The Best Food for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
The Ultimate Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Food Buyer’s Guide
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is one of four types of Sennenhund breeds developed in Switzerland as a herding, guard, and all-purpose draft dog. The other breeds are the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher (or Entlebucher Mountain Dog), and the Appenzeller. The breeds vary in size but, like the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, they are black with tan/rust points and a white throat (tri-color). The Swissy, as they are often called, is a large, heavy dog. It’s been used for guarding flocks and homes, and as an all-purpose farm dog for centuries. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and the other Sennenhunds are probably descended from alpine dogs that were likely crossed with mastiff-type dogs brought by the Romans. (This is the most likely story, although there is some doubt about it.)
The Swissy is, by far, the largest of the Sennenhund breeds. It may also be the oldest of the alpine breeds according to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America. The breed was instrumental in the early development of the Saint Bernard and the Rottweiler. By the 19th century ancestors of today’s Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were also being used by tradesmen. They were often referred to as “butcher’s dogs.” Like Rottweilers, they were used to herd cattle and pull carts loaded with meat to market. This was not difficult work for the large, muscular Swissy. At one time it’s believed that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was one of the most popular dogs in Switzerland but by 1900 their numbers had dwindled. They were no longer needed as a draft dog to pull carts.
In 1908, at the Swiss Kennel Club Show, two dogs were entered at the event as “short-haired Bernese Mountain Dogs.” Fortunately, an expert on Swiss Sennenhund breeds, Professor Albert Heim, was attending the event and he recognized the dogs as the larger Sennenhund breed. Professor Heim urged the dogs to be recognized as a separated breed and the following year the kennel club listed them as the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog in the Swiss Stud Book.
The population of the breed grew very slow in Europe throughout the 20th century. It’s still considered to be a rare breed in the U.S. and in Switzerland. The breed was used by the Swiss Army as a draft dog during World War II. By 1945 it’s thought that were only about 350-400 Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs in the world.
The first Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were imported to the U.S. in 1968 and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America was formed. The club has carefully promoted the breed and selective breeding has increased the numbers and popularity of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog in the U.S. The breed was granted full recognition by the AKC in 1995. The Swissy is a member of the Working Group. Today the Swissy is the 78th most popular breed in the United States.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is known for being even-tempered, faithful, dependable, and family-oriented. This is a happy breed that loves people. They love affection. They are very large dogs and they do require space but they have moderate exercise requirements. They enjoy working and having a job to do. The Swissy is alert and they will bark, so don’t expect this breed to laze around the house and be quiet. Most Swissys like children but you should not leave children and dogs unattended. These are big dogs and they can accidentally knock over a small child. The breed does have a strong prey drive so a fence is necessary. They will chase small animals. Although they have a short coat, they do shed quite a bit.
The Swissy can make a great pet in the right home but they are not recommended for first-time dog owners. They can have a dominant personality, especially with other dogs. They do need to have a leader in the home. They also require a great deal of socialization starting at a young age. Training is also essential.
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Male Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs stand 25.5 to 28.5 inches tall; Females stand 23.5 to 27 inches tall. Expect males to weigh 130-150 pounds and females to weigh 110-130 pounds.
According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, an adult Greater Swiss Mountain Dog weighing 130 pounds requires an average daily caloric intake of 2685 kcal. Dogs that have been spayed/neutered, or that are older, may need slightly fewer calories. Some dogs may need more calories depending on their level of activity and their individual metabolism. Growing puppies consume more calories than adult dogs and so do young adult dogs. A young Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy (4-12 months) weighing 80 pounds needs an estimated 2073 kcal per day. You always need to adjust your dog’s food intake based on his activity level and other factors.
Swissy puppies tend to grow quickly but it takes a long time for them to develop and mature. As a general rule, a male Swissy usually gains about 10 pounds per month until they are about 8 or 9 months old. Then they will slow down and gain weight at a much slower rate until fully mature. Female Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs will gain slightly less weight. A dog will usually reach their full height by the time they are 15 to 18 months old but they won’t fill out until they are adults. The Swissy often doesn’t reach full maturity until they are 4 or 5 years of age.
Because of the breed’s fast early growth, it’s important to monitor food intake carefully. A puppy needs to be eating enough food, but also must not eat too much. Fat puppies can end up with orthopedic problems and other health issues later in life such as hip and elbow dysplasia or osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).
Since this is a large/giant breed and it takes a long time for them to mature, we recommend feeding a good food formulated for large breed puppies. These foods typically have fewer calories and calcium levels that are appropriate for large breed growth. The National Research Council recommends a safe upper level of 4.5 grams/1000 kcals for calcium but pet nutritionists usually recommend no more than 3.5 grams of calcium per 1000 kcals (or less) for growth or all life stage foods formulated for large breed puppies. The calcium amount in the food should be between 1-1.3 percent for large breed puppies. A puppy’s skeleton is growing and developing during these months and too much calcium for a large breed puppy often leads to skeletal problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia.
If you feed a puppy food, most breeders recommend feeding the food until your puppy reaches about 90 percent of his adult size. With a giant breed puppy such as the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, you should not switch to an adult food too early. Continue to feed a large breed puppy food or an all life stages food until your dog reaches maturity. A giant breed such as the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog needs precise calcium and other mineral content that is not found in maintenance dog foods. You should talk to your breeder about the food they recommend for their puppies since they usually have experience with how their puppies grow and develop.
Most breeders recommend feeding Swissy puppies three meals per day while they are young. You can switch to two meals per day as your dog approaches adulthood. However, some Swissy owners prefer to continue to feed their adult dogs three meals per day. This is a breed that can be prone to bloat so feeding several small meals throughout the day is believed to reduce the chances of bloat occurring.
Feeding Your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
According to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, Swissys seem to do best with moderate levels of fat and protein in a kibbled food. Some dogs do well eating a raw diet. Most owners will probably find that it is cost-prohibitive to feed a giant breed like a Swissy a wet/canned food diet unless it is short-term, i.e., recuperating after an illness or surgery, or to tempt a senior dog to eat.
As with some other large and giant breeds, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can be prone to bloat/torsion or GDV (gastric dilatation volvulus). Splenic torsion, normally very rare, also occurs in the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Concern about bloat can affect feeding decisions for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. For this reason, it’s wise to feed young puppies three to four small meals through the day. When your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy is a little older you can move to three feedings per day. Some owners prefer to go on feeding three meals per day with adult dogs, with snacks and treats between meals since this is thought, in some quarters, to reduce the risk of bloat. You do need to avoid feeding one large meal per day. An empty stomach can lead to more air/gas which can result in bloat/torsion.
There has been research and there are various studies online about bloat. We recommend that you look at them if you are considering a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog or another deep-chested breed prone to bloat. One article you should read comes from The Whole-Dog Journal:
The ingredients of a dog’s diet also appear to factor into susceptibility to bloat. A Purdue study examined the diets of over 300 dogs, 106 of whom had bloated. This study found that dogs fed a dry food that included a fat source in the first four ingredients were 170 percent more likely to bloat than dogs who were fed food without fat in the first four ingredients. In addition, the risk of GDV increased 320 percent in dogs fed dry foods that contained citric acid and were moistened before feeding. On the other hand, a rendered meat meal that included bone among the first four ingredients lowered risk by 53 percent.
It should be noted that some vets, owners, and breeders have criticized the Purdue study because the foods seemingly praised for not causing bloat would be very low in quality, containing lower quality ingredients. Dog foods that contain rendered meat meal and bone among the first four ingredients are not usually considered very nutritious. It could be a case where correlation does not imply causation and more research is needed.
Things that are believed to help prevent bloat include splitting meals up into several smaller meals spread throughout the day; encouraging your dog to eat more slowly (for instance, you can buy “slow” bowls for your dog); and monitoring your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog’s exercise before and after meals. Other things that may help include feeding dog foods that contain pre- and probiotics to help with digestion, or adding other supplements. At one time people also recommended moistening dry dog food before feeding so it would expand before it reached your dog’s stomach but this is another practice that is now debated. The fact is that most things related to bloat – its causes and prevention – are only theories at this point.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can be subject to allergies – food allergies, pollen, mold, dust, drugs, etc. According to one breeder, the most frequent allergies found in Swissys are allergies to food, pollen, and flea bites. Dogs with food allergies that appear at a young age in this breed sometimes outgrow them. In some cases, having a blood allergy panel done has helped owners identify allergens and find foods that are more compatible with the dog’s immune system. Or they have had an allergy serum created to treat the dog’s allergic reactions to specific allergens.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Health Problems
According to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, the breed can be subject to the following health problems: bloat/torsion-gastric dilatation volvulus; splenic torsion; cancers; distichiasis and entropion (eyelid/eyelash problems); hip and elbow dysplasia; epilepsy; osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD); urinary incontinence; licking episodes/lick fits.
Bleeding incidents have also been reported, such as uncontrollable bleeding during surgery. In some cases the results were fatal. The percentage of Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs reporting bleeding incidents is approximately 0.65 percent and includes several different conditions such as platelet abnormality, nasal bleeding without trauma, Von Willebrand, Hemophilia, and anemia.
The club recommends that breeders have their dogs tested for the following health issues before breeding:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist (Effective 7/1/15 the minimum eye exam age to qualify for CHIC is 18 months)
- Anecdotal Data (Optional)
- Data from signed veterinary diagnosis accepted on the following conditions: Epilepsy, Splenic Torsion, and Gastric Torsion
According to the most recent OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) database reports, the Swissy is currently ranked 34th in elbow dysplasia, with 88.7 percent of dogs evaluated as normal. The breed is ranked 49th for hip dysplasia, with 79.2 percent of dogs rated normal. For shoulders, 95.6 percent of dogs are rated normal. For eyes, 97.2 percent of dogs evaluated were rated normal.
Like many giant breeds, Swissy’s tend to have a shorter lifespan than smaller dogs. According to a 2001 breed health survey, the median age of death for the breed (846 entries) was 6 years, 9 months. However, many dogs were reported living to be 12 or 13 years old. Another health survey was conducted between 2008 and 2012. You can see the responses to the survey on this site.
Ingredients to Avoid and Some to Look For
As with most dogs, when choosing a food for your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog you should look for a food that has good sources of protein and fat. As already mentioned, many people who own and breed Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs recommend feeding a diet that has moderate levels of protein and fat. This is a breed that is prone to orthopedic problems so it’s important to watch your dog’s weight. Obesity and being overweight can worsen any tendency toward dysplasia and arthritis.
Ideally, you will select a dog food that features two or three meat proteins in the first several ingredients listed. Both whole meats and meat meals are good sources of protein. Whole meats refer to foods such as whole chicken, beef, fish, and lamb. Some people don’t like meat meals as much as whole meats but they are a concentrated form of the meat in which the moisture has been removed. They contain several times as much protein as a whole meat. Meat meals are usually quite acceptable as one of the first ingredients in a good quality dog food. They are used by many good dog food brands.
Many dog foods today, even some of the most expensive and highly touted, use lots of plant proteins such as lentils and peas. These foods often have high protein percentages on the label. When you read the guaranteed analysis it’s important to consider how much of the protein in the food comes from meat and how much comes from plants. Your dog is able to digest meat protein more easily than plant protein. Meat protein is a much more natural source of protein for your dog than plant protein.
Dogs also need good sources of fat. You should look for named fat sources such as chicken fat. Other named fats also provide needed nutrients such as fish oil which can provide omega-3 fatty acid to help keep the skin and coat healthy. Puppies can benefit from DHA which is Docosahexaenoic acid. This is a specific form of omega-3 fatty acid that helps with brain and eye development. Older dogs seem to benefit from medium chain triglycerides which feature medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These have been found to help older dogs feel and act younger. They are often made from a combination of coconut oil and other oils.
Like other dogs, some Swissys can get different kinds of cancer. There is no sure-fire way to prevent cancer but many dog lovers try to protect their dogs by feeding a dog food with more natural ingredients to try to keep their dog’s immune system as strong as possible. Many people recommend feeding a food that is free of some of the most common food irritants such as corn, soy, and wheat. These are not the most common dog food allergens – beef, dairy products, and chicken, for example, lead to more food allergies for dogs than corn, soy, and wheat. Avoiding artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives is also suggested as a way to help keep the immune system stronger.
If you want to avoid corn, soy, and wheat in your dog food, your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog may still be able to eat an alternative grain such as barley or oats. Or you can feed a grain free dog food that uses an alternate source of carbs that is low glycemic such as sweet potatoes. You don’t have to feed a dog food with an excessively high percentage of protein but it’s a good idea to keep the carb percentage low to moderate.
If your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a food allergy or food sensitivity, you may need to work with your veterinarian to identify the food triggers unless they are very obvious. There are lots of good foods with alternative meat proteins today as well as limited ingredient diets which we will discuss below.
Because the Swissy is a giant breed prone to orthopedic problems, it’s particularly important to pay attention to the diet of growing puppies. We recommend feeding a diet that is formulated for large/giant breed puppies which encourages slow growth. Fast early growth can contribute to orthopedic problems later in life, such as hip and elbow dysplasia.
Recommended Dog Food For Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs
According to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, Swissys do best with moderate amounts of protein and fat. We have recommended dog foods with this in mind. If you prefer to feed a higher protein diet, you should watch the calories for your Swissy. (High protein diets are often higher in fat.) Since they can be prone to orthopedic problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia, it’s best to make sure they do not become overweight or obese. Carrying too much weight can exacerbate any bone or joint problems. You may have to try a couple of foods to find which one is best for your dog. You should also keep in mind that your dog’s dietary needs can change as he grows and ages so you may have to change foods to suit him.
Keep in mind that the Swissy does eat a lot of food. You may want to talk to your dog’s breeder to see which foods they recommend, especially for growing puppies. Your dog’s breeder may also recommend some nutritional supplements for your dog.
Best Dog Foods for Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Adults
|Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Read Reviews Where To Buy
|Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Adult Recipe
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|Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Read Reviews Where To Buy
|]Fromm Large Breed Adult Gold||$1.41/lb|
Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Dr. Gary’s Best Breed is a small, independent company. Foods are made in small batches using a unique, slow-cooking process at low temperatures that is said to make the carbohydrates easier to digest and ensure optimum absorption of the nutrients. The formulas are made using only EU (European Union)-approved ingredients, which sometimes have to meet a higher standard than USDA ingredients. The foods contain no animal by-products, cheap fillers, any kind of gluten, and no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. No corn or wheat. Best Breed uses only ethoxyquin-free sources of fish and chicken raised without antibiotics. (All poultry in the U.S. is raised free of added hormones.) The large breed diet is formulated to promote the health of large breed dogs. It’s especially good for dogs with sensitive digestive systems. The first five ingredients in the large breed formula are: Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, and Chicken Fat [Preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E)]. It has 25 percent crude protein and 13 percent crude fat, with 456 Kcal/cup. This is an all life stage dog food.
Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Adult Recipe
Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Adult Recipe is made by Petcurean. You may be more familiar with some of the other product lines from this Canadian company, such as Go!, Spike, or Summit. This food for large dogs is made from 100 percent fresh turkey, salmon, duck and 100 percent fresh omega 3 & 6 oils from coconuts and canola. It has no corn, wheat, or soy, and no other grains, gluten, or beef. It uses no rendered meats, no by-products, and no artificial preservatives.
This formula features New Zealand green mussels and glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints which should be beneficial for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. It has added L-Carnitine for a healthy heart and to help turn fat into lean muscle. It has taurine for good vision and heart function. And it has added pre- and probiotics for better digestion. The first ingredient is deboned turkey. It contains 363 kcal/cup and has 27 percent crude protein and 13 percent crude fat. These levels should help your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog stay at a good weight. We think this food has some good features for a large breed in terms of bone and joint health and heart health, as well as quality ingredients.
Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
This recipe does include grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, and barley, but these grains have some health benefits. They are not empty carbs or filler ingredients. Oatmeal and barley provide some good dietary fiber, for example. The first five ingredients in this food are Deboned Chicken, Whitefish, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, and Oatmeal. The food has 25 percent crude protein, 11 percent crude fat, 5 percent crude fiber, and 11 percent moisture. It also contains added glusamine and chondroitin which many people consider helpful for large breed dogs who can experience joint problems. The food has 363 kcal per cup.
Fromm Large Breed Adult Gold
Designed specifically for large dogs over 50 pounds, Fromm Large Breed Adult Gold is one of our favorite dog foods for large dogs. It contains duck, chicken meal, and chicken as the first three ingredients. Chicken cartilage is added for a natural form of glucosamine to keep joints supple which is important for big dogs. The food contains no wheat, corn, or soy that might irritate the digestive system. Fromm Large Breed Adult Gold features moderate protein and fat which may be better for large dogs like the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The food is moderate in terms of calories (378 kcal/cup) which helps your large dog stay slim.
We also like the fact that Fromm is a family-owned company in Wisconsin and they make their food in small batches fresh every morning. These are good ingredients from a respected company in a formula that should be good for your large dog.
Best Dog Foods for Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Puppies
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppies can usually begin eating a puppy food right after they are weaned or they can eat a good all life stage food. If you have questions about how to feed your puppy, we recommend talking to your puppy’s breeder. They usually have the most experience with raising Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppies and can guide you.
Puppy foods should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1.2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. It’s also important that dog and puppy foods do not have an excess of calcium since this can affect bone growth. This is especially true for large breed puppies like the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. If you are feeding your puppy a food that is properly formulated, you should not add any extra calcium, such as milk, cottage cheese, or other calcium supplements. Doing so can lead to serious health problems such as OCD (osteochondritis dissecans) and other orthopedic problems.
It’s been noted that some Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs can have food allergies as puppies that they outgrow as they get older. If your puppy seems to have a food allergy, talk to your breeder and see if they recommend any particular dog foods. You may need to find a food that does not contain certain proteins so it won’t cause a reaction in your puppy – at least until he outgrows the problem. You may have to feed an all life stage dog food so you can find a wider selection of proteins that won’t bother your puppy. All life stage dog foods are formulated to be nutritionally adequate for growing puppies. Foods for puppies may also have the AAFCO statement that they are approved for growth and reproduction.
Here are some of the puppy foods we like for Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppies.
Canidae – Life Stages Large Breed Puppy Duck Meal, Brown Rice & Lentils Formula Dry Dog Food
Many breeders recommend Canidae to their puppy owners and feed it themselves. The name of this food is a little confusing. Although it says “Life Stages” it is a large breed puppy food. It’s specially designed for puppies that will grow to be over 50 pounds as adults. Duck meal is high in omega-3 fatty acid which is good for reducing joint inflammation. Lentils are a non-grain, gluten free source of carbs. The food is also lower in protein and fat so it helps keep large breed puppies like Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs slim and encourage slow growth – which can help prevent joint problems later in life.
As a puppy food, Canidae Life Stages Large Breed Puppy formula also contains high levels of DHA to help with cognitive development. And the food has no corn, wheat, soy, fillers, antibiotics, hormones, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. These are all things we look for in a good food for Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppies.
Holistic Select – Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health
This large breed puppy formula features lamb meal and oatmeal. It includes probiotics, healthy fiber, and digestive enzymes to help your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy digest the food better and absorb more nutrition. Other natural ingredients include chicken and fish meals. The first five ingredients in the food are: Lamb Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Chicken Meal, and Dried Beet Pulp. The formula supports muscle and bone development to help your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy enjoy good health now and as an adult. The food also features DHA to help your puppy with brain and eye development. Protein and fat are at lower levels desirable for growing large breed puppies. The food has 23 percent crude protein and 12 percent crude fat. And the calcium to phosphorus ratio is appropriate.
Fromm Gold Large Breed Puppy formula and Precise Holistic puppy formulas for large & giant breed puppies are also recommended.
Best Dog Foods for the Senior Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Because of their shorter lifespans, you may not think of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog as requiring a senior dog food. But these dogs can start to age at a relatively young age. If you see signs that your Swissy is slowing down, sleeping more, and starting to seem “elderly,” even though he’s only 5-6 years old, it may be time to look at senior foods.
It’s very important that senior dogs have good quality protein. Good quality protein is easier to digest and metabolize than poor quality protein. It provides the older dog with more nutrition that he can use. So, plan on giving your older Greater Swiss Mountain Dog the very best food possible with excellent sources of protein.
One food we like for very large senior dogs is Now Fresh Large Breed Grain Free Senior Recipe. This food is made with 100 percent fresh turkey, salmon, and duck, and it has zero grains, gluten, wheat, beef, corn, or soy. No rendered meats, by-products, or artificial preservatives. It features New Zealand green mussels and glucosamine/chondroitin to support hip and joint health. The first five ingredients are: De-boned turkey, potatoes, peas, whole dried egg, and tapioca. The food has (guaranteed analysis): 25 percent crude protein, 11 percent crude fat, 4.5 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. ME (Calculated) = 3122 kcal/kg or 328 kcal/cup. This is a maintenance dog food.
If you prefer a food with more protein, we often recommend Orijen Senior for older dogs.
Best Dog Foods for Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs with Skin Problems
If your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is having skin problems or problems with food allergies, you will probably want to avoid foods that contain known food allergens such as beef, dairy products, chicken, lamb, fish, chicken eggs, corn, wheat, and soy. If your dog is having food allergies – which usually manifest as itching, redness, chewing, and hair loss – you will need to identify the trigger for his allergy. You can try to guess the trigger or work with your veterinarian on a food trial and elimination diet for your dog. You may need to find a novel protein for your dog – a protein that he has not eaten previously. Natural Balance has a selection of limited ingredient diets that can be helpful for dogs with food allergies. You might try giving your dog the rabbit formula, kangaroo formula, venison formula, or bison formula. He should be able to eat a meat protein that he has not eaten previously without having an allergic reaction.
Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets® Potato & Rabbit Dry Dog Formula
This limited ingredient diet food has limited sources of protein and carbs. It’s also grain free and complete and balanced for puppies, adults, and senior dogs. The food should be easy for your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog to digest and it contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Wild Calling! Xotic Essentials Rabbit Meal Recipe
Any dog suffering from skin problems or food allergies may benefit from Wild Calling’s Xotic Essentials recipes. Formulas like their rabbit meal recipe use exotic meats that are rare in today’s pet food market so your dog probably hasn’t eaten them before – and has less chance of having an allergic reaction. The foods are also highly digestible. Wild Calling also uses what they call LITe (limited ingredient technology). They don’t use any of the ingredients commonly found in most dog foods such as chicken, grain, gluten, egg, yeast, corn, wheat or soy. If your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a food allergy, he may benefit from Wild Calling. The foods are formulated for rotational feeding and they offer several Xotic Essentials recipes, such as kangaroo and bison, so your dog doesn’t get over-exposed to one kind of meat protein. This is an All Life Stage food. We think that dogs with skin problems and food allergies can definitely benefit from these recipes.
Another food that is often recommended for dogs with food allergies and skin problems is Zignature. It comes in proteins such as trout & salmon, kangaroo, turkey, duck, venison, and others. It’s available in dry and canned versions. Foods are potato- and grain-free, and chicken-free. They do not use common bonding agents (thickeners and ingredients to hold the food together) in their foods which are high in simple carbs and starches. They only use low glycemic carbs such as chickpeas that add extra protein and fiber to the food. They work with Tuffy’s in Minnesota and Performance Pet in South Dakota to make their foods. Many people like Zignature very much. If you have a dog with food allergies, this is a brand that you might consider. This duck formula is a good example with hypo-allergenic meat first, no corn, wheat, soy, dairy or chicken, chicken eggs or chicken by-products.
Best Dog Foods for Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs
Many dogs are susceptible to food sensitivities that affect their digestion and excretion. If your dog has a sensitive stomach it can be an indication of a food sensitivity, which is different form a food allergy. A dog with a food sensitivity will have gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. Or it could be something more serious.
A dog with a sensitive stomach can often be helped by feeding the right dog food. Sticking to a limited ingredient diet food with as few ingredients as possible can reduce the chance of your dog having a bad reaction to something in the food.
Many people recommend Wellness Simple for dogs with food sensitivities. The formulas feature only five main ingredients to keep things very simple for your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Wellness makes formulas that are both grain free and some that have grains such as oatmeal. The food is easy to digest and contains probiotics and prebiotics to help the gastrointestinal system. It also contains omega fatty acids for good skin and coat. Formulas feature duck, salmon, turkey, and lamb. Wellness Simple comes in dry and canned formulas.
We don’t know of a dog food that is made to help prevent bloating, but it’s possible that a food for sensitive stomachs – one that is easy to digest – could be beneficial.
We also recommend Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Dry Dog Food. This food is grain free with limited ingredients. It has good quality, alternative ingredients that are easily digestible for a dog with a sensitive stomach. And it contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The first five ingredients are: Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Fish Meal, Potato Protein, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols). It has 21 percent crude protein, 10 percent crude fat, 5 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. It has 350 kcal/cup and it’s a maintenance formula. If your dog can’t eat some of the ingredients in this food, Natural Balance has lots of other LID recipes that you might check.
If your dog can’t eat these ingredients, you might try one of the Weruva foods or Acana Singles. Weruva also has lots of foods with pumpkin which can sometimes help a dog with stomach issues.
Best Dog Foods for Overweight Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs
You can help your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog lose weight by cutting back on his portions and encouraging him to get more exercise.
If your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog needs to lose more than a few pounds, however, you may need to consider a weight control dog food.
We do not recommend a weight control dog food for a puppy or a very old dog. These foods generally have fewer calories and may have some other differences in nutrients that make them inappropriate for growing puppies or older dogs who need special nutrition.
If you have a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog who needs to lose weight, we recommend Fromm Gold Weight Management. It can be hard to find a good weight control dog food for a giant breed dog but Fromm is a quality brand with good ingredients. This food has 25 percent crude protein and 10 percent crude fat so it’s not that much different from some of the adult foods we’ve recommended. It has 341 Kcal/cup. Fed in moderation, it should help most overweight Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. The first five ingredients are: Turkey Liver, Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, and Dried Tomato Pomace.
Fromm also has a grain free weight control formula called Fromm Gold Coast Grain Free Weight Management Dog Food with the same crude protein and fat percentages if you prefer a grain free weight control food for your dog.
If your dog needs to lose weight, you should proceed slowly. No crash dieting. You should aim for your dog to lose no more than 3 to 5 percent of his body weight per month or about one percent each week.
The Swissy is known for being an affectionate, family-oriented dog. They are faithful, happy, and even-tempered. However, they are not a breed for everyone. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a giant breed so they do require a certain amount of space, even if they have moderate exercise requirements. They require thorough socialization and good training. The Swissy needs to have an owner who knows what they are doing with a dog so this is not usually a good choice for a first-time dog owner. However, for an experienced dog owner with the space for a Swissy – and the purse to feed one – they can be a wonderful companion.
Below is a list of Products reviewed in this article
Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Canidae Life Stages Large Breed Puppy Duck Meal, Brown Rice & Lentils Formula Dry Dog Food
- Orijen Senior
Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets® Potato & Rabbit Dry Dog Formula
- Wellness Simple
- Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Dry Dog Food
- Fromm Gold Weight Management
- Fromm Gold Coast Grain Free Weight Management Dog Food