Schnoodle dogs, a schnauzer and poodle mix, are a healthy breed with a life expectancy of 15 years. While the schnoodle breed generally experiences few genetic health problems, some schnoodles inherit schnauzer and poodle health conditions. Certain dog food formulas can prevent and manage many of these conditions. A balanced diet maximizes a schnoodle dog's chance for a long and healthy life. This guide will help you select a nutritious dog food for a schnoodle dog.
Find out what the breeder fed your schnoodle puppy. Get a recommendation for puppy, adult and senior dog foods from the breeder. The breeder is knowledgeable about the nutritional needs of a schnoodle and which foods worked best for the schnoodle's schnauzer and poodle parents. Make a list of the dog foods recommended by the breeder.
Ask the veterinarian to recommend a dog food. The veterinarian can recommend a dog food based upon your schnoodle dog's specific needs. Add the dog foods to the list of foods recommended by the breeder. If the veterinarian's recommendations differs from the breeder's food choice, ask the veterinarian how the two diets compare.
Choose a dog food rich in protein, carbohydrates, fiber and vitamins for your schnoodle. Consult your list of recommended dog foods when you shop. Compare dog foods by looking at the ingredient labels. The first eight items on the ingredient list are the main ingredients in the food. A protein source such as real meat, fish or eggs should be the first ingredient in the food. The next seven ingredients should include vegetables, fruits and whole grain, which provide carbohydrates, fiber and vitamins. A well-balanced diet will provide protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals. For more information on dog food ingredients, visit Peteducation.com.
Assess your dog's activity level. Schnoodles adjust to both active and sedentary lifestyles. The dogs enjoy running outdoors in enclosed fences and swimming. Schnoodles can also thrive as lap dogs that nap frequently and go for daily walks in the neighborhood. Choose diets high in protein for an active schnoodle to support high energy levels. Pick a low protein diet for a sedentary dog to avoid excess weight gain.
Look for dog foods with essential fatty acids because schnoodles are prone to dry or sensitive skin. Watch for any skin irritations or digestive issues when introducing a new food. Some schnoodles need a hypoallergenic diet because of allergies or digestive conditions inherited from their schnauzer and poodle parents.
Consider your schnoodle dog's age and current health. Choose a dog food formulated for your dog's life stage. Puppies need a high protein diet for growth. Adult dogs require different levels of protein based on activity. Senior dogs thrive on low protein and high fiber diets to aid digestion. Some senior dogs will need special diets for health conditions that occur with aging.
Compare the three types of dog food--grocery, premium and organic. Most grocery store dog foods contain ground chicken parts and corn as the first three ingredients instead of real meat and whole grains. Premium dog foods use real meat, vegetables and whole grains and provide balanced nutrition. Organic dog foods also provide balanced nutrition and use real meat, vegetables and whole grains. A schnoodle dog with allergies may benefit from an organic diet because the food does not contain any artificial colors, fillers or preservatives.
Evaluate your dog's health after a month of feeding him a new food. If the food provides balanced nutrition, your schnoodle dog will be energetic with a shiny coat and bright eyes. Any skin irritations, diarrhea, fatigue or unpleasant body odor may indicate poor nutrition. If this occurs, take your dog to the veterinarian and ask for a new dog food recommendation. Ask the veterinarian if your schnoodle can benefit from a home-cooked diet. The veterinarian can advise you on how to develop a balanced home-cooked diet.
Avoid dog foods with artificial flavors, dyes and preservatives if your schnoodle has allergies. Never feed your schnoodle a bone because it is a choking hazard. Bones can also splinter. Hard plastic chewing toys and rawhide are safe substitutes for bones.
- Adrienne Warber