Pros: Protein and fat percentages appropriate for large breeds, including Great Danes.
Cons: Contains coloring agents/ingredients that my female Dane is allergic to
I have two Great Danes that are still under two years old. The recommended protein level for a Great Dane of any age is between 21% and 26%, and the recommended fat level for Danes is between 12% and 16%. It is especially important that a growing Dane's food not exceed these recommendations, because the dog can gain muscle at a rate faster than their skeleton can handle. This can cause serious problems in the elbows, shoulders and hips that can impair a dog's mobility and in some cases, require surgery to correct. Danes grow for the first two years of their lives, so it is especially important to monitor their diets diligently during this time. In addition, different types of protein sources have more or less value in terms of nutrition--protein from meat by-products, for example, may not be digested or metabolized as well as protein from ground sirloin. In general, the so called "premium foods" have a better quality of protein, which is why they cost more. This is not always the case, and reading the ingredients label is important for determining the quality of protein as well as the amount.
Most of the readily available dog foods on the market labeled "for large breeds" have unacceptable protein and fat levels for Danes. The protein and fat levels exceed the recommended amounts. Puppy foods always exceed the recommended amounts, and most of the Dane community will tell new owners to feed only adult foods.
The Eukanuba large breed is one of the few "large breed" foods that has the right protein and fat content for Danes. My male did very well on this food. He liked it, ate it readily, had firm stools, and his coat was shiny and healthy. Whether or not the added ingredients (glucosamine and chondroitin) helped his joints is questionable, but since he is a young dog, that is not something that would be obvious at this time. He didn't exprerience much "growing pain" that sometimes happens with growing Danes while eating this food.
The reason I no longer feed my Danes Eukanuba large breed is that it has a coloring agent, and some other ingredients, that my female Dane is allergic to. While eating this food, she developed a chronic vaginitis (yellowish discharge, foul smell) and pus filled pimples all over her belly. Changing to a food without the coloring agent caused these symptoms to clear up. She is also allergic to lamb protein, so in general she is an allergy prone dog. Her coat became coarse, dull, and her skin became scaly while eating the Eukanuba Large Breed. The change in food brands cleared this up as well. The new food not only is free of ingredients that bother her (even though it isn't marketed as an allergen free food), it is $10 less per 33 pound bag.
It isn't terribly practical to feed the two dogs different food, so although my male had no problems with this food, I don't buy it anymore for either of the dogs, especially since I can get a high quality food that my female isn't allergic to for a third of the cost.