Gun Dog Nutrition
One of the easiest ways to keep your dog in good shape is to make sure that he is getting proper nutrition. Nutrition is very important for all dogs, but your gun dog needs optimum nutrition to make it through long days of quartering, flushing and retrieving birds.
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Start by feeding a premium dog food. Premium dog foods concentrate more nutrition in less food because they use high quality ingredients that are easily absorbed. These foods generally have higher fat and protein, something working dogs need. The latest research in pet nutrition shows dogs fed a high-fat diet run faster and further than dogs fed a diet high in carbohydrates.1 A high protein dog food helps protect your dog against injuries. Canine nutritional scientists recommend a premium dog food containing 18-20 percent fat and 28-30 percent protein for working dogs.2
Consistency is important
Dogs like consistency in all things, but especially their feedings. Feed your dog at the same time each day and do not change brands or flavors of food. Dogs are not like humans; they do not get bored eating the same food each day. The only thing that should be varied at feeding time is the amount of food your dog receives. This should fluctuate depending on how your dog looks and how much exercise he is getting. Working dogs should be kept lean, with a defined indentation between the ribs and hipbones. Overweight dogs tire faster in the field, injure themselves easier, and develop health problems earlier than lean dogs.
Assuming your dog is healthy, you should not give your dog table scrapes or other human additives unless prescribed by a veterinarian. If you are feeding a premium dog food, these scrapes are unnecessary and can throw off the nutritional balance you are working toward.