24% of the UK adult population have a dog with an estimated population of 8.9 million pet dogs, statistics from the PDSA reveal. As dog owners, we all want to feed our beloved pets the best nutrition to ensure they have a long and healthy life. Unlike standard dog food, breed-specific food targets the unique nutritional needs of individual breeds. Highly-targeted nutrition can alleviate potential health concerns and help reduce your dog’s risk of chronic illness.
Preventing joint issues
Some large dog breeds like German shepherds and Labrador retrievers are prone to joint issues, arthritis, and hip dysplasia. Giving your puppy food with beneficial nutrients can help prevent joint problems occurring or at least delay the onset. It can also help minimise the pain caused by existing problems. In particular, dog food high in omega fatty acids can reduce inflammation and lubricate joints. Added nutrients and vitamins like glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, and vitamin D and C also rebuild cartilage, strengthen bones, and support joint health.
Certain dog breeds are more likely to get cancer than others. Unfortunately, the highest rates of cancer occur in golden retrievers. Other breeds like German shepherds, poodles, cocker spaniels, dachshunds, boxers, and beagles are also cancer-prone. These breeds can, therefore, benefit from a natural dog food high in antioxidants to prevent cancer. In particular, kale contains phytonutrients which clear carcinogenic compounds from the cells. Vitamin D3 in eggs, salmon, and sardines is essential for immune function and cancer prevention. Grain-free dog food is also ideal for cancer-prone breeds as grains can be stressful on the dog’s digestive system.
Some breeds like pugs, boxers, French bulldogs, rottweilers, and Shih Tzus have differently-shaped (brachycephalic) skulls and jaws. These breeds typically have wider heads with protruding jaws and a short or flat nose. The underbite on the lower jaw protrudes past the upper teeth — which can make it difficult for them to eat larger pieces of kibble. Additionally, their incisors don’t meet in the middle, which makes picking up food a challenge. Kibble designed for smaller breeds is the correct size to suit their mouths and eating capabilities.
Whatever breed of dog you have, correct nutrition can help prevent or manage health conditions. Breed-specific food can deliver exactly the right combination of calories, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fibre to help your dog thrive.