9 Best (Highest Quality) Dog Foods for Belgian Malinois in 2019

Are you looking for the best 2019 dog foods for Belgian Malinois?

Belgian Malinois were dogs originally bred by Belgian farmers to protect their farms, livestock, and families. As a result, these dogs are excellent trackers, guard dogs, and herders.

Most Affordable

American Journey Salmon

  • Grain-free formula
  • Gluten free ingredients

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Best Overall

Taste Of The Wild High Prairie

  • Grain-free recipe
  • Main ingredient: real buffalo

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Puppy Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection

  • Free of wheat, corn, and soy
  • Supports immune system health

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Did you know that the United States military – that’s Army, Marine Corp, Air Force, and Navy – have at least 2,000 active military dogs working alongside personnel stationed the world over? And fun fact, most of these dogs happen to be Belgian Malinois.

While they don’t make it in the top 40 most popular dog breeds in America, they are known for being exceedingly loyal, athletic, and built for the great outdoors. These bulky yet elegant dogs make great companions.

Adult males stand at 24 to 26 inches while adult females at 22 to 24 inches. Weight-wise, adult males can reach up to 80 pounds and females 60 pounds. In dog years, these canines live relatively long lives with a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years.

Belgian Malinois are not fussy eaters. However, this doesn’t mean that you can feed them anything. A good diet is crucial for the Mal’s well-being. Here is everything you need to know about the nutritional needs of these canines.

5 Key Nutritional Needs of a Belgian Malinois Diet

Premium nutrition is a must for any dog and Belgian Malinois are no different. Do you know what the vital nutrients your Mal needs in order to grow well? These highly active dogs require a well-balanced diet with the nutrients in the right amounts in order to function optimally. The best way to meet your Belgian Malinois’ nutritional needs is through a high-quality dog feed. Don’t worry if you’re not sure which feeds to buy, we’ll give you excellent recommendations below, but first a look at the five key nutritional needs of this dog breed.

  • Proteins and Amino Acids – Amino acids are the building blocks of life. Belgian Malinois need a protein source in every meal. Do not skip this important nutritional need especially in growing puppies.  Amino acids combine to form proteins which are required in the body for important functions such as repairing muscle tissue, the formation of new skin cells, and hair growth. Dogs such as these that are hard-working and extremely active need more protein than their less active counterparts. If your Belgian Malinois is pregnant or lactating ensure that you increase their protein intake. This is also true if the dog is sick or injured. The need for protein tends to decrease as the dog gets older.
  • Fatty Acids and Fats – Dietary fats are essential requirements in a dog’s life because they provide the energy needed for day-to-day activities as well as being efficient transporters of fat-soluble vitamins. Fats are key in a Mal’s diet as they promote healthy skin and hair and boost immune function while aiding in the regulation of inflammatory processes. If the Belgian Malinois is pregnant, fats and fatty acids go a long way in helping with prenatal development. Opinions differ on the actual amounts of fats these dogs should eat. Our best bet is that you consult your vet about the specific requirements of your dog.
  • Vitamins – Our department stores and pharmacies are loaded with vitamins and supplements we humans need to take. But dogs need vitamins too! There are seven important vitamins that your dogs need and these are: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, B Vitamins, and Choline. Belgian Malinois require vitamins for a variety of reasons which include growth in puppies, proper immune and cell function, fetal development in pregnant females, hormone regulation, and healthy bone growth.
  • Minerals – Minerals are equally as important in Belgian Malinois’ diet – albeit in small quantities. Minerals needed include zinc, copper, fluorine, manganese, iron, iodine, copper, chromium, and selenium. These minerals are vital for bone and teeth development in growing puppies, and maintenance in older Malinois. The two biggest macrominerals required are calcium and phosphorus. Nerve and proper muscle functioning, oxygen transportation around the body and hormone production all requires minerals. Deficiencies in minerals can lead to poor blood clotting and healing of injuries.
  • Water – A dog cannot survive without water. Good, clean water is a key nutritional requirement for a healthy dog. A dehydrated Belgian Malinois will have little to no energy to fulfill its regular active duties. This isn’t something you want. If your dog is pregnant or has metabolic illnesses such as diabetes they will get dehydrated more quickly. A quick test to see if your dog is indeed dehydrated is this: gently pick up and release a fold of skin over the Malinois’ shoulder blade. If the skin quickly goes back in place then all is well, but if the skin goes back slowly or takes time to return to normal then this is a clear sign of dehydration. Water is imperative as it transports nutrients around the body, flushes out toxins, and helps with food digestion.

6 Special Dietary and Nutritional Considerations of Belgian Malinois

Getting the diet right is the first step in having a healthy and happy dog. While these dogs are not picky eaters, there are a few dietary and nutritional considerations that need to be addressed. We present to you six of these key issues and how to go about tackling them.

  • Determine the Right Calorific Intake – If you’re new to the game of raising a Belgian Malinois you might not be familiar with the calorific intakes of these dynamic dogs. We’ll make it easy for you. Use this Belgian Malinois Calorie Calculator to determine your own dog’s unique requirements. The calculator takes into consideration your dog’s age and weight to come up with an estimated figure of how many calories your canine should be eating in every meal and on a daily basis. This calorie calculator will prove invaluable especially if you have a puppy, pregnant or lactating females, and senior dogs as each dog has specific needs.
  • Puppies and Their Dietary Requirements – You have to plan your puppy’s diet if you want the pup to grow up into a healthy and content dog. A rule of thumb is that puppies will eat more than adult and senior dogs because they are still growing. This means that they will eat more protein and their calcium requirement will be higher than their older mates. Deficiencies in calcium for growing puppies can cause growth abnormalities. Because Malinois dogs are classified as large breed dogs, ensure that whatever puppy food you purchase is specifically made for puppies of large breed dogs so that your pup is getting all the nutrients they need. We’ve recommended some puppy food for Belgian Malinois below.
  • Senior Dogs’ Dietary Considerations – Adult Belgian Malinois’ diet should have a minimal but adequate fat level to keep weight optimal. These dogs may suffer from hip and bone ailments such as dysplasia; therefore, it is vital to keep joint stress to a minimum. The same can be said of an aging senior Mal. As they get less active you will need to moderate and monitor their diet with greater strictness because you want to avoid the dog getting overweight. This Belgian Malinois Calorie Calculator is a great resource as it will guide you on the necessary calorific intakes that will reduce the chances of your dog becoming obese.
  • Female Belgian Malinois Nutritional Needs – Female Belgian Malinois dogs enjoy a healthy appetite just like their male counterparts and their diets need to be monitored just as carefully too. This is paramount when the dog is pregnant and when it is lactating. Her protein needs will increase during pregnancy and continue to be higher than normal until she has finished lactating. Her protein intake will almost double during this time.
  • Weight Issues – What are the normal weight ranges for growing puppies at 5 months, 7 months, and 12 months? It is easier to determine if an adult Belgian Malinois is underweight or overweight because we know the anticipated weight range – 60-80 pounds for males and 40-60 pounds for females. While Malinois puppy growth charts exist which can help you predict how big your pup will get, we prefer to use this custom Puppy Weight Predictor to know what your own puppy is meant to weigh at a particular age.
  • Dry Food vs. Wet Food – Belgian Malinois will do well with both dry food and wet food options. We encourage alternating the two foods as this removes the monotony of eating one particular food type. Kibble is good for young pups as it helps them exercise their jaws and tends to be a more affordable food option. We also want to mention that you should be aware of what you’re feeding your dog. The American Kennel Club has listed seven human foods that are toxic to dogs. These seven are chocolate, onions, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, avocados, xylitol-containing products, and fatty and fried foods.

There are as many dog foods as there are brands which can make finding the right dog food a nightmare! Fortunately, you don’t have to browse through all of them. We’ve done all the heavy lifting and research and present to you our findings of the best dog foods for Belgian Malinois currently on the market.

Over Best Dog Food for Belgian Malinois in 2019

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features

  • Dry dog food ideal for small, medium, and large dog breeds
  • Recommended for adult-sized Belgian Malinois
  • Grain-free and gluten-free diet

Overall Best Dog Food for Belgian Malinois – If you’re looking for the overall best dog food for your Malinois, we don’t hesitate to recommend Taste Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This recipe boasts all the good nutrients that your canine needs – protein, vitamins, and minerals in the right amounts. Prebiotic support and additional antioxidants boost health and well-being.

Available as dry food, this formula ideal for adult, large breed dogs can be easily stored and kept without fear of spoilage. We appreciate the fact that this dog food is also made right here in the United States where our food safety protocols are among the best in the world.

Pros: 

  • Protein-rich diet featuring real buffalo, roasted venison, bison, and beef components
  • Well-balanced nutritional recipe boasting vitamins, antioxidants from actual fruits and vegetables
  • No grain, corn, fillers, or artificial flavorings used in this recipe
  • Locally made in the USA

Cons:

  • Not available in other food formats

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features

  • Salmon flavored adult dog food
  • Rich in minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids from real food sources
  • Ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs

Most Inexpensive (Cheap) – Dog food doesn’t have to be expensive. We love the American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe because it features a great tasting kibble full of key nutrients all at an affordable price.

This grain-free dog food contains no corn, no soy, no fillers, and no wheat making it an ideal option for Malinois that have developed food sensitivities. This formula is made from real food including fruits and vegetables, deboned salmon, salmon oil and flaxseed.

Pros: 

  • High-protein diet boasting real, deboned salmon
  • Vitamins and minerals supplied by real fruits and vegetables such as carrots, blueberries, and kelp
  • Formula is well-balanced thanks to the inclusion of fatty acids from salmon oil and flaxseed

Cons:

  • Not available in wet food format

Merrick Chunky Grain Free Big Texas Steak Tips Dinner Canned Dog Food

Key Features

  • Delicious and tasty beef chunks in gravy
  • Ideal food for puppies, adult Malinois, and senior dogs
  • Offers a unique meal that’s different to both traditional kibble and wet pate foods

Best Canned Food for Belgian Malinois – If you’ve been on the hunt for a home-style meal option then your search ends here with the Merrick Chunky Big Texas Steak Tips Dinner. Break the monotony of your dog’s diet with this chunky beef meal. Packaged as canned food, this formula is grain-free and contains no fillers, soy, and corn or wheat products.

What makes this recipe an all-around winner is that you can feed it to Malinois of all ages. From puppies’ right through to elderly dogs, this formula is bound to be a winner. It makes a great option if you’re looking to start puppies on solid food.

Pros: 

  • Different food texture that brings variety to your dog’s diet
  • Contains no corn, wheat or soy products
  • Grain-free formula

Cons:

  • Available in beef flavor only

Natural Balance L.I.D Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Key Features

  • A limited ingredient formula with no preservatives or artificial products
  • Large kibble particles ensure dogs eat slowly and chew thoroughly
  • High-quality diet rich in recommended nutrients

Best Limited Ingredient Food for Belgian Malinois – Limited Ingredient Diets are specially formulated for dogs that have stomach sensitivities and find it difficult to easily digest regular kibble or wet foods. This Natural Balance L.I.D Diet is a particularly good option because it can be consumed by dogs of all life stages. Additionally, the products used to make the diet provide quality nutrition that goes a long way in promoting good dog health.

The flaxseeds provide omega-3 fats needed for a shiny coat and the single animal protein encourages growth. This product reduces the chances of flatulence thanks to the kibble size which promotes slow eating and better digestion.

Pros:

  • Perfect for dogs of all life stages
  • Recommended option for pup’s with sensitive stomachs
  • Contains no wheat, soy, or corn
  • Legume-free – contains no peas

Cons:

  • Adult dogs might require supplemental food alongside this Limited Ingredient Diet to meet daily dietary requirements.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features

  • Diet rich in much-needed nutrients that encourage puppy growth – vitamins, proteins, fatty acids, and minerals
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or chicken by-products included
  • Small minute kibble for puppy jaws

Best Belgian Malinois Puppy Food – The market is flooded with puppy foods that are promoted as being the ‘best’. Among the puppy foods reviewed, this Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula came out tops as the best puppy food for Belgian Malinois thanks to its high-quality content which is specifically tailored for large breed puppies, its kibble size consideration for puppy jaws, and its texture which made it easy for pups to digest.

We loved the fact that real food is used to formulate this recipe. That’s actual meat, garden vegetables, fruits, and LifeSource Bits to make the perfect formula for growing Malinois pups. The fact that no corn, soy, or wheat products were used in the manufacturing process is also a bonus.

Pros: 

  • Specifically designed and formulated for large dog breed puppies in mind
  • Dry food that has an easy-to-digest texture
  • High-quality food featuring nutrients needed for puppy growth

Cons:

  • Not available in pate or wet food format.

4 More Top Rated Belgian Malinois Foods:

Here are additional top-rated foods for Belgian Malinois. These foods have been rated based on their nutritional information, quality, texture, taste, as well as the type of ingredients used to formulate them.

True Acre Foods Chicken & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This is a US-product featuring all of life’s good things – free-range chicken, farm-grown vegetables, fatty acids in the right proportions to promote growth and good dog health. This well-balanced recipe contains no artificial flavors, colors, and grains such as wheat or corn, making it a suitable option for Belgian Malinois with sensitive stomachs. This recipe is ideal and recommended for dogs of all life stages.

Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken Dry Dog Food

This Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken formula is an all-natural dry food that contains 12 non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Let your pup or adult Mal enjoy a tasty natural kibble featuring farm-raised chicken, oatmeal, rice, blended prebiotics and probiotics for that immune system boost. Optimal health is guaranteed by the vitamins and antioxidants included such as Taurine, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B 12. If you’re looking for an all-around inclusive and well-balanced formula you won’t find a better one than this one.

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

Your Malinois deserves real food. This Instinct Grain-Free Recipe is made of 70% real animal products and 30% fruits and veggies. Cage-free chicken provides much-needed protein, veggies supply vitamins and minerals, and oils provide fatty acids. Feeding on such a rich formula, your dog is bound to thrive. This recipe does not contain any grain, corn, wheat, potato, or soy products. Additionally, there are no preservatives and artificial colors used in the manufacturing process.

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

What do you feed your adult-size Malinois so that he or she remains in tip-top shape for the remainder of their life? Well, here’s a recipe that’s designed to help adult dogs maintain their weight, their health, and their body fat proportions. The Wellness Large Breed Complete Health boasts tocopherols that aid in preventing ocular canine diseases, low-fat content to keep your dog within its stipulated leanness range, and calcium to promote continued strong bones and teeth. Boasting four protein sources including chicken your dog will never lack and will be able to maintain its lean muscle and keep fat at bay.

Our 2019 Belgian Malinois Feeding Guide

Perhaps you are a first-time dog owner and don’t know the first thing about dog feeding schedules. Or perhaps you’ve been taking care of dogs for a long time, but have little to no experience where feeding Belgian Malinois is concerned. Don’t worry because we’ve put together this comprehensive Belgian Malinois feeding guide to give you all the information you need to set up a good feeding system for your Mal.

Belgian Malinois Puppy

Growing puppies certainly have dietary requirements that are unique to them. How many cups of food should you give your Mal pup and how many times a day should you feed them?

Belgian Malinois pups reach their full adult height around the 11-month mark. They’ll continue to put on a little height and weight until they are about 18 months. At the 11-month mark, they will have reached about 90% of their expected adult weight.

Recommended Weight for a Belgian Malinois Puppy

LIFE STAGE:Puppy
GENERAL WEIGHT:At birth                                   2-4 pounds*

9 weeks (2 months)               17.2 pounds

14 weeks (3 months)              31.3 pounds

20 weeks (5 months)              48.6 pounds

11 months                   54 pounds (females)

72 pounds (males)

*Belgian Malinois Puppy Weights

Recommended Food for a Belgian Malinois Puppy

AGE

(Months)

FOOD

(Cups)

MEALS PER DAY
2½ – 14
3-61-23
6-121-22
12+2-41

 

Belgian Malinois Adult

When Belgian Malinois reach the 18-month mark, they are considered as adult dogs. At this age, the male Malinois has grown out, stands squarely, and alert. The female will also reach her peak age at this time too. By the time a Malinois puppy reaches adulthood, its meal requirements have gone down to one square meal a day. The adult’s meal requirements are typically the same, with the only difference being the calorific intake for females which increases during pregnancy and when nursing.

Ideal Weight for an Adult Belgian Malinois

LIFE STAGE:Adult
GENERAL WEIGHT:60-80 pounds (Males)

40-60 pounds (Females)

 

Recommended Food for an Adult Belgian Malinois

AGE

(Months)

FOOD

(Cups)

MEALS PER DAY
12-24 (females)2-41-2
12-24 (males)2-41-2

 

Senior Belgian Malinois 

If you’re looking for a faithful companion who will be with you for over a decade, then these are the dogs to get. With a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years, you’ll be with your furry friend for a reasonable length of time. With that said, Belgian Malinois dogs are considered senior or elderly dogs when they cross the 10-year mark. At this point, you may notice that the dog gradually begins to slow down and canine-diseases such as dysplasia, osteoarthritis, and diabetes may become the order of the day.

Ideal Weight for an Adult Belgian Malinois

LIFE STAGE:Senior
GENERAL WEIGHT:Adult weight remains normal. Be careful of the dog becoming obese because of decreased activity levels. Use the calorie calculator to keep within the required calorific intake of dogs around this age.

 

Recommended Food for a Senior Belgian Malinois

AGE

(Years)

FOOD

(Cups)

MEALS PER DAY
10+ (females)2-41
10+ (males)2-41

 

FAQ

  • Should a Belgian Malinois eat dry or canned food? While it may be true that canned foods can contain higher proportions of meat proteins than kibble and lower carbs, we are of the opinion that canned foods should not become the staple diet for your Belgian Malinois for health reasons. Dogs need to also eat real food just like human beings. Where dry food is concerned, it is convenient in that it doesn’t grow bacteria as easily as exposed wet foods, and it tends to be on the more pocket-friendly side of things. Your Belgian Malinois can eat both dry and canned food alternately.
  • Should my Belgian Malinois eat a grain-free diet? We do not recommend grain-free diets especially in growing pups, pregnant females, and nursing mothers. Belgian Malinois, like any dog, thrive on a well-balanced diet. However, grains are often difficult for the dog to digest and pose several digestive problems. With that being said, choose diets that have no corn, wheat, and soy.  The FDA is currently investigating potential links between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. While no conclusive report has been given on the subject we recommend staying clear of these products particularly foods which contain legumes like lentils and peas and potatoes as part of the primary pet food ingredients.
  • How much food should I feed my Belgian Malinois? Belgian Malinois are dogs that require a well-balanced diet because of their high activity levels. This is particularly true when the dog is a puppy. At this stage, the dog will eat as many as four times a day. This requirement reduces with time however, until the dog is content with a single or two small meals each day. Unlike Great Danes which eat a lot, Belgian Malinois will not require more than four cups of food per meal when they become adults.
  • Is a Belgian Malinois considered an Extra Large Breed? For a dog to be considered as an extra-large dog breed it needs to have an adult weight of 90-pounds and above. Examples of extra-large dog breeds are Great Danes, English Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards. Belgian Malinois are dogs which fall under the large breed category. Dogs are considered a large breed if their weight falls between 45 and 90 pounds.
  • Do Belgian Malinois dogs have sensitive stomachs? Belgian Malinois aren’t dogs that generally have sensitive stomachs. However, it is possible for them to develop sensitivities to certain foods as they grow. Symptoms that your Mal may be developing stomach sensitivity include passing more gas, vomiting, and diarrhea. Changing your dog’s diet may lead to this sensitivity. However, the best way to resolve the cause of the sensitivity would be to visit the vet because internal organ system damage can also be a cause for stomach sensitivity.
  • Can I leave my children around a Belgian Malinois? Belgian Malinois are dogs that tend to be hyperactive. When they do not get enough exercise they can become aggressive and resort to chasing cars, strangers, and even over-tussle with the children. They need to be properly trained from a young age. When properly trained they are lovable and make excellent companions for family members. However, no child should ever be left alone with a dog, and especially a large breed dog such as Belgian Malinois.

Conclusion

A well-fed Belgian Malinois makes a formidable companion. Pair a good diet with lots of exercises and you’ll have yourself a worthy and trusty companion for at least a decade. It is imperative that you equip yourself with the right information concerning this dog breed’s unique dietary needs so you can raise a healthy dog. If you’re new to dog rearing and this is your first dog, our feeding guideline will simplify things for you. Simply follow it and purchase any of the recommended dog foods on our list. If you have specific questions perhaps because you have an injured dog, we recommend that you seek the advice of your local vet for a customized feeding programmed for your Malinois.

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