Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs
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The Relationship Between Training and Diet
An animal’s diet should be carefully adapted to changes in training:
rest period: high-quality maintenance food, adapted to the size of the dog;
training period: gradual progression to a working ration (transitions over a week for each modification) or increasing addition of a working dog’s dietary supplement to the maintenance ration:
racing period: the added stress to the work may call for additional nutritional adaptations. Quantitatively, the ration is adapted to the change in the weight of the animal.
post-training period: gradual return to the maintenance diet
Of course, owners cannot expect any particular performance form a dog that is well-fed but poorly trained or well-trained but without a proper diet! Regardless of the canine sport in question, it isn’t the egg yolks on Monday or the sardine on Thursday or the secret magic powder that will make the animal a winner, but rather a rational approach that respects a real dietary plan that is based on nutritional information and carefully thought out for the entire season.
Choosing the Foods
The quality of raw materials or complete foods used to meet nutritional needs is of the utmost importance for Sporting or Working dogs insofar as they must be extremely digestible, ensure optimal energy yield for the animal, and allow for optimal detoxification.
All protein sources with a low availability of amino acids and a low logical value (balance of essential amino acids) should be avoided. The same is true for proteins that are not easily digested and that are rich in collagen (the total collagen/protein ratio should not exceed 20%). We recommend:
(Red and white) meat;
Fish meal with at least 55-60% protein in relation to the dry matter;
whole egg powder
De-lactosed caseine (which, in order to be perfectly balanced, requires the addition of about 2% of methionine).
Foods or raw materials that are in starch should be chosen for their quality and should undergo an optimal heat treatment in order not to cause intestinal problems. Quick sugars are prohibited. Fiber will be introduced in limited amounts (2-3% cellulose in the food), because it is too great in volume, decrease the overall digestibility of the ration, and causes water to be retained in the feces, which is harmful to the dog’s hydration. Only certain “soluble” fiber is useful in the dog’s digestive health.
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