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If you’re a proud dog owner, you really need to know how and what to feed your dog on hunting day.
Planning a hunting day with your dog is not a cup of tea. Your dog needs to be physically prepared to attack the target at the right time. A wrong diet could make your fido breathless or sick. To avoid that you should primarily consider the feeding regime.
The right portions and combination of diet will prepare your dog to make its best move and make you proud, help you get your limit and feed the family. So how should you plan and prepare the feeding strategy to accomplish a successful dog hunting day?
Things to Remember About Feeding Your Hunting Dog
We’ve taken advice from experts and have noted below some essential points you need to remember and follow to make sure your dog is prepared to go the battlefield.
Dogs Will Need Energy to Burn On Hunting Day
Your hard-working hunting dog could be burning a lot of calories during hunting. But the amount varies from one dog to the other in respect to their size and breed. The weight and metabolism of your dog will determine the actual amount of calories they burn during the hunting days. You need to be aware of that.
For a rough estimation let’s say your fido weighs around fifty (50) pounds. It could burn around 1,450 to 2,200 calories depending on the level of activity it does. So, on hunting days, your dog will need a significant increase in its diet, one that is high in calorie. Watch for foods that contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and other sources of healthy oils like salmon or flax seeds. Get some good high-calorie dog food that could help your fido be ready for a full days hunt and then get back the strength and energy it needs after that long day in the field.
Look Out for the Conditions
You also need to adjust the feeding requirement for your pawed buddy depending on the weather and environment. What if there’s a sudden drop in the temperature? During damp and cold conditions, feed your dog some extra calories before the hunt to keep up with the changes.
If you aren’t sure about the measurements, just add another cup of high-calorie dog food to your usual serving on a drop of 20 degrees in temperature. Do note that it is always a smart option to contact your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet. Make it known that there are days when he will be working a hunt and ask your vet about options to keep him in peak conditions.
Schedule When to Feed Your Dog
Experts recommend feeding your dog the evening before the big day. There are valid reasons to support the early feeding strategy. Everything your dog consumes takes around twelve hours to digest and finally be available to be burned when needed.
The diet should include proteins, fats and a little portion of carbohydrates. Having these three elements in dog food, in the right proportion, will be the perfect meal for your hunting dog.
By providing the right amount of nutrients in his or her diet before the hunting day will prepare your dog to perform its best.
Should You Go Light or Not Feed at All?
We understand you want to ensure your dog is not starving all day or during hunting, so you want to feed him before he’s onto the mission.
But what if we told you that it would only make it worse? An expert suggests that feeding your dog right before the activity or a few hours before will hinder its performance. The food will not digest quickly and be rendered almost useless for the dog for the days activities. Furthermore, it could create bloating issues for your dog or weigh it down. We all know that feeling.
To avoid the problem, don’t feed your dog right before it goes hunting. Even if you plan to feed him that day, make it as early and as light as possible. Because we all know that most dogs, especially active dogs, are sweetness, loyalty, eternal children, and fur, all wrapped around a stomach that can never say “No!”. We have to be the adults here.
Is it Good or Bad to Feed During the Hunt?
Apologies but if you think not feeding them during hunts is cruel then so be it. We still have to stick to the previous point we mentioned. It’s crucial for you to know that feeding during hunting breaks would bring no improvement in their performance. Neither will it do them any good. In fact, eventually, feeding could upset their stomach. So what can you do about it? Again, go light on the diet, feed them sparingly and instead of solid food, pay more attention to their hydration.
Make sure they don’t get dehydrated, or that could pose a real problem during the day of hunting.
When the Hunt is Over
So the big day has come to an end, and your fido is exhausted. You know it’s finally time to provide a good meal and cheer him up again. But experts advise you to have patience even after the hunt is over. Just like the way you’ve prepared your dog before hunting, make sure you do the same thing now.
Provide him with the right amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. This is to ensure that your dog reserves the right amount of energy burnt throughout the process. If you’re willing to feed him a good meal, then wait at least an hour after the hunt for him to calm down. This would avoid causing torsion to your dog. An important point to always have in mind is again to focus on hydration after the hunt. Also consider adding a little warm water to the meal to restore the hydration.
Some Final Words
Just as athletes need to prepare well physically before their performance, dogs too need to be prepared before the big or small hunting expedition. Don’t stress out much; it’s a matter of balancing and knowing what works best for your dog. However, it’s always a good idea to consult the vet and take advice from experts. The right diet and a solid feeding strategy will ensure the highest performance of your hunting dog.
Shawn is a content writer at FeedFond. He’s a doting father not only to his two children but also to his two Golden Retrievers. Check out more of his articles at FeedFond.com.
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