Growing up right before our eyes.
I’m excited to share some details about our first few months with Moose with you all today. What most Dane owners want to know is how big will MY puppy be? Looking at your pup’s Mom and Dad can help to draw some hopeful conclusions but ultimately, time will tell!
Some important factors are high quality food (yes, it makes a difference!), living conditions, timing of the spay or neuter and good ole genetics.
Here I will detail Moose’s growth and some of the vet visits we have had so far. Admitally, I was much more vigilant about keeping thorough notes in the beginning weeks. At that time Moose was seeing the vet each month as well so that helped to track things.
I’ll continue to update this post with weight and photos, mostly as a record for myself 🙂
March 5, 2016
Moose weighed a mere 14.5 lbs. the day we brought him home at 8 weeks old. At this time he was eating 3 cups of food per day. He came home on Iams Large Breed food. When we initially brough him home we weren’t sure about foods or making a change to a higher quality food. We kept Moose on the Iams food for some time in order to get settled into a routine. More on the food change in another post. Just three days after we got Moose he had his first vet visit. He had gained about 3 pounds in those three short days! He has only picked up steam from there..
A bit more about this first vet visit.
First, a picture of Moose in his tiny kennel. He hated this ride to the vet. He cried some of the saddest cries and screams all the way there and back. Thinking back, it was actually quite comical.
Moose was checked for worms, and given a once over by our vet. Moose had his first round of shots before he came home to us from the breeder so not shots this visit. We found out that the terrible odor from our sweet boy was double ear infections! Moose’s ears were full of yeast and bacteria so he got his first round of antibiotics and some ear drops. Luckily, he was a new dog within a couple days.
April 4, 2016
Our April vet visit was a memorable one because Moose had practically doubled his weight in one month! I was in awe when I saw the scale this day. He weighed 32 lbs. at 15 weeks old. This was the first of 2 times I used the car harness. Since riding in the kennel to the vet the first time was such a disaster, we tried the harness to buckle him in. We had to really sinch the harness in so that it would fit. Result: He hated this too. 0/2 on the car riding attempts at this point.
I have to laugh when I see this picture because I was pleased as punch that I got Moose into the car, harnessed up and ready to ride. I snapped a picture to show my husband how great he was doing. I was impressed that he was sitting nicely, so straight, not trying to wiggle or anything… After I sent the picture and before pulling out of the driveway I realized that the leash was also around his neck!! Don’t worry it wasn’t choking him or anything but it was holding his upper body from moving rather firmly. It would not have been a comfortable ride for him to the vet, that’s for sure. Poor Moose. Dog Mom fail!
At this vet visit, Moose got a few vaccinations, fecal float just to be sure no worms had crept in and a clean bill of health.
May 6, 2016
This was our next monthly visit for a few more vaccinations. Moose was 53 lbs. at this visit. The Iams food was still doing well for us at this time. Food per day was up to about 6 cups. We divided this into 3-4 smaller meals per day. We had the best luck with sleeping through the night if we saved a bit of his food for bed time each night. Having a full belly really made the difference!
We decided to microchip Moose at this vet visit. There was some concern since the needle is big and can be painful. Our first thoughts were to wait until we have Moose neutered around a year old since he would already be sedated. Ultimately we were concerned that something could happen in the first year and then what? I highly recommend having all your pets microchipped. Moose is registered with Home Again and our Maltipoo Millie is as well. It’s a small yearly fee for a lot of peace of mind. Fortunately, Moose had no problem with the insertion and didn’t even seem sore the next day.
June 21, 2016
Since Moose was up to date on all vaccinations he had no scheduled appointment for June. I did however, end up taking him in for an examination. In the beginning of June we began to have trouble with Moose throwing up food. It was 2-3 times per week at varying times of day. All I can say is it was unpredictable and we tried all that we could to prevent it. We had Moose rest before and after meals for about 1 hour. We tried feeding Moose in his crate, raised his bowls to prevent gulping air, watched his water intake– pretty much everything we could to figure this out. I had enough finally and off we went to the vet. Here he is in the car, clearly not impressed with another vet run.
I began to suspect the food was an issue because anything thrown up was in it’s original state no matter the length of time since it was eaten (TMI?). Also, Moose was having some itchy patches between his toes, under his arm pits and sometimes on his belly. These can be signs of food allergy. We settled on switching to 4Health Dog Food from Tractor Supply. The list of ingredients was certainly more appealing, natural and grain free. Our vet supported the switch as well. She put Moose on an anti-nausea medication for the first few days of the switch in hopes to keep the food down. We also began a probiotic called FortiFlora which we gave him once a day for about 2 weeks. This helped him regain the good bacteria in his gut. Overall, the switch went very smoothly! He has been gobbling up 4Health ever since.
Since we brought Moose home, we’ve been giving him Heartguard each month. Due to his rapid growth and weight gain, we have to pick up the dosages each month based on his size at the time. Eventually, he’ll level off.
At this time we are feeding 7-8 Cups food per day divided into 3-4 meals. It’s recommended to feed 3 times per day until the Dane is about 6 months. Since they eat a large amount it can be hard to get them to eat several cups in one sitting. This also helps to prevent Bloat which can be deadly to Danes and all dogs.
I recently decided to try and make the change to feeding twice per day. I think Moose is big enough and can eat a larger amount at once. I’ve only just started so we will see how it goes! I know it will help us to feel like we’re not just feeding and cleaning bowls all the time.
Here’s a weight log by age that I’ve kept.
- 8 weeks: 16 lbs
- 10 weeks: 21 lbs
- 11 weeks: 24 lbs
- 12 weeks: 31 lbs
- 14 weeks: 47 lbs
- 16 weeks: 52 lbs
- 20 weeks: 70 lbs
- 23 weeks: 80 lbs
- 25 weeks: 92 lbs
- 28 weeks: 101.5 lbs– 31.5 inches at shoulder
- 29 weeks: 106 lbs
In closing, I’ll tell you why I want to recount our vet visits. Someone recently asked on the Great Dane forum that I’m a member of “Is a Great Dane for me?” The original poster spoke about trying the get the breeder to reduce their price so that he could afford it, asked if they are messy and how much food will it eat. These are excellent questions to consider. Great Danes and any pet can be expensive. It is common for Great Danes to need lots of heath care throughout their lives. A large dog can come with some severe medical conditions especially if they are not well bred. Each of our vet visits thus far has cost us between $175-$225. Of course this doesn’t cover the cost to purchase our pet which was considerable as well. Good quality food for a Great Dane can cost a big chunk of change each month. I only say this because the new pet owner should be prepared both mentally and financially.
Check back here for updated postings on weigh in’s and vet visits.
-Dane Mama Sara