It's not news that dogs require a certain amount of nutrition. Hoomans need them too. Good nutrition + Exercise = Healthy doggo. As dog parents, we have the exercise bit sorted. But, how do we separate the diets of a Chihuahua and a Mastiff? A dog's body, not unlike ours, goes through a lot of changes physically, from their first breath to their last. It's our responsibility to make sure those changes are healthy. There are dog food brands that cater to only a few specific dog breeds. And some brands supply food age-wise- puppy, adult, and senior.
We have to take into consideration age and energy levels to aptly choose the right food for your little one (four-legged). So, nutrition 101- all dogs need fats, carbs, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and hydration. Here's how we can relatively divide the breeds according to their sizes- Small, medium, and large. This is so that it gets easier for pet parents to buy them the right kind of food.
Small Dogs (up to 10Kg):
Feeding small dog breeds during as they turn into adults requires some serious nutrition. Between this period, their metabolism is faster, which means they burn calories faster. To compensate, aim for a diet that is higher in calories, proteins, and fat as compared to a diet for larger breeds.
Feeding these tiny tummies once or twice a day is not enough for them to curb all the energy they have. They have to be given small meals three to four times a day.
However, here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for kibble.
- The food should be high in calories, protein, and contain essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 & Omega-6.
- Food should not contain additives or preservatives.
- Kibble should be small and appropriate size for a small breed's tiny mouth
Medium dogs (10-25 kg):
Maintaining medium size dogs requires a high calorie and high protein diet to boost and maintain the medium breed energy level and metabolism. When feeding medium sized canines, we must consider foods containing glucosamine & chondroitin for good joint health along with essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that promote a shiny, healthy coat.
They not only make a good companion, but are also the hunters, and other working dogs. Who's a good boy? They are.
A general rule of thumb to follow:
- Feed good quality dog food.
- Their activity levels can vary, so watch their weight. Do not overfeed the dog to make them grow faster.
- Make sure their physical activity routine is constant. Sudden highs and lows affect how much they eat and cause blood sugar problems.
Large dogs (more than 25kg):
The main goal for a large dog is to grow them slowly. This needs breed-specific food and regulated feeding. The ingredients will already include the nutrition levels required including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids for good fur.
Avoid foods that are specially formulated for the growth of the dog. Opting for high calorific and protein-packed food is best left for small and mid-sized dogs. Getting big too fast equals bad health. Slow and Steady wins the race! Remember the Hare and the Tortoise story?
Following a few simple rules of thumb is the safest bet for feeding large breed puppies.
- Again, a good quality brand of dog food. Please!
- Don't overfeed or over nourish the puppies. They will end up growing to the size they should be at the appropriate age. Be patient.
- Make sure they get ample exercise and keep them lean. This doesn't mean underfeed them. Therefore, do not overfeed or underfeed. Just feed...
- If your puppy looks skinny during the first year, it is normal for a large breed. In any case, consult your vet.
Most dog breeds can eat the same food once they're adults. But the quantity should be properly portioned by you. My Rottweiler eats the same food as my Pug but in a much larger quantity. The Pug doesn't like this and mumbles something to himself, but it's for his own good. (He's old. Also, true story.)