Known as gentle giants, the Great Pyrenees make wonderful family dogs and are good with children and other pets.
With any dog, they need proper attention and training or could become uncontrollable. If you are looking for a guard dog, the Great Pyrenees would fit that mold perfectly as they were bred for protecting.
The Great Pyrenees is recognized for its size, patience, and gentleness. These dogs were bred for the use of guarding livestock, and although usually docile, they can be stubborn at times.
This breed entered the US in 1824 from Southern France but was not acknowledged by the American Club until 1933.
They take up to two years to reach their full size and can range in weight from 80 to over 100 pounds.
Although no longer bred for working purposes, they can still be found guarding farms and property. Because of their gentle behavior, they are sometimes trained as therapy dogs, and also make excellent family pets.
Feeding Your Great Pyrenees Puppy
One would think by the size of this breed, that they must eat a lot. Because these dogs have a slow metabolism, they tend to feel full quicker when eating.
Once your Great Pyrenees puppy comes home, focus on feeding it a high-quality puppy food filled with vitamins and minerals to ensure it is getting proper nutrition.
Start by feeding your puppy six cups of food daily, but break the feedings up to four times daily. Eating smaller meals throughout the day will also help with digestion.
Meals According To Age
|8 weeks-4 months||3-4 meals per day|
|4-6 months||3 meals per day|
|6-10 months||2-3 meals per day|
Once your Great Pyrenees reaches 18 months to 2 years of age, you can reduce the number of feedings to 1 to 2 times daily.
Pros and Cons Dry Food
When searching for the proper food to feed your Great Pyrenees puppy, look for ones containing protein such as chicken, beef, lamb, or fish.
Your puppy will also benefit from a brand containing good fats such as omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 can be found in salmon and other fish, aiding in the brain’s development and muscle function.
Consult with your veterinarian on which food will be best for your Great Pyrenees. Some veterinarians recommend dry food as it is better for their dental health.
Growth and Weight
The corresponding growth and weight below are estimates based on a veterinarian’s advice.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian of your choosing to ensure your Great Pyrenees is growing accordingly.
By the time your Great Pyrenees puppy reaches 6 months of age, it may have already reached a weight of 65-80 pounds.
|1 Months||18-25 lbs|
|2 Months||15-20 lbs|
|3 Months||32-40 lbs|
|4 Months||45-50 lbs|
|6 Months||65-80 lbs|
|7 Months||72-84 lbs|
|9 Months||88-92 lbs|
|10 Months||94-100 lbs|
|11 Months||96-103 lbs|
|1 Year||105-120 lbs|
Foods Not To Feed Your Great Pyrenees
Some owners will never give their pets anything other than dog food. Others feel it’s perfectly acceptable to give them food scraps and other treats.
It’s recommended not to make a habit of feeding them other foods as they can grow to love them so much, that they won’t want to eat their regular food at all. There are a few foods listed below that dogs should not consume.
Eating grapes, seeded or seedless can cause kidney failure in dogs. Symptoms can develop up to forty-eight hours after consumption, and the cause is unknown.
Call your veterinarian immediately if your Great Pyrenees shows any symptoms. Symptoms to watch for are vomiting and diarrhea.
A dog’s digestive system differs from our own. Their stomach acid is much stronger and can break down food at a much quicker rate.
However, there are certain foods that are very toxic if our furry friends consume them. These toxic compounds can cause liver damage, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and dark-colored urine.
Chocolate is a favorite of many, but for dogs, it can be fatal. It contains a substance called Theobromine which can cause toxicity poisoning as dogs cannot metabolize it quickly enough.
Symptoms can take six to twelve hours to appear. If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, some signs to watch for are panting, drooling, diarrhea, extreme thirst, and muscle weakness.
The leaves of a rhubarb plant are toxic to dogs if ingested. It would be best to place some kind of fencing around this plant if you are planning on growing it where your dog plays.
The leaves contain substances that can cause renal failure. Some symptoms to watch for are dilated eyes, drooling, muscle weakness, swelling of the lips and tongue, and unresponsiveness.
Although dogs may like the sweet taste of corn, the cob should never be given to them as they pose a choking hazard.
Consuming this can cause hypoglycemia in your dog. This artificial sweetener is poisonous and can be found in chewing gum, snacks, and other treats.
Hypoglycemia causes a rapid decrease in blood sugar, which can cause fainting, muscle weakness, and vomiting. Symptoms can develop immediately or within twelve hours of ingesting.
Beneficial Food for your Great Pyrenees
Some snacks that you can share with your dog are beneficial but should be given in moderation.
Eggs-Eggs are high in protein and contain several vitamins and minerals, making these a significant source of nutrition for your dog.
If you feed cauliflower to your Great Pyrenees puppy, be sure to separate the florets and cook them before serving.
The raw form could be a choking hazard, and it’s much easier to digest when cooked.
Cauliflower has many nutrients such as choline, which helps prevent heart and liver disease, and is very low in calories. It also makes a great alternative to a grain-free snack.
Broccoli contains many vitamins and minerals beneficial to your growing puppy. Manganese, choline, fiber, and vitamin K are just a few of broccolis health-boosting properties.
Vitamin K helps calcium absorb into the bones, helping to provide a much greater bone density.
Be sure to separate the florets and cook before serving. It is recommended to serve small portions and monitor for digestive issues.
Most dogs can consume broccoli with no problems, but if eaten in large quantities, it can cause excessive gas and bloat.
If you choose to feed your dog chicken, be sure to cook it first. Raw chicken can contain harmful substances which could make your dog ill.
Chicken is an excellent source of protein, and the breast is low in fat, making it a great snack for your puppy.
As much as we like to season our food before eating, it is not recommended to do the same for our furry friends. Seasonings and oils can cause digestive upset.
Health Conditions Great Pyrenees Are Prone To
Different breeds are prone to acquire certain conditions and should be purchased through a trusted breeder who uses genetic testing.
Although you cannot always prevent some of these conditions from occurring, it will prepare you on how to obtain proper treatment.
Wobbler syndrome is a disease that affects the neck and spine region and can cause paralysis in some dogs.
Unfortunately, there is no known cause for this disease and seems to be more prevalent in large breed dogs. Symptoms of this disease are:
- Wobbly gait in the back end
- Slow walk
- Walking with head down may signify pain
This disease can be treated with medications such as anti-inflammatories, or surgery, depending on the severity and progression.
This condition is linked to a gene mutation or can be acquired by illnesses such as liver disease.
It is believed that congenital deafness is attributed to the light-colored or white pigment of a dog’s skin or coat and affecting the unpigmented skin in the ears. A few symptoms of this disease are:
- Aggressiveness when playing
- Ignoring commands and squeaky toys
- Disinterest in playing
- Unresponsiveness to sounds such as doorbells and barking from other dogs
- Jumping when touched
There are no treatments for this condition, but there are ways of making life easier for your Great Pyrenees with sign language training.
This is a condition known as a long bone disease characterized by the growth of connective tissue formation of the affected bone. This usually affects the humerus, but other bones can be affected as well.
Symptoms usually occur between 5 to 14 months of age and are more dominant in male breeds. The cause is unknown, but factors may include gene mutations, rapid growth, and infections. Some symptoms of this condition are:
- Weight Loss
This condition is quite painful and can be alleviated with the use of anti-inflammatories or steroids.
Panosteitis is thought to be much the same as growing pains in children, and by the time your Great Pyrenees puppy is 2 years of age, the disease usually resolves.
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer mostly found in large breed dogs such as the Great Pyrenees. This cancer is typically aggressive to the point of metastasizing to other regions within the body.
Like cancer found in the body of humans, there is no known cause but may be triggered as a result of bone injury. Some symptoms of bone cancer in dogs are:
- Joint Pain
Treatment usually includes the use of medications for pain.
The cause of Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia in the Great Pyrenees is caused by a gene mutation. This condition is characterized by the inability of blood to clot properly.
These dogs who carry the mutation are at risk of excessive bleeding and hemorrhaging due to injury or surgery.
Bleeding gums and nails if clipped too close to the quick
This is a lifelong condition with no treatment, other than blood products such as transfusions if needed. DNA testing is important for this very reason.
Great Pyrenees Puppy Feeding FAQS
There is a lot of preparation before bringing your puppy home. From choosing a brand of food and food storage tips, to what kind of bowls should my puppy be eating out of and how much food should be given.
Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding the feeding of the Great Pyrenees.
Which Brand Of Food Should I feed My Great Pyrenees?
The brand of food you decide on should be one containing three important components. Protein, fat, and fiber, ideally in this order. Lean protein such as chicken, lamb, or fish is a good example of protein.
When looking at fats, brands containing omega-3 fatty acids are ideal. Good examples of fiber are brands that have added fruit and vegetables. Your local veterinarian or pet store will provide information on brands specific to this breed.
Read more: Best Food for Great Pyrenees
Should I feed My Great Pyrenees A Raw Food Diet?
A raw food diet has many benefits but is also time-consuming and costly. Some owners feel that these two disadvantages far outweigh the advantages.
Feeding your dog a raw food diet is more of a preference, but some advantages are a shinier coat, better metabolism, fresh breath, and better gut health.
What If My Great Pyrenees Shows No Interest In Eating?
It can be difficult deciding which food will be the best for your puppy, with so many brands to choose from.
Most puppies are not too picky when it comes to food, but now and then there are cases where a puppy doesn’t seem interested in eating the provided food.
It can be trial and error at these times and is best to have a couple of different options from which to choose from.
Can I Add Other Ingredients To My Great Pyrenees Food?
Yes! Adding fresh cooked vegetables and fruits to your puppy’s food can be beneficial to its overall health. Be sure to chop them up before adding and remove any large seeds or pits.
What If My Great Pyrenees Has An Upset Stomach, But Still Wants To Eat?
Some foods can cause digestive issues. If your Great Pyrenees puppy seems to have diarrhea or excessive gas, it’s most likely because of a certain food.
Try feeding your puppy alternate food for a couple of days and monitor. Brown rice and pureed whole pumpkin are good examples. Consult with your veterinarian if these issues don’t resolve.
Where Should I Store My Puppy’s Food?
Dry dog food should always be kept in an airtight container once opened. This will ensure its freshness and prevent your puppy and other pets from tearing into the opened bag and helping themselves.
This article is based on helping to make the journey of feeding your Great Pyrenees a little easier.
When in doubt, it’s always recommended to consult with your veterinarian. Remember to choose a brand of food with high nutrient content. Congratulations on choosing the Great Pyrenees!