Nutrition plays a hug role in a dog’s life. Whether it’s the development of a puppy or the performance of an older dog, nutrition starts with a quality dog food. Yes, quality dog food is going to cost you more but you should be able to feed less. So don’t dwell on the cost. Also, feed the kind of dog food that is formulated for your dog. A Yorkie does not have the same nutritional needs as a Labrador. A dog in a fulltime training program running hunt tests needs higher calorie dog food with more fat and protein than a dog whose activity level may include a walk around the neighborhood. The dogs in my kennel’s training programs are getting a performance dog food that is 30% protein and 20% fat. A typical maintenance dog food would have about 24% protein and 16% fat.
One of the best ways to determine if your dog is getting all the nutrients he needs is to look at his skin and coat because that is the last place to be supplied nutrients. He should have a soft, shiny coat. If he doesn’t, he lacks the proper nutrition. Feeding a quality dog food ensures that the proper nutrients are being made available to your dog. The other part of the formula is to ensure your dog’s digestive system is absorbing the provided nutrients. One thing all dog foods are missing are probiotics (good bacteria) and enzymes. The temperature needed to make dog food kills off both the good and bad bacteria and destroys the enzymes. Good bacteria and enzymes ensure a healthy and efficient digestive tract. I do this by adding K9 Thrive to all my dogs food. A dog that’s healthy on the inside is healthy on the outside.
I believe a healthy dog starts the moment it’s conceived. Genetics are underrated when determining the quality of a dog. I tell my customers, they buy half the dog and we train the other half. No matter how much training we do, we can’t make up for the first half you didn’t buy. Most breeds have health concerns particular to that breed. With Labradors, we have hip and elbow dysplasia, eye issues, Exercise Induced Collapsed (EIC) and Centro Nucielu Mypothy, (CNM). Some breeds are known for genetic blood disorders, some have high incidences of skin allergies. Doing some research on your particular breed will allow you to find a reputable breeder to get you a healthy puppy. This puppy will cost a little more, but in the long run will save you money in vet bills and heart ache dealing with medical issues down the road. The cost of the puppy is small compared to the amount of money you will spend on this dog for the rest of its life. A good dog eats just as much dog food as a bad dog.
Other traits such as retrieving, trainability and social skills are also genetic. Bottom line is the extra time, effort and money you spend to find a genetically sound puppy will pay off for years to come.