Your Weimaraner needs a diet tailored to the typical needs of his breed as well as individual needs related to his condition, age, weight and other factors. Balancing calorie intake while providing ideal levels of protein and other nutrients can make for a strong, healthy Weimaraner.
Balancing Quality and Calories
Amy Fast of Foxfire Weimaraners in Colorado focuses on balancing two key needs: adequate protein requirement and appropriate calorie intake. She feeds her Weimaraners quality adult dog food, even as pups, to prevent them from growing too quickly and to harness their caloric intake. She notes that gluten intolerance is rare in the breed. In special cases, though, she feeds her Weimaraners additional ingredients such as boiled rice, ground sirloin or chicken.
All dogs need meat, and Weimaraners are no exception. Their diets should contain 50 to 80 percent quality meats, with the rest produce, oils and starches such as potatoes, oatmeal or rice.
Small, Frequent Meals
Quantity is as important as quality when it comes to Weimaraner diet. They are at high risk of a condition called bloat, where the stomach twists so severely that it cuts off blood flow. This can happen suddenly and is a potentially fatal medical emergency. Symptoms include pacing, panting, restlessness, drooling and attempting to vomit. Although bloat can happen regardless of diet, feeding smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, rather that one or two large meals, can reduce the likelihood of bloat.
Some Weimaraner health problems can be partially addressed through diet. These include hip dysplasia, a painful hip condition. Watching calorie intake, as Fast suggests, keeps weight in check and reduces hip stress. With hip dysplasia often comes arthritis, in which case anti-inflammatory foods can help. Weimaraners are also susceptible to mast cell tumors, which cause the body to release histamine. Avoiding histamine-releasing foods like dairy, tomatoes, spinach, mackerel and foods with benzoates, BHT or BHA is recommended.
- Embrace Pet Insurance: Health Issues Common to Weimaraners
- Vet Street: What You Need to Know About Weimaraner Health
- Dog Cancer Blog: Diet for Dogs With Mast Cell Tumors
- Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets; Donald R. Strombeck
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.