To decide what to feed your bichon poodle, you need to know what nutrition he needs. Dogs with kidney, heart or other health problems may need a special diet, as do puppies during their first year. There also are certain foods that you should never give a dog like chocolate, grapes, raisins or onions. If your mature bichon poodle is healthy, you have several choices when determining his diet.
To assure complete nutrition, feed the correct ingredients in the correct proportions, according to Born Free USA, a national animal advocacy organisation. All dogs need high-quality protein, carbohydrates, vegetables and fats. They also need vitamins, calcium and other minerals. If your dog has recurring problems with skin irritations, allergies, upset stomach or ear infections, as some bichon poodles do, he may not be getting the exact nutrition he needs.
Commercial Dog Food
Commercial dry dog foods claim complete nutrition and they store easily. Not all dry foods are created equal, though. Often with cheaper brands of dry dog food, corn and soy supply the protein, so if you're looking to buy dry food for your dog, choose a brand that doesn't have corn or soy as its first ingredient. Your bichon poodle is a carnivore and needs meat.
If your bichon poodle is a picky eater, canned foods might entice him to eat. Generally, canned dog foods contain a higher percentage of meat protein than dry foods and are a source of complete nutrition. Storage is easy; however, canned commercial foods are the most expensive foods for your bichon poodle.
Homemade Dog Food
You can make your bichon poodle homemade dog food, which would eliminate harmful additives or preservatives found in commercial foods. Finding a balanced recipe and using supplements your veterinarian recommends will give your bichon poodle a healthy coat, fewer allergies and more energy. However, preparing homemade dog food and supplementing it with extra vitamins and minerals is time consuming.
Another option is to prepare homemade raw food to help your bichon poodle avoid allergies. Raw foods retain the nutrients lost when processing or cooking foods and dogs digest them better, but raw components must be clean and fresh and there may be some risks. The Canadian Veterinarian Journal states that 30 per cent of stool samples and 80 per cent of diet samples from dogs eating raw food contained Salmonella, a bacteria that can cause illness in humans and many animals.
Homemade cooked dog foods contain cooked chicken or other meats, brown rice and a variety of green, yellow and orange vegetables. Raw dog food recipes include skinless chicken or other lean meats, green and orange vegetables and bone meal.