How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Shar-Peis
The Shar-Pei is a dog with a unique appearance that sets it apart from the crowd. Its name translates to “sand skin,” a term that was bestowed upon the breed to describe its coat type that is similar to brush bristles in texture. One of the most memorable things about the Shar-Pei is its wrinkles. In addition to this unique physical characteristic, the Shar-Pei is also renowned for its blue-black tongue.
A breed that traces its roots to approximately 200 B.C. in China, the Shar-Pei’s original purposes included both hunting and guarding. In time, the Shar-Pei also found its way into the pit fighting ring until owners discovered several breeds that were larger in size that were more successful.
The Shar-Pei is both calm and quiet, making it well suited to apartment living. A dog with a mind of its own, the Shar-Pei can be standoffish and stubborn at times. Because of its natural tendency to guard, the breed can be defensive when strangers approach.
Incredibly intelligent, the Shar-Pei is smart enough to learn but possesses a strong stubborn streak. This means that this breed can be a challenge to train.
A breed with only moderate activity requirements, the Shar-Pei should be exercised in moderate temperatures as excess heat can be harmful to the dog. Though not typically predisposed to becoming overweight, the Shar-Pei’s meals should be measured and monitored to prevent obesity from occurring.
The Shar-Pei typically enjoys good health but can be genetically prone to hip and elbow dysplasia and patellar luxation. Maintaining a healthy body weight is key to continued health in this ancient breed.
The best dog foods for Shar-Peis contain a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Shar-Peis
Finding the correct portion size for the Shar-Pei takes some experimentation. Experts recommended consulting the suggested serving size on the bag of food as starting point. This amount can be increased or decreased as needed until the proper meal size is found. During this process, owners should pay careful attention to their dog’s weight, activity level, and appetite to help them determine the appropriate portion.
To help the Shar-Pei to maintain an excellent body condition, it is recommended that this breed not be free fed. Owners should carefully measure the best dog food for the Shar-Pei and monitor all intake. This is the most effective strategy to prevent the dog from becoming overweight.
Dietary Requirements for Shar-Pei Dog Foods
The Shar-Pei requires a well balanced diet that is based on a lean, meat-based protein to achieve and maintain optimal health and wellness. The best dog foods for Shar-Peis list a whole meat or meat meal as the foundation of their diet. By-products are low in quality and difficult for most dogs to digest, meaning they are not desirable for the Shar-Pei. Other ingredients that are best avoided include plant-based proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat, chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Carbohydrates play an important role in the Shar-Pei’s diet, helping the dog to enjoy good digestion and a healthy immune system. Carbohydrates may come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or any combination of these foods. Shar-Peis that have previously shown sensitivities to grains may do best on a grain-free diet. Each carbohydrate included in a food for the Shar-Pei should ideally contribute high amounts of dietary fiber and antioxidants.
From healthy fats, the Shar-Pei gains the fuel it needs to remain active and the support for coat and skin health. The ideal sources of these fats is obtained from animal origins and includes such foods as oily fish and chicken fat. Some plant-based oils such as safflower and canola also offer a powerhouse punch of these vital nutrients.
It is always an excellent idea to select a diet that includes probiotics to help boost the health of dogs like the Shar-Pei. The most beneficial supplements to look for for this breed are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Shar-Peis
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a food for an Shar-Pei:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The best dog foods for Shar-Peis take a lean meat-based protein as their primary ingredient. Whole meats are the most desirable option, but meat meals also offer all of the concentrated amino acids active dogs need to thrive.
Among the protein sources considered to be of lower nutritional value for the Shar-Pei are by-products and the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat.
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 Shar-Pei. Diets that are based upon any of these items are not suited to the needs of this breed.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Diets that have been enriched with supplements help to boost the nutrition found in the food. The ideal supplements to look for for the Shar-Pei include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Shar-Pei should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.