When you acquire a giant breed, like the Dogue de Bordeaux, you do so because you are in love with BIG dogs. Therefore, you want the puppy you purchase to grow up to be a big, massive dog. Unfortunately, too many are under the assumption that the more you feed your Dogue de Bordeaux puppy, the bigger he will end up being as an adult. This is a MYTH. Even if you feed your puppy a 5-star kibble, or BARF diet, overfeeding will only hurt your baby. So the question of ‘What to feed my Dogue de Bordeaux puppy?’ is probably on your mind.
The nutritional needs of a giant breed puppy are much different from those of small and medium breeds. Why? Because the way they grow makes them prone to orthopedic issues. Choosing the most appropriate feed for your Dogue de Bordeaux puppy and feeding the correct amount can significantly lower the risks. The 3 proven causes of hip dysplasia are: Genetics. Overfeeding. Excessive Dietary Calcium.
What makes giant breed puppies different? They grow faster than smaller breeds and they stay puppies longer. A Dogue de Bordeaux puppy can grow from one pound to well over one hundred pounds their first year of life. This rapid growth means their bones must change quickly putting them at risk of forming improperly. A Dogue de Bordeaux can still be considered a puppy as it continues to grow until 2 years old. Subsequently, what and how much you feed is going to have a remarkable impact.
LOOK AT THE LABELS
YOU MUST CHECK THE LABELS! Only a select few of AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) compliant puppy foods are safe for giant breed puppies. Should you decide to feed a dry kibble, it is imperative then that you not go to Wal-Mart and grab whatever dog food bag is handy on the shelf. Your puppy should be maintained on a grain-free, protein rich diet. You will have to go to a pet supply store to purchase this quality of kibble.
When you check your labels, look closely at: Calories, Calcium, Phosphorus. Calories should not exceed 4000 per kilogram of food (kcal/kg). The calcium percentage of your feed should not exceed 1.6. The phosphorus percentage should not exceed 1.4. There is some debate on whether a giant breed puppy should be put on adult kibble vs puppy kibble. This all depends on the quality of food, the numbers we just discussed, and the ingredients. Some puppy foods might be safe as well as some adult feeds.
WHAT WE FEED
We feed the Award winning, Champion Petfoods’ Orijen dry dog food. Orijen adult formula is what your Dogue de Bordeaux puppy will be on before he/she arrives to you. Orijen’s adult formula is completely safe for them with 3980 kcal/kg, calcium of 4.0 grams per 1000 kcal, and a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of 1.2.
This feed comes with a significant price tag at well over $2 per pound. The expense is more than worth it to me for the peace of mind I have knowing I am giving my Bordeauxs the absolute best. Hey – you are what you eat!
If you choose to feed your Dogue de Bordeaux puppy something other than Acana, make the transition slowly. Mix a little of the kibble you plan to feed in with the Acana formula for a few days. Slowly decrease the amount of Acana and increase your kibble. Dogues de Bordeaux generally have sensitive stomachs. Abrupt disruptions to their regular diet may mean some big messes for you to clean up. Not to mention a sour belly for the baby. Here is a brief guide on what you should do if your Dogue de Bordeaux has diarrhea: LINK.
Do not free feed, or feed liberal meals that exceed your puppy’s caloric need. An overweight Dogue de Bordeaux puppy is worse than an underweight puppy.
When you first bring your puppy home, you can feed 2 meals per day. Morning and evening. The amount you feed will depend on the weight of your puppy. A premium dog feed will have great guidelines on the package. Just remember, puppies need more than you might think because their bodies require the extra nutrients to fuel their excessive growth rate. Avoid situations where your puppy will gulp down his meals. If necessary, use a slow feeder bowl. Dogues de Bordeaux who habitually gulp down their meals are at a high risk to suffer from bloat. Remove the water dish at feeding times.
To sum it up, if I had to make a list of the most important things you can do to promote the health of your Dogue de Bordeaux, providing a quality, controlled diet would make my top 3.