Video: Feeding Dogs At Different Times In Life
The lifespan of a Doberman is determined primarily by proper feeding and maintenance. The type of diet and feeding methods should correspond to the needs of the body and differ depending on the stage of the life cycle and the characteristics of the physiological state of the dog: physiological rest, pregnancy, lactation, pre- and postpartum period, lack of physical activity, increased stress, psychological stress, extreme environmental conditions etc.
Feeding and maintenance under normal conditions (maintenance feeding level). For normal healthy dogs weighing less than 23 kg, quality canned, semi-dry and dry foods can be used. Normal adult dogs weighing over 23 kg can be fed quality dry food as the basis of their diet. The use of dry food reduces the cost of feeding and helps prevent diseases of the teeth and gums, and in large dogs prevents obesity.
Most dry foods are low in fat and therefore have a lower energy value (caloric value), which is beneficial for large breed dogs, as they have lower energy requirements per unit of body weight than small breed dogs. The amount of semi-dry and canned foods in the diet of large breed dogs should be limited in order to prevent obesity.
For inactive and obese adult dogs, the nutritional value of the maintenance diet may be moderately limited and should contain increased levels of fiber to prevent obesity. In certain situations, it is recommended that animals of some breeds be switched to a lighter type of feed for a short time after they have reached their optimum body weight. Obesity prevention is an important goal of supportive feeding.
Do not use foods intended for growing and lactating animals as a maintenance diet for adult dogs. These feeds contain an excess of protein calories, many minerals, including calcium and phosphorus. These feeds are not harmful to adult animals if used for a limited time. But long-term use as the basis of the diet can lead to obesity. In addition, excess protein, calcium and phosphorus contributes to the development of various diseases, including kidney disease. Renal disease is known to be one of the leading causes of premature death in dogs.
There is no need to vary the application of different dog foods. Animals can be kept on a consistent, well-balanced diet. In this case, clean water must always be available. Diet changes should be carried out gradually over several days to prevent diarrhea and vomiting, which is possible with a sharp change in feed. Even when using different bags of the same commercial food, digestive problems in animals can occur, as the composition of the ingredients in different bags can be very different. Therefore, preference should be given to high quality feeds with a constant composition of all ingredients.
Feeding and caring for dogs during the breeding season. Underfeeding of females in the pre-breeding period may increase the mortality of newborn puppies. During pregnancy and lactation in females, the need for nutrients changes significantly and reserve reserves of the body are involved to satisfy it. If a bitch receives an unbalanced diet before breeding, then her body does not accumulate sufficient reserves of amino acids, minerals, vitamins and energy. A poor-quality diet contributes to a decrease in fertility, impaired embryonic development, insufficient development of the mammary glands, which leads to a decreased secretion of colostrum and milk.
Feeding and care during pregnancy. Specialized ready-to-eat foods for puppies and lactating bitches can be successfully used for feeding pregnant animals. It is especially important to use these foods during the last 3-4 weeks of pregnancy. Moreover, the feed must be of excellent quality. When using a fully balanced feed, you should not add any additional additives (meat, milk, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins) to the diet. The additional introduction of calcium and vitamin D into the diet can lead to calcification of the soft tissues of the fetus and the occurrence of various deformities.
Pregnant bitches should receive easily digestible carbohydrates in the diet. If the diet is inadequate in carbohydrates, for example, mainly meat, females may develop hypoglycemia in later stages of pregnancy, resulting in an increased number of stillborn puppies in the litter.