Miniature Schnauzer Diet Plan
By Hungry Bark | September 22, 2021
With its bushy eyebrows and beard, these defining features of the miniature Schnauzer give the breed its human-like expression. Diminutive at 12-14 inches tall, the mini Schnauzer is gentle and affectionate, able to get along with other animals, making it the perfect family dog for people with small children and without large open areas, such as urban living.
Bred to be farm dogs, the mini Schnauzer has the energy to play and patrol farmland while being small enough to enjoy apartment life. The wire coat of the Schnauzer breed requires regular grooming though there is minimal shedding.
A highly intelligent and trainable breed, the Schnauzer is also very vocal and needs to be taught how to react to situations without barking.
As a whole, the mini Schnauzer is a healthy breed though they are prone to some health issues such as cataracts and hyperlipidemia, better known as high cholesterol.
As a pet parent, at a minimum, you have a responsibility to provide a safe home, though to offer the best life possible for your mini Schnauzer, you need to consider a more holistic approach.
Taking a holistic approach considers all the pieces of the puzzle and the interactions of each to the larger whole. That said, a holistic approach to health will view a combination of diet, exercise, and regular health checkups.
The Importance Of Getting Enough Exercise
There are several benefits that your pet derives from exercise, from improved cardiovascular function to enhanced moods, building strong bones and muscles, controlling appetites, to weight management.
Daily exercise combined with a diet rich in protein is the foundation for a long life.
All dogs require a diet focused on proper nutrition, vigorous exercise, and routine checkups with their veterinarian regardless of breeds.
As a general rule, your mini Schnauzer should exercise up to 30 minutes per day with individual age, fitness, and weight as factors to consider.
In addition to being part of a more comprehensive, holistic approach to your pet’s overall wellness, exercise has several additional benefits to those already mentioned.
First, daily exercise will create a routine that you both can look forward to and provide the chance to strengthen the bonds between pet and pet parent.
Second, post-exercise will release neurochemicals that assist with mood regulation and alleviate anxiety, which will make your mini Schnauzer calmer and a happier companion.
Additionally, as foundational to healthier living, exercise provides;
- More Efficient Cardiovascular Function: Regular vigorous exercise taxes your mini Schnauzer’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems. As these systems are challenged, it causes them to work more efficiently during activity and post-exercise, providing better overall health.
- Assists With Digestion: Exercise helps the body regulate appetite, aids with waste production, and helps digestion.
- Manages Weight: Active lifestyles assist the body manage weight, a known cause of heart complications, and weight is a significant factor in other health-related problems such as lack of flexibility in overweight pets.
- Improved Flexibility: Regular movements keeps the body, muscles, and joints limber, reducing the chance of injury, especially as your dog ages.
- Enhances Mental Function: Dogs need to engage their curiosity and, when unstimulated and bored, are known to lash out. Regular exercise will help avoid adopting negative behaviors or anxiety issues. Additionally, vigorous exercise will help create a calmer mind, and the body will produce mood-enhancing neurochemicals to boost moods.
- Strengthen The Skeletal-Muscular System: Exercise will strengthen the skeletal-muscular system of your pet, making its body more efficient long after exercise concludes.
As with any exercise routine, there is a caveat that you need to know.
Remember to keep in mind that your mini Schnauzers should be limited to 30 minutes of exercise due to their size. In addition, consider other factors such as the fitness level of your pet, age, weight, as well as the weather before starting. Ideally, you should consult with your vet before beginning any vigorous activity to eliminate any potential underlying illness or disease.
There are countless ways to get your mini Schnauzer the exercise it needs, and depending on where you live, we have a few suggestions to assist you.
- Walks: Walks are an excellent way for your pet to get some low-impact exercise while also stimulating its mind. Dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell to understand their world and those things in it. By taking a walk around the neighborhood, you’ll engage its curiosity and let it discover what animals may be in the area as well as if there are any potential food sources. An added benefit is that walks will provide you the opportunity to build upon the behaviors you wish to adopt and strengthen your bonds as well.
- Hikes: If you live in an area that allows you to take a stroll, it may be a good idea to consider hikes as a change of pace to the daily walk. A hike will allow your mini Schnauzer new areas to explore, with new sights and sounds. You need to be careful not to overdo it. Know the terrain and weather in the area before your hike. As a general rule, if you’re hot on the trail, it will be too hot for your dog.
- Dog Park: Social by nature, dogs instinctively look to create packs with other dogs. Playing at a dog park gives your mini Schnauzer the chance to socialize, create a temporary pack, explore roles and hierarchies within the pack, as well as reinforce good social behaviors, all the while getting enough exercise. You’ll be amazed how much energy your dog will burn off by running, wrestling, and socializing with other dogs.
- Agility Drills: Schnauzers as a breed are easily trainable and enjoy learning to perform tasks. For a change of pace, consider mixing in some agility drills from time to time. For example, create an obstacle course, play fetch, or any other task that lets you train any positive behaviors you want them to adopt.
These four suggestions are just a starting point of things you can do with your mini Schnauzer. The goal is to get some vigorous activity that brings up their heart rates and tax their muscles.
The Type Of Nutrition Your Mini Schnauzer Needs
Active dogs require much higher caloric intake and protein than sedentary dogs. So even by its miniature size, your mini Schnauzer needs a protein-rich diet over one with many carbohydrates and fats.
Any meal plan you select should prioritize the macronutrients necessary for maximum energy and optimal health.
A macronutrient is defined as the primary source of nutrition and energy in any diet. It is prioritized as animal protein, carbohydrates, and fats with minimal additives and fillers for dogs.
The meal plan you select consists of single-sourced animal protein eschews unnecessary fillers such as grains like soy, wheat, and corn while including a healthy carbohydrate like brown rice. Balanced with just the right amount of fats in the recipe will give your mini Schnauzer the energy they need.
When considering your pet’s diet, you should also factor in your dog’s age, ideal weight, and overall fitness levels.
How Active Is Your Poodle
The primary factor to consider with the right meal plan is understanding your dog’s overall fitness levels.
An active dog will require a diet rich in protein and calories over an inactive, sedentary one like an athlete.
Considering the overall fitness levels and how active your mini Schnauzer is regularly will highlight the type of meal plan and the best serving size for your dog.
Is Your Dog Allergic Or Intolerant To Types Of Foods
There are two significant food-borne issues that you need to be aware of.
The first is food allergies, and the second is known as food intolerance.
A food-borne allergy can lead to other, more severe health issues. Problems that stem from food-borne allergies are that they can overstimulate the immune system response. Once the immune system becomes stimulated, it can aggressively attack any form of the potential allergen. Symptoms to be aware of may include runny or watery eyes, excessive scratching, and digestive issues such as diarrhea and flatulence.
Many subpar dog foods choose to cut corners and substitute animal proteins with fillers and additives that don’t have much nutritional value. In addition, many times, additives can be mixed with various ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction in your dog.
Contrast that with high-quality meal plans that label the specific ingredients that make up their recipes to have confidence in the food you’re providing and avoid any possible allergens.
Food intolerance is much more severe. A food intolerance stems from when the eater can’t digest food. For example, thinking about peanut allergies. For most, peanuts are tasty sources of protein, but for some, peanuts can become deadly.
Your Dog’s Age And Weight
At different ages, your mini Schnauzer has different nutritional needs and individual tastes. Therefore, consider the age and weight of your pet when you are deciding on their meal plan. Even though fillers and additives may cause allergens in your dog, they often lack much nutritional value and can quickly become worthless calories.
Why Your mini Schnauzer’s Food Ingredients Are Important
While there are many varieties of dog food on the market, understand that not all dog food is manufactured to the same level of quality. High-quality dog food should place a premium on ingredients from a single source such as animal proteins like chicken or turkey and avoid obscure terms such as “meat meal.”
While the FDA heavily regulates dog food manufacturers, there are still loopholes that some subpar manufacturers take. The corners that some take may include fillers, substitutes, and additives that may cause allergies, so you should be looking for a transparent food label to have confidence in the quality of the meal plan.
There’s truth to the adage, “you are what you eat,” and this applies to the food you provide your dog as well. The meal plan selected for your mini Schnauzer should focus on pure animal protein and carbohydrates and avoids using misleading terms like “meat meal” avoids carbohydrates like soy, corn, and wheat that are known to cause allergic reactions to some dogs.
As you are searching for the best meal plan for your dog, by providing high-quality nutrition, you’re also providing these added benefits;
- Strengthen teeth and bones
- Improves the skeletal-muscle system
- Bolsters the immune system
- Aids with better digestion
- Enhanced moods
- More sustained energy
Diet and nutrition act as just one facet of overall wellness. Combined with exercise, the food you provide your pet gives your mini Schnauzer the best opportunity to live a happy life.
How To Read The Ingredients Label
When you are reading the food label, there are a few things you need to know to guide your decision-making process.
Even though the FDA regulates the quality of dog food, there are loopholes that some manufacturers try to exploit. The use of specific terms may seem like they’re a healthy choice when these terms are misleading in reality.
Dog food is required to list ingredients based on weight and priority in the final recipe. That means the first couple of items you read are included as a higher percentage of the final recipe over anything that follows.
Understand that the ingredients listed may fall under four different categories of terms when you read the food label.
These categories are used as descriptors of the ingredients used, and those four categories are; the 95% rule, the 25% rule, the with rule, and the flavor rule.
The 95% Rule
When a food label asserts a specific protein such as chicken, FDA regulations require that it contain at least 95% of chicken in the final recipe.
This rule means that when you see a food label claiming “salmon for dogs,” then you can have the utmost confidence that the recipe has 95% salmon in the recipe.
The 25% Rule
When food labels use terms including “dinner, platter, or entree,” the percentage protein included is required to contain at least 25% of the final product. The problem is that if you don’t know what these terms mean, for example, “chicken dinner for dogs,” it may seem a healthy option. The reality is that this ingredient list only has to consist of 25% or more chicken in the recipe. The remainder of the protein may stem from fillers or additives that can cause food-borne issues.
The “With” Rule
The term “with” is a way to imply the number of healthy ingredients without actually being required to include a high percentage of quality ingredients. For example, when you read a food label that asserts, “dog food with salmon,” what is being stated is that salmon only needs to comprise 3% of the final ingredient list.
The “Flavor” Rule
The flavor rule has the least requirements of all the labeling rules. If a label uses the term “flavor,” such as “turkey entree with beef flavor,” the reality is that it is incredibly misleading. To use the “flavor” rule, the FDA standards require manufacturers to have just enough of that protein to be traced in the final recipe.
Selecting The Right Meal Plan For Your Mini Schnauzer
By prioritizing each part of your pet’s health, this holistic approach will include regular veterinarian checkups, vigorous exercise, and high-quality meal plans that will provide your mini Schnauzer the best opportunity for a long, fruitful life.
We know that selecting the best meal plan can be a bit tricky, so we’ve created the Hungry Bark Custom Meal Planner as a great place to start!
In as little as 2 minutes, the meal planner will customize your pet’s meal plan considering characteristics such as breed, age, weight, and activity level to provide a custom meal plan for a quality, healthy life.