Feeding working dogs can be challenging as many factors need to be considered, including the season as well as the dog’s size. You need to understand how much nutrition they need, based on their specific activities and what you can afford to pay for it. This article lists many dog food options that cater to the demands of a working dog. Most of these options are rich in protein and fats, and various nutrients.
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However, you need to remember that there are not much scientific research backing claims made by dog food brands. It is your job to scan the ingredients on the packaging and know what is best for your dog. So, once you know what your dog needs and more importantly, what he likes, you can refer to this list to choose a brand that fits your dog’s demands and active lifestyle So let’s look at dog food for working dogs.
What to look for in high-quality foods for working dogs
With lots of dog foods on the market, shopping for a new diet for your dog can leave you in a spin. Here are a few things to look for when picking a high-quality diet for a working dog.
Meeting your dog’s dietary requirements
Above all else, you should ensure your dog’s diet is “complete and balanced,” as defined by the Association for American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Your dog’s diet should be “balanced” with the correct levels of protein, carbs, fatty acids. It should be “complete” by containing all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Working dogs require more calories than your average companion animal. Exactly how many calories your working dog needs will depend on their breed and the type and frequency of activity. Most foods formulated for working dogs are higher in calories to accommodate the dog’s energy needs.
- Protein is key to a working dog’s diet. The AAFCO’s guaranteed analysis states that a dog’s food should contain a minimum of 18% crude protein. That said, working dogs will require higher levels of high-quality protein. These levels will differ from dog to dog, with many dog foods for working dogs containing 30% crude protein.
- Balancing protein levels in your dog’s diet is essential. Too little protein can lead to heart disease, while too much protein can cause health conditions like hyperkalemia and acidosis. No two dogs are the same, so consult your vet about how much crude protein your dog needs in their diet.
10 Best Working Dog Foods
Below are listed some of the best working dog foods that can provide your dog with the required nutrition. Giving these foods would ensure that the dogs can keep up with their active lifestyles.
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Food
The Taste of the Wild dry dog food is a unique option for working dogs and consists of roasted venison and bison. The ingredients in this dog food show that it consists of 32% of protein content. Not to mention, this dog food consists of legumes, vegetables, and fruits that provide the dog with the antioxidant content that is very important to their diet.
Also, the food consists of dried chicory roots, vegetables like sweet potatoes and peas, and fruits like blueberries and raspberries. These ingredients help support your dog’s growth and immune system while maintaining its muscle mass. Over 10,000 dog owners have confirmed on Amazon that their dogs are healthier and a lot more energetic since they began eating it.
Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance 30/20
- Purina Pro Plan is one of the top dog foods for working breeds. This dog food contains 30% protein and 20% fat to ensure your dog has all the energy they need for their busy day-to-day life.
- Fresh chicken is the first ingredient in this dog food, ensuring lean meat high in amino acids. Purina Pro Plan contains fish meal and is therefore high in amino acids, which will help keep your dog’s joints in good condition after high-impact activity. This food contains no artificial colors or preservatives.
- Online reviews of this food are generally positive. Pet parents love the fact that it helps their active dogs maintain a healthy weight, but some complained it was a bit pricey.
Victor Classic – Hi-Pro Plus, Dry Dog Food
- Meat meal is a leading ingredient in this dog food, but don’t let that put you off. With 30% protein, 88% of which comes from meat sources, Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus will keep a spring in your dog’s step. This dog food contains several types of meal, including fish meal, which is high in DHA.
- Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus is unique, as it contains the brand’s signature VPRO Blend to aid digestion, boost the immune system, and improve coat quality. This food is also fortified with amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins to cover all bases.
- Positive reviews of this dog food say it helps dogs gain and maintain muscle. Some pet parents said their dogs experienced upset stomach.
Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Grandma Lucy offers a freeze-dried dog food option for working dogs. It provides your dog with a balanced diet and consists of ingredients like chicken, chickpeas, fruits, and vegetables. This grain-free alternate consists of no fillers or preservatives that further improve your canine’s health.
To prepare the meal, all you have to do is add one to two cups of water to one cup. Stir the mixture and allow it to stand for a few minutes. The taste and the texture of the meal are maintained, and a high percent of Amazon reviews indicate that it’s popular with most breeds of dogs.
Solid Gold High Protein Dog Food
- Solid Gold Barking at the Moon High Protein Dog Food features beef as the first ingredient and is one of the most protein-rich foods on the market with 41% crude protein. As a result, this dog food is best-suited to the highest-energy working dogs, like sheepdogs.
- One of top ingredients in Solid Gold High Protein Dog Food is eggs, which are a good source of amino acids. The second ingredient is ocean fish meal, which is high in fatty acids. The result is a dog food that will help your dog build lean muscles without significant weight gain.
- Positive reviews of this Solid Gold formula said it’s a great choice for picky eaters, while negative reviews shared concerns about stomach upset.
Eukanuba Premium Sport Dog Food
- Another popular dog food designed for working dogs is Eukanuba Premium Performance 30/20 Sport Dog Food. This dog food contains 30% protein and 20% fat, which are ideal levels for active dogs. Chicken fat and chicken meal are two of the top ingredients in this dog food, providing essential amino acids.
- Added eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), glucosamine, and DHA ensure your dog has enough fatty acids to keep their brain healthy and joints in good condition.
- This food has earned rave reviews from pet parents. Positive reviews said dogs not only loved the taste, but were also leaner and more muscular after switching.
Sportdogfood Elite Grain Dog Food
Sport Dog Food is a family-owned company that aims to provide your dog with an utterly nutritional meal. It consists of quality ingredients like Buffalo meal, dried sweet potato, pork meal, catfish meal, salmon oil, and kelp meal.
This dog food also consists of various vitamin supplements, Zinc Sulfate, Folic Acid, and Green Tea extracts, to name a few. It offers your canine 465 calories every time it eats a cup’s serving. This grain-free dog food’s reviews are mixed, and few customers even claimed that their dogs fell ill after consuming the food.
Bully Max High-Performance Dog Food
Bully Max offers working dog owners performance dog food to support their pets’ in their activities. The brand states that it discloses all of the meal ingredients to its customers. It contains no soy, wheat, or corn and offers 535 calories to your dog with every cup.
The high protein content further helps in improving working dogs’ physique and improves their performance. The natural ingredients are safe for the dog and build immunity. The dog food is suitable for all dogs of all ages. It is very popular with dogs, according to the encouraging reviews on Amazon.
Eukanuba Premium Active Dog Food
The list includes another working dog food provided by Eukanuba, which offers dog owners another option for a balanced meal. The main ingredient in the feed is high-quality chicken which provides the dog with the necessary protein content.
It consists of DHA and Vitamin E that help power the brain and keep your dog attentive during his activities. And the presence of chondroitin sulfate and 50% more glucosamine guarantees that your dog can maintain and develop muscles while strengthening its joints too. A high quantity of customers has stated that they are satisfied with the brand.
Annamaet Ultra Formula Dry Food
Annamaet is a family-owned pet food company that has made dog food for the last thirty years. Its mission is to provide dogs with a well-balanced diet with products that are holistic and GMO-free. The premium quality fish and chicken in the meals means that it’s also fit for human consumption.
The brand is also aimed at being sustainable and uses bio-flex materials for its packaging, biodegradable. This formula provides dogs with high contents of protein and fats. It has a few reviews on Amazon, but nearly every one of them is positive.
What ingredients should I avoid when buying dry dog food?
Dog foods consist of many ingredients that can be harmful to your working dog. Ingredients such as BHA/BHT, sodium hexametaphosphate, artificial colors, MSG, gluten are just a few such ingredients that are very harmful to your dog. If you are unsure, it is best to consult with a vet. Some of these ingredients are legal in countries. So, you need to be diligent and read the list of ingredients on the package to guarantee that your dog is safe from harm.
My dog eats only one brand of dog food. Is this normal?
If your dog refuses to eat healthier options from other brands, he is a picky eater. Many dogs become adjusted to some flavors and find it hard to eat new and different meals. One of the best ways to introduce fresh food to your dog is by mixing it in with what he likes. You should start by adding small quantities of the new brand to their meal. Gradually increase the ratio until your dog is used to the unique taste. This is one of the best methods to get your dog to eat healthier options.
Is it okay to mix water into dry dog food?
Mixing water into dry dog food has a lot of benefits for your dog. In some cases, it creates a mushy mess, but if done right, your dog may learn to like it. Adding water to your dog’s food can reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and kidney stones.Soaking the kibble helps break down the food, which makes it even easier to digest for the dog. The added water increases the food’s quantity and helps reduce overeating. Warm water can help release aromas that can increase your dog’s appetite. Soaking the food for no more than ten minutes is an excellent way to start feeding your dog accordingly.
How much food should a working dog consume per day?
Tips for choosing the right food for your working dog
Picking out a new dog food that fits an active lifestyle can be tricky. Here are a few extra tips to ensure you pick the “pawfect” dog food for Fido:
Don’t suddenly change your dog’s diet.
While it may be tempting to suddenly change your dog to a new diet, dogs need to gradually change to their new food over a week or two to avoid digestive issues.
Consult your vet
Before changing your dog’s diet, consult your vet. They will be able to tell you if the new dog food is suitable for your dog and whether it contains any harmful ingredients. Just because a dog food has good reviews doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for your pup.
Avoid feeding your dog directly before or after high-impact activity.
Feeding a dog directly before or after strenuous activity can result in digestive problems like diarrhea and vomiting. Try to wait an hour before or after strenuous activity to feed your dog.
Read the label carefully.
Some dog food companies make their labeling difficult to decipher. Take some time to look over the label and make sure you understand the ingredients list.
When researching the best dog food for working breeds, rely on reputable sources.
There’s a wealth of conflicting information on canine nutrition out there. While researching, use veterinary-reviewed sources, or check out AAFCO’s website for a more detailed breakdown of canine nutritional needs and dog food quality standards.