The Finnish Spitz is a bird hunting dog whose native region is in Finland. Most people know them as ‘Finkies,’ or ‘Barking Bird Dogs.’ One of the first questions Finkie owners and those hoping to get one will ask is: What do they eat?
What do Finnish Spitz eat? They should be fed a strict diet consisting of high-quality dog food composed of lean proteins, vegetables, and fruit. The Finnish Spitz has a particularly high metabolism. It makes them susceptible to obesity, meaning care should be taken not to overfeed them.
Having a high metabolism also means that too many treats (occasionally is fine) and high-fat table scraps should be avoided.
Now, this isn’t a case of one-size-fits-all. Depending on various factors like age, weight, budget, activity level, allergies, and so on, the appropriate feeding regimen for your Finkie will vary.
Here’s a general look at some of the things to look out for and consider when determining a feeding plan for your pet.
Choosing Appropriate Dog Food for the Finnish Spitz
Like we mentioned, what you want to do is find a high-protein, low-fat dog food. In the U.S.A., the sheer variety of options means that you need to take a little extra care when making your choice.
First of all, you should know all major dog food producers here are required to have their product formulations approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
They evaluate the nutritional adequacy and safety standards of all animal feeds. You shouldn’t serve your Finkie food that doesn’t meet their requirements.
The way to find out whether they abide by their standards is by either checking the food packaging for the AAFCO label or checking the manufacturer’s website.
After looking into the dog food AAFCO status in question, you should then check that the age or life stage specified on the packaging matches with your dog.
Different age groups will have differently formulated foods. Meaning that dog food indicated as suitable for Finkie puppies will not be nutritionally sufficient for adult pets.
One aspect of paying particular attention to is the type of protein used in the food. It would be best if you strived to serve your dog with premium dog food whose primary protein source is meat.
Many producers have turned to the use of concentrated plant or vegetable proteins to minimize production costs. The end product is often deficient in certain amino acids that are important for your pet’s well-being.
While checking ingredient labels, it’s instructive to know that the list is always made using the ingredients’ pre-cooked weight, starting with the heaviest of them and moving down to the lightest.
Due to this system, you will notice that the first few ingredients on the list will constitute a large portion of the recipe.
The point here is that you should take care to select foods that list quality meats as their first few ingredients. You may then be sure that what you are getting is a high quality, nutritionally complete food for your pet.
Some great examples of quality meats to look out for on dog food packaging are turkey, chicken, salmon, beef, duck, etc.
What is the Best Food Finkie Puppies?
Most dog owners initially believe that the only difference between what they feed adults and puppies is the amount given to them. This is only partially true. You can read more about feeding a dog puppy food here.
See, puppies are at a stage of their lives where they need considerable quantities of protein to build up their bodies and grow.
Due to this fact, there is food with special formulations high in protein content created specifically for puppies.
In the case of Finnish Spitz puppies, feeding them the same dog food that you would give to your adult Finkies may even lead to damage to their health. Here we have a whole article on getting a Finky puppy.
It would help you to check the AAFCO labeling on your dog food. It should indicate that the food is either ideal for all life stages or ideal for growth, which is what they refer to the puppy stage as.
To state it plainly, your Finkie puppies should be fed quality dog food that meets the laid-down AAFCO guidelines for growth foods, comprises high amounts of meat-based proteins, and falls within a reasonable budget.
What is the Best Dog Food for Finkies with Allergies?
Allergies are defined as pathological or exaggerated reactions to certain substances. They are not restricted to human beings alone.
Our pets can also suffer from allergic reactions to all manner of allergens, which is the basis of their simple classification. We have food allergies, skin allergies, and environmental allergies.
One of the biggest troubles when it comes to allergies is that the symptoms different allergens trigger are the same in many instances. This overlap makes quick and accurate diagnosis very difficult, and it follows that treatment will thus be a challenge.
Contrary to popular resumption, food allergies are very rare among dogs.
They simply don’t occur as often as most mistakenly think they do due to their inability to distinguish between food allergies and food sensitivities.
The two are different in that when pets are sensitive to certain foods, it does not trigger an immune system response. All you will notice is a rather gradual reaction to a particular ingredient.
This is entirely different from allergic reactions, which may lead to such symptoms as ear infections, itching, vomiting, foot infections, and diarrhea.
The most common culprits when it comes to Finkie food allergies are dairy, wheat, beef, egg, lamb, soy, pork, fish, rabbit, and chicken.
It can be a real challenge getting to find out what exactly your Finkie might be allergic or sensitive to.
The most efficient and reliable method is to talk to your pet’s regular dermatologist or veterinarian.
Another way is through a process of elimination, where you try and exclude or limit the presence of the common allergens we’ve listed above in the hope that the symptoms will decrease.
Just How Much Should You Feed Your Finkie
The Finnish Spitz isn’t a very large dog compared to breeds such as German shepherds and the like. The average male Finkie weighs in at a rather slight 25-33 pounds while the average female will weigh somewhere between 20 to 28 pounds.
Keep in mind that Finkies that are of good breed and health will usually live full lives extending to anywhere from 13 to 15 years.
It is proper to mention here that the Finnish Spitz is a very active breed of dog thanks to its pedigree as a hunting dog. These types of dogs require plenty of daily exercises and possess a very active nature.
They will go crazy for playtime and walks apart from always being ready to enjoy a game with their owners. The idea is to try and keep them mentally and physically stimulated to keep their spirits up.
They also place high importance on companionship, so don’t leave your Finkies alone for extended periods. They may get stressed out and act out their anxiety.
Despite their relatively small size, their active nature calls for significant daily caloric input to keep their energy up.
There are also several other factors you need to consider aside from their weight, such as the stage of their growth, current weight status, levels of activity, and so forth.
Here are a couple of approximations to help you decide how much food is sufficient to keep your Finkie happy and healthy.
Note that young Finkie puppies, from birth up until Four months old, require 1300 Kcals per day. Puppies that are past the four-month stage will require only 867 Kcals each day.
For the rest of our estimates, we’ll consider an adult Finkie (male or female), weighing in at 25 pounds.
• Neutered adults will require a minimum of 694 Kcals per day.
• Intact (not neutered) adults will require 780 Kcals each day.
• Obese Finkies should be placed on a diet containing no more than 564 Kcals per day so as to encourage their weight loss or at least prevent them from gaining more weight.
• Finkies on an express weight loss regimen should be given a diet consisting of no more than 434 Kcals per day.
• Working or highly active Finkies should be placed on a diet that contains 1517 Kcals each day so that they do not lose body mass.
Most dog food producers will also go so far as to include some instructions regarding feeding on their packaging. These detailed feeding guides might help you further fine-tune your Finkie feeding program.
Regular consultations with a veterinary are called for to ensure that your pet is at a healthy weight.
Providing your dog with the right food is an important aspect of caring for him. If you have no idea where to start, you can always ask your breeder or vet.
Keep yourself to the guidelines provided on the food bags, and you can’t go wrong.
Do you want to read more about the Finnish Spitz? We have an entire article with everything there is to know about the Finnish Spitz.