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best dog food for great pyrenees puppies

Puppy Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees is a giant, fluffy teddy bear of a dog with a thick white coat. They have a fascinating history as a shepherd’s dog and a guardian. They are bound to protect you and anyone else they are fond of in their family.

Such a faithful dog deserves caring owners to watch over them. A significant part of this is finding the best food for your giant pup. They are powerful; at their shoulder, they stand from 25 to 32 inches tall. When they are fully grown, they can weigh between 85 to 115 pounds.

They need plenty of protein and high-quality formula to support their continued growth. Great Pyrenees can live for 10 to 12 years, and you want to maximize every moment that you have with your wonderful pup.

The best food gets you to that long-term goal. Read through our reviews of the top 10 picks for 2020.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

The 10 Best Puppy Foods for Great Pyrenees — Reviews 2021

1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food — Best Overall

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild has become one of the most high-quality dog foods on the market, particularly for larger breeds. Their focus is on providing pups with a diet similar to what their carnivorous wolf ancestors would have eaten.

The High Prairie Grain-Free formula includes buffalo, venison, and bison, which are novel proteins uncommon in many other recipes.

Many dogs can have allergies or sensitivities to wheat and corn products in their food. Taste of the Wild uses peas and sweet potatoes for carbohydrates instead. These are also easier to digest.

They create and manufacture all their food in the U.S.A. as a family-owned and -run company. Plenty of ingredients are added to provide all the essential vitamins and antioxidants. These come from real fruits and vegetables, along with omega fatty acids, vital to a healthy coat and skin.

2. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Dry Dog Food — Best Value

Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Dry Dog Food - Best for Puppies

Large breed, or giant, dogs need a diet that differs from those of medium and small-breed pups. They have more muscle mass to maintain, along with a slower metabolism. The most important time of their developing life is at the puppy stage.

IAMS supports this phase with its ProActive Health puppy food. The main ingredient is real chicken, and the rest of the ingredients have been added to support all the nutritional needs of a growing large breed pup, like a Great Pyrenees.

Beyond the premium protein content, the recipe features 22 key nutrients. These were chosen based on the nutrients that weaned puppies would get from their mother’s milk. They include omega 3 DHA, which supports brain development. Unfortunately, several “filler” ingredients can lead to your puppy feeling hungry again quicker than other high-quality foods.

Just because you have a large breed puppy, that doesn’t mean making a large dent in your wallet. IAMS ProActive puppy food also happens to be the best puppy food for Great Pyrenees for the money.

3. Royal Canin Large Puppy Dry Dog Food — Premium Choice

Royal Canin Large Puppy

Royal Canin treasures hardworking, large breed dogs. It recognizes the value of their dispositions, protection, or skill as herders and wants to support them in all their efforts. It also realizes that these pups, due to their slower metabolisms and increased weight, tend to suffer from joint pains and digestive sensitivities.

The Maxi Large puppy dog food addresses all these from a young age. It is formulated for puppies up to 15 months old or between 56 and 99 pounds. The recipe is formulated to support their digestive health and set them up for a healthier life experience.

The proteins in this dog food are meant to be highly digestible and balance their intestinal flora. Not only that, but the included nutrients also support healthy bone and joint growth.

There are filler ingredients in this dog food, with the first ingredient in the recipe being corn. Chicken by-product meal and wheat gluten follow this, both being controversial additives in dog food. Chicken fat is fifth, though, and is a positive source of fat in a dog’s diet.

4. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed

Purina wants to work with you to help your puppy grow big and strong! Purina crafts its Pro Plan Puppy mix with chicken and rice. The food is specifically meant for pups that will grow to over 50 pounds at adulthood.

Chicken is the first ingredient in the recipe, supplying your Great Pyrenees with an easily digestible protein. DHA is an essential compound to healthier brain development, particularly in large breed puppies. The formula includes omega-rich fish oils with DHA.

Since many large breed dogs struggle with more sensitive and slower digestive systems, Purina has packed in probiotics. These work to support digestive health, aiding in breaking down food. It also works to boost immunity, so your pup stays happy and healthy.

Some of the ingredients are a bit controversial, however. Purina uses unspecified poultry by-product meal and corn gluten meal.

5. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science is widely known as a premium health-conscious dog food brand. It has special formulas for any stage of life that your animal is at, including for a large breed puppy. Hill’s Science focuses on only sourcing its ingredients from the best.

The first ingredient in this formula is chicken meal, an easily digestible source of protein. Following this is whole-grain wheat, oats, and sorghum. Some people contest the corn gluten meal, while others believe that it helps support puppy growth.

This recipe is specifically for puppies up to 1 year old and over 55 pounds when they are fully grown. It controls the levels of calcium for optimal bone growth without excess that can lead to digestive issues.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are major players in healthy muscles and joints. The whole bag is processed and manufactured in the United States. For some younger puppies, the kibble size might be difficult to chew right away.

6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy

Blue Buffalo makes its food to protect the puppies that it feeds. The first ingredients are always real meat, followed by whole grains, fruits, and veggies.

It includes LifeSource Bits in all its blends. These contain vital blends of nutrients. In this food, they are enhanced with a Super 7 blend of ingredients rich in antioxidants. DHA and ARA are included in the mixture to aid in the development of the brain and vision.

Blue Buffalo measures out healthy amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins in its food. The kibble is good for small jaws, even if the puppies will grow up to be big dogs. Every bite they take promotes tartar removal through a specialized texture.

7. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals formulates their puppy formula for dogs that will be over 55 pounds as adults and are currently less than 1 year old. The dry recipe is enhanced by using a mixture of doggie superfoods and probiotics.

This large breed puppy food stands out from the crowd because its first ingredient is lamb. The following ingredients are made with a rice mixture and real fruits and vegetables for just the right blend of vitamins and nutrients. These include coconut, garbanzo beans, papaya, and peas.

Beyond containing the required DHA in a puppy’s diet, it has probiotics to make digestion easier. It doesn’t include any corn or wheat products, filler ingredients, artificial flavors, or any preservatives. Perhaps due to the lack of grains, some dogs experienced loose stool when eating this food. A family-owned company in the U.S.A. manufactures it.

8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

3Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

A wolf’s diet inspired this grain-free dog food. It is rich in accessible proteins, with the first two ingredients being deboned chicken and chicken meal.

This food is specifically formulated to meet the needs of a growing large breed puppy, such as a Great Pyrenees. It includes DHA, the fatty acid essential to brain and eye growth found in a mother dog’s milk.

Beyond the required essentials, Blue Buffalo has found an optimal blend of calcium and phosphorus. These allow your dog to maintain healthy bone and joint structures without leading to excess that messes with their digestive systems.

The kibble is bite-sized for a puppy’s smaller jaw, and the shape prevents tartar buildup on the teeth.

9. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy

When considering the food for your large breed puppy, it is essential to factor in how fast they put on weight compared to other breeds. Wellness considers this when formulating their mix for fast-growing large breed puppies.

Part of how the company ensures that its food is the best for your pup is by measuring precise amounts of calcium and phosphorus levels. Salmon meal is included and is this food’s source of DHA. Flaxseed provides the omega-3 and omega-6 nutrients essential to healthy coats and skin.

Sometimes as a puppy develops, they can have a hard time with digestion. Yucca schidigera extracts in the kibble work to reduce stool odors. Additional taurine helps support a happy heart. One of the only controversial ingredients is garlic powder.

10. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials

The first ingredient in Nutro’s Wholesome Essentials Large Breed puppy food is real lamb, sourced from Australia and New Zealand. This protein gives quickly growing puppies the amino acids that they need to build up the muscles necessary to maintain them.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are vital parts of this dog food and are sourced naturally. They support healthy joints, vital to dogs who struggle with muscle and joint failure with age. Brown rice and oatmeal maintain a proper fiber balance while promoting healthy digestion.

This formula is precise, hitting pre-decided targets of digestible protein and fat. This way, your pup always has the nutrition to maintain high energy levels without bloating. No preservatives or artificial flavors and colors are used in the manufacturing of the food.

Buyer’s Guide

From newborn pups to fully grown adults, different breeds have various needs. For example, a Chihuahua is going to grow in a different way and at a slower rate than a Great Pyrenees or Rottweiler. Here are a few things to consider before buying food for your GP.

Age

The first 12 to 15 months of a dog’s life are the biggest in terms of development. They are going to need more energy and calories than they will as they get older and their metabolism slows down.

Puppy food is developed for dogs that are 15 months or younger. They should be transitioned to adult food as they grow older, or they could struggle with obesity later in life.

Another way to figure out if your dog needs puppy food or adult food is to gauge their size. For most adult large breed dogs, once they are over 55 pounds or stop growing, they should eat adult food.

Nutrition for Large Breed Puppies

Carefully select dog formula that has the right blend of protein and nutrients. It is not good to always trust that whatever company developed the food did it in just the right way for your pup.

Protein

Puppies need a high-protein diet, especially large breed dogs who are developing a heavier muscle mass. Typically, lamb or chicken is used and should be either the first or second ingredients on the list, if not both.

If a puppy food uses the by-products of meat like chicken, it might not be as safe for them. “Chicken by-products” can mean that dead animals were taken from farms or ranches and used in food production.

Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio

Balancing calcium and phosphorus is essential for any dog, no matter the age. Large breed puppies require 0.8% to 1.2% calcium on a dry matter basis. Up to six months old, they absorb up to 70% of this. That means that any more calcium in their diet is superfluous and can end up negatively affecting them.

Typically, the level of calcium and phosphorus are considered together and put in the form of a ratio. It should be around 1.1:1 to 2:1 for the levels to keep appropriate hormone levels balanced.

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an essential nutrient in puppy food. It is commonly found in mother’s milk and is needed for proper mental and visual development.

On a dry matter basis, a healthy diet should provide around 0.02%. While this might not sound like much, it is absolutely necessary. You can find it in some omega-3s or marine fish supplements.

Calorie Density

Dogs like the Great Pyrenees always struggle with obesity because their metabolisms are slower. They need to be carefully monitored, and it is best not to free feed them. Recommended daily diets for these pups have a caloric density between 3,200 to 4,100 kcal/kg.

Grain vs. Grain-free

Some dog owners believe that dogs are naturally carnivorous and should not be fed grains that can damage their digestive systems. Others believe that wheat and corn give them vital nutrients in a way that is more readily available than in oats and rice.

When it comes to your pup, first figure out what you think is best for them. Their preferences might play a big role in deciding, since some dogs process one kind of food better than another.

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Conclusion

For any dog, large or small, you want to do your best. If you are lucky enough to call a Great Pyrenees your own, then making sure that they are properly cared for is likely a priority.

Whether you are looking for the best of the best, such as the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free food, or need something easier on the budget, like IAMS ProActive Health puppy food, we got you covered. We dog lovers have to stick together and support the health systems of our large teddy bears!

Featured Image Credit: Pxfuel

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