So, you want to add a Great Dane to your household. These majestic dogs are larger than life and require special care to address their unique needs. Even as puppies, these canines are outrageously big and eat a lot of food due to their accelerated growth cycle. Caring for an oversize animal requires dedication to its happiness and upkeep.
Before you bring home this breed, the following quick tips regarding their care and overall health can help prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.
1. Create the Perfect Home Environment
Before your search for Great Dane puppies for sale, ensure your home and property will provide the best environment for your new furry friend. Because of their size, play time will require significant amounts of space, which can be an issue if you live in a small apartment or condo. You’ll also be committing to walks throughout the day to help your dog burn off some energy.
Ideally, you’ll have a yard with an oversized privacy fence around the perimeter so they can’t jump out and run away. But these dogs aren’t outdoor animals when it’s extremely hot or cold out because their body doesn’t have an effective subcutaneous fat layer to help them regulate their body temperature more effectively.
2. Your Dane Will Eat Smaller Portions More Often
Great Danes are notorious for suffering from bloat. This stomach complication can have serious side effects if undiagnosed. One way to combat this condition is to feed your dog in smaller portions at greater frequency throughout the day.
You should also make sure that they have had a chance to settle down before eating and then continue to rest afterward. This will minimize the chance of its stomach twisting and bloating.
3. Schedule Routine Check-Ups
Compared to other breeds, the Great Dane has a shorter lifespan. They only live 7 – 10 years on average, mostly due to their rapid growth. Because of this trait, you should stay on top of your dog’s health to address any health issues that might arise. Routine check-ups will prove invaluable because they can catch potential problems associated with this breed early, such as:
- Hip dysplasia
- Wobbler syndrome
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Ear infections
- Happy Tail syndrome
Any changes in your Dane’s overall personality, gait issues, and other unusual health symptoms should warrant a trip to the vet sooner than later. In addition, consider discussing preventative procedures such as a prophylactic gastropexy which can correct the stomach to prevent bloat.
However, any care your pet receives comes with benefits and drawbacks, so ensure you fully understand the long-term impacts of invasive care.
4. Your Dane Will Outgrow Gear Quickly
Great Dane puppies experience exponential growth during their first year. You may even be seeing this growth spurt happen in real time now and then. This situation makes it important to regularly check the fit of your dog’s collar, harnesses, and other wearables.
You don’t want to find your dog slowly choking for air because they’ve outgrown its collar. When choosing a harness or similar equipment for your Dane, select one with plenty of room for your dog’s body to expand over the next year.
5. Great Danes Need Constant Acknowledgment
Great Danes are gentle giants for many reasons, but it probably is more to do with their affectionate natures. These loving beasts expect your presence everywhere they go, so don’t be surprised when they get up from a nap just to follow you around the house. They are eager cuddlers and will find a spot right next to you while watching television, gaming, or taking a nap yourself.
If your job or day-to-day routine will have you away from home for extended periods, you should consider getting a Dane. They are extremely sensitive and crave constant attention and company.
6. Calorie Counting Is Essential to Their Growth
Because your dog will be growing at an astonishing rate, keep track of its caloric intake, and increase this amount as they go. You want to avoid the development of bloat, however, if it seems your pet isn’t getting enough nutrients, consult your veterinarian for advice. It can be challenging to keep pace with your dog’s metabolism during this phase of its life.
Give Your Great Dane Its Best Life
Despite their imposing size, the attentive nature of the Great Dane makes it a favorite among dog enthusiasts. However, if you plan to own one of these magnificent dogs, you must understand what you’re agreeing to when bringing it home.
Adding a new pet is always a time of major adjustment, but Danes require additional care to ensure their health and happiness.
The lifetime spent with this breed is full of dedication, loyalty, and affection for its family, so you’ll never regret opening your heart and home to one.