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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default 8 week puppy - diet

    Hi everyone. I have searched this forum regarding the proper amounts to feed our new 8 week old Pyrenees puppy and have only confused myself further, so I figured I'd post a new thread to solicit some direct advice. Our pup, Kodiak, has been with us for two weeks now. When we first got him we were feeding him 4 times a day. Each serving was 0.5 cup of Purina large breed puppy chow mixed with some Abound wet food.

    After finding this website I figured I was underfeeding the guy. So I upped it to 1.5 cups a day with no wet food, just mixed with some warm water. This was a bad decision by me (and trust me I feel bad for it) because it really upset his stomach. Diarrhea for 24 hours and lots of throwing up, to the point where we took him to the emergency clinic. This was also partly due to the fact that we found out one of his litter mates died from dehydration and another needed an IV (all from throwing up).

    Anyways, now our little floof is home and doing fantastic after being on chicken and rice for 24 hours (plus an antibiotic since it could have been bacterial). And we are slowly phasing back into the dry food. I have a new bag of Taste of the Wild that I am mixing half and half with the Purina, and by the end of the week plan to be totally on the TOTW.

    My main question: how much to feed the guy! I have read on here 4 cups a day until ~3 months, then 6 cups a day until their growth spurt stops. But with just one cup each serving he acts like he's still hungry! Do I have the right idea here?

    Sorry for the wall of text. I just want to rest assured my puppy is being well cared for.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) rx4bills's Avatar

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    Welcome to the forum! Hope you and Kodiak enjoy the extended family of Pyr owners. We are on our first Pyr mix (Pyr/GSD), and had to learn much about these pups too. At least for us, your mention of 4 cups a day is similar to what we did, then 5.5 cups/day till present (6 months). I feel our pup is slowing a bit on the appetite, so thinking the daily intake may be dropping to 4-5 cups/day in the coming few months. Gotta say, when she was 4-5 months old she ate tremendously! We also only fed 3x a day from 9 weeks to about 5 months, then went twice daily. Probably will stay with twice daily from here on. Our 8 yr old Golden gets twice daily, so that is kinda the family regimen now. We also had quite the battle with stomach, soft stools, etc when our pup was 3-4 months. Read so much on it, but it seems time cured most of it. We tried the powdered pumpkin, can pumpkin, all helped a bit, but stools stayed fairly soft till about 4 months. Our pup did suffer from giardia, and kennel cough when we first adopted, so she had quite a course of antibiotics, so I figured the stomach issues might be from all the drugs.

    Consistency is usually good for pup GI systems, too much change usually causes a negative reaction in their tolerability. I am a bit of a reactive sort, so our pup suffered a bit from me trying to find a better course. After much trials, we started with Kirkland Salmon and Sweet Potato, and ended up doing best on it till now. Yes, dry kibble, added some warm water when teething was going on, for comfort.

    Sounds like you are on the right track. Transition slow in food changes, maybe consider 3 times a day (less meals, less poop times). Your bag of the TOTW should have suggestion for feeding amount for this pup, that should be pretty close.

    Enjoy you pup, and please post some pictures!

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Of course! I forgot pictures. Click image for larger version. 

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    An Imgur link may be better.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/b7Oqu

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    Welcome to the forum! Congratulations on the new puppy! He is adorable!

    Unfortunately, what to feed and how much is a very individual issue. Your puppy's size, energy level, and the nutritional density of the food all play a role in determining the right amount of food for him. With large and giant breed puppies, it is particularly important to resist the urge to overfeed. While, yes, it is exciting to watch your puppy grow, with these guys, slow growth is better for their health - both now and later on. Pups who grow too quickly run the risk of developing Panosetetis - a type of bone inflammation that is relatively short-lived but quite painful. Growing too quickly is also believed to increase the risk of bone and joint issues later on in the dog's life - including Osteosarcoma.

    The TOTW food is going to be more nutritionally dense than the Puppy Chow, so if it were me, I would continue with the 0.5 cups 4x per day, and see how that goes. If he is still super hungry 30 minutes after eating, it is fine to give him a little bit more. If he is having trouble finishing meals, it's time to back off a bit. You will also want to keep tabs on his body condition - this is important. You should be able to feel his ribs without having to press down too hard. If you can see his ribs, he is underweight and needs to be fed a little more. If you can't feel his ribs without squeezing, he is overweight, and needs to be fed less. Keep in mind as he is growing, different body parts will seem to grow at different rates. For much of Sebastian's puppyhood and adolescence, he appeared to be underweight because he had very long legs and prominent hip bones. He was fine, despite the side-eye and "OMG, he's so skinny" comments I received from well-intentioned but misinformed strangers.

    I would also make it a point to flat-out ask his vet about his body condition at every appointment.

    Sebastian did eventually get up to six cups a day, but he was a big, high-energy boy. He did not stay at six cups for very long.

    As far as the transition from Puppy Chow to TOTW goes, I would do it over a period of a few weeks, as opposed to a few days, especially since he is recovering from digestive issues. Canned pumpkin or sweet potato can be a great additive for helping the transition - just remember to get the kind that is just pumpkin or sweet potato, and not the pie filling. A company named Fruitables makes a product that is specifically designed to be added to dog food as a digestive aid, and it is wonderful, but it can be hard to find, and is a bit more expensive.

    I would also talk to your breeder to find out more about the littermate who died as well as the one who needed IV fluids, and find out if those puppies were diagnosed with a specific illness that brought on the dehydration. Parvo comes to mind, and if your boy has been exposed, both you and your vet need to know. Really, even if it wasn't Parvo, you and your vet need to know.

    Going off topic, now, my other big concern is how young he was when you brought him home. Young puppies go through a key socialization phase, during which they learn important social skills from their mother and littermates. This includes the all-important inhibited bite. Typically, breeders who understand the importance of this phase refuse to release puppies to their new homes until they are 8-10 weeks old. Now, some puppies who are taken from Mom and siblings too early grow up to be just fine. Others (ahem, Sebastian) require some work to teach them the things they did not learn in those critical few weeks. I'm not saying that you WILL have a problem, I just want to prepare you for IF you do.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
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  5. #5
    Puppy (New Member)

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    SebastiansMom,

    Thank you for the wonderful comments and advice. I will give his ribs a feel when I get home and try to start learning how to read his body weight on my own because you're right, it probably does vary greatly from puppy to puppy. Right now we are still mixing half and half TOTW/Purina with chicken and rice because his stomach is in a delicate state. But I will heed your advice and try to take the transition even slower.

    He goes to the vet next week for his second round of vaccinations so I will ask them to assess his body condition and weight. I'm curious how much heavier he will be than when we were just at the emergency clinic. I'll report back while he was at the emergency clinic we got him a Parvo test that thankfully came back negative. We are unsure of what the diagonsis was of the other two puppies, and I'm not sure if I will be able to find out.

    As for his age when we brought him home, I know. We got him from a family friend, not a breeder, and waited until the last possible minute to get him. He was the last one there at 6 weeks so we went ahead and brought him home. I wanted to wait two more weeks, but unfortunately it wasn't possible. The only problem he has, at least at this monent, is not knowing how hard to play bite when dad and him wrestle

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Here is a thread with info on raising giant breed pups: http://www.greatpyr.com/forum/showth...ight=nutrition

    I am totally in the camp of feeding according to the puppy's body condition. Like SM said, you want to be able to feel a little rib without having pressing down to hunt for them. It is better to try to keep growth in a steady even pace and avoid big growth spurts. Growth spurts can be triggered by an abundance of calories and calcium taken in. This means that the more a puppy eats, the faster they are likely to grow. Bigger faster isn't a good thing with these giant puppies.

    My puppy is now 8 months old. He is our 4th pyr. When we got him at 8 weeks, I was doing good getting him to eat 2 cups a day. I would offer 2.5 cups but on average he'd eat about 2. He was getting enough because he was never skinny. At 3-4 months I increased it to 3 cups. During that period he was fed 3 times a day. At 4 months we reduced feeding to twice a day. And around 4-5 months I increased his kibbles to 4 cups a day and maintained that to now. He gained a steady 10 lbs a month until he hit 6-7 months. He is now 8 months and about 73 lbs and 26" tall. I would note though, he is an only child and is not particularly high energy. He is a little thin at 73 lbs by most standards because I can count his ribs. But at this age he doesn't really need to carry extra fat anymore.

    I do want to ask which formula of TOTW are you feeding? The TOTW puppy formula kibbles have acceptable calcium content, however, it's on the higher end of the acceptable range for giant breed pups. As such, you do not want to over-feed your pup because it will likely lead to fast growth. Some of the other adult formulas have way too high calcium content - a big NO NO for giant breed pups.

    My pup Ren was eating the Kirkland chicken & rice all-life stage kibbles when he came to us. He was doing fine so I fed him two more bags of that (80 lbs worth) until he got tired of it. The Kirkland kibbles have low calcium content suitable for giant breed pups. After that I switched to Organics Ultramix which also has the right calcium level. I just switched him now to Orijen Large Breed Puppy because I wanted to cut down on his carbohydrate intake and see if it makes a difference with muscle development.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    I am so glad that Kodiak's Parvo test came back negative, and hope that his tummy feels much better, soon!

    Sebastian's entire litter was surrendered to the rescue with Parvo (it was discovered during transport). I'm not sure exactly how old they were, but they weren't 8-10 weeks, yet. Only Sebastian and one littermate survived. The littermate had a more difficult time recovering than Sebastian, so Sebastian spent a good portion of his socialization period in isolation.

    I had a hard time with the biting. When he was about six months old, I started taking him to doggie day care on occasion, and that seemed to help.

    He's five now, and the only behavioral problem that he has is frustration intolerance that results in aggressive behavior toward other dogs. Part of that is most likely genetic, I think part of it was made worse by some training mistakes I made early on, and it's hard to know for sure, but I think that his less-than-ideal start may have contributed some.

    Hopefully, Kodiak will learn not to bite Dad too hard, soon, and won't have any other issues!
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
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  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    Your puppy is adorable! I had been feeding food for large breed puppy. I think it has lower protein. I did 3 times at 8 weeks old. Now she eats a lot and is like a horse. I think the advice here are really good. Kit is on Fromm Large Breed Puppy. If your doggy has a upset tummy, it is probably best to do as many meals a day. The sweet potatoes is a great idea because my other dog had some issues transitioning to new food and we got him Fruitable canned sweet potato. It worked like a charm.

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