Some dogs are very active and take part in working roles or canine sports. If you have a dog like this, you probably know how unique their needs are when it comes to mental stimulation, exercise, and general lifestyle.
Another thing that is unique and different about active dogs is their need to eat differently as compared to the average domestic pet dog. This makes it essential for you need to support the lifestyle and offer optimum nutrition to your active dog.
Whether you have an active dog or thinking of getting one, or you want your furry friend to get involved in canine sport, you must have a basic understanding of the type of food and nutrition that active dogs need.
Determine the Dog’s Activity Level
Primarily, the diet that you feed your dog needs to be adaptive so that it matches its activity level. Dogs in working roles or those taking part in sports work towards a new skill or, goal so it is essential to feed your dog a diet that is a good match.
You also need to take into account your dog’s size, age, and breed because these are some important factors while selecting what your dog needs to eat and in what quantity.
Any dog that walks more than an hour a day without getting tired or takes part in sports activities is an active dog. However, if the limit of your dog’s exercise tolerance is not very high and gets tired quickly, then the dog is not a very active and will have normal exercise requirements.
What to Feed to an Active Dog?
Since active dogs like sporting, working, and hunting dogs require up to four times as much energy as other dogs, it is important that you meet your dog’s nutritional needs, and help them maintain a healthy weight.
An active dog’s primary source of energy is fat. This needs to be combined with highly digestible ingredients to provide the right nutrition. An active dog’s food must –
- Provide enough energy so that the dog doesn’t get tired and remains active.
- Ensure that the food helps maintain lean muscles and aid muscle recovery after intense activities.
- Taste good and should be easily digestible.
- Contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
Easily digestible food results in good health for an active dog. Some of the most easily digestible carbohydrates for your dog are rice and starch and contain less soluble fiber than any other carbohydrate source.
The protein content in wet food should be around 7-10 percent with a fat content of at least 5 but less than 10 percent. While feeding dry food, the protein content should be 30 percent or more with fat content ranging from 20 to 25 percent. You can also use supplements for your active dog.
Never Forget More Exercise = More Calories
The more exercise your dog does, the more calories it will need. Getting enough calories is essential for working or sporting dogs to maintain an active lifestyle and the process of learning new skills. Active dogs need 5 – 25 percent more food than a dog leading a normal lifestyle.
Things to Avoid
Active dogs need to avoid overfeeding treats or table foods. Although you may be tempted to reward your dog with treats, the calories from treats don’t have the right ratio of nutrients, and can imbalance the diet.
Also, avoid feeding your dog immediately before or following a strenuous activity as it can cause some digestive problems. Lastly, you must avoid making drastic changes to your dog’s diet. Do it gradually by changing intake so that the dog’s digestive system can easily adjust to lesser or higher quantities.