The Miniature Pinscher Aficionado's
A-Z Manual to a Wonderful Companion(TM)

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The Big Decision: What to Feed Your Miniature Pinscher?

If you have the time and energy, a homemade diet is the best option for your Min Pin.  Raw, organic and natural foods provide the vitamins and nutrients needed to keep him in optimum health.  However, this type of diet is very time consuming to prepare.  If you can’t even find the time to prepare healthy, natural foods for yourself, you might wonder how on earth you’re supposed to do it for your dog!


Luckily there are many different commercial pet food options that will give your Min Pin the nourishment he needs to perform at his best.  But how do you know which one to choose?  Follow these guidelines to find the best food possible for your Min Pin:


1.      Read the labels carefully!  This is the most important step and you need to know what you are looking for (and trying to avoid):


  • Ingredients are listed in the order of their weight, including water content.  The first ingredients on the list make up the largest part of the food.
  • “Digests” are materials that have been treated in some way to make them create concentrated flavors.  For example, “Beef Flavored” dog food might not even contain beef, but beef digest or beef by-products made to taste like real beef.
  • Never buy a food listing “by-product meal” as an ingredient.  These ingredients are not controlled by the USDA and can include sterilized cancerous tumors, brain matter, lung tissue, intestines, eyes, tongues and beaks.  Disgusting!  
  • Choose a brand promoted as being “natural”, but remember that not all natural foods are necessarily healthy.  This should be a factor in your choice; just don’t blindly trust the manufacturer who claims their food is natural.  Keep reading the label.
  • Look for brands that use Vitamins C or E to preserve their foods instead of unhealthy chemicals.
  • Stay away from generic or store brands.  They often contain repackaged rejects from better manufacturers.  Even if they don’t, the ingredients are of a poorer quality.
  • Avoid “light”, “special formula”, or “senior” mixes.  They could contain excessive fiber, inadequate fats and acidifying agents that could harm your Min Pin’s coat and skin.
  • Avoid “fad” ingredients.  Food manufacturers use gimmicks to try to sell their product; don’t fall for it.  Keep searching for high quality, natural ingredients, not some new chemical flavor additive that dogs supposedly go crazy for.
  • Ethoxyquin is a chemical additive used as an anti-oxidant to preserve fat in dog food.  Unfortunately, it’s also used as a pesticide and insecticide.  Would you want to eat that?  Consumer concerns over this product have even lead to its investigation; should it be allowed in your dog’s food?
  • Although some preservatives should be avoided, such as the one mentioned above, commercial dog foods must have some type of preservative or the fats in them will oxidize and spoil.  BHA and BHT are two other common preservatives.  These are even used in human foods, but we don’t eat them every single day of our lives.  Both of these chemicals are known to cause cancerous tumors, which shocks most people!  Why is this allowed in not only our pet’s food, but ours as well?  Watch out for these two and avoid them at all costs.
  • Solid Gold is a good example of a dog food company that uses natural preservatives to preserve the fish in their dog food. They use Naturox and manufacture their product in California and Missouri.


2.      Find two or three good quality foods and change them up every three or four months.  This will keep your Min Pin from becoming deficient in any vitamins that one particular food might be lacking.


3.      Supplement their commercial diet with homemade foods whenever possible.  Raw meats are a good choice, but make sure that you freeze them for 72 hours and thaw before feeding.  Tofu and steamed, pureed or finely grated vegetables are other good choices.  Just as you would when preparing food for your human family, follow safe food handling guidelines by properly storing meat and washing your vegetables.


4.      Pay attention to how your dog reacts to their diet.  Watch their weight, the condition of their coat and skin, and their activity level.  If they don’t seem to be taking well to a healthy diet, discuss it with their vet.


5.      If you’re dealing with a picky eater, you may need to try a few different brands before you find the one that clicks.  Instead of switching brands every few months, make sure you supplement his diet with meats and vegetables to keep the vitamin content high.



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