How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Schipperke Puppies
The Schipperke puppy is an adorable little pooch with energy to spare. A dog breed easily recognizable by its plush black coat and fox-like ears, the Schipperke pup is feisty, fun, and up for any adventure its family has in mind. The breed originated in Belgium and takes its name from a word meaning “little shepherd.”
A charming little pup, the Schipperke was originally intended to serve as a guardian protecting supplies on ships in the canals of Brussels and Antwerp. The breed is extremely versatile, excelling at many roles including rodent control. As such, the breed is in possession of high prey drive and should be kept in a securely fenced yard at all times.
The Schipperke may be small of size, but this pup truly has a big personality. In keeping with its spunkiness, the Schipperke puppy is highly active and requires regular daily exercise to remain physically and mentally well.
A dog that bonds deeply to its family with whom it is loyal, loving, and affectionate, the Schipperke puppy is not particularly fond of strangers and approaches them with suspicion. The breed will eagerly alert bark at the presence of unusual sounds or people near its home and heart, fulfilling well its role as guardian.
The Schipperke puppy is highly intelligent and is motivated to please its people. However, the breed is also well renowned for having a stubborn nature. For best results, creativity, praise, and treats will ensure the Schipperke puppy sees learning as a fun activity.
Because the Schipperke puppy is an active little fellow, the dog is unlikely to become overweight. However, free feeding is still discouraged as any excess weight can have a negative impact on this small pup’s joints.
Typically a healthy pup, the Schipperke can be predisposed to several different health problems including cataracts, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and hypothyroidism. To support optimal health and wellness in the breed, it is a good idea to select a puppy food that includes supplements to promote eye and joint health.
The best dog foods for Schipperke puppies are small breed puppy formulations that are approximately 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat. In addition to this, it is very important that any diet selected for the Schipperke puppy include the proper ratio of calcium to phosphorus: 1.2 parts of calcium for each included unit of phosphorus. This ensures ample support for an appropriate and safe rate of growth.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Schipperke Puppies
Determining how much of the best dog foods for Schipperke puppies to feed a pup can take some time. It is largely a process of trial and error. However, most commercially prepared puppy foods will list suggested serving sizes on their packaging. The suggested portions are based on age and weight and offer a great starting point.
Adjustments can be made to these suggested meal sizes until the correct amount of food per meal is found. As a general guideline, it is recommended that this active pup be fed three to four mini meals throughout the day to maintain optimal fuel reserves.
The Schipperke puppy should not be free fed. To ensure a healthy body condition, all food should be measured and all intake carefully monitored.
Dietary Requirements for Schipperke Puppy Foods
The Schipperke puppy is a busy little pup, requiring a puppy formulation comprised of top quality ingredients and based on a lean, meat-based protein source. The best dog foods for Schipperke puppies make a whole meat their foundational ingredient. However, meat meals are also an excellent choice, offering a bountiful supply of the nutrients the active Schipperke puppy needs to attain optimal health and wellness.
By-products are often included in commercially prepared dog foods. These are typically a cheaper protein source and are derived from cuts of meat that are less desirable for human consumption. Likewise, plant proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat often take the place of real meat in some dog foods. None of these ingredients are of sufficient nutritional quality to fuel the athletic Schipperke pup as it grows.
Some puppy foods make use of ingredients with the sole purpose of improving the taste, appearance, or shelf life of the diet. These ingredients are of no nutritional benefit to dogs. Among the ingredients to avoid in a puppy food for the Schipperke are chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all excellent choices for carbohydrates in a diet for the Schipperke puppy. Each included carbohydrate should ideally offer ample servings of antioxidants and dietary fiber to support good digestion and a healthy immune system.
From healthy fats, the Schipperke puppy gains many benefits including a boost for coat and skin health, fuel for strong energy reserves, and assistance with optimal brain and eye development. Chicken fat and oily fish offers powerhouse servings of these important nutrients, but some plant-based oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, and coconut are also an excellent choice.
Supplements included in a diet for the Schipperke puppy can be a great help, providing additional vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The best supplements to look for in a high quality puppy food for the Schipperke are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Schipperke Puppies
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Schipperke puppy:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The ideal basis for a diet for the Schipperke puppy is a whole meat or meat meal. By-products and the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are best avoided.
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 growing Schipperke puppy. Diets containing these elements can trigger allergic reactions, and thus, are not recommended.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
The ideal supplements to look for in a diet for the Schipperke puppy include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Schipperke puppy should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.