Like all dogs, poodles need good nutrition to optimize health. With a little planning, you can develop a sound nutrition plan for your poodle pal. If you're lucky, your intelligent, sophisticated poodle will deem his new diet worthy of a second sniff.
Regional Origin and Diet
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The poodle reputedly originated in Germany, where the breed was known as the Pudelhund, which translates to "puddle dog." Poodles often worked on water-based hunting and herding. Later the dogs were brought to France, herding and hunting there too.
As water-oriented hunting dogs, the ancestors of poodles ate a variety of fish, along with poultry retrieved while hunting near water. Fortunately for modern-day poodles, these foods are still widely available, and you can be the surrogate hunter.
Good Nutrition Profile
A nutritionally sound diet for your poodle includes a variety of ingredients. That can include historically significant staples such as fish and poultry, along with other meats. Alongside those protein items, your poodle should get some vegetables, healthy fats and oils, some carbs such as starchy vegetables, fruits, and even some grains such as rice or oatmeal. Creating the right ratios of each food will help your poodle live to his fullest.
Protein, Fat and Carb Ratios
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Generally, a good nutritional profile for a healthy dog consists of approximately 50 percent to 60 percent protein, 20 percent carbs and 20 percent fats.
Depending on your poodle's weight, exercise habits and general health, you'll need to calculate how many of his total calories should come from protein, carbs and fat. Then you can do the math to create a nutritionally sound diet.
If you're feeding commercial food, make sure the ingredients match your poodle's needs.
How to Incorporate New Foods
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Let's face it, poodles are sensitive. Any change in their diets should be gradual. This allows your dog to adjust, and gives you an opportunity to monitor him. If he has any adverse reactions or intestinal discomfort, back off and add items more gradually.
A general guideline is to add new foods at a rate of 10 percent to 25 percent each week. This allows you to work up to the good nutritional plan you and your poodle have always talked about.
- The Poodle Puddle: Diet and Nutrition
- DogTime: Poodle Information, Pictures, Characteristics and Facts
- Poodle History Project
- Cusick, William D.; Canine Nutrition
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.