Our pets are an essential part of our lives because they bring joy, love, and happiness. Therefore, as pet parents, we must take all necessary measures to ensure our furry companions are well cared for.
One of the ways you can do this is by improving their lives with a nutritious and balanced diet.
That said, for mixed breeds, finding the perfect plan to meet their dietary needs can be challenging because of their unique genes.
This article will explore wholesome eating for mixed breeds and how you can provide the ideal diet for your furry friend.
Understanding Mixed Breed Dogs
Mixed breed dogs are a special breed of dogs sometimes called “mutts.” They have a diverse genetic background, meaning they possess characteristics and traits they acquire from various breeds.
Therefore, just like snowflakes, each mixed breed is one of a kind. Some examples of mixed breeds include Shih-Poo, Chorkie, and Yorkipoo.
That said, due to their genetic diversity, the nutritional requirements for mixed breeds differ from purebreds.
In order to provide the best care for your special mixed breeds, you need to understand their dynamic genetic makeup. Choosing the right diet can improve the lives of dogs, regardless of their breed.
Factors Influencing Mixed Breed Diets
You can find mixed breeds in varying sizes and shapes. A mixed breed may be small like a Chihuahua or as big as a Labrador, and just like purebreds, the size of your dog affects their dietary needs.
A smaller dog usually needs fewer calories, while a bigger dog requires more calories to maintain their energy levels. Thus, you need to monitor your pup’s weight and tweak their diet accordingly.
Another important factor that influences your mixed breed’s dietary needs is their age. Similar to humans, a dog’s diet changes with age.
Puppies need more calories and protein to promote growth, while senior dogs require diets with reduced calories and fat. Ensure to research and select food that works for your dog’s age.
How energetic is your mixed breed? Do they sit around all day or are they bouncing all over the place? Their energy level will determine how much your dog should be eating.
A more active dog needs a higher calorie intake. On the other hand, less active dogs need lower calorie intake.
Observe your dog’s activity level and work on their diet to match. For example, Cavapoos have high energy levels, so a balanced diet for your Cavapoo should be high in calories.
On the other hand, if you’re dealing with pugs, experts from perfectdogbreeds.com say that protein-rich dog food with DHA is the best choice.
Sadly, mixed breeds are prone to certain health issues. In most cases, this is due to their genetics.
For instance, Goldendoodles are susceptible to hip dysplasia. In this case, you need to craft a diet that can help manage or even prevent this issue.
It is a good idea to consult with your vet to ensure you are making the right decision when it comes to their diet.
Crafting a Balanced Diet
Choose High-quality Dog Food
The foundation of any healthy diet is investing in high-quality dog food. Find food options with real meat as their primary ingredient. Also, ensure the food has minimal fillers.
Stay away from foods that have artificial preservatives and excessive additives.
While paying for premium dog food may seem expensive, it will save you a lot of money in the future.
Furthermore, ensure that the food you purchase is up to the standard set by The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Focus on Protein
Protein is vital for your mixed breed’s muscles. You should try and aim for about 30% of the protein in your dog’s diet.
When choosing your protein source, ensure your pup can easily digest it. Some options include chicken, lamb, or turkey.
Keep in mind that dogs have varying protein sensitivities, so if your dog happens to have one, be sure to consult your vet and find a possible alternative.
Find Healthy Fats
Your mixed breeds need fats for their overall health. The dog food you choose should contain about 15%.
In addition, look out for food with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids because they help your dog’s coat and skin health. You can find these fats in items like flaxseed and fish oil.
Opt for Complex Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy, but not all carbs have the same effect.
When choosing your dog food, opt for a product that has complex carbohydrates such as oats, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Do not purchase foods with high amounts of wheat or corn because dogs find it hard to digest.
Tips for Choosing the Optimal Diet
Look out for Allergies and Sensitivities
As mentioned earlier, mixed breeds are prone to health issues, some of which are food allergies and sensitivities. So, observe your dog for skin irritation, excessive itching, and digestive issues.
If you believe these reactions were caused by food allergies, ensure to reach out to your local vet so that you can quickly identify the problem and find an alternative.
Constantly Monitor Your Pup
Remember that a dog’s dietary needs change based on their age and size. Therefore, you need to constantly monitor, their age, weight, and health, and adjust their diet based on any changes you observe.
Research Breed-Specific Traits
Every mixed breed dog is unique based on their ancestors. Hence, you should research your dog’s lineage to better understand what their diet needs.
For example, bulldog mixes are susceptible to weight gain, so be mindful of that. Another example is Border Collies. They typically have sensitive stomachs, so you be careful what you feed them.
Creating the ideal diet for your furry friend can be challenging but rewarding. There are numerous factors to consider such as activity levels, age, size, and health concerns.
By keeping these factors in mind, you can significantly improve your mixed breed’s life.
Remember to invest in high-quality dog food. Also, focus on elevating the balanced diet with fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates.
If you encounter any issues, be sure to reach out to your vet to make sure you quickly find a solution. Additionally, consult with your vet before making any huge changes to their diet.
By taking all these measures, you can ensure your four-legged companion lives a long and healthy life.