Appropriate Schnauzer Nutrition

Proper feeding of your Mini Schnauzer will help to prevent weight issues and to avoid some of the breed-specific illnesses carried by some Mini Schnauzer lines.

If you are thinking of acquiring a Miniature Schnauzer, you should first familiarize yourself with correct nutrition for the breed. Then, as you interview breeders, be sure they are following an acceptable feeding pattern and using a food appropriate for the breed. Puppies receiving proper nutrition from the earliest age will tend to be puppies that maintain good health while under the care of a well-informed and caring owner.

Many caring dog owners do not realize that the convenience and budget-fitting ease of simply serving a grocery store kibble often CAUSES more health issues than it helps.

There are three main choices for feeding a dog. Each one carries with it responsibilities on the part of the owner.

Your method feeding your Mini Schnauzer probably falls in one of four categories:

  • good quality commercial kibble
  • fresh or frozen natural diet
  • home-cooked
  • "modified" natural diet with commercial kibble

It is not our purpose to convince you which way of feeding is best for your Miniature Schnauzer.

However, owners of Mini Schnauzers DO need to be aware of the need to feed a low(er) fat diet due to the propensity of some lines to hyperlipidemia & the issues it causes. Bearing this in mind, then, here are some very brief explanations of each method of feeding.

  • Quality Commercial Kibble

    Quality commercial kibbles are NOT found in grocery stores or at discount stores. You will need to search for them in a large pet store such as PetSmart or PetCo, or in a smaller specialty pet suppy shop. What is a quality kibble? It is one that has actual meat as the first ingredient on the ingredients list; for example, chicken, fish, lamb, beef. In contrast, most grocery store brands list corn or rice as the first ingredient. Because the federal government standards for pet foods require that ingredients are listed by quantity, the top five or top ten ingredients are a good indicator of the general quality of the product. A good quality kibble avoids common grains like corn, wheat, and rice. It may use more uncommon grains like oats, barley, etc., but they should not make up the majority of the top five or top ten ingredients. Please check this article from a pet food nutritionist: Identifying Better Products

  • Fresh or Frozen Natural Diet

    Natural diets focus on fresh meats, eggs, vegetables, etc. similar to that which dogs might eat in the wild. The natural diet "experts" recommend various combinations of raw meat and offal (organs) and recipes are available for those who would like to prepare the meals themselves. Most owners make up large batches and freeze them, pulling out a patty or two for each day, defrosting and feeding to the dog. There are benefits to feeding fresh foods that cannot be achieved with commercial kibble alone. Kibble loses much of its nutrient value due to the high heat processing during manufacturing and may actually cause problems from the necessary preservatives used to extend shelf life. In fact, there may be a number of ingredients in kibble that should be avoided. Please review this list of items from a dog food nutritionist: Ingredients to Avoid

  • The benefits of natural diet can still be achieved even if owners do not care to make up the food recipes themselves. There are a number of frozen natural diets ready to serve. Choose a brand you like and then call the manufacturer to locate a vendor near you.

  • Home-cooked Diet

    There are many similarities in the natural and home-cooked diets; the difference is that the home-cooked diet uses mostly *cooked* foods, while the natural diet uses mostly raw or fresh foods. Here are some suggestions for planning and preparing a home-made diet for your dog: Homemade Diets for Dogs

  • "Modified" Natural Diet

Many people enjoy the convenience of a commercial kibble but make the effort to improve upon the kibble ingredients and nutrition losses (in heat processing) by adding a variety of fresh foods and meats to the kibble. Alternatively, some owners choose a high-quality kibble for one meal of the day, and feed fresh/raw meats & vegetables at the second meal of the day. Here are some ideas for supplementing your own kibble with fresh, REAL foods. Adding Fresh Foods to a Commercial Kibble

Please note: While the links to nutrition information on this page have been carefully reviewed for general accuracy, they are NOT to be interpreted as promotional in nature or representative of the views of the Cactus State MSC, its Board, or its club members. They are simply provided for website visitor reference. Please verify ALL information found on the internet with your own veterinarian.

Text above © Tania S. Kidd