Best Dog Food for Great Pyrenees — A Product Guide for Your Herding Professional

The Great Pyrenees is a giant, impressively strong dog bred to herd and shepherd flocks in the Pyrenees mountains that divide France and Spain.

Spending their time warding off predators in the freezing mountains and tending their sheep on their own for hours on end makes for a pretty interesting and endearing demeanor in a dog (or anyone, we imagine).

Super patient and chill, these dogs will happily herd your other animals or your kids in their outdoor space with loving-kindness. Introduce a threat, though, and you’ve got a pretty sizeable, courageous contender.

Not too many predators want to take on a dog commonly weighing over 100 pounds and standing an average of 2 ½ feet tall to the shoulder.

Gentle Giants is a preferred brand for large and giant breed dogs because their founders know what those magnificent creatures need! Burt Ward and Tracy Posner Ward (Do you recognize his name? You should, he was Robin in the original Batman series from the ‘60s!) established a rescue for large and giant breed dogs and developed the best way to feed them along the way. The result? Delicious recipes that our GP’s love and the nutrition they need to thrive.

The Best Dog Food for Great Pyrenees Are…

ProductDetails
1. Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food

  • Formulated specifically for large and giant breed dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Intended for dogs of all ages
  • Comes in chicken and salmon recipes
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2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

  • Formulated for large and giant breed dogs
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Chicken and brown rice recipe
  • Dry kibble texture
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3. Pro Plan Focus Adult Giant

  • Formulated for giant breed dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Intended for adult dogs
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4. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Beef & Rice Entree Chunks in Gravy Canned Dog Food

  • Formulated for large breed and giant breed dogs
  • Beef and rice formula
  • Wet, chunky consistency food
  • Intended for adult dogs
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5. Hill's Science Diet Adult Large Breed

  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Formulated for large breed dogs
  • Chicken and barley flavor
  • Dry kibble consistency
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6. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed

  • Dry kibble formula
  • Chicken and brown rice flavor
  • Formulated for large and giant breed dogs
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Also available in a formula for senior dogs
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7. Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed

  • For large breed dogs over 50 pounds
  • For adult dogs over 1 year old
  • Crunchy kibble formula
  • Chicken flavor
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8. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition

  • Formulated specifically for giant breed dogs over 100 pounds
  • For adult dogs over 18-24 months old
  • Dry kibble texture
  • Chicken blend
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9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe

  • Grain-free formula, be sure to consult your baby’s vet to make sure this food is right for him
  • Dry kibble texture
  • Formulated for large and giant breed dogs
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1. Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food

This food is a powerhouse of ingredients, including farm-raised, chicken, and wholesome grains like rice and oatmeal. Round it up with a rainbow of non-GMO garden fruits and veggies like carrots, tomatoes, cranberries, blueberries, and apple — and you’ve got everything you need to keep your sweet Pyr healthy and well-fed.

With an abundance of vitamins and minerals giant breed dogs need like chondroitin, glucosamine, taurine, and pre and probiotics, this food is the best option for your giant breed’s nutritional needs — from puppyhood to retirement.

Specs

  • Formulated specifically for large and giant breed dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Intended for dogs of all ages
  • Comes in chicken and salmon recipes

Pros

  • Pre and probiotics help promote healthy digestion for giant breed dogs prone to tummy issues as well as a strong immune system.
  • Contains a bounty of non-GMO fruits and vegetable
  • Vitamins B12, A, and taurine contribute to overall health, including a healthy heart
  • Contains real, farm-raised chicken

Cons

  • Reported skin rashes developed after eating this food
  • Reported tummy trouble after eating this food
  • Some Pyrs didn’t seem to like the taste.

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2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

Blue Buffalo dog food formulas are both nutritious and delicious for your big bestie! They contain patented LifeSource bits — adding essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants sourced from ingredients like blueberries, pumpkin, apples, and spinach to your dog’s bowl.

In addition, you’ll find protein-packed deboned chicken and the glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids that giant breed dogs need for strong joints and healthy skin.

With no meat by-product meals, corn, soy, or wheat, you can feel good about knowing he’s not getting many of the harmful ingredients some other foods include.

All Blue Buffalo foods are developed scientifically by animal nutritionists and veterans who care about the well-being of your GP.

Specs

  • Formulated for large and giant breed dogs
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Chicken and brown rice recipe
  • Dry kibble texture

Pros

  • Quality protein sourced from real chicken helps build lean muscle
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and a beautiful coat
  • Chondroitin and glucosamine promote healthy joints and active mobility
  • Strong bones and teeth supported by phosphorous, calcium and other essential vitamins
  • Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants support a robust immune system

Cons

  • Some Pyr owners said this food made their buddies sick after eating it.
  • Some dogs didn’t like the flavor of this blend.
  • Reported the food smelled odd and had an oily consistency upon opening the bag.

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3. Pro Plan Focus Adult Giant

Purina has been around for over 85 years, and it’s one of the most frequently recommended brands by vets and breeders for a good reason.

Nutrition tailored to a dog’s unique needs based on age, lifestyle, medical needs, and breed size is one of the things they are focused on providing, so their Pro Plan Focus food for adult giant breeds fits the bill for your Great Pyrenees.

 After all, when a breed’s average healthy weight reaches triple digits, they need all the specialized nutrition they can get!

Purina products are manufactured in the US, and are free from additives, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Real chicken, salmon, or lamb gives your GP the quality protein she needs to build lean muscle and stay active, while added glucosamine keeps her joints healthy and hard-working.

Round it all out with omega fatty acids, prebiotic fiber, and a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and you’ve got a balanced, nutritious bowl of doggie food!

Specs

  • Formulated for giant breed dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Intended for adult dogs

Pros

  • Omega 6 fatty acids help keep her skin healthy and her coat soft and shiny
  • Added glucosamine supports joint health and mobility
  • Carefully balanced fat-to-protein ratio helps her develop strong, lean muscle
  • Natural antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals support overall health
  • Naturally sourced prebiotic fiber promotes healthy digestion and immunity

Cons

  • Some Great Pyrs didn’t dig the taste
  • Reported unwanted weight gain for their pups after eating this formula

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4. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Beef & Rice Entree Chunks in Gravy Canned Dog Food

Sometimes a giant doggie just wants a giant dinner, and we think adding some canned food half and half to his kibble is a good way to treat him. This adult large breed formula will satisfy your big baby and deliver the added nutrition he needs to stay workin’.

Made with quality proteins like beef and liver, he’ll be getting a well balanced fat-to-protein ratio to help him build that strong, lean muscle and make his tummy happy.

It’s also rich in omega 6 fatty acids, biotin, and calcium to keep him well-fed and healthy. This food is manufactured in the US by Purina-owned facilities and contains no artificial additives, preservatives, flavors, or colors.

Specs

  • Formulated for large breed and giant breed dogs
  • Beef and rice formula
  • Wet, chunky consistency food
  • Intended for adult dogs

Pros

  • Contains the added glucosamine that giant breed dogs need for healthy joints
  • Omega 6 fatty acids and biotin keep his skin healthy and his coat silky
  • Optimal protein-to-fat ratio keeps him strong with lean muscle
  • Contains calcium for strong, healthy bones and teeth

Cons

  • Caused an itchy allergic reaction in some dogs
  • Some GPs didn’t like the recipe

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5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed

With real chicken as the first ingredient, this formula is specifically formulated to fuel your Pyr with lots of quality protein for strong muscles.

Natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine help maintain strong and healthy joints, added vitamins and minerals provide antioxidants for overall health and wellness.

All of Hill’s Science Diet foods are made in the US with quality ingredients. Containing no preservatives, artificial colors, or artificial flavors — Hill’s foods are subjected to the most rigorous of auditing to maintain a high standard of quality.

They also give their recipes the most rigorous taste-testing to maintain a high standard of deliciousness.

Specs

  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Formulated for large breed dogs
  • Chicken and barley flavor
  • Dry kibble consistency

Pros

  • Naturally-sourced chondroitin and glucosamine help maintain healthy joints and mobility.
  • Chicken is the first ingredient.
  • Contains a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for a strong immune system and optimal overall health
  • Omega 6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and a silky coat

Cons

  • Some doggie parents said the kibble was too large for their dogs.
  • Some Pyrs didn’t like the flavor.

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6. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed

Delicious farm-raised chicken, brown rice and sweet potatoes will have your giant furball wagging her tail at mealtimes!

With essential, immune-boosting antioxidants, quality protein, naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin and nutritious sources of fiber from ingredients like beet pulp and chickpeas all work together to give your four-legged bestie all the nutrition she needs to stay happy and healthy.

Made in the USA with carefully sourced, non-GMO ingredients, this food has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It also contains no chicken by-product meal, wheat, corn, or soy protein.

Specs

  • Dry kibble formula
  • Chicken and brown rice flavor
  • Formulated for large and giant breed dogs
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Also available in a formula for senior dogs

Pros

  • Naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin help support your big and beautiful Pyr’s active joints.
  • Antioxidants help support immune health
  • Number one ingredient is quality farm-raised chicken
  • Added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients support overall health

Cons

  • Gave some Pyrs tummy problems
  • Some dogs didn’t like the flavor
  • Some skin problems reported

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7. Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed

This large and giant breed formula provides your Pyr with all the healthy protein she needs from eggs and chicken to support lean muscle development, seven essential vitamins and nutrients for overall health, immune-boosting antioxidants, and a healthy dose of prebiotics and beet pulp to keep her digestion running smoothly. 

It’s optimal mix of proteins and carbs help give her the energy to herd away, and beneficial fish oil provides the omega fatty acids she needs for a healthy, shiny coat.

The crunchy kibble consistency helps clean your dog’s teeth as she crunches to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Specs

  • For large breed dogs over 50 pounds
  • For adult dogs over 1 year old
  • Crunchy kibble formula
  • Chicken flavor

Pros

  • Chicken and egg delivers real, quality protein
  • Prebiotics and beet pulp supports healthy digestion and a strong immune system
  • Omega fatty acids give her healthy skin and make her coat soft and shiny
  • Crunchy texture prevents the buildup of plaque and tartar — keeping her teeth and gums healthy, and her breath fresh

Cons

  • Some humans said they almost fainted from the gas it gave their Pyrs
  • Some doggies said they preferred not to eat it
  • Reported runny poops after eating this formula.

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8. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition

The Great Pyrenees is a giant-breed dog, and that means he needs extra nutrition where it counts. Royal Canin does their homework when it comes to tailoring their giant dog formulas to accommodate the special needs of big fellas like yours — so they’ve included all the chondroitin, glucosamine, and EPA/DHA giant breeds specifically need to support healthy joints, and because Great Pyrenees are prone to digestion issues, they’ve added a blend of non-fermentable and fermentable fibers to help support a happy, healthy belly.

For over 60 years, Royal Canin has studied the special dietary needs of cats and dogs and passionate about feeding them well.

Collaborating with veterinary nutritionists, pet behavior experts, and pet owners worldwide is how they evolve their formulas to keep on keeping your fur baby healthy and living their best life.

Specs

  • Formulated specifically for giant breed dogs over 100 pounds
  • For adult dogs over 18-24 months old
  • Dry kibble texture
  • Chicken blend

Pros

  • Optimal levels of calcium help support healthy bones
  • A proprietary blend of chondroitin, glucosamine, and EPA/DHA give giant breeds the extra support they need for healthy joints to keep them movin’ with ease.
  • Exclusive antioxidant blends support overall health
  • Contains taurine to support cardiac health — also very important for giant breed dogs
  • Contains quality sources of fiber and protein for aiding digestive ease

Cons

  • Some owners said they felt the kibble size was too big for their dogs
  • Some Great Pyrs didn’t like the flavor

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9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe

There is a debate among large and giant breed dogs as to whether a grain-free formula is healthy for them. At the end of the day, most veterinarians will tell you it’s all about the dog and his specific needs.

We included a grain-free formula on this list because the Great Pyrenees breed can have a sensitive tummy like a lot of other members of the giant breed clan, and for some, this means a diet high in protein with zero grains is what they need to help ease some of those digestive issues.

Grain allergies can also be an issue for some dogs as well, so if your Great Pyr has a grain allergy, a grain-free option is necessary.

When reviewing grain-free options, we found that Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe for large breeds was a good choice, and Great Pyrs everywhere seem to agree.

It contains all the best sources of protein from lamb, beef, and venison to keep your dog full of energy and happy with dinnertime — and the real fruits and veggies to supply him with the robust amounts of nutrition and antioxidants he needs. Added chondroitin and glucosamine help support healthy joints as well. 

For all the great stuff it has, what it doesn’t have is meat by-product meals, wheat, corn, or soy.

Specs

  • Grain-free formula, be sure to consult your baby’s vet to make sure this food is right for him
  • Dry kibble texture
  • Formulated for large and giant breed dogs

Pros

  • Deboned lamb, venison, and beef provide optimal protein for healthy digestion and lean muscle development
  • Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and keep that trademark GP coat luxurious
  • Added glucosamine and chondroitin provide the support your dog needs for healthy joints
  • Anti-oxidant packed fruits and veg help maintain overall health and immune support

Cons

  • Some owners reported the food didn’t smell like a good quality dog food should.
  • Some owners expressed concern about the sodium content of this brand.
  • Some owners reported their dog experienced shedding more than usual after eating this food.

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Best Dog Food For Great Pyrenees — A Buying Guide

Great Pyrenees are a little different from other big dogs in that they don’t necessarily scarf down their food like they’re starving.

They do have many of the same health characteristics as other large and giant-sized breeds, making it necessary to choose a food for your Great Pyrenees that accommodates that.

What To Consider When Choosing Your Dog’s Food

Like every breed, there are certain things you want to pay attention to when it comes to feeding your doggo:

  • Pick foods made in a country with high standards of quality and regulations about what goes into your dog’s food. Ingredients should be sourced carefully, and quality testing should be rigorous. For the most part, countries in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are all countries with pet food quality standards. Experts widely recommend staying away from foods made in China or with ingredients sourced in China.
  • Choose a dog food without artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors or fillers that serve no nutritional purpose other than to make your pup feel full. It’s always a good idea to avoid foods with meat fillers and by-products. A real source of protein should be at the top of the list of ingredients, or at the very, very least within the top three, so be sure to read your labels!
  • A balanced blend of proteins, fruits, veg, and whole grains is necessary to keep your fluffy friend his healthiest. Remember, dogs are natural omnivores so not only do they need a balanced diet, they prefer one as well. Also, an optimal fat-to-protein ratio is preferable. If his food has too much protein or fat, this could compromise his nutrition.

How To Pick The Right Food Specifically For Your GP

Because of their size and breed characteristics, the Great Pyrenees does have some medical issues that require a special diet to keep them at their most vibrant hand their healthiest.

For that reason, there are a few things to look for in the label of his food to make sure he gets what he needs:

  • Plaque and gingivitis can be a problem for some GP’s maybe a little more than other breeds, so it’s a good idea to look for foods that help scrub those teeth. Of course, dry kibble is best for this, and some dog foods make it a point to size and shape their kibble to provide optimal tooth cleaning.
  • Orthopedic issues are common for Great Pyrenees, particularly hip, elbow and joint problems so it’s imperative to make sure the food you buy has plenty of ingredients like chondroitin and glucosamine to oil up those hinges!
  • Less common, but are still widely found in pure-breed Pyr doggies are heart problems like atrioventricular valve dysplasia (more on this in a moment) foods with the amino acid taurine on the label is a heart-healthy choice.
  • Gastro issues are another thing that commonly plagues Pyr pups, so when buying quality food for your GP, be sure to include plenty of naturally sourced fiber, and gut-healthy pre and probiotics to keep things regular. Also, clean sources of pure protein are good for supporting gut health.

Breed-Specific Health Issues

Most of the time, the Great Pyrenees is a healthy breed, but there are breed-specific health issues they carry, so when thinking about your dog’s diet, it’s helpful to know what kind of things they experience from a health perspective.

Some of the issues you may find in the Great Pyrenees breed include:

Gastric Dilatation And Volvulus, Or Bloat

This life-threatening condition affects many large and giant breeds, and it’s very important to recognize the signs of bloat early in order to treat it before it’s too late.

The stomach distends, and will sometimes twist in the body cavity, so if your dog has a swollen abdomen, is attempting to vomit but nothing comes up or only frothy mucus you should probably get to the vet ASAP.

Particularly if he also seems anxious and restless or has a difficult time breathing. There is a pretty simple medical procedure called gastropexy, or a stomach tack that can prevent bloat in dogs.

Heart Problems, Such As Atrioventricular Valve Dysplasia

This is a condition where the heart’s mitral or tricuspid valves are malformed, resulting in insufficient closing to stop blood flow when it’s supposed to. Usually, your vet will want to do a cardiac evaluation on your Pyr to make sure his heart is healthy.

Panosteitis

Panosteitis, or bone inflammation, is a painful condition that affects some large and giant breed dogs. Its cause is generally unknown, but it affects the long bones in the legs, particularly in the front legs.

If your GP is having a hard time walking on his front legs, or plain old doesn’t want to walk at all, it would be a good idea to have him checked out.

Joint dysplasia

A hallmark of large and giant breed dogs, joint dysplasia is a painful condition where the ball and socket joints in the legs grind together or don’t fit together.

Hip and elbow dysplasia can become apparent as your Pyr ages, so give him foods with lots of healthy omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin to help lubricate those joints.

These are a few, but not all, of the health problems Great Pyrenees can experience. While any breeder of pure-bred dogs should know the lineage of their litters and have their dogs screened for their specific conditions, some conditions don’t pop up until later, so paying close attention to your baby’s health is imperative.

Regular visits to the vet for health evaluations and great nutrition are a couple of the things you can do as a Pyr owner to keep him healthy and happy.

The National Breed Club Recommends:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation

To read more about the breed club’s health statement, go here.

How Much Should I Feed My Great Pyrenees?

How much you should be feeding your GP depends on life-stage, weight, activity levels, and possible health issues unique to your dog.

Consult the feeding guide included with the nutritional information on your dog’s food for how much and how often your fluffy friend should be eating, but the loose standard for a dog of average weight is as follows:

  • Puppies should have a minimum of 1,750 calories per day, divided equally between three meals.
  • Adult Pyrs should consume an average of 2,138 calories per day, two times a day.
  • Senior Pyrs should eat at least 1,750 calories per day twice a day.
  • Pyrs who are still herding animals or who are just plain active should get up to 3,402 calories per day.

A Few Words In Closing

A Great Pyrenees is a joyous addition to any family. Their calm, gentle nature makes them wonderful pets for families with children, and because they’re so cuddly and fluffy, they give fantastic hugs!

To fuel all that snuggly love, we recommend Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken Dry Dog Food to deliver all of the goodness your sweetheart deserves.

With farm-raised chicken, garden grown, non-GMO fruits and veggies, and wholesome grains like rice and oatmeal, this food will keep your fluffball happy and herding until retirement!

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