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Performance-Boosting Products for Gun Dogs

Canine nutrition, supplements, and health-care products designed to keep your gun dog at the top of its game

Performance-Boosting Products for Gun Dogs
Photo Credit: John Hafner

Every once in a while, a freak of nature hits the professional sports scene and shows the world at large that there are a few genetic wonders out there who don’t need to live in the weight room or skip the Big Macs to be superstars. The story is exceptional, if for no other reason than the pure rarity of it all.

What does this have to do with bird dogs? Plenty. We often think our dogs are capable of amazing feats all on their own, but just like the athletes who weren’t gifted with lottery-odds genetics, our bird dogs need help. While well-bred dogs are natural athletes, they still require quality nutrition, supplementation, and health-care products that will keep them functioning at the level we expect at all times while running training drills or heading out into chukar territory.

This is easier to achieve today than in any other time in our history, which is a good thing if you value health and performance in your four-legged partner.

Crown Royale Sporting Dog Burrs Away

Crown Royale Sporting Dog Burrs Away

Crown Royale offers up some gun-dog solutions that you might not think you need, until of course you do. Burrs Away is a spray that aids in the removal of burrs and debris from your dog’s coat. Anyone who has run a long-haired dog through a patch of cockleburrs or beggar’s lice knows what it’s like to try to get the cling-ons out post-hunt. Burrs Away can knock down the frustration factor in that task by a lot. $11


Doc’s Products, Inc. COS Pellets

Doc’s Products, Inc. COS Pellets

COS stands for Canine Orthopedic Solutions, which makes sense considering Doc’s addresses working-dog joint health perfectly with its COS Pellets. Available in 60, 180, or 360-dose containers, COS Pellets work to address several conditions that can affect sporting dogs including hip dysplasia, arthritis, bone inflammation, and several others, which can greatly reduce a dog’s quality of life and mobility. COS Pellets do this by providing MSM, chondroitin, and glucosamine. They are all-natural, and backed by a 100-percent money back guarantee. Starting at $29


Eukanuba Premium Performance

Eukanuba Premium Performance

Hunting dogs that are in peak physical condition and that are tasked with days and days of serious exertion need high-octane fuel like Premium Performance from Eukanuba, which is formulated with 30-percent protein and 20-percent fat. Premium Performance offers up 100-percent complete and balanced nutrition sans fillers, and also provides calcium to support bone health. Other essentials include DHA, omega-3s, omega-6s, chondroitin, and glucosamine. $45

Happy Jack Flexenhance +

Happy Jack Flexenhance +

Flexibility and mobility go paw in paw for sporting dogs, and if either starts to deteriorate, then a dog’s days in the field are numbered. Luckily, you can address these issues with Happy Jack’s Flexenhance +, which provides dogs with glucosamine and creatine to help reverse bone, joint, and cartilage damage. Happy Jack also offers up options to address skin and coat care, flea and tick control, ear care, and wound care, as well as many other conditions your hunting dog might face. This company has been around since 1946, which tells you all you need to know about the quality of their products. You don’t get longevity like that without doing things right year after year. $24

Intervet Bravecto

Intervet Bravecto

If you live in a tick-heavy area, or happen to run your dog in the spring or fall where ticks are highly prevalent, you might want to ask your vet about writing a prescription for Bravecto. The active ingredient in Bravecto (fluralaner) is extremely effective at killing black-legged ticks, American dog ticks, brown dog ticks, lone star ticks, and fleas. With one chewable, you can protect your dog for up to 12 weeks, which is much more convenient than most canine tick treatments. Bravecto is offered in five doses to cover dogs of all sizes. $55

Kinetic Performance Supplements

Kinetic Performance Supplements

Supplementing a sporting dog’s diet is a great idea, provided you choose top-quality products that are formulated to meet specific needs. You can search the greater-dog market for something that meets the criteria, or just go with Kinetic. Their Bios 36K, Hydro 30K, and Mass 34K supplements are all designed to provide working dogs with exactly what their bodies need to thrive. While your dog might be doing fine staying well-fed and hydrated, nearly all hunting dogs could benefit from the Bios 36K, which contains a proprietary blend of digestible proteins, vitamins, carbs, minerals, and both prebiotics and probiotics to support gut health. Starting at $40


Native Performance Dog Food

Native Performance Dog Food

If you pay attention to dog food that is formulated for sporting dogs, you’ll almost always see a protein-to-fat ratio advertised. This allows you, at least on a surface level, to make a solid decision about your dog’s food intake based on his activity level. Take Native Energy Level 1, for example. At 24/14, this ratio is relatively low and ideal for dogs that are exercising a couple of times each week. Level 4, however, offers up a 35/25 ratio, which is chock-full of the necessary ingredients a hard-charging bird dog needs to stay active and healthy. The good news with Native’s lineup is that you can transition your dog through any level necessary to ensure he maintains weight and endurance while taking in extra essentials like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Starting at $50

Nutramax Cosequin Asu Sport

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, as 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. $27

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care

If you’ve ever owned or been around a duck dog that gets nervous, anxious, or way too excited when it’s time to travel and hunt, then you know the consequences can be disastrous, and occasionally costly if your dog is around light-colored carpet or expensive rugs. Fortunately, Purina has conducted a pile of research on Labs and in labs (get it?) to develop their new Calming Care, which is available through your vet. Calming Care uses a probiotic strain of bacteria to address digestive health and tamp down overall anxiety. This is a game-changer for anyone who has an anxious pup. $50


Realtree Naturals Dog Treats

Realtree Naturals Dog Treats

The Realtree Naturals Dog Treats lineup keeps expanding, with several new treats offered this year. If keeping your dog occupied is a priority, check out Bag O’ Bones, which contains long-lasting chews that are hickory-smoked and perfect for medium- to large-sized dogs. As if that wasn’t enough, these beef-knuckle chews also work to remove tartar and plaque from your upland dog’s teeth, which leads to better oral health. $13

Stengel Oils Sammy Shiny Coat

Stengel Oils Sammy Shiny Coat

Flaxseed oil is a great source of omega-3s, which are responsible for cellular and tissue health in our dogs. It also helps to regulate nervous system and cardiovascular functions, and as an added bonus can be used to improve skin condition and promote a shiny, healthy coat. That’s the case, at least, if you use Sammy’s Shiny Coat on your bird dog, because it is made with 100-percent virgin, cold-pressed flaxseed oil (not soybean oil) which is full of the good fat that is omega-3. $15

Victor Professional

Victor Professional dog food

Victor Professional dog food has been used by breeders, kennel owners, and trainers extensively over the years—hence the moniker. This is due to a myriad of reasons, but starts with the ratio of 26-percent protein to 18-percent fat, which is a solid mix for sporting dogs throughout their years. Professional is fortified with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids, so that not only will it provide sustained energy, but also healthy immune and digestive systems. Professional offers 400k/cals per cup. Starting at $45

Zoom Dog Itchy Dog

Zoom Dog Itchy Dog

If you want your upland dog to have a healthy coat and avoid skin issues, you should probably pick up a bottle of Itchy Dog from Zoom Dog. Ditto for any pups with allergy issues. These daily tablets are chock-full of antioxidants, vitamins, polyphenols, and fatty acids to ensure that your dog’s exterior stays in tip-top shape. Zoom Dog also offers up plenty of other supplements to ensure his inner workings are firing on all cylinders as well. Starting at $15

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