How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Leonbergers
The handsome Leonberger is a giant breed dog that hails from Germany. The breed was developed through a purposeful mating that included such dog types as Newfoundland Dogs, Saint Bernards, and Great Pyrenees. A dog renowned for its stunning lion-like mane, the Leonberger has high grooming requirements, including daily brushing to keep its coat matt-free. In addition to this, the Leonberger is known to shed profusely.
The Leonberger is a natural mischief maker and has energy to spare. A highly intelligent breed, the Leonberger excels at many different activities including agility, obedience, water rescue, Rally, and much, much more. To remain in good body condition as well as physically and mentally content, the Leonberger requires regular, vigorous exercise on a daily basis. An active breed, the Leonberger is not likely to become overweight if fed an appropriate amount and sufficiently exercised.
A natural with other family pets, the Leonberger adjusts well to life in a multi-pet home. A dog that bonds deeply to its family, the Leonberger is highly sensitive and easily becomes distressed if those it loves most have disagreements.
Because of the Leonberger’s immense size, this breed will not do well in an apartment. A home with a fenced yard is ideal for this giant breed. The Leonberger thrives in the company of its family and does not do well when left alone for long periods of time.
As a giant breed dog, the Leonberger can be predisposed to developing the life threatening condition known as bloat. Though it is not yet known what factors contribute to this health problem, experts believe eating too much and too rapidly may be to blame. It is recommended that the Leonberger be fed a diet that has been specifically formulated for large and giant breed dogs as the kibble pieces are big enough to promote careful chewing and swallowing.
The best dog foods for Leonbergers are comprised of a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Leonbergers
The Leonberger is a highly active breed, and thus, requires a diet that is properly balanced and nutritionally complete to fuel its daily energy reserves. It can be challenging for owners to determine how much of a diet to feed their dog. Thankfully, the best dog foods for Leonbergers provide families with suggested serving sizes based on the dog’s weight. These amounts are an excellent starting point which can be adjusted incrementally until the correct portion is found.
To prevent the Leonberger from becoming overweight, free feeding is strongly discouraged. Maintaining a healthy weight is vitally important to prevent health problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia from occurring or worsening. It is recommended that the Leonberger’s meals be measured and all intake monitored.
Dietary Requirements for Leonberger Dog Foods
The Leonberger requires a diet based on a lean meat to achieve optimal health and wellness. The best dog foods for Leonbergers take a whole meat or meat meal as their foundational ingredient. By-products and the plant-based proteins corn, wheat, and soy can be very difficult for dogs to digest, and thus, are not ideal for the athletic and active Leonberger. Other ingredients best avoided include additives, chemicals, fillers, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
From carbohydrates, the Leonberger gains vital support for a strong immune system and healthy digestion. These carbohydrates can come from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. The priority of any carbohydrates included in a diet for the Leonberger is its hearty servings of antioxidants and dietary fiber.
Healthy fats provide assistance with the Leonberger enjoying strong energy reserves and excellent coat and skin health. These healthy fats are best found in such ingredients as chicken fat or oily fish. Safflower, canola, and coconut are all plant-based oils that offer a powerhouse punch of the essential fatty acids Leonbergers need to enjoy optimal health and wellness.
All foods can benefit from the addition of helpful supplements. The ideal supplements for the Leonberger are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Foods for Leonberger
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Leonberger:
Lean meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The primary ingredient in any diet suited to the Leonberger’s nutritional needs should be a meat. Whole meats or meat meals are the preferred option. By-products and the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat can be very difficult for dogs to digest, and thus, are not suitable for the Leonberger’s nutritional needs.
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 a Leonberger. Diets which include any of these items in their formulations are not suitable for the needs of this highly active breed.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
All foods can be more effective if supported by supplements designed to boost the overall health of dogs. The ideal supplements that benefit the Leonberger include glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Leonberger should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.