Nutrition can be a tricky topic, especially when it comes to picking the best food for our furry friends. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to feeding our poodle friends.
Does Breed Really Matter?
Absolutely! Many breeds may have different nutritional requirements, since they have different shapes, sizes, coat types and energy levels. Poodles have some unique needs themselves; they’re prone to allergies, digestive issues and skin conditions, not to mention that they also have a lush coat that’s constantly growing.
Poodles need high quality and extremely digestible proteins and dietary fats in particular to maintain great skin and coat health. Look for foods that include ingredients like biotin, omega fatty acids and zinc, which all help to create a healthy skin barrier that promotes a soft, healthy coat and provides a more effective barrier against allergens.
Does Age Matter?
It sure does. Older dogs often need adjusted levels of nutrients like proteins and vitamins to properly support their body function as they age. Our senior poodles can also benefit from dietary components like glucosamine, chondroitin and essential fatty acids that help to support their heart, joint, dental and organ health.
What’s Better – Canned or Dry?
This might come as a surprise to many dog owners, but when it comes to mealtime, foods that have a higher moisture content are usually the better choice! Canned food often has a higher protein content, is more digestible for our pups, and tastes better to them too. The higher water content in canned also helps to promote a healthier skin and coat and keeps their urine more diluted, lowering your dog’s risk for urinary and kidney disease.
Going grain-free could be beneficial for your pup if they have a diagnosed allergy or intolerance, but it’s not necessary for most dogs. Specific grains (like barley or oats) can be good ways to provide your pup with quick sources of energy, and contain important fibers that feed the ‘good’ bacteria in their intestinal system (in other words, keeps their poop normal!)
Yes, of course – but with a caution! While using whole, human grade foods provides your poodle with more highly digestible and accessible nutrient sources, it’s very easy for things to go wrong with a homemade food, potentially causing dangerous nutrient deficiencies for your pup. A diet that’s balanced and includes all the necessary proteins, carbs, fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals is absolutely essential for your poodle’s long-term well-being! Before you simply begin putting bowls of meat and veggies in front of your dog, double check your poodle’s meal plan with experienced dog nutritionists at Balanceit.com or CompleteandBalanced.com
What About Raw?
Raw diets are a popular option among natural-minded poodle owners, and a well-formulated raw food may especially help dogs with skin issues, allergies and sensitivities (which many poodles are prone to). Again, proceed with caution, however, and make sure that you’re using a complete and balanced food recipe to make your dog’s meals. While most healthy dogs don’t have an issue with the bacteria in raw meats, these types of diets should be avoided for very young puppies, sick dogs, households with young children, or those with pet parents who have cancer, diabetes, or other immune-suppressing diseases – the risk of bacterial transmission is just too high.
Whether you’re choosing a food off the shelf or acting as your poodle’s own personal chef, just remember that there are options out there to suit every poodle lover’s needs while providing great nutrition for your pup; in the end, a high-quality, complete and balanced diet both feeds your best friend and ensures that they stay healthy too. Aren’t they worth it?