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Feeding a small dog: the specific dietary needs of a small dog

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Posted on October 17 2018

All dogs do not eat the same things. The nutrients they need are, of course, similar, but the amounts and patterns of feeding vary with many factors, including size. We do not feed a big dog like we do for a little one. Small dogs have specific dietary needs.



Despite their small size, small dogs have considerable energy needs . They are characterized, in fact, by an often intense activity , but also accelerated metabolisms compared to their large congeners. Their growth is also faster and their life expectancy is generally higher. Added to the small size of their stomachs and their jaws, all this makes the feeding of small dogs differs from that of medium and large breed doggies.

Multiply meals

Small dogs have high energy needs. At the same time, their bodies are not "equipped" to support such amounts of high-calorie foods. They have, in fact, a mouth and a stomach much smaller than those of large dogs. This gap between the food needs of small dogs and their digestive system can lead to digestive disorders if their diet is not adapted.

This is why it is often recommended to split meals of small dogs. It is more advisable to share their daily food intake on 2 to 4 snacks , rather than give them one meal a day.

Different evolution and growth

In general, dogs belonging to small breeds are growing faster , as well as slower aging , in addition to their longer life expectancy than larger dogs. The accelerated growth of small dogs means that they need a more concentrated diet rich in growth nutrients .

On the other hand, they live longer and thus risk accumulating more free radicals , especially those induced by pollution, stress and external aggressions of all kinds. They must therefore be protected against these oxidative stress factors by having higher levels of antioxidants.

Resist the temptation to spoil them

We often tend to spoil the small dogs by systematically offering them treats or by giving them the leftovers . This is obviously detrimental to their health, and this, for more than one reason: this is bad for their digestion , especially because of the bad fats that these dishes and treats can contain, as well as for their weight , which can quickly climb and expose them to a variety of serious diseases .

This is also behaviorally detrimental , as the dog eventually develops this bad habit of persistently claiming treats and leftover meals.

Focus on quality

Small dogs must therefore receive a diet adapted to both the quantity (or rather the frequency of meals) and quality .

Brands specializing in canine nutrition offer products specifically developed for small dogs. These provide quality protein , fat in adequate proportions and carbohydrate supplements to meet their needs.

In addition, the emphasis is on the need to promote chewing and support digestion by focusing on small kibble and concentrated in nutrients.

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