A Feeding Guide For Weimaraners

Weimaraners boast a pretty illustrious ancestry having been one of the favourite hunting dogs with European royals. Native to Germany, it would be hard not to notice one of these handsome dogs with their striking grey coats and beautiful eyes. Today, the breed is popular with many people all thanks to their kind, loyal and courageous natures.

If you are thinking about sharing your home either with a puppy or an older rescue dog, it's important to read up on the breed and the various health issues they are predisposed to suffer from so if any symptoms do manifest themselves, you would recognise something is wrong with your dog and as such get them along to the vet sooner rather than later. Weimaraners are prone to suffer from quite a few digesting disorders and this includes a condition called bloat which is why it's essential they be fed correctly and this means giving them a good quality diet that suits their ages.

These days, there's a massive choice of commercially produced dog food on the market and each brand claims to be the best. However, although the better known brands do provide all the nutrients, vitamins and essential things a Weimaraner needs to stay healthy, many owners choose to take a holistic approach when it comes to feeding their dogs with raw food diets becoming more and more popular. However, getting the ratios right can be challenging and if it is not done correctly, you may find your dog's diet lacks certain essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Any imbalance in their diet results in deficiencies which can seriously impact a dog's overall health and well-being.

Getting a Weimaraner puppy's diet right is important because it helps form strong building blocks for their future health. With this said, each dog is different which you have to keep in mind so although one Weimaraner may not suffer any digestive disorders or allergies when fed one type of food, another dog might have a reaction to it. As such, it’s important to gauge each dog differently and adjust their diet accordingly. Puppies should be fed three times a day, however, you should never feed them right after they've been playing hard. Once fed, puppies need to be kept quiet and calm too to avoid any digestive issues.

When it comes to feeding an adult Weimaraner they need to be fed twice a day and never before or after any sort of strenuous exercise or you may find they develop bloat. If you find your Weimaraner has a tendency to gulp down their food, you need to invest in a specially designed food bowl that slows them down or you could put a large round ball in their bowl which they have to eat around to get at their food which slows them down too. As a rule of thumb if you feed them a good quality commercially produced dry food, you have to make sure the ratios are as follows:

  • 12% fat
  • 22% protein

Nutritionists often recommend the protein levels be slightly higher and ideally this needs to be around 25%, but the only way of achieving this would be to add barley, wheat or corn to a Weimaraner's food. The problem is that Weimaraners often react to all three of these ingredients which upset their delicate digestive systems and trigger allergies. In short, it's best to avoid feeding wheat, barley or corn to your dog which as a result makes it challenging to get protein levels right simply because of the breed's predisposition to allergies associated with grain.

If you have to change your Weimaraner's diet for any reason, whether it's because they've had an allergic reaction or suffered a digestive disorder, you need to go about it very carefully. The best way to do this is to mix their old food with the new, but only very gradually. Nutritionists advise adding a little pumpkin to their food as you mix the new with the old which has been known to help reduce the risk of your dog suffering an upset stomach.

How Much You Should Feed

Mature Weimaraners need to be fed differently from younger dogs, but there are other things that need to be factored in when working out just how much to feed them. This includes the amount of daily exercise they are given, the time of the year will also have a bearing on how much you would need to feed your pet. At 8 weeks old, Weimaraner puppies need to be fed 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup three times a day making sure it is good quality puppy food, but the amount would need to be increased quite quickly as they grow. When puppies are around a year old, most owners start feeding them twice daily instead of three times a day, although other people change their pet’s feeding routine a lot earlier.

An adult dog would typically need to be fed 2 to 3 cups of good quality food twice a day, but again you would have to gauge the amount on how your dog looks, the amount of exercise they get on a daily basis and their age.

What About Raw Food Diets?

Weimaraners that suffer from food allergies are often fed raw food diets and their skin conditions usually clear up quite quickly. However, as previously mentioned it can be challenging to get the ratios right and it can also prove time consuming to prepare the food too. As such, feeding a freeze-dried natural food diet can prove a very good alternative with the bonus being the shelf-life of this type of commercially produced dog food is that much longer too.

Conclusion

Weimaraners are gorgeous looking dogs and for centuries they've been pleasing their owners whether as working dogs or companions. As with many pure breeds, they tend to suffer from quite a few inherited disorders which are worth knowing about and in particular the fact they often suffer from allergies and digestive disorders. In short, it's really important to keep an eye on a Weimaraner's diet and to make sure you only feed good quality commercially produced food or a well-chosen raw food diet all the while making sure it suits your dog’s age.


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