Dogs. Man’s Best Friend. Everyone agrees on that, but there’s still so much up in the air about how we can be the best friends for our dogs. Different breeds have different needs – vastly different, just as different as each breed is from the other. From purebreeds to unique mixes and the loveable mutts, dogs are our constant companions through life. What dog you keep as part of your family says a lot about you.
The Doberman is a breed of strength and loyalty. They are guard dogs, key specimens for training by law enforcement and military. They are active dogs, requiring lots of exercise and close connections with their owners. They are also pack dogs, and any good owner knows that if you aren’t leading your dog, they’re leading you. So what’s the best way to earn the love and affection of such a tough, no-nonsense dog? The same way you earn the heart of any living creature: good food.
A Dog’s Diet
Any pet owner should know the basics of what a dog can and can’t eat. It varies a little by breed, and by pup, but there are constants: chocolate, onions, any citrus like orange or lime, caffeine, grapes including raisins, soy and macadamia nuts. In general, you want to avoid handing down your own food to your dog. Even if you enjoy a rare, bloody steak and you know he’d like to tear into it as well, he might not appreciate whatever seasonings it has on it, or the antibiotic filler that the cow may have eaten.
Stick to the proven formulas. Purina brand dog food is developed by health scientists specifically for dogs, and for specific kinds of dogs separated by their size and age range. They can tell how to make any dog healthier by doing nothing more than licking the bowl clean. The Pro Plan is the most widely considered variety in their catalog for Doberman owners.
It’s available for Adults and Puppies, and the same taste lets them transition easily from one to the other once they cross the threshold from cute and cuddly to big and tough.
Additionally, there is a service that does offer fresh food for dogs. Specially selected and delivered to the door. No need for a doggie-mask or social distanced walks through the store aisles, Ollie Human-Grade Fresh Food Delivery can send you easy to cook meals so you can enjoy dinnertime with your dog. They won’t even have to learn to beg for it. Be aware, though it is cost considerate, it is strictly in the “spoiling” range for your dog’s health. They’ll love it, maybe too much.
You can find more recommended food for Dobermans on our Page. Just click this link.
The Life Stages of the Food Bowl
Different steps of growing up require different levels of care and nutrition for a developing Doberman. What’s good one year for helping to grow bone and muscles as the pup gets taller and longer could be detrimental to the old hound that’s lost some of his speed with age. Just like humans, dogs have their own calorie needs based on their size and age. If they eat more than they exercise off, they’ll get fat, and Dobermans don’t do well with fat. They are naturally athletic and active, so make sure part of mealtime includes running.
Doberman diets generally change by their age. In a strict calorie sense, they need around 1,800 when they are puppies or under 18 months. Easy to remember, 18 and 18. After that, once they reach a healthy adult age, they can go around 2,100 calories. More active dogs may want more food, and less active house pets could stand to eat a little less. At this point, the nutritional balance is essential, so keep meals regular. The younger they are, the more often they should eat, with the youngest eating their fill through 4 meals a day, then 3 when they get older, and an Adult should only need 2.
When your good boy or girl is all done growing up, they won’t be so active anymore, but they’ll still be full of love. 1,300 calories for senior dogs will keep them comfortable and avoid the old-age health risks. The most important things for Dobermans, specifically, are omega-3 fatty acids and glocosamine, which most premium dog food should have. Dental problems are also common with the breed, which certain chew-toys can solve, but soft food can go down easy no matter how many teeth they have left.
Spare the Vet, Safeguard the Dog
Having a Dog, or any pet, is a labor of love and an investment of heart. With extremely few exceptions, no one gets a dog to end up earning more than they spent. They’re a part of the family, you pay for them to keep them healthy just like you would do for yourself. That’s why it’s important to avoid the same unhealthy traps for dogs that we sometimes fall into. There are equivalents of “doggie fast food” that should be avoided when possible.
Chemical additives are obvious things to steer clear of. They can change the color or smell of the food, and are often listed as dyes, but they do much more than that. They sound harmless, but what they aren’t saying is a lot more than what’s obvious. Same with “Meat by-products”. That’s a general term for anything that’s basically meat that comes from an animal. Including brains, or organ flesh. Avoid feeding anyone, yourself or the dog, anything not specifically listed. If it doesn’t name the animal, assume it comes from a place you’d rather not eat.
It’s also important to avoid filler products, like wheat or corn. Anything processed. Strictly speaking, we shouldn’t eat those either, but the human stomach is more resilient and adaptive to new foods than a dog’s stomach is. Rendered fats, as good as they taste, can also harm a Doberman. They’re vulnerable to copper buildup in their livers, as well as the micro-organic hosts that rendered fats can sometimes hold.
No Excuse, All Expense
Remember to take care of your dog like a family member. You want to see them grow up and live a long, healthy, happy life. That’s what best friends do for each other: they stick together until the end.
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