Meeting the Nutritional Needs of a Working Dog
Providing your working dog with a specialized diet is crucial to their health and performance. Because working dogs require higher energy and endure more stress, it’s very important that they are fed a high-protein, high-fat diet. This type of balanced diet is necessary for digestion, energy and performance.
Much like humans, when provided with a nutritious diet, dogs are able to work hard without damaging their bodies. In addition, they are able to endure much more while working without becoming easily fatigued. In order to ensure you’re meeting the nutritional needs of your dog, follow these working dog specific tips.
A high-protein diet promotes strong muscles without sacrificing your dog’s overall health. There are a variety of foods available that claim to be high protein. Unfortunately, sometimes the amount of protein may not be right for your dog. Depending on the work your dog is doing in the field, will depend on the amount of protein you should look for in a food. To ensure that your dog is getting the right amount of protein for their body type and breed, talk with a vet or pet food specialist.
At Joy Dog food, our Super Meal formula is nutrient dense with 30% protein and 20% fat. This blend is commonly fed to promote energy and overall health. In addition to our Super Meal formula, we provide a variety of performance foods with different blends of protein and fat.
Avoid Over or Under Feeding
Additionally, the amount of food you feed your working dog matters. Over feeding can lead to excess weight gain, while under feeding can lead to malnourishment. When you start on a new food, reference the back of the bag for feeding directions. If you’re still not sure how much to feed, talk with a vet or pet food specialist. They will be able to determine the right serving sizes to keep your dog healthy and performing on the field.
Keep Your Working Dog Hydrated
Whether you have a working dog or not, it’s crucial to provide your dog with fresh, clean water at all times. While working, your dog’s body temperature will rise leaving them dehydrated. To avoid over heating and/or heat stroke, make sure water is accessible on the job. In addition to over-heating, your dog’s performance will decline significantly when they are dehydrated.
Avoid Sudden Changes in Diet
Your vet and pet food specialist will tell you to avoid switching your dog’s diet. A sudden change in diet can directly impact a dog’s digestive system, therefore leaving them unable to perform their best. If you have to make a food change, we recommend slowly incorporating the new food into their diet. For example, start with a small percentage of the new food and slowly increase servings over days.
Overall, it’s important that a working dog is provided the right nutrients to ensure not only high performance but their health. When fed the wrong diet, it can be extremely unhealthy and damaging to the dog’s muscles and immune system. At Joy, we understand that a healthy diet Learn more about the performance foods we offer online.