What Is the Best Dog Food for a Miniature Schnauzer?
The Miniature Schnauzer is a small breed of dog from Germany. It was originally bred in the late 1800s as a ratting dog to kill vermin on farms and was developed by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with smaller breeds such as Affenpinschers and Miniature Poodles. Today the Miniature Schnauzer ranks as the sixteenth most popular dog in the US and is a favorite family pet.
Miniature Schnauzers have alert and playful natures, are obedient and easy to train. They can make good watchdogs, barking rather than biting, and although friendly with people they know, they can be aloof with strangers.
Miniature Schnauzers are small dogs that weigh on average between 11-18lbs. They are an active breed and need to be exercised daily to burn off excess energy and stay in shape. Like all dogs they need a healthy diet that provides an adequate amount of top quality protein, preferably from whole meat or organ meat sources, or meat meal.
In common with other small breeds, Miniature Schnauzers burn more calories per pound than larger dogs, so it is recommended that they are fed a wet or dry dog food that is designed especially for small breeds, although many adult dog foods are also suitable. Being small, Miniature Schnauzers have small stomachs and don’t have the physical capacity to eat much food in one go. Small breed dog food recipes are formulated to be more nutrient dense, providing a lot of calories and nutrients in a small portion.
Because they are still growing, Miniature Schnauzer puppies have different nutritional needs to adult or senior dogs, so they should be fed on a good quality small breed puppy food, either a kibble or a canned variety.
Owners should measure portions so they can monitor how much food their Miniature Schnauzer eats. Generally adult dogs should be fed twice a day and puppies given three meals per day. Free-feeding, which is the habit of leaving food out all the time, can cause dogs to overeat and gain weight, so is best avoided.
Miniature Schnauzers can be prone to health issues linked to high fat levels such as hyperlipidemia, which is a problem with processing fat properly, pancreatitis and diabetes. For this reason, many owners like to choose a low fat dog food. The healthiest commercial dog foods are those that use a lot of natural ingredients in their recipes, such as whole beef, chicken, lamb or fish and real vegetables, and exclude added sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors and preservatives. These types of food are likely to cost a bit more than the cheaper brands that tend to use cheap, low nutrient fillers to keep the price down, but there are some good affordable brands available.
As some dogs suffer with allergies or food intolerances, maybe showing signs of a sensitive stomach or itchy skin, some owners prefer to choose a dog food that is free from wheat, corn or soy. Several brands offer grain free dog food recipes and many owners do report visible health benefits from feeding this kind of food to their pet.
All dogs are unique and owners may need to try a few different recipes to find the best dog food for their Miniature Schnauzer.