How long do Great Danes live?
The Great Dane has a lifespan of 7–10 years and can live this long if owners maintain his health. However, the Dane can also suffer from genetic health issues and other acquired diseases such as:
This is also known as dog bloat, a life-threatening condition that is very common in giant and large breeds like the Great Dane. It occurs once gas accumulates in the stomach, which causes the stomach to twist. This cuts off the blood circulation and may quickly become a fatal condition without immediate medical care.
Symptoms of bloat in Great Danes include a bloated stomach, shallow breathing, gas, whining, pacing, and difficulty in eliminating. Beware that if a dog has experienced bloat, he is more likely to suffer this health problem again. Make sure to consult the vet on how to prevent it from occurring again.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
The Great Dane is one of the breeds that are very prone to develop DCM. It is a cardiovascular disease that causes the heart to become dilated and thin-walled. DCM can lead to congestive heart failure that results in body fluid build-up.
Moreover, it can also induce dysrhythmia or abnormal heartbeat, which prevents regular blood circulation. Without proper vet treatment, this can cause sudden death. Danes suffering from this heart issue show signs of lethargy, breathing difficulties, weight loss, lack of appetite, weakness, and coughing.
Another common health problem plaguing large and giant dog breeds, including the Great Dane is hip dysplasia.
This condition occurs when the femur bones fail to fit properly into the hip socket. It triggers onset arthritis and joint problems, which are extremely painful for your dog. Lameness, loss of muscle tone on hind legs, and stiffness of limbs are the most common symptoms of hip dysplasia.
Make sure to buy a puppy from reputable Great Dane breeders that test their breeding stocks. This way, potential parent breeds that have more chances of developing hip dysplasia are not allowed to become breeding dogs.
The Great Dane may love nothing more than to stay indoors, but this dog also needs exercise. Take your Dane out for a long walk around the neighbourhood or a large secure yard to play in. Since growing Dane puppies are prone to joint problems, do not expose them to excessive exercise until they are 18 months to 2 years old.
An adult Great Dane will require at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, but this will depend on his activity level. Avoid exercising during mealtimes to prevent dog bloat. This breed is not a jumper, but make sure that your fence is at least 6 feet tall to prevent him from escaping.
The Great Dane also loves following scents, so he should be kept on a lead whilst out on walks. The breed is known to excel in agility, obedience, fly ball, weight pulls, and tracking events.