Nutrition is a Huge Part of Your Training – Nutrition in Your Dog
Choosing a balanced, high quality food for your sport dog has never been easier. More research than ever before has gone into nutrition in your dog, specifically as it relates to sporting dogs. One company that has led the industry in scientific research of canine nutrition is Purina Pro Plan.
Why is nutrition for your dog important? A balanced diet for your sporting dog provides all of the energy that he or she needs to make it through a day in the field, performing retrieve after retrieve. The food that your dog eats affects his or her ability to stay warm in the blind, as well as its coat condition. Research has even shown that the quality of a dog’s diet affects the animal’s scenting ability. As a top-tier athlete, your dog should consume the best diet possible.
Once you have found the highest quality kibble for your pet, the next step is knowing how to to properly use the product.
First, hunters should float their sport dog’s food. Simply add warm water to the your dog’s kibble and allow it to sit for a few minutes before feeding it to your dog. Canines are notorious for being dehydrated, especially dogs that work hard day in and day out. Dehydration can limit their performance, so adding extra water to their diets is essential for optimum health.
Next, make sure your dog is eating the proper portion sizes. An overweight sport dog will struggle in the field and be limited in his or her performance. Feed toward your dog’s body condition. You should be able to see your retriever’s back ribs slightly.
Finally, knowing when to feed your dog is important. Many dog owners mistakenly believe their animals should be fed twice per day. Instead, we now know that a dog with kibble in his or her stomach during intense exercise is at greater risk for developing stomach ulcers. Additionally, feeding a dog immediately before a hunt is useless, since dogs do not metabolize their meals for a full 12 hours. Therefore, the best time to feed your retriever is 30 – 60 minutes after exercise, or at the end of the day so that your dog has time to turn the food into usable energy.
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