December 09, 2020
By Game and Fish Staff
As duck season progresses, taking care of your dog in cold weather is vital. That starts with a healthy diet.
"I strongly encourage people to feed their dog a high-quality food year-round, not just during hunting season," says Jared Moss, owner of Best Gun Dogs and a Eukanuba pro-staff member. "Incrementally increasing the amount you feed your dog as winter sets in is very important in order for them to efficiently metabolize it."
Moss likes boosting his dog’s food intake by 20 to 30 percent, but he doesn't do it all at once.
"If you suddenly give them a whole extra cup of food a day, they won't get the full benefits. Instead, introduce it in 10-percent increments, going up one percent of food a day, then seeing how they do at day 10."
A dog that is doing well on increased feed during cold-weather work will not get fat. Nor should the dog lose weight or "fall off" if he went into the season in good shape.
The dog should be able to maintain his muscle mass. His coat should look good and he should be tolerating the food well. His movements should be easy and vigorous, and he should be alert and eager to engage in strenuous activity.
Moss has been training dogs for 23 years, and today his food of choice is Eukanuba Premium Performance 30/20. "I feed this year-round and I also condition my dogs every day of the year, as being physically fit for demanding hunts goes hand-in-hand with maintaining a quality diet."