Anyone who has spent a single day behind a well-trained gun dog knows how hard they work. Our upland bird hunters are the canine version of extreme athletes and because of that, they need to be taken care of physically.
Naturally, we assume their coats, paws, ears and eyes deserve plenty of TLC post-hunt. But it's what's inside that matters far more. Their joints, muscles, and overall health depend entirely on what foods, medications and supplements we provide for them.
So choose wisely because your hardest-working hunting partner is depending on it. Following are the best dog nutrition products for 2016.
Nutramax | Cosequin ASU Sport
Your hunt for the right joint health supplement is over! Help support the joint and pad health of your sporting dog with Cosequin ASU Sport. Patented combinations of ingredients help deliver joint support, while biotin helps support pad health and integrity, was well as a healthy coat.
Whether it's through the fields or in the woods, use Cosequin ASU Sport to help keep your dog moving!
Anyone who spends time outside in the spring, or in certain geographic areas during the fall, knows that the tick problem isn't going away. In fact, it's getting worse. And more ticks mean more tick-borne diseases for our bird dogs.
Since we can't sequester our sporting dogs for months at a time, it's best to treat them with a product like Bravecto. This chewable tablet effectively kills fleas and multiple tick species for up to 12 weeks after a single treatment.
Purina Pro Plan | Bright Mind
Proprietary research by Purina has led to the creation of Bright Mind, a revolutionary formula that not only provides a balanced diet for older dogs but helps them with mental acuity as well.
This formula is designed for dogs at least 7 years old and contains B vitamins, antioxidants and botanical oils to promote healthy coats, proper digestive health and increase mobility. On top of that, Bright Mind lives up to its name by helping your aging hunting partner stay mentally sharp and focused throughout the day.
Native Level 1
Feeding an ultra-high protein and fat formula to an off-season dog can be a recipe for a pudgy pooch. This is why Native offers several dog foods, including Energy Level 1. This formula is 24 percent protein and 14 percent fat, which is perfect for dogs that receive normal exercise and activity.
As training increases and hunting season is eventually in full swing, you can bump all the way up to Energy Level 4. Native dog foods are chock-full of Omega-3s and Omega-6s and are created without corn, wheat, soy or meat by-products.
Merrick | Game Bird
What could be more fitting for a sporting dog than food that utilizes turkey, duck, quail and chicken? Merrick's Raw Infused Game Bird Recipe is an excellent choice for filling your four-legged hunting partner's bowl.
Considering it is 38 percent protein and entirely grain-free, this formula is guaranteed to keep your dog going. For home feeding, choose the 22-pound bags and check out the 12- or four-pound options on road trips.
Zoom Dog | Itchy Dog
Sporting dogs are prone to coat and skin problems due to genetic issues and harsh hunting environments. If your pheasant dog spends a bit too much time scratching, it's probably time to pick up a bottle of Itchy Dog. These tablets contain vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants that tamp down skin and coat issues.
Doc's COS Pellets
Chondroitin, glucosamine, and MSM are the natural ingredients in COS Pellets that treat a litany of issues. COS provides hip and joint support and builds stronger bones. Doc's backs up COS Pellets with a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
Kinetic Performance Dog Food
Kinetic co-creator John Howard knows what dogs need to stay healthy and hunt hard. From their Active 26K Formula, which contains 26/16 percent protein to fat ratio, to the Ultra 32K (32/24 protein to fat), Kinetic has your sporting dog's activity level covered. All formulas in Kinetic's lineup have been tweaked to ensure your dogs get what they need with every feeding.
Realtree High Performance Dog Food
It's hard to find a dog food formula that contains a 30/25 protein to fat ratio but Realtree has done it. Their chicken- and fish-based formula is a nutrient dense, low-carb option designed to maintain proper weight and a healthy coat. Available in 33-pound bags or new Adventure Pack, which contains single servings for those week-long rooster forays.
Happy Jack | DuraSpot
DuraSpot uses Nylar, a proven insect growth regulator to kill and repel fleas and ticks for up to four weeks. It also prevents re-infestation of fleas for up to five weeks and kills flea eggs and larva for up to four months. It is also capable of killing and repelling lice, mites and mosquitoes for up to four weeks.