Special Diets For Golden Retriever Dogs

Special Diets For Dogs -golden retrieverSpecial Diets For Golden Retriever Dogs

Special diets for dogs especially Golden Retrievers with health issues are often as easy to find as taking a trip to your local pet store or veterinary clinic.

There are specially formulated commercial foods available if your dog has certain problems. These may include kidney failure, heart disease or an overly sensitive digestive tract.

They’re balanced, healthy diets designed to meet his special nutritional needs without making the problem worse. But even a good eater like a Golden Retriever may turn up his nose at these special diets for dogs.

Just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean it tastes good, right?

Sometimes warming the canned version (emptied into a microwave-safe container) for a few seconds in the microwave will be enough to release the flavor and aroma and make it more appealing.

After all, the best food in the world won’t do any good if your dog refuses to eat it.

Special Diets For Dogs -– Time For a Low Fat Diet?

Special Diets For Golden Retriever DogsThis is probably the first health issue that comes to mind when you think about special diets.

Obese dogs or dogs with heart problems, pancreatitis, or diarrhea should be fed diet dog foods that contain low amounts of fat.

Due to the high rate of obesity in pets these days, finding the best diet dog food–one with a low percentage of fat–is pretty simple.

Most of the top-quality dog food companies offer diet dog foods in various forms. Pick one for your pudgy pooch and see if he likes it.

As with any special diets for dogs (or even regular, for that matter), be sure to make a gradual change to the new food to avoid problems with diarrhea or upset tummies.

Special Diets For Dogs — Is There Ever a Need For a High Fat Diet?

You wish, right? Oh, you mean for your dog! Actually, there are times when your canine athlete could use some extra calories.

Fat contains more than twice the metabolizable energy of protein. That means your dog can get twice the energy from fat that he can from the same amount of protein.

So a Golden who hunts or works at other strenuous activities such as agility competition (pictured here) will need extra fat to maintain his energy and stamina.

Special diets for dogs with high-energy needs should contain a higher percentage of fat than “regular” dog food.

Shop for commercial dog foods that use terms like “calorie-dense” or “high-caloric density” on the labels. These foods all provide well balanced diets with a greater fat content.

Special Diets For Dogs Can Include Homemade Dog Food Diets

Special Diets For Dogs Can Include Homemade Dog Food Diets - golden retrieverThere are whole books devoted to the subject of providing special diets for dogs by cooking homemade meals.

So we’ll just touch briefly on it here. Carefully prepared homemade diets can be formulated specifically for dogs with certain medical issues.

These may include:

  • Cancer.
  • Obesity.
  • kidney failure.
  • Liver disease.
  • Canine inflammatory bowel disease.

But there are some common nutritional problems with homemade dog diets that you should be aware of.

These homemade special diets for dogs may be deficient in calories, microminerals, vitamins, and calcium. At the same time, many of them supply too much protein.

I’d suggest doing some heavy-duty research into this subject before you spend hours in the kitchen. And definitely check with your veterinarian.

He might have some more cautions to share with you. He may also be able to suggest some excellent alternative ideas.

One of the Most Popular Special Diets For Dogs -– The BARF Diet

Special Diets For Dogs- BARF Diet - golden retrieverSome breeders and owners advocate the BARF diet (bones and raw food diet) as one of the special diets for dogs. It uses raw, uncooked meat, liver, and eggs. Because the BARF diet is not AAFCO approved or balanced, there are some concerns about mineral and vitamin deficiencies.

In addition, the BARF diet can be dangerous for those preparing your dog’s meal, because some of these raw dog foods can harbor bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella. It can actually be dangerous for your dog, too. Why?

Introducing a raw dog food diet to a dog who isn’t used to raw foods can potentially cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and severe bloody diarrhea.

Before considering the BARF diet, or any other form of a dog raw food diet, do your homework and consult with a veterinary nutritionist to make sure you’re feeding your dog a balanced diet.

Just to give you the heads-up, many veterinarians and veterinary nutritionists don’t recommend the BARF diet for the reasons given above.

Meat-Based Special Diets For Dogs

There are newer types of meat-based special diets for dogs on the market, including salmon, venison, rabbit, duck, and kangaroo. Unless your dog has specific dog food allergies or canine inflammatory bowel disease, do not use these other types of meat just to change things up.

These are prescription diets for a reason. If you randomly feed your dog all different types of meat, he can develop allergies to all of them, which would make it much harder to pinpoint and eliminate a dog food allergy later on.

By the way, dogs do not need mostly meat or all-meat diets. It’s been a long time since dogs were wild hunting carnivores.

And anyway, most carnivores eat the vegetable contents of their prey’s stomach, too, which actually makes them omnivores. That’s why the best diet for a dog in our modern world is one containing a variety of animal and plant-based protein sources.

Special Diets for Dogs Under Stress

A Golden Retriever under stress usually needs more calories. A stressed dog is one who might be experiencing any of these situations:

  • has a heavy parasite burden (trying to get rid of worms, for example).
  • is undergoing surgery.
  • pregnant or nursing females (like my Peaches, pictured here).
  • is exposed to severe environmental conditions.
  • hunting or competition Goldens who work for long hours at a time.
  • is recovering from injury or illness.

Each type of stress may require a different approach, but it’s rarely necessary to change diets or add pet nutritional supplements unless your veterinarian advises you to do so. Generally, only the quantity of food will need to be increased.

If you’re feeding your Golden Retriever twice a day and serving a special premium-quality dog food, don’t just increase the amount you feed him in each of his two meals.

Instead, increase his total daily ration by a measured amount and divide the new total into three meals. It will be easier for him to digest more frequent, smaller meals than to tackle fewer, bigger meals.

Do Special Diets For Dogs Include Pet Nutritional Supplements?

Special Diets For Dogs Include Pet Nutritional SupplementsAdding nutritional supplements for Golden Retriever dogs to an already balanced, healthy diet can actually destroy the carefully researched nutritional balance of commercial dog foods.

For example, the addition of calcium to puppy foods can lead to improper bone growth, resulting in structural problems.

Unless your vet recommends it, you shouldn’t add anything to a brand-name food. This is especially true of the special diets for dogs that have been carefully formulated to address a particular canine health issue.

There’s one possible exception to this advice. If your Golden Retriever dog suffers from perpetually dry skin, some breeders and trainers recommend adding essential fatty acids for dogs in the form of a vegetable oil that you just squirt over your dog’s food. You can find it at your pet store, and dogs seem to like it.

Check with your vet first, though, to make sure the dry skin isn’t a symptom of a more serious problem.

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