Dog Food Plan For Active Dogs
By Hungry Bark | October 29, 2020
Are you the proud owner of a canine athlete? Maybe you have a dog that competes in agility, retrieving, or frisbee. Search and rescue dogs, herding dogs, and other working dogs also fall under the category of an “active” dog.
But it’s also important to remember that even those dogs without a job to do can still be considered an active dog. If your dog is high-energy and requires multiple walks and/or activities each day, consider yourself an active dog owner!
Active dogs have different nutritional needs than a typical dog. To successfully complete their duties, they need to be able to maintain their energy levels. Additionally, they require more calories to stay in a healthy body condition.
Wondering how you can make sure your high-performance dog is getting the nutrition they need? Keep reading to learn more about how to feed your active dog.
What To Feed Your Active Dog
An active dog doesn’t just require more calories than an average dog. They require an entirely different nutritional profile. Since they are so active, they need more carbohydrates for easily accessible energy, as well as more fat for more prolonged activity. They also require higher amounts of protein to maintain their muscle mass.
Food for active dogs should be easily digestible with nutrients that are easily absorbed. A healthy fiber source should be included in the food to help your dog’s digestive system work efficiently and help with nutrient digestion.
Protein should come from meat, so your dog is getting all the essential amino acids. Food with vegetable protein is missing amino acids that are important in muscle repair and hormone production.
In periods when your dog is more active in their sport, they may still require more calories than average. During their off-season, they may still require more calories than the average dog, but they will not require as many as they do when they are competing. The same goes for working dogs. Some seasons tend to be busier than others, and when things slow down, they should not be consuming as many calories.
Your veterinarian can help you determine how much your dog needs to be eating, both when they’re active and when they’re more relaxed.
Selecting The Right Dog Food
The key to selecting the right dog food is to know how to read the label. Ingredients are listed in order of quantity. The closer an ingredient is to the top of the list, the more of it is present. Meat meal is a perfectly acceptable protein source, but it should be listed by the name of the protein source, such as chicken or lamb. Meat meal listed only as “meat meal” or “meat by-product meal” does not come from a high-quality protein source.
Watch for filler ingredients on the label. A filler is anything that adds bulk to the food with little to no nutritional value. This causes your dog to need to eat more to get the right balance of nutrients. Dogs eat less food if it has fewer fillers in it. They are getting full on fewer, higher-quality ingredients and in turn, getting more nutrients.
The first ingredient on the list should always be meat. Chicken, duck, turkey, and lamb are excellent protein sources. A secondary protein like chicken meal should be next on the list. Any fats or oils should also be listed by their source - for example, fish oil.
Fruits and vegetables are a source of healthy carbohydrates and fiber as well as vitamins and minerals. Whole fruits and vegetables provide more nutrients and fiber so look for whole ingredients on the label.
Look for a dog food that has superfood ingredients to provide a nutritional boost.
Superfood ingredients to look for include:
- Fish oil- This provides vital fatty acids that aid in joint recovery as well as skin and coat health.
- Spinach- Spinach is full of iron, vitamin K, and antioxidants.
- Chicory root- Chicory root helps keep the bacteria in the gut healthy. A healthy gut biome is an important part of overall health.
- Carrots- Carrots are full of carotenoids which help aid digestive health.
- Garbanzo Beans- These provide fiber which aids in digestion and helps boost nutrient absorption.
- Turmeric- This spice has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and helps maintain cardiovascular health.
- Ginger- Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory and aides in digestion.
Hungry Bark Custom Meal Plan
If you need help making sure your active dog has an ideal diet, Hungry Bark is here for you. The Custom Meal Plan tool will help you create a meal plan that will keep your active dog healthy and satisfied. All you need to do is enter information about your dog’s breed, activity level, and what your goals for your dog are. Hungry Bark will provide you with a meal plan customized specifically for your dog.
The meal plan includes suggestions for any supplements that might be beneficial for your dog as well as protein mix-ins. Protein mix-ins are great for an active dog. They contain nothing but a healthy source of protein and are perfect for adding extra protein to your dog’s food.
Hungry Bark provides automatic delivery, and you decide when you want your dog’s food delivered. This keeps things easy and convenient, so you don’t have to worry about ordering on time.
Hungry Bark dry food recipes are packed with superfood ingredients to provide optimum nutrition to dogs at every stage of life. The recipes use whole foods for the most nutritional impact, and all ingredients are sustainably sourced. Whole meat and vegetables, healthy oils, and dietary fat sources make Hungry Bark food an excellent choice for a high activity dog.
The secret to maintaining peak performance lies in good nutrition. You can keep your active dog in top form by giving them high-quality food with a good nutritional balance for their activity level. If you have questions about exactly how much or how often to feed, consult your veterinarian and they can help you plan meal times and figure out how to measure out your dog's meals.