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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday the puppy was nursing its mother and eating raw chicken legs. This puppy is from a hardcore farm where the parents guard the sheep (outside) and parents eat raw meat.

I plan to continue with raw meat (chicken now), supplement w/high quality dry feed, and possibly milk.
(The anti-raw food people - what did dogs eat before there were bags of dog food to buy?)

I fear she's not eating enough - 2/3 of a leg and possibly 3-4 oz of dry feed.

Need to understand how much this puppy should be eating, and why milk replacement calls for 'evaporated milk'. My understanding its milk that has been evaporated - thus just less water. If so - then milk should be fine! In which case homemade whole plane yogurt should be fine.
 

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An eight-week-old puppy has no need for milk of any kind. I can't help you with the raw, but there are some experienced raw feeders here who will hopefully chime in! I gather that you're supposed to feed more than one kind of protein, but I'm not sure how it works when you're supplementing with kibble.
 

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I am not anti-raw in the least BUT an imbalanced raw diet is worse than any balanced commercial food and especially worse than any quality commercial food. This goes double or triple for a giant breed dog who has even more particular nutrient balance needs than a small/medium dog.

No milk is needed, most pups are weaned by the mom before 8 weeks anyways but even if the momma does not kick them of the milk bar, cows milk is not at all the same.

Raw needs muscle meat, bone (mineral source), and organ meats (vitamin source). Bone-in muscle meat without organs lacks important vitamins, bone in meat can also end up with too high calcium and phosphorus content-- a particularly bad thin with a giant breed. Dry food tends to be high in minerals so it can be hard to supplement in balance with a bone in meat.

My suggestion is to feed a high quality commercial dry food whilst doing extensive and detailed research about balanced raw diets for growing puppies. You can give raw meaty bones as a recreational chew if you wanted and a rough rule of thumb is 20-25% of calories can be subbed out without ruining the nutrient balance of a dry or wet commercial food (as in 75% calories from kibble, 25% or less from raw meat, veggies and treats)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you. I'll forget about milk.

Key part of the question - is she eating enough? (now) In the coming week(s) I'll worry about balance.

She still has not finished the small bowl of dry dog food in 24 hrs. She's working on a chicken leg now - but its very slow going. She's mostly after the skin. In 30 hrs, maybe all skin and meat from 1 leg total.

The breeder is from a different country and era in every way you might imagine. He feeds the adults exclusively chicken (legs only ???) - and mothers milk and chicken is all this pup has ever had. If they've ever been to a vet, its for the rabies shot. The adults seemed very healthy as does she. I'll try to verify if he's feed anything other the meaty bones.

How much should a 8 week pyrenees female eat? Her behavior seems normal, just don't know if she's eating enough.
 

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No, it does not sound like enough food in the least but to know better what she needs, you'd need to figure up the calories in the dry food and the weight of the chicken to look up calorie amounts for that and then consider her expected adult weight too.

By chicken leg, do you mean chicken leg quarter which is usually around 1 lb or just the leg (not thigh) which is much smaller and a much higher percentage of bone?

3-4 ounces of dry food by volume? As in, half a cup?

My pit bull puppy fosters around 10-12 weeks of age with an expected adult weight of about 65 lbs typically eat 2.5 cups per day of a 38% protein, 475 kcals/cup dry food. For comparison, your pup will be twice the size as an adult.

The coming week(s) are a VERY important growing time for her. Nutrient balance is highly important now, not just something to work out over the next few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Shell - thank you for the info.

Her weight is 3.7kg (8#3.2oz). The food bag defines a cup as 347 kcal and further states that there are 3700 kcal/kg so I figure 94 grams (3.3oz) per cup. The bowl holds 4 oz - so she has consumed ~3.5 oz now in 24 hrs. The chicken leg is a drumstick (large) - about 140 kcals.

Total of 370 + 140 = 510 kcals. The food bag recommends a bit more than 2 cups (call it 700 kcal) for her age and weight.

Don't know the brand, but it was top end from Petco - dogs unleashed or something. And is 28% protein, 10% fat, 10% moisture.
 

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A few thoughts--

4 kg for an 8 week old Great Pyr seems small, even for a female. How is her body condition? Is she shorter than average or is her mama a smaller Pyr?

500 or so kcals seems about half what she should likely need. 10% fat is very low, it does barely meet the AAFCO standard in the U.S. for a puppy food but most quality puppy foods have 18-20% fat.

She may simply be unsure of what dry dog food is. Wetting a bit with some warm water or hand feeding some as treats can make it more interesting to hwe.

She needs to see a vet for an initial puppy visit and likely a dewormer. That might be a reason for lack of appetite.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
20% fat - good to know. Might be why she's after the skin and egg yoke!
Also found a growth chart - @ 2 months large breeds are @18 lbs, and giant's like her should be 22lbs. Either the age is wrong or she's not well. :( She was the largest of the litter, most active, etc and the parents are in fact rather large.



A few thoughts--

4 kg for an 8 week old Great Pyr seems small, even for a female. How is her body condition? Is she shorter than average or is her mama a smaller Pyr?

500 or so kcals seems about half what she should likely need. 10% fat is very low, it does barely meet the AAFCO standard in the U.S. for a puppy food but most quality puppy foods have 18-20% fat.

She may simply be unsure of what dry dog food is. Wetting a bit with some warm water or hand feeding some as treats can make it more interesting to hwe.

She needs to see a vet for an initial puppy visit and likely a dewormer. That might be a reason for lack of appetite.
 

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20% fat - good to know. Might be why she's after the skin and egg yoke!
Also found a growth chart - @ 2 months large breeds are @18 lbs, and giant's like her should be 22lbs. Either the age is wrong or she's not well. :( She was the largest of the litter, most active, etc and the parents are in fact rather large.
Age could easily be wrong considering your mentioning she was still nursing. Most pups are weaned at 4-5 weeks old and while its important for their mental/social development to stay with the litter till 8 weeks, its not unusual for old school farm types or less reputable breeders to sell off pups at 6 weeks to get them off their hands and/or maximize profits. The 6-8 week stage is a handful as the pups get more mobile and more demanding.

I do think a vet check soon is in order though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't *know* that they were nursing - but when we visited 2 weeks ago, and on our departure, the pups appeared to begging to nurse. Didn't really get a clear answer from seller on this (they live in a stall and he's not present.) 2 weeks ago, they also didn't appear to be very mobile - on flat ground would walk and fall over - like a toddler just starting to walk. Don't have a weight from 2 weeks ago, but I'd guess they were 6 lbs or less then. She's *alot* larger now.

I hear you on the vet - and that will happen. Guess I'm old school too - as I kid, don't recall ever having my (hobby farm) dog go to the vet - but lairs and cheats belong some place special.

On the plus side, in the past hour, we've provided our own chicken and she's eating it with enthusiasm - while ignoring the chicken from seller.


Age could easily be wrong considering your mentioning she was still nursing. Most pups are weaned at 4-5 weeks old and while its important for their mental/social development to stay with the litter till 8 weeks, its not unusual for old school farm types or less reputable breeders to sell off pups at 6 weeks to get them off their hands and/or maximize profits. The 6-8 week stage is a handful as the pups get more mobile and more demanding.

I do think a vet check soon is in order though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So she was still nursing. I've read this can go on for 8 to 12 weeks. Possibly this is what would be called natural dog rearing. The food transition was too abrupt and possibly the chicken had gone bad.

Weight is up today!

Not going to start milk as other pups from the litter, into more experienced hoseholds just transitioned directly to dry feed (Wholehearted - which is what I'm using.). I just took a few days.
 
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