Weighing less than 20 pounds, miniature schnauzers easily adapt to family life whether you live in an apartment or on acres of land. Miniature schnauzer feeding amounts depend partly on their activity level, as the breed tends to get overweight and develop health issues when overfed.
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The importance of food amounts
Even though it's tempting to use automatic feeders or other free-feeding methods with a pet, a miniature schnauzer is not a good judge of the amount of food it should take in. The breed tends toward consuming food until it just can't hold any more, and this can encourage digestive issues and lead to long-term obesity and disease.
The breed is particularly prone to the development of health issues that can be affected by what a dog eats, according to the Cactus State Miniature Schnauzer Club. Pancreatitis and hyperlipidemia (high blood fats) are just two conditions that mini schnauzers are genetically prone to that are diet sensitive.
Miniature schnauzer feeding guide
No one diet is correct for every miniature schnauzer. Cactus State Miniature Schnauzer Club emphasizes that quality dog food appropriate for the breed is not found in the grocery store. If a dry dog food is what best suits your food preparation schedule, head to a pet store that carries a variety of foods. Look for
- Specific types of meat as the first ingredients — chicken, beef, lamb, etc. — as its first ingredient. Chicken meal, beef meal, or other types of a specifically named meal are also okay as "meal" consists of meat, bones, and skin but not entrails, heads, horns, hides, or feathers, according to the Dog Food Project.
- Avoid generic terms like "meat" or "meat by-products," "fish meal" or other vague descriptors. Stay away from anything labeled as by-product meal even if it has a specific type of meat associated with it (such as chicken by-product meal) as it usually contains low-quality ingredients.
- Quality food does not have cheap filler grains such as corn, rice, or wheat as the first five to 10 ingredients. Higher quality grains like oats and barley might appear in the top 10, but won't be the primary ingredients
Maintain proper weight
Because it's easier to keep your dog from getting obese than it is to correct the situation and related health problems after the fact, it's crucial to serve the correct miniature schnauzer puppy food amount from the start.
The Schnauzer Collective recommends serving approximately 47 calories per pound of weight daily when your pup is small. As your dog matures, reduce the caloric intake to approximately 28 calories per pound. When full grown, miniature schnauzers weigh in at just 11 to 20 pounds according to the American Kennel Club breed standards,
Be sure to divide the number of calories between the number of daily servings. For example, if your dog has 30 calories per pound as its goal, serve 15 calories per pound in the morning and 15 in the evening. For a 10-pound dog, this would be 150 calories at each meal.
Dry Kibble: Daily Intake by Weight
Dog weight in pounds
Amount of Food
1/3 cup / 140 calories
1/2 cup, / 235 calories
3/4 cup, / 345 calories
1 cup / 465 calories
1 1/3 cup / 575 calories
Other miniature schnauzer feeding amounts
There are other types of diet you can feed your dog. A natural diet focuses on fresh meat, eggs, veggies, and other natural foods that a dog might eat in the wild. Preparing fresh foods daily can be time-consuming, so many owners make up patties appropriate for a miniature schnauzer that can be frozen and thawed as needed. Serve 1 to 2 patties per day. A combination of fresh foods and high-quality kibble is another option. You might choose to serve the main meal of fresh foods or supplement dry dog food with dog-friendly veggies such as broccoli, fruits such as berries, eggs, and fresh meat. It's easy to prepare a little extra when cooking for yourself; however, don't add any fats, oils, or spices to your schnauzer's food.
Strategize snacks and treats
Just because you have to carefully watch your mini schnauzer's dietary intake doesn't mean you can't include a few treats or a variety of foods. Stick to options low in fat to avoid triggering pancreatitis and other health woes in this breed. The AKC recommends specific low fat treats for dogs:
* Yogurt — 1 to 2 tablespoons as a snack or on top of food. Although a few dogs can be lactose-intolerant, many do well with yogurt. Probiotic properties in yogurt help your schnauzer's digestion. Make sure yogurt is plain flavored without any sugars, corn syrups, or artificial sweeteners. Xylitol, especially, can be deadly to dogs.
- Cheese — a few pieces of low-fat mozzarella as treats or 1 to 2 tbsp of cottage cheese. Low-fat cheeses are preferable to those with higher fat content for mini schnauzers.
- Fish — Ensure bones are carefully removed and feed low-fat fish such as tilapia, flounder, or cod.
- Turkey or chicken — remove excess fat and skin before feeding it to your miniature schnauzer.
- American Kennel Club: Miniature Schnauzer
- Cactus State Minature Schnauzer Club: Breed Health
- Cactus State Miniature Schnauzer Club: Nutrition
- The Dog Food Project: Identifying Better Products
- The Schnauzer Collective: How Much and How Often Should a Schnauzer Eat?
- American Kennel Club: Human Foods Dogs Can and Can't Eat
- Miniature Schnauzer Breed Information
- All About the Miniature Schnauzer