If you're thinking about adding a canine companion to your household, you need to seriously consider that bringing home a dog is not the same thing as bringing home a cute stuffed animal. You will be responsible for a living creature's mental and physical well-being. Besides grooming the dog and making sure it gets enough love and activity, you must provide it with the proper diet. And grabbing a bag of the cheapest kibble (or even the most expensive) at the supermarket simply won't cut it. Just as each person is unique, so each dog is unique, with different metabolic characteristics and dietary requirements; what is the right amount of a particular vitamin for one breed could actually be toxic for another breed. There are also many different forms of minerals, and different breeds assimilate different forms better than others. Ignoring dietary requirements could lead your dog to suffer allergies, skin problems and intestinal disorders, among other things.
While some owners spend a lot of time and effort in creating special meals for their dogs everyday, all that is really needed is a little attention to the general needs of your dog's breed so as to avoid harmful foods and make sure to include the right nutrients. There have been numerous claims both in support of and against different types of dog food diets, such as raw food, home-cooked, and prepared dog food. While many pet companies are now in the habit of offering breed-specific prepared dog food that is free of preservatives, artificial colors and additives of commercial brand food, the healthiest and probably least expensive option is the home-cooked diet. Dry food can be occasionally given to a dog so as to help keep the dog's teeth clean and give his jaws some exercise.
Experts claim that the proper food sources for a given breed are those that are the same or similar to the nutrients that were common in the diet of the ancestors of the breed; this ensures that the digestive system of the breed is familiar with the nutrients being taken in and is able to assimilate them. For example, the ancestors of the Norwegian Elkhound originated in the Scandinavian country of Norway; the meat fed to the Elkhounds in this area most likely came from animals like elk, wolf, hare, bear or lynx. These land animals have a relatively high body fat content. Furthermore, Elkhound ancestors were most likely fed a great deal of both fresh water and salt water fish. Dog dieticians therefore believe that a diet high in animal fats with some carbohydrates deriving from potato or wheat is recommended for Elkhounds. Fresh beef and pork, along with equal amounts of fish should be included regularly in this breed's meals. It has also been suggested to refrain from including white rice or soy products in an Elkhound diet.
Norwegian Elkhounds are one of the breeds that seem to benefit most from a home-cooked, fresh diet. You'll be able to notice the beneficial effects of this healthy diet by observing how glossy and shiny your Norwegian Elkhound's coat becomes when given the proper nutrition. Not only will your Elkhound look better, but he will also feel better and will not risk the gastrointestinal problems so common in dogs that aren't eating healthy.