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There are many things to consider when buying a dog food, but should you consider the breed of your dog? Many of the best quality dog food manufacturers are now making breed specific varieties leaving many consumers to wonder if they should be factoring in their dog’s breed when purchasing a dog food. However deciding how much to factor in your dog’s breed can get pretty complicated, so we’ve put together a guide that address the frequently asked questions about breed-specific dog food.
What Is Breed-Specific Dog Food?
Breed specific dog food is a type of dog food that is designed to specifically address the unique nutritional needs of purebred dogs. The concept behind breed-specific food is that a high energy small dog like a chihuahua has different nutritional needs than say a low energy large breed like a Bull Mastiff. Manufacturers then consider these differences and manufacture foods targeted for their unique needs rather than making one food for all breeds.
What Are The Benefits Of Breed-Specific Food?
The main benefit of a breed specific dog food is that different breeds have different ailments. Some breeds like German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Rottweilers are more prone to joint issues and hip dysplasia so they could benefit more from a dog food that has beneficial nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin. While dog breeds more prone to cancer like Poodles, Dachshunds, and Keeshonds could benefit more from a diet that is high in antioxidants. So targeting the nutritional needs to the potential health concerns of a specific breed can possibly help reduce their chances of chronic illness.
Where Can I Get Breed-Specific Food?
Breed-specific food is made by some of the best quality dog food manufacturers, so it is available at any specialty pet food retailer than would carry any high quality dog foods. You can buy breed-specific foods in stores, online, and direct from manufacturers.
Are Breed-Specific Dog Foods More Expensive?
Breed-specific dog foods are usually made by best quality dog food manufacturers so compared to lesser quality dog foods they are more expensive. However if you are already feeding your dog a high quality, natural dog food, then the price is comparable.
What Types of Breed-Specific Foods Are There?
There are a couple top quality dog food brands that make breed specific formulas. The first is Eukanuba which offers:
- Eukanuba Boxer Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Chihuahua Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Dachshund Adult Formula
- Eukanuba German Shepherd Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Labrador Retriever Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Rottweiler Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Yorkshire Terrier Adult Formula
Another dog food brand that offers breed specific formulas is Royal Canin, which offers:
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Rottweiler
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Yorkshire Terrier
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Dachshund
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Boxer
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Pug
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Miniature Schnauzer
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih Tzu
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition West Highland White Terrier
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition French Bulldog
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Bulldog
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Cocker Spaniel
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Beagle
Royal Canin also offers breed specific puppy formulas for these breed specific recipes. Both of these dog food manufacturers make high quality, balanced foods so they are a good place to start if you are interested in switching to a breed-specific formula.
If All Dogs Are Descended From Wolves, Why Would Breed-Specific Food Matter?
Yes all dogs are descended from wolves and are still closely related to them. However, after tens of thousands of years of breeding, dogs have some very different physical and behavioral traits, and with those differences, they also have very different nutritional needs. Even simple things like kibble size can make a huge difference in a dog’s diet. For example a small breed like an Italian Greyhound is not going to be able to eat the same size kibble as a giant breed like a Great Dane. So even with shared ancestry, there are enough differences between breeds that there are some important considerations when shopping for a dog food.
Can I Feed My Mutt Breed-Specific Food?
Since so many people are turning away from purebred dogs in favor of rescues, less and less pet owners have purebred dogs. However, mutts can also benefit from a breed-specific food. If a dog is a mix of Golden Retriever and Pointer, they are going to benefit from the nutrition specifically made for either breed. Also, a lot of breed-specific foods meet the nutritional needs of similar breeds. So it is a good option to consider even for mutts.
What If They Don’t Make Breed-Specific Food For My Breed?
There are over 339 registered dog breeds in the world, so breed-specific formulas are not available for every type of dog. Manufacturers have focused on making breed-specific formulas for the most popular dogs that can benefit from breed targeted nutrition. If you cannot find a breed-specific dog food for your dog, you can always go with a size-specific dog food.
Can My Dog Get The Same Nutrition Without Going Breed-Specific?
Yes, your dog can get the same nutrition without going on a breed specific diet. If you work with your veterinarian or breeder to learn about the specific dietary needs of your dog, you can find a dog food that isn’t breed-specific but is great for your breed. You can also consider size-specific formulas like toy dog, small dog, medium dog, large dog, and giant breed. These formulas tend to provide better targeted nutrition than just adult dog food.
Breed-specific food is a great option for addressing the nutritional needs of purebred dogs. As with any dietary change, consult your veterinarian first to make sure that the food is right for you and your dog.