A Great Pyrenees puppy is now part of the family and his arrival is filled with happiness and love! But your first challenge is to determine how much to feed a Great Pyrenees puppy?
Do not forget to start, that to feed your Great Pyrenees puppy well is indeed to offer him all chances to grow and develop appropriately. With a premium diet he can develop a better muscular system and a very good bone structure. It’s also crucial if you want to prevent your puppy from developing weight problems and digestive issues.
In short, it is quite simply the most important part of owning a Great Pyrenees!
How to feed your Great Pyrenees puppy properly?
Usually, a puppy can entirely do without the mother’s milk at around the age of 2 months. So we’re going to assume that your puppy has reached that stage. Once your new friend walks in the house, you don’t have to change his diet right away.
It is best to discuss it with the breeder so that you know how to proceed during the first couple of weeks. Also, if the breeder had your puppy on certain types of kibble and you would like to make a change, it is necessary to do it gradually. After a couple of weeks or more, you will be able to include the new food and mix it up with the existing one and change the proportion gradually over the following days.
How much to feed a Great Pyrenees puppy?
You will need to feed your Great Pyrenees puppy several times during the day. We recommend three to four times a day for a puppy who is two to six months old, then two meals a day until he is 1 year old (and for some dogs we will keep going this way even in adulthood) in order to eliminate risks associated with stomach problems.
Regarding the portions, it is necessary to weigh them according to criteria such as lifestyle, age and physical condition. Sorry … there is no cookie cutter answer to the question.
Let me give you an example, I have an English Bulldog who is getting old and has become a couch potatoe. We give him Royal Canin’s Protein canned food (Potatoe and duck). We checked the portion recommended by Rotal Canin based on his weight and level of activity and religiously follow it. Our dog maintains his weight at 30 kg and that’s really ideal.
Watch your puppy’s growth and follow the recipe recommended by the food manufacturer. When your Great Pyrenees will reach approximatelly 90% of his adult weight, you should consider switching to an “adult” type diet.
Regardless of your dog’s specific profile his diet must be balanced and include enough proteins, vitamins, minerals and nutrients to support his healthy development. Below are some of the specific nutrients a Great Pyrenees puppy needs:
- Proteins are a key driver for the healthy growth of organs, tissues and muscles. They also help fight diseases. Choose high quality proteins that should make up well over 25% of the serving. A 100% meat-based diet therefore cannot be suitable, otherwise it could create health issues such as bone dysfunctions.
- Carbohydrates also contribute well to the healthy growth of your puppy. They are particularly found in cereals.
- Essential fatty acids (EFA) are known to highly important for the immune and nervous functions. Use EFAa as the primary source of energy for your dog, over and above anything else, including carbohydrates. In fact, EFAs will be easier to digest and they also contain vitamins.
- Calcium is a must for the bones.
How much to feed a Great Pyrenees puppy? Also depends on the type of food selected
In order to ensure your Great Pyrenees’ diet is appropriate, you must tackle a number of questions:
- What’s the most suitable, healthy and balanced solution for your Great Pyrenees puppy?
- What choice should you make amongst raw meat, leftover or homemade food, croquettes (industrial food), premium veterinary kibble or wet food?
Let’s compare the types of food and to determine what will be the best option for your Great Pyrenees puppy.
Raw meat and supplements
The concept of this diet is to offer your Great Pyrenees puppy a menu primarily comprised of raw meat along with rice and vegetables. It’s an adequate food plan for puppies only if it is well balanced and served in the right portions.
Keep in mind that a dog is a carnivore with a natural inclination for meat. Your Great Pyrenees puppy needs to grow and gradually develop strong bones, solid ligaments and appropriate muscle mass.
A natural diet made of raw meat and veggies can meet that goal. Such a program usually requires a daily portion equivalent to 6%-8% of the dog’s weight spread over 3 or 4 meals, for the first 6 months of his life.
However, a raw meat diet does present bacteriological risks if the meat is not fresh. It’s best to serve slighly frozen, which will also have the advantage of preventing obstruction and suffocation. Also, it will help maintain the dog’s teeth in good condition.
This type of diet is sometimes difficult to balance based on the nutritional needs of your Great Pyrenees puppy. In practice, it’s is not easy to attain the right mix according to the age, level of activity and type of meat served. Also, you will have to supplement with nutrients that may be lacking this diet.
If you choose homemade food, there is a high risk that your Great Pyrenees puppy will quickly become overweight and develop health issues. In addition, the diet is varied of course, however, it will not be systematically balanced and therefore, will not be able to adapt to the particular needs of your Great Pyrenees puppy.
Preparing “homemade” meals with the right amount of protein, fatty acid, cereal, lipid, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins is quite challenging. Also, if you get your Great Pyrenees puppy used to eating only this type of foods it will be very difficult to switch to something else when he reaches adulthood.
You could consider an hybrid diet (homemade and industrial). This can be the ideal solution but will also be very complex to balance the portions.
Kibble (“industrial” dry food)
This is the diet that a majority of Great Pyrenees puppy owners adopt for their puppy. But why is this type of food so popular? Is this undeniably the best food for a Great Pyrenees puppy?
Speed and simplicity
Because we don’t really have the time or the energy to prepare a daily menu composed of meats, cereals and vegetables, kibble is the easy solution.
Kibbles are appealing because you just have to measure the recommended portion, drop it into the bowl and the meal is already ready! It is the most simple and rapid option.
Guarantee of nutritional balance
Kibbles take away the guesswork out of calculating the appropriate nutritional dosage. They also guarantee good sanitary reliability (no source of bacteria).
The bags of kibble can be stored for several months when they are not open and thus allow to stock some quantity for a while without any issue.
Finally, this is by far the most affordable solution.
Disadvantages of kibble
You don’t know how this food is made. Does it contain enough protein and nutrients? Does it provide for appropriate levels of carbohydrates and cereals? Finally, kibble is known to be quite salty which is obviously not good for the overall health condition of your dog.
How much to feed a Great Pyrenees puppy?: Premium veterinary food is our favourite!
This is what we prefer for our dogs, either dry (kibble) or wet (canned), as premium veterinary food is of much higher quality and there are different types available for specific conditions (high protein, hypo-allergenic, joint health, digestive health, etc..etc.). We prefer the canned food because it does not contain as much salt.
This type of food is more expensive but you pay for better quality which helps keep your dog healthy and energetic. You also prevent health issues and disorders which will keep the veterinary bills to a minimum. Therefore, in a way, it makes up for the higher cost of the food!