Standard Poodles are not thinking about nutrition when they're hungry, they're only interested with one thing from their food – taste! However, as their owners, we need to make sure they are getting the best dog food available that provides all the nutritional value they require for optimal health.
Once you understand the feeding requirements of Poodles and how to read the labels on dog food, it should be easy for you to find a healthy and tasty food for your best buddy!
Your Poodle needs a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals to keep it healthy. Most foods labeled “completely balanced” or “nutritionally complete” should do the trick; although, reading the dog food labels can be difficult for most owners to figure out just which one is the best dog food. If your Poodle has dog food allergies, it can even be more confusing!
Of all the commercial dog foods, dry food is the least expensive. One advantage of dry food is its ability to help keep the teeth healthy by reducing plaque. It is bulkier and takes longer to eat, which may make the dog feel fuller after eating.Canned food is more expensive than dry food. Some owners like to add a little canned food to the dry food to make it tastier. It is also a good supplement for recovering or underweight dogs.
Another choice is semi-moist food. It’s tasty, but expensive. Semi-moist foods often contain lots of sugar, so try and stay away from foods with corn syrup listed on the label. High sugar foods can lead to dental problems and obesity.
Sometimes, you can find frozen food, which is available in either cooked or raw forms.
Some owners only feed their Poodles a BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food). This can be very nutritional and healthy diet, but some find it somewhat time consuming.
Now that you know about all the varieties of food available, you’re probably thinking, “How much do I feed my Standard Poodle?” Well, this is based on the age, activity level, reproductive status and size of the dog. Initially, start with the manufacturer’s recommendations and increase or decrease the amount based on your Poodle’s response. You can increase or decrease the amount depending on whether your Poodle loses or gains weight.
Because Poodle pups grow and develop rapidly, they have different nutritional needs than adult Standard Poodles. It is especially important that growing puppies get enough protein, which is about 25 to 35 percent more than adult foods. A completely balanced puppy food should also provide the correct amount of calcium, phosphorus and minerals for proper development and growth.
Puppies also need lots of energy, but you don’t want it eating all day long, which could cause it to become overweight and possibly cause serious conditions such as Hip Dysplasia..
Due to puppies having a high metabolic rate and small stomachs, they need to eat several small meals per day in order to receive the correct amount of nutrients. Some suggestions:
Puppies younger than 3 months should have four or five meals per day.
Puppies 3 to 5 months should have three or four meals per day.
Puppies 6 months and older should have two meals per day.
Senior Poodles have different nutritional needs based on age-related functions and chronic health problems that become more prevalent with age.
Due to their metabolisms slowing down and their activity levels decreasing, many older Poodles gain weight.
If your Poodle is gaining weight, it may be a good idea to switch to a senior dog food that contains more fiber and fewer fat and calories. But, be careful, because some "Senior Foods" contain less fat, but more carbohydrates, and can actually make your Poodle become overweight!
Some Poodles, on the other hand, actually lose weight when they get older. This can be due to several factors including health problems, dental problems, cancer or heart problems. Some Poodles eat well, but still lose weight. This can be from not absorbing the nutrients in their food. A diet with higher levels of high-quality fat can be beneficial to underweight senior Poodles.
Because protein metabolism decreases with age, senior Poodles need 50 percent more protein. Most senior dog foods contain as much protein as puppy food to help alleviate inadequate protein intake, which can lead to muscle wasting, weakness and immune system impairment.
No matter which type of food you decide to feed your Standard Poodle, be sure to feed the most nutritional one that you can afford. Your dog will benefit in the long run. Personally, I feed my poodles either Canidae dog food or Innova dry dog food. I like them because they are all natural, human grade and have probiotics, which are known to help prevent bloat.
Below are some links to sites explaining how to read dog food labels, comparing various dog foods and sites that sell healthy, nutritionous dog food.
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