How to Choose All Natural Pet Food for Pomeranians
The best way to ensure that your Pomeranian eats an all-natural diet is to make it homemade meals. When making homemade meals, make sure the meals are balanced with proteins, fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals. If you do not have the time to make homemade meals, then purchase dog food that is made with wholesome meats, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid dog food that contains by-products, chemicals and preservatives, and artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.
Making Homemade Meals
1. Choose a high-value protein.
When making homemade meals for your Pomeranian, 40 to 50 percent of your dog's diet should be high-value proteins. When choosing proteins, try to choose lean meats, i.e., no more than 10% fat. Some ideal protein choices are poultry (ideally dark meat), beef, and organs, such as the liver and heart. Also, fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines, is a great source of protein.
- Eggs are a great addition to your dog's diet, as well. Because Pomeranians are small, only feed it half an egg three times a week.
2. Add fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are essential for a balanced diet and should make up 30% of your Pomeranian's meal. Choose non-starchy vegetables, like spinach, green peas, carrots, broccoli (but in small amounts), cucumbers, and celery.
- Fruits, such as bananas, apples, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, raspberries, mango, papaya, watermelon, pineapple, and peaches, are a great addition to your Pomeranian's diet, as well.
3. Use healthy carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates, including starchy vegetables, are an essential part of a healthy diet, but should only make up 20% of your Pomeranian's diet. Including starchy veggies, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squashes, like pumpkin, in your Pomeranian's diet is a great way to meet its daily intake of carbohydrates.
- Grains, such as oatmeal, brown or white rice, barley, pasta, and quinoa, are good choices for healthy carbohydrates.
4. Mix in vitamin and mineral supplements.
Make sure to add vitamin and mineral supplements to your Pomeranian's homemade meals. These supplements ensure that your dog is getting its daily vitamin intake. All homemade meals must be supplemented with calcium, oils, such as fish oil, cod liver oil, or plant oil, and vitamins, such as E,D, and A.
- Give 800 to 1,000 mg of calcium per pound of food.
- Fish oil helps regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Give 300 mg EPA and DHA per 20 to 30 pounds of body weight on days when you do not feed your dog fish.
- If you do not feed your Pomeranian much poultry fat, i.e., dark meat, then you should supplement its diet with a plant oil, such as a walnut, hempseed, or vegetable oil. Add one teaspoon of oil for every pound of meat.
5. Cook ingredients thoroughly.
Heat olive oil or coconut oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add in a cubed or ground meat, and cook until browned, i.e., three to five minutes. Then, stir in your desired vegetables and cook thoroughly. Mix in any cooked carbohydrates until heated through.
- Make sure to cook vegetables thoroughly.
- Cut the meat into nickel-sized cubes.
Finding the Best Dry Food
1. Analyze the first three ingredients.
When purchasing dry food, the first two to three ingredients should be animal proteins. Meat contains a lot of water. Therefore, the first two ingredients listed need to be proteins to ensure that your dog gets its daily intake. The proteins should be either whole, fresh meats, or meat meal.
- For example, the first two ingredients on the list should be “chicken meal,” “beef meal,” or “lamb meal.” Not “poultry meal” or “meat meal.” Unspecified meats on the ingredient list signify low-quality meat.
2. Choose a brand with whole, unprocessed foods.
Choose a dog food that contains whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables, fruits, and other food products. Unprocessed foods are more likely to have their vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants intact as opposed to processed foods.
- Some examples of great all-natural brands are Champion Petfoods' Orijen, Diamond's Taste of the Wild, Merrick, Artemis, Bench and Field, Natura's California Natural, and Wellpet's Wellness. You can find these at specialty pet stores, as well as regular pet stores.
- In general, try to avoid big name, commercial brands such as Beneful, Iams, Pedigree, Purina, and the like.
3. Be aware of “natural” brands.
Similar to human products that claim to be “natural,” dog foods that claim to be “natural” can still contain unnatural ingredients and products. These are ingredients like animal by-products, chemicals, preservatives, and artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.
- Make sure to always check the ingredient list before buying your dog food.
- Avoid brands that list "meat" as their main ingredient. It should be as specific as possible, for example, "lamb meal."
4. Ask other Pomeranian owners.
Another great way to find out how to provide your Pomeranian with a quality diet is to ask other owners for suggestions. Find out what kind of dry (or wet) dog food Pomeranian owners feed their dogs, and why. It is worth asking why because there is a degree of variability in every Pomeranian's diet. Therefore, what works for their Pomeranian might not work for yours.
- You can ask, "What kind of food do you feed your dog, and why?" "Do you ever cook homemade meals for your dog?" "Which brand of dog food do you use, and why?" or, "Which brand did not work well, and why?"
Avoiding Brands with Unnatural Ingredients
1. Avoid brands that contain meat by-products.
By-products, as well as meat and bone meal, come from the rendering process. They can contain animal remains, fats, grease, and other food waste from restaurants and stores.
- Dog food that contains by-products, i.e., feed-grade ingredients, can also contain toxins, such as mold-produced mycotoxins and pentobarbital, an anesthetic used to euthanize animals.
2. Stay away from brands that contain chemicals and preservatives.
Commercial dog food often contains harmful chemical and preservatives. Stay away from products that contain BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, and propylene glycol (PG).
- Instead, opt for foods with natural preservatives, such as Vitamin C or E.
3. Choose a brand that is free of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.
Artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners are ingredients that can cause diseases and illnesses in dogs. Food that contains artificial coloring, for example, Blue 2, Red 40, and Yellow 5 and 6, should be avoided. Additionally, all the flavoring in your dog's food should come from healthy meat and fats, and not artificial flavors.
- Avoid food with sweeteners, such as sucrose, Xylitol, ammoniated glycyrrhizin, and corn syrup, as well.
4. Consult your vet.
Veterinarians are knowledgable about the brands that offer the best ingredients, and where to find these brands. They can also list specific brands to avoid. Therefore, your veterinarian will be able to recommend brands, as well as a diet regimen, that caters specifically to your Pomeranian's needs.
- Schedule a trip to your vet's office. Bring a pen and paper so you can write down your veterinarian's recommendations.