Let’s find out what are the best dog food for hunting dogs 2020 and best food for gun dogs. Finding a best dry dog food for gundogs can be very difficult without any expert advise, so we discussed this with one dog trainer, and he helped us to select a top rated good food for hunting dogs.
As a dog trainer, hunter and person who has been around a number of dog breeders, one thing that’s struck me is the low quality of food I continually see being fed to gun dogs.
These working canines are not like lap dogs, or dogs that never go afield. Gun dogs are like athletes and they require the healthiest food available. Even non-hunting dogs will have a higher quality of life when they are fed nutrient-dense food.
Best Food For Hunting Dogs
Why does owners and breeders settle for low-quality food? It’s simple, and comes down to money and a lack of understanding of ingredients. Hunters who opt for discounted, high-volume dog food often do so because of price; they can get more food for less money.
Breeders – some, not all – often use and promote dog foods that are of lesser quality because they get large quantities at a large discount. Furthermore, these hunting breeders often refer their foods to their clients, the people who are investing in their puppies.
But when you take a close look at the ingredients in dog foods, and the daily feeding guidelines, it’s easy to see some of the best foods aren’t any more expensive than the lesser quality brands – and that’s not all.
“Recent studies are showing that the longer dogs are on a certain food, the more likely they are to develop allergies to that food,” shares Chris Wright, owner of McKenzie Feed & Tackle in Oregon.
Best Food For Gun Dogs
“The old-school thought of feeding your dog the same thing all the time, it’s whole life, is gone. You want to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients, amino acids and building blocks they need, and these requirements change as a dog ages.”
Wright has enlightened me a great deal about dog food since I switched my pudelpointers, and our family lap dog, to NutriSource dog food (nutrisourcepetfoods.com). The changes we’ve seen in our dogs since switching to this high-quality food is something every dog owner would appreciate.
Our 13-year-old lap dog is running around like she’s 5 again. Our female pudelpointer, who is 6 years old, has greatly increased her range and agility, lost weight, and her coat quality is the best it’s been. Our 3-year-old male pudelpointer has become one of the most impressive, versatile gun dogs I’ve had the honor of hunting with anywhere in the world.
These changes, and more, are directly related to their diet. “When it comes to puppy food, a large-breed dog, one that will be over 60 pounds as an adult, is going to be better suited going with a large-breed puppy food until it’s 1½ to 2 years old, or until the dog is spayed or neutered,” says Wright.
Best Feed For Hunting Dogs
“After 6 months you don’t have to feed as much food to your pup as puppy food is nutrient-dense,” he adds. “In other words, keep feeding it puppy food, but feed it smaller portions. A puppy will eat a lot more adult food, and this costs more, so stay on puppy food, just in smaller servings.
Also know that less food equates to less droppings to clean up.” I was amazed at how many fewer times our dogs went number two, and how much smaller their droppings were, after switching to NutriSource. This is because they efficiently metabolize the quality ingredients, thus they pass less waste.
Wright suggests, however, that if your pup is acting more hungry after 6 months of age and just keeps wanting to eat and eat, switch to adult dog food. If they start getting pudgy as a puppy, take them off the puppy food, as you don’t want a pudgy puppy after 10 weeks old.
It’s far better to have a thin dog than an overweight one, as being even a pound or two overweight can take years off the life of a dog.
So what types of foods does Wright recommend for your puppy? “We don’t suggest going grain-free for puppies,” he shares. “A rotational diet with puppy food is ideal, changing out flavors every bag (this is even key for adult dogs). For puppies, chicken and rice is easy to digest and they love it.
If a pup is having allergies, try going grain-free. Corn and wheat are best to stay away from, as dogs digest very little of these.” “Beef is also good, but it has to be high quality,” Wright offers. “Make sure it’s sourced properly, with higher quality meat. Look at the bag closely; you want chicken and chicken meal as the first ingredients, not chicken byproducts, for instance.”
Read the labels and avoid buying any foods that say meat byproducts as these are common coverups for low-grade meals. I learned a lot by checking the guides offered by NutriSource as to how to read their labels. “With our two griffons, we feed them a grain every three or four bags just because they digest this differently and it’s good for the dogs to have that change,” points out Wright.
“Dogs break down things differently – rice versus legumes, potatoes versus oats, oatmeal versus brown rice. Peas, lentils and potatoes aren’t grains, so they are good grain-free food options. Potatoes are not a concern until a dog has an issue with it; then it’s time to switch it out. ”Wright concludes with a note on something else to watch for.
“ Itchy dogs are very often food allergy based. Ninety percent of the time the problem is corn or wheat, be it given as a treat at the gas station, popcorn while watching a movie at home, Cheerios at breakfast, and so on. One little bit can keep a dog uncomfortable and acting subpar for months,” he says.
When we switched our three dogs to high-performance foods, their lives changed and their performance reached a whole new level. There’s a science behind quality dog foods, and every dog owner should be cognizant of that.
We’ll take a look at adult dog food, and best food for senior hunting dogs. Before going to order one, do some homework and you’ll see that while quality dog foods appear more expensive at first glance, many are actually less pricey because less food is being consumed, thus you get more servings of a higher quality food per bag. You owe it to your dog, and yourself, to feed them the best food possible.
In general, the most common hunting dogs are scent hounds or gun dogs. What you plan to hunt should determine the type of dog you get.
Gun dogs: Also called bird dogs, since that is their primary prey, these dogs sometimes hunt smaller animals like rabbits. This dog is used to locate prey and flush it out for the hunter to shoot. The dog usually retrieves the quarry for the hunter.
Scent hounds: This dog follows prey trails with their nose, making quite a lot of noise while running after prey. The dog’s calls enable the hunter to follow the trail even when the dog is out of sight. Some scent hounds focus on pursuing prey. Others are “treeing” dogs that chase the prey up a tree and wait at the base until hunters can arrive.