As dog owners, we know that our dogs all have their own unique personalities, quirks, and temperaments. They also have drastically different activity levels and dietary needs based on what breed of dog you have. For example, a dog with a larger build and high activity level may benefit from a different diet than a dog with a smaller build and lower activity level.  Understanding what needs your dog has is important to maintain their healthiest and longest lifespan!

Understanding that certain breeds are susceptible to certain health conditions is key when it comes to knowing what to feed your pup. For example, larger breeds like the Labrador retrievers are more likely to become overweight and develop hip dysplasia than smaller breeds, so it is crucial to your larger dog’s health that they be kept on a certain diet to maintain a healthy weight and keep them feeling their best throughout their life.

With larger breed dogs, you will want to make sure your dog food has nutrients such as chondroitin and glucosamine, as this will help promote healthy joints and bones. There are excellent brands of dog food on the market today that combine sources of protein, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in a manner that is easily digested by larger dogs and keeps them feeling and looking their best. Striking that perfect balance of nutritional supplements and high-quality animal proteins is the key to a healthy pup!

With large breed puppies, it is important to keep in mind that growing too quickly can also result in orthopedic disease which includes conditions such as hypertrophic osteodystrophy, osteochondrosis, and hip or elbow dysplasia. Keeping that in mind, if you are raising a large breed puppy, you will want to feed a large breed puppy formula food that is designed to address these concerns. These foods are specifically made for large breed puppies as they have lower amounts of fat, calcium, and vitamin D to prevent overnutrition and growing too quickly. Of course, calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients for growing puppies but monitoring the intake of these nutrients helps reduce the risk of any type of orthopedic disease by growing too quickly and therefore, helps them grow at a steady pace which will make for healthy and strong joints and bones!

Choosing a food for a smaller breed dog can also take quite a bit of research as well! Smaller or toy size breeds require more calories per pound than larger breeds. Because of their naturally higher metabolic rates, smaller breed dogs also have health concerns that appropriate diets can help with as they grow. Something to look out for if you are raising a smaller or toy breed is hypoglycemia. Due to their higher metabolic rates and low sugar and body fat reserves, this can be a common issue for smaller breed dogs. Be sure to choose a small breed formulated dog food as these foods contain the perfect balance of nutrients for your little one. The smaller breed formulas also make their kibbles smaller, which reduces the risk of them choking and is easier for them to chew.

We know being able to strike that perfect balance between protein, carbohydrates, fats, and other essential nutrients can be a complicated task for a dog owner. That’s why at Fins and Feathers we have a variety of different dog food formulas for your large or small breed dogs and are here to help you pick that perfect food for your breed. Of course, always consult with your veterinarian when discussing your dog’s nutrition needs first before deciding which route to take with your pup!