The Brussels Griffon made headlines recently by winning Best in Show at the National Dog Show. Until recently, this adorable pooch was relatively unknown to the greater U.S. public. In fact, the Brussels Griffon was named as only the 97th most popular dog breed in 2017. With an intelligent mind and cheerful disposition, the Brussels Griffon is a wonderful companion dog.
Upon first inspection, one feature of this unique breed is quite clear, they look just like Ewoks from the famous Star Wars films! This odd likeness is no mere coincidence. George Lucas, the famous director of the original Star Wars films and prequels famously had Brussels Griffons as pets which inspired visual effect director Joe Johnston as he was designing the small creatures. Make-up artist, Stuart Freeborn was later inspired by Johnston’s drawings and the rest was history.
When you bring home your new Brussels Griffon puppy, you’re going to feel a bit overwhelmed. One of the first challenges you’ll face with your new dog is what he should eat, and finding the right diet can be hard. Your puppy will have transitioned to solids before you bring him home, so you won’t need to worry about baby formula, but what about puppy food?
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make about your new puppy’s diet is how often you’re going to feed him. Most vets recommend feeding puppies at least three times a day. When you space out your puppy’s meals in smaller increments over the course of the day your puppy will be more satisfied after finishing his meal, and he’ll be on the right course as far as weight control goes. It can be easy for young puppies to overeat, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your pup. Plus, Brussels Griffons, like other small dogs are prone to obesity, so being extra vigilant about only feeding them as much as your vet recommends is very important.
Lately, the practice of “free feeding” has been gaining some popularity. “Free feeding” is the practice in which food is made available to dogs at all times, but this practice can have many downsides and is not recommended by most vets. For example, when food is left available to your puppy it will be difficult for you to determine when he will need to go potty, making potty training much harder. We recommend keeping a consistent feeding schedule such as below.
An ideal feeding schedule for a Brussels Griffon puppy goes as follows:
- Breakfast between 6-7am
- Lunch at noon
- And dinner between 5-6pm
Most Brussels Griffon owners switch their puppy from three or more meals a day to two meals a day around 12 weeks of age, but as always, each Brussels Griffon puppy is different. We recommend talking with your vet before making any changes to your puppy’s diet or feeding schedule.
Did you know that puppy food has been specially formulated to assist a puppy with all of their growing needs? Just like with humans, puppies need this specialized food when young to make sure that they have a good start in life. Puppy food typically has twice the daily nutrient requirements of adult food to assist your puppy as he develops his bones, muscles, joints, internal organs, and immune system. Most would agree that an ideal puppy food would include all the nutrients that a growing puppy needs; this usually factors out to a formula having at least 30% protein, vitamins, minerals, and a high-fat content to promote energy.
Some brands make specially formulated puppy food. These formulas can be created for small breeds, puppies prone to wheat or dairy allergies, and more. You’ll want to be careful when choosing your puppy food that you don’t decide on an option that is too high in calories. Small dogs can be deceptive in that some people think that they don’t need as much energy due to their size. However, on the other hand, some people believe that small breed puppies don’t need to eat very much at all due to their size. This can be a dangerous notion and lead to serious health concerns like hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia, in essence, means low blood sugar, and it can be very dangerous for small puppies. Small breed puppies with hypoglycemia may benefit from more frequent feedings, such as four-six meals a day, of calorie-dense small breed puppy food. Some common symptoms of hypoglycemia include weakness, lethargy, muscle tremors, and seizures. If you suspect that your puppy is suffering from hypoglycemia, we urge you to talk to your vet.
Speaking of your vet, they are going to be the best source of information when it comes to deciding on the right puppy food for your Brussels Griffon puppy. Each puppy is different, and different hereditary diseases or traits can cause a puppy to need more or less specific nutrients or support than others. Your vet will be more than happy to provide a few recommendations when it comes to choosing the right puppy food for your Brussels Griffon puppy. If you need a second opinion, you can always use sites like Pet Breeds to compare different puppy food formulas and brands.
When it comes time to switch your Brussels Griffon puppy from puppy food to an adult formula you will need to do it slowly. Most vets recommend switching your puppy to adult food once he has reached 80 to 90 percent of his anticipated adult weight. This typically happens around nine months of age. And bear in mind, you might not choose the right adult formula on the first try, so you may want to buy the smaller bags of your new food at first so that you don’t end up with wasted product. If you do decide to purchase a large bag right away, but your dog doesn’t end up liking it, some stores will let you return it, or you could always donate it to your local shelter.
Brussels Griffon Breed Profile Overview
The Brussels Griffon originated in Brussels, Belgium. In the mid-1800s, it is thought that the pug, Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Irish terrier, English toy spaniel and other breeds were crossed to create what we know today as the Brussels Griffon.
Appearance and Size:
The Brussels griffon is a small, sturdy dog with a stout body. The most important characteristic of the breed is his almost human facial expression. This breed has a large head, compared to its body, and most notable looks just like an Ewok from the Star Wars films.
The Brussels Griffon has a lively spirit and a big heart. These dogs love their family but if not trained properly, can be moody. The Brussels Griffon is a dog that likes to be spoiled.
The Brussels Griffon is an intelligent dog and with patience and persistence, and with positive training can be taught a variety of tricks.
For more details on this breed, including info on home and family relations, specialized care, and common diseases and disorders visit our Brussels Griffon breed profile.