When it comes to our canine companions, we only want the very best – figuring out the most suitable diet for the needs of their breed, however, can be tricky.
There is now a huge range of different types of food available, and if you’re struggling to decide exactly what you should be giving your furry friend to eat, you’re not alone.
The breed of your dog is one of the most important factors in determining their diet. Keep reading for all the information you need about the best meal plan that’ll meet your unique pet’s needs.
How to Feed Your Dog the Best Diet for Its Breed
Basic Nutritional Needs
Before delving into details, it’s important to understand that all dogs are, ultimately, descended from wild wolves. While they have a limited capacity to digest some plant-based food, the majority of their nutrition should be derived from meat to keep them as healthy as possible.
For an adult dog, protein should comprise around 18% of their daily diet, while for puppies, it’s 22%. After protein, from poultry-based products, eggs, or fish, for example, fat is the next most important component of a dog’s diet; an adult dog’s diet should be made up of around 5% high-quality fat, and a puppy needs their diet to consist of 8%.
Dogs don’t actually require carbohydrates, and they can even cause digestive issues in some dogs. In general, finding pet food that is made up of no more than 5% grain is a good idea.
For extra convenience, consider using a pet food delivery service: as well as having supplies delivered to your door; using a service like this means that you’ll be able to take advantage of bulk buy discounts without worrying about fitting it all in the trunk of your car!
Best Diet for Small Breeds
Small and toy breeds of dogs tend to live longer than their larger cousins and, due to a higher metabolic rate, often need more calories, per pound of body weight, particularly as puppies.
The long lifespan of small breeds means that feeding your furry friend a pet food that’s rich in antioxidants is advisable to help keep her healthy through the years.
Ask your vet for information on foods that are high in antioxidants, which can help to prevent the damage caused, over time, by free radicals in the body.
Small breeds, and especially toy puppies, are particularly at risk of developing a condition called hypoglycem, which can be life-threatening. This is best guarded against by feeding your puppy four to six times daily, offering calorie-dense puppy food that’s specially formulated for small breeds.
It’s vital, during the puppy stage, to also be on the lookout for the signs of hypoglycemia and contact your vet immediately if you spot any of them. The main red flags are weakness, lethargy, muscle tremors, and seizures.
Best Diet for Medium Breeds
Breeds of dogs that are classed as medium are usually 25 – 60 pounds in weight.
While there is no single specific dog food that’s best for these breeds, it’s worth remembering that their metabolisms tend to be more similar to that of larger breeds than their faster-metabolism cousins, and so care needs to be taken not to overfeed.
Many of the medium breeds are typically very active dogs and so require lots of lean protein for energy and to maintain good health.
Some dogs are allergic or sensitive to grain, which is used as a bulking ingredient in many types of commercially produced dog food.
If you think your canine companion may suffer from this condition, then speak with your vet, who will be able to give you dietary advice; there are plenty of grain-free food options on the market now.
Best Diet for Large Breeds
Large and giant breeds of dogs, like their medium-sized fellows, also require food that provides the right range of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, fed in the correct proportions, and, again, your vet will be able to give you plenty of advice on this.
Adult large breed dogs may benefit from the joint supplement glucosamine, which can help to prevent the development of the orthopedic problems that this type of dog can be prone to.
When it comes to large breed puppies, specific care needs to be taken when feeding. These types of dogs usually grow more quickly – and for longer – than the smaller breeds, and this tendency can put them at risk of certain health conditions if their diet is not properly balanced and managed.
To help guard against this, choose a puppy food that has been formulated especially for large breed puppies; this type of food will usually be lower in fat, calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin D, and so can help to prevent overnutrition and the problems that this can cause.
Finding the Perfect Balance
Choosing the correct diet for your dog’s breed can help them to live the longest, healthiest, and happiest life possible.
Skin and fur condition and energy levels are also likely to be boosted, too, so that your best friend will look as radiant on the outside as they feel on the inside. It’s important to always speak to your vet for information on the best food to give your dog and before switching your pet to a different diet.
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