Looking at the Great Pyrenees, it would be easy to assume that feeding such a good sized dog would require several extra large bags of dog food per month. In reality, when it comes to food the Great Pyrenees requires the least of any large breed dog. A number of owners insist that a Pyr eats no more than an average sized Golden Retriever. This is commonly credited to not only a calm temperament but a metabolism that runs efficiently on fewer calories. However, it should be noted that the Pyr is one whose diet should include vitamins and minerals that offer coat support.
Although there is a debate over which is better, feeding a mixture of canned and dry dog food can work just fine for the Great Pyrenees. As many owners have come to find, a Pyr may need less calories but those calories should still be of high quality. Empty calories can leave a dog feeling hungry, leading them to exhibit destructive behaviors such as chewing or barking. The breed is known to do best with lamb based products that have a high fat content. A high fat content is one of the many things that will help give the Great Pyrenees a beautiful coat. Corn based food products do not do well for the breed.
The Great Pyrenees is the type of dog where food intake can vary depending on the season. In the warm summer months the breed tends to stay inactive until the end of the day when things start cooling down. Because of this, their food intake will be much lower. During the cooler winter months when the breed returns to an active peak, caloric intake will predictably increase. With their low metabolism, it is not unheard of for the Great Pyrenees to regulate their own food intake. Though each dog is different, the Pyr is not one with a great drive to eat more than they need.
The only time a Great Pyrenees will consume large amounts of food is in their first year of development. Great Pyr puppies will need a high quality diet to ensure that their large frames develop properly. In the first few months, pups are fed four times per day. Once the pup shows that he or she can finish a meal without a problem, the portions are then increased but fed only three times per day. Once again, as time goes on and the pup shows that he or she can complete a meal easily, the portions are enlarged again so that the dog is eating once in the morning and once at night. Fresh water in clean bowls should be made available at all times.