WORKING DOG DIET REQUIREMENTS

If you haven’t already heard about us, please let us introduce ourselves. We are Hunters Natural – Purveyors of natural and quality gun dog nutrition. You’ve arrived at this page because you’re looking to learn more about a working dogs diet requirements – our specialty.

There is a wide range of dog food brands out there. In fact, there’s so many to choose from, it’s hard to find which is best for your working dog. To help you explore the different options, we have produced this short working dog diet requirements guide which we hope you will find useful reading.

Hunters Natural Gun Dog Food Signature
Hunters Natural Grain Free Gun Dog and Working Dog Feeds

WORKING DOG DIETS ARE NOT ALL THE SAME

Working dog diets are not all the same – what do we mean by this? You might be thinking that we’re referring to the different working dog dietary options available; such as the BARF, Complete Dry, Wet, and Raw (we’ll talk about these more in a moment). What we’re actually referring to is that every working dog is different – each with their own needs, likes and dislikes. Whilst one feed might be working well for one working dog, the same may not do so well on another. That said, there as some basic general rules that typically apply to all working dogs.

BARF Diet For Working Dogs
The BARF diet for working dogs has become more popular in recent years, however is no where near as popular as the complete dry feeds. The BARF diet, or raw feeds for working dogs is basically exactly that – you feed your dog uncooked meats, edible bones and organs. Formulated vary, and there are raised concerns over the potential of food borne illnesses, zoonosis and nutritional imbalances.

WET FEEDS
A working dogs diet should never consist of wet tinned feeds (in our opinion). Why? It’s simple – wet feeds rot teeth, and they do it quickly.

COMPLETE DRY FEEDS
The vast majority of working dogs diets consist of complete dry feeds. They provide a nutritionally complete feed, but be aware – you must check the quality of any complete dry feed before incorporating it into your working dogs diet. It’s worth taking note now because there are many working dog food diet brands out there that want you to believe their feed is the best and that YOU MUST PURCHASE IT NOW. Well hold on just a moment.

WORKING DOG DIETS & COMPLETE DRY FEEDS

As we’ve already mentioned, complete dry feeds for working dogs are the most popular feeding option. There’s many reasons why, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to check the quality of a feed. Here’s what to look out for:

CHECK THAT FIRST INGREDIENT
Check the packaging on your current feed and look at the first indigent. Ingredients are listed in a set order – from high to low. If the first ingredient is anything other than meat or fish – throw it away. If the first ingredient is a grain, throw it away even quicker. Grains do offer some nutritional benefits, but we feel they are more used as a cheap ingredient to bulk out feeds. If the first ingredient is a meat or fish protein source, you’re on the right track.

HOW MUCH MEAT OR FISH?
The next thing to check is the amount of meat, or fish is included. Typically speaking, the higher this amount, the higher quality of feed it is. Brands differ with the amount of meat included. We have seen feeds contain as low as 2% meat. Our best selling Field Performance© range for active working dogs is made with at least 50% meat. Our Performance Puppy© range contains at least 60% meat, and our training treats contain at least 80%.

STAY AWAY FROM GRAINS
Again, this is only our opinion but a quick search on google will instantly tell you what’s what about using grains in a working dogs diet. To keep it simple, grains are not easily digested by dogs. Grains are also very cheap, so are sometimes used to bulk out feeds – thus making them cheaper to manufacture.

WORKING DOGS NEED PROTEIN & FAT
The next thing to look out for is the amount of protein and fat that’s in the feed. Active working dogs generally require a higher amount of protein and fats in their diets when compared to other dogs. Check the label for the amounts. To  give you a guide, our Field Performance© Salmon, Trout, Sweet Potato & Asparagus feed contains 26% protein and 14% crude oil and fats. Maintenance feeds such as our Maintenance Natural© range contain roughly the same amount of protein, but contain lower amounts of crude oil and fats. These maintenance feeds are ideal for working dogs who maintain a steady healthy weight, or those in light work.

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