Feeding Bully Breeds

Keep your bully dog in top-notch shape with these expert tips on grooming and nutrition.

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At the opposite end of the spectrum are the couch potatoes. These dogs guard the house from their favorite comfy chair, keeping one eye lazily open in case immediate action is called for. Because bully breeds in general tend to be fairly active, this second group consists primarily of senior bully dogs. One of the formulas that is lower in protein and fat is good for this less active companion. Those particularly inclined to become overweight might benefit from a senior diet specifically formulated for weight control, although dogs should not be switched automatically to a senior diet based on age. Age in dogs can often be relative, and your bully could be 8 years oldor 8 years young! Because senior formulas frequently run particularly low in protein and fat, it is best to check with your veterinarian before switching to this type of food.

Most bully breeds fall somewhere in between these two groups. For these, a full day might include a couple of games of fetch, a good brisk walk, a few turns around the inside of the fence and a car ride while joining its owner in running errands. This fortunate dog has an average activity level: active but not to an extreme. A mid-range formula would be suitable for this companion dog. If your bullys activity level is seasonal thanks to an owner who loves to swim but hates to ski (or vice versa), changing to a performance diet during active times is fine. Its easiest to stay with the same brand and type of food to avoid digestive upsets.

Canned food is an alternative to dry, but because of its high moisture content, it can become cost prohibitive. A large dog will need quite a lot of canned food to sustain its nutritional needs. Nevertheless, for dogs that just don't seem to do well on dry diets, it is a viable option. These wet foods will have lower protein to fat percentages due to their less concentrated form. Adding ten percent to the ratio listed on a canned product will give you a rough comparison to kibble. Frozen dog food, if available in your area, is another possibility.

All dogs are different, and what one dog thrives on, another may not, so experimentation is usually necessary to find just the right diet for your bully breed. Be sure to introduce new foods gradually because sudden changes can disrupt digestion and bowel health.

The Natural Diet Option
In The Natural Dog (Plume, 1994) written by Mary L. Brennan, D.V.M., the author states, theres only one way to be absolutely sure that your dog is getting the best: Make it yourself. Homemade diets using raw muscle meat, organ meat, minced vegetables and other natural ingredients have gained tremendous popularity in recent years. Why? In the wild, raw meat was the standard fare for canines before we domesticated them, so it is closest to their natural diet, points out Dr. Brennan. The feral (wild) diet also included the organ meats, stomach contents and other parts of a prey animal. This explains why many natural diet proponents believe it is important to supply a variety of raw foods to ensure nutritional completeness.

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janet   bethlehem, PA

2/14/2012 4:31:26 AM

god article, thank you

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