As most dog lovers know, part of the reason dogs are so great is that they come in so many different shapes and sizes, along with unique personalities. Pups can be massive in size, such as a Great Dane, or teacup, like a Yorkshire terrier. Although all dogs should eat similar diets – a combination of lean meats and fresh produce – certain varieties may be better suited for dogs of specific sizes. Figuring out which food fits your dog’s requirements best may offer him a healthier life in the long run. Some pet food companies have even gone so far as to make food specific to breeds. For instance, a Dachshund-only food might contain glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy joints and improve the health of the breed’s small legs.
Small dog needs
If your pooch is on the smaller side, less than 40 pounds, he may benefit from certain nutrients in his food. Smaller breeds need fewer calories than larger, working breeds, as they don’t do as much running or work as bigger dogs. You wouldn’t want to feed your five pound Chihuahua a high endurance pet food that is chock full of protein and carbohydrates, as this heavy meal may cause Fido to pack on a few extra pounds, rather than maintain a healthy weight. Instead, you’ll want to look for a variety that caters to the needs of small breeds. A quality small dog food should contain nutrients that help to utilize fat and promote weight loss, while supporting bone and joint health.
Large breed needs
Bigger, working breeds have a different set of nutritional needs than their smaller counterparts. For starters, large breeds need a food that is rich in glucosamine and other joint enhancing nutrients as these dogs commonly suffer from joint and hip problems with age. It may also be smart to look for a food that contains omega-3s to help improve the dog’s heart, eyes, brain and joint function. Since bigger dogs are more likely to run and be active, feeding it a high endurance or high protein diet may be best. Options like these help optimize muscle support and promote healthy digestion.
Other considerations to make when choosing a new pet food for your pooch is his age. If your dog is getting older it may be helpful to switch out his current food for a senior-specific variety. The latter is meant to cater to the needs of older dogs, including reducing his caloric intake, as older dogs tend to have slower metabolism and need less protein and carbohydrates.