How Hunting Dogs Should Be Fed

How hunting dogs should be fed

Hard working dogs, such as those who pull a sled, herd herds and help with hunting, require a much more balanced diet than other dogs. 

These are athletes who need to have the best performance in their moments of greatest effort. That’s why constant attention is needed, especially when it comes to feeding hunting dogs.

Nutrient balance should be effective to boost  your muscle development to the fullest.

Extreme tiredness, dehydration and constant exposure to high voltages, to produce game or training,  progressively weaken  the  physical health  of the animal.

That’s why it’s important that, as owners, we know the best methods of  controlling  hunting dogs’ feeding.

That’s why we’ve decided to present  the most relevant recommendations  to achieve the right balance in your partner’s nutrition and thus ensure the health he deserves.

An important pair: exercise and nutrition

Most  hunting dogs are in the medium-large weight range  (greyhounds, pointers, retrievers, etc.), with the exception of the cocker, spaniel and teckels, which are medium weight, and the Santo Humberto dog and the Wolfhound (Irish hare) which are considered great giants.

There are certain tasks for these animals that involve large doses of exercise, therefore, they require a very balanced diet with high nutritional value.

Therefore, instead of homemade food, it is better to give them specialized foods.

These considerations are of great importance, since the effort required by the work to which they dedicate themselves does not depend only on food, but  also on genetic and training factors.

The latter is essential for achieving good performance and avoiding injury.

hunting dogs

There are three types of exercises that dogs can perform to maintain optimal health and ideal weight:

  • Speed ​​tests  (high intensity, but only for a few minutes)
  • Intermediate activities  (short hunting or tracking journeys)
  • Endurance tests  (especially special hunting tests in championships)

Hydration is essential

Water, in addition to feeding hunting dogs, is  necessary for the proper functioning of this type of dog.

Through hydration, the body maintains a normal temperature, as high-impact activities increase the body’s need for water.

The heat produced by the great muscular work  is dissipated by evaporation  in the animal’s upper respiratory tract, through the act of panting. It is important, then, that your friend has water available at all times.

Feeding hunting dogs

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 nutritional components and even the cooking of ingredients  significantly alter the balance  of good hunting dogs’ nutrition.

This type of furry  needs a series of essential amino acids to form proteins.

They also require linoleic fatty acids to get body fat. Carbohydrates, which are not as essential, are  needed to maintain the dog’s energy reserves longer.

dog hunting bird

These three groups of nutrients are the only ones that can be turned into energy.

Therefore, the experts concluded that the best option for the good nutrition of hunting dogs  are high-techscientifically elaborated foods, which guarantee a perfect and constant balance in their composition.

There are different diets available on the market for very active dogs. These “high energy foods” are usually more than enough to keep dogs active in the best condition.

In the case of extreme activities at very low temperatures, it  is necessary that the hunting dogs’ food is supplemented with calories, through the ingestion of meat and fat.

After all, in these cases, the caloric and energy burn is much greater, and the body needs to maintain a stable body temperature.

If they are competitive dogs (national hunting and tracking dog championships), it is important to  take into account factors such as stress or travel.

Diarrhea due to stress or weight loss, despite being careful with its nutrition, unbalance the animal.

Some practical recommendations on feeding hunting dogs

  • Changes in your furry friend’s diet should be gradual. You must allow the dog’s gastrointestinal tract to adapt. Changes in metabolism, to assimilate dietary changes, can take six to eight weeks.
  • The food must be highly digestible and of high nutritional value. This way, the dog will be able to eat less and better.
  • It is advisable to feed the animal less during the afternoon or evening before hunting or competition, to reinforce its resistance. In the face of very prolonged exercises, small amounts of food with a high fat content may be offered throughout the event.
  • If you are hunting for several days in a row, you will need to feed the dog at least one hour after the end of your hunting or competition journey. Otherwise, we can cause vomiting or diarrhea, which will reduce the animal’s performance in the rest of the activity.
  • The  vitamin supplements  (especially vitamin B and C) and the addition of amino acids (carnitine) or fatty acids to the diet, it also allows a better recovery of the organism.

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