How to Select the Best Dog Food for Rat Terriers
The Rat Terrier is an adorable little pooch. Fiercely intelligent, this charming dog is at home both on the couch and on the farm. Though small of size, the Rat Terrier is big of heart. The breed is an excellent watchdog, eagerly alerting its owners to the presence of strangers.
Like many other terrier breeds, the Rat Terrier has very strong jaws and is a nimble mover. The breed excels at rodent control, a task it tackles with great enthusiasm. Much like the two breeds the Rat Terrier is often mistaken for—the Fox Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier—this dog type has an intense streak of stubbornness, making it a challenge to train. One of its most favorite pastimes is digging, a habit that is very difficult to break this terrier of.
A master escape artist, a secure and terrier proof containment system is essential for this wily breed. In addition to its talent at finding ways out of its yard, this breed is also particularly fond of making noise. Rat Terriers have their own unique vocalizations that set them apart from other breeds.
The Rat Terrier is not predisposed to any particular health conditions. A highly active dog, the Rat Terrier is not a breed that is prone to becoming overweight. Still, it is best to measure and monitor all intake to help maintain an excellent body condition. Free feeding a Rat Terrier is strongly discouraged.
The best dog foods for Rat Terriers contain a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Rat Terriers
In order for the Rat Terrier to achieve and maintain optimal wellness, this breed requires a diet that is comprised of the best quality ingredients and that is properly balanced. However, once the right food has been selected, there is still the challenge of determining how much of it to feed a dog. The best dog foods for Rat Terriers will provide suggested serving sizes on their packaging. Experts agree that these suggestions are a great place to start.
The suggested serving sizes will need to be modified for each specific dog. As a general rule of thumb, a dog’s weight, appetite, age, and activity level are all excellent indicators of when portions need to be increased or decreased.
Dietary Requirements for Rat Terrier Dog Foods
Since the Rat Terrier maintains a busy lifestyle, a diet that is primed to fuel its energy levels is vital. The best dog foods for the Rat Terrier base their recipe on a lean meat-based protein. Whole meats are the preferred choice. However, experts agree that meat meals are also an exceptional option.
By-products are often derived of inferior cuts from an animal. They are often placed in dog food because they are difficult to market for human consumption, and in some cases, can be difficult to digest. These, along with the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat, should be avoided. Other ingredients of no nutritional benefit to the Rat Terrier include chemicals, additives, preservatives, fillers, artificial flavors, and colors.
Carbohydrates provide the nutrients Rat Terriers need to enjoy good digestion and a strong immune system. These important items can come from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables. Dogs that have previously expressed sensitivities to grains may do best on a grain-free diet.
From healthy fats, the Rat Terrier gains the fuel it needs to remain active and the support it needs for coat and skin health. These fats are best taken from animal sources such as chicken fat and oily fish. However, many plant-based oils such as canola, safflower, or coconut offer excellent alternatives.
Foods that contain supplements in their formulation offer an added bonus to the Rat Terrier. The most beneficial supplements for this athletic breed include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Rat Terriers
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Rat Terrier:
Lean meat-based proteins listed at the beginning of the ingredients list
To enjoy optimal health and wellness, the Rat Terrier requires a diet based on a lean meat-based protein. The best option for this breed is a food with a whole meat as its primary ingredient. However, meat meals also offer an exceptional basis from which this breed can obtain the nutrients it requires.
Foods that base their formula on by-products or on the plant-based proteins soy, corn, or wheat are not as nutritionally viable and should 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 Rat Terrier’s diet. In fact, many of these ingredients can be the cause of allergy issues in Rat Terriers.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Rat Terriers can greatly benefit from diets that include supplements in their recipe. The ideal supplements for this active breed include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
The AAFCO seal approval should accompany any food considered for the Rat Terrier. This designation indicates a food has been assessed and found to be complete and properly balanced.