The Feeding Rules
The amount of food to be fed to your Schnauzer is determined by several factors: stage of life, physical size of your dog, its metabolic size (which is not the same as weight), health status, living conditions or weather of the living environment, reproductive activity, amount of exercise or activity level, and the quality of the food itself. So no single formula is perfect for every dog.
A Giant Schnauzer will naturally need to be fed a greater volume of food than a Standard or Miniature Schnauzer. But the metabolic rates of the Miniture Schnauzer is much higher than the Giant. This explains why, as you see below, the energy requirements (Kcal) of adult dogs in different sizes do not increase on a linear scale as simple multiples of weight. Also, puppy requires more calories proportionally than adult dogs due their body needs for growth.
Your Schnauzer should also follow a stable diet without dramatic changes in time, ingredients and amount.
Daily Energy Requirements of Adult Schnauzers*
| 10 lb / 4.5 Kg
15 lb / 6.8 Kg
20 lb / 9.0 Kg
25 lbs / 11.3 Kg
| 341 - 411 Kcal
463 - 556 Kcal
575 - 690 Kcal
680 - 816 Kcal
30 lbs / 13.6 Kg
|779 - 935 Kcal
875 - 1050 Kcal
965 - 1158 Kcal
1056 - 1267 Kcal
1143 - 1327 Kcal
1228 - 1437 Kcal
1310 - 1537 Kcal
1392 - 1670 Kcal
|70 lbs / 31.7 Kg
75 lbs / 34.0 Kg
80 lbs / 36.27 Kg
85 lbs / 38.6 Kg
90 lbs / 40.8 Kg
95 lbs / 43.1 Kg
100 lbs / 45.3 Kg
110 lbs / 49.8 Kg
120 lbs / 54.4 Kg
|1471 - 1766 Kcal
1549 - 1859 Kcal
1626 - 1951 Kcal
1701 - 2042 Kcal
1776 - 2132 Kcal
1850 - 2220 Kcal
1922 - 2307 Kcal
2065 - 2478 Kcal
2204 - 2645 Kcal
* Reference: Better Food for Dogs - A Complete Cookbook and Nutrition Guide by D Bastin et al, published by Robert Rose, Inc.
The standard weight of each Schnauzer breed is stated in brackets. If your Schnauzer falls beyond the standard weight due to under- or over-feeding, take the opportunity of diet change as part of your dog's weight management program. Target your dog at the highest acceptable weight of his breed class to begin with, if he or she is overweight. On the other hand, if your Schnauzer is underweight, target your dog at the lowest weight acceptable weight of his breed class to begin with. Adjust the energy level gradually toward the middle of the range. Note if your dog's weight problems are caused by certain health problems, pregnancy or other conditions, consult your vet before implementing any weight management program and must be supervised by your vet.
Daily Energy Requirements of Schnauzer Puppies
As mentioned, Schnauzer puppies require more energy proportionally than adult Schnauzers until they reach 80% of their adult weight:
|Energy Required (Kcal)|
|Up to 40% of
their adult weight
|~ twice as many calories proportionally|
|From 40% to 60% of
their adult weight
|~ 1.6 times as many calories proportionally|
|From 60% to 80% of
their adult weight
|~ 1.2 times as many calories proportionally|
Feeding A Schnauzer Puppy
By the time they are about six weeks old, the Schnauzer puppies should start weaning and most of their dietary intake should consist of commercially prepared puppy food. A Schnauzer puppy's diet is the foundation for his future health. As such, home-prepared diets are not recommended for puppies unless it is carefully formulated, reflecting individual puppy's needs, It should be undertaken with utmost care, along with close monitor by you and your vet.
Therefore, the best option would be a premium quality commercial dog food specifically for puppies. Compare the ingredient list and label information before you purchase. Also, follow strictly the feeding instructions on the package.
New dog foods have been developed to be fed throughout the entire lifetime of a dog, adjusting only the amount to be fed during any particular growth or maintenance phase. This is a very convenient product, but as you can see in the above section, the energy requirements and the need for certain nutrients (such as protein) are substantially larger in puppyhood. Consult your vet before you feed your puppy with this type of diet.
Feeding an Adult Schnauzer
Many experts advise that once your dog has grown to maturity on a particular commercial diet, it's better to maintain this diet unless suggested otherwise by your vet. On the other hand, some whole food proponents actually promote the idea that a varied diet can provide optimum nutrition and increase the enjoyment your dog gets from his or her food. Some dogs may respond adversely to changing diets, but some have no negative responses at all. Whatever you decide, any new food or diet change should be introduced with care - the use of high quality meat (such as organic meat) in your Schnauzer's diet ensures higher digestibility and is subsequently less likely to cause flatulence.
When you are planning to switch your Schnauzer's diet from dry kibble to a home-prepared diet, note that this is a dramatic change to your's digestive system because the food texture and digestibility are completely different. It normally takes at least a few days for your dog to adapt to these changes and may cause diarrhea as a result.
To ensure a smooth transition to a home-cooked diet, introduce the new diet over an eight-day period:
|Day 1 - 2
||Mix 25% of the new food into 75% of the current food. Add only plain foods such as cooked brown rice and lean meat only.|
|Day 3 - 4||Increase the new food to 50% and include a vegetable.|
|Day 5 - 6||Increase the new food to 75% and include the other vegetables (or fruits)|
|Day 7 - 8||Increase the new food to 100% with bonemeal and multivitamin-and-mineral supplement.|
Some dogs who have more sensitive digestive system may even take a longer time for the change to happen. Make 20% change each time over a 10-day or more period if neccessary. You will have to closely monitor how your Schnauzer is doing on the new diet. Watch out for any signs of physical or emotional changes and keep track of his weight and stools.
We don't recommend any diet change when your Schnauzer is pregnant or lactating. Always speak to your vet prior to implementing any new plans or changes on your dog and hear his advice.
Young Schnauzers after weaning should be fed frequently and :
- 5 to 6 times a day until they are 8 to 10 weeks old
- 3 to 4 times a day when they get to 12 to 14 weeks
- twice daily until 6 months old
- once or twice daily thereafter
In reality, feeding time of an adult Schnauzer does not matter too much as long as it happens at the same time and in the same place every day.
Multiple feedings are often preferred to one substantial meal every day, if situation allows. But if you feed just one meal a day, break the long interval between meals by giving your Schnauzer a couple of biscuts or raw carrots.
The two-meal regimen is ideal for Giant Schnauzers (or even Standard Schanuzers) for the protection against bloat (Gastric Dilation-Volvulus or GDV) which is an extremely painful and deadly condition in which the stomach twists over on itself. The condition is known to affect larger, deep-chested breeds in particular.
A dog suffering from bloat calls for immediate medical attention. The nasty thing about bloat is that once a dog has developed this condition once, it is almost certain that the condition will recur. Check out our health section on bloat for suggested remedial actions.
- Home-prepared Diet
- Diet-related Health Issues
- Special / Prescription Diet
- Toxic Food for Dogs
- Dietary Supplements