Hunting Dogs: Proper care and nutrition of your hunting dog is a must for every good hunter. Gastrointestinal and digestive disorders limit the vitality and capacity of even the best hound. To avoid them it will be enough to follow a few simple tips.
Best friend of the hunter, the hunting dog is often able to turn the outcome of a joke for the better. Loyalty and ability in the field should be rewarded with great attention in the care of one's wingman. Element of primary importance, it should be emphasized several times, is the feeding of the four-legged companion. If incorrect it could cause gastrointestinal problems that will compromise its abilities, turning the hound rather into a slow and tired companion dog. Preventing this kind of ailments is a must for the hunter, either for the success of the hunt, or above all for the affection that binds him to his animal. The most common digestive disorders in hunting dogs, caused by feeding errors, disappear under normal circumstances when the cause of the illness is eliminated.
A good habit is not only to eliminate the problem (for example a given food that produces gastrointestinal disorders in the dog), but also to inaugurate a healthy and balanced diet that will also erase the shadow of the digestive problems of the four-legged friend.
The most common advice given to owners of hunting dogs are goodies of common sense; in the event that digestive problems have caused vomiting, it is advisable, for example, to deprive the dog of water for 24 hours and to fast for the whole day. Another remedy often recommended in case of digestive disorders is the administration of solid or semi-solid foods which by their nature are highly digestible. Furthermore, the possibility of administering lactic ferments to the animal should not be underestimated. Once the problem has been overcome, a gradual resumption of normal nutrition will have to occur, to be distributed throughout the day so as not to burden digestion.
It should also be remembered that popular sayings and traditional proverbs are often poorly associated with the correct nutrition of your hunting dog. In fact, those who recommend feeding the animal to the sound of bones or leftovers described as the best dinner for the hound are absolutely not to be followed.
The foods that must also be administered with some attention in case of digestive problems or even better to avoid them are:
• foods rich in starch. This, present in bread, pasta and rice, will be broken down in the digestive system into sugars, making digestion itself heavy and difficult. Clearly the problem can be circumvented in a very simple way. By overcooking pasta or rice, the same starches will be transformed into sugars during cooking and fido will be able to digest the meal very easily;
• foods rich in sugars. Essential nutrient for the activity and above all the vitality of the dog, however it requires some attention in the administration. In fact, the daily dose of 10 grams per kg of the animal should not be exceeded. Otherwise you could run into diarrhea. It is not recommended to specifically include sugars in the diet, as these are naturally present in many foods that are consumed daily;
• Foods rich in vegetable proteins. The same thing must be said for vegetable proteins which, if consumed in large quantities, will cause flatulence and diarrhea. It should not exceed 8 grams per kg;
• offal and meat. The dog consumes these foods with a certain appetite and for this reason it is often tempting to give him excessive doses. Due to fermentation processes during digestion, these foods cause flatulence, soft and dark stools. The meat served daily to the dog must never exceed half of the entire weight of the meal;
• cartilage and bones. These are foods that are difficult to digest and if inserted too abundantly in the dog's diet they could cause reddish discoloration and stains on the animal's coat or even dermatitis, albeit of a slight entity. When administered it is advisable to boil them for a long time;
• milk. Unlike puppies, adult specimens no longer secrete the specific enzyme for the digestion of milk, making the food particularly heavy and not recommended.
Following these simple tips is easy and your pet's health will certainly thank you.
In case of specific problems it is however advisable to hear the opinion of your veterinarian who will certainly be able to advise you for the best solution.
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