How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Norwegian Elkhounds
The elegant Norwegian Elkhound carries itself with a regal air. A breed intended to hunt large game animals including moose, this dog type’s name is somewhat confusing since it neither hunts elk nor is a hound in the truest sense of the word. The Norwegian term “Norsk Elghund” translates to “moose dog.”
A breed with immense drive, strength, and perseverance, the Norwegian Elkhound prances around its prey to keep it confined to one area until the hunter, alerted by the dog’s continuous barking, was able to locate the pair. Though this innate talent remains alive in the Norwegian Elkhound today, this breed is now more commonly seen as a family pet. However, this handsome fellow is not the ideal pet for every family as the breed is well renowned for being exceptionally noisy.
The Norwegian Elkhound is a smart dog that can be trained to participate in many activities. However, this breed is not particularly excited about doing things that weren’t the dog’s idea in the first place. The Elkhound is not particularly playful but will happily trot after balls though it has no interest in returning them to continue the game.
One thing this breed has in abundance is stubbornness. Because the Norwegian Elkhound can be intensely strong-willed, it is very important that owners establish firm boundaries and expect the dog to heed them. Failure to do this may result in an Elkhound that assumes the leadership role in a home and regaining control can be nearly impossible once this has happened.
Because of their thick double coat, the Norwegian Elkhound enjoys spending time outdoors. The breed has energy to spare and requires regular vigorous activity to remain healthy and content. This breed is not particularly prone to gaining weight if properly exercised and not overfed.
Norwegian Elkhounds have high prey drive, and thus, should be kept in a securely fenced yard and carefully supervised. The breed is loving and affectionate to its family members and particularly enjoys the company of children.
Though most often a very healthy dog breed, there are a few health conditions that can befall the Norwegian Elkhound. These include hip dysplasia, Fanconi syndrome, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, and sebaceous cysts. A good diet can lay an excellent foundation to support wellness in this hardy, athletic breed. The best dog foods for Norwegian Elkhounds include supplements to support kidney, eye, skin, and joint health.
The ideal diet for the Norwegian Elkhound contains 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Norwegian Elkhounds
The Norwegian Elkhound is an active breed, and thus, requires a high performance diet to fuel its drive and stamina. Trying to determine how much of a food to feed a dog is a process that includes some experimentation. Thankfully, the best dog foods for Norwegian Elkhounds provide suggested servings owners can use as a starting point. These amounts should be adjusted to reflect the dog’s weight, appetite, activity level, and age until the proper meal size is found.
Though the Norwegian Elkhound is not predisposed to weight gain, it is still not recommended that this breed be free fed. Since this breed can be prone to hip dysplasia, it is even more important that the Elkhound be kept at a healthy weight. To this end, all food for this dog type should be measured and all intake monitored.
Dietary Requirements for Norwegian Elkhound Dog Foods
A highly active breed, the Norwegian Elkhound requires a diet that is well-balanced and full of top quality ingredients to achieve and maintain optimal health and wellness. The best dog foods for Norwegian Elkhounds base their formulation on a lean, meat-based protein. The ideal choice for the primary ingredient in a diet for this breed is a whole meal. However, meat meals are also an excellent selection.
By-products and the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are common allergens for many dogs as well as more difficult for the Norwegian Elkhound to process and utilize effectively. Foods containing these types of proteins are best avoided. Likewise, any diet containing chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives is best left on the shelf as these ingredients offer no nutritional benefit to the Norwegian Elkhound.
Carbohydrates provide the Norwegian Elkhound with the necessary fuel for optimal digestion and a healthy immune system. These nutrients can be found in such ingredients as fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. Dogs that have expressed sensitivities to grains in the past may do best on a grain-free diet.
Healthy fats offer the Norwegian Elkhound support for coat and skin health and strong reserves of energy. These fats are best found in animal-based ingredients such as chicken fat and oily fish. Alternatively, some plant-based oils are also rich in the essential fatty acids the Norwegian Elkhound needs.
All diets can benefit from the inclusion of supplements to boost the nutrition contained in the food. The ideal supplements for the Norwegian Elkhound are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Norwegian Elkhounds
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Norwegian Elkhound:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
A carnivore, the athletic Norwegian Elkhound needs a diet based on a lean, meat-based protein to attain optimal health and wellness. Whole meats or meat meals provide the best foundation for a high quality diet for this breed.
Foods that include by-products or plant proteins as their basis are best avoided as they are not of sufficient nutritional quality for this busy breed.
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 Norwegian Elkhound. Diets containing these ingredients should be avoided.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Supplements can help to boost the overall nutrition found in a diet. The Norwegian Elkhound can benefit from a diet that includes prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Norwegian Elkhound should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.