“Important Tips On Feeding Your Boerboel”
Although Boerboels are a relatively problem free breed that live for a long time, they are still a large breed dog that are susceptible to some large breed problems, if not taken care of properly.
“Feeding Your Boerboel.”
Because Boerboels are a large breed they grow very quickly, between one and two kilograms per week from birth to about nine months. These fast growing pups have ravenous appetites but this doesn’t mean that we should shovel as much food into them as they can take.( Many people over feed their Mastiff pup because they are scared it won’t reach its full potential in size or they think it will force their pup to grow bigger than mother nature intended.) To much food will cause the pup to grow to quickly and become overweight, this in turn leads to joint and bone problems. So we feed our pups an amount that keeps them trim. Trim means that the waste is a bit thinner than the ribcage area when looking side on and looking from above, it doesn’t hurt the pup if you can see a bit of rib, to much rib and you boerboel is to thin. This “trim” condition should be maintained from twelve weeks of age and then for the rest of its life. By keeping your boerboel in the trim condition you are allowing it to grow at its own rate which ensures tight joints, strong, straight bones and a long problem free life.
“How Much Food Do I feed My Boerboel”
You feed your boerboel as much food as is need to keep them in the “trim” condition I described above. To do this is simple, firstly feed as much food as you normally do for a whole week then at the end of the week look at you dog from side on and from the top if the waste is a bit thinner than the ribcage the amount you are feeding is correct. If the waste is thinner than the ribcage but all the dogs ribs are showing that means you are not feeding it enough and you should increase the portion by about 50%. If the dogs waste is the same or wider than the ribcage you should decrease the food by about 20%. This process should be repeated every week until you learn what portion size suits your dog.
“It is important to know that the amount of food you feed your dog changes as the dog gets older.”
From eight weeks to twelve months of age the amount of food you feed your growing pup will probably increase then from one year to five years it will level out to a more consistent amount as they get older they become less active needing less energy so you will find that less food is needed to keep them in a trim condition
Slim condition top view
Slim condition side view
“What Do I Feed My Boerboel.”
I like to alternate between conventional dry foods and raw meaty bones. I can’t emphasise RAW meaty bones enough, raw bones are the dogs natural food, cooked bones can splinter when chewed and get stuck on the way through sometimes causing death, plus cooking the bones takes nutrients out of the bone and meat. So only feed your dog RAW meaty bones. The most important thing to remember when feeding dry foods is to make sure the protein level is below 21%, when you go over the 21% protein level it has been proven to cause legs to bow out on growing pups. I like to give my dogs a variety of meaty bones like, raw chicken necks, raw chicken carcasses, raw chicken backs, lamb flaps and shanks, raw beef bones like brisket or tail.
“When Do I Feed My Boerboel.”
To obtain the trim condition we can feed our pup twice a day up until six or seven months of age then we can cut back to once a day, morning or night for the rest of its life skipping meals once a week to give their digestive system a rest.
“Never Feed Your Dog Straight After Excercise It Can Kill It!”
Many large breeds and dogs with deep chests have died from “bloat” (Acute Gastric Dilation) when their owner’s have unknowingly fed their dogs either before exercise or within one hour after exercise. Bloat is caused by fermenting foods releasing gas into the stomach, which in the most severe cases causes the stomach to twist and kill the dog. I have heard of dogs dieing from bloat simply after the dog has had a quick burst of energy, running and jumping around like a puppy before feed time, then getting sick and dieing on the operating table at the vet surgery late the same night. To avoid bloat do not feed your dog within 4hrs before you exercise them and do not feed your dog within 1hr after exercise, let them cool down and relax before you feed them. Also if your dog is bouncing around like a puppy before feed time your dog is telling you that it has heaps of energy and it wants to go out for a walk or it doesn’t really need to eat, remember this is also a dangerous time for large breeds to get bloat.