Upon getting my dog, I have LOVED researching all things dog-related. Accessories, dog bowls, best canned wet food brands, you name it and I probably have done extensive research on the matter. You could call me Pommy obsessed, but I am just owning it at this point! Researching online can be a lot to navigate at first, with the loads of options available to you. It can definitely be tricky to decipher which foods are actually the best for your dog.
Take the size of your dog into consideration!
Because of their small size, Pomeranians need kibble that is small enough for them to easily chew without posting as a choking hazard. As with all dogs, Pomeranians should only be fed high-quality foods with little additives, preservatives, or synthetic ingredients. Same as humans, you should be feeding your dog kibble with ingredients that you can understand and pronounce. The food you buy should have protein, such as salmon, chicken, or beef, as the main ingredient. It should also contain carbohydrates (yams, oats, barley, etc.), healthy fats (flaxseed oil, peanut butter), and other omega 3 and 6 vitamins and minerals in the first five ingredients. This will make for a well-balanced diet that ensures your dog is getting the best ratio of macronutrients and micronutrients for optimal health.
The reality behind “grain-free” diets.
The buzz about “grain-free” being the best option for dogs needs to be clarified. The grain-free diet for dogs is a fad diet, just as the Paleo or Keto diet is for humans. There was a recall back in 2007 for dog food from China that contained a contaminated grain, making the dogs who ate it very sick. However, this is untrue for most dog foods on the market, and it is important as dog owners that we understand the influence that fad diets and rumors have over marketing strategies. Most fad diets extremely restrict food groups, which is one indicator to tell you that the kibble or diet you are researching is not recognizing your dog’s needs. Dog food companies have one purpose in mind, and that is selling their product! You, as the customer, have the power and responsibility to do your research and spot a fad diet when you see one. Many marketing strategies will use words such as “Real Nutrition” or “Natural Ingredients” to draw a consumer in. The “Ingredients” label will be the place to truly find out what is in the kibble and if it will meet your dog’s nutritional needs.
It is important to note that as in most gluten/grain-free options, the grain is replaced with an ingredient that is synthetic and likely more harmful for your dog than the grain itself. Essentially, Pomeranians and all dogs need carbohydrates for energy, just like people. Also, as in a human’s diet, grain in the dog food should not be the primary source of all the carbs in your pet’s diet. If you are aware that your pup has a grain allergy (less than 1% of dogs do), research safe alternatives to alleviate allergy symptoms. Don’t be scared to talk to your vet for their recommendations.
Pomeranians have a reputation for being picky eaters. If this is the case for your dog, there are a few tricks you can try to make the meal more appetizing to them. You can buy canned food, which adds nutrients and calories to your dog’s diet, makes the food more yummy, and softens the kibble. Try putting a few tablespoons mixed into the dry food to supplement! Be sure that you select a brand that has high protein and no fillers or additives that can be unhealthy for your Pom. Many of our foster dogs love Paw Lickin’ Chicken. Another option is to cook fresh, white meat chicken with no seasoning and adding a few shredded bits on top for flavor and palatability. I do this with my dog who won’t eat kibble on its own, and mixing chicken in works every time!
If all else fails and your dog will not eat without you feeding them, then put them on an eating schedule. I feed my dogs once in the morning and once in the evening, and this has seemed to help with their potty training schedule as well. If you find that the problem is with your dog not eating when it is time to eat, read more about this in the blog post titled “Why You Shouldn't Free-Feed Your Dog”!