Why Are There Breed-Specific Foods?

When looking through your local pet food store in Fort Lauderdale, you are bound to find foods that have breed-specific labels. Are the food needs for a Yorkshire Terrier any different to that of a German Shepherd in anything but quantity? The short answer is yes!

Breed specific foods, whether formulated for the individual breed or a class of breeds has been formulated to have a little extra in areas that these breeds need.  Things that are commonly taken into consideration are age, digestive issues, kibble size, lifespan, and size.

  • Age: It is important to take age into consideration, as dogs require different nutrition throughout all three of their life stages: puppy, adult, and senior.
  • Digestive issues: Often certain breeds, such as German Shepherds and Yorkshire Terriers, have unique digestive systems. Breed specific foods take this into consideration and will ensure that texture, density, and ingredients are formulated to increase the likelihood of being accepted without issue for these dogs.
  • Lifespan: It is important to take this into consideration as smaller dogs mature faster and live a lot longer on average. Bichon Frise are considered adults at ten months old but have an average lifespan of 15 years. This means that they have a much longer “adult” phase of their life as they are certainly not a senior at six years old. Rottweilers, on the other hand, are considered adults around 15 months old but have an average lifespan of 9 years. This means a much shorter “adult” phase of their life, and they enter their senior years much earlier.  Be sure to tell the employees at the pet food store in Fort Lauderdale which breed your dog is for assistance in choosing a food.
  • Size: Kibble size can greatly affect how fast a dog will eat, how quickly the food is digested, and even whether the dog will want to eat the food. Food made for the giant breeds is far too big for a Chihuahua to eat comfortably and often they will end up going off feed. At the same time, the small kibble for the mini breeds can be a choking hazard for the large breeds as they often will not chew it because it is too fine. Not only this but the larger breeds are more prone to joint issues as they grow quickly in size, but the bones and joints are still very soft. Large breed dog foods often have extra nutrients to assist with bone and joint health.

Like everything, though, breed specific food is not the be all and end all. While beneficial to the majority of the breed it is designed for, there are some dogs who have allergies to these foods or require other food due to health issues. It is advisable to talk to your veterinarian regarding your dog’s nutrition to ensure that your dog is provided with everything they need to live a long and healthy life.  You can also speak with the employees at your local pet food store in Fort Lauderdale when shopping for a new food!


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