A Guide to Working Dog Nutrition

Working dog eating from bowl

Any dog owner knows that pups love their food, and know that whatever they eat can have a direct effect on how they feel and how much energy they have.

Working dogs in particular have specific nutritional needs, so it’s important to be aware. Knowing and being able to meet the energy requirements of your dog is crucial for getting the most out of it, and for giving it the best life possible.

Whether you’ve just got a working dog, had one for years or simply want to learn more, check out our handy guide below.

What is a working dog?

Put simply, a working dog is exactly what it says on the tin – a dog used for working.

They are primarily used for practical tasks, with everything from farming and herding to hunting and law enforcement, to even racing and show and agility competitions.

You tend to find that the majority of working dogs are very intelligent, very energetic, and easy to train. Working dogs usually have good temperament overall, and are very obedient and responsive if trained well.

However, working dogs are not just used for function, and can actually make wonderful pets (as long as their needs are met). Some of the most popular choices for dogs are working (Labradors, Spaniels, etc), but more on that later.

One thing to note about working dogs is that they can be described as a “bundle of energy”, and have the ability to become potentially destructive without proper training and being left to their own good.

This means long walks everyday to get their energy out, and regular training sessions to keep them both physically and mentally stimulated.

What breeds are classed as working dogs?

Many people own working dogs without actually knowing it, as they might not have heard the term before and as mentioned earlier, some of the most popular breeds are classed as working dogs.

Some examples include:

  • Labrador Retriever
  • Great Dane
  • Rottweiler
  • Boxer
  • Australian Shepherd
  • German Shepherd
  • Border Collie
  • Dobermann
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Bloodhound
  • Old English Sheep
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Terriers

And that is just a couple of them. We’re almost certain that you know someone who has one of these breeds, whether or not they are using them for traditional working dog jobs or simply as man’s best friend.

What should you look for in your dog food?

A working dog diet can need more attention than most, as a balanced diet is required to be able to meet their specific energy requirements. As they have a more active lifestyle, they need more calories to be able to operate at the preferred level of performance.

With this in mind, we recommend a complete food (like the ones we offer) in order to give your dog exactly what they need.

A complete food which contain all of the vitamins and minerals needed to fuel your dog’s daily activities, and a good one will use quality ingredients to provide your dog with a carefully balanced and highly digestible diet.

Foods with high digestibility is always recommended, as it makes it easier for your dog’s digestive system to fully utilise and make the most of the nutrients available in the food.

What should you avoid with your dog food?

Our main piece of advice is to make sure you are not overfeeding your dog, as this can never be good.

Meals should be portioned correctly, and always refer to the feeding guide that comes with your food of choice.

While it might be tempting to offer up some tasty treats or leftovers after dinner, it can actually cause an imbalance in your dog’s diet. Dog treats are delicious because they contain lots of fat and salt, but this also means they aren’t necessarily good for them.

Another thing to note is the timing of the meal, and making sure it doesn’t fall directly before or straight after strenuous activity.

By now, you know not to eat just before you go for a big swim, correct? Well, the same can be said for dogs and any strenuous activities surrounding meal time. By doing this, you can cause large discomfort and even diarrhoea in some cases, so we always recommend waiting an hour or so just to be safe.

Lastly, consistency is key. Unlike humans, dogs are happy to have the same meal day in and day out, and their stomachs are used to this.

With that in mind, if you’re planning on changing out their food, it needs to be a structured process over an amount of time. By switching foods immediately, your dog may experience gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and a decreased appetite.

The transition period should be at least a couple of days, and some dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies may need an even longer period.

Why should you choose Squires & Beaumont?

Here at Squires & Beaumont, we understand the need for a well balanced working diet.

Our Field Dog & Game food has been designed to provide a holistic solution for the full life of your working dog, using only the finest quality British ingredients to provide your dog with all that it needs.

No artificial flavours, and no artificial colourings.

Our food features a careful blend of fats and oils from vegetable and animal sources, providing essential fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat. If you’re looking for the perfect food for your working dog, you’ve come to the right place.

Ready to get your dog on the Squires & Beaumont diet? Pick up a bag today and see the difference for yourself.

Got a question? Fill out our online contact form or alternatively, reach out to us on one of our social media channels. We’re more than happy to help.