Schnauzers are a truly special dog breed, with unique features that come with their own unique needs. Diet is obviously one of those needs and it can play a crucial role in not only keeping your dog healthy and happy, but it can also contribute to their longevity, as well.
It’s important then, to feed your dog only the best and suitable foods to maintain a vital and joyful existence. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to consider when choosing the best dog food for your Schnauzer.
Overview of the Top Products
Miniature Schnauzer formula
Small breed formula
Lean turkey liver, duck, chicken, lamb, whole eggs, and real Wisconsin cheese
Lamb & Rice
Small breed formula
Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula
Chicken and Vegetabels
Small breed puppy formula
The Orijen dog food is much richer than some foods, especially in terms of calories and fat. Although there may be a few more calories than you might expect, the treat is grain-free and as healthy as it gets for your Schnauzer.
The first three ingredients you will find in each of the Orijen packs are chicken, chicken meal and chicken liver. In fact, note that the food contains 80% meat and then 20% fruit, botanicals, or vegetables. Thus, if you’re searching for a GMO-free treat for your canine companion, this low-glycemic and low-carb meal will suit your needs.
Orijen is commonly rated as one of the best dog foods available on today’s market and Schnauzer owners are more than aware of this fact. Since the brand prides itself on being a company which creates “biologically appropriate” nibbles for dogs worldwide, it serves the needs of your pup from an organic perspective – offering much of what your little one might want in the wild.
- Full of familiar healthy ingredients
- Loved by picky eaters
- First 3 ingredients are chicken
- Doesn't agree with some dogs
When it comes to the simplest details of this treat, even the kibble size, texture and shape are designed to work together – ensuring a better grasp and an easier chewing process.
This Royal Canin nibble formula supports your Schnauzer’s skin by offering a complex blend of nutrients and vitamins. Pet owners love this product because expert breeders and veterinarians have lovingly designed each pack of Royal Canin. Not only that, though, they love the fact that it’s perfect and healthy for your loving pet.
- Does wonders for your dog’s skin
- Gives dogs soft and shiny fur
- Helps relieve itchy skin
- Quite pricey
- Is not grain-free
If your Schnauzer struggles with food sensitivities or allergies, then you might want to stay away from grain-packed foods. Lucky for you, Wellness CORE formula is grain and gluten-free, with its three main ingredients being lean meats such as turkey, chicken and deboned turkey.
The Wellness CORE dog food features probiotics, botanicals and antioxidants. Additionally, this gluten-free food contains 36% crude protein, making the nibble a raw goodie to treat your Schnauzer with.
When it comes to calories, Wellness CORE has slightly lower calories due to the lean meats it contains. Owners love this because it’s an important aspect to consider for an adult or puppy Schnauzer who likes his or her food a little too much.
- Picky eaters love this brand
- Grain and gluten-free
- No cons
Featuring ingredients such as duck and chicken, in addition to barley, oatmeal and rice, this nutritional treat provides a remarkable amount of daily fibers needed for an adequate digestion.
Enhanced with probiotics which grant a healthy skin and coat, the dry kibble is an optimal choice for growth and maintenance – with around 416 calories per cup. With a moderate protein intake of 26%, along with crude fat accounting for 17%, Fromm allows for health-giving nutrition.
Dog owners love that Fromm is a family business that has been creating dog treats for generations in the snowy town of Wisconsin. As a result, they really know what dogs need in their diet.
- Helps dogs maintain healthy weight
- Gives dogs lots of energy
- Not as affordable as other brands
Ideal for pups and adult dogs that are hypoallergenic, this excellent source of protein offers an exceptional source of digestible carbohydrates - due to the rice and barley.
Containing single meat protein such as lamb, lamb fat and lamb gravy, this lovely dog food from James Wellbeloved shies away from artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. The vitamins and minerals can be viewed as an added bonus to this already nutritious kibble.
Considered a dietetic food, James Wellbeloved is the ideal choice for dogs suffering from ingredient and nutrient intolerances.
- Great if your dog is hypoallergenic
- Dogs love the flavor
- Relatively expensive
Featuring egg powder, the kibble in Eukanuba’s dog food is easy to digest, giving it exceptionally high biological value. Additionally, this plant-based dry dog food contains lean chicken that can help with weight problems, which is common for Schnauzers.
Schnauzer owners and dog owners in general love this brand of dog food because it contains flaxseed meal – a plant-based source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber.
- The bag is resealable for easy storage
- Keeps your dog’s weight under control
- Excellent value for money
- Some dogs don’t enjoy the taste
With over 480 kcal per cup, the Wellness Complete Natural Pet Food offers an excellent energy source for your pup. Moreover, since it contains omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA, this dry kibble is guaranteed to support both eye and brain development, as well as keep up with your dog’s required energy levels.
Owners love this brand because it consists of antioxidants, microbes which support digestion, along with a mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids - for a beautiful and shiny coat.
- The small kibble is perfect for dogs with missing teeth
- Packed with nutrient-rich ingredients
- Some dogs are not a fan of this dog food
Due to the use of premium ingredients, this balanced and healthy formula offered by Natural Balance is an ideal choice for dogs such as the Schnauzer.
Lamb is the main source of protein in this food and the combination of brown and white rice provides all the digestible carbohydrates your dog could need. Moreover, essential fatty acids work together to balance and support your pooch’s coat and skin – making it shinier, less tangled and more vibrant than ever.
Dog owners love it because - with the assortment of vitamins it contains in combination with the ingredient formula - the dry food helps achieve a healthy body weight, all while aiding with any unfortunate digestive problems that your Schnauzer might experience.
- Perfect for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs
- Gives dogs shinier coats
- Not loved by all dogs
The Merrick dog food formula contains 50% meat and desirable fats, 25% of the nibble is made of vegetables, vitamins and minerals, while the other 25% contains whole grains like brown rice, oats and barley.
This all-natural pet food uses solely high-quality ingredients and in addition, no animal by-products or artificial preservatives. As a result, it’s one of the reasons why pet owners love buying this brand of dog food for their pup.
- Small kibble makes it easy for eating
- Reasonable price
- Some dogs didn’t react very well to this formula
Nutro is a brand which is renowned for creating high-quality dog food while solely using natural ingredients. Because of the excellent blend of both protein and fat, this dry nibble can help your pup’s growth and development.
Packed with protein-rich chicken and healthy brown rice, the Nutro Ultra Small Breed Dry Puppy Food is ideal for achieving those high levels of digestible carbohydrates – perfect for allowing your Schnauzer to run around many green fields, or while chasing other dogs.
Puppy owners love this treat because of the almost-unique blend of ingredients: the 28% protein, 18% fat and 5% crude fiber work together to reach your Schnauzers’ nutritional goals for the day.
- Veterinarians approve of this formula
- Full of healthy ingredients
- A bit pricey
Choosing the Right Dog Food
Like most pet owners, you probably have an endless obsession about the type of nutrition that you provide for your dog, approaching the subject with as much passion as you would your own dietary choices. It’s all good and well to care about your dog’s nutrition, but you also need to focus particularly on those first three ingredients, as they say a lot about the nutritional composition of the rest of the ‘recipe’ as it were.
For example, when you see things like soy, corn or wheat as the main or first constituents on the ingredients list, then you’re most likely looking at a low-quality product that really won’t do much for your dog’s nutritional needs.
However, dog food with a short list of ingredients that’s topped by a solid meat source is usually a good indication of a nutrient dense food product. Natural preserves are also healthier than artificial ones and feeding your dog high quality protein is essential in helping them maintain a good diet.
It’s also important to pay attention to the amount of energy in the food, as high energy dogs will require high performance food to maintain their energy levels. This is because, as we all know, they run around and play all day.
You’ll also want to consider the types and amounts of fillers to be found in the food. Things like artificial preservatives and colors, BHT, cereal fillers like wheat, corn and soy as well as artificial colors, can all be detrimental to your dog’s health. In addition, these will definitely affect their quality of life in the long run.
Kibble vs Meat vs Raw Food
Based on their dog’s preferences and needs, dog owners will either feed their dogs dry kibble, meat or raw foods. For example, some dogs thrive on a light diet of dry kibble and some treats, while others need to have a combination of dry and wet foods like meat in order to get the most out of their nutrition.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach then check out our list of top foods
Know What’s On the Label
According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), if a brand claims that their food contains only one ingredient, then that ingredient should make up at least 95% of the whole product.
On the other hand, adding phrases like ‘entrée,’ dinner or platter, usually means that the main ingredient only makes up 25% of that food. Furthermore, if the product only mentions the use of certain flavors, then those flavors will probably make up a very miniscule amount of the overall food and only enough to be noticeable in taste.
Read the Ingredients
What most people don’t realize is that ingredients are actually listed according to their weight. Hence, you’ll find meat protein at the top due to their high moisture content which makes it heavier in weight. Regardless of their nutritional superiority to the beef, for example, the other ingredients will be written below the meat protein because they weigh less.
Know Your By-products
A lot of dog food manufacturers use animal by-products like the organs that are discarded by animal meat eaters. This does not include things like hooves, hair and horns, so be sure to purchase from a brand whose integrity and reputation can be trusted.
Study the Brand
Most brands don’t really include their manufacturing and quality control methods on their labeling because that kind of information is not really required on the label. However, you are always able to visit their website or call their customer support department to inquire about the ingredients they use. Not only that, you are able to ask them the type of quality control and manufacturing measures they take as well as their effect on the overall product.
The food labeling also contains a statement known as the nutritional adequacy statement. This accurately articulates the nutritional content and competence of the food as well as the age group that its suitable for. This is so that you don’t go giving your puppy dog food that’s meant for adult dogs, as that might cause them health problems down the line.
Grains and Gluten
Certain pet food products overcompensate with the use of gluten-laden grains and by-products. Although these ingredients provide carbohydrates that are converted into energy, they can also lead to allergic reactions in some dogs. Although rare, gluten intolerance and allergies to grains do sometimes happen in dogs, hence, the availability of gluten and grain-free alternatives.
Consult your Vet
It’s always a good idea to inquire from your vet when it comes to matters that pertain to your pet, even diet and nutrition. After performing an evaluation of your dog’s physical condition, your vet should be able to make an accurate recommendation of the type of food needed by your pet.
A Schnauzer’s Diet
Dogs are highly carnivorous by nature, so it only makes sense that you feed your Schnauzer a diet high in meat protein. However, make sure you support it with other nutrients like carbohydrates, to ensure a balanced diet.
The best form of protein that can be given to your Schnauzer includes fresh and natural meats, fish and poultry to help them grow stronger and bigger while they’re young and to help them maintain lean muscle mass when they’re older.
As a rule, your dog food should be made out of at least 18% of fresh protein to fulfil the nutritional needs of an adult dog, while 25% protein content is enough to suffice for a growing puppy’s needs.
Next to protein, fat is another important component of your dog’s diet because it’s probably the most reliable form of concentrated protein for your dogs. In addition, fat helps to support their fast metabolism. Plus, it contains valuable nutrients like essential fatty acids and Omegas 3 and 6, which are vital to keeping your dog’s skin healthy and shiny.
To guarantee the fat’s bioavailability to your dog’s system, be sure to feed them only fat that comes from meat sources. The food label should name the type of fat contained in the food. Some of the healthiest fat options to consider are salmon oil and chicken fat. If the label only writes ‘fat’ without specifying the natural origin of that fat, it is an indication of the use of fats that come from inferior sources like fish or poultry fat.
Another essential nutrient to your dog’s diet are carbohydrates, which offer key vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber to help the digestion process along, while keeping their energy levels up. However, the best type of carbohydrate for your dog is the highly digestible kind, which comes in the form of whole grains like oatmeal, pearled barley and brown rice.
Should you wish to keep your dog on a gluten and grain-free diet, sweet potatoes, potatoes, legumes and beans are another viable option. Regardless of the type of carbs you feed your Schnauzer, it’s vital that carbs only make up a very small part of your dog’s diet; no more than 5%, as any more than that could cause serious health problems for them.
The rest of your dog food is usually made up of additives and synthetic supplements to fully balance your dog’s nutrition, although it’s probably best to provide these nutrients to them in their natural form as fruits and vegetables.
A more convenient option that combines the best of both worlds is chelated minerals, which are minerals that have undergone a process of chemical binding with protein molecules. This makes them easily digestible to your dog. Fermented products that have been dried are a great source of probiotics to keep your Schnauzer regular, while artificial additives, soy, wheat and corn are definite no-nos.
What To Avoid
You’ll do well to steer clear from these foods when feeding your Schnauzer:
Onions, chives and garlic can slowly damage your dog’s red blood cells
Walnuts can literally poison your dog, especially when they’re moldy, as this causes extreme lethargy, drooling, trembling, vomiting and even lack of coordination and jaundice
Macadamia nuts can lead to muscle tremors and vomiting spells
Spoiled or moldy foods are also dangerous because they lead to tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes even death
Caffeine in the form of coffee or tea can lead to symptoms like seizures and death, due to its effect on the nervous system and the heart
Apple cores and stems are a choking hazard
Fruit pits (in peaches, plums etc.) are a cyanide risk to dogs and ingesting them always leads to death for dogs
Mushrooms can also be toxic and fatal to your dog
The green part in potatoes and tomatoes as well as potato peels will negatively affect a number of your dog’s systems, affecting the nervous, urinary and digestive functions
Alcohol should never be made available to your dog because ingesting it will immediately lead to vomiting, tremors, intoxication and in some cases a coma or even death
Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure
Xylitol can lead to kidney failure and death
Nutmeg is fatal and manifests in symptoms like tremors and seizures
Citrus fruits can upset the tummy and damage the digestive system
Rhubarb can seriously upset your dog’s tummy, as well as their nervous system and urinary capability
Yeast dough can lead to serious digestive issues
Avocados and fatty foods can lead to fatal pancreatic disorder
Chewing gum is a choking hazard and contains too many toxic additives
Bones can splinter and get stuck in your dog’s esophagus, or stab their intestines or windpipe. To satisfy your dog’s love or desire for bones, opt for a safer alternative like bone-shaped doggy biscuits.
On average, Schnauzers can easily thrive on 1 to 2 cups of first-grade dog food with a good balance of real ingredients and nutrients. However, some dogs may require more or less of this amount. It all depends on their individual needs and factors like their weight, height, activity levels, age and metabolism. Suffice to say, sedentary dogs usually eat less than energetic dogs that lead active lifestyles.
Moreover, the quality of the food will also determine the dosage, as better quality foods can easily nourish and satisfy your dog in smaller quantities than a nutrient deficient meal. So be sure to feed your Schnauzer nutrient dense food with the right balance of ingredients that they need to thrive and stay healthy.
Another tip would be to portion out the dog food to avoid overeating. It’s important to measure the food you put into your dog’s bowl to ensure that it’s enough for one meal, instead of leaving food on the bowl all the time. This is because it might confuse your dog and cause them to eat their way to obesity - a challenge that a lot of dogs face.
On the other hand, age is a major determining factor of how much you have to feed your dog, as smaller puppies require more frequent meals than large adult dogs.
For example, you are able to easily feed puppies 4 bowl servings of food per day while they’re under 12 weeks, while dogs between 3 to 6 months require only 3 meals a day. A puppy of 6 to 12 months will do well with 2 meals a day, while a dog that’s over one year can survive and thrive with just one meal a day.
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Taking care of your Schnauzer takes more than just playing catch or petting and grooming them after work. It involves taking an interest in their entire lifestyle, including diet, to ensure that they’re able to maintain a healthy immune system, high energy levels and a shiny beautiful coat.