What Is The Best Dog Food For A Sporting Dog?
The Ultimate Sporting Dog Food Buyer’s Guide
The Sporting group is made up of some of the most popular and beloved dog breeds. It includes the retrievers, spaniels, setters, pointers, and other dogs that have historically been bred for hunting and retrieving upland game birds and waterfowl. Many of these breeds are still used for hunting today but the Sporting dog’s temperament often makes him a wonderful companion. The Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog in the United States for 25 years. It is also the most popular breed in many other countries, as well. The Golden Retriever, the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Brittany, the English Springer Spaniel, and the Cocker Spaniel are all very popular Sporting breeds that make excellent pets. Many of the other, less well-known Sporting breeds also make great family dogs, especially for active families.
Sporting dogs, in general, do require plenty of exercise. They come in a wide range of sizes, from dogs like the larger Pointer, Irish Setter, Weimaraner, and German Shorthaired Pointer to the small spaniels such as the different varieties of the American Cocker (ASCOB – any solid color other than black; black; and parti), the Boykin Spaniel, and the Sussex Spaniel. Making allowances for size, they are all still active dogs (some more and some less). Sporting dogs do have a variety of different coat types. Some dogs, such as the spaniels and the setters, have longer coats which require regular grooming. Some breeds have a wiry coat such as the German Wirehaired Pointer and the Spinone Italiano or a curly coat like the Curly-Coated Retriever. And other breeds have a smooth, shorthaired coat such as the Pointer.
One thing that virtually all of the Sporting dogs have in common is a sweet, gentle temperament. These are affectionate dogs. Since these breeds (or their ancestral breeds) have worked closely with humans for centuries, they have been especially bred to share a close bond with people. Unlike some of the hound breeds which often hunt in packs or hunt independently, Sporting dogs are known for working with the hunter. Many of these breeds are “soft” and sensitive to a person’s moods and voice. In the home they are often “velcro” dogs, wanting to be with people all the time. They are especially intuitive dogs and many of them are easy to train, such as the Labrador and the Golden Retriever. They have a very strong desire to please. It also helps that most of these breeds are highly food-motivated in training. In general, these breeds are also very good with children, which helps to make them good family dogs. (Please keep in mind that these are generalities. You should investigate any breed you are considering if you have children.)
Most Sporting dogs do not make very good guard dogs because they are very friendly. They can be good watch dogs since they tend to bark when someone arrives or something unexpected occurs but they usually welcome anyone who will pet them. These breeds do well in the suburbs and in rural areas — anywhere they can have a fenced yard. A few of them can adapt to apartment living if you are dedicated to providing lots of daily exercise. None of these dogs should be allowed to be unattended off-leash. They all have hunting instincts and they can wander far without supervision. Some of them, such as the setters, are particularly inclined to roam if they get the chance.
Sporting dog puppies are adorable little monsters. They are mouthy and all teeth. Since most of these breeds have some natural tendency to retrieve, they start putting things in their mouths at a very early age. They will happily chew on furniture, your shoes, glasses, remote controls, and anything else they can fit in their mouths. One poor man came home to find his Labrador Retriever had eaten his Super Bowl tickets. Sporting dog puppies do eventually stop chewing, but it seems to take longer than with other kinds of dogs. Provide them with plenty of chew toys and hide anything you value for at least 18 months.
Many of the recognized Sporting breeds were developed in the British Isles but there are also breeds from continental Europe. The Labrador Retriever originally comes from Canada but was developed in the UK. There are even Sporting breeds that were developed in the United States.
Quick Look : Top 4 Best Dog Foods for Sporting Dogs
|Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural
Read Reviews Where To Buy
|*New Formula* ACANA Grasslands Regional Formula Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Read Reviews Where To Buy
The American Kennel Club currently includes about 28 Sporting dog breeds and varieties, though this number grows as the AKC accepts more breeds into its registry. (Being accepted into the registry doesn’t necessarily signal that a breed is “new.” In many cases, very old breeds are accepted. It simply means that there is a parent club in place with members/breeders devoted to the breed; enough dogs in the United States to ensure the future breeding success of the breed; and that people interested in the breed are somewhat spread out geographically.) You can find out more about the dogs in the Sporting group by visiting the AKC page. In order to find the desired size for a breed, click on the breed that interests you, such as the American Water Spaniel. Then scroll down to the “Breed Standard” link. Every registered breed has a breed standard that gives a description of what the ideal dog of that breed should look like. As you can see, for the American Water Spaniel, the breed standard states: Size, Proportion, Substance: 15 to 18 inches for either sex. Males weighing 30 to 45 pounds. Females weighing 25 to 40 pounds. Females tend to be slightly smaller than the males. There is no preference for size within the given range of either sex providing correct proportion, good substance and balance is maintained. Different breeds will express their own ideas about height and weight – some do not give precise weights but give general parameters. This is the best information available about AKC dog breeds. You may find AKC dogs from pet bloodlines that don’t adhere to these measurements but they shouldn’t be too different.
We normally provide a range of calories per breed but since we’re looking at an entire group of dogs, it’s easier to provide the guidelines from the National Research Council of the National Academies. This is the government research group that gives nutritional and calorie information for feeding dogs (and cats).
Sporting dogs tend to be very active dogs so don’t be surprised if your dog requires more calories, especially as a young dog. Intact (non-spayed or neutered dogs) also tend to use up more calories than spayed/neutered dogs. Dogs that have been altered usually experience a change in their metabolism because of the change in their hormones. They can begin to gain weight, especially if they do not increase their exercise. With these dogs you may need to reduce their calories. As dogs approach middle age, you can expect your dog to slow down and begin to gain weight. This is a time when you can reduce calories and try to encourage your dog to increase his exercise. However, many dogs can begin to lose weight as they become seniors so watch your dog’s condition as he ages and adjust his diet accordingly.
As a group, many Sporting dogs can have problems with hip and elbow dysplasia. Puppies tend to grow quickly in many of these breeds. Some breeders recommend large breed puppy foods for the larger breeds in order to try to keep their growth slow and steady. Virtually all Sporting dog breeders will tell you to keep these puppies slim and not let them become fat. Roly-poly puppies are cute but carrying extra weight as a puppy is almost guaranteed to lead to hip dysplasia and arthritis for the dog as an adult. You should talk to your breeder about the food they recommend for their puppies since they usually have experience with how their puppies grow and develop.
Feeding Your Sporting Dog
As a group, some Sporting dogs can be prone to food allergies and skin problems, though certainly not all of them. One veterinarian suggests that retrievers and Cocker Spaniels may be more prone to food allergies, among the Sporting breeds, but she says that this perception probably varies depending on which vet you ask and the part of the country where you live. If you have a dog that is a high risk for food allergies you can try to avoid some of the most common food triggers for dogs. The most common food triggers: beef, dairy products, chicken, lamb, fish, chicken eggs, corn, wheat, and soy, but there are others. Symptoms of food allergies include itching and scratching which leads to redness, hair loss, damaged skin, and skin infections. Dogs can also have chronic ear inflammations and other problems that indicate a food allergy. Dogs can also have food sensitivities which result in diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence, and a generally upset stomach. If you suspect that your dog has a food allergy or sensitivity, it’s best if you work with your veterinarian to address it unless the cause is completely obvious.
Note that the foods mentioned above are not the only things that can trigger food allergies in dogs. They are simply the most common. This list changes over time as dog food ingredients change. The more the dog population is exposed to certain ingredients, the more some dogs will develop allergies to them. None of these ingredients are “bad.” They are just common, so more dogs have developed allergies to them.
Dogs can also have non-food allergies so if your dog shows allergy symptoms, it’s not always a good idea to assume that your dog is having a reaction to his food. Sometimes he may be having some other kind of allergic reaction. See your vet.
It’s always important to feed your dog a good quality dog food. Food that is high in animal protein is usually a good choice. However, if you are trying to find a novel or exotic protein for your dog, you may have to settle for a food that has slightly less meat protein. Many of these foods are higher in carbohydrates and fiber – perhaps due to the high cost of these exotic meats.
Most adult Sporting dogs usually do well eating two meals per day. You can feed most Sporting dog puppies 3-4 meals when they are very young, then move to three meals per day as they get older. By the time they are about a year old they should be eating two meals per day.
Sporting Dog Health Problems
Most Sporting dogs are very healthy which has helped many of these breeds remain popular with the public for decades. However, there are a few common health problems that show up in multiple breeds. This is to be expected considering that several hundred thousand Sporting dogs are bred and registered each year. Some small percentage of dogs will have some health issues.
As already mentioned, hip dysplasia seems to show up in a number of Sporting breeds. It often afflicts large breeds more than small breeds, and it seems especially likely to occur in fast-growing dogs. Fortunately, x-rays and screening for hip problems for the last 40 years by breeders has helped many breeds improve. Be sure to talk to breeders about hip dysplasia and ask about their testing.
Bloat or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) can also occur in some Sporting dogs. Bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and can’t be released. In some situations the stomach flips, cutting off the blood supply. This can be a deadly situation and the dog will die if it doesn’t receive emergency treatment. Bloat is most likely to occur in large, deep-chested dogs. It can be a particular problem in Irish Setters, Weimaraners, and other Sporting dogs with a big, deep chest.
Hypothyroidism is not life-threatening and it is normally easily managed with a daily pill. However, it is a common disorder in some Sporting breeds. English Setters, Golden Retrievers, and other breeds often have this issue.
Some breeds experience eye problems such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy but these issues are found widely across the entire canine population. Likewise, various kinds of cancer affect Sporting dogs but cancer is the overall number one killer of dogs, so this is not surprising.
These are some common health issues found across breeds in the Sporting group. You should check for specific health issues in any breed you are considering.
Ingredients to Look for and Some to Avoid
As with most dogs, when choosing a food for your Sporting dog, you should look for a food that has good sources of protein and fat.
Ideally you will select a dog food that features two or three meat proteins in the first several ingredients listed. Both whole meats and meat meals are good sources of protein. Whole meats refer to foods such as whole chicken, beef, fish, and lamb. Some people don’t like meat meals as much as whole meats but they are a concentrated form of the meat in which the moisture has been removed. They contain several times as much protein as a whole meat. Meat meals are usually quite acceptable as one of the first ingredients in a good quality dog food. They are used by many good dog food brands.
Many dog foods today, even some of the most expensive and highly touted, use lots of plant proteins such as lentils and peas. These foods often have high protein percentages on the label. When you read the guaranteed analysis it’s important to consider how much of the protein in the food comes from meat and how much comes from plants. Your dog is able to digest meat protein more easily than plant protein. Meat protein is a much more natural source of protein for your dog than plant protein.
Dogs also need good sources of fat. You should look for named fat sources such as chicken fat. Other named fats also provide needed nutrients such as fish oil which can provide omega-3 fatty acid to help keep the skin and coat healthy. Puppies can benefit from DHA which is Docosahexaenoic acid. This is a specific form of omega-3 fatty acid that helps with brain and eye development. Older dogs seem to benefit from medium chain triglycerides which feature medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These have been found to help older dogs feel and act younger. They are often made from a combination of coconut oil and other oils.
If you want to avoid corn, soy, and wheat in your dog food, your Sporting dog may still be able to eat an alternative grain such as barley or oats. Or you can feed a grain free dog food that uses an alternate source of carbs that is low glycemic such as sweet potatoes. You don’t have to feed a dog food with an excessively high percentage of protein but it’s a good idea to keep the carb percentage low to moderate.
If your dog has a food allergy or food sensitivity, you may need to work with your veterinarian to identify the food triggers unless they are very obvious. There are lots of good foods with alternative meat proteins today as well as limited ingredient diets which we will discuss below.
If You Hunt With Your Sporting Dog
If you hunt with your Sporting dog and he works as a performance dog, he will be using lots of calories. This is stressful work, even if he loves it. A dog that is engaged in heavy hunting work can use up to twice as many calories as he would use during the off season when he is being a pet.
You will find that there is a big difference between maintenance dog foods and foods that are marketed as “performance” foods, even if you always buy super premium foods. A performance dog food typically has around 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat. Some have even higher percentages of protein and fat, but this is a normal ratio for these foods. This is perfectly fine for a dog that is working in the field. However, most pets do not need this much protein and fat, especially if they are lying around on the sofa all day.
Performance dog foods are normally very nutrient-dense and they include fast-energy carbs so dogs can utilize them while they are working. Dogs can absorb these carbohydrates easily though they may not look good as ingredients on the label. In fact, you may not like a lot of the ingredients in these foods, but they work. With the high fat percentage and the carbohydrates, these foods are usually quite high in calories which is what you want when your Sporting dog is working hard in the field.
However, during the off-season, when your dog is not working, we suggest that you change your dog’s food to something with less fat and fewer calories. Otherwise, he’s going to put on a lot of extra weight before the next hunting season. If you like the performance brand you’ve been feeding, you can see if they make a good maintenance food. Many companies do. Some of the companies that make very good performance dog foods include Purina ProPlan and Eukanuba, Kinetic, Pro Pac, and Nulo, among others. Start feeding your dog his performance food a few weeks before hunting season begins so he will have the energy he needs when you start getting ready for the new season.
We recommend reading this blog for some good information about feeding your hunting dog and the nutritional studies that have been done.
Recommended Dog Food For An Adult Sporting Dog
Most Sporting dogs should be able to eat most good quality dog foods. If your dog has a food allergy or food sensitivity you will need to try to avoid foods with ingredients that are triggers for your dog.
We suggest a variety of foods here for Sporting dogs. Most of the foods we have selected do not contain corn, wheat, or soy, unless noted. You may have to try a couple of foods to find which one is best for your dog. You should also keep in mind that your dog’s dietary needs can change as he grows and ages so you may have to change foods to suit him.
Since we are covering dogs of different sizes, check these sites for a food that would suit your particular Sporting dog.
Best Dog Foods for Sporting Dog Adults
|Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural
Read Reviews Where To Buy
|*New Formula* ACANA Grasslands Regional Formula Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Read Reviews Where To Buy
Farmina is an Italian dog food that is available online from sites such as Chewy.com. It’s available in grain free, low ancestral grain, and pumpkin grain free versions. You can choose from several different proteins: lamb, chicken, boar, and codfish. These are AAFCO-approved foods for all life stages. They are gluten-free, low-glycemic, and GMO-free, and they use no artificial preservatives. The grain free formula is 70 percent animal ingredients and 30 percent fruits, vegetables, and minerals. The ancestral grain and the pumpkin grain free are 60 percent animal ingredients. The ancestral grain formula contains 20 percent fruits, vegetables, and minerals; and 20 percent organic spelt and organic oats. The pumpkin grain free formula contains 40 percent fruits, vegetables, and minerals. Using the Chicken & Pomegranate Low Ancestral Grain food as an example, the first five ingredients in the food are: Deboned chicken, dehydrated chicken (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), whole spelt, whole oats, and chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). The food has Crude Protein (min): 30 percent; Crude Fat (min): 18 percent; Crude Fiber (max): 2.9 percent; Moisture (max): 10 percent; and Ash (max): 6.8 percent. There are 465 kcal/cup. Farmina is priced similar to good quality American dog foods. Highly recommended.
This grain free food is recommended by many Sporting dog breeders and owners. It has no grain or gluten and it’s suggested as a high protein, alternative diet. It features blueberries, cranberries and other antioxidants; L-carnitine to support lean muscles; balanced omega-6 and omega-3; and it’s easy to digest. The first five ingredients are: Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), and Whitefish Meal. The food has 38 percent crude protein, 20 percent crude fat, 2.5 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture per the guaranteed analysis. It has 17.5 percent carbs (as fed basis). It has 445 kcal/cup. This is an all life stage food. We think this is a good food for Sporting dogs as long as none of the ingredients are problematic for your dog. Earthborn has several other formulas with other proteins if this food sounds interesting. Coastal Catch and Great Plains, in particular, have been recommended by Sporting dog owners, but your dog might do well on different formulas.
We found this food when we were looking at bestsellers on Chewy.com. It looks like people have identified a really nice food from Merrick. The first five ingredients in this food are Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, and Potatoes. This recipe is an all life stage food with 422 kcal per cup ME (metabolizable energy) on an as fed basis (calculated). It has 70 percent meat ingredients, 30 percent vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. It is grain free – no corn, soy, or wheat. No gluten. No poultry by-products, no artificial preservatives. No ingredients from China. It has 38 percent crude protein and 15 percent crude fat, with 3.5 percent crude fiber. It also has glucosamine and chondroitin added, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Merrick uses local growers from Texas, where the food is made. We think this is good quality protein and other ingredients for s that need good nutrition for an active lifestyle. Not everyone will like a protein percentage this high but if you do, give this food a try.
Exciting news if you like Acana. Champion Pet Foods has completed their new kitchen in Kentucky and they are now reformulating some of their dog and cat foods to reflect what is now “regional” to the Kentucky area. So, it’s still the same award-winning company, but Acana will be made in Kentucky. We’ve had a chance to review the Acana dog and cat foods and there are some changes in the meat proteins but the foods still look good. If you visit the Acana web site you can view the old and new formulas to see the changes (we really like being able to compare the formulas). The current (old) Grasslands formula, for example, is heavy on lamb, duck, whitefish, and lentils. The new formula (due any time) will feature goat meal and catfish meal, in addition to the lamb and duck. The current formula has 31 percent crude protein, 17 percent crude fat, 5 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. The new formula has 33 percent crude protein, 17 percent crude fat, 6 percent crude fiber, and 12 percent moisture. No grains, potatoes, or tapioca. If you’re looking for a good grain free dog food for your dog that is low in carbohydrates, we think that the Acana foods are a good choice.
Best Dog Foods for Sporting Dog Puppies
Sporting dog puppies can usually begin eating a puppy food after they are weaned or they can eat a good all life stage food. Some people like to feed a puppy food for a few months and then switch over to an all life stage food when their puppy is a few months old. If you have questions about how to feed your puppy, we recommend talking to your puppy’s breeder. They usually have the most experience with raising these puppies and can guide you, especially when it comes to avoiding hip dysplasia.
Puppy foods should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1.2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus, though there is some slight room for variation such as 1.5:1.2. It’s also important that dog and puppy foods do not have an excess (or deficiency) of calcium since this can affect bone growth. If you are feeding your puppy a food that is properly formulated, you should not add any extra calcium, such as milk, cottage cheese, or other calcium supplements. Doing so can lead to serious health problems such as OCD (osteochondritis dessecans) – painful bone spurs that may require surgery – and other orthopedic problems.
Here are some of the puppy foods we like for Sporting dog puppies. Note that an all life stage food can also be fed, as long as the nutrients are appropriate for your puppy.
Similar to Fromm’s Large Breed Gold Adult Formula, this large breed puppy formula contains no corn, wheat, or soy. The first three ingredients are duck, chicken meal, and chicken. The food is formulated for puppies who will grow to be over 50 pounds as adult dogs. Protein and fat in the food are moderate, and so are the calories, to help large breed puppies grow slowly. The technical analysis for the food shows the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio for large breed puppies. Fromm Large Breed Puppy Gold formula also has added DHA-rich salmon oil for good brain and eye development in puppies. The USDA-inspected ingredients for the food are delivered fresh each morning. Fromm also has other puppy formulas, including a grain free formula and a large breed puppy formula.
We like this food for puppies. Canidae Grain Free Pure Foundations Puppy Formula is a limited ingredient food with nine ingredients plus vitamins and minerals and probiotics. It’s grain free with probiotics to help digestion; antioxidants for a healthy immune system; and omega 3 and 6 to support healthy skin and a beautiful coat. The first five ingredients are Chicken, menhaden fish meal, lentils, peas, potatoes. The recipe is supposed to be especially good for puppies with sensitive digestion. The food has 30 percent crude protein, 12 percent crude fat, 4 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. This food checks in at 520 kcal/cup, so it’s high in calories but active, growing puppies can usually burn them off. Just remember that you don’t need to feed a lot of food with these very nutrient-dense foods. If your puppy does well on this puppy food, Canidae has some good adult foods – both grain free and foods with grains.
Best Dog Foods for the Senior Sporting Dog
Even Sporting dogs can begin to slow down as they get older. As your dog ages it’s a good idea to plan an annual senior check-up with your vet. Many older dogs begin to put on pounds as they become less active. For this reason, most senior dog foods have fewer calories and they can skimp on protein. You should watch your older dog’s weight as he gets older to make sure he doesn’t become overweight. In some cases you can simply cut back on the portions of his regular dog food to help him stay fit or increase his exercise.
On the other hand, some very old dogs often start to have some problems metabolizing nutrients, including protein. It can become hard for them to keep good muscle tone and weight as they age. Very old dogs can start to look skinny. For this reason, you may wish to avoid many dog foods labeled “senior.” These foods are often formulated for older dogs that have gained weight. Instead, look for a senior dog food that we like which has lots of protein. As long as your older dog doesn’t have any problems with his kidneys or with phosphorus, there is no reason to avoid higher protein levels.
Orijen Senior provides plenty of excellent quality protein for your older . This food features free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and nest-laid eggs. It helps keep older dogs in good muscle even as they become less active. Made of 80 percent meats and fish, the food is low-glycemic and has low carbs to help keep your older dog’s blood sugar steady. The food also contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your ’s joints healthy. The food is 38 percent crude protein and 15 percent crude fat. It checks in at 445 kcal per 250ml/120g cup. We think this is a very good food for senior dogs who often need extra protein as they get older. (We know Orijen is expensive but this food really stands out for senior dogs.)
Another senior food we like a lot is Bright Mind 7+ from Purina. Whether you normally like Purina foods or not, we have heard nothing but positive comments about this food, especially for elderly dogs that might be slowing down and starting to withdraw. The food addresses some of the cognitive issues that older dogs can have.
Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Skin Problems/Allergies
As mentioned earlier, some Sporting dogs can have some allergies and skin problems. If your dog needs to avoid common proteins, you can try the foods below.
Wild Calling! Xotic Essentials Rabbit Meal Recipe Any dog suffering from skin problems or food allergies may benefit from Wild Calling!’s Xotic Essentials recipes. Formulas like their rabbit meal recipe use exotic meats that are rare in today’s pet food market so your dog hasn’t eaten them before – less chance of having an allergic reaction. The foods are also highly digestible. Wild Calling! also uses what they call LITe (limited ingredient technology). They don’t use any of the ingredients commonly found in most dog foods such as chicken, grain, gluten, egg, yeast, corn, wheat or soy. If your has a food allergy, he may benefit from Wild Calling! The foods are formulated for rotational feeding and they offer several Xotic Essentials recipes, such as kangaroo and bison, so your dog doesn’t get over-exposed to one kind of meat protein. This is an All Life Stage food. We think that dogs with skin problems and food allergies can definitely benefit from these recipes.
Another food that is often recommended for dogs with food allergies and skin problems is Zignature. It comes in proteins such as trout & salmon, kangaroo, turkey, duck, venison, and others. It’s available in dry and canned versions. Foods are potato- and grain-free, and chicken-free. They do not use common bonding agents in their foods which are high in simple carbs and starches. They only use low glycemic carbs such as chickpeas that add extra protein and fiber to the food. They work with Tuffy’s in Minnesota and Performance Pet in South Dakota to manufacture their foods. Many people like Zignature very much. If you have a dog with food allergies, this is a brand that you might consider.
Best Dog Foods for Sporting dogs with Sensitive Stomachs
If your dog has a sensitive stomach it can be an indication of a food sensitivity, which is different from a food allergy. A dog with a food sensitivity will have gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. Or it could be something more serious.
A dog with a sensitive stomach can often be helped by feeding the right dog food. Sticking to a limited ingredient diet food with as few ingredients as possible can reduce the chance of your dog having a bad reaction to something in the food.
We recommend Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Small Breed Bites Dry Dog Food. This food is grain free with limited ingredients. It has good quality, alternative ingredients that are easily digestible for a dog with a sensitive stomach. And it contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The first five ingredients are: Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Salmon Meal, Canola Oil, and Potato Fiber. It has 21 percent crude protein, 10 percent crude fat, 4.5 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. It has 380 kcal/cup and it’s an all life stage formula. If your dog can’t eat some of the ingredients in this food, Natural Balance has lots of other LID recipes that you might check.
If these foods don’t help or if you have other concerns about your dog’s gastrointestinal problems, please see a veterinarian, especially if your dog is losing weight or exhibiting other serious symptoms. It’s always possible that your dog does not have a food sensitivity or a food allergy. Dogs can have many health problems with symptoms that affect their digestion. Let your vet take a look.
Best Dog Foods for Overweight Sporting dogs
Some Sporting dogs are prone to becoming overweight. Labrador Retrievers, for example, are one of the poster dogs for canine obesity. If your Sporting dog becomes overweight, it may be due to overfeeding and not enough exercise. You can help your dog lose weight by cutting back on his portions and encouraging him to get more exercise.
If your Sporting dog needs to lose more than one or two pounds, however, you may need to consider a weight control dog food.
We do not recommend a weight control dog food for a puppy or a very old dog. These foods generally have fewer calories and may have some other differences in nutrients that make them inappropriate for growing puppies or older dogs who need special nutrition.
If you have a Sporting dog that needs to lose weight we recommend Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Recipe. We like the fact that this food has 32 percent crude protein. The crude fat percentage is between 8 and 11 percent with 5 percent crude fiber so your dog should not feel like he’s starving. It is AAFCO-approved for a maintenance diet. The food has 3,210 kcal per kilogram or 360 kcal per cup ME (metabolizable energy) on an as fed basis (calculated). It is grain free and made from 55 percent beef and poultry. And it contains no corn, wheat, or soy and no ingredients from China. The first five ingredients in this food are: Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, and Sweet Potatoes.
If your dog needs to lose weight, you should proceed slowly. No crash dieting. You should aim for your dog to lose no more than 3 to 5 percent of his body weight per month or about one percent each week.
The Sporting dogs include some of our most beloved breeds – the Labrador, the Golden, the Cocker Spaniel, the beautiful Setters, and so many other wonderful breeds. These dogs make wonderful family pets. They are friendly, active, affectionate dogs that love to be with you. Many of them are super-intelligent. All of them love to share your home. We encourage you to browse through these gentle breeds and see if one of them might suit you. They do come with a warning: Sporting dogs can easily steal your heart.