Let’s find the best dog food for your Miniature Schnauzer.
They’re bold. They’re bouncy. They’re bearded. Miniature Schnauzers look like grizzled grandfathers and have some of the dog world’s most charismatic personalities. These dogs are loyal, obedient, intelligent, and playful. Miniature Schnauzers were developed in 19th century Germany as smaller counterparts to Standard Schnauzers. By breeding Standard Schnauzers with other breeds like the Poodle and Affenpinscher, farmers created effective ratters. These smaller dogs efficiently hunted down rodents, protecting the farm and home from vermin. This breed was called the Zwergschnauzer (dwarf Schnauzer).
In keeping with their ancestry, modern Miniature Schnauzers have a strong instinct to hunt smaller animals like squirrels, mice, and sometimes cats. Gladly, they’re also quick studies and can be easily trained to coexist with their feline neighbors. Today’s Miniature Schnauzer is alert, active, and takes being a loyal companion to the next level. These dedicated dogs have a tendency to latch onto a person and become their furry shadow.
By no means is the Miniature Schnauzer a delicate teacup terrier: these little dogs are as physically robust as they are mentally sharp. They make good athletes and aren’t afraid to engage larger dogs in playtime.
As adults, Miniature Schnauzers stand 12-14” tall and weigh between 12 and 18 lbs. Females tend to weigh slightly less than males.
|First Take : 2018 Best Foods For Miniature Schnauzers|
What makes a great food for Miniature Schnauzers?
Every Miniature Schnauzer is different – that’s obvious. Depending on activity levels and unique metabolism, calorie needs will vary, but as a general rule, small dogs like the Miniature Schnauzer need slightly more calories per pound than do larger dogs. Puppies will require more frequent meals than adults.
The Miniature Schnauzer demands the same type of high-quality nutrition that every dog deserves: food made without artificial ingredients, added sugars, low-quality byproducts, and centered around real, high-quality meat. Foods with grains as the first ingredient are a no-go for these dogs.
The Miniature Schnauzer is particularly sensitive to food quality – their genetic predisposition to certain health conditions necessitates a pristine diet made without fillers and other low-value ingredients.
Let’s learn about the unique health needs of the Miniature Schnauzer.
Unfortunately, Miniature Schnauzers are more inclined to have health problems than are their larger cousins, the Standard Schnauzer and Giant Schnauzer. They are well-known for their tendency to develop pancreatitis and urinary stones. Other health conditions common among dogs of this breed are portosystemic shunts, myotonia, epilepsy, and eye problems. With a 1% incidence rate, portosystemic shunts – a liver defect – are almost 20 times as likely to affect a Miniature Schnauzer than any other breed. Myotonia is a genetic condition that can be detected through DNA testing – so be sure to discuss this with your breeder.
Pancreatitis is more common among Miniature Schnauzers than virtually any other breed. About one third of all Miniature Schnauzers have elevated blood triglycerides and this is thought to predispose them to this condition. The pancreas serves a number of important functions, including the release of digestive enzymes and production of insulin. In the case of pancreatitis, the pancreas becomes inflamed and those digestive enzymes get into the pancreatic tissue instead of the small intestine, causing damage and pain as the pancreas begins to consume itself. Miniature Schnauzers may suffer from acute episodes of pancreatitis or may have a chronic form of the condition, and it can be mild, life-threatening, and any severity in between.
How does a great dog food help to prevent or manage pancreatitis in Miniature Schnauzers?
There are several different facets to approaching pancreatitis prevention through diet.
First of all, obesity can increase your dog’s risk of developing inflammation of the pancreas, making weight management more important than ever.
It’s also a good idea to avoid high-fat diets, which are closely connected with the development of pancreatitis. Lean foods made with high-quality protein are your best choice.
Any fillers and any excess of carbohydrates can put an excess strain on your dog’s pancreas. You don’t just want a low-fat food, but one that’s an efficient nutritional tool made without fillers. Ideally, look for a food that delivers all of the nutrition your Miniature Schnauzer needs with as few unnecessary ingredients as possible. Ingredients that don’t serve much nutritional purpose for your dog include most grains, particularly highly-processed grains and byproducts, white potatoes, pea protein, and soy.
Supplemental digestive enzymes can also help keep your dog’s pancreas healthy. A highly-processed diet lacks the natural enzymes found in your dog’s natural raw diet, leading to an overworked pancreas. Adding back some of the enzymes lost through high-temperature processing can help to restore your dog’s natural digestive balance.
Like many other dogs, Miniature Schnauzers are prone to a number of eye problems. Eye conditions prevalent among these dogs include cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and retinal dysplasia.
How does a great dog food help to prevent eye problems in Miniature Schnauzers?
These are typically hereditary conditions, so the best prevention is a conversation with your breeder. Choose a reputable breeder known for producing Miniature Schnauzers with healthy eyes.
You can’t always prevent these conditions through good breeding, though. Fortunately, diet can help to encourage ocular health. A diet rich in nutritious vitamins like A, C, and E can help to encourage continued eye health, as does the inclusion of Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, which plays an important role in supporting eye and brain health.
These stones are most common among small dogs like Poodles, Yorkies, Bichon Frises, and of course, the Miniature Schnauzer. Struvite and calcium oxalate are the most commonly diagnosed uroliths affecting Miniature Schnauzers. These stones can cause painful urination, bloody urine, and obstruction.
How does a great dog food help to treat and prevent bladder stones in Miniature Schnauzers?
It’s important that your stone-prone dog stays hydrated. Constant access to fresh water is a must. If your dog suffers from recurrent bladder stones and doesn’t drink enough water, a raw or moist diet can help to keep them hydrated and the urinary tract flushed.
Struvite stones are almost always associated with an alkaline urinary pH, and a slightly lower-pH diet can help to reduce the likelihood that your dog will develop these stones. Calcium oxalate stones can result from over-acidification or an imbalance of calcium in the diet. Excess sodium can also lead to the formation of the stones.
Comedones are blackheads or whiteheads – clogged follicles. Nothing more than dog pimples, these blackheads result from your dog’s genetics and can occur in spurts throughout their life. Because they’re so common among Standard Schnauzers and Miniature Schnauzers, these are often referred to simply as “Schnauzer Bumps”.
How does a great dog food address comedones?
While basic hygiene is the number one way to treat this condition, diet can sometimes play a part. Food allergies and sensitivities can contribute to your dog’s acne issues. Allergen elimination can help to keep your Miniature Schnauzer’s skin healthy.
Top 2 Best Puppy Foods for Miniature Schnauzers
Like all puppies, growing Miniature Schnauzers require a balanced diet designed to support healthy growth. Choose a food formulated for either “all life stages” or “growth” – an adult maintenance food won’t support your growing pup’s needs.
Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Puppy Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food Review
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Chickpeas
This low-carbohydrate food is complete and balanced for puppy growth.
It is a great source of animal protein with chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal leading the ingredient list and gets an extra boost from nutritionally-packed nuggets of raw meat.
With active enzymes and a healthy concentration of biologically-available nutrients, these morsels of meat deliver a real nutritional punch. Because they’re freeze dried and mixed into the kibble, these are a convenient way to incorporate a little raw meat into your Miniature Schnauzer’s diet.
The recipe incorporates natural DHA from chicken eggs. This fatty acid helps to support healthy brain and eye development, establishing a good foundation for your Miniature Schnauzer’s future.
- Rich in real animal protein
- Contains morsels of freeze-dried raw chicken
- Made without byproducts, fillers, or artificial colors and preservatives
- Free of corn, soy, and wheat
- Supplemented with DHA for brain and eye development
- According to some reviews, the concentration of freeze-dried raw nuggets is inconsistent from bag to bag
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Fish Meal, Peas
This food was designed with growing puppies in mind and features an unusual variety of natural ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits. The recipe includes nutritious ingredients like coconut oil, colostrum, beets, montmorillonite clay, and yogurt to help support overall health.
In addition to all the nutrients your puppy needs for healthy growth, this food incorporates probiotics for digestive health, along with natural sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which support multiple areas of health, including brain and eye development, skin and coat health, inflammation management, and immune function.
What most sets this food apart from other puppy formulas is the hearty inclusion of fresh and dried muscle meat and organs. The recipe uses hearty inclusions of fresh/frozen or dried meat, meaning that the food contains plenty of the meat your dog needs in a less heavily processed form than found in many other dog foods.
- Rich in fresh meat and organs
- Contains beneficial probiotics and enzymes
- Offers a wide range of nutrients from natural sources
- Based on meat and made with minimal carbohydrate content
- Free from grains – no corn, soy, or wheat
- Made without artificial ingredients
- On the expensive end of the spectrum
- Multiple reviews indicate that some dogs don’t find the food appealing
- Contains pea protein, which could distort the protein percentage of the food
Top 3 Best Adult Dog Foods for Miniature Schnauzers
Spirited, bright, and active, adult Miniature Schnauzers need quality nutrition to fuel their daily adventures. Bladder stones are most common in adult dogs, and this is typically when pancreatitis will first show up.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Organic Flaxseed, Potatoes, Celery, Sweet Potatoes
The Honest Kitchen foods are made from human-grade ingredients in a facility designed for human food production. These foods are made with minimally-processed dehydrated ingredients that should be rehydrated with warm water before serving to your dog.
That additional water can help to keep your bladder stone-prone Miniature Schnauzer’s urinary tract healthy.
Because the ingredients are minimally processed, they contain active enzymes that can contribute your dog’s digestive health.
The recipe is grain-free and made without common problem ingredients like corn, soy, and wheat. Overall plant-based and made with a considerable concentration of carbohydrates, this recipe is low in fat with moderate amounts of protein.
- Minimally processed food is easy for your dog to digest and nutritionally dense
- High in moisture; ideal for dogs prone to urinary tract disease
- Made from human-grade, high-quality ingredients
- On the expensive side
- High in plant matter and carbohydrates
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Gizzards, Organic Kale
If you’re interested in feeding your Miniature Schnauzer raw food, with its rich concentration of biologically-available nutrients and active enzymes, Primal’s freeze-dried nuggets make raw feeding simple and convenient.
Fresh chicken muscle meat, organs, and a small amount of finely ground fresh bones make up at least 77% of this food – these are a biologically-appropriate source of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. This food gets a boost from salmon oil for Omega-3 fatty acids and includes nourishing ingredients like mineral-rich montmorillonite clay, organic parsley, organic apple cider vinegar, and organic kelp.
- Made from fresh, minimally-processed meat, organs, and bones – rich in nutrients and naturally-occurring enzymes
- A convenient way to serve your dog raw food
- Low in carbohydrates and free from fillers, byproducts, and artificial ingredients
- A high-fat food – may not be right for dogs prone to pancreatitis
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
This limited-ingredient formula is made with eight key ingredients and a lot of additional supplements. Designed for dogs with allergies and food sensitivities, this fish-based recipe centers around whole salmon and salmon meal, naturally offering beneficial fatty acids while eliminating common food allergens. The food is free from grains or corn, soy, or wheat, but is nevertheless a plant-based food with a relatively high carbohydrate content.
Despite the limited number of food ingredients, the recipe offers well-rounded nutrition with probiotics, the enzyme cellulase, and a complete variety of vitamins and minerals.
The food is free from gluten, hormones, and antibiotics.
- Limited ingredient recipe is ideal for dogs with food allergies
- Contains a mix of probiotics to encourage digestive health
- Free of grains and corn, wheat, or soy
- Contains high-glycemic potatoes
- Made with alfalfa meal, a plant byproduct with minimal nutritional value
Top 2 Best Senior Dog Foods for Miniature Schnauzers
Miniature Schnauzers typically live for 12-15 years. As they grow older, these sprightly dogs may become less active and have a decreased metabolism. As with all dogs, this combination makes becoming overweight more of an issue. Bearing in mind the Miniature Schnauzer’s predisposition to pancreatitis and knowing that overweight, inactive dogs are most likely to develop the condition, it’s easy to see why it’s particularly important to manage your senior Miniature Schnauzer’s weight.
A high-quality, calorie-limited diet can help your Miniature Schnauzer to continue feeling fit and bouncy throughout their senior years.
Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Senior Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food Review
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Chickpeas, Peas, Tapioca, Chicken
While Miniature Schnauzers aren’t particularly prone to joint problems, the inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin is always a welcome one in senior dog foods. With its limited calorie content, minimal carbohydrates, and lean fat content, this food helps to keep your dog slim as they move through their senior years.
Morsels of freeze-dried raw chicken give this food a nutritional boost, adding some active enzymes that can help the digestive tract and pancreas function with ease.
Other senior-targeted additions include natural DHA from chicken eggs and added L-carnitine to help burn fat.
- Contains nourishing chunks of freeze-dried raw meat
- Free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
- Doesn’t contain any corn, soy, or wheat – grain-free
- Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support continued joint health
- Contains L-carnitine to discourage fat deposits
- Supports continued brain and eye health
- The raw morsels may be inconsistent from bag to bag
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Meal, Fish Meal, Pea Protein, Peas
This senior formula is based around a healthy concentration of fresh or dried meat and organs. These minimally-processed meat ingredients deliver enzymes and nutrients in their most biologically-available form. The food is rounded out with a wide range of nutraceuticals like mineral-rich montmorillonite clay, immune-boosting colostrum, a probiotic blend, and a variety of vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables.
The food hits senior-specific marks with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, fatty acids to fight inflammation and support brain and eye health, and limited fat and carbohydrates to keep your senior dog slim.
- Limited fat content helps to keep your senior dog healthy and slim
- Low-glycemic and low in carbohydrates
- Contains a rich concentration of minimally processed animal content
- Free from grains – no corn, wheat, or soy
- Contains pea protein – not the best source of protein for your dog