Dogs and Nutrition: How to prepare your dog for the opening of the hunt? With a good low-calorie diet, with veterinary supervision and of course with healthy daily movement.
It is good to remember this when it comes to the nutrition of our four-legged friends, everyone is different, and things change especially when it comes to age, race, activity and habits. However, there are some good rules that should never be underestimated.
The first to always take into consideration is linked to the fact that the better a dog is fed, the higher its performance will be. The speech becomes even more sensitive and complicated when the dog is not simply our playmate, but rather the faithful hunting companion.
One wonders: where do you find all the energy to keep up with us, run faster than us, play, and be pampered? Obviously in the calories he ingests daily and therefore the calorie - energy ratio is one that the careful owner should never lose sight of.
Feeding your dog correctly is therefore one of the best ways to prepare it for the opening of the hunt that is awaited both by you and by him.
First of all it is important to remember that a sporting dog should never gain weight even during the months of rest. The golden rule is easily respected by owners who, during periods of rest, impose low-calorie diets and a minimum of daily movement on their four-legged friend. All of this will help him stay fit.
It is particularly wrong and dangerous to think that the sporty dog, weighed down, will regain its ideal weight after a few days of hunting. In that case the performance of the animal for several days will be low, just as low will be the yield and gratification.
In addition to the reduced performance of at least 50%, your pet's metabolism will be put to the test, just like the heart, liver and kidneys. The risk? That the sporting life of the dog is drastically shortened and that the hound too soon turns into a pet. It is always better to get your dog back in shape a few weeks before the opening. Diet and walks will help not only the faithful companion, but very often also the owner, to find an enviable line.
Another excellent rule that everyone should follow is that of a complete dog check-up a few weeks before the hunt is opened. From the examination of the feces it will be possible to detect the presence of dangerous diseases such as tapeworm, hookworm, trichuris, which weaken the animal by limiting its excellent performance. Your vet will likely recommend a full blood test. In this way he will be able to keep the good heart, kidney and liver function under control and will eventually find traces of heartworm or leishmaniasis to fight immediately.
At that point, through a quadrivalent vaccination the dog will be safe from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus. In principle, it can be said that a dog weighing about 20 kg, during the rest period will have to consume 1500 calories per day distributed between proteins (20%), carbohydrates (70%), fats (5%) and mineral salts (5 %).
A diet of this kind, combined with daily movement, will be excellent preparation for your dog, when the hunt begins. Obviously, once the hunt has begun, the low-calorie diet will have to be abandoned.
The intense and tiring hunting days will have to be rewarded with a more substantial diet.
A few hours before the activity, for example, the dog could eat a small meal that could help him face the day with greater determination. Normally the recommended dose is equal to 1/3 of the evening meal.
Further changes will have to be made gradually to the diet during the hunting season. In the event that you have a pointing dog next to you, increase the calorie intake of the aforementioned diet by 50%, in the case of a follower dog, the calorie intake must be doubled.
It is not recommended to modify the carbohydrate intake; much better would be to touch up the fats that are well digested by the dog and that are quickly "burned". The temperature element must also be taken into consideration. On the hottest days the dog will obviously be more thirsty and less hungry, so the recovery of its energy will certainly be slower. There is nothing to do but be patient.
To combat the cold, on the other hand, the dog will find himself burning a greater number of calories, of which he will obviously supply himself by consuming more abundant and hot meals.
The last tip is to take the dog to the vet in mid-hunting season for a second checkup, especially if it has been subjected to intense and daily work.
For the rest, the good old common sense rule is enough.