If you're seeking the best chow for your chow chow, there are certain foods thought to be ideal for this breed. Like with all dogs, these intelligent, noble balls of fluff thrive on human companionship and a good diet, and chow parents can help by offering breed-specific goodies.
The Chow Belly
The chow chow is reported to have a sensitive digestive system, and his diet should be tailored accordingly. Feeding smaller, more frequent meals is one way to keep his tummy in check. For example, feeding four smaller meals throughout the day is preferable to offering two larger meals. It is also recommended that chows eat highly digestible, fresh foods rather than highly processed foods. Of course, this can be said for the rest of us, too.
Feeding According to Breed
A native of China, chows were--gasp--raised for meat. They were fed many foods other 'livestock' were fed, including rice, soy, and some fish. Modern-day chows, who generally live a much more deserving life, can eat some of these foods as well.
As with all dogs, their ancestors ate certain foods specific to their corners of the globe. The trick is to balance the use of those foods with others that we modern-day humans know are beneficial.
Chow Foods Today
Chows may have eaten less protein in their China days, but it's usually considered the centerpiece of the dog diet. It's generally recommended that a healthy dog diet contain at least 50 percent protein from recognizable sources like fish, poultry, and other animal proteins. Offer your chow vegetables and fruits in small amounts, and see how he does. Rice was fed back in the day, so you can also offer rice in small amounts--although it might give him nightmares.
Adding New Foods Slowly
Introduce new foods slowly. This allows your pup to adjust, and gives you an opportunity to watch for negative reactions. If you're transitioning to a new diet of chow-specific foods, add about 25 percent new food per week. If you're just looking to add new foods to his existing food, remove an equal amount of current food as you add the new, to avoid excess calorie intake. This way, you won't have those chow meat farmers eyeing his rotund body.
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.