Nutritional requirements of the adult dog

The nutritional requirements of a dog vary according to several parameters. The two main ones that must determine the quality and quantity of food the dog needs are his breed and his activity

The energy expenditure in the dog

To know the specific nutritional needs of a dog, we must first consider energy expenditure .

In all living animals, energy expenditure is the sum of three components:

-the metabolism of base , the energy released by an idle subject under fasting conditions. It depends on the weight of the animal, or more precisely on the proportion of the lean mass of this animal

-the thermogenesis , the energy produced by this subject to maintain its temperature. The energy expenditure related to thermogenesis is a function of the ambient temperature in which the animal lives

-sound physical activity (duration and intensity, punctual or regular), which calls for more or less energy

Once the energy expenditure is measured, the calculation for optimal nutritional balance is as follows: the energy value of nutrient intakes should not exceed that of the expenses

Diet according to the breed of the dog

The breed does not directly influence the nutritional needs of the dog but it makes it possible to determine the surface area of ​​the dog and the distribution between tissue lean and fatty tissue . Some breeds are more muscular than others and thus have higher energy requirements, the basic metabolism of muscle tissue being greater than that of adipose tissue.

Therefore, two dogs of different breeds but of the same weight can have different energy requirements if the ratio of lean tissue to fatty tissue is not the same. For illustration, this means that a fine, muscular German Mastiff will have a higher basal metabolism than a Newfoundland, having the same weight but a higher fat mass

Diet according to the activity of the dog

The diet of the dog must also be adapted to the dog activity. If the dog is a working dog and not companion, its needs will necessarily be higher than the latter.

This is particularly the case of hunting dogs which must have higher energy contributions during , but also before the hunt.

Nutritional needs of the hunting dog

It should be known that the hunting dog travels almost ten times more land than his master. The muscular work and the physiological modifications of the effort therefore increase its needs. The hunting dog is thus often likened to a runner and must have the corresponding food bowl, rich in protein .

The needs of the hunting dog are multiplied by two or three during the hunting periods . High energy rations will have to be provided to meet the needs without significantly increasing the amount of food. Proteins and lipids which increase, in addition to the energy, the digestibility of the diet are preferably used.

The protein level of the hunting dog food must be 35% of the dry matter. It takes 2.5% calcium, 0.15% magnesium and 1% phosphorus. Care should be taken to double the intake of vitamins A, D and K and to triple those of vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 and choline. complete sports dog food can be used, but it must be verified that they contain 30% protein, 20% fat, 9% minerals and a low cellulose content.

Note that dogs participating in field-trials (= dog-stop contest) is different. They are primarily speed racers. The effort is intense for a very short time. They must therefore have a privileged contribution in lipids , a major energetic fuel necessary for muscular work.

For all sporting dogs in general (hunting dogs, sled dogs, dogs police), the diet must be balanced, but above all must be perfectly assimilated by the body to be effective. Premiums for sporty dogs are very well suited to intense activity.

The diet of the very sporty dog ​​is to be modulated according to the activity and the intensity of the effort provided, especially in animals performing importantly.

Related reading: Nutritional needs of growing puppy

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