Nutrition differences for Small Dogs

As we know, dogs come in all shapes and sizes. The difference between a small chihuahua and a great dane is about 60 times. That would be like sitting next to another person who is 600 centimeters tall!

There are more similarities to dog nutrition than there are differences. For the most part, dogs of all sizes need the same amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, for example. But as you might imagine, with a size difference that large, there will be differences that you need to account for. For this post, I’ll be focusing on small dogs.

Small dog metabolism

The main point to realize is that small dogs have very high metabolism. This means that they can use the energy in their food very quickly. On top of that, they have small stomachs to go with their small frames. So they are not able to eat as much as other dogs of larger sizes.

This means that a small dog’s diet has to be more nutrient-dense than that of a larger dog. If you are making food for a small dog, be sure to keep this in mind. A good supplement to think about is Spirulina, which has a lot of nutrition in a very small package.

Small dog heath issues

Studies show that small dogs die more often from endocrine diseases [1]. These are diseases that affect the level of hormones in the body. A lot of common diseases are endocrine diseases– diabetes, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease to name a few. Perhaps this is because it is more difficult for small dogs to regulate hormones, given their small size and metabolism. In any case, if you have a small dog, consider herbs that help regulate hormones and blood pressure like ashwaganda, burdock, ginger, and dandelion root.

[1] Fleming, J.M., Creevy, K.E. and Promislow, D.E.L. (2011), Mortality in North American Dogs from 1984 to 2004: An Investigation into Age-, Size-, and Breed-Related Causes of Death. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 25: 187–198. doi:10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.0695.x

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