How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Italian Greyhounds
The elegant Italian Greyhound is well renowned for its sleek good looks. A dog breed believed to trace back to over 2000 years ago, many artifacts from Turkey and Greece have been discovered which depict their image, indicating this pooch indeed has ancient origins. Past archaeological digs have uncovered Greyhound remains that are small in size. Though it is not known what role the Italian Greyhound served in its earliest days, it is speculated that the hunting of small game may have been one of its jobs.
The Italian Greyhound is a sighthound, and it is the smallest member of this category. The breed is well renowned for its natural athleticism and flexible, well-muscled body. The Italian Greyhound moves with a sophisticated high step, a trait that sets it apart from other hounds. A dog with immense prey drive, the Italian Greyhound loves to chase moving objects and is capable of speeds as high as 25 miles per hour.
A breed with energy to spare, the Italian Greyhound requires regular daily exercise. Its prey drive means this dog will try to escape if it senses the presence of something to chase, and thus, a secure containment system is an absolute must for this breed. Because of this dog’s high energy levels, the Italian Greyhound is unlikely to succumb to becoming overweight.
A sweet natured and affectionate dog, the Italian Greyhound deeply loves its family and eagerly lavishes each loved one with affection. However, this dog can be reserved when meeting new people. Mild mannered, the Italian Greyhound is a dog with sharp and loud bark, something that surprises many people when they first meet the breed.
The Italian Greyhound is quite smart and enjoys learning new things but needs to be motivated through treats, praise, and other rewards. This dog type excels at many different activities including agility, conformation, Rally, and obedience.
The Italian Greyhound can be plagued by a few different health conditions including progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation, and more. The best dog foods for Italian Greyhounds provide support for both joint and eye health through such ingredients as DHA, ARA, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
When selecting a diet for the Italian Greyhound, it is important to look for a food that includes a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Italian Greyhounds
It is always challenging trying to determine how much of a commercially prepared diet to feed a dog. The best dog foods for Italian Greyhounds provide suggested serving sizes on their packaging. Experts recommend using these as a starting point. Adjustments can be made incrementally using the dog’s weight, activity level, and appetite to help determine the proper meal size.
The Italian Greyhound has a lithe, sleek frame, and excess weight can place great strain on its delicate bones and joints. To prevent this from occurring, all food should be measured and all intake monitored. This is the key to achieving and maintaining an excellent body condition. Though this breed is not particularly prone to becoming overweight, free feeding is still very strongly discouraged.
Dietary Requirements for Italian Greyhound Dog Foods
The adult Italian Greyhound requires a diet based on a lean meat to thrive. The best dog foods for Italian Greyhounds base their foundation on a whole meat or meat meal. By-products and plant-based proteins are often utilized as the basis for commercially prepared dog diets. However, these ingredients are common allergens for many dogs and can be difficult to digest, and thus, are not recommended for this sweet natured, athletic breed.
Chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives are also commonly found in many of today’s dog diets. These ingredients are challenging for many dogs to process and utilize effectively and can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs on a recurring basis. Diets containing these ingredients are best left on the shelf.
All diets require a solid base of complex carbohydrates to help the Italian Greyhound to achieve and maintain good digestion and a thriving immune system. These carbohydrates can come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or any combination of these three food categories. The ideal carbohydrates included in a diet for the Italian Greyhound are rich in antioxidants and fiber.
From healthy fats, the Italian Greyhound gains the fuel it needs to enjoy its busy lifestyle and the support for optimal coat and skin health. The ideal source for these fats is found in animal-based products such as chicken fat or oily fish. Alternatively, the plant-based oils safflower, canola, and coconut offer ample servings of the essential fatty acids the Italian Greyhound needs.
It is a great idea to select a diet that contains beneficial supplements to boost the nutrition found within the food. The best supplements for the Italian Greyhound are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Foods for Italian Greyhounds
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for an Italian Greyhound:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The Italian Greyhound is a carnivore and does best on a diet that is based on a lean, meat-based protein. Whole meats or meat meals make the best foundation. By-products and the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are not of sufficient nutritional quality for the Italian Greyhound and are best avoided.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
Chemicals, flavorings, fillers, and mystery ingredients are not nutritionally sound additions to any diet. Many of these items can lead to allergy flareups in the Italian Greyhound.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Supplements help a diet to work its most effectively. The ideal supplements for the Italian Greyhound are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
The AAFCO seal of approval certifies that a food has been inspected, assessed, and found to be worthy of the declaration that is a complete and properly balanced food.