How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Salukis
The elegant Saluki is both graceful and beautiful, inspiring awe with its speed and sophistication. A dog once referred to as the Persian Greyhound or the gazelle hound, the Saluki bears the distinction of being one of the oldest dog breeds still in existence today. Experts purport that the Saluki is directly descended from the very first dogs and spent their early years roaming through various lands with their families.
Egyptian tombs bear drawings of dogs that are similar in appearance to the Saluki, an indication that this breed may be more than 10,000 years old. The breed was once put to use as a hunting breed by Pharaohs, often working in tandem with falcons. Because this dog breed was so highly valued by the Egyptians, they were often mummified upon their passing. The Muslims had a particular affection for the Saluki, calling them by name El Hor, a term that translates to “The Noble.”
It is believed that the Saluki takes its breed name from Saluk, an old city in the country of Yemen. However, other breed experts assert the name is derived from Seleukia, another ancient city found in Syria. As a final legend on the topic, some people believe the name Saluki is Arabic and means simply “hound.”
The Saluki is highly prized for its immense speed. When in motion, the Saluki is truly a wonder to behold. The breed is well renowned for its power and stamina. Its body is lean and well-muscled, a vessel truly meant for speed.
A beauty to behold, the Saluki is somewhat aloof though very loving towards its family. A loyal dog, the Saluki enjoys time spent with its family to whom it displays an intense devotion. Though naturally a quiet and reserved dog, the Saluki is a hunting breed and is not well-suited to every home. This dog possesses a high prey drive and will chase anything that moves.
Because of its intense speeds, a Saluki that escapes from a home can be nearly impossible for an owner to get back. For this reason, the Saluki must always be kept in a securely fenced yard when outdoors.
The Saluki does require regular daily exercise. The breed excels as a companion to those that enjoy an active lifestyle, happily accompanying their owners on hikes, jogs, climbs, and runs. In addition to this, there are several activities this dog breed enjoys including obedience, agility, and lure coursing.
Because the Saluki is highly active, the breed is not predisposed to weight gain. Its exceptionally lean frame means this dog breed likes to lay wherever it is soft. The breed’s height makes grabbing snacks off the counter an easy feat, so owners will need to be prepared to keep treats under lock and key.
The Saluki can be trained new skills; however, this breed is well known for its natural independence. For best results, it is wise to use treats and praise to teach this dog new tricks.
A breed that most often enjoys good health, the Saluki can be genetically predisposed to anesthesia sensitivity, hemangiosarcoma, cardiomyopathy, and hypothyroidism. Diet can help lay a foundation for excellent health in the Saluki. The best dog foods for Salukis contain supplements to support optimal heart health.
The Saluki should ideally be fed a diet that contains 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Salukis
The lithe, elegant Saluki requires a diet that is based on a lean meat to thrive. Once this diet has been selected, the next task is determining how much of the food to feed the dog per meal. The best dog foods for Salukis offer suggested serving sizes based on the dog’s age and weight. These guidelines are a starting point and can be increased or decreased until the right amount of food per meal is found.
Instead of being prone to weight gain, it is quite easy for the Saluki to become underweight. With no extra pounds to spare, it is important that owners monitor all mealtimes to ensure this active, slender breed consumes adequate calories per day to maintain a healthy body weight. Meals should be supervised and free feeding discouraged.
Dietary Requirements for Saluki Dog Foods
To maintain the Saluki’s sleek, elegant frame, this breed requires a diet that is well-balanced, comprised of top tier nutrition, and based on a lean, meat-based protein. The best dog foods for Salukis list a whole meat or meat meal as their foundational ingredient. By-products are taken from less desirable cuts of meat and are not of sufficient nutritional value to fuel this active, lean breed. The plant proteins soy, corn, and wheat are common allergens for many dogs, and thus, are not the ideal foundation for a high quality diet for the Saluki.
Chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives are often added to commercial dog foods to improve a diet’s appearance or shelf life. These ingredients offer no nutritional benefits to the Saluki, and diets containing them are best avoided.
From carbohydrates, the Saluki gains the antioxidants and dietary fiber it needs for good digestion and a healthy immune system. These carbohydrates can come from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. Though not commonly an issue in the Saluki, dogs that have expressed sensitivities to grains may do best on a grain-free diet.
Healthy fats are important to help the Saluki with the nutrients needed for coat and skin health and strong reserves of energy. These essential fatty acids are best obtained from animal sources and include such foods as chicken fat and oily fish.
It is always a great idea to consider a diet that includes supplements in its formulation. The most beneficial supplements for the Saluki are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin. Taurine is also a tremendous help to the Saluki since the breed is predisposed to cardiomyopathy.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Salukis
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a food for a Saluki:
Lean, meat-based proteins listed at the beginning of the ingredients list
The ideal diet for the athletic Saluki takes a lean meat as its primary ingredient. Whole meats and meat meals make the best foundation for a healthy diet.
Diets containing by-products and plant proteins are best avoided entirely.
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 Saluki.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Supplements help a food to work more effectively to boost the health of the Saluki. The ideal supplements to look for in a good diet for this breed include 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.