FEEDING YOUR PYRENEAN MASTIFF
When looking at kibble to feed your puppy the food should be formulated for a Large Breed puppy or an All Life Stages formula with a ratio of 1.2:1 up to 1.6:1 of calcium to phosphorus. This ratio is the absolute most important part of your puppy’s diet as it is what helps regulate and ensure your puppy does not grow too fast. Many believe it is important to keep low protein, but this has been debunked! It is important to have good quality meat protein in a food. We like to feed around 30% protein to my dogs.
With young puppies it is important to break up meals, so they do not gorge themselves in one sitting. Ideally you will want to do 3 meals a day up until 6 months of age when you can go to 2 meals a day. However, if you cannot do 3 meals a day when your puppy goes home then 2 meals a day is fine.
As your puppy grows in the first year you will need to increase food accordingly! The best way to know if you need to add food is by checking to see if you can feel the ribs through a thin layer of fat. It is imperative that you lower food if your puppy is gaining weight to quickly to where you cannot readily feel the ribs. You should ensure your puppy is not overweight as it is detrimental to the joints of a growing giant.
When feeding your puppy, it is important to use a stand to raise your puppy’s bowl to about mid chest height. The reason for this is because it will help build strength in the pasterns (the wrist portion) as well as ensure your puppy does not gulp to much air while eating. It is okay to have water at ground level.
With puppies it is important to have water available, however when working on potty training we like to stop water no later than 7 pm. This allows time for the puppy to fully empty their bladder before bedtime and help prevent accidents at night!
Your puppy will eat the most when it is between 9 months and 18 months then should start dropping in quantity that it eats daily as they near 2 years of age. At this point you will be looking for the amount that is the maintenance diet for your dog. Do not be concerned if your adult female only eats 2-3 cups per day, often times that is all they need to maintain a healthy weight if given a quality diet.
Check out the study in our blog for the "Canine Hip Dysplasia: A Symposium Held at Western Veterinary Conference, February 1995. Skeletal" study