nutrition

Puppy nutrition

When it comes to staying fit and trim, some dogs need more help than others. Senior dogs, especially, need the help of the people in their lives to keep them on the path to slimness. This is because older dogs are less active and, like middle-age people, their metabolism changes and they tend to gain weight. Here are a few exercise and nutrition tips to help keep your dog trim.

Exercise tips

No matter how old he is, when a dog is active and stimulated it’s good for his overall well-being: physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Take it easy. This is the key to exercising your older dog. Walking is ideal for your senior dog because it keeps his muscles toned and his joints moving. If he hasn’t been active recently, start gradually with short walks. The length of a walk is dependent on the dog’s condition, age, and breed—and on the weather outside. For many senior dogs, a typical walk could consist of a five-minute warm-up followed by a fifteen-minute walk (start moderately and slowly build up to a brisker pace). After the walk, let your dog cool down for about five minutes. And remember, for a senior dog who’s out of shape, two brief walks a day are better than one long walk.

Get in the game. Playing with your dog is a great way to get him moving. But keep things light: when playing fetch, don’t throw the ball as far as you did when he was younger. Keep the tosses short so he doesn’t overexert himself. Play sessions can take place indoors as well as outdoors. So, if the weather is too harsh for your senior dog, bring your game play indoors where both of you can be comfortable.

Things to do after exercising. After a healthy dose of exercise, wait thirty minutes before feeding him. If he’s tired, make sure your dog has a comfortable place to rest, such as an orthopaedic bed. Chances are the exercise will make him thirsty, so offer small amounts of water frequently, instead of allowing him to gulp a large bowl of water all at once.

Nutrition tips

As in humans, a dog’s metabolism and activity level slows down as he ages. And, like us, his diet should be modified to meet those changes. But when should you switch your dog’s food—and what should you look for in a senior diet?

Make sure he’s getting the right kind of protein. Many people think that senior dogs need a low-protein diet, but protein requirements don’t necessarily decrease with age if the dog is healthy. Senior dogs need high-quality, highly digestible protein to help maintain strong, healthy muscles.

Watch those calories. You know what happens to people when they reach a certain age: all those calories they gobble up start to make themselves known in the most unflattering ways. Here’s an instance where dogs and their owners are very similar. Older dogs are less active, so they don’t burn off calories like they did when they were energetic pups. That’s why senior dogs need fewer calories than younger dogs.

Fiber keeps the world moving. There are several reasons why fiber is important. First of all, fiber creates a feeling of fullness—which means your dog will feel satisfied without having to eat very large amounts of food and the calories it contains. Fiber also optimizes stool quality and helps keep him regular.

nutrtion

Keeping your Rottweiler healthy and active

Brave, charming, active and powerful…that’s how a Rottweiler is and hence his special dietary needs, which are ably met by Royal Canin’s Rottweiler 31 (Junior) & Rottweiler 26 (Adult).

The genesis…

The Rottweiler is one of the oldest breeds. His German origins go back to the time when he was both a guard nutritionand herding dog. During the Middle Ages, in the town of Rottweil in the Bade-Wurtemberg region, the Rottweiler was used to look after the flocks and defend livestock sellers against bandits. Since the 20th century, these dogs, whose power and strength make them ideal for work, have been widely used by the police and rescue services.

The attributes…

A dog blessed with natural strength. Robust, enduring, calm and quiet but with a strong temperament, the Rottweiler is the king of the guard dogs. By nature, the Rottweiler is a very active, sporty dog who needs lots of exercise. He cannot bear being shut in and has an independent nature.

Unbeatable muscle…

Naturally athletic, his strongly muscled silhouette needs a high level of protein. Nevertheless, without exercise, the Rottweiler can easily gain weight. In order to maintain a constant ideal weight, it is important to monitor his food intake.

Osteo-articular health…

Whether working or just on a walk with his owners, the Rottweiler is always active and enthusiastic, and puts his joints under strain. Problems such as arthrosis, dysplasia and osteochondrosis can affect the breed.

Cardiac muscle & ageing effects…

Helping prevent the effects of ageing is important from the onset of adulthood, particularly in large breed dogs, who have a much shorter life expectancy than small ones. Over and above that, it is essential to take good care of the Rottweiler’s cardiac health. The breed can be predisposed to a problem known as a heart murmur.

Growing up in 18 months!

Growth is an essential phase for the puppy, because this period is responsible for his future health. During the first weeks of life, the puppy benefits from maternally transmitted antibodies, but this protection reduces gradually between the 4th and 12th week of age. As a result, the puppy is very sensitive to the risk of infection, because his own immune system is still immature. However, the right food can help him cross this “immunity gap” by helping reinforce his natural defences.

The Rottweiler puppy is a small molossoid… in order to reach his adult size; first of all he has to develop his skeleton, which requires considerable energy, with exactly the right amount of calcium and phosphorus – neither too much nor too little. Muscular development follows next… weight gain slows down considerable while the bone structure solidifies itself. During this period, it is essential that the daily ration is monitored carefully, because if over-fed the puppy will develop fat (adipose cells) rather than muscle.

Adult dog…

Over 18 months, the Rottweiler puppy increases his birth weight by a factor of 80 to 100! His food during growth must take account of his digestive sensitivity and energy needs.

Rottweiler 31…

To keep your Rottweiler healthy, Royal Canin offers Rottweiler 31 which provides controlled levels of energy and calcium for optimal growth and the development of the skeleton. Strong, healthy muscles are laid down as a result of the choice of very high quality LIP proteins in combination with L-Carnitine.

It also helps the joints develop properly, thanks to increased levels of EPA, DHA, chondroïtine and glucosamine. Besides, prebiotics, psyllium and the use of LIP proteins ensure optimum digestive tolerance. It also helps strengthen the puppy’s natural defences due to a patented synergic complex of antioxidants.

Rottweiler 26…

The food also helps support this athletic dog’s cardiac functions thanks to beneficial nutrients EPA & DHA, and taurine to encourage good heart contraction, L-Carnitine for the cells’ energy supply, and Vitamins E & C to help maintain vitality. Its special molossoid jaw Kibble is exclusively adapted to the Rottweiler’s jaw, to encourage him to chew. It also takes care of muscle dynamism and joint support.

So, if you have a Rottweiler at home, do take care of his special dietary needs.

nutrition

Puppy nutrition

As the pet parent of a new puppy, you’ll want him to grow up fit and healthy, and reach his full genetic potential. It’s not hard to help him do this; all you have to do is provide your puppy with the correct diet right from the start. Here are some of the things you should know about feeding your puppy and the food he needs to grow up strong and healthy:

Why nutrition is important?

First, your puppy will need a very digestible diet so his body can absorb all the nutrients that he needs. Second, it’s important that he really enjoys his food, so he’ll eat all of it. So it really matters what you feed your puppy. In fact, he needs special nutrition with just the right amounts of protein, fats, minerals and vitamins. After all, weight for weight, a puppy needs up to two and a half times as many calories as an adult dog does. A puppy’s diet must also be balanced so he receives the right amount of nutrients. And the food should be sufficiently concentrated to allow him to take in all the needed nutrients with a small amount of food.

Weaning puppies

Puppies are normally weaned from their mother’s milk onto solid foods when they’re 3-4 weeks old. You should give them their food in small portions 3 or 4 times a day. If you’re buying from a breeder, your puppy should have been weaned onto a solid diet by the time you take him home at the age of eight to twelve weeks. ‘Pedigree weaning’ food will be right choice for weaning puppies in India.

When you bring your puppy home

Changing homes and leaving his mother is stressful for a puppy. It could cause an upset stomach. If this happens, take him off solid food for two meals, and just give him small quantities of water to drink. Then, gradually introduce boiled rice and scrambled eggs over 24 hours, before you reintroduce his normal puppy food again. If, however, the diarrhoea or vomiting continues for more than 24 hours, or becomes more severe, phone your vet. Once your puppy has settled in, you’ll likely want to change his diet to the type or brand of food you’ve decided on. Make sure you replace the original food with the new food gradually, over a period of 3-5 days.

The benefits of prepared foods

Proper nutrition is necessary for your puppy’s health. Some dog owners prepare homemade foods for their pets. But it’s difficult even for an experienced breeder to get the nutritional balance just right. The best idea is to get your puppy used to eating prepared foods from the very start. The advantages of prepared foods like Pedigree are:

  • They meet all the nutritional requirements: they’re balanced, with the proper amounts of protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, and easily digestible.
  • They don’t require any food supplements. Just don’t forget to put down a bowl of fresh water.
  • They are convenient to use and can be stored for long periods.

Which type of food should you choose?

There are two main types of complete dog food: moist in cans and pouches, and dry in packages. Both types are made from meat, poultry or fish based ingredients and grains, and provide balanced nutrition, with all the necessary nutrients. Dry foods have certain economic and practical advantages: they’re more economical, they don’t need to be stored in the refrigerator, and they’ll keep for a day in the bowl. Moist foods, on the other hand, provide your dog with a highly enjoyable eating experience.

Two stages of development: puppy and young dog

All dogs go through two stages of development: puppy and young dog. These are both very important periods in a dog’s development, as they determine what kind of adult the dog will be. Puppies are very active and grow rapidly. That’s why they need special food that will meet their energy requirements. What’s most important to keep in mind is that dogs of different breeds reach maturity at different times. Dogs of the toy or small breeds stop growing at around 9 to 12 months (use Pedigree small breed puppy), while dogs of the large breeds continue to develop up to 18 to 24 months (use Pedigree Large breed puppy). But we can generalize by saying that for all breeds (Pedigree puppy), the initial stage–when a puppy reaches half of its adult weight–ends at between five and six months. Proper nutrition allows for the puppy to reach his full genetic potential. If he’s overfed, a puppy can develop bone anomalies, which are more common in puppies of the large and giant breeds.

Therapeutic Renal Diet: Solution for kidney diseases in Canines

As responsible pet parents, we all wish to improve and extend the quality of our pets’ lives and feeding plays a very important role in controlling many disease progressions (kidney diseases, obesity, skeletal abnormalities, dental pathologies, and gastric disorders etc.)

 

Canine nutrition

Correct nutrition is an important tool in disease prevention and a legitimate aid of therapeutic nutrition. The veterinary therapeutic nutrition deals with the knowledge of interaction between nutritional components and patho-physilogical processes of various systems in animals which provide a way to develop new strategies of intervention and control the clinical management of the patient.

Kidney disease: a threat

Kidney disease is one of the life threatening ailments in companion animal and it is second to cancer in causing deaths. Although medicines can cure the disease but prevention is always better than cure. The nutritional modification is one of the strategies to provide health and longevity to patients with kidney disease. Renal Diet – a diet prescribed in kidney disease and designed to control intake of protein, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and fluids, depending on individual conditions – is an alternative to medicines for prevention and control of renal diseases.

Role of kidney in the body homeostasis

Kidneys keep our pet’s body free of wastes that accumulate during metabolism. They are continually scrubbing the blood free of excess salts, water and metabolites. The kidneys are paired bean-shaped located below the rib cage near the middle of the back. They play a crucial role in regulating the amount of water and electrolytes in the body such as sodium, potassium and phosphorous. Elimination of complex organic compounds, both endogenous and exogenous, maintain a relatively stable blood flow, ionic reabsorption and excretion, control of blood pressure. It also releases three regulatory chemicals viz. erythropoietin, renin, and calcitriol that affect other functions in the body. Erythropoietin stimulates the bone marrow to produce new red blood cells. Renin helps regulate blood pressure, and calcitriol (1-25-dihydroxycholecalciferol) is an active form of vitamin D and is important in maintaining bones and the level of calcium in the body.

Kidney disease

In people, hearts are often our weakest organ. In dogs, it is often the kidneys that wear out first.

There is a slow but steady loss of kidney function in all of our pets as they age – so much so, that next to arthritis, renal (kidney) failure is the leading cause of illness in older dogs. Any damage which leads to destruction of the normal kidney function is known as Kidney disease, also known as renal disease, which leads to kidney failure, a situation in which the kidneys fail to function adequately. There are many ailments of kidney of which the important one is divided into two categories depending on the severity and time of kidney failure. The Acute renal failure (ARF) is the sudden loss of the ability of the kidneys to remove waste and concentrate urine without losing electrolytes. While, Chronic renal failure (CRF) is a slowly worsening loss of ability of the kidneys to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and conserve electrolytes. In ARF, there is a rapid progressive loss of renal function, generally characterized by oliguria (decreased urine production), body water and body fluid disturbances; and electrolyte derangement but usually does not cause permanent damage to the kidneys, however CRF is characterized by symptoms such as polydipsia (increased water consumption), polyuria (frequent urination), dilute urine, depression, anorexia, discoloration of teeth, chemical odour to the breath, nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness and exercise intolerance, weight loss, pale mucous membranes because of anaemia, oral (mouth) ulcers, shivering, muscle wasting and diarrhoea.

Prevention and treatment

The objective of dietary management in renal failure is to lessen the metabolic demands on the kidneys and to diminish metabolic end-products that cannot be readily excreted. The successful management of canine kidney disease requires careful food choices, which balances pet’s appetite. It has been known for many decades that once chronic renal disease is established, renal failure often progresses inexorably, even if the underlying cause of the renal disease is eradicated. Typical nutritional interventions include restriction of protein and phosphorus, modification in electrolyte balance, dietary supplementation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as omega -3 etc. Nutritional therapy, however, does not simply mean changing the diet; consideration must also be given to ensuring adequate caloric intake and to the method of feeding. Therapeutic measures include initial restoration and maintenance of body fluid balance, supportive symptomatic therapy that aims to minimize disruptions in fluid, acid-base, electrolyte and nutritional status. The Renal food (RF) specifically prepared for dogs suffering with renal diseases helps delay in development of uremia and reduction in the rate of progression of renal failure.

Dietary restriction of protein and phosphorus

High dietary protein with view of weight management and lean maintenance may put animal at risk for diseases related to excessive nitrogen metabolism. Intake of high dietary protein and phosphorus leads to increased risk for kidney diseases. Dietary restriction of protein helps to reduce the renal disorders and is also beneficial in slowing the progression of chronic renal disease. The predominant effect of the low protein diet is to minimize production of uremic toxins so that the patient feels better. Dietary protein restriction may limit the genesis of nitrogen wastes and thus lessen the extent of uremic complications of chronic renal failure such as vomiting and lethargy.

Role of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)

Dietary supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been considered as a potential therapeutic manoeuvre in chronic renal insufficiency. It helps by altering renal hemodynamics and retards the progression of renal injury in dogs with chronic renal failure.

Modification of electrolytes

High level of serum sodium with systemic hypertension is more frequent in patients with renal disease which may lead to high arterial pressure predisposing progression of renal injury. Hence, dietary sodium restriction may be one of the alternatives to control systemic hypertension in patients with renal disease.

Fermentable fibre

Fermentable or soluble fibre, when added to a dog’s diet, also helps remove toxins from his body. Because of this, it is often an ingredient in commercial diets sold to manage kidney failure in pets. In these diets, the source is sugar beet pulp. Also nowadays prebiotics are gaining movement as fermentable fibre sources in dog’s diets.

In conclusion, there are various nutritional approaches for prevention and treatment of kidney diseases few of which includes restriction of protein and phosphorus, supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids, modification of electrolyte balance. Along with these, there should be proper feeding management and monitoring the proper functioning of the kidney is important. Suggestions are made for water and fat-soluble vitamins, trace minerals and other non-nutrient feed additives based on their activities as free-radical scavengers, immune modulators, anti-emetics, and erythrocyte production stimulators. In future, new avenues in nutritional science like phytonutrients, antioxidants, designer foods and of course nutrigenomic (role of nutrient in modulation gene function) may help solve the puzzle between nutrition and kidney disease.

(The authors are scientists at R&D Centre, Ayurvet Ltd, Baddi.)

Guidelines on proper nutrition

A well-balanced diet and proper nutrition is all it takes to make your pet happy and healthy. Here are a few tips which will be useful to work it out:

  • Say ‘No’ to table scraps: Don’t feed your dog ‘People food’, which is not formulated to meet the nutritional needs of the pet.
  • Limit the treats: Treats are often salty and fatty; it’s wise to avoid them to protect your pet from being obese.
  • Homemade diets not recommended: Unlike branded diets, homemade foods hardly provide all the nutrient requirements to your pet.
  • No catty foods: As cats and dogs have very different nutritional requirement, foods of these two pet animals should not be exchanged.
  • No bond with bones: Don’t offer bones to your furry friend because it may potentially result in intestinal puncture, chocking, intestinal blockage, etc.
  • Maintain feeding schedule: Though puppies should be fed several times a day, the number of meals should be decreased as they get older.
  • Right diets: There should be right diets for dogs at different life stages.
  • Resist free eating: Don’t leave foods available to your pets whenever they want to eat them as it may encourage overeating and obesity.
  • Always have fresh water: Leave fresh water out so that your doggy can drink it whenever he wants.
  • Vet (dietician) consultation: If your pet needs special dietary needs, consult your vet as some pets require senior’s foods and others a low calorie diet.
nutrition

The world of mini dogs

Most of us are fascinated by Mini dogs who are not only cute and feisty but also form excellent companions. Royal Canin offers the perfect diet to take care of their heath.

Mini dogs – small in size, big on personality

The enormous physical variety of the Mini dogs (weighing 5-10 kg) means that pet parents can choose their ideal dog: the playful, lively character of these little dogs, linked to a friendly nature, makes them very loving companions. However, their strong nature, which brings them close to their pet parent, can also affect the pet parent – dog relationship and have consequences on the dog’s health (overweight, fussy appetite, etc.).

Mini-dogs are also multi-talented: their uses include herding, guarding, hunting both below and above ground and also showing. They are also frequent visitors to grooming parlours, for both beauty care and hygiene reasons.

Mini size health nutrition:


benefits across the board

Physiologically, the Mini dog reaches adulthood at around 10 months old (compared to 18-24 months for Giant dogs), and has a very long life expectancy, with an average of 14-15 years. Increased life expectancy exposes Mini dog to problems which shorter-lived dogs don’t have. Other lifestyle-associated risks have also been taken into account in this programme:

  • Oral-dental sensitivity
  • Sensitive skin and coat
  • Overweight: Whether linked to lack of exercise in normally very energetic dogs, dietary errors, such as overfeeding compared to the manufacturer’s recommendations or too many treats, overweight is on the up…87% of the pet parents give their dog treats. Sterilization is also a predisposing factor in being overweight.

Depending on the dog’s activity level, age or breed, the balance of fat and protein, plus L-carnitine supplementation (to mobilize fats) ensures the dog is on a high-protein regime which keeps him in good shape.

The pawfect Mini-size food

In 1997, Royal Canin set the world standard for canine nutritional programme adapted not just to a dog’s age and activity level, but also to the fundamental morphological and physiological differences which differentiate the enormous variety of dog breeds. 

The smallest (in terms of size) category – the Mini universe- is based on an ideal adult weight of between 1 and 10 kg, encompassing around 80 of the 351 breeds recognized by the FCI. The sector is divided between Toy (less than 5 kg) and Mini (from 5-10 kg).

Mini Adult 27 ensures maintenance of ideal weight in adult dogs. The portion recommendations shown on the pack must be observed, particularly where pet parents feed home-made foods or treats, because top of the range dry foods are as much as three times higher in energy than lower quality product.

What’s more? The packaging is environment-friendly, made of 70% cardboard, printed with water-based solvent-free ink and is recyclable and has reclosing system.

Healthy bites to live smart

Dogs love to eat. Nothing makes your pooch happier than a juicy treat. But what do you do when he stops eating? Here are a few tips to make him eat just right.

First – and most importantly – make sure there isn’t a medical reason for your dog’s loss of appetite. If he is accompanied by lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, or unusual behaviour, seek the advice of your veterinarian immediately. Once you’ve eliminated the possibility of a medical problem, examine your dog’s eating habits.

A schedule is your dog’s best friend

For the less-than-enthusiastic eater, a feeding schedule will usually get the dog back on track. Divide your dog’s daily ration into equal meals given at set times throughout the day. Place the meal down for your dog to eat for ten to twenty minutes, and then remove the food. Don’t feed between meals.

If your dog is not used to a schedule, begin with smaller, more frequent meals. You can gradually scale him back to two meals per day. This will teach your dog, he must eat at feeding time and will prevent any hypoglycaemic incidents from occurring. Once he learns he needs to eat when the food appears, you will find him delving into his meal without hesitation. Don’t get angry if he doesn’t eat, and don’t hover over him. Your anxiety can contribute to his reluctance to eat.

Limit the treats

Just as people have to be mindful of snacking, so does your dog. Treats are a helpful training aid; you just have to remember they count towards his daily total intake of food. As a rule, treats should comprise not more than ten percent of his diet. If you give treats, be sure to reduce the size of your dog’s meals accordingly.

Feeding a dog table scraps is another way to encourage him not to eat his own food. Not only does this create bad habits such as begging, it can be dangerous. Many foods that are fine for human consumption are toxic to dogs. So, don’t give in to their soulful looks.

The importance of exercise

Dogs require exercise every day to maintain optimal health.

A good walk or a romp in the park will keep your dog mentally and physically fit and burning off excess energy will stimulate his appetite. Lack of exercise reduces his caloric needs and can lead to destructive behaviours. Digging, chewing, and the like can be a signal that your dog needs more playtime.

So, if you keep in mind all the above factors, you can help your pooch to eat the right quantity of food at the right time and keep him fit and fine.

(Rajesh Tavakari is an avid dog lover and a website promotion specialist by profession who currently resides in Bangalore.)

nutrition

The Pug : A little bundle of fun with very specific features… “Multan in Parvo”

Despite the dignified, even anxious appearance, the Pug can’t hide his happy, affectionate, totally loyal – even exclusive – nature for long! Lots of love and care is needed to keep him healthy and happy. Royal Canin has launched Pug 25 – a food totally dedicated to the breed.

Evolved with time

Sometimes unruly as a youngster, firm, kind training turns him into a totally calm and level-headed dog. His nutritionsquare (cobby) muscled physique means he plays with calm poise and dignity. The Pug is undoubtedly the oldest of the small molossoid breeds, with historians reporting his existence for two or three thousand years. Originally from China and sharing the same origins as the Mastiff or Tibetan Mastiff, the Pug arrived in Europe via Holland in the 16th century. The breed quickly became a favourite in royal courts, before it was supplanted by the Pekingese and Terriers. It was not until the 1960s that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor restored the breed to royal favour.

A delicate skin which needs care…

The Pug’s short hair clearly displays his skin, which is folded around the face as the breed standard requires. These folds can retain natural humidity in the skin and encourage the appearance of cutaneous irritation. Regular cleaning is necessary for good hygiene, and food can also contribute to good health: A patented complex of four B vitamins and an amino acid help reinforce the effectiveness of the cutaneous barrier. Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA-DHA from fish oil and Vitamin A have a supportive anti-inflammatory action.

A face with no comparison…

Carried n a large, round head, the short muzzle is completely square and not turned up. The jaw is characteristically brachycephalic, with slight lower prognathism, and the incisors are implanted almost in a straight line. In fact, picking up an object or food that is too flat is very difficult, and the Pug has a tendency to swallow his food without crunching.

A characteristic physique

The Pug’s compact form shows off his crisp and firm muscles. Regular, gentle walks, avoiding strong heat and intense effort, are enough to keep him in shape when combined with the right food, served in the right amount, and not too many treats. Regular, gentle exercise is also good for the digestive system.

A food…that takes care of all

Today, as a result of discussions with breeders keen to support this charming breed, and the benefit of scientific advances in terms of nutrition, Royal Canin has launched a new food dedicated to the breed:

PUG 25.


PUG 25 is based on ultradigestible (90%) proteins and a combination of fibres to stimulate transite and protect the intestinal flora.

PUG 25 is enriched with antioxidants which are effective against free radicals: Vitamins E and C, taurine, besides active plant extracts such as luteine and grape polyphenols.


This little dog has a relatively long life expectancy, and regular veterinary checks and a specially adapted diet can help make this long life a comfortable one.

Nutrition

Your dog is unique and so should be his diet!

Despite the dignified, even anxious appearance, the Pug can’t hide his happy, affectionate, totally loyal – even exclusive – nature for long! Lots of love and care is needed to keep him healthy and happy. Royal Canin has launched Pug 25 – a food totally dedicated to the breed.

Sometimes unruly as a youngster, firm, kind training turns him into a totally calm and level-headed dog. His square (cobby) muscled physique means he plays with calm poise and dignity. The Pug is undoubtedly the oldest of the small molossoid breeds, with historians reporting his existence for two or three thousand years. Originally from China and sharing the same origins as the Mastiff or Tibetan Mastiff, the Pug arrived in Europe via Holland in the 16th century. The breed quickly became a favourite in royal courts, before it was supplanted by the Pekingese and Terriers. It was not until the 1960s that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor restored the breed to royal favour.

A delicate skin which needs care…

The Pug’s short hair clearly displays his skin, which is folded around the face as the breed standard requires. These folds can retain natural humidity in the skin and encourage the appearance of cutaneous irritation. Regular cleaning is necessary for good hygiene, and food can also contribute to good health: A patented complex of four B vitamins and an amino acid help reinforce the effectiveness of the cutaneous barrier. Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA-DHA from fish oil and Vitamin A have a supportive anti-inflammatory action.

A face with no comparison…

Carried n a large, round head, the short muzzle is completely square and not turned up. The jaw is characteristically brachycephalic, with slight lower prognathism, and the incisors are implanted almost in a straight line. In fact, picking up an object or food that is too flat is very difficult, and the Pug has a tendency to swallow his food without crunching.

A characteristic physique

The Pug’s compact form shows off his crisp and firm muscles. Regular, gentle walks, avoiding strong heat and intense effort, are enough to keep him in shape when combined with the right food, served in the right amount, and not too many treats. Regular, gentle exercise is also good for the digestive system.

A food…that takes care of all

Today, as a result of discussions with breeders keen to support this charming breed, and the benefit of scientific advances in terms of nutrition, Royal Canin has launched a new food dedicated to the breed:

PUG 25.


PUG 25 is based on ultradigestible (90%) proteins and a combination of fibres to stimulate transite and protect the intestinal flora.

PUG 25 is enriched with antioxidants which are effective against free radicals: Vitamins E and C, taurine, besides active plant extracts such as luteine and grape polyphenols.


This little dog has a relatively long life expectancy, and regular veterinary checks and a specially adapted diet can help make this long life a comfortable one.

Importance of protein in the diet of dogs

Protein is important dietary constituent not only for humans but also for our canine friends. Right amount of protein in your dog’s diet will help in the well-being of your dog.

Dr H S Madhusudhan

Dr H S Madhusudhan

Proteins are complex molecules containing chains of subunits called amino acids. All proteins are basically made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen but unlike carbohydrates they always contain nitrogen. Although about 20 amino acids used in the composition of proteins, they can be arranged in various sequences to attain number of proteins, which we can observe in nature. The dog’s body cannot synthesize 10 specific amino acids arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine which are needed for optimum performance. They are called essential amino acids.

These amino acids have to be supplied in the form of dietary proteins. If a single essential amino acid is missing in the diet, it will lead to decrease in the food intake, which is known to be neuroresponse caused by the lack of limiting essential amino acid. Unlike cats, taurine is synthesised in dogs, so no need to supplement taurine in the diet of dogs. The non-essential amino acids can be made from excesses of certain other dietary amino acids.

What are the functions of protein in the body?

The amino acids supplied in the diet reform themselves into new proteins, which perform the following functions:

  • Proteins are basically required for maintaining the structure of the body i.e. for optimum body condition of the dog. They are vital to cell division that is necessary for growth, reproduction and repair of tissues.
  • Proteins in the form of enzymes and hormones regulate the metabolic processes in the body.
  • Proteins aid in the formation of antibodies that enable the body to fight infection.
  • Amino acids in the form of plasma proteins and hemoglobin play a major role in maintenance of normal physiology of blood circulation.
  • Fibrous proteins like collagen are needed as connective tissues.
  • Proteins play a major role in immune system.
  • They can be stored as fat and during starvation they are burned as calories and serve as a major energy supplier.
  • Proteins help to transport other nutrients around the body by binding them and then releasing when and where they are needed.
  • Protein helps to regulate and maintain a proper fluid balance, which helps to maintain proper blood pressure and even lubricates the eyes.

 

How much protein does dog require?

The requirement of protein varies in different life stages of dogs, especially during rapidly growing and elder dogs with compromising kidneys. Pregnant and lactating dogs may need to be fed similar to growing puppies to give them the necessary protein. The hardworking dogs such as sled dogs in hilly areas, race dogs, hunting dogs, military and police dogs require extra protein in their diet. The recommended levels of protein for different life stages of dogs are as follows:

How to judge the quality of protein?

The proprtion of dietary protein which can be utilised by the animal for synthesising body tissues and compounds is measured as biological value (BV). Egg has the highest biological value (98) and other proteins are judged keeping the ‘egg’ as standard. Fish meal has 80, milk has 96, beef has around 78, soybean meal has 70, whole wheat has 67, Meat and bone meal are around 50, corn has 60, maize has 55 and peas have 63. Even though hair and feathers would be very high in protein, BV of these things is very low since their digestibility and availability to the body is very less.

To meet the minimum daily requirement, many dog foods use vegetable proteins which are harder to digest than animal proteins. Since animal proteins have higher BV than vegetable proteins and basically the dogs are carnivores, it is better to find a dog food with animal protein. Many dogs are allergic to grains like corn, wheat and soy found in dog food. So, care should be taken while selecting the source of protein i.e. we should avoid the food ingredient to which our dogs usually show allergic symptoms.

What happens if we feed too much protein to our dog?

If we feed too much protein to a healthy dog, some amount of protein gets excreted in the urine and the rest of them gets used as calories or is converted to fat and does not cause any harm. High protein diets are used for show or working dogs and a normal dog could become jittery and hyper on this type of diet. If the dog is suffering from kidney problem, high protein diet is not recommended. Moreover, protein is the most expensive ingredient in the food and there is no need to pay for more than we need.

(Dr H S Madhusudhan is PhD Scholar (Animal Nutrition) at Veterinary College, KVAFSU, Hebbal, Bangalore)