Feeding the Hunting Dog: 3 Top Tips to Maximize Performance

Every hunting dog owner has a special routine for feeding their dogs in order to keep them healthy and happy. But what about when hunting season rolls around? You want your hunting dog to be able to perform at top shape when it counts the most, so you must feed them correctly. Let’s go over the three top tips in order to maximize their performance on your next hunting trip! 

1. High Calories for Burning

A hard day of hunting will burn a lot of calories throughout the day, and your dog needs these calories in order to properly work and function. Every dog’s metabolism and needs are different, but in general, you should try to do the math on how many calories that your dog will need for the day and make sure they get them! 

For example, a 50-pound dog will burn around 1500 calories on an average day but over 2300 calories on a long day of hunting. Check your dog’s food and see how many calories it is, and ensure that they get and eat the right amount for the number of calories that they will burn.

2. Know When to Feed

So you know that you need to feed your dog the proper amount for the work they will do on the hunt, but when do you actually feed them? It is important to feed your dog well and increase their amount of food the day or night before the actual hunt in order to build up their energy in preparation. A dog can digest its food for up to 12 hours, so feeding your dog a good meal the night before the hunt is extremely important to allow it all to properly digest into energy. 

All of the protein and calories in their food will be ready to use once the hunt actually starts as your dog ate its meal in advance. In fact, the day before the hunt is more important for getting ready and staying energized than the actual hunting day as this is when the energy will be produced from the food you are feeding them. 

3. Use Wet Food After Hunting 

Feed your dog wet food? What is that all about? Adding a little water to your dog’s food after a hunt can be a great way to rehydrate your dog quicker. This is very important, especially if you plan on hunting with them again the very next day. 

Wet dog food can also be used during the middle of the day while hunting, especially if the weather is warmer. A hydrated dog will have much more energy and not tire out as quickly, so adding some water to their food for quicker hydration is a simple trick to help them out! 

Interested in learning more about hunting with your dog? We’ve got you covered with our assortment of articles. Check out our collection of information that will take you one step further as a hunting expert:

Here Are The Unique Characteristics of a Hunting Dog
Pointer, Flusher, And Bird Retrieval Dog Hunting
7 Tips for Training Hunting Dogs 

Final Thoughts

Feeding your hunting dog properly is very important, and will impact just how well they perform on the hunt. Make sure you are taking the proper steps to take care of your hunting companion!

For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.