Dogs that work out do best if they are not fed before exercise. Our expert trainer will share nutrition tips to help you get the best performance from your dog.
If you enjoy sports, such as bicycling or jogging, with your dog, you should practice these nutritional do’s and don’ts. They could impact your dog’s performance.
- Do not feed an active dog a meal before exercise. Complete digestion takes 20 to 24 hours. Dogs fed a meal less than 20 hours before exercise could have fecal matter in the colon that could compromise their performance. It is best to feed active dogs a meal 10 to 12 hours before exercise to minimize the presence of food from the previous meal.
- Dogs should be fed for ideal body condition, and the amount of food fed should be adjusted to maintain ideal body condition. To determine body condition, put your hands on your dog and feel his ribs. Place both thumbs on the dog’s backbone and spread your hands across the rib cage. You should be able to easily feel the ribs. You also should be able to view the dog’s waist behind the ribs, and an abdominal tuck should be apparent from the side.
- Make sure active dogs are well-hydrated with plenty of water. Maintaining hydration in working dogs is critical to prolonged endurance and thermoregulation. Exercise is a heat-producing activity, and water is required to help dissipate heat. About 60 percent of heat dissipated by dogs during exercise is through water evaporation in the respiratory tract.
- Active dogs should be fed a performance food year-round. This helps to maximize training and conditioning. In order to keep weight on dogs and get a strong performance, you should feed a quality product.