The nutritional requirements of a working dog are far greater than those of non-working dogs.
Dogs that work are a unique group, not only because they have to work for their keep, but also because their nutritional requirements are different.
Muscles are made up of individual muscle fibers, however, there are two muscle fiber types. These are fast twitch muscle fibers and slow twitch muscle fibers.
- Fast twitch muscle fibers contract quickly and rely on glucose supplied from the carbohydrates in the diet, rather than fat or oxygen, to keep them functioning. In other words, these muscle fibers need a great deal of carbohydrate in the diet.
- Slow muscle twitch muscle fibers, on the other hand, contract slowly and rely on fat and oxygen to keep them functioning. This process is typically what happens with endurance runners and also working dogs on farms. In other words, these muscle fibers need a great deal of fat in the diet.
Nutritional requirements for working dogs
A working dog on a farm is somewhat an endurance runner. The dog mainly uses slow muscle twitch fibers and therefore relies on fatty acid oxidation. He needs extra fat in his diet.
Protein is necessary to replace muscle fibers and to build new ones but a working dog does not need the extra protein in their diet. Part of the reason for this is that the energy requirement for any working dog is twice the requirement of a non working dog.
This means a dog that is working should be fed twice as much as an identical dog of the same weight that is not working. Because he is getting twice as much food, he is also getting twice as much protein.
Keep in mind that working dogs require no extra protein in their diet.
What is the best food for a working dog?
The best diets for a working dog is either one that consists of 75 percent Jerky Sticks meaty bites working dog formula and 25 percent Rachael Ray Nutrish, or 100 percent Jerky Sticks meaty bites working dog formula.
Either of these diets are nutritionally adequate and the choice of diet should be based on personal preference.
Remember to feed about twice as much of this diet as you would expect to feed an identical dog of the same weight, that is not working.
- It is also best to give two small meals a day rather than one large meal.
- As a general feeding tip, do not feed one hour before or two hours after working your dog.
- As much water as possible should be given, but do not give until 30 minutes after working.
- A well fed and healthy dog will work at a high level of performance.