Choosing a food for your beloved puppy has become an overwhelming task. Pet stores are filled with aisle after aisle of different dog food brands, each one boasting that if you feed this food your puppy will live a longer and healthier life. Some brands have even developed breed-specific dog foods that are said to address the health needs of your specific breed of puppy. One can see why puppy owners gravitate to a dog food that claims to be tailor-made to their own dog’s genetic makeup, but is it the right choice?
Unfortunately, breed-specific puppy foods are little more than a marketing gimmick and do not have sound nutritional science backing them. We do not yet have the research that pinpoints the difference in nutritional requirements between different specific breeds of dogs. A small breed dog’s metabolism, for example, is much different from a large breed dog, but it is unlikely that a Yorkie’s nutritional needs vary all that much from a Shih Tzu's.
Will Breed-Specific Dog Food Help My Pup?
Breed-specific dog foods are not necessarily harmful; they are just somewhat redundant if you (and your veterinarian) are already correctly assessing your puppy’s nutritional requirements based on life stage, size and specific health needs. Take a large breed puppy like a Golden Retriever, for instance. He can develop serious joint disease if fed a food that is too high in calories or calcium. It is critical that Golden Retriever puppies grow up eating an appropriate dog food so their bones develop properly. However, there is no benefit to feeding a Golden Retriever specific puppy food rather than any high quality large breed puppy food. When comparing a Golden Retriever puppy food to a Labrador Retriever puppy food, there are no differences in the critical nutritional components of the nutrition.
For the complete article on breed specific dog food, visit petMD.