Caucasian shepherd dogs have an ancient history of their origin, and our ancestors strove to breed unpretentious dogs, first of all, therefore powerful wolfhounds have an excellent appetite, and in their food preferences, they are picky.
But, like other breeds, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs cannot be fed with anything at all, they need a full, balanced diet, without “snacks” harmful to their health. Excessive nutrition will lead to obesity, and such delicious, according to the owners, foods such as lard, smoked meats, bones, and fried meat will turn a stately and powerful dog into a sedentary, sickly animal with dull hair.
How to Feed a Caucasian Shepherd
The amount of food and the number of feedings should be appropriate for the age of the dog. Puppies aged 8 to 12 weeks need to be fed 4 times a day, from 3 to 6 months – 3 times a day, from 6 months to 1 year – 2 times a day. It is enough to feed dogs older than a year once a day, but some dog breeders divide the daily amount of food in half.
It is important not to overfeed dogs, especially as a puppy. Caucasian Shepherd Dogs mature slowly, up to 3-5 years. Therefore, a rapid leap in the development of muscles and skeleton leads to health problems, in particular with the musculoskeletal system. It is important that during the growth and maturation of puppies, foods contain a small percentage of fat and protein.
The amount of food depends on the size and level of activity of the dog, the composition of the food. With natural feeding, 35-45 grams of food per 1 kg of animal weight is enough, for example, a dog weighing 45 kg needs about 1.5 kg of food per day. As for dry food, you need to be guided by the values indicated on the packaging in the line for the feed rate for large and giant breeds. Sometimes it is required to increase the rate by 15-20%. Usually, 15 grams per 1 kg of animal weight is sufficient.
It should be remembered that in summer, pets, especially on hot days, may have a lack of appetite. This is normal, so worrying and trying to force-feed your dog doesn’t make sense, especially when offering harmful treats. In winter, the calorie content of food must be increased if the animal lives on the street.
Diet for an Adult Dog
The basis of the diet, as a natural-born predator, is meat and offal. Raw horse and beef are optimal. The dog should get at least 600 grams of meat per day. The diet may contain by-products that are less nutritious than meat but contain more useful elements, in particular the unpeeled tripe, which is given raw. The heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs must be thoroughly boiled in order to avoid infection with worms. It is acceptable to give sometimes raw beef bones. In a mixture with other products, meat and bone meal should be given in an amount of 100 grams per day.
You can give chicken, but if the dog is not allergic. But chicken bones, however, like rabbit bones, should not be present in the diet of a Caucasian shepherd dog.
Fish should be included in the diet of your pet as a source of phosphorus on a regular basis. Cheap species of river and marine life, such as pollock, sprat, and hake, are harmful to health with constant feeding of the pet. You can only give fish cooked.
You can feed the Caucasian Shepherd Dogs throughout their life with rice and buckwheat. Porridge is boiled in water for an hour, it is permissible to cook in meat broth in winter to increase the calorie content of food.
Cabbage, carrots, pumpkin, zucchini are useful for both people and animals, and greens are added to all types of feed. However, greens do not play a significant role, since you cannot give them in large quantities, and a pinch will not be useful. Vegetables should be given raw, boiled potatoes should be avoided when feeding the Caucasian Shepherd Dog, since they are not digested and, therefore, there is no benefit from it, except for satiety. Fruit can be used as a treat or supplement to the main feed, but exotic fruits are best avoided to avoid allergic reactions.
The organism of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog digests low-fat fermented baked milk, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, these products can be given fearlessly. But milk cannot be given, since the dog’s body eventually loses its ability to digest it.
Chicken eggs, boiled or raw, can be given in limited quantities – no more than 5 pieces per week.
Feeding a Caucasian Shepherd Puppy
For the first week, after purchasing a puppy, he needs to be fed with the same food that he received from the breeder. Then a variety is gradually introduced into the baby’s diet.
Morning feeding of the puppy includes cottage cheese, for lunch meat food is given – scraped meat or raw meat thinly cut into small pieces, namely beef. It is permissible to divide the daily volume of meat into several parts and give in a small amount at each feeding. In the evening, it is advisable to give the puppy vegetables with a very small amount of low-fat kefir or with a few drops of vegetable oil. Puppies who have not reached two months of age need to receive 250 grams of meat per day, after two months – 400 grams, and by the year a grown-up baby should receive at least 600 grams per day. From 4 months you can give lamb, and from 6 months – boiled offal, such as liver, heart, kidneys.
The diet of a Caucasian Shepherd puppy should contain boiled white sea fish, rice or buckwheat, eggs, fruits, vegetables. New products should be introduced into the diet gradually, observing the reaction of the body.
With a natural type of nutrition, up to a year old, the puppy needs supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin, calcium, vitamin C. When feeding with dry food, additional additives are not needed, since the food is already balanced.
Feeding Caucasian Shepherd Dogs with Dry Food
Commercial food is more convenient because the owner does not need to spend time preparing food and making a balanced diet. However, it is important to choose the right food for your dog’s size, age, and activity level. When choosing food for Caucasian Shepherd puppies, you should avoid those containing corn, wheat, which are the main ingredients, as well as soybeans, preservatives, flavor enhancers. The best option for the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is dry food with a percentage of protein in the range of 23-26%, fat from 12% to 16%.