Protein/fat ratio and other questions

Need help or advice on feeding your Schnauzer, whether it be kibble or treats, you'll find the information here. There is food reviews, recipes, remedies for poorly tummies and a wealth of feeding knowledge from your fellow Schnauzer owner. We cover BARF in a separate section.
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Protein/fat ratio and other questions

Post by crocotears » 21 Apr 2020, 07:14

Hello everyone,
I have a few questions regarding food quality of our 4-month-old Lola – our first dog ever.
As her vet only seems to care about how many times a day we'll feed her (3 times a da y until she is one year of age, he said, then two), I hope to get some answers here.

Is it true that miniature schnauzers, both puppies and adults, need a slightly lower fat intake than other breeds?
If yes, what is a good ratio you'd recommend for puppies and what for adults? We live in Germany and are currently feeding her this (protein 29%, fat 14%), plus some occasional raw carrot or steamed broccoli.

Also, does one have to stick with one food brand forever or, provided that you do a slow transition and the dog likes it, does it make sense to change her kibbles every now and then?

Last but not least, the vet said dry or wet food does not make a big difference. But: Isn't dry food better for her teeth?

I thank you all in advance for sharing your experience with us!

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Re: Protein/fat ratio and other questions

Post by zeta1454 » 21 Apr 2020, 11:04

Hello Daniel and welcome to the Forum.

I can offer some advice from our experience with miniature schnauzers over the past couple of decades (7 miniature schnauzers during that time). With our first three we fed a quality dry food for most of their life but changed to a raw diet after getting a puppy of a different breed who would only eat raw meat! Having started the dogs on prepared raw meat / vegetable meals from a UK dog food company, we were so impressed with how fit and healthy the dogs were on this diet that we have always fed raw to our dogs ever since (nearly 13 years now). So my preference if available is to feed raw :)

To answer your questions specifically though:

We have fed ours three meals only up to about 6 months of age but you can adapt this as to how well Lola manages on three or if she becomes reluctant to eat one of the meals. Some dogs even drop back to one meal a day by a year but I think two meals a day morning and evening is better for a small dog.

There has been some concern that miniature schnauzers have high blood fat levels and that they are more prone to pancreatitis (which in dogs can be linked to too much fat ). Personally we have had no experience with any of our dogs suffering pancreatitis or fat related health issues but keeping fat content to around 14% should be fine. The link is not absolutely proven and can be complicated by types of fat possibly having different effects in that fat in raw meat/ fish may be less of a problem healthwise than processed fats in kibble.

I would not be inclined to keep changing brands of food as this may cause digestive issues in some dogs but it is important they get a range of nutrients from different protein sources so choosing meals from the same brand but alternating lamb / chicken / turkey / beef etc. You should find a food that is high quality meat /fish based and that Lola enjoys.

The vet is right that there is little difference between wet or dried food for teeth cleaning or we would all be eating biscuits instead of brushing our teeth. Raw bones which are gnawed can help keep dogs' teeth clear of plaque but heredity also plays a part and some dogs are prone to tartar build up on their teeth regardless and only teeth cleaning / scraping on a regular basis will remove this.

I am sure that other Forum members will also be able to offer advice and experience to you as well.
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Re: Protein/fat ratio and other questions

Post by Dawnspell » 21 Apr 2020, 11:35

Hi and Welcome.
I have wondered if the fat tolerance in minis is hereditary a bit like some humans families seem to suffer from higher incidences of high cholesterol levels than others :-\
Have a look at I'm sure a lot of the brands on there will be available in Germany.

My present boy isnt keen on the raw complete meals I've tried several brands to no avail. He does like lamb ribs, chicken necks wings and carcass and will eat raw minces, heart, liver etc intended for human consumption. He has these along with freeze dried raw complete. As a young puppy he had orijen puppy kibble mainly because we needed a lot of food games to keep him occupied and out of mischief =))

You will probably find as she goes through teething and a while afterwards she will become very picky unless she is a totally food orientated dog and will eat anything.
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Re: Protein/fat ratio and other questions

Post by Oscar 12345 » 22 Apr 2020, 11:04

Hi Daniel, welcome to the forum. Here are some of my experiences. Both my schnauzers were moved to 2 meals a day at 6 months, this was following the breeder advice to move them off puppy food at the same time. I believe that it was due to the higher fat content in puppy feed and I remember the breeders saying they don't need that amount of fat. I think it has been proven that raw food is the best for gum/teeth health whether in the form of daily raw complete meals or raw meaty bones. I had a tough time tummy/digestion wise with my 1st schnauzer, fed kibble, then tinned food. I always tried to get the best quality but my 1st schnauzer ended up with chronic colitis and could only eat one sort of tinned gastro food and had to have most of his teeth removed due to the type of feed he had had in the past. I raw feed my 2nd schnauzer and try to feed as many different proteins as I can so that there is a low risk of protein intolerance. He has a small lunch of oily fish. I seem to be able to feed anything to Otto now so the wide variety is important I think and I switch a protein every two days (venison, pork, beef, chicken, turkey, rabbit, duck, pheasant, hake). It is always important to keep an eye on fat content with schnauzers. With raw food I tend to keep it to below 10% although there is a big difference in fat which is unprocessed as in raw food and fat that is processed in kibble/tinned food. Do take a look at the allaboutdogfood website mentioned above. It will help with the fat/nutritional content of food.
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Re: Protein/fat ratio and other questions

Post by crocotears » 23 Apr 2020, 16:38

Thank you all!
This is very useful and interesting – and I realise I know so little!
But I am also happy to learn - like a young schnauzer! ;)
thanks again!

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