Dogs that perform strong work such as pulling a sled, grazing and hunting, require a much more balanced diet than those of other dogs. They are athletes who need to perform at their peak during their times of the greatest effort and that is why constant revision is necessary, especially the feeding of hunting dogs.
The balance in nutrients must be effective to reinforce the development of your muscles to the fullest.
Extreme fatigue, dehydration and constant exposure to strong tensions, when performing hunting or training tasks, progressively weaken the physical health of the animal.
That is why it is important that as owners we know the best methods to control the feeding of hunting dogs. Hence, we have decided to present the most relevant recommendations to achieve the correct balance in the nutrition of your partner and can provide you with the health you deserve.
An important link: exercise and nutrition
The majority of hunting dogs are within the weight range called medium-large (greyhound, pointer, retriever, etc.), except the cocker, spaniel, and tickets, which are medium weight, and the bloodhound of San Hubert or the Wolfhound who are considered great-giants.
These considerations are of great relevance since the exercise of the work to which they can be dedicated depends not only on the feeding of hunting dogs but also on genetic factors and training. The latter is essential to achieve good performance and avoid injuries.
There are three types of exercises that dogs can perform to maintain an optimal state of health and weight: speed tests (of great intensity, but for only a few minutes); intermediate activities (short days of small game or tracking); and endurance tests (special hunting tests in championships stand out).
Hydration is fundamental
Water, in addition to feeding hunting dogs, is necessary for the proper functioning of this kind of dog. Through hydration, the body maintains its normal temperature ranges, since high-impact activities increase the body’s water requirement.
The heat produced by the great muscular work is dissipated by evaporation in the upper respiratory tract of the animal, through the act of panting. It is important, then, that your friend has water at all times.
Hunting dog food
According to veterinarians, it is very difficult to achieve an ideal balance of nutrients with a homemade diet, although it is possible to know the composition of each food. The high variability in the nutritional components and even the cooking of the ingredients significantly alters the balance for the good feeding of the hunting dogs.
This type of hairy requires a series of essential amino acids to form a protein. They also require linoleic fatty acids, to obtain body fat. Carbohydrates or carbohydrates, not so essential, are necessary to maintain the energy reserves of the dog longer.
Being these three groups of nutrients the only ones that can be transformed into energy, the experts concluded that the best option, for the good feeding of the hunting dogs, is the scientifically elaborated feeds, of high technology, and that assures a perfect and constant balance in its composition.
There are different diets specific to high-activity dogs on the market. These ‘high energy feed’, are usually more than enough to keep working dogs in optimal conditions.
In the case of extreme activities at very low temperatures, it is necessary that the feeding of the hunting dogs is supplemented with calories, through the intake of meat and fat, since in these cases the caloric and energy burning is much greater, The body requires maintaining stable body temperature.
In the case of competition dogs (national hunting and dog tracking championships), it is important to consider factors such as stress or travel. The diarrhea stress or weight loss, despite imbalanced nutrition care for the animal.
Some practical recommendations
- Changes in your partner’s diet should be gradual, you have to allow the gastrointestinal tract to adapt. Changes in metabolism, to assimilate changes in food, may take between six to eight weeks.
- Food must be highly digestible and with a high nutritional value. This allows reducing the high volumes in the intake of the dog.
- It is advisable to feed the dog at least in the afternoon or night before hunting or competition, to achieve greater resistance. In the case of very prolonged exercises, small amounts with high-fat content may be offered during the test.
- In the case of hunting for several days in a row, the dog must be fed at least one hour after the end of the day. Otherwise, we could cause vomiting or diarrhea that will reduce performance for the rest of the activity.
- The vitamin supplements (especially vitamin B and C), the addition of amino acids (carnitine) or fatty acids, allow better recovery since in extreme exercise, the ability to be assimilated by the overcomes body speed destruction.