My knowledge is based on my own experience, research and accepting feedback from other breeders. A healthy life depends and is entirely related to good feeding! The feeding process, which is subjected to a lot of controversy and opinions, is of the utmost importance. Frequently, future owners are at a loss as to how to feed their puppies properly. Feeding in the growing period (up to 18 months in the Serra da Estrela) must be taken seriously as it may compromise all his entire adult life.

Choose a “premium food“, which provides all the necessary nutrients in a balanced way and there will be no need to supply him with vitamins or calcium, unless required by the veterinary. Also change the food quantity, type, and number of vitamins, progressively through the various stages of growth.

Remember that not always what is good for us will be any good to our friend’s diet. The food we waste, with too many ingredients in it, has proven to be insufficient. The dog’s diet is in essence wholly different to ours. Their digestive sytems do not accept variety easily. Contrary of what people may think, they don’t get bored with their food. The desire to vary is entirely human .The frequent change of food habits leads them to be selective.
Once you adopt a type of food you must maintain it, and if for some reason you need to change, do it gradually by mixing with the new one. Never change entirely in one day, that will cause them to have digestive problems.


Month 1 to 3 4 to 7 8 to 18 18 and more
Meal 4 to 6 3 2 1 or 2

The number of daily meals varies; it should be from 4 to 6 times after breast feeding, 3 times after 4 months, and depending on how big and on his physical activity, once or twice as an adult. An adult dog’s meal is also dependant on our own habits and his own routines. According to their anatomy, their digestive function allows them to absorb abundant meals with a big gap between them, taking up to 3 to 12 hours to empty their stomach. Above all we have to consider that every dog has his own needs and it has to be measured and adjusted to his own daily activity, character, and also to the local climate. We should also pay attention to his weight and then adjust the food quantity. An underfed dog shows his ribs, spine and hip. In an overweight dog it will be difficult to feel his bones. In an ideal weight dog you cannot see them, but they can be felt by palpation. Make sure that your dog always has plenty of fresh water, especially if his diet is mainly dry. Don’t let your Estrela Mountain get too overweight, if you want him to grow healthy and live longer.
I would like to focus on one other aspect; giving bones. They are both a supply of calcium and a way to stimulate and massage their gums, but on the other hand they might cause some harm if the bone was to laminate and injure the mouth, or in the worst scenario to perforate the intestines. It is not advisable to give any poultry bones. Always choose tibias from cows; they are bigger and represent less danger.
Animal nutrition would be a matter of a long debate, and these few lines were only in order to give a few “tips“, on the subject. Animal nutrition is a passionate and wide field that requires and deserves a responsible approach.

Given all these ideas, it relies on everyone to be responsible and to live in harmony with your new friend, knowing that good friendship is a gift.

Love your dog and good luck!