Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Marco C.
Let’s delve into the best dog food for hunting labs with these 6 crucial considerations. When it comes to hunting animals, food is of the utmost importance. Its nutritional value and high protein contends are but two of the many key components of their food.
What’s The Best Commercial Dog Food For Hunting Labs?
There are many hunting dog food brands but the ones we’d recommend for the 2022 season include:
- Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Taste of the Wild Smoked Salmon High Protein Dry Dog Food
- Solid Gold High Protein Dry Dog Food
- Purina Pro Plan Sport Formula Dry Dog Food
- Canidae Limited Ingredient Lamb & Pea Dog Food
- Victor Super Premium Pet Food Hi-Pro Plus
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Food
There are other great options as well so you don’t need to restrict yourself to these 8 suggestions. However, if you’re at a loss as to what to pick, those are definitely some of the best dog food options for hunting labs as of right now.
What Are The Key Ingredients Of The Best Dog Food For Hunting Labs?
You’d think that hunting dog food is the same as standard dog food, just of a higher quality. That’s not really the case, however. The best dog food for hunting labs must not only be of the highest possible quality, but it must also be extra rich in nutrients of all kinds.
You can think of hunting dogs as the professional athletes of the canine world. Just like a marathon runner or a heavyweight champion can’t eat normal human food, a hunting dog needs a special diet as well. Such a diet should include:
- High protein contents. The dogs need this for the amino acids that help them build up their muscles. Without enough proteins, your dog simply won’t be able to hunt and will feel poorly if you try to force it. The source of those proteins is also important – lean meat and fish have the best protein for a top-performing hunting dog.
- Fiber. People often ignore this but the fiber is absolutely crucial if your dog is to maintain good gastrointestinal health. Without it, your dog will not only feel bad and develop certain health issues but it also won’t have nearly enough energy to chase down prey.
- Micro-nutrients. The best dog food for hunting labs will contain a lot of minerals and vitamins for good health and lots of energy. Some of the most crucial ones include calcium, phosphorus, glucosamine, chondroitin, and lots of probiotics among others.
- Fat > carbohydrates. For sporting and hunting dogs, research shows that fat is a much better, more effective, and healthier source of energy than carbohydrates. Of course, the exact amount of fat should be measured to match the dog’s exercise levels, however, that’s typically done in commercial foods for hunting dogs anyway.
What Should The Best Dog Food For Labs During Hunting Season Include?
The perfect dog food for the hunting season should be extra rich in proteins and fat to match your dog’s activity level. If you don’t feed your dog well enough during its period of highest physical activity it may become easily tired, ineffective, and malnourished if you push it too hard. During the off-season, it’s ok to switch to a more “normal” diet although even then it’s good to keep your dog’s fitness levels up.
Canned Food vs Dry Food – Which To Choose?
The best dog food for hunting labs can come in different types. Many people prefer canned food because it looks and seems “more real”. And, if it’s of a high enough quality, it is a great choice.
However, don’t underestimate the many positives of high-quality dry food too. Such food is typically richer in protein as counter-intuitive as that may seem at first. Additionally, it’s easier to make dry food without various grain additives and preservatives which a lot of canned food brands rely on.
What’s more, hunting dog owners usually need huge quantities of dog food as they tend to have more than one canine pet. If that applies to you too, you’ll likely appreciate the fact that dry dog food is easier to buy in bulk and store for longer as it doesn’t expire as quickly.
We aren’t going to necessarily crown dry food as the only best dog food option for hunting labs, however, as there certainly are great canned food choices as well. Instead, we’d recommend a mixed diet of dry and canned food as long as they are both good enough for your dog.
Is Homemade Dog Food A Good Choice For Hunting Dogs?
It could be but only if you know what you’re doing. There are several benefits to going for homemade rather than commercial dog food:
- If you need huge quantities, homemade dog food can cost much less, especially over time.
- With homemade food, you can guarantee the high quality of the ingredients better than you can with any commercial brand.
- Homemade recipes allow you to customize your dog’s food as per its individual needs.
- You can diversify your dog’s food as often and however, you want
There are problems with homemade dog food, of course, especially when hunting dogs are concerned. Namely, it’s very easy to miscalculate something and accidentally deprive your dog of a crucial mineral, vitamin, or another nutrient group. That’s why we’re usually hesitant to recommend homemade recipes, especially for novice dog owners and/or for working and hunting dogs. If you want to try any of the thousands of dog food recipes online we’d strongly urge you to consult with your vet first.
What Are The Common Health Problems You Should Look To Avoid With The Right Diet?
Feeding your hunting dog well is absolutely crucial if you want to not just have a high-performing canine but to also avoid health problems such as these:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Joint problems
- Bloating (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus) (typical in hunting labs, especially if you’ve fed the dog less than 2-3 hours before hunting)
In Conclusion, The Best Dog Food For Hunting Labs Is Crucial For Your Dog’s Performance and Well-being
High-value dog foods are also important but especially so if you have a sporting, working, or hunting breed. Feeding your dog with anything but the best dog food for hunting labs will result in poor performance, discomfort, and health problems.