Although the Great Pyrenees is a large dog, it actually has a relatively moderate appetite. In summer months, these dogs eat the least since they prefer to be mostly inactive in the heat. In the winter they will increase their activity, burning more calories and thus eating more. On average, these dogs eat up to two 40-pound bags of dog food a month.
General Feeding Requirements
Although the Great Pyrenees may need fewer calories than another dog of comparable size, the calories it does consume need to be quality, not empty calories. Both protein and fat are necessary for a healthy dog, but vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and fiber are also extremely important. Whatever type of food a Great Pyrenees receives, it should consist of a balanced diet, with both meats and vegetables. Products containing corn, however, are not recommended, because most dogs find corn difficult to digest.
High-quality commercial dry food is the most recommended type of prepared food for the Great Pyrenees. Owners should look for brands that have large dog varieties, but also pay close attention to the ingredient list. Meats should be listed at the top, and foods with "byproducts" included as part of the meat description should be avoided. Additionally, while natural preservatives like vitamin E are acceptable, foods that use large amounts of chemical preservatives are not good for any dog.
Dog food made fresh by the owner is often thought to be the most healthy alternative, though it is usually more expensive and time-consuming than the commercially made options. Fresh food is made daily using the same fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and meats used to cook human meals. Dog owners have to be more mindful of proper nutritional requirements, including which foods should be left raw, when preparing at-home meals for their dogs. A vet should be consulted before choosing this meal plan.
Wet and Semi-Moist Food
Both wet and semi-moist food are generally not recommended as the main food source for the Great Pyrenees. Semi-moist foods, which contain about 40 percent water, tend to have more chemical preservatives than either wet or dry food. Wet food, also called canned food, is high in sugar and tends to cause plaque build up and dental issues. Since both are generally more palatable for dogs than dry food, small quantities can occasionally be mixed in with dry food as an added treat for the dogs.