Doberman pinschers were originally bred to be loyal guard dogs and companions. They are known to be loyal only to their owners. These dogs need premium quality feed to maintain an optimal physical condition and also to keep their coats lustrous. A few nutritional adjustments could be needed to reduce a few susceptible health risks. Only those foods which are palatable and easily digestible should be given to the dog. Meat is a must. Include lamb, beef, or chicken in the diet. Whole grains like sweet potatoes or brown rice must also be on the menu. Foods should preferably be bought from reputed pet supply outlets. Put in safflower or flaxseed oils into the diet to keep the dog’s shiny coat.
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Dobermans are susceptible to volvulus and gastric dilation. These two are colloquially known as bloat. This is a fatal condition and happens when gases and food inside the dog’s stomach lead it to rotate and expand. This blocks the release of gases and cuts off the blood supply to the stomach. If medical attention is not given, the bigger stomach could stop the flow of blood to the heart, leading to a painful death. To make sure this would not happen, divide the daily food intake of the Doberman into two or multiple feedings. You can also add little table scraps or wet food to the dog’s diet. This action also reduces bloating chances. Give your dog a continuous fresh water supply to drink and do not exercise the dog at least an hour before the meal and after it. It is important that the water bowl should be at a low height. The dog’s stress level should be minimal too.
Dobermans’ are vulnerable to wobblers’ syndrome, a condition of the spine. These symptoms appear later in the animal’s life. Veterinarians recommend adoption of many nutritional steps to keep the weight during the puppy stage down and also prevent rapid growth from reducing risks of the dog eventually developing this problem. The list of wobblers’ syndrome include a not-so-steady gait, clumsiness, and repeated falling down. Paralysis is also observed. The condition is generally observed after the Doberman reaches four to five years of age. To reduce risk, puppy food should be stopped after the animal crosses six months. The diet must not contain more than 24 percent protein and the canine must not be given supplemental minerals and vitamins, especially phosphorus and calcium.
The Doberman breed is also vulnerable to the juvenile renal disease found in canines. It is a hereditary disorder which affects the kidneys causing early death. The symptoms usually occur before the dog reaches two years’ age. The list of symptoms includes lethargy, weight loss, and thirst.