Do dogs enjoy eating salty food?
The energy density and nutrient profile of the food are key factors for an optimal dog food. Protein, fat, and carbohydrates are the energy-providing nutrients, but dogs also need specific vitamins and minerals. Proteins help with growth and wellbeing, carbohydrates provide energy and fiber is important for your dog's digestion. Water should always be available as it ensures adequate hydration, helps regulate body temperature and is fundamental to all processes in the body at the cellular level.
In order to compare nutrients in dog food, this should be done on the basis of the so-called dry matter, i.e. minus the water contained in the food. In comparison, dry food has approx. 10% water content and moist food over 60%.
What small dogs need
Small dogs need food that provides quick energy.
- animal protein sources (e.g. beef, chicken, turkey or salmon)
- easy to digest carbohydrates
- essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to keep the kidneys healthy, strengthen the immune system, promote good brain and eye development and keep the coat shiny
Small dogs, big changes
The right food for your small dog will change based on the dog's life stages, lifestyle, and nutritional needs. Therefore, always feed your dog according to the current phase of life. Small breed puppies are considered fully grown after 9 to 12 months, depending on the breed, while large and very large breeds are sometimes only fully grown after 18 to 24 months. Adult dogs should be fed in such a way that their ideal body condition is maintained. Factors that influence your energy requirements and thus your body condition are age, gender, metabolism, activity, and the ambient temperature.
Dogs begin to show signs of age from the age of 8. This manifests itself in changes that may not be noticeable at first, such as the poorer efficiency of the brain in metabolizing glucose. So as your dog gets older, he has a reduced basal metabolic rate. This reduces the energy requirement and increases the risk of weight gain. At this point it is important to maintain the dog's muscle mass and minimize fat gain. It is therefore important to feed a food suitable for this senior phase with a suitable nutrient profile.
Choosing the right food for your dog is based on both his stage of life and his lifestyle. It is important to follow the feeding recommendations taking into account the individual needs of your dog and to carry out a monthly check of his body condition.
Feeding for ideal body condition
Once you determine how much food your dog actually needs, you will see that the feeding recommendations are merely suggested amounts based on the average dog's energy needs. Some dogs may need more or less food than suggested due to their individual condition and activity.
The best way to determine how well a dog's diet is balanced with their level of activity is to regularly check their body shape and monitor their physical condition and weight. To assess the body condition you have to choose a suitable scheme, the ribs have to be clearly noticeable e.g. without fat deposits or pressure.
When looking at a dog from above, its hips should be visible behind the ribs in an hourglass shape. Last but not least, when viewed from the side, your dog should have a firm stomach with an even gradation from behind the ribs to below the pelvis. The amount of food should then be adjusted up or down in order to maintain the ideal body condition of your dog throughout its life.
Dry food or homemade?
Many dog owners think that home-cooked food feeds the dog in an authentic and healthy way. Also, many think that homemade meals are better than industrial dry food. In truth, a diet based on industrial food is balanced and complete and provides your little dog with all the nutrients he needs. This does not mean that feeding home-cooked meals is wrong. However, it is more difficult to provide the four-legged friend with all the nutrients. Industrial feed is more durable and has a longer shelf life than home-cooked food. In addition, the nutrient content in dry food is balanced. Ready-made food is also practical, especially if you travel a lot or are away from home more often due to work.
Which food should you avoid?
Are there foods that are dangerous for small dogs? The truth is that every breed and dog reacts differently to food, so only experience will tell which foods your dog can and cannot tolerate. However, many foods that are harmless and easy to digest for humans are problematic for dogs and should be avoided entirely. This includes:
- Chocolate: It contains theobromine, a substance that is toxic to dogs. Theobromine inhibits certain receptors and substances in the body. This leads to excitement, increased urination, palpitations, saliva, diarrhea and vomiting. The occurrence of these symptoms depends on the amount of chocolate the dog has consumed.
- Leftovers: It is better not to give the dog any leftovers from the plate, especially not if the dishes are spicy or spicy.
- Garlic and Onions: Their excessive fermentation makes them difficult for dogs to digest.
- Raw meat, raw eggs and raw fish: It is better not to give your dog too much raw food as it is not always suitable for consumption and can be bad for the pancreas, kidneys and liver. Cooking and industrial processing ensure that there are no potentially harmful bacteria.
- Salami: It's too processed and too salty, which makes it difficult for dogs to digest.
- Fermented Cheese: Even if you love gorgonzola or camembert, you shouldn't feed your dog fermented cheese as it is very difficult to digest.
- Fruits and sweets
- Cat food: Each animal species has different nutritional needs. For example, a dog is an omnivore / carnivore, whereas cats are strict carnivores. Therefore, it is better to give your dog food that has been specially prepared for him.
In order to prevent digestive problems for your dog, it is always better to feed him with complete and balanced high quality food. In the PURINA ONE® In MINI products, every ingredient is carefully selected to meet the food and energy needs of your four-legged friend and to ensure their well-being today and in the future.
6 myths about feeding small dogs
- Small dogs need fewer calories than larger dogs. Not correct! Smaller dogs have a higher energy requirement per kilogram of body weight than medium and large dogs.
- Small dogs, small belly? Not correct! Of course, small dogs have smaller stomachs than large dogs, and consequently they are unable to eat the same amount of food as a large dog. However, this does not mean that small dogs eat less than large dogs in relation to their weight. To choose the right amount of food, refer to the suggested daily amount of the feeding recommendation.
- Small dogs often have weight problems. Not correct! Make sure you have the right amount of lean body mass. Check the ribs by palpation. They should never be too visible or too difficult to find.
- Small dogs eat the same things as large dogs. Not correct! Small dogs have different needs compared to large dogs. They need more energy and nutrient-rich food. Choose products made specifically for small dogs.
- Small dogs get old faster. Not correct! The opposite is true: even if smaller dogs reach adulthood faster compared to medium and large dogs, they nonetheless age more slowly and live longer than large breeds of dogs. That is why your diet should always contain antioxidants to reduce the adverse effects of free radicals even in your adulthood.
- All small dogs have the same needs. Not correct! Small dogs have different personalities. Each of these personalities and lifestyles cause different nutritional needs. It is therefore important to feed according to your individual needs.
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