How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Papillons
The spunky little Papillon takes its name from its reminiscence to the butterfly. A cute little breed characterized by its large batwing ears, the Papillon hails from Europe where its history is believed to have begun in the 1400s.
The Papillon’s main purpose is to serve as a cherished family companion, a role at which this happy pooch excels. The breed is extremely versatile, performing well in a wide variety of dog performance events including Rally, Obedience, conformation, and even agility.
The Papillon has a natural elegance about it. Friendly with people and other companion animals alike, the Papillon is both easy to live with and to love. However, as a toy breed, the Papillon can be rather fragile and should be handled with great care to avoid any accidents or injuries.
To best meet the needs of the active Papillon, owners should look for a high quality diet that has been designed specifically for toy or small breeds. The Papillon is blessed with an excellent metabolism, and thus, requires a calorie-dense food to maintain a healthy body weight.
The Papillon’s stomach capacity permits only small amounts of food at a time. With this in mind, the Papillon should be fed small meals more frequently throughout the day. This also helps to stave off hypoglycemia, a condition commonly seen in the breed.
Though Papillons are typically an exceptionally healthy breed, they are predisposed to certain health conditions. These include:
- Patellar luxation
- Open fontanels
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Bite problems
- Collapsed trachea
- Urinary stones
Many of these health ailments can be offset or improved by a high quality diet, making it a priority to feed this breed only the best dog foods for Papillons to ensure excellent longevity and continued good health.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Papillons
Finding the correct portion size to feed a Papillon can feel like a daunting task. However, the bag of food selected for the dog will provide suggested serving sizes which can be used as a starting point. This amount can then be calibrated on a gradual basis until the right meal size has been determined.
Though Papillons are not prone to gaining weight, it is still a good idea to measure all of their food to ensure the dog maintains a good body condition. Free feeding is strongly discouraged since Papillons are unable to eat more than small amounts at one time, and grazing is an undesirable habit in this slender, graceful breed.
The Papillon has a high metabolism. As a result, the best dog foods for Papillons should be very calorie dense to ensure adequate nutrition to fuel this active little dog.
Owners should look for a high quality food for their adult Papillon that contains a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Dietary Requirements for Papillon Dog Foods
A mature Papillon benefits from a diet that is nutritionally balanced and derived from only the best quality ingredients. The foundation of any diet for this breed should be a meat-based protein. Lean meats included in their whole form are the ideal protein source; however, meat meals are also an excellent option. These foods are rich in the amino acids Papillons need to develop strong and healthy muscles.
Meat by-products and plant-based proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat are difficult for Papillons to process and utilize well. It is recommended that diets that place a high emphasis on these items be avoided entirely. Additionally, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives offer no nutritional value to the Papillon, and thus, are undesirable in any premium quality food.
Carbohydrates play an important role in any good quality diet for Papillons. These can be obtained from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables. The main priority in any carbohydrate included in a diet for the Papillon is its ease of digestibility. An emphasis on antioxidant-rich foods is also desirable to support strong immunity.
Healthy fats are critical to the health and wellness of the Papillon. These fats ensure proper support for coat and skin health and promote optimal joint function. These are best sourced from animal origins and include such foods as chicken fat and oily fish.
Supplements help a diet to be well-rounded to support the overall health of the Papillon. The most beneficial supplements include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Papillons
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a food for a Papillon:
- Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
- Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
- Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
- Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food