Are you thinking of getting a Great Dane?
If so, congratulations! It’s safe to say that you can look forward to adding a gentle giant to your family. Next to the Irish Wolfhound, Great Danes are considered to be the second tallest dog breed in the world. At the same time, they’re also considered to be a loving, easygoing and affectionate family dog.
In having such a large dog by your side, it’s imperative to ensure that you’re adhering to proper Great Dane care. When it comes to a Great Dane, this care is not just limited to physical care but also includes mental care. This is because Great Dane’s are known to be an extremely sensitive breed requiring plenty of love and attention.
If you’re considering adding a Great Dane to your family, you’re going to want to read this. We’re sharing our Great Dane care guide that covers everything you’ll need to know about keeping your Great Dane as safe, healthy and happy as can be.
1. No Need for the Mansion
Believe it or not, Great Danes don’t require a ton of living space.
In fact, the breed has even been known to be a great apartment dog with an even temperament and is happy enough to live in a compact space. This is in contrast to more active dog breeds such as Golden Retrievers that tend to require greater amounts of indoor space.
For the most part, this is because great danes are generally happy to spend their time relaxing. As compared to more high-energy breeds, you’re going to find that your Great Dane is content enough to simply exist by your side.
When they do require their daily exercise, they’re happy to partake in small doses of outdoor activity and obedience training.
2. Establish a Brushing Routine
The Great Dane breed doesn’t shed a lot. However, you can reduce the shedding even further by brushing your Great Dane’s coat on a routine basis, starting when they’re just a little dane puppy.
Brushing your Great Dane is generally a task that should be done daily. Although their coat is short, regular brushing will keep them more comfortable and reduce excessive itchiness.
The best type of brush to use for a Great Dane is a natural-bristle body brush. This will help to keep their coat smooth and shiny, and it will eliminate excess shedding.
It’s also important to note that Great Danes are prone to excessive drooling. To keep this issue at bay, it’s best to stay on top of wiping their slobber.
3. Provide Lots of Attention
Despite their strong and powerful appearance, Great Danes are complete and utter sweethearts on the inside.
They crave your love and affection and will be noticeably distraught when you’re out of sight. So expect for your Great Dane to follow you everywhere. They have a strong need for human interaction and will always crave your physical presence.
If you’re walking to the kitchen, you can bet that your shadow is going to be following you. If you’re curled up on the couch watching a movie, your Great Dane is sure to be by your side with his or her head on your knee.
Simply put, this is a breed that requires over-the-top love and company. Due to their sensitive nature, every potential owner needs to ensure that they can provide their Great Dane with the proper love and attention they require.
4. Opt for Short and Simple Walks
Did you know that the Great Dane is certifiable a couch potato?
While most dog breeds should get between 30 minutes and two hours of exercise each day, this isn’t exactly the case for Great Danes.
The truth is, Great Danes enjoy a more leisurely, relaxing lifestyle. While they will enjoy their daily walks, you don’t want to overdue these walks with anything too strenuous.
Because Great Danes are prone to bone issues, you want to ensure that you’re not encouraging them to partake is too much exercise. While a Labrador is happy to retrieve a ball for hours on end, this isn’t exactly the case with a Great Dane.
Instead, they prefer straightforward walks a few times throughout the day. It’s best to keep these walks short, simple, and away from complex terrain.
5. Pay Close Attention to Their Eyes
In addition to bone problems, Great Danes are also prone to experiencing eye problems.
To name a few, this includes glaucoma, entropion, and cataracts. These are generally issues that present themselves at a later stage of the Great Dane’s lifespan.
While it’s challenging to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place, you should ensure that you’re having your Great Dane’s eyes checked routinely. You can also ask your veterinarian for a list of supplements to help prevent or manage these issues.
6. Invest in a Large Dog Bed
It’s time to find your furry friend’s throne.
Each one of our four-legged friends deserves a nice, cozy bed to call home. As most dog owners know, if this bed isn’t provided, they’re all the more likely to end up in our own bed. This is just one of the realities of having a dog breed that loves to spend time with you!
However, the Great Dane breed requires a cozy dog bed even more than other breeds. This is because they are prone to health problems such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and bone disease.
Having a soft, large-scale bed of their own will allow them to be more comfortable and put less pressure on their bones.
7. Use a Ramp to Minimize Jumping
Excessive jumping is something that you’re going to want to avoid as much as possible with your Great Dane.
Remember, a Great Dane isn’t quite as agile as a Labrador. When you pair this lack of agility with a vulnerability for physical issues, it’s easy to see why excessive physical activity and training should be limited in Great Danes.
Even a small task such as jumping into a car can be dangerous for a Great Dane. It’s for this reason that many Great Dane owners invest in a ramp and use it often with their Great Danes.
This could be a ramp from the ground to the car or a ramp from the ground to the bed. A ramp will help to minimize the amount of strain that jumping has on a Great Dane’s body.
8. Be Aware of Bloat
All prospective Great Dane owners need to be aware of the concept of health issues like bloat.
While bloat can affect nearly any large breed, it’s especially common in Great Danes. It results from the stomach twisting and eventually cutting off the blood supply.
This is a serious issue that can be fatal if not treated quickly and properly. In fact, bloat is considered to be the second leading cause of death in dogs.
If you think your Great Dane might be experiencing bloat, it’s vital to rush them to the veterinarian right away. While there’s no guaranteed way to avoid bloat altogether, there are a few small steps that you can take to help prevent it.
Number one: avoid feeding your Great Dane one large meal per day. Instead, try spacing out their meals and dividing their daily meals into smaller portions.
Number two: avoid excessive exercise during mealtimes. Instead, focus your exercise routine to times throughout the day when your Great Dane generally avoids their dog food.
9. Schedule Routine Check-Ups
It’s vital to stay on top of your Great Danes health.
Consider that the lifespan of a Great Dane is limited compared to other breeds. This means routine check-ups and paying extra close attention to their physical condition is an incredibly important part of Great Dane care.
As compared to other dog breeds, you’re going to want to plan to visit the veterinarian all the more often. In particular, it’s beneficial to narrow your focus to their hips, their heart and their eyes on these visits.
If you notice them limping, other health issues, or exhibiting a change in personality, be sure to have this checked out as soon as possible.
The Best Great Dane Care
Of course, adding any pet to your family is going to be a significant adjustment. You need to ensure that they’re properly fed healthy dog food, get lots of clean water, walked, and medicated, and see to it that their overall physical health and well-being is properly maintained.
With a dog of such a large size, it’s safe to say that caring for a Great Dane will require even greater care than that of a small dog. A dane puppy is going to take up more room, eat more food, and (let’s be honest) require more large-scale poop bags.
That being said, life with a Great Dane also means living alongside one of the most affectionate and loving companions in the world. The Great Dane breed is highly-adored for being an incredible family pet and a celebrated couch potato.
At the end of the day, there’s no life better than one with a Great Dane If you’re new to the concept of large breed dogs, be sure to browse the articles on our blog to learn more!