Breed-Specific Dog Nutrition?

For a loving and dedicated dog owner, choosing the right food for Fido can be a minefield. You want your furry baby to have the very best in nutrition and taste. There are so many brands, and so many different types of dog food on the market. You want to choose the best food to promote a long and healthy life.

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Many dedicated pet food manufacturers market breed-specific canine nutrition. Do specific dog breeds have particular dietary requirements based upon their genetic profile? Or is this simply a clever marketing ploy?

The answer is both yes and no. While your Shi-Tzu might not have different dietary needs than your neighbour’s Cairn terrier, your Pug certainly has different dietary requirements than does a Siberian husky.

For example:

• A Dachshund will do better on a diet that promotes lean body mass, as an overweight Daschund can develop spinal problems. Any small-breed, high quality food will do the trick.

• A Golden Retriever needs a diet that is not too high in calcium or calorie intake; joint problems are common to this breed. It does not, however, require a diet any different from that which might be fed to a Labrador.

While some breed-specific foods can be nutritious, it’s more important to look beyond the breed marketing.

Choose a high quality dog food from a reputable brand that is based more on the dog’s size, age, and lifestyle. A dog’s nutritional needs are very different as a puppy than they are at age one or two years; senior dogs have even more specific dietary requirements. Your vet is the best person to offer advice.

Some dogs require prescription diets. This is a whole different ball game and you must take the advice of your vet. Never feed a pet prescription food that has not been prescribed directly by the vet.

There is nothing wrong with opting for breed-specific dog food. If, however, you choose to feed Fido a broader diet, that’s fine too – the overall nutritional value is what matters most. Don’t forget to provide plenty of clean and fresh water as well.

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