Pet Insurance for Great Danes

Find out all about Great Danes and their common health conditions, and then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on September 20th, 2023       

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Price range



71cm - 85cm


50kg - 89kg


Friendly, gentle, affectionate

Coat length


Exercise needs



Can be

Life expectancy

7 - 10 years

Great Dane


The Great Dane is the undisputed giant of the canine world, often referred to as the ‘Gentle Giant.’ Its name comes from the French ‘Grand Danois,’ although the dog is not known to have originated in Denmark. It is also known as the German Mastiff, and is one of the three largest dogs in the world. It is a majestic and imposing breed known for its colossal size and gentle temperament. Despite its commanding appearance, this breed is characterised by its friendly and affectionate nature, making it a beloved family companion. 

Great Danes have a very long history dating back to ancient civilizations, with depictions of similar dogs found in Egyptian and Babylonian artifacts. However, the modern-day breed originates from Germany and can be traced back at least 400 years. These dogs were originally bred for hunting large game, including wild boar, and their physical prowess reflects this heritage. They are incredibly tall and muscular, often standing over 80cm tall at the shoulder.  

Despite their imposing size, Great Danes are known for their loving and loyal disposition, making them excellent family pets if you have the room for one. Their short coat and minimal grooming needs make them relatively low-maintenance. Great Danes are known for their devotion to their human families and their gentle demeanour, earning them a special place in the hearts of many dog lovers worldwide. 

Common diseases and conditions of Great Danes

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a common orthopaedic condition affecting the joint's development. It can lead to discomfort and mobility issues. Regular vet check-ups are essential to prevent and manage this condition.  
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Another common orthopaedic condition that affects the elbow joints and can lead to lameness and mobility issues.  
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat): This is a serious condition where the stomach twists, potentially causing a life-threatening emergency. Unfortunately, it is a very common condition in Great Danes. 
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM): Great Danes are at risk of developing dilated cardiomyopathy, a serious heart condition that can lead to fainting and shortness of breath. 
  • Wobbler Syndrome: a spinal disease seen in larger dogs that can cause neck pain.
  • Ear infections: Due to their long ears, Great Danes can be prone to ear infections, so care must be taken to keep them clean and free from bacteria.

Breed-specific issues:  

Their enormous size means Great Danes require a lot of space to exercise, and a large car to transport them. They also need fences at least two metres high to contain them in a backyard. However, they should not engage in strenuous exercise during their growth phase, which is the first two years of their life, to protect their joints from dysplasia.  

How much does pet insurance cost for a Great Dane?

Most Australians can expect to pay between $20 and $60 a month for pet insurance. There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your dog, which is why it's important to compare pet insurance policies. Factors affecting the cost of your insurance include: 

  • Age: The older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because senior dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.    
  • Type of insurance you choose:  There are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type of insurance available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most.  
  • The policy annual limit: Each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.   
  • Sub-limits: In addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub-limits that apply to the policy, for example, a $300 sub-limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.   
  • Benefit percentage: Pet insurance does not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies, up to 90% for the best policies available.   
  • Excess amount: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, whilst others do.  
  • Any add-ons you choose: It’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.  
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.
  • Gap-only insurance options: Some insurance companies offer a gap-only insurance option, which means when you go to the vet you'll only be required to pay the gap amount, not the cost of the whole bill. This is similar to the Medicare system of health insurance for humans in Australia, where gap payments can be made at HICAPS terminals at the time of treatment. 

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

Why compare pet insurance with Savvy?

Common questions about Great Danes

Do Great Danes drool a lot?

Yes, Great Danes are often associated with drooling due to their large loose jowls. While drooling varies from one individual to another, most Great Danes drool more than other breeds, especially when they're excited or after eating or drinking. 

Are Great Danes known to bark a lot?

No, Great Danes are not known for excessive barking and tend to be quieter compared to some smaller, more vocal breeds. However, they do bark when they sense something unusual or when they want to alert their owners, and when they do, they have a very loud voice. 

What is a Merle Great Dane?

A Merle Great Dane is a Great Dane with a specific coat coloration known as merle. Merle Danes have a mottled or speckled pattern of patches on a lighter background colour due to a rare gene mutation, which can make them valuable dogs. However, despite their striking and unique appearance, two Merle Great Danes should never be bred together because the same mutation causes deafness and vision problems. 

Is there an operation to prevent bloat in Great Danes?

Yes, there is. Great Danes are among the breeds at highest risk for bloat. While there's no guaranteed operation to prevent bloat, some owners opt for a procedure called gastropexy, which can help secure the stomach to the abdominal wall, reducing the risk of gastric torsion (bloat) in the future. This is typically performed as a preventive measure during spaying or neutering as a standalone surgery. 

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Great Dane

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