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Nutrition for active dogs – Proper nutrition for your working dog

Active dogs need a more comprehensive diet than other kinds of dogs.  Dogs that work in law enforcement and search and rescue missions, as well as dogs that participate in agility competitions are examples of dogs with a very active lifestyle. Active dogs that participate in tracking, hunting, detection, managing livestock, police work, search and rescue, and competition at a low to moderate intensity level have different nutritional requirements than typical a household pet.  

Essential Nutrients for Your Active Dog

You need to give your active dog large amounts of food and give them the right nutrients because they need to sustain their energy.  Make sure you give them enough food when they are most active.  The extra food provides more energy because a working dog needs 2-5 times the amount of calories than a regular dog.  The energy comes from the calories and helps your dog perform at a peak level.

These are four nutrient tips for you active dog.

1. Carbohydrates: After a dog becomes an adult, they no longer need to have carbohydrates in their diet.  Having less carbohydrates actually allow dogs to have better performances.  Dogs can still absorb carbohydrates and a minimum amount is required for dogs that participate in activities lasting longer than two minutes.

2. Protein: Proteins are essential because of the amino acids that are the important for hormones, enzymes, and tissues.  Proteins help develop muscle mass and provide energy, size and strength.  You need to be careful not to give your dog too much protein because it will lead to excessive protein breakdown.  Active dogs need to have a quality diet that includes protein that provides energy, muscles and structural repair.

3. Fats: Fats are the main source of energy for active dogs and they provide twice the energy than both carbohydrates and proteins.  Putting fat in an active dogs’ diet is the best way to increase both energy and strength.  A diet high in fat will also provide your dog with better endurance and performance.  It is extremely important to give your dog the right amount fatty acids along with both saturated and unsaturated fats.

4. Water: Active dogs lose a lot of water while they are working and it is an extremely important to keep them hydrated.  Water is a key ingredient for active dogs and no matter what the temperature is (hot or cold) they need an ample supply of water.

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