I have been meaning to write a blog post on nutrition for a while, for a long time I have been feeding a very generic working dog kibble up until recently when I ran into some problems.
I had fed kibble for years with good results, first of all i fed it to my working cattle dog, his work load was high but he could pretty much survive on air and he did fairly well on it. I never really had any issues with his diet, his coat was fairly good condition and his general health was ok, but to be honest, in hindsight, it wasnt really something i considered important, and beause of that, it wasnt a big concern to me.
Gus then came along as a puppy and he was started on what i thought was a decent kibble, and then moved onto the working feed i had my other dog on at a year old. I moved Gus onto adult food slightly sooner than i should have done becuase he was MENTAL on the other food and i was convinced it was the amount of protein from carbs in his puppy kibble.
I then got Toadie, a rescue, at 5 years old, and he turned up to our house looking like a bag of bones.
I knew i had to do something fairly quickly to fatten him up and put some condition on him so i gave him the working dog kibble (always had good results remember) and i also gave him enrichment toys stuffed with a complete wet food.
Toadie was on this diet for months and although he did put on a bit of weight, it wasnt enough and he still had no muscle or condition.
Anyway, thats the background story for you in one paragraph, the turning point for me was Gus losing energy and drive to work the more his sports dog training increased. Gus is training for Mondioring, but we also do tricks, scentwork, tracking etc etc.
The amount i wanted him to do was big, i needed him to be clearing a 3ft jump with ease, jumping 12ft on the long jump, scaling a palisade of 9ft, as well as having incredibly good fitness and endurance for all the other exercises. I needed him to be supple, muscly and healthy. Gus is seen by Sam Kable at K9 Kinetics (http://www.k9-kinetics.co.uk/) regualry for massages, he was also being seen by a local physio just to keep him in tip top condition. All this general maintainence work and i started to notice he wasnt right, he got stiff every now and then, he would feel the effects of doing any kind of bite work for days after (in the form of a tight neck) and he was seriously lacking in energy.
I had got a clean bill of health from the vet, physio and masseuse and i knew at this stage the only other thing i could change was his diet.
I have known about raw food for a while, i wouldnt say i have ever been "anti raw" but i was of the opinion i could feed a kibble that was less effort, kept my dog healthy and suited me, for less money and hassle, so i had never really considered changing. It was only when i had this tipping point with Gus that i thought, i need to take a look at this stuff and see what all the fuss is about.
I did my research, worked out costs from a few different companies, and then came across Pro Dog Raw.
Pro Dog seemed to make decent food, it was all defra approved, British meat and looked, as far as i could see, like a really good food.
I made a call to Pro Dog and explained the situation i was in, not only were they super helpful but they also helped me to understand what was involved with feeding raw and how it could work for my dogs. I wasnt given the hard sell, I decided to try some and a day later a massive box of raw food turned up on my door step!
That day was probabaly 4 months ago now and i have never looked back. I knew i wanted something that would help Gus cope with the workload, and put some weight on Toadie but this food did above and beyond that.
Within a week i was starting to notice the results, Toadie was getting excited about eating which was a BIG deal for us.
Gus' moods had changed, he hasnt ever really been a complete pain in the bum, but he was noticably calmer. In the evenings he wasnt getting what i can only describe as "sugar spikes". His mood was plateauing, he was calmer, more focused and much more up for doing lots of training.
Along side the food, I also decided to try the boys on some of their nutrition supplements, Gus was on Flexx (a joint supplement) and Maximus (a lean muscle builder). Toadie was also on Flexx and Muscle+ (an advanced mass gainer).
By month one i couldnt believe the results, Pro Dog didnt need to do the hard sell because i could see the resuts through my own eyes, my dogs looked and felt amazing. Gus had lost his bloated kibble tummy, his coat was glossy, his eyes were shiny and he was developing much better muscle cover on those important areas he uses a lot.
Toadie had gained 2kg, he had defined muscles and his coat was looking amazing, I really couldnt believe the difference.
Three months on and i would never go back, i have been completely converted. My dogs are SO much happier on this balanced, appropriate diet, and i can see it through their performance, wellbeing, and how they look.
Moving to raw really has been an eye opener to me, and I would really urge you, what ever you are feeding to look at ProDog and see if their products could make a difference to you. Not only for sport dogs, but for pet dogs, and particularly dogs that are suffering with behaviour problems.
I am lucky enough to be an ambassador for Pro Dog Raw and Pro Dog Nutrition now, i will leave their details for you to check out at the bottom of this post. Have a look, i dare you!
For Pro Dog Raw Click Here
Nutrition Supplements Click Here
Treats Click Here
If you are thinking of changing, drop us an email at [email protected]
and we can give you a discount code