Diet and exercise play a huge part in your canine’s success but in most cases it receives the least attention. Let’s face it, how many people concern themselves with whether or not their dog food contains enough Calcium or too many carbohydrates? How many people know if their dog food provides proper nutrition for their dog? Most people rely on what they hear or see in ads, or by word of mouth. Determining and selecting a diet and exercise plan to meet the required energy demands of your dog takes time. In turn, this will provide the greatest possible outcome for your dog.
Researching available dog foods on the market today can be overwhelming. There are more brands offered than one can count. There are also many options when choosing your dog’s diet. You may decide to feed a Raw diet, a Keto diet, a Grain-free diet, a Homemade diet, or simply purchase a prepared food.
Other factors to take into consideration are: if your dog is overweight; has allergies; or has a specific health condition. Once you begin to research the pros and cons of each available diet, you will find that each diet believes itself to be the best.
So how do you choose? Keep in mind that the old adage “you get what you pay for” is usually true. Also remember that each dog is unique and what works for one dog may not work for yours. If you decide to purchase dry kibble, begin by looking at the best high quality dog foods available. If you are someone who likes a little more challenge, you may choose to make your own. Please remember that most recipes shared on line are not nutritionally balanced, nor do they provide the calories that your dog requires. What you feed your dog is just as important as choosing the right breed for your home and finding the best dog trainer for your needs.
Exercise is equally important when it comes to your dog’s success and health. It provides mental and physical stimulation that dogs yearn for. Dogs enjoy a consistent exercise routine that range from simple mental games to vigorous play time. Incorporating obedience training into your exercise program offers an additional benefit of developing a strong foundation for advanced training. A carefully planned and structured exercise program puts you and your dog in a positive position of success.
The amount of exercise will depend on the level of drive in your German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois. Careful attention should be given to the genetics/performance of the puppy’s bloodline as this will determine the potential drive of the puppy. Both the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois is a prey-driven breed that requires a vigorous level of activity many times throughout the day. Without attention to this breed’s required activity level, you will see a detrimental effect on your dog’s behavior.
When it comes to having access to what you need, my father always told me to make the best with what you have. If you’re blessed to have a good sized piece of land, utilize it to the fullest. If you don’t, or you live in an apartment/condominium, don’t fret. You can still own one of these magnificent dogs. You will just need to be more creative in your exercise program.
Many parks allow pets providing they are on a leash. You may be someone fortunate enough to live close to a forestry. In this case, you would have access to more acreage than you could ever use in a lifetime. If that is not the case, there are many churches or businesses that will allow you to use their property for exercising your canine, providing you clean up after him. Many dog owners will employ the use of a dog park. This is not something that I would personally recommend, but it is each person’s decision to make.
In conclusion, paying close attention to your dog’s diet and exercise will reduce the risk of health issues, create a stable, well-balanced canine, and develop a strong bond and a solid relationship between you and your dog. The financial investment for a Shepherd or a Malinois is for the life of the dog.