What we feed and supplement a Giant Breed Dog on a cruising sailboat?

The question we get the most about the Great Dane on our cruising sailboat:  How much does she eat and what do you feed that thing?

Answer:  We feed her dog food.  But it’s not actually that simple, as Great Danes sometimes have sensitive stomachs ands she doesn’t always like to eat at sea…..read on:

Whether underway, at anchor or at the dock, we strive to feed Quincy in the same place for the sake of consistency. Here’s her spot on the deck….but not looking so happy as we’ve had an early morning startup and she has to eat underway.

Having a giant breed dog on a cruising sailboat is a relationship challenge but she’s part of our family so we couldn’t even think of leaving her behind…so we just brought her with us.  The answer to the question above is obvious, we feed our dog dogfood.  But here in Mexico it isn’t always easy to find the same brands that you fed at home, so we pick the highest quality we can find with any consistency…which for right now means we’re feeding Kirkland Signature Adult Dog Food.  But, we have had to switch Quincy’s food several times as Kirkland is only available at Costco (meaning we can only get it from Puerto Vallarta on the mainland or Cabo San Lucas in Baja) and we can only carry so many bags of dog food.  We manage.  But we also supplement Quincy’s food as we find she seems to get bored when she eats the same food for too long with no other taste.  Jasmine or White Rice is an easy addition to her food as we always carry plenty of rice on the boat and we always seem to have leftover rice in the fridge from dinner, so we add this to her food.  We’ve also found that Quincy appetite has decreased both summers that we’ve spent in the Sea of Cortez due to the heat, so we’re sensitive to this and make sure she always has ample fresh, clean water to do her camel impression as she drinks.

We also do our best to supplement with Nutrimax Dasuquin for her joints (we just bought a year’s worth from Amazon for this upcoming year to Central America as the resealable packages work well for us); and a supplement called Nupro All Natural Dog Supplement.  We do this because Quincy LOVES it and it encourages her to eat, especially when we’re on passage and her tummy might be a bit upset.  Quincy also gets small tidbits of human food but we’re very careful of too much of our food, as Great Danes don’t need weight gain to trouble their hips.

Ok….there’s some of your questions answered about a Giant Breed Dog on a sailboat, I’d love to get any other questions or feedback from you if you need or want more info.

****Did you get to read my post from yesterday about a fellow cruiser struck with 3B Lung Cancer and how you can help her out?  Check that story out here.

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2 Responses

  1. Lovely dog, great adventure. I’ve cat cats aboard years ago, but never a large dog. How does Quincy manage the companionway for going on deck or below?

    1. Lou:

      Good question. Our sailboat is designed with a second mini-cockpit with only one steep step down into our room, meaning Q-Dog can easily come down then get back out with a simple jumpy step.

      Thanks for the reply- we’d love to have you stay and follow us- Chad

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