How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Hokkaidos
The regal Hokkaido is a member of the Spitz family that takes its name from the Japanese island from which it descends: Hokkaido. Many believe the Hokkaido may be the most ancient dog breed of all time.
The Hokkaido’s original purpose was to function as a hunter alongside its owners. Though it is largely unknown which breeds were combined to produce this athletic, hearty breed, the Hokkaido’s blue and black tongue may indicate the presence of Chow Chows or Shar Peis at some point in the dog’s lineage. The breed has been declared a national monument in its native Japan, a measure that ensures it is protected against extinction in future generations.
The bravery of the Hokkaido is legendary. Though considered to be a small to medium-sized dog, the Hokkaido possessed the drive and tenacity to challenge bears. A breed renowned for its unique skill set, the Hokkaido was also employed to snatch fish from the water. A highly intelligent dog; today, the Hokkaido’s main role is that of a cherished family companion.
The Hokkaido bonds deeply to its family. They possess a strong prey drive, and thus, must be kept securely contained at all times. This dog breed is a natural guardian of its family, alerting eagerly at the presence of unusual sounds or unfamiliar people.
A dog breed with moderate activity requirements, reputable breeders recommend that the Hokkaido receive regular daily exercise to help maintain a healthy body condition. Though the breed is not typically known for gaining weight easily, free feeding this handsome pooch is strongly discouraged.
The Hokkaido, as with all breeds, can be predisposed to a few different health conditions including collie eye anomaly, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, anxiety, heart murmurs, seizures, and more. The best dog foods for the Hokkaido include powerhouse supplements to encourage joint, eye, and heart health. The most beneficial supplements to look for in a food for this breed are glucosamine, chondroitin, DHA and ARA, and taurine.
When selecting a diet for the Hokkaido, owners should look for a food that contains a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat as a general rule.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Hokkaidos
The Hokkaido possesses an athletic build. To maintain an excellent body condition, this dog type requires a diet that is well-balanced and crafted from the highest quality of ingredients.
Trying to understand how much food to feed the Hokkaido can seem like a difficult task. Thankfully, the best dog foods for Hokkaidos provide suggested serving sizes based on a dog’s weight and age. These can be used as a starting point with adjustments made until the appropriate portion is found.
The Hokkaido is unlikely to become overweight if sufficiently exercised and not overfed. Still, free feeding this breed is not recommended. For best results, all food should be measured and all intake carefully monitored on an ongoing basis.
Dietary Requirements for Hokkaido Dog Foods
The Hokkaido, like all dogs, is a carnivore, and thus, does best on a diet that contains healthy servings of lean meat. The first few ingredients in the best dog foods for Hokkaidos should list a lean meat or meat meal. By-products are not of sufficient nutritional quality to support optimal health and wellness in this working breed.
The plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are often included in commercially prepared diets. Unfortunately, these protein alternatives are common allergens for many dogs. Diets containing them are best avoided. Other ingredients which offer no nutritional benefit to the Hokkaido are chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
From carbohydrates, the Hokkaido gains the fuel it needs to promote good digestion and a thriving immune system. The ideal carbohydrates in a diet for this breed are rich in both antioxidants and dietary fiber. These nutrients can be found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, or any combination of the three. However, dogs that have previously shown some allergic reactions to grains in the past may do best on a grain-free food.
Healthy fats are a very important part of the Hokkaido’s diet, contributing the necessary nutrients for coat and skin health in the breed. Animal fats such as oily fish and chicken fat offer the best benefits. However, several plant-based oils can also contribute ample servings of these important essential fatty acids.
All diets can work more effectively with the addition of helpful supplements to boost the overall nutritional benefits. The ideal supplements for the Hokkaido are taurine, glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Hokkaidos
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Hokkaido:
Lean, meat-based proteins listed at the beginning of the ingredients list
The Hokkaido requires a diet that includes healthy servings of meat in its formulation in order to achieve optimal health and wellness. The preferred choices are whole meats or meat meals.
It is recommended that all foods containing by-products or plant proteins such as soy, corn, or wheat be avoided.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
All items introduced into a food formulation should add nutritional value. Chemicals, flavorings, fillers, and mystery ingredients do not contribute anything positive to a Hokkaido’s diet. In fact, many of these ingredients can be the cause of allergy issues in Hokkaidos.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Supplements added to food can be a great help to the Hokkaido’s overall health and wellness. The most beneficial supplements for this breed include glucosamine, chondroitin, taurine, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
The AAFCO seal approval should accompany any food considered for the Hokkaido. This designation indicates a food has been assessed and found to be complete and properly balanced.