The Central Asian Shepherd Dog (SAO) or Alabai is the largest dog breed with excellent protective and protective qualities. They are distinguished by their large physique, great strength, and an excellent appetite. Asians are unpretentious in food, they rarely have volvulus, and allergic reactions appear. But indulging in food, overfeeding, or not feeding Alabai is impossible: this can lead to pathologies of the musculoskeletal system, cause disruptions in the work of many organs and systems. How to feed the Alabai is a question that worries many owners, who have such a pet in the house. Those who still dream of such a formidable, impressive-looking guard are also interested in nutritional issues.
To maintain health, good shape, the diet of Central Asians should be complete, including nutrients, vitamins, and minerals necessary for life. According to the recommendations of Elena Mychko, a well-known biologist, dog handler, and passionate admirer of Central Asian shepherd dogs in Russia, it is important to observe the following rules when maintaining the CAO:
- Alabai feeding should take place in the same place. Each time the dog needs to be called exactly where his bowl is constantly located.
- Alabai should not have a long neck. Therefore, to feed the pet, a special, height-appropriate stand is needed so that the dog does not reach for food.
- Constant access to food is unacceptable. The dog’s activity decreases, intestinal peristalsis worsens, appetite is perverted, constipation, and excess weight appear. Loss of appetite leads to emaciation of the dog.
- Constant feeding with liquid bulk feed does not allow the dog’s stomach to contract, causes the danger of bloat, can lead to the death of the animal.
- It is imperative to have clean, better-filtered water at the feeding site.
- Once a week, it is useful to arrange fasting days, completely eliminating food.
- They feed the dog after a walk or work, and only when the stomach is empty did the feeling of hunger awaken.
- An hour or two, after eating, active games, and training are contraindicated for the dog. The dog is sleepy and relaxed at this time.
- Swimming and running are useful for Central Asians (they improve intestinal peristalsis, cause their rapid release).
How much and how often to feed?
You can give food to an adult Alabai 2 times, in the morning and in the evening, at the same time. But one meal a day is optimal. The average serving for a dog is 2 liters of food. But how much an Alabai dog eats per day and how much food it needs depends on many factors:
- age, the activity of the animal;
- taste and needs;
- seasons (in winter for heating you need more carbohydrate food, in spring – lighter, dietary, in summer meals with a high content of fast carbohydrates to maintain activity are included in the diet, and in the fall, nutritious food is needed in order to “get fat” before the cold weather);
- individual metabolism of the dog.
What can I give Alabai?
How to feed the Alabai correctly, it is better to ask a veterinarian or a specialist in breeding dogs of this breed. The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is not capricious in food, but this does not mean that everyone needs to treat it indiscriminately. Not all the food that Alabai eats with pleasure can be given to him.
It is permissible to include the following foods in the diet:
- Meat (beef and veal preferred). It is allowed to include chicken in food, in the absence of allergies, lean pork, frozen for several days.
- Fish (sea) of skinny varieties.
- By-products (liver, beef tripe, heart).
- Special bones are made from bovine veins.
- Milk (if well-tolerated).
- Cottage cheese, low-fat sour cream, fermented milk drinks (yogurt, yogurt, fermented baked milk).
- Vegetables (carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, beets with tops, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, small amounts of garlic – to expel worms).
- Fruit (taking into account the taste of the dog).
- Cereals (rice, oatmeal, buckwheat).
- Eggs (raw, boiled).
- Greens (dill, parsley, lettuce).
What is not allowed?
Attempts to diversify the Central Asian menu with “snacks” often lead to itching, poisoning, and the development of eye and ear diseases.
The following foods should be excluded from the diet:
- river fish (bony, often infected with parasites);
- bones, especially tubular;
- pasta, baked goods;
- leftover food from the table;
- smoked meats, sausages, sausages;
- raisins, grapes;
- salt, spices;
- pickles, marinades, sauces;
- legumes (cause increased gas formation);
- semolina (low nutritional value) and pearl barley (poorly digested);
The choice of the type of food is primarily influenced by the availability of the owner’s free time. Cooking food from natural, high-quality products, buying them, drawing up the right diet takes time. Feeding finished industrial products is not cheap, but there is no need to prepare meals. In such feeds, the amount of minerals, vitamins, nutrients is balanced.
In any case, whatever food you choose, Alabai will eat almost everything with appetite. But mixing dry food and natural food is allowed in exceptional cases.
Features of feeding dry food and ready-made food
It is very convenient to feed dogs with ready-made industrial food. You do not need to cook such food. You can take the dryer with you for a walk or travel. It does not deteriorate for a long time, takes up very little space, does not stain the animal itself and the owner. There is a huge variety of finished products. In terms of quality, industrial feeds are divided into the following categories:
- Economy class feed. Made from beans, they do not contain any nutrients. Such food does not carry any benefit, being just a filler for the stomach. In addition, the presence of salts, preservatives, dyes, flavors can cause the development of urolithiasis. It is unacceptable to feed the Alabaevs with such food.
- Premium class (feed for everyday use). Feeding this food to an adult healthy dog is permissible with the additional introduction of proteins, minerals, and vitamin complexes. These substances are not enough in premium products. A large number of slow carbohydrates can contribute to obesity, so it is necessary to constantly monitor your dog’s weight.
- Super-premium drying. Here the composition is balanced, there are all the necessary components for the daily nutrition of dogs of large breeds.
- Holistic. Feed containing only natural ingredients, suitable even for human nutrition. This type of food is too expensive.
If you want to make the feeding ration of the Turkmen wolfhound more varied, you can offer him semi-moist and wet food in the form of pieces with or without gravy, pates finely ground canned food.
Pet shops offer a wide variety of dog treats in the form of bones, dried tendons. They can be given occasionally, no more than 10% of the total serving.
Features of feeding with natural food
Natural feeding includes meals prepared in the form of meat porridges and raw foods. The diet of an adult Central Asian should consist of 33% meat. Cereals and vegetables/fruits occupy the same percentage each, vitamins and oils account for 1%.
Many owners of CAO prefer this kind of feeding, despite the abundance of dry food and the need for constant cooking of natural dishes. Such a diet is more suitable for dogs, allows you to diversify your diet, and is perfect for allergic Alabai and dogs with digestive disorders. The disadvantage of natural feeding is the rapid spoilage of products, the impossibility of preparing them for future use.
Sample menu for a week, table
|Day of week||Dish|
|Monday||450 g of beef, 200 g of yogurt, 650 g of buckwheat porridge, 650 g of stewed carrots and zucchini, 30 g of herbs, 20 g of vegetable oil|
|Tuesday||650 g of beef, 650 g of wheat porridge, 600 g of boiled, cut into pieces, pumpkin, 10 g (2 cloves) of minced garlic, 20 g of oil, 20 g of herbs|
|Wednesday||350 g of raw beef tripe, 300 g of cottage cheese, 650 g of rice porridge, 650 g of beets, tomatoes, 20 g of butter|
|Thursday||600 g of boiled pollock, boneless, 650 g of buckwheat and oatmeal, 1 boiled egg, 650 g of finely chopped sweet pepper with grated carrots, 20 g of vegetable oil, 30 g of herbs|
|Friday||650 g of boiled beef liver and heart, 350 g of wheat porridge, 300 g of rye croutons, 650 g of grated raw cucumber and tomato, 20 g of butter, 30 g of herbs|
|Saturday||300 g of boiled veal, 300 g of fermented baked milk, 1 raw egg (50 g), 650 g of barley and wheat porridge, 200 g of boiled, grated beets with finely chopped tops, 300 g of boiled pumpkin and zucchini, chopped into pieces, 120 g of grated apple, 50 g greens, 20 g vegetable oil, 2 cloves of garlic|
|Sunday||750 g cottage cheese, 750 g yogurt, 500 g raw vegetables (zucchini, cucumber, tomato)|
Features of feeding during pregnancy and after childbirth
It is important to remember that healthy and robust offspring can be obtained from a healthy bitch, kept in good conditions and properly, nutritiously.
A pregnant dog needs more protein, which is a building block for growing babies. It will be correct to add 2 egg yolks to the food of a large bitch in one feeding. A large proportion of the diet should be taken by meat, fish, eggs. Oceanic fish varieties make up well for the lack of protein: sprat and herring. This is an inexpensive food, it can be given raw, ground through a meat grinder, mixed with porridge. The appetite of a pregnant bitch does not always increase. Therefore, often you can give her food as much as she wants.
With an increase in the dog’s weight, the daily food ratio should be divided into several feedings. So, the expectant mother, who is rapidly gaining weight due to the growth of fetuses, will find it easier to digest food. Water is supplied without restrictions. It is needed to produce amniotic fluid that protects puppies.
The number of cereal products, in order to avoid obesity, decreases. It will be very difficult for an obese Central Asian woman to give birth. Vegetables are especially useful for well-fed dogs, as a useful food supplement that enhances intestinal motility.
For the prevention of anemia, a pregnant bitch must include products containing vitamin C. To replenish calcium and phosphorus, it is necessary without restrictions, if there are no digestive disorders, to give milk and fermented milk products.
After giving birth, special attention is paid to the nutrition of the nursing mother, because what the bitch eats passes into the mother’s milk. In the early days, to enhance lactation, mothers are given dairy food: milk porridge, tea with milk, cottage cheese. For stool disorders in puppies, mothers are given smecta or bifitrilac, which are safe for the offspring, and quickly stop diarrhea.
Starting from the third day, a lactating Asian woman can be given meat broths, boiled meat, or ready-made feed. It is important to offer as much milk-converting liquid as possible.
From the fifth day, you can begin to transfer the bitch to the usual diet and offer raw meat. After a week, the menu will be normal for the dog. It is adhered to until the end of feeding the cubs.
During the feeding period of the offspring, it is important to include in the mother’s food mineral supplements containing phosphorus and calcium. These minerals are essential for the formation of the skeleton of babies. In addition, with a lack of calcium, it begins to wash out of the mother’s bones.
Refusal to eat: possible causes
It so happens that quite recently a vigorous and active Alabai becomes lethargic, inactive, refuses to eat. This is not always a sign of the disease. Such “whims” sometimes occur when changing the usual diet of a dog, especially if the food is not to her liking. Sometimes refusal to eat causes stress associated with the move, change of owner, or his death. Poor appetite is common during hot seasons. From time to time, dogs arrange fasting days for themselves, drinking water alone.
But there are times when food refusal is caused by serious reasons that require an urgent visit to a veterinarian. When urgent specialist help is needed:
- If the dog has a fever, it has a high or very low body temperature.
- The animal has salivation, unmotivated aggression, attempts to hide in a dark place.
- With purulent, bloody discharge, liquid, fetid color of stool.
- If the dog’s coat becomes dull, the animal has lost a lot of weight.
- The animal refuses not only food but also water.
In such situations, a delay is dangerous, untimely seeking medical attention can lead to the death of a pet.
Be attentive to your pet, show more affection and care, do not lose sight of changes in his appearance and mood. Feed your animal only high-quality, fresh food. And then the health of your Alabai will always be excellent. This means that you will not have to fear for your peace and well-being with such a guard.