Feeding before and during hunting

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by Action, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Action

    Action Elite Refuge Member

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    looking for help getting food in my lab in the morning before hunting or during the hunt. Sadie is so focused I can put food infont of her and she won't eat. Once we get home it's a totally different story.
     
  2. KwickLabs

    KwickLabs Elite Refuge Member

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    Click on the following link and read the last part of this article. I never feed my dogs in the morning before hunting. :reader

    https://www.purinaproclub.com/resou...ing-of-sporting-dogs-starts-long-before-fall/
    Basic biology reveals that food takes several hours for digestion (to the point of supplying energy). Also, food digestion requires a blood flow as do
    working muscles. The canine genetics evolved so as to NOT do both at the same time....hunt & eat, rest & digest and then hunt again. Also, canine
    genetics evolved to hunt (work) when their digestive system was empty. Empty bowels are much easier to "carry" when active.

    To repeat....Complete digestion makes energy readily available to be sent via the blood stream to muscles when needed. And the process is not
    fast. In essence, dogs hunt best when the required energy from completed digestion is available. It is better for the dog that blood is not doing two
    "jobs" at the same time. In addition to the issues with blood flow and energy, an empty intestinal tract is much more comfortable for a very active
    dog.

    Keep in mind that "food" given when hunting is not instant energy unless the focus is on sugar (which is not a good idea, but at times necessary).

    If one were to look around at bit, most humans are not very gifted at defining proper eating skills.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    BirdJ likes this.
  3. teul2

    teul2 Senior Refuge Member

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    And, it is a health risk to run a dog hard that has just eaten. A twisted stomach is nothing to scoff at. Surgery is the only fix for it. And, from the time it happens, they only have about 45 minutes to be on the surgery table or it will kill them. It is not easy to determine it has happened either.

    Feed the dogs at night, let them rest after. Run them in the morning.
     
  4. 3drahthaars

    3drahthaars Elite Refuge Member

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    I dont feed in AM. Munch on sardines and Vienna sausages in blind... share B,E&cheese biscuit on way home...

    Had 2 dogs die from bloat..
    My current pups mom bloated... i dont take chances...
     
  5. Action

    Action Elite Refuge Member

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    Great information and I am aware of twisted gut. My main concern is working my retriever in cold conditions and making sure she keeps her energy levels up in order to keep warm. I do have her in a vest which I highly recommend for everyone even in the early season here in the Pacific Northwest.
     
  6. 4 BUCK

    4 BUCK Senior Refuge Member

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    I feed my dog twice a day all year. Would feeding him once a day giving him double the amount of food he is used to at one time be good for him? Seems like that would not be good for his digestive system either?
     
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  7. boodog

    boodog Senior Refuge Member

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    I won't feed less than 18-24 hours before the hunt. I've hunted my dog in single digits with no energy problem. I then feed him a couple hours after the hunt. The above advice about the problems of feeding right before hunting is spot on in my opinion. It's the shape your dog is in during hunting season that is important-missing a normal meal is no big deal prior to hunting.
     
  8. blacktail

    blacktail Elite Refuge Member

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    All my dogs have always been fed once a day at 6pm. I currently have 5 dogs. Chihuahua to Chesapeake and a few in between.
    Has always worked for me.
     
  9. Action

    Action Elite Refuge Member

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    My lab is 4 years old, 55lbs and lean. When shooting 28 ducks over water that's a lot of work. Many times the shoot last 2 hours and she is constantly in the water. Throw in single didget temps it can be a lot for a dog. She has the drive that won't quit and I'm just looking for the best care for her when she's doing her job in demanding conditions.

    It shaping up to be another cold year as well as a bumper crop of mallards.
     
  10. CA Birdman

    CA Birdman Elite Refuge Member

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    I have always fed my labs twice a day but during hunting season and when hunting next morning, the night before meal will be likely most of the next mornings meal as well. We usually have some cooked chicken or something similar in the fridge, so I just give my lab a couple snacks in the am and then feed after the hunt.
     

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