How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Xoloitzcuintlis
The distinctive Xoloitzcuintli is a unique breed that was not developed by any human design. It is one of few breeds to have formed completely on its own without any intervention from mankind. It is believed that this ancient breed traces its roots as far back as the Aztecs.
The name Xoloitzcuintli is also attributed to Aztec origins. Xolotl is the Aztec god associated with fire that was also responsible for accompanying the dead to their new lives in the underworld. The latter portion of the name itzcuintli translate literally to dog. The Aztecs had great faith in these dogs, believing them capable of healing and protection. In addition to their role as spiritual protectors, the Xoloitzcuintli were also a food source for the Aztecs.
Today, the breed is also referred to as the Mexican hairless dog. This dog type was nearly extinct but has experienced a resurgence of popularity. The breed is highly prized in its native Mexico where it is revered as a national treasure. In all of the world today, there are only 30,000 Xoloitzcuintli in existence.
A dog breed with an unusual appearance, the Xoloitzcuintli can be somewhat daunting for first time owners to approach. The Xoloitzcuintli’s body is nearly entirely hairless except for a strip of hair running through the middle of its head that is reminiscent of a mohawk.
The Xoloitzcuintli is impressively muscled with a sleek frame. Its head shape is quite distinctive, starting as a wedge and narrowing to a point at the muzzle. The brow wrinkles of the Xoloitzcuintli gives the impression of sternness, but this expression belies a dog that is loyal and affectionate to those it loves most. This dog type’s eyes vary in hue from a rich yellow to completely black.
A breed available in three different variations, the small, medium, and large, the Xoloitzcuintl has a calm demeanor and requires only moderate daily activity to remain physically and mentally satisfied. However, this dog breed has very high prey drive and is territorial by nature. The Xoloitzcuintli should be kept in a securely fenced yard, and strangers should be alerted to the fact that this dog will bite to protect its home and family.
The Xoloitzcuintli is typically a very healthy dog. However, there are a few genetic conditions which can be problematic for this dog including skin and teeth issues. Because this dog is nearly completely hairless, it is necessary to provide sun protection for it to prevent sunburn from occurring.
Though diet alone cannot necessarily thwart predisposed genetic illness, the best dog foods for Xoloitzcuintlis can provide a vital help in maintaining the dog’s best possible health. The ideal diet for this unusual breed consists of approximately 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Xoloitzcuintlis
Xoloitzcuintlis are a medium energy breed, but they still require a high quality diet based on a lean meat protein to attain optimal health and wellness. Trying to determine how much of a food to feed a dog can be a challenge, but thankfully, the best dog foods for Xoloitzcuintlis offer guidelines on their packaging. Suggested serving sizes are based on dog’s age and weight and can be adjusted as needed until the proper portion is found.
A dog breed that is not predisposed to weight gain, it is still not recommended that Xoloitzcuintli be free fed. To maintain the ideal body condition, all intake for this breed should be carefully measured and monitored.
Dietary Requirements for Xoloitzcuintli Dog Foods
The Xoloitzcuintli is a true meat lover and requires a diet that is well-balanced and nutritionally sound to thrive. The best dog foods for the Xoloitzcuintli base their recipe on a whole meat or meat meal. By-products and plant proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat are not as nutritionally viable and can be common allergens for some dogs. For this reason, these ingredients are not the ideal basis for a diet for this breed.
Carbohydrates help the Xoloitzcuintli to achieve good digestion and a healthy immune system. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with ample servings of antioxidants and dietary fiber are the best basis for a high quality diet’s carbohydrate content. Dogs who have previously expressed sensitivities to grains may do best on a grain-free food formulation.
No diet is complete without the inclusion of healthy fats. It is from these essential fatty acids that the Xoloitzcuintli gains the necessary support for coat and skin health and strong energy reserves. The ideal sources for these fats are animal-based and include such foods as oily fish and chicken fat. Alternatively, some plant-based oils also offer bountiful amounts of these important nutrients.
Supplements can help provide support for many of the Xoloitzcuintli’s systems. The most beneficial ingredients to look for include glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Foods for Xoloitzcuintlis
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Xoloitzcuintli:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The Xoloitzcuintli is not a high energy breed; however, this dog type is a carnivore, requiring a diet based on a lean meat protein to thrive. The ideal diet for this dog should include a whole meat or meat meal as its foundational ingredient.
By-products and plant proteins lack the nutritional quality to support the needs of this unusual breed, and thus, 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 the Xoloitzcuintli. Many of these items can cause an allergic reaction in this breed. Foods containing one or more of these ingredients should be avoided.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
No diet is complete on its own, and thus, can benefit from the addition of helpful supplements. The most valuable ingredients to look for in a food for the Xoloitzcuintli include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Xoloitzcuintli should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.