula/
Apologies for the lengthy post but I just wanted to share my insights. Good luck with your search and if you find something, please share! Be well,