How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Dutch Shepherds
A herding breed, the Dutch Shepherd traces its roots to the Netherlands. A dog type developed over one hundred years ago, this hardy working breed has changed very little since its early development. The Dutch Shepherd is a highly intelligent dog that loves to learn new things. These natural tendencies make this breed well-suited to work as police dogs, guide dogs, and even strong competitors in popular dog performance sports such as obedience, Rally, agility, scent work, tracking, and more.
The Dutch Shepherd is a wonderful family companion. Loyal and affectionate, this breed does well with children and other dogs. Because of its high activity needs and innate intelligence, this dog breed requires regular vigorous exercise on a daily basis as well as opportunities for mental stimulation. Failure to provide these important outlets can lead to a dog that develops nuisance behaviors.
Available in three different coat varieties, the short, long, and wire haired, there is a coat type to suit every family to a T. The coat is typically brindle in color but can run the gamut from a light gold color to a deep reddish-brown.
Unlike other members of the Shepherd family, the Dutch Shepherd typically enjoys excellent health. The main problems that can befall this hardy, athletic breed include hip and elbow dysplasia, atopic skin disease, masticatory myositis, inflammatory bowel disease, and bloat. To lay a foundation for optimal health and wellness, the best dog foods for Dutch Shepherds should contain supplements to boost joint and skin health.
Though it is not known what factors must combine to result in bloat, experts typically agree that eating too much and two quickly may contribute to this problem. To prevent this, the Dutch Shepherd should be fed a diet designed specifically for large breed dogs. These foods contain kibble pieces of a sufficient size to encourage careful chewing and swallowing, important aspects of preventing this condition from occurring.
The ideal diet for the Dutch Shepherd should contain a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Dutch Shepherds
A highly active dog, the Dutch Shepherd requires a diet that is well-balanced and comprised of top quality ingredients to achieve optimal health and wellness. Determining how much of a food to feed a dog can be a challenging task, requiring some trial and error in the process. The best dog foods for Dutch Shepherds provide suggested serving sizes based on age and weight. These guidelines are very helpful as a starting point and can be adjusted incrementally until the appropriate portion is found.
Because the Dutch Shepherd is naturally very active, this dog is unlikely be prone to weight gain. However, free feeding is still strongly discouraged. Excess weight in a breed predisposed to joint problems is something that must be avoided. To this end, all food should be carefully measured and all intake monitored to promote a healthy body condition.
Dietary Requirements for Dutch Shepherd Dog Foods
The Dutch Shepherd thrives on a diet that bases it recipe on a lean meat-based protein. The best dog foods for Dutch Shepherds take a whole meat or meat meal as their foundation ingredient. By-products are commonly utilized as protein sources in commercial dog foods; however, they can be more difficult for some dogs to digest as they are taken from less desirable cuts of an animal. Likewise, the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are hard for dogs to process and are also common allergens for many dogs.
From healthy fats, the Dutch Shepherd gains the necessary fuel for strong energy reserves and support for ideal coat and skin health. These fats are best found in foods such as chicken fat and oily fish. However, some plant-based oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, and coconut are also rich in the essential fatty acids the Dutch Shepherd needs.
Carbohydrates help the Dutch Shepherd to attain fluid digestion and promote a healthy immune system. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains all offer ample servings of the antioxidants and dietary fiber dogs need for optimal health and wellness. Dogs that have previously expressed sensitivities to grains may do best on a grain-free diet.
All foods can benefit from the addition of supplements to boost the diet’s overall nutritional quality. The ideal supplements for the Dutch Shepherd are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Dutch Shepherds
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Dutch Shepherd:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The Dutch Shepherd is a natural athlete with a high level of activity each day. To help keep this dog fuelled for performance, it requires a diet that is based on a lean, meat-based protein. Whole meats or meat meals are the best choices.
By-products and the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are not of sufficient nutritional quality for this active breed, and thus, 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 dog’s with food sensitivities.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
The best supplements for the Dutch Shepherd are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics. These ingredients provide assistance with joint health and boost digestive processing in dogs.
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.