How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Schipperkes
The charming Schipperke is an alert, happy dog. Small of size, the Schipperke’s beautiful black coat and distinctive triangular shaped ears make it a beauty to behold. A true spitfire, the Schipperke has attitude to spare. Though minute in stature, the Schipperke truly is a big dog in a small package.
Legend relates that the Schipperke’s name traces back to 1882 when an author coined a similar term for the dog which is translated as “little shepherd.” The breed originated in Belgium where it was put to use as a guardian over supplies contained in boats along the canals of Brussels and Antwerp. In addition to this talent, the Schipperke also excels at rodent control.
Though no longer used primarily as a working dog, the Schipperke has found its natural calling as a beloved family companion. A dog breed that likes to be in charge, the Schipperke requires an owner that will firmly establish boundaries the dog must respect. A natural guardian, the Schipperke will eagerly protect its family and home.
A dog breed that is loyal and loving to its family, the Schipperke is standoffish towards unfamiliar people. The Schipperke loves children and is gentle and patient in play with them. This breed prefers being in the company of those it cherishes most and will not thrive if left alone for long periods of time.
A low shedding breed with only limited grooming requirements, the Schipperke makes an excellent choice for families with allergies to pet hair or dander.
A dog breed with energy to spare, the Schipperke does best with a job to do. Regular daily exercise is an absolute must for this dog type. A versatile dog, the Schipperke excels at many different activities such as search and rescue work, conformation, hunting rodents and small game, hiking, walking, and much, much more. The Schipperke is not predisposed to becoming overweight.
The Schipperke loves to find novel ways of escape. Since it is a small and game driven breed, the Schipperke requires a fully fenced yard to keep it properly contained. Highly intelligent but known to be obstinate, the Schipperke is not always a fan of learning. However, this breed is eager to please its family, so with some creativity, treats, and lots of praise, training can be lots of fun.
The Schipperke is a very healthy breed. However, as with all dog breeds, some health conditions can be common to this dog type. These include progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and more. It is best to feed this dog breed a food that includes supplements to support eye and joint health.
The best dog foods for Schipperke should include a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Schipperkes
The Schipperke is a highly active breed and requires a well formulated, properly balanced diet based on a lean meat to thrive. Once the correct diet has been selected, it is then time to determine how much of the food to feed the dog. The best dog foods for Schipperkes list suggested serving sizes on the side of their packaging. These are excellent starting points that can then be adjusted incrementally until the correct portion for the dog is found.
Free feeding this dog breed is not encouraged. Careful measuring of food and monitoring of all intake is the key to achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Dietary Requirements for Schipperke Dog Foods
The delighful, feisty Schipperke is an active dog. To fuel its daily activity levels, this breed requires a diet based on a lean, meat-based protein. The best dog foods for the Schipperke base their formulation on a whole meat. However, meat meals also offer a concentrated punch of nutrients to support health and wellness in this busy breed.
By-products are taken from cuts of the animal deemed to be less favorable for human consumption. These are often included in some commercially prepared dog foods. Other common protein sources include the plant proteins soy, corn, and wheat. These ingredients are of inferior nutritional quality and are best avoided.
Some dog foods include ingredients whose only role is to improve a diet’s appearance, taste, or shelf life. As such, they offer no true nutritional benefits. Ingredients to avoid in a dog food for the Schipperke include chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Carbohydrates in a food for the Schipperke can come from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains, or a combination of the three. Each included carbohydrate should offer an abundance of antioxidants and dietary fiber to encourage a strong immune system and good digestion.
From healthy fats, the Schipperke gains the nutrients needed to enjoy coat and skin health. The best sources of these fats are found in such foods as chicken fat and oily fish. Some plant-based oils also offer ample amounts of these nutrients including safflower, sunflower, coconut, and canola.
Supplements help a food to work its most effectively. The best supplements for the Schipperke are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Schipperkes
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Schipperke:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The Schipperke requires a diet that is based on a lean, meat-based protein to achieve optimal health and wellness. The recommended foundation for a high quality dog food for this breed is a whole meat or meat meal. By-products and plant proteins are not of sufficient nutritional quality for the Schipperke.
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 Schipperke. Diets which include these items should not be fed to this breed.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
The most beneficial supplements for the Schipperke are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Schipperke should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.