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Is Breed-Specific Nutrition Necessary?

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Every dog is unique! Your pet has his own dietary needs that may differ from the dog next door...and the one down the street. But, does that mean you should feed a breed-specific diet? One that’s marketed as a ‘large breed dog food’ for your Great Dane, or one that claims it’s a ‘small breed dog food’ for your Chihuahua? 

The answer’s not a simple yes, or no. Instead, it depends on your individual pet’s needs. But, in this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about breed-specific nutrition to help you determine whether or not you want to look for food that’s designed with your particular pet’s breed in mind. 

What is Breed-Specific Dog Food?

There are dog food diets specially formulated with a particular dog or cat breed in mind. Typically, they take into account health issues that certain breeds are genetically predisposed to experience. They’re also formulated with size in mind. 

Breed-specific diets may claim they’re formulated as a small breed dog food. They may claim that they are a large breed dog food. But, it can be tough to determine what size our dog is. How do you know if your pet fits within the category of a ‘large vs ‘small’ breed? 

A good thing to note is that there isn’t much regulation when it comes to terminology and labeling. So, take any breed-specific diet with a grain of salt! There’s no clear cutoff between a large breed dog vs a medium breed dog and a small breed dog. That said, there are certain formulas that can better support a large dog vs. a small dog. 

How Do You Choose The Best Large Breed Dog Food?

When you have a huge pup, who’s a gentle giant and massive in stature, he can benefit from a diet that takes these things into consideration: 

  • Large breed dogs have a slower metabolism: Their metabolic rate is slower than that of their more petite counterparts. This means that they are prone to weight gain and could benefit from a diet that’s formulated with their calorie needs in mind. Large breed dog food is often made low-cal for this very reason! 
  • They’re prone to bone and joint issues as they age: Your giant dog weighs a lot and that puts stress on his bones, joints, and connective tissues. This is why many large breed dogs develop occasional joint discomfort and other mobility issues with age. When shopping for large breed dog food, look for one that includes joint-supportive ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, or collagen. 
  • They’re ‘seniors’ at an early age: Large and giant breed dogs tend to age faster than small pups. This means they may face age-related health issues and could start experiencing some of those symptoms earlier on in their life than a smaller dog would. Look for a large breed dog food that’s designed with your senior dog’s nutritional needs in mind, includes the optimal amount of nutrients to support his aging body, and contains immune-system support from antioxidants. 

What About Small Breed Dog Food? 

Small dogs, those little lap cuddler cuties have their own dietary needs that differ greatly from larger breeds. Does that mean they shouldn’t eat the same food, not necessarily? But, it does mean that they could benefit from a diet that includes the following nutrients: 

  • Small dog breeds have a fast metabolism: This means that you should look for a small dog breed dog food that is high in calories. You can even take it a step further and supplement your small dog’s diet with a high-calorie topper or another food additive to help keep her energized!
  • They have small stomachs: And this means small dog breeds are more prone to experiencing stomach sensitivity and digestive discomfort. Look for a small breed dog food diet that includes gut-supportive ingredients like pumpkin, probiotic bacteria, and more! 

Pet Honesty Products That Support All Dog Breeds

Whether you have a small dog or a large dog, it’s always a good idea to add a multivitamin to your pet’s dog dish! They help ensure your pet is getting a daily dose of all the essential vitamins and minerals he needs to function at his best. Look for one like Pet Honesty 10-for-1 Multivitamin that also includes fish oil and probiotics for even more support.