Feeding the Pyrenean Puppy
Pyr pups donít just grow, they sort of explode! From maybe 500 grams at birth, they should, in our opinion, weigh approx. 38 to 40 kg for males and 30 to 35 kg for females at age 6 months. This will vary somewhat depending on the height and general build of the dog. A pup does not stop growing
at six months, but continues to grow slowly until two or even three years of age. Though they need adequate nutrition for sound development, it is advisable to keep them looking trim. A puppy with lots of roly poly puppy fat may look appealing and cuddly, but this is a no-no for the Pyr and other large breeds whose immature structure should not be obliged to support excess weight. Fat pups are more likely to experience joint and ligament damage, which may have lasting effects. Lean pups have ribs which can be felt
easily and seem to develop good muscle more quickly than tubby pups.
Weighing the pup regularly is a good idea, to ensure weight gain is
steady and adequate. If you have any concerns about the rate of your pups growth,
your pups's breeder or your vet will advise you.
We give 4 small meals daily till 10 to 12 weeks, then reduce to 3 meals with a biscuit snack for supper . We give mid morning and afternoon snacks sometimes but not every day. By watching for the growth spurts which are
generally preceded by increased appetite, its easy to increase their food
as they need it, then ease back a little as the rapid growth phase slows up again. At six to seven months we reduce to two meals a day. The pups still have a lot
of growing to do over the next few months, because they grow more slowly than
kibble fed puppies, so they still need reasonable amounts of good food. Each pup is different and each pups needs can vary from day to day, just as your own needs vary. So if the pup still seems to be hungry after a meal,
listen to him. You can give him extra right away or give a small snack later.
However, be wise to the greedy pup who will eat till he bursts if you let him !
There are many processed food products designed especially for puppies which offer a convenient method of feeding. But as with all dogs, regardless of breed or age, puppies benefit from variety in their diet. We strongly recommend feeding fresh, mainly raw food to your puppy ( and dog) because the best nutrition maintains the best health, especially over the long-term. When feeding vegetables, process or grate the veg, this is necessary to assist the pup ( or dog) to break down the cellulose. Cooking also breaks down the cellulose but destroys some of the nutrients, hence the benefits of feeding raw foods. Obviously foods such as oats, grains, and pulses will need cooking. Raw meat may be minced or cut into small pieces for small pups, though bigger pups will tear up a bigger piece of meat. Pups will also eat small pieces of raw meaty bone such as chicken wings or frames. We start to offer minced chicken meat which contains minced bones at 3 weeks old,
then whole chicken wings or necks from approx.5 or 6 weeks of age. Obviously this varies from pup to pup. Chicken is good for starters because it is soft, easily chewed and digested. To assist a very small pup, the wing can be placed on a chopping board, given a good smack with a mallet to break up the bone Ė of course one does this before handing the wing to the pup ! This action is also reassuring for the owner, who has visions of their pup choking with a whole bone stuck in its throat. Rest assured, they wonít ! Please read the notes on meat and bones in the K9 Kitchen. If you prefer to feed mostly dry or canned food for convenience and cannot be persuaded to change, itís a simple matter to top it off with a spoonful of cottage cheese, yoghurt, or substitute some of the canned food with a serving of some of the meat and a little of the vegetables that you are eating yourself. Your pup will certainly appreciate and benefit from the change ! As with adult dogs, make sure the pup has a clean fresh water available all the time. Well here we are at the bottom of the page and no mention of protein, fat, calcium etc. One does not need to be a qualified dietitian or analyst to feed a dog or puppy. Do you know the quantities of protein, carbohydrate, fats, minerals etc in all the meals that you eat yourself, or give to your babies and children? The trick is simply to feed a big variety of foods, including those essential raw meaty bones. For giant breed pups, we go slightly
easy on the protein (meat, eggs, fish) because giving large amounts
will increase their growth rate and a slower rate is preferable.
Easy on the meat but a good supply of bones for calcium and minerals,
which is where chicken necks and wings are very useful.
There are more carbohydrate foods ( grains, rice etc) in our pup diet
than in our adult dog diet, to replace a little of the protein.
Though this may all sound confusing at first, just take it slowly and pretty soon you will be feeding a natural diet with the greatest of ease.
Please note Ė the quantities are approximate, as the needs of pups vary.
Remember, the pup must not feel or look fat. Some pups are very enthusiastic about eating, but this does not always mean that they continually need more food.
Watch for the growth spurts and increase food accordingly.
for pups aged 8 to 10 weeks
Two whole wheat breakfast cereal biscuits
One tablespoon wheatgerm
One tablespoon yeast flakes (Brewers yeast)
One tablespoon plain yoghurt
Approx. two cups of full cream milk
Put all dry ingredients in pups bowl, but when pouring the milk over, stir a little to make sure the wheatgerm and yeast flakes are well mixed with the milk. If your pup has problems digesting cows milk, try goats milk.
The addition of yoghurt to the milk should aid digestion so
increasing the yoghurt may help. Adding a teaspoon of honey may also help.
Serve milk at room temperature, or slightly heated. A tummy full of chilled milk is a bit tough on a small pup. Alternatively, give 2 tablespoons of oatmeal porridge instead of the wheat biscuits.
Lunch is a sort of mini smorgasbord, depending on what is to hand, what they
had yesterday and what they will eat for tea ! It aims to add variety,
Menu One :
Menu Two :
Menu Three :
we give a good drink of milk with lunch. Remember all pups are different, so if puppy still seems a little hungry NOTE: eggs are fabulous protein and have a ton of other ingredients. TEA 8 - 10 weeks alternatively, give chicken necks or wings instead of mince
SUPPER Keep increasing food steadily as puppy grows. Remember to give extra during growth spurts but keep pup slim.
nutrition and interest to the pups diet.
It is made by combining 3 of the following items with cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese is the only lunch food that is given every day without fail,
because of its good protein content which is reputed to particularly promote
growth in puppies, and its easy digestibility.
Combine it with: egg ( see note below), shredded green leafy
vegetables, fruit, canned tuna in oil, bread and butter, pasta, wholemeal
biscuit, table scraps, meaty bones to chew away the afternoon.
So a sample menu for a pup age 8 to 10 weeks may look like this:
1 tablespoon well chopped spinach or lettuce, or similar leafy green vegetable
2 - 3 tablespoons of cottage cheese.
2 thin slices wholemeal bread with butter
1 tablesp. cottage cheese
1 - 2 tbs of canned tuna
1 - 2 tbs cooked pasta
shredded apple and cucumber
1 - 2 tablesp. cottage cheese
raw beaten egg
adjust the amount offered, or give a hard chewy biscuit
or bone to satisfy any remaining hunger and the urge to chew.
But remember, as they are a protein food they may promote more growth than you want
in a giant breed, so consider them as part of the total protein intake.
We start with half an egg and increase till they are eating a whole egg by approx 8 weeks.
Grinding the shell to a pulp and feeding a little of the shell with the egg,
provides a supply of calcium, which is useful for very small pups, until they are
eating sufficient bones to supply the calcium they need.
4 tablespoons of minced chicken or beef
1 tablespoon potato, either cooked or raw processed
a little grated or processed carrot and spinach
top with yoghurt.
Add some offal ( kidney, liver) 2 or 3 times weekly.
offer a good drink of milk after tea.
give some wholemeal biscuit with cottage or cheddar cheese
Check weight at your vets clinic occasionally.
On this diet our pups gained approx 230 grams per day average gain ( about 8 ounces)
Menu One :
Menu Two :
Menu Three :
we give a good drink of milk with lunch. Remember all pups are different, so if puppy still seems a little hungry
NOTE: eggs are fabulous protein and have a ton of other ingredients.
TEA 8 - 10 weeks
alternatively, give chicken necks or wings instead of mince
Keep increasing food steadily as puppy grows. Remember to give extra during growth spurts but keep pup slim.