What should I feed my working dog?

Working dogs require a nutritionally balanced diet to perform at their best

Working dogs require a nutritionally balanced diet to perform at their best - Credit: Archant

Active working dogs have specific nutritional needs; here, Chudleys advises on what to feed your working dog to ensure those needs are met

What you feed your dog is largely dependent on their workload

What you feed your dog is largely dependent on their workload - Credit: Archant

Whether your dog is in a working role or takes part in sporting activities, you’ll know how unique their lifestyle needs are when it comes to exercise and stimulation. But highly active dogs also have specific nutritional needs to ensure top-notch performance, health and wellbeing.

We speak to James Ireland from Chudleys, who offers his expert advice on what you should be feeding your working dog.

Chudleys offers a range of premium diets for working dogs

Chudleys offers a range of premium diets for working dogs - Credit: Archant

Q: How do the diets of working dogs differ from dogs with normal lifestyles?

To cater for a highly active lifestyle, working dogs (including hunting, farming, and gundogs) benefit from diets that contain more calories and slow-release energy sources than normal pet food. This includes food that is high in protein and fats, which helps to support a demanding day of work and sport.

To ensure your working dog is performing to its best ability, you’ll need to provide the right levels of feed to achieve a nutritional balance. Our packaging details simple feeding guidelines you can follow, but otherwise you can contact our customer care team who can support you with feeding options, or you can discuss it with your vet.

Q: What should I feed my working dog?

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This is very much dependent on your dog’s workload, as this will dictate what is required for feeding. For example, dogs enduring a lower workload or undertaking a period of rest should be fed a special maintenance diet which aids recovery and is low in fat to prevent weight gain. Dogs with a higher workload need increased protein and high-fat inclusion to promote muscle recovery, strength and stamina.

Bear in mind dogs can be fussy, so the diet will also be largely dependent on whether they take to the food. Look for a diet with a quality protein source such a poultry, lamb or fish with a decent level of good stuff provided by vegetables and herbs. The Chudleys range caters for all requirements of a working dog, so I would recommend taking a look to see what would be most suitable.

Q: What brand of food is best?

I cannot speak for the other brands, but I would suggest seeking a feed that meets the energy requirements of your dog(s). I can say that Chudleys offers a range of premium diets for working dogs packed with natural antioxidants and beneficial inclusions to fuel them up and keep them fit and healthy. Chudleys also offer age-specific products ranging from Puppy/Junior to Senior, as well as food for sensitive diets and breeds such as greyhounds.

Q: Is there any food I should avoid?

Some dogs are naturally allergenic and suffer skin sensitivities, with others developing gastrointestinal problems later in life. Changing to a feed that omits common ingredients associated with digestive upset can help to enhance wellbeing and nutrient uptake. If you’re after a hypoallergenic diet then I would recommend Chudleys Lamb Sensitive as it’s free from wheat-gluten, soya, egg, and includes high-quality fibre, prebiotics and herbs to aid digestion.

Q: What should I feed my puppy?

Puppies need specific food to support their development so they can reach their full potential. Most working dogs start their training from a young age and need high-energy feed packed with proteins, fats and carbohydrates to encourage healthy growth and improve endurance. Chudleys Puppy/Junior feed has been specially formulated to provide moderate energy levels and contains key nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids to boost learning and musculoskeletal development.

To browse a full range of working dog food, go to chudleys.com