Does Your Dog Need Breed Specific Nutrition
Some kibble (dry food) manufacturers offer breed-specific formulas which can be confusing to pet parents who want to do the very best for their dogs, however does your dog actually need this?
In most cases, dogs do not require breed-specific nutrition except for the likes of Dalmatians who have a genetic medical issue that is managed by nutrition but this doesn't mean they have to eat dry food with a picture of a Dalmatian on the front.
So why do breed-specific dry food formulas exist if they're not needed? Kibble Manufacturers are here to make money, marketing plays a big part in increasing profits....think Advance's latest OODLE dry food.
You can feed a Shih Tzu formula to a Rottweiler and vice versa without any issues at all and interestingly enough, they're similar in ingredients....imagine how dogs managed to live for 30,000 without breed specific nutrition....
Don't get us wrong, there are potential benefits, a breed specific kibble looks at the breed's main issues i.e. health issues, and then uses kibble shape/texture/size or specific ingredients to target those issues/concerns but that doesn't mean the formula is a "health food" or better than feeding a balanced fresh food diet that you can control the ingredients yourself to target any condition/concern you have.
Your dog never has to consume kibble (dry food), no matter their breed or medical issue if you don't want them to. Dogs who have medical issues or breed-specific nutritional requirements such as Dalmatians can consult with fresh food feeding vets to help them formulate their dog's nutrition. In Australia, we recommend the likes of Bentons Road Vet Clinic, Mont Albert Veterinary Surgery, and Dr. Ian Billinghurst who all do distant consults. Those outside of Australia can Google "Holistic Vet + City" or "Integrative Vet + City" to find a suitable professional to help them.
If your dog is healthy and doesn't need any specific medical nutrition but you're wondering if you could better target nutrition to their breed type, let's have a look at that...
Breeds/Large dogs prone to arthritis
Increase good fats including anti-inflammatory omega-3's. Ensure their diet isn't high in carbs that could lead to inflammation over time which is the precursor to disease. Never allow them to be overweight, if you're struggling in this area, click here.
Dalmatians / Dogs requiring a low purine diet
A really easy-to-manage condition with fresh food because it's moisture rich and you can simply feed lower purine ingredients. The main challenge here is replacing Mother Nature's multi-vitamin being offal. We also have a Dalmatian recipe book of balanced recipes you can make at home, click here.
Dogs prone to pancreatitis
Low-carbohydrate diets. Many pet parents think they have to reduce fat but there is information to counter this, click here. A typical BARF ratio diet is lower carbs and may be appropriate for your dog, however, we would recommend you have a consult with a fresh food feeding Vet with the info sheet we have provided here and ask for guidance in feed formulation.
The bane of the modern dog's life and there are 101 reasons dogs can struggle with skin - when it comes to nutrition there are a number of things we can do which we discuss here.
Dogs with yeast issues can benefit from reducing carbohydrates and supplementing their diet with Saccharomyces boulardii. Consulting with a fresh food feeding Vet can help you get to the root of your dog's issues and finding an actual solution.
Dogs who are prone to becoming overweight
A lower calorie diet whilst still maintaining the inclusion of healthy fats, and a high amount of quality animal protein - we have a healthy weight guide that you may find helpful.
You can learn more about how to put together a fresh food diet here.