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 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 (as opposed to raw or BARF), it is imperative then that you not go to Wal-Mart and grab whatever dog food bag is handy on the shelf. You will have to go to a pet supply store to purchase this quality of kibble.
When you check your labels, look closely at: Fat, Calcium, Phosphorus. Most nutritionists recommend fast growing puppies eat diets containing approximately 30% protein and 9% fat (dry matter basis). Calcium percentage of your feed should be around 1.5% (3 grams per 1000 kcal). The phosphorus percentage should be between 0.8% – 1%. Calcium and phosphorus work together. The calcium:phohphorus ratios in your pup’s diet should be between 1:1 and 1.3:1.
WHAT WE RECOMMEND
There are a number of excellent options available to Dogue de Bordeaux owners. I recommend more than one brand because every Dogue is different. One dog may do well with one brand while another does not. Orijen and Acana are made by the same company (Champion Petfoods). These two are just about the best of the best on the market today in terms of quality of ingredients and meat based protein. A couple of other perfectly acceptable options are Taste of the Wild and Nutrisource. All of these brands produce multiple formulas. It’s vital to pick the one appropriate for your Dogue de Bordeaux puppy.
We wean our puppies on Taste of The Wild. I find very young babies do quite well on it as it is not as rich as Orijen/Acana, which can be a little difficult on their tummies.
These feeds come with a significant price tag. The expense is more than worth it for the peace of mind. Hey – you are what you eat!
Should you choose to feed your Dogue de Bordeaux puppy something other than Taste Of The Wild (TOTW), make the transition slowly. Mix a little of the kibble you want to switch to in with the TOTW formula for a few days. Slowly decrease the amount of TOTW and increase your other kibble. Dogues de Bordeaux generally have sensitive stomachs. Abrupt disruptions to their 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. DO NOT FEED YOUR DOGUE DE BORDEAUX ON RAISED DISHES.
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.