Celebrating its 50 year anniversary, Skinner’s has a long heritage in fuelling working dogs and their popular Field & Trial dog food range provides a range of complete diets and recipes to support activity and performance levels for working dogs. It is often not considered that highly active dogs should be viewed as canine athletes, needing additional nutritional support to help them reach their performance potential, whilst safely balancing input (food) with output (activity).
Working dog food is often more nutritionally dense in comparison to regular dog food, packed with more energy in the form of calories, as well as a higher percentage of healthy fats and proteins. If you have a working or active dog, it may be that they need more calories to stay sustained, and therefore should aim to stick to working dog food, to ensure they can stay fit and strong. Equally, just because working dog food is nutritionally dense, it does not mean all dog owners should opt for it, as depending on the fat and protein content of the food, it may be far higher than necessary.
It’s important to do your own research when it comes to your dog’s diet, because every breed has individual needs, as do individual dogs within those breeds based on their lifestyle. Categorising breeds into the ‘working dog’ classification can be tricky when thinking about food, as whilst there are a number of breeds historically purposefully bred to fulfil particular roles, there are plenty of other breeds who have been and can be trained over time to perform working roles, as well as those extra-active dogs who will need more fuel. If unsure, it’s always best to seek advice, and thankfully brands such as Skinner’s who have been in the industry for 50 years have tools that can assist you in finding the dog food that is best for each and every dog.
Gun dogs, for example, will use a huge amount of energy to simply keep warm when it’s cold and wet, so they’ll need good working dog food to support the activity. Fat content is important as a key nutrient, as not only does store fat help to insulate against the cold weather, but is also a preferable source of energy for dogs. Getting the right dog food for your dog can take a little bit of trial and error here, as if you find your gun (or other) dog has lost weight, you may want to consider moving towards food with an increased fat level, such as Skinner’s Field & Trial superior which sits at 20% fat. Equally, higher fat content should mainly be giving your dog a good covering and layer of protection from the elements, rather than causing your dog to carry excess weight.
Zoe Russell, Nutrition Officer for Skinner’s: “For dogs who are regularly working at a high energy output, a more nutrient-dense working dog food can be beneficial. These foods can provide a good source of dietary fat for longer periods of activity, a source of protein to support muscle integrity and a source of carbohydrates for short periods of intense activity, as well as key vitamins and minerals to ensure the diet is balanced.”
It can be tricky designating particular foods to dogs based on their breed alone, as there are a vast number of elements that factor into their needs besides breed, from their level of activity to the typical weather conditions in the area that they live, and whether they have any individual health conditions or additional requirements.
For advice and further information on how to fuel working dogs, head to Skinner’s.