What to feed a Great Pyrenees

As you may know, each breed of dog has its own unique set of nutritional requirements.

Their unique set of nutritional requirements have been passed on from generation to generation just like the breed's unique coat, body size and temperament. We have found that we can not change the genetic makeup of the animals we are feeding just by exposing them to a different diet for a small amount of time. Therefore, I suggest that Great Pyrenees owners try to feed their present companion pets with foods that contain what this breed requires. The food should contain: (#1) nutrient sources that are similar to those found in the native environment of the breed's ancestors (sources which are not foreign to the digestive and glandular systems of today's Great Pyrenees and which are easy for them to assimilate) and (#2) the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that match the breed specific nutritional requirements - those which have been passed on by their ancestors.

Pet owners who feed their companion pets correctly can save a lot of money. Many dogs are taken to the vet, suffering from nutritionally related problems, and the vet bills can be huge. i.e. dry/itchy/flaky skin, hot spots, yeast infections in the ear, thyroid - liver - kidney problems, just to name a few, cost the average dog owner hundreds of dollars every year. That is why I recommend that pet owners learn about the nutritional needs of the animal they are feeding before deciding on one of the many foods which are now available. When we first learn what our companion pet needs and then choose a diet that is correct for the animal being fed, it is a win-win situation: the dogs are healthier and the owners save money.

I personally believe that the best diet for a Great Pyrenees is one that the owner makes fresh, using quality ingredients, without preservatives. It only takes about one to two hours a week to cook for a Great Pyrenees so that both #1 & #2 are met and preparing home cooked meals for a dog can be less expensive than buying the average all-breed, any-breed commercial pet food. I hope that you will consider using this option to feed your companion pets correctly.

In my books (published in 1990 and 1997) on breed specific canine nutrition, I listed food sources to use and food sources to avoid when feeding a Great Pyrenees. The idea was to provide pet owners (both those who wanted to cook for their companion pets or those who wanted to buy an all-breed/any-breed preservative filled food for their pets) information about food sources to use or avoid. So that you can have that same information, below is the text from the page "Great Pyrenees" that was in one of my books on canine nutrition.

________ text from the Great Pyrenees page out of my book on Canine Nutrition ________

GREAT PYRENEES
Weight Standards: m - 100 to 125 lbs., f - 90 to 100 lbs.
Height Standards: m - 27 to 32 inches, f - 25 to 29 inches
Coat: double with heavy undercoat, long soft solid white top coat
Common Ailments: dysplasia, hot spots and skin rashes, liver and kidney failure

The Great Pyrenees developed in the Pyrenees mountains, on the border between France and Spain. This breed is one of the oldest domesticated breeds of dog with a history that has been traced to the Bronze Age (3500 to 4000 BC.). At that time it was used in its native environment for much the same purpose that it is used today; that of living in harmony with large flocks of sheep while protecting them from the bears and wolves. They possess great stamina, a keen sense of danger, and good fighting abilities.

Due to its growing popularity, the Great Pyrenees Club of America has a code of ethics clause. Members will guarantee any puppy they sell to be free from hereditary defects to protect this breed. I applaud these people in their efforts to provide us with good and healthy dogs.

Native food supplies for this breed would have been from their Pyrenees Mountain environment. The meat sources contained a very high fat to protein ratio. Any grains or vegetables would have been the type that could grow in a short season and rocky soil.

For the Great Pyrenees I recommend foods of lamb, poultry, wheat, and potato. It must have a high fat content. I also recommend you avoid feeding a food that contains soy, beef or beef by-products, yellow corn, or beet pulp to this breed.

__________________________end of page from book__________________________

At this web site I have already documented how it has been PROVEN that one breed can require ten times what a different breed requires - PER KILOGRAM OF BODY WEIGHT - of fat soluble vitamin "D" and thus a product formulated for the breed with the higher requirements would be toxic to the breed with lower requirements.

I am also providing you with information about which sources of vitamins and minerals are best for a Great Pyrenees because it has also been proven that different breeds will assimilate different sources of vitamins and minerals in different ways. i.e. There are over 170 different molecular forms of the mineral "calcium." The source of the mineral calcium that a Great Pyrenees can easily assimilate can be hard for a different breed to assimilate and thus that other breed can develop kidney stones on the best source of calcium for a Great Pyrenees. The reverse of this is also true. Below you will find a list of the best sources of vitamins and minerals for the dietary requirements of a Great Pyrenees. The balance or amounts are not listed because each individual animal can have different requirements depending on: the sex of the animal; the age (a puppy will have different needs than an adolescent, who even though it may be the same size as an adult will have different requirements than an adult); the activity level (if a dog is very active the dog will need more of the B complex than a couch potato of the same breed); stress levels; medical conditions; and other dietary factors (i.e. does the water supply contain high amounts of minerals). There are many factors come into play when considering the proper amount of each nutrient in an individual dogs diet.

PLEASE NOTE: Some breeds, because of their breed specific set of nutritional requirements, should have very low amounts of some vitamins or minerals in their diet. The amount that some breeds require may have already been exceeded by the amount that is in most all-breed/any-breed commercial foods (i.e. copper - Bedlington Terrier or zinc - Siberian Husky). This is another reason that I have not listed any amounts here - I do not want dog owners to supplement what may already be TOO MUCH in an all breed food with additional vitamins or minerals just because I listed an amount here. The list below is for SOURCE information only.

________ the best vitamin and mineral sources to feed a Great Pyrenees________

Vitamin & Best Source
Vitamin A Palmitate
Vitamin B-1 Thiamine Hcl & Yeast
Vitamin B-2 Riboflavin & Yeast
Vitamin B-6 Pyridoxine Hcl & Yeast
Vitamin B-12 Cyanocobalamin & Yeast
Vitamin D D-activated Sterol
Vitamin E dl-alpha tocopherol acetate
Niacinamide
Biotin
Folic Acid
d-Calcium Pantothenate
Para Amino Benzoic Acid

Mineral & Best Source
Calcium Oyster Shell
Copper Gluconate
Iodine Sea Kelp
Iron Ferrous Fumerate
Magnesium Magnesium-Gluconate
Manganese Manganese-Gluconate
Phosphorus Oyster Shell & di-cal Phos
Potassium Potassium-Gluconate
Zinc Zinc-Gluconate

Please do not feed this breed of dog any supplemental vitamin C (ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate or ascorbal palmitate) because of the kidney and liver damage it can do (see article at this web site).

__________________________end of list of best vitamin/mineral sources __________________________

Please Note: I have received many E-mails from dog owners asking if the book that is now available in book stores contains recipes or supplement charts for the average puppy, adolescent, adult or geriatric Great Pyrenees. It does not. It only contains one recipe and that recipe is there to show how a pet owner can take the ingredients listed on a bag of grocery store dog food and make the food cheaper, from fresh whole sources and without any harmful preservatives. I do not recommend that recipe for any one specific breed of dog (especially a Great Pyrenees). I am planning to include recipes and supplement charts for Great Pyreneess in my next book and hopefully that book will be ready to be published within the next year.

If you can not wait for my next book to be published and want to start cooking nutritious preservative free food for a special companion pet I would be happy to prepare a recipe for you to use (for a small fee). Over the last 30 years many dog lovers have asked me to develop a diet for a specific companion pet or their entire kennel of dogs. I have formulated thousands of dog specific (more than just breed specific)diets and I would be willing to do this for your companion pet.

To have me prepare a custom recipe and supplement chart for a dog I need the following information:

  • The breed of dog:
  • The sex:
  • The age:
  • The weight:
  • The activity level:
  • The source of water:
  • Information about the dog's living environment:
  • Information about the dog's medical history:

    Please be specific since all these factor into the nutritional requirements of a dog. I ask that you send me as much information as possible to work with and please be patient, the average turn around time (from the time I receive what I need to formulate a custom recipe, to the time the packet is ready to be E-mailed to you) is 5 to 7 days. I formulate these recipes based on the needs of the animal that will be eating the food. These are not done with a pre-prepared recipe sent with auto-responder from an E-mail box. I do not send out a "one-diet-fits-all-dogs" or even a "one-recipe-for-all-Great Pyreneess." I do these recipes one at a time, based on the information you provide about the animal that will be eating the food.

    If you would like to see some testimonials from dog owners who have ordered a custom recipe packet so they could feed their companion CORRECTLY see: TESTIMONIALS

    If you want me to formulate a custom recipe packet for your companion, please E-mail the information about your companion to me.

    For each recipe packet you are ordering (includes both a custom recipe and supplement chart for one dog) the fee is $100.00 in US dollars.

    Click On Button To Pay For A Custom Recipe Packet

    After I have both the information and the payment the recipe packet will be formulated and E-mailed to you within 5-7 days (m-f).


  • © William D. Cusick. All rights reserved.