The nutritional needs of dogs vary depending on size and breed. The optimum diet for a large breed dog will not necessarily meet the needs of a smaller dog.
That is because small breed dogs actually have faster metabolisms and burn energy at a faster rate than large breed dogs. A Pomeranian needs twice as many calories per pound as a Great Dane.
Small breed dogs require smaller pieces of food because of the limited size of their mouths. The same is true when it comes to feeding snacks and treats. A Pomeranian cannot wrap his or mouth around large treats manufactured for large breed dogs.
Small breed dogs have smaller stomachs and this means that they are not capable of digesting a lot of food at one time. That is why it is best to feed smaller amounts of food two to four times a day.
There is no denying that big dogs can have large appetites. However, they require fewer calories and less fat because their metabolisms are much slower than that of small breed dogs.
Larger dogs have a large skeletal system and they need strong joints to support it. Thus, larger breed dogs need more minerals such as calcium and phosphorus than small breed dogs do.
It is important to avoid obesity in larger dogs because the excess weight is very taxing on joints, ligaments, muscles and bone. It is important that the food you choose for large breed dogs has extra vitamins and minerals to promote the healthy development of muscles, joints and bones.
Foods devised for large breed dogs help control rapid growth of puppy bones. Rapid growth can lead to bone and ligament deformities.
Large breed dog foods do not contain as much fat as those manufactured for small breed dogs. This is because larger dogs have a slower metabolism and do not need as much fat in their diets as do small breed dogs.
It wasn’t that many years ago that only a few kinds of dog food graced the pet and grocery store shelves. Today, thanks to a lot of research and development, those same shelves have been expanded to hold a much bigger array of pet food products. A trip to a well-stocked pet store can be mind-boggling. There are so many products to choose from that you can spend a good bit of time reading labels.
Many dog food manufacturers are now offering foods that have been created to meet the needs of different sized dogs.
Most dog treats come in sizes that accommodate the needs of different breeds. Not only are the treats themselves sized differently; the nutritional content can differ depending on the size of the dog they are made for.
When feeding commercial foods, use the manufacturer’s feeding guidelines as a reference. You may need to increase of decrease the recommended amounts of food. Each dog is different and you have to find what works best for your pet.
In general, large breed food and snack products have lower feeding recommendations per unit weight of the dog.