Nutritional 'advice' for Miniature Schnauzer adults/puppies and dogs in general. Continue scrolling as I provide information regarding dry/wet food, making your own food, treats and raw feeding. Always read labels and remember that each dog is unique in their dietary needs. Minature Schnauzer Dietary Needs.
INTRODUCTION: IF YOU HAVE A MINIATURE SCHNAUZER THEY DO BEST WITH 10% to 15% fat daily and 20% to 25% protein (SOURCES: the AMCS andNational Academy of Sciences). Please read the label of the food you feed them and make sure it is within this range--treats count towards this total as well. If you feed wet food it will need calculated differently. Many higher rated dog food brands are far to high in fat and protein for this breed (Orijen and Victor to name a few). I provide dog food brands below that stay within what is HEALTHY FOR A MINIATURE SCHNAUZER. READ THE LABEL before you purchase dog food. Schnauzers are prone to heart disease, pancreatic issues and diabetes--very preventable with the right diet. The worst thing you can do is feed them fatty table scraps, a high fat diet with treats, over feeding kibble/wet and/or feeding higher protein levels that exceed what is recommended for a Miniature Schnauzer. Our Schnauzers depend on us to keep them healthy, they have a tendency to beg for the things that are bad for them.
As for other kinds of dogs, please keep in mind that what works for one dog may not work for another. Each dog can be different in the protein type they do best with, the carbs type tolerance and some do great with grains and others do not. In general a normal house dog should stay within 20% to 30% protein daily and 12% to 17% fat. If you have a working dog or are involved in agility etc then they will require higher protein and fat while training etc. I provide links throughout this page regarding research that I have done prior to forming an opinion or suggesting a dog food brand. I have also been blessed to have lots of dogs in my life providing me with a lot more experience than the average dog owner when it comes to choosing a healthy diet. Allergies: if your dog is having skin issues, licking and/or tummy troubles etc then you should switch the protein they normally eat to something totally different (such as switch from chicken to duck or lamb etc). Link to food allergies and food tolerances.
READING LABELS:Before I suggest any brand of food, I want to cover reading labels. The first ingredient should be a protein and the next four/five ingredients also make up the bulk of the food. The average house pet does great with a daily protein percent of 15% to 30% (SCHNAUZERS however 15% to 25%). You also need to look at the percent of fat which for an adult Schnauzer is best under 16% (10% to 15% is ideal). If your Schnauzer has a tendency to gain weight easily then you should be looking at 8% to 10% of fat daily on the label. If your Schnauzer has issues with crystals in their urine they need to be on a special diet that is lower in protein (20% or under). Lastly, the calcium and phosphorus ratio are very important to avoid health issues. A ratio of 1.2:1 is ideal (Calcium 1.2 and Phosphorus 1) or as close to this as possible. This means slightly more calcium than phosphorus. See the table
Water is the foundation of a dogs diet. Dogs should have fresh water daily and keep the bowl clean. If you are wondering how much water is just right, this link has the answers. Ideally they should have 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound daily. So a 20 pound dog needs 10 to 20 ounces a day for regular activity. If they are outside playing, on a walk, etc then they will need more. You can help dogs that under-drink by feeding part wet food and giving them chicken broth. Water helps flush out toxins too.
The food pyramid gives you an idea of what you should look for when reading labels.
FYI - when switching and/or introducing new foods - do this SLOWLY over a 10 day to two week period, even when switching puppy to adult food. Meaning add a little of the new food to the old food each day, slowly decreasing the amount of the old food while increasing the amount of the new food. Consult your vet if you have questions or concerns.
DRY FOOD AKA KIBBLE and WET FOOD ETC: There are a lot of options and brands when it comes to dog food. What you have to remember is that the dog food industry is not regulated like human food is by the FDA. So watch for recalls, look into how transparent the company is, how often they audit their suppliers etc. An article on this topic. More expensive does NOT equal a superior brand or food. Smaller companies are also NOT superior to larger companies.
With this said, it really depends on your dog as to what works best--however, for Schnauzers be sure to stick with the suggested fat and protein daily. A healthy adult can typically do well with most mid-range to the lower high-end brands. If you have working dogs, dogs in agility etc then they will benefit from a higher fat and protein diet such as Orijen and brands like it. Of course dogs that are over-weight which is about 50% of all dogs in the US--would benefit from a low fat dog food. Meaning the fat needs to be 10% or lower. Schnauzers are a breed that easily puts on weight and then suffers from diabetes, heart and pancreatic issues. Unfortunately spaying and neutering impacts a dogs metabolism and slows it down considerably. If you go to chewy.com they have a wide selection of dogs food options to review online. You can also fine tune your search by selecting low fat foods to look at etc. GMO free, grain free, corn wheat and soy free etc. I also suggest mixing wet food with dry food to add moisture to their diet and help create more balance. Make sure to follow the serving size on the label or LESS. Most dogs because they have been spayed/neutered require less than what the label suggests.
FEEDING A RAW DIET TO ADULT DOGS: Credible research has found that feeding a raw diet causes deficiencies in one area or the other. Please allow a professional to take care of balancing the raw diet for you. I recommend trying Darwin. Raw diets also have way more recalls. So becareful!
MAKING YOUR OWN FRESH DOG FOOD: I would suggest having guidance by professionals when attempting to make your own food. It is very important that it is nutrionally balanced. There is a restaurant for dogs that also offers kits to ship and/or the recipes to print on their website. They have six recipes and advice regarding adding vitamins and minerals etc. JUST FOR DOGS LINK
HEALTHY AND SAFE PEOPLE FOODS: With over 50% of dogs in the US overweight which increases their risk of CANCER, diabetes, joint issues and pancreatic issues and more, let's cover PEOPLE FOOD. Schnauzers are at a very high risk.
LIST OF SAFE HUMAN FOODS ACCORDING TO PETMD -- (TREATS) TO FEED OCCASIONALLY TO YOUR DOG.
carrots a few slices cut up cooked or raw (daily/occasionally)
salt free green beans raw, cooked or frozen, a few to 1/8 cup chopped up (daily/occasionally)
2 TB to 1/8 cup white or brown rice (a few times a week)
boneless skinless chicken breast, ground turkey, duck, venison, salmon (few times a week BAKED/BOIL)
sweet potato cooked (cubed or mashed) 1/8 cup (occasionally)
DO NOT FEED YOUR DOGS THESE FOODS: anything with artificial sweeteners (read labels it is being added to a lot of foods now), dark chocolate, coffee, caffeine, grapes, raisins, avocados, garlic, onion, macadamia nuts. Some of these foods destroy the kidney, liver or other organs slowly so you get fooled thinking they are not being harmed or were not harmed until it is too late--acute liver or kidney failure. http://www.vetstreet.com/care/human-foods-that-are-dangerous-for-dogs-and-cats
When your dog gets anything extra then reduce the kibble/wet portion that you feed or go on a 20 to 30 minute walk. A fit and trim dog avoids knee issues later, spinal issues, diabetes, pancreatic issues, and other health risks related to excessive weight such as cancer. Schnauzers have high cholesterol NATURALLY so they do not need any help having even more fat in their bloodstream.
I do watch my Schnauzers fat intake and calories intake, however they do get treats. I order stuff that is made in the USA and I order from chewy.com.
Blue Dog Bakery Three Dog Bakery SmartSticks (chews) Zuke's Z-Bones
SPECIAL NOTE FOR RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS: While researching reputable dog food brands I came across helpful information for responsible breeders who raise healthy puppies. The first issue is the recent study released covering the decline in dog fertility over the last 26 years. The study links chemicals in food and certain ingredients as being responsible. With this said, be aware of plant estrogen's in the ingredients and other herbs that have an unhealthy impact on dog reproduction. As with anything certainly some dogs are not affected. However, with a 30% drop in fertility over the last 26 years, many dogs are.
These ingredients have taken over dog food. It is nearly impossible to find foods without flax seed, soy and/or peas etc. This greatly limits choices. Below are foods without the estrogen inhibiting ingredients. Look into mixing wet dog food with dry to help increase the protein source from meat.