Nutritional Tips for Poodles
by Ian Germann
Known for their distinctive curly fur, elegant appearance and high intelligence level, poodles are a very popular breed of dog. Commonly seen in dog shows as well as the homes of many pet owners, poodles are known for being a hypoallergenic breed; shedding very little and producing less dander when compared to other breeds.
Coming in three different sizes (standard, miniature and toy), poodles’ coats comes in a wide variety of colors such as white, black, brown, gray and apricot. Poodles also have a distinctive head shape, with long, slender snouts and dark, almond-shaped eyes. Their ears are also long and floppy, often trimmed to create a more elegant look.
In terms of temperament, poodles are known for being highly intelligent, friendly and loyal. They are also very trainable, excelling at obedience and agility training, known for being good with children and other pets, making them excellent family dogs.
With that being said, poodles have distinct nutritional needs that must be met for them to be happy and healthy. These tips can help you meet those needs.
Choose the appropriate portion size
The amount of food your poodle needs will depend on their age, size and activity level. Since poodles have a significant range in potential sizes, it’s important to follow the feeding guidelines on your foods package as a starting point. These guidelines are typically based on your dog’s weight and can help you determine how much food to give them each day.
You should also monitor your poodle’s weight and body condition regularly. If you notice that they’re gaining weight, you may need to reduce their portion size or switch to a lower calorie dog food. Conversely, if your poodle is losing weight or appears to be hungry all the time, you may need to increase their portion size or switch to a higher calorie dog food.
Watch for allergies
Some poodles may be sensitive or allergic to certain ingredients in their food. If your poodle experiences symptoms such as itching, vomiting or diarrhea, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of a food allergy, and consider switching to a different type of dog food. Poodles are also known for having skin allergies, causing them to suffer from conditions such as eczema, itchy skin and infections.
One way to identify a food allergy is through an elimination diet. This involves feeding your poodle a diet that contains a novel protein and carbohydrate source, such as venison and sweet potato or duck and pea. This type of diet eliminates common allergens such as chicken, beef and grains. You will need to feed this diet exclusively for 8-12 weeks to see if your poodle’s symptoms improve. If the symptoms do improve, you can then gradually reintroduce other foods to see which ones trigger a reaction.
Evanger’s Complements are the perfect option for those looking for allergen-friendly pet food. With Sweet Potato and Vegetarian options, these limited ingredient recipes come with locally sourced ingredients that are easy on poodles’ tummies.
Poodles are prone to weight gain, which can lead to health problems such as joint issues and diabetes. Make sure you are not overfeeding your poodle and that they are maintaining a healthy body condition. A good way to check is to feel their ribs – you should be able to feel them without seeing them. When a poodle consumes more calories than they need, the excess energy is stored as fat, which can lead to weight gain and obesity. Obesity can cause a number of health problems in poodles, including joint problems, diabetes, respiratory problems, and reduced lifespan.
Another way to avoid overfeeding is to limit treats and table scraps. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your poodle’s daily calorie intake, and they should be factored into their overall calorie count. Avoid giving your poodle high-calorie human foods, such as cheese or bacon, and stick to healthy treats like carrots or apple slices.
If you’re looking for healthy treat options, Evanger’s Gently Dried Treats come with only one ingredient each, and are all 100% grain and gluten free! Flavors include Beef Tripe, Beef Liver, Salmon and more.
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