How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Dutch Shepherd Puppies
The Dutch Shepherd puppy is an adorable ball of fun, game for any adventure its family has in mind. A breed that originated in the Netherlands over one hundred years ago, the Dutch Shepherd has changed very little since its founding. A dog breed intended to serve as a working dog, the Dutch Shepherd puppy is both highly intelligent and very active, requiring a family that is committed to ensuring this pup receives appropriate physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis. Failure to provide this may result in a puppy that engages in nuisance behaviors.
Loyal, loving, and deeply affectionate, the Dutch Shepherd puppy makes an excellent family companion. This breed is naturally very good with children and also gets along with other animals, making it well-suited to life in a multi-pet household. Because of its size and high activity requirements, a house with a fenced yard is recommended.
The Dutch Shepherd puppy is a natural born athlete, excelling at many active pursuits including agility, obedience, tracking, scent detection, Rally, and much more. As a result of its high drive, this breed is unlikely to become overweight.
There are several different health problems that can plague the Dutch Shepherd. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, atopic skin disease, masticatory myositis, and inflammatory bowel disease. To help promote optimal wellness in the breed, the best dog foods for Dutch Shepherd puppies include supplements to support joint and skin health.
Bloat is a life-threatening condition that sometimes befalls large breed dogs. Though it is not known what factors must combine to create this problem, experts agree that eating too much and too quickly may play a role. To prevent this, it is recommended that the Dutch Shepherd puppy be fed a diet for large breed puppies as the kibble pieces are large enough to encourage careful chewing and swallowing.
The ideal diet for the Dutch Shepherd puppy should contain approximately 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat. Since large breed puppies mature at a far slower rate than their smaller counterparts, the Dutch Shepherd pup should only be fed a puppy food until it reaches one year of age or 75 percent of its full adult size. At this time, the pup should be transitioned to an appropriate adult diet.
Another important component of any diet for the Dutch Shepherd puppy is that it contains the correct ratio of calcium to phosphorus. This is defined as 1.2 parts of calcium to each part of phosphorus.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Dutch Shepherd Puppies
The Dutch Shepherd puppy requires a high quality large breed puppy food that is well-balanced and comprised of only the best quality ingredients. As a general rule of thumb, pups of this size should receive approximately double the number of calories as an average adult of the same breed. The Dutch Shepherd puppy should be fed approximately 40 calories for each pound of body weight. This amount should be cut in half at age one year.
The meals for the Dutch Shepherd puppy should consist of four servings per day to help keep energy levels primed for performance. Once the puppy reaches four months of age, the meal frequency can be reduced to two to three times per day.
As a helpful guideline, the best dog food for Dutch Shepherd puppies list suggested servings sizes on their packaging. These can be of great benefit when trying to determine the portion size for each meal.
Free feeding this dog breed is strongly discouraged. To maintain a healthy body weight, all food should be measured and all intake monitored daily.
Dietary Requirements for Dutch Shepherd Puppy Foods
The Dutch Shepherd puppy does best on a premium quality puppy food that is designed with the needs of active large breed pups in mind. The best dog foods for Dutch Shepherd puppies take a lean meat-based protein as their foundation. Whole meats and meat meals provide the best option. By-products are taken from less desirable parts of an animal and can be difficult for dogs to digest, and thus, are best avoided.
Plant-based protein sources such as soy, corn, and wheat are common allergens for many dogs, and thus, are not of sufficient nutritional quality to benefit the Dutch Shepherd puppy. Many commercial diets today also make use of chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives to boost shelf life and improve a food’s visual appearance. These ingredients provide no nutritional value to the Dutch Shepherd puppy, and diets containing them are best left on the shelf.
Carbohydrates provide the antioxidants and fiber that puppies need to attain optimal digestion and a healthy immune system. These carbohydrates can come from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains.
From healthy fats, the Dutch Shepherd puppy gains the nutrition it needs to enjoy excellent coat and skin health, thriving energy reserves, and optimal brain and eye development. These fats are best found in animal-based ingredients such as chicken fat and oily fish. However, some plant-based oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, and coconut are also rich in these vital nutrients.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Dutch Shepherd Puppies
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Dutch Shepherd puppy:
Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
The Dutch Shepherd puppy requires a diet based on a lean meat to attain optimal health and wellness. Whole meats and meat meals are the preferred options.
By-products and plant-based proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat are best avoided.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
Chemicals, fillers, artificial flavorings and colorings, and mystery ingredients provide no nutritional benefit to the Dutch Shepherd’s diet. Many of these items can trigger an allergic reaction in dogs with food sensitivities.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
The most beneficial supplements for the Dutch Shepherd puppy are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Dutch Shepherd should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.