Giant breeds, and how they eat!
Experience with customers who own Great Danes
(including Primal Raw owner Lucy Reeves!),
Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs and other Giants, has taught us that big dogs do eat a little
differently than their small to medium sized canine cousins!
Quite often, these big dogs are not great fans of mince, particularly very finely processed mince. Their bigger mouths, often loose jowls, and larger teeth cope better with a larger
gauged, chunky type of mince.
You can try mixing finer minces in with some of the more dry chunky minces as this creates a lovely consistency.
They also really enjoy chunks!
Tripe Chunks, Beef Chunks, Chunked Chicken Breast or Thighs are great! Turkey Wings, and Necks are also very successful for the big boys and girls, as well as Carcasses, Duck Carcasses being a good option as they are larger and often meatier than a Chicken Carcass.
But, ALWAYS supervise any dog that is eating whole bones of any description. If you are worried about choking, you can hold one end of the bone with pliers the first few occasions until you are satisfied your dog will chew/crunch sufficiently before swallowing.
When it comes to adding Offal to this type of diet, you may have to experiment a little to find what works for your dog.
Some dogs will happily eat chunks of Liver, Kidney, Spleen, Pancreas etc, some dogs don’t appreciate the texture of Offal chunks and need it to be more finely diced and spread throughout their meals.
It is quite common for them to completely refuse Offal, chopped or diced. In the case of refusal you can look at blending it, or purchasing offal mince.
Companies such as Paleo Ridge, and The Dogs Butcher produce pre-prepared balanced Offal mixes that you can stir in with your chunks and bones, or even defrost, refreeze into ice cube trays and feed as treats!!
There is always a way of getting that 10% Offal into your dog somehow!
The final consideration with Giant dogs and feeding is % of bodyweight to feed. Now we know that the basic guidelines for a healthy adult dog are 2-3% of their bodyweight per day. We go low with older or neutered animals, and high with younger, entire animals. With Giant breeds, once fully grown, we find the most successful method is to feed according to appetite, and some do prefer to eat only once a day with a snack at breakfast or lunchtime. The largest breeds very often simply cannot manage to eat 2.5-3% of their bodyweight. If your Giant breed dog is only managing 1.5%- 2%, and they are happy, healthy and shiny then they are eating what they need!
Their appetite may vary according to activity and weather and they will surely let you know if they are hungry!