WHAT'S THE BEST DOG FOOD FOR A POMERANIAN?
Feeding your dog correctly is not always easy, especially when the range of choices continues to grow ever wide. Dry dog food, wet dog food, new-fangled diets... How can you be sure you're making the right choice for your Pomeranian? Here we outline some tips to help you choose the best dog food for your pooch, to ensure they live a happy, healthy life!
Pomeranian: Specific Dietary Needs
It's essential to take into account the specific dietary needs of the breed in order to feed your Pomeranian properly. All dogs have similar basic nutritional needs (sufficient intake of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, etc.), but the specificities of each individual must also be taken into account.
Your Pomeranian's needs will vary depending on their weight, age, size, and activity level. And there's one more highly important criterion to consider: your dog's health. Pomeranians generally enjoy good health. Thanks to their thick, fluffy coat, these dogs are pretty resistant to bad weather and the cold. However, they are susceptible to some pretty serious health issues:
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: This is a hereditary disease found in young dogs. It is characterised by necrosis of the femoral head, until it disintegrates and becomes deformed. This causes lameness and osteoarthritis in the affected dog. Treatment is often surgical. Legg-Calve-Perthes is believed to be caused by a lack of adequate blood supply to the femur, but the exact cause is unknown. It typically affects small breed dogs.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A dog with progressive retinal atrophy gradually loses their sight. This disease is also hereditary. Some dogs can be carriers without being affected by the disease. Progressive retinal atrophy is incurable and ultimately leads to blindness.
Tracheal Collapse: This is a condition where the tracheal rings collapse, obstructing the airway and making it hard to breathe. In the most serious cases, this leads to the development of respiratory failure. In this case, your vet may recommend installing an innovative prosthesis.
So, as you can see, the Pomeranian is unfortunately not immune to health concerns, some of which can be very dangerous if they are not caught early. But, in addition to understanding the breed, you also need to know all the different feeding methods available to you and your dog, in order to make an informed choice.
Dry dog food: This is arguably the most popular form of dog food in the world. Dry food has the advantage of being easy to use and store. It is also the most pocket-friendly option, while still providing high-quality nutrients - if you choose the right dry food, of course! As the name suggests though, dry dog food is dry, so care must be taken to ensure that your Pom stays properly hydrated.
Wet dog food: Also known as pâté, wet dog food is more filling and appetising than dry food. If your Pomeranian is a picky eater, they might prefer this type of food. On the other hand, it doesn't keep as well and must be consumed quickly.
Mixed feeding: You can offer your pooch the best of both worlds with mixed feeding. The premise is simple: you top your dog's dry food with a little wet food or alternate meals between the two.
Homemade dog food: This type of dog food requires a certain amount of investment on your part because it involves preparing all your dog's meals yourself using cooked meat and vegetables.
BARF diet: The BARF diet looks a bit like homemade dog food, on paper. You also have to prepare your Pomeranian's meals yourself. But here you will be using raw meat, raw eggs, and some cooked vegetables. Always seek advice from a vet before implementing a BARF diet - it's not for everyone!
What Type of Dog Food Should I Give My Pomeranian?
Choosing the right dry food is essential for your Pomeranian because it has a direct impact on their health. If the choice seems overwhelming, take note of this important information to help you avoid the pitfalls of poor-quality dog food:
Pay attention to the composition: Learn how to read product labels, so that you can be as discerning and qualitative as possible. Aim for a protein level of at least 25-28%. Be wary of added preservatives and other sweeteners. Your dog's dry food should also contain a sufficient quantity of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and amino fatty acids! Glucosamine and chondroitin are also very important.
Watch out for the type of protein: This is the most essential ingredient in your dog's food. Pomeranians, like all dogs, are opportunistic carnivores. Although they can occasionally eat fruits and vegetables, they need a diet of primarily animal protein to be healthy. Their diet must therefore contain enough animal protein to meet all their needs. Ban dog food made from plant protein, like potatoes or chickpeas. This is no good for your dog.
Avoid buying your dog food in the supermarket: This is almost certainly the worst type of food for your dog. Industrial pet food manufacturers prioritise maximising their profit margins by using very low-quality ingredients. However, you don't need to spend a fortune on dog food either. A higher price does not necessarily mean higher quality. After all, the best dog food is that which has been adapted to your dog.
Consider adding food supplements into your Pomeranian's diet: These can be a valuable ally. They allow you to target specific health problems, e.g. brewer's yeast for a healthy coat, or green-lipped mussel powder for osteoarthritis and joint and cartilage health. But again, always seek your vet's advice before adding any type of supplement into your dog's diet.
The Hector Kitchen Motto
Every dog is unique, so their diet should be too!
We cannot stress it enough: each dog has their own specific dietary needs. And these recommendations are not the only things to take into account when choosing the best food for your Pomeranian.
Their age, weight, activity level, and any potential diseases are equally important factors. No one is better qualified than an animal nutrition specialist to create a suitable diet for your Pomeranian.
When and How Should I Feed My Pomeranian?
Once you've chosen the perfect dog food for your Pomeranian, you also need to learn when and how best to feed them. There are certain guidelines to help you feed your dog optimally and, in particular, avoid digestion issues. Good dog food is one thing, but how you feed your pooch is also very important! Poor food intake can cause feelings of discomfort, such as gas or other digestive disorders.
Here we outline some recommendations for feeding your Pomeranian in the best way possible:
First of all, we recommend that you split your Pomeranian's daily ration of food into two or three small meals: The idea is to distribute their food throughout the day, so as not to overload their digestive capacities. It also helps prevent your Pomeranian from pouncing on their food and swallowing it too fast.
Don't feed your dog more than the recommended amount of dog food: Due to the Pomeranian's small size, any deviation from the guideline will eventually lead to weight gain, especially seeing as this companion dog is not likely to expend any excess energy. Keep in mind that the correct amount of dog food will depend on different factors, such as your dog's age, weight, activity level (normal or sustained), and reported illnesses. It will also change over time.
Try to have a relatively light hand with dog treats: In addition to their regular food, you can certainly offer your furry friend a healthy treat from time to time. This is a good way to reward them and let them know you care. Little pieces of fruit or cooked vegetables are a great healthy, balanced option.
Most importantly, avoid feeding your dog leftovers from the table! You would risk them developing bad habits. Also, some of the foods we eat on a regular basis are very bad for dogs. Forbid certain foods: Sugar, cold meats, and chocolate should be avoided as part of a healthy diet. Likewise, chicken or rabbit bones should also be avoided.
Finally, make sure that your dog drinks enough water each day. Your dog should always have at least one bowl of water available to them. This should be kept clean and fresh, and the water changed every day.
Pomeranian: Characteristics of the Breed
A Brief History of the Pomeranian
The Pomeranian is a small dog breed with origins dating all the way back to the Stone Age! The Pomeranian is the smallest of the spitz breeds, one of five varieties bred down from the German Spitz. It shares its origins with the Wolfsspitz, the Giant Spitz, the Medium Spitz, and the Miniature Spitz. It owes its name to the Pomerania region in north-west Poland and north-east Germany in Central Europe. In many countries it is known as the Zwergspitz, meaning "Dwarf Spitz".
For a long time, this dog breed found favour with the aristocracy, before gaining popularity with the common people as well. The first breed club was established in England in 1891, and the first breed standard was written shortly thereafter. Fun fact: In 1912, two Pomeranian dogs were among only three dogs to survive the sinking of the RMS Titanic! These days, the Pomeranian is very popular worldwide.
Don't be fooled by this dog’s small size. The Pomeranian's temperament is in complete contrast to its tiny dimensions. This dog breed is an extrovert. Lively and intelligent, with lots of energy to spare. This is an alert and affectionate pooch, who gets very attached to its master, and can be particularly suspicious of strangers. Pomeranians do not make good watchdogs, due to their size, but, on the other hand, they are very good alert dogs.
Pomeranian Health Issues
Overall, Pomeranians enjoy fairly robust health. However, due to the breed's popularity, these dogs have been bred far and wide. Unfortunately, this has a negative effect on the health of the breed, which is susceptible to certain diseases. As such, be careful when selecting your breeder. Check that both parents have been screened for hereditary diseases, to prevent your puppy from being at risk.
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