Miniature Schnauzers are very energetic, excellent at catching vermin, and agreeable with other household pets. Caring for a Miniature Schnauzer can be challenging at times because the breed benefits most from an all-natural, fresh-food diet high in nutrients, particularly to maintain healthy skin and coat. The key is to feed your Miniature Schnauzer the best food available, which will help prevent health problems, since there are quite a few potential problems that can affect the breed.
Decide how you want to feed your Miniature Schnauzer. The ideal combination would be alternating between fresh, all-natural food, such as chicken and vegetables, and dog food, such as dry kibble or wet food. One meal each day should be fresh food, with the other(s) being wet food or dry kibble. You can feed your Miniature Schnauzer on a fresh-food-only diet, but this can be expensive and time-consuming.
Choose fresh, all-natural foods that you would eat. Good choices for puppies include meat with some fat content (use leaner meats as your dog grows older), such as chicken, turkey, beef or pork; grains like brown rice and oatmeal; fruit, such as melon or berries; and vegetables high in fibre and nutrients, like spinach, carrots, broccoli and beets (for the Miniature Schnauzer's coat and eyesight).
Choose dry kibble and wet food that are high in fat and nutrients for a Miniature Schnauzer puppy. The first ingredients listed should be meat, not by-products. You want the first few ingredients to be pure meat, vegetables and whole grain. Adults need less fat than puppies, and seniors even less. Look for wet or dry dog food specifically for your Miniature Schnauzer's age.
Observe the way your Miniature Schnauzer behaves to understand how his body is reacting to his diet. Miniature Schnauzers are prone to developing eye problems, diabetes, pancreatitis and bladder stones, to name a few. Symptoms of other problems include bald spots (from overeating), flaky fur (from skin problems) and fatigue. These can all be caused by a poor diet, which is why diet is so important in the breed.
Feed a Miniature Schnauzer accordingly. Puppies need three meals a day for maximum nutrition. Feed the puppy with a 1/4 cup of kibble moistened with water, or wet food. For lunch and dinner, prepare an all-natural meal of a few ounces. As the Miniature Schnauzer grows, feed the dog two times a day with a 1/2 cup of dog food in the morning and an all-natural meal of a few ounces in the evening.
Make sure that your Miniature Schnauzer always has access to fresh water. When you bring your Miniature Schnauzer to the vet, ask the vet what particular nutrients your dog needs and if he would benefit from supplements. Dry skin and eyesight problems vary from dog to dog, and some Miniature Schnauzers need more nutrients in their diets than others. Keep in mind that you can feed your Miniature Schnauzer entirely on dog food or entirely on fresh food. It all depends on what works best for you and your dog.
Do not feed your dog any sweets, leftovers or greasy or spicy food. Miniature Schnauzers can gain weight extremely easily, so keep an eye on your dog's weight. As with all dogs, NEVER feed Miniature Schnauzers chocolate.