Every family that brings our puppies home is encouraged to read through our blogs especially on how to feed their puppy. There are many dog food companies and dog supplement companies such as NuVet that I would recommend. But the liver is arguably the best natural vitamin due to the many nutrients available. It is also something that our dogs absolutely love and need no coaxing to consume. Freeze-dried liver is sold widely but is completely unnecessary if you want to buy it fresh and cut it up yourself.
I have a friend that supplies me with as many cow livers as we want. We cut them into small cubes and freeze them on a tray or place 5-10 of them directly in a Ziploc bag and thaw them later in hot water. We then feed it 1-2 times per week to our adults.
In the wild, canines naturally open the belly and eat organ meat first. It is the most nutritious part of an animal. However, there is nothing wasted and the entire carcass is consumed. It is recommended to feed no more liver than 10% of the diet.1 The primary concern is getting too much vitamin A which is fat-soluble and is stored in the body and is typically found in dogs only fed table scraps or a diet solely of liver.2
You will not need to worry about this if you are feeding a high-quality dog food. So, if you are looking for a way to use organ meat after hunting or just want to buy some liver at the grocery store you may want to give it a try. Just make sure to slowly add it to the diet in small amounts and keep it in their diet regularly.
Several weeks ago I gave a marble-sized piece of liver to 7-week old puppies. They liked it the very first time they tried it. Several days later I gave it to them again and they absolutely loved it.
Up North Pyrenees strives to make you the very best puppy not just through great genetics, careful breeding, and lots of positive socialization. We feed your puppy and their parents highly nutritious foods to set them up for a lifetime of health.
1. Henriques J. Why Your Dog Should Eat More Liver. Dogs Naturally. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/why-you-need-to-feed-your-dog-liver/. Published 2021. Accessed April 7, 2021.
2. Vitamin A Toxicosis in Dogs. vca_corporate. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/vitamin-a-toxicosis-in-dogs. Published 2021. Accessed April 7, 2021.
Choosing the right puppy or dog food is important to maximize the immune system, general health and prevention of growth related problems common in large breed puppies. Feed only large breed puppy food until they stop growing.
Food companies are not all the same and that is why I like to recommend www.dogfoodadvisor.com to compare them in order to make good decisions.
Our dogs favorite foods are Life’s Abundance Large Breed Puppy, Nutrisource Large Breed Puppy, and Diamond Naturals Large Breed puppy. All of these are high-quality puppy foods that we trust for our puppies wherever they travel.
Nutrisource Large Breed Puppy is also made in the USA in Minnesota and can be found in many stores but unfortunately isn’t shipped. Our puppies love this food. The kibble is very small which is ideal for puppies under 8 weeks old.
I am a big supporter of proper nutrition and I take vitamins personally. I try to get my family to take them as well but often find them on the floor or behind the refrigerator. We raised goats for many years and always saw a difference when we fed them supplements. Farmers routinely give vitamins and minerals to their cows, pigs, and chickens to maximize health. Chronic health problems are frequently a result of poor nutrition during conception onward as nutrients drive the expression of genes to optimize health.
Up North Pyrenees takes nutrition of our puppies seriously. All of our dogs are fed a partial raw diet along with a high quality dog food. I’ve tried giving them many different brands of vitamins over the years but they always needed them covered in butter or wrapped in meat until we tried NuVet. They snap up NuVet Plus K9 Wafers like a piece of meat. So, we are now using NuVet Plus K9 wafers for all of our adult dogs and puppies. We start at 6 weeks old and continue throughout their life to maximize their health. NuVet is made in the USA and cold processed to retain maximum nutrition.
Click this link below to see the abundant research on each nutrient in NuVet K9 plus wafers.
Puppy Training Resources for Up North Pyrenees Friends!
I just received these puppy training resources from Catie Straiton from Pyradigm Great Pyrenees and thought I would post it for your benefit. We are getting a beautiful puppy from her health tested parents for our next generation of puppies.
The below audio resources may not be available for very long. So, please listen to it as soon as is possible while you are driving or doing a work project. Enjoy and share it with a friend!
Up North Pyrenees frequently gets the question “Should I spay or neuter my Great Pyrenees?” The short answer is yes. But, the most frequently asked question is “When should I spay or neuter my Great Pyrenees?” Again, the short answer is at 1-2 years old. The remainder of this blog will discuss each of these questions in more depth.
Should I spay or neuter my Great Pyrenees? Spaying involves removing the ovaries of a female dog and eliminates ovulation, progesterone and estrogen hormone production. Menstruation and pregnancy is no longer possible. This also removes some related behaviors during her heat cycle like constant whining, bleeding and wanting to run and find any available male dog to breed with. These hormones can also trigger fights with other intact females which can get bloody. Spaying results in a more even tempered female. Some veterinarians do perform a tubal ligation to preserve these hormones but prevent pregnancy.
Neutering involves removing the testicles of a male which eliminates testosterone and sperm production. This prevents him from running as far as his nose tells him there is a female in heat. This behavior starts at 6-12 months old and will likely continue the rest of his life. Both of these present problems for families that want an obedient pet or guardian to be on the job. Also, intact males will frequently fight over an intact female that is in heat. Obedience is not possible when his hormones flood his brain. Neighbors will be annoyed with your Pyr frequently visiting their females. Dogs that are neutered will frequently live longer due to a reduction of these behavior issues.
A female dog less than 50# will frequently die if a 100-140# Great Pyrenees male breeds her. This is due to very large puppies relative to her uterus size and she will be unable to deliver without a c-section. Getting “rid” of Great Pyrenees mixes will be a chore after lots of work properly raising puppies. Who wants to buy a puppy of unknown origin? That is the purpose of purebred dogs and buying from a reputable breeder where only the best dogs are being bred. Accidental mix breed puppies need to be avoided due to these and many other problems that accompany them. Veterinarians also do vasectomies if you want to keep the male hormones but prevent any breeding.
When should I spay or neuter my Great Pyrenees? Waiting until a dog is at its full grown size has been shown to be important to reduce musculoskeletal problems. This means that you’ll need to wait until your Great Pyrenees is 1-2 years old or at their full frame size. Large breed dogs take much longer to reach their full size and this requires these hormones to properly grow their structure. The lack of these sex related hormones causes structural problems. Several studies on Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds showed a significant increase rates of knee and elbow ligament tears, cancer, and hip problemsaccording to Torres et al and others.1,2,3 Early neutering was defined as less than one year old in these studies. These breeds are typically smaller than Great Pyrenees. The larger the dog the longer you need to wait for full skeletal development. Typically, all dogs in shelters must be spayed or neutered prior leaving. Sadly, this means problems down the road for the majority of these dogs if they are under 1 year old.
Exact timing of spaying should be in the middle of a heat cycle for hormonal reasons. Neutering can be done any time. Consulting with a veterinarian that is familiar with large and giant breeds is extremely important for all Great Pyrenees owners.
One word of caution. Spaying and neutering is not a substitute for training. It will not make a mellow obedient dog. I have mistakenly thought this in the past and was demonstrated in a research study of more than 10,000 dogs done by Farhoody and Zinc.4
Ultimately, spaying and neutering is up to you. There are risks to altering normal reproductive function. But, sex related behaviors will pose problems as well. Up North Pyrenees requires spaying or neutering at 1-2 years for all of our puppies unless they are going to established breeders or new breeders that will abide by our standards.
Torres de la Riva G, Hart BL, Farver TB, Oberbauer AM, Messam LLM, Willits N, et al. (2013) Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers. PLoS ONE 8(2): e55937. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055937
Hart BL, Hart LA, Thigpen AP, Willits NH. Long-term health effects of neutering dogs: comparison of Labrador Retrievers with Golden Retrievers. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 14;9(7):e102241. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102241. PMID: 25020045; PMCID: PMC4096726.
Hart BL, Hart LA, Thigpen AP, Willits NH. Neutering of German Shepherd Dogs: associated joint disorders, cancers and urinary incontinence. Vet Med Sci. 2016 May 16;2(3):191-199. doi: 10.1002/vms3.34. PMID: 29067194; PMCID: PMC5645870.
(2020). Retrieved 14 December 2020, from http://www.naiaonline.org/uploads/WhitePapers/SNBehaviorFarhoodyZink.pdf
Excessive calcium in a puppy’s diet is harmful for the large breed puppy skeletal growth. While the milk mustache commercials were beneficial as an alternative to pop for children this is not such a concern for puppies. In fact, excessive calcium will contribute to a limping puppy that can lead to the diagnosis of several musculoskeletal disorders found in large breed puppies.
Large breed puppy food has been formulated with reduced calcium when compared to the smaller dog breeds. This between 0.8 to 1.2% on a dry matter basis.1 Adding in extra calcium in the form of dog treats, bones, vitamins, or regular puppy food with increase these calcium levels. Excessive calcium with accelerate bone growth which will place more stress on the joints through longer bones. This will also create lower density bones surrounding the joints which will contribute to joint injuries.
Allow uncooked bones to be eaten only after your puppy is fully grown. This will allow plenty of time to allow muscle growth to protect the joints.
Bones are not bad but the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.
Excessive calcium in a puppy’s diet is harmful for the large breed puppy skeletal growth. Maybe you have a story that you’d like to share. Tell us your thoughts on this subject. Blessings from Up North Pyrenees!
Bassert, JM, John Thomas. McCumin’s Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, E-Book. 8th ed. 2014. (Atlanta, GA, Elsevier Health Sciences): 319.
Minnesotans will again be having to deal with another lock down called “Dial Back”. People are relational by nature. Many of us need relationship more than we think. Yesterday, I heard on the radio that 40 million Americans have anxiety disorders and suicide is on the rise from COVID related social distancing. God, in His wisdom, has made us so that we depend on each other and more importantly depend on Him.
Puppies can’t be bred fast enough and are being sold to those trying to cope with loneliness. I believe this a good coping mechanism. Pets give you permission to go outdoors for their benefit which is a wonderful way to bump into other people. But, I wonder what will happen when the world goes back to “normal” whatever that is. Will we stay isolated with out pets or will we become more neighborly.
Here are my thoughts.
Don’t buy a puppy unless you think you’ll be a forever home. If you do get a puppy then read a book on how to train a puppy. I recommend the Art of Raising a Puppy.Enjoys this God given relationship.
Stay connected with people because you were designed for relationships. Make phone calls, Zoom meetings, Face Time calls, or in person visits. Be a blessing to someone else in need by dropping off groceries for someone with COVID. We were recently the beneficiary of this ministry and it was blessing to our family. Thank you John!
Be mindful that God the Father has designed a longing for relationships in you. Turn your heart towards him during your loneliness. Read the Bible, listen to Bible at www.biblegateway.com, pray/talk to God about your thoughts and ask Him to reveal His thoughts, and worship Him in your solitude.
I’m reminded of this Bible verse in 1 Corinthian 4:17-18 “17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
May God richly bless you in tomorrow’s upcoming COVID lock down! Thank you for your interest in Up North Pyrenees. Please share us with a friend.
Prong collars get a bad rap because of the way a few people have used them. But, prong collars can give you control and a training tool for your unruly adolescent dog. I work as a physical therapist. I have seen standard collars with leashes completely remove thumbs which ended up causing permanent damage, loss of function, and large medical costs. Prong collars even work well on little dogs. So, I am a bit of a realist and have your best interest in mind which will help you train your puppy better.
This heavy-duty Herm Sprenger with swivel and quick release is my choice for every Up North Pyrenees puppy. This collar is made to last and can have links removed or added to grow with your puppy. Buy a smaller prong collar when they are younger and then move up to this when they get near their full size. The quick-release is a must-have feature as it will all you to safely remove the collar and not remove a finger when your adolescent puppy can’t sit still for one more second.
This is not a choke collar and it will not asphyxiate your dog. Pressure is generated on the front of the neck when your dog pulls hard. This is uncomfortable and will initially cause your dog to yelp. However, he will quickly realize that he has total control of this painful pressure. The result is a well-behaved dog that thinks twice before dragging you out in traffic after a squirrel.
Ease into using this collar with just several minutes the first time and gradually increase wearing time during your walks on a leash. It is as simple as that. Let the dog train itself while the collar is on. See my previous article Leash Training Your Snow Bear.
Up North Pyrenees advocates for the keeping of all your fingers and sanity. So, buy yourself a Black Friday gift this year. Share this product with your friends. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Feeding Your Puppy to Maximize Health and Avoid Health Issues
Feeding your puppy to maximize health and avoid health issues is our most viewed blog article. We will buy just about any product that companies market to combat health issues. We all want the best for our children and our pets. Our pets need to be at peak health to fulfill whatever role they may have in your home. Sadly, many large breed dog owners get this wrong. One study found that 29% of all veterinarian visits were because of degenerative joint disease of the hips.1
53% of all dogs in the United States are overweight.2 It doesn’t matter whether you feed raw, canned, or kibble. Too much food consumption increases weight in the form of fat which constantly strains their musculoskeletal system and is especially damaging to large and giant breed dogs.
Think of fat as a gas tank. My Chevy Suburban doesn’t need a 75-gallon tank. It has a 31-gallon gas tank and I get on average 20 miles per gallon. That gives me 620 miles of range. That’s 8-10 hours of driving time, which is totally acceptable. When you add more size, you add more weight. This reduces gas mileage and makes the suspension less comfortable.
Obesity in dogs will reduce the lifespan of a healthy joint and make your puppy or dog less comfortable. Click here to see this video of an obese dog. Great Pyrenees will go from 1 pound at birth to approximately 80-140 pounds first 1-2 years of life. That rapid growth combined with obesity will end up over-stressing immature ligaments and joints and lead to early-onset joint degeneration or even hip dysplasia as early as 6-9 months old. It will also set in to play a host of metabolic issues detrimental to growth.
Stop feeding your puppy or dog so much food. Feed them highly nutritious food on a schedule. Please see my previous blog Feeding Your Great Pyrenees Puppy. This will save you money on dog food, reduce your veterinary bills, and improve your puppy’s health for a lifetime. This may be the first time that not selling you something will give you more.
Lust et al3 said this “Excess energy consumption increases the frequency and severity of hip dysplasia in genetically predisposed dogs. Food intake should be regulated to maintain a slender figure with the ribs and dorsal vertebral spines easily palpable, but not visible. Excess dietary calcium and vitamin D contribute to hip dysplasia in genetically predisposed individuals and should be avoided. High dose vitamin C supplementation in growing puppies does not prevent hip dysplasia, and this practice should be discontinued.” Reduce the food ration if you can’t feel the ribs of your puppy. Stick to high-quality dog food alone and avoid supplements for your puppy.
Dammrich4 states “Overnutrition in dogs from the larger breeds exaggerates this tendency to create osteopenia by increasing the rates of skeletal growth and remodeling of the newly formed cancellous bone.” Overfeeding causes the bone to be less dense and predispose them to injury. Therefore, do all puppy feeding in a controlled manner 2-3 times per day for 15-30 minutes, followed by removal of food until the full size is attained.
Interestingly, restricted feeding was associated with slower growth and delayed growth plate closure in large breed puppies without reducing their adult full size.5 Delayed growth to reduce skeletal injury is what we are trying to do in large breeds. Some people feel that restricting food will create a mini version of what the puppy would have been. This is not the case. Restricted feeding slows their growth in a healthy natural way similar to what a canine would grow like in the wild. I’ve seen many coyotes and a few wolves. All of them were thin.
Pat yourself on the back the next time you see that your puppy isn’t as big as someone bragging on Facebook. A Great Pyrenees puppy that is Goliath at 6 months old is nothing to be excited about. Slow and steady will make your puppy healthier.
Up North Pyrenees raises high-quality puppies one litter at a time. We educate and support our families for a lifetime. Please consider us for your next puppy. We’re worth the wait!
Richardson DC: Review of Orthopedic Case Records. Raleigh, NC, North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1985-1990.
Fat Dogs & Dog Obesity: How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight. (2020). Retrieved 4 November 2020, from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/fat-dogs-and-dog-obesity/
Fries CL, Remedios AM. The pathogenesis and diagnosis of canine hip dysplasia: a review. Can Vet J. 1995 Aug; 36(8): 494–502.
Dämmrich K. Relationship between nutrition and bone growth in large and giant dogs. J Nutr. 1991 Nov;121(11 Suppl):S114–S121.
Richardson DR. The Role of Nutrition in Canine Hip Dysplasia. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice. 1992 May; 3(22): 529-540.
There is mix breed dog epidemic in our country. I am not talking about the best of one breed being bred to the best of another breed for a purposeful reason. There are many poorly bred puppies being sold throughout this country that will end up being more expensive that anticipated. Health problems and unanticipated behaviors due to being an unknown mix breed will lead to owner frustrations.
Puppies sell themselves in our current environment amid lockdowns as loneliness creeps in from social distancing. Good breeding takes time, planning and resources. People are lonely and want relationships. Pets are one of the American ways we get a relationship fix. My recommendation is to go to church, talk to a friend, invite family over for a hot dish or hamburgers before buying a poorly bred puppy.
The sale of mix breed dogs is soaring amid the pandemic lockdowns. These puppies are typically accidental or intentional breeding of dogs of unknown origin and questionable genetics. They are also bred by people wanting to make a few extra dollars and don’t have the investment or responsibility of established breeders.
Nature has a way of weeding out poor genetics. These poor genetics will contribute to lifelong health issues. That is when the real bill hits when you go to the veterinarian. I will not delve into the many genetic issues with the breeds, but I assure you there are many. Mix breed puppies from a large number of these breeders are actually mix breeds being bred to mix breeds. Ask the breeder for a genetic test of your mix breed puppy or their parents. Ask to see their parents or pictures of them. Keep looking if they don’t do this as they typically have something to hide or they just don’t care. This reduces the chances that the behaviors these puppies display will resemble the behaviors consistent within breeds.
Up North Pyrenees makes a commitment to our families to breed only high quality known genetics, provide excellent pre and post-natal nutrition, begin behavior training activities, delivery of our puppies, and give a lifetime of support to make them work with your family. We also assist you to re-home instead of bringing your puppy or dog to a shelter. This all part of our 2-year guarantee. We encourage you to buy your next puppy through a reputable breeder and recommend that your friends and family do the same. Up North Pyrenees… Farm Raised, Family Loved and Delivered to You!