This is Sharda again for another West Highland Terrier newsletter.
Today we will discuss about the West Highland Terrier diet!
Not all dog foods are created equal, and not all dogs’ needs are the same when it comes to nutrition.
It is important to understand what type of diet and nutrition is best for your breed of dog.
If you consider this logically, it only makes sense that a housedog, such as a Westie, would have different nutritional requirements than a working dog such as an Australian Shepard.
Knowing some basic diet and nutrition facts will help you determine what type of a diet is best for your dog.
OMNIVORES NOT CARNIVORES
There is a misconception that dogs are only meat-eating animals called carnivores. This could not be farther from the truth.
In fact, most dogs enjoy vegetables and some types of fruit as much as they seem to enjoy their dog food. Westie dogs require many of the same vitamins and minerals as humans to be healthy and maintain shiny coats, good teeth, bones and muscles, as well as keep energy levels up.
WHAT ARE THE DIETARY NEEDS OF A WESTIE DOG?
Westies require a variety of foods that include all the building blocks of life, including:
- Amino acids
If you notice that your dog has any skin conditions, hyperactivity, listlessness, or poor coat quality, you will need to examine the label of the food that you are currently feeding. A veterinarian can advise you on the proper amounts of the dietary elements that your Westie may need.
You should avoid foods that contain primarily corn or wheat, by-products or excessive amounts of chemical preservatives. To check if your food has more cereal components than protein, soak the dry feed in water for 20 minutes. If the feed becomes mush, it is mostly corn or wheat.
In addition, check the protein content of the food. A less active dog will need a lower amount of protein, with the base being about 21%.
The more active the dog is, the higher the amount of protein that is needed in the diet. Puppies and pregnant females will require special diets to deal with the stresses that their bodies are going through.
Many diets are available for dogs, including the raw food diet. Just as expected, this diet advocates that feeding of raw meaty bones, raw vegetables and some offal. There are commercial diets available that encompass this diet, and many breeders and vets recommend the raw diet for active dogs and dogs in training.
Since it is difficult for most individuals to carefully control the amount of protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that their dog consumes in a day most people use a commercially prepared food. A good commercially prepared food will have all the vitamins and supplements needed for a healthy diet.
WHAT NOT TO FEED YOUR WESTIE
It is important to avoid feeding your Westie excessive amounts of “human food” in the form of table scraps or little treats. While your dog may gaze longingly at you while you are snacking, it is in the dog’s best interest to avoid these morsels.
Dairy products such as cheese and yogurt may cause diarrhea in lactose intolerant dogs. A dog’s diet should never exceed 10% of the total amount as table scraps or human food. In addition, never give a dog human vitamins or supplements as they can cause health concerns.
Cooked bones of any kind can easily splinter in the dog’s mouth and cause damage to the gums, throat, and lining of the stomach and digestive system. In addition, the bones can lodge in the throat and cause severe damage. Raw meaty bones are the best for dogs, and should be removed when the meat is removed.
Raw eggs may cause salmonella, or decrease the rate and amount of absorption of biotin – leading to poor quality coats and hair problems in adult dogs and puppies.
Salt may cause electrolyte imbalances and dehydration in dogs. It should be eliminated from the diet as much as possible. Onions and garlic contain sulfoxides and disulfides that can lead to anemia in dogs.
Avoid feeding your Westie cat food or any other type of pet food. Cat food is designed for cats, and they have different dietary needs than dogs. Cat foods tend to be higher in sugars and proteins, and this can cause complications for dogs as they age.
Raw pork, lamb or rabbit should not be fed to dogs. These meats can contain various diseases such as tapeworms that can be fatal to dogs if not treated. In addition internal meats such as liver and kidney should only be given to dogs if it is organic, as there may be toxins concentrated in these organs.
Do not feed your Westie candies or chocolates. Candies contain high amounts of sugars that are not healthy for dogs. Chocolate consumption can cause toxicity in dogs that can be lethal, even in small doses.
Hope you learned a lot from today’s West Highland Terrier newsletter.