was successfully added to your cart.
Category

Health

How much protein does your working dog need?

By | Dog Welfare, Health, Nutrition | No Comments

It’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet for humans and canines alike. We both need to watch our calorie intake, ensure we are eating enough of the right fats, take our vitamins and for those who exercise regularly, get enough protein in our diet too, so we can keep healthy and active for longer.

Protein packs a punch.

Proteins are essential macro-nutrients that act as building blocks in living tissue such as muscles and organs, producing energy when digested. Proteins also have functional roles (e.g. enzymes, hormones and antibodies) in vital processes in the body and therefore need to be consistently replaced. This can be accomplished by regularly consuming foods that contain protein.

All dogs, whether working or not, need protein as part of their diet. Highly active dogs use protein’s essential amino acids. Functions of these amino acids focus on muscle condition, tissue repair, and hormone synthesis.

Recommended Protein levels

The minimum recommended Protein Levels for Dogs are outlined by the PFMA – Pet Food Manufacturing Association, as below:

Unit: Grams per 100gr dry matter

A moderately active dog only needs about 21 to 26 percent crude protein. Working dogs however, need higher levels to maintain their health and energy whilst active.

Protein for working dogs

Working dogs need a good quality, sustainable diet to keep up their strength for the long working days ahead of them. By providing calories, protein enables them to keep up their energy to stay active, whilst also building strength.

Protein provides your dog with:

  • Stronger muscles
  • Greater bone and body mass
  • Improves nerve function
  • Aids the creation of cells
  • Can help in healing your dog’s wounds.
  • Your dog will even benefit from having a shinier coat and healthier skin due to the higher level of protein.

All dogs need protein in their diet but choosing the right food for your working dog is essential even from a young age, as this will help to build their strength and energy through to adulthood.

At Alpha, we offer a range of different foods for both active puppies and adult dogs, which are nutritionally balanced and formulated for health and vitality. Our foods range from 19% to 32% protein, helping you to choose the right food for your dog depending on their purpose and high performance.

Choose Alpha, The food of champions

Here at Alpha, we have a highly dedicated and skilled team of people who care about the quality of the products they make and the service that they provide. Alpha products are now more in demand than ever, with scientifically formulated recipes to suit all breeds.

Your animal’s health and vitality is our passion and we are committed to providing exceptional service and outstanding value.

Nutritional excellence is at the heart of everything we do and we expect your pet to thrive on our food, as much as we thrive on making it.

From our range, Alpha Worker Maintenance has the lowest percentage of protein, at 19%, as it’s a “maintenance” diet, so it’s ideal for dogs in off season, or for those who are retired.

For those busy working dogs however, Alpha High Performance has 32% protein, to ensure they can maintain their activity levels all day long. Most of our Dog food averages at 25% protein, offering your dog a quality feed that will keep them working for longer– please visit our website to view our full range.

Preparing Your Working Dog For The Shooting Season

By | Health, Nutrition, Training | No Comments

man and dog on shoot in countryside

Summer is coming to an end, the first leaves of autumn are falling, and there’s a decided nip in the air. And what does this spell? The shooting season is nigh!

After a beautiful summer holiday, your dog will probably be looking a little wider around the middle, and maybe a little out of shape. You too may be feeling the same?! With this in mind – now is the perfect time to begin preparations for a busy season in the field.

Everything from feeding to training is about to ramp up – and it’s crucial to manage the transition back into the field with care. In this week’s blog, we talk nutrition and fitness preparation to get your dog in tip-top shape for work.

The DIY health check

Before embarking on your epic pre-season training plan; it’s good to give your dog a quick health check. Luckily, this is very straightforward and can be done for the comfort of your home. However, If your dog is displaying any signs of discomfort, infection or illness – a trip to the vet is recommended. The following steps will highlight any potential problems;

  1. Covering the entire body, thoroughly check your dog for any bumpy bits, and don’t forget the tip of his tail – after a hard season before, this area is prone to injury.
  2. Extend and flex all joints. You should be feeling for any resistance to manipulation and signs of discomfort.
  3. Check the mouth for redness in the gums, loose teeth over zealous tartar build-up; this can all lead to discomfort for your dog.
  4. Check your dog’s ears for redness, irritation and excess wax.
  5. Examine your pet’s eyes for clouding or discharge.
  6. Inspect all four paws looking out for discolouration or strange smells. Examine the length of the nails and study between the toes.

Let’s get moving!

After a few months of relaxing and restoring – your dog is ready to get back into training; and being a working breed, he’ll be turbocharged to get back into the action! Just a few extra pounds can increase the pressure on your dogs’ joints, increasing the risk of an injury, and after a sedentary period, your dog is likely to have put on a few!

Start your training light with regular walks, and increase the intensity gradually. Conditioning your dog for long days in the field, including some short sprints, is crucial. And, focusing on the duration and frequency of exercise will help no end. Activities like running beside you while you ride a bike, practising long and short retrieves (with a variety of dummy weights) and obedience training will all help build stamina and sharpen your dog’s mental response skills.

Nutrition for optimum health and endurance

As the energy levels and activity ramp up, it’s essential to feed accordingly. In the same way, you are building up the workout intensity – introduce new foods slowly. A sudden change in diet could lead to stomach upsets – just as jumping straight into intense physical training could result in injury. We suggest mixing the new food in with the current meal for a week to allow the dog’s digestive system to adjust.

As your dog’s energy levels grow, heralding the start of the season, gradually increase the volume fed, splitting it into two or three meals per day. It would be best if you were looking for a dog food that offers high levels of protein and fat to support energy levels and muscle repair. At Alpha, we provide a range of high performance feeds, including Alpha Sporting Puppy (29% protein), Alpha High Performance (32%protein), and Alpha Grain-free (25% protein).

*No dietary changes will be required if your dog enjoyed a busy and active close season. Vet’s and scientists agree that it’s best (if possible) to keep the dog’s nutritional profile consistent. This aids and maintains good metabolism.