What to Feed a High-Energy Hunting Dog

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of "Brain Training for Dogs."

The Importance of Conditioning and Proper Nutrition

Hunting dogs are very powerful dogs and often asked to perform at high levels of intensity, especially when hunting season approaches. Problems arise when they are required to perform without much preparatory conditioning. This often results in overexertion and exercise intolerance, an occurrence common in out-of-shape weekend hunting dogs.

Hunting Dog Hypoglycemia?

Another problem seen in hunting dogs is a condition known as 'hunting dog hypoglycemia', a cause of weakness and exercise intolerance in predisposed dogs. Those most affected are young, highly excitable hunting dogs, often belonging to pointer and spaniel breeds. Symptoms include disorientation, weakness, and, in some cases, seizures taking place generally after one or two hours of vigorous exercise.

How to Avoid Hypoglycemia and Low Energy

This condition can be avoided by feeding hunting dogs in the morning, some time before a hunt, and then feeding protein-rich foods during the hunt, according to veterinarians Kevin L. Cosford, and Susan M. Taylor. The use of energy boosting snacks for hunting dogs is therefore a good idea to prevent the insurgence of hunting dog hypoglycemia and providing hunting dogs with the energy they need to cover large amounts of ground when sent to work.

Dog Food for Hunting Dogs

If you are looking for commercial energy boosting snacks for hunting dogs, there are a handful out there. XTremFuel Booster Bars and XTremFuel Booster tabs are products designed with hunting dogs in mind.The XTremFuel Booster Bars, for instance, make an ideal snack for when your hunting dog is in the field. It contains high-quality proteins and fats to aid in recovery and a blend of carbohydrates to improve endurance while increasing energy. The booster tabs, which are made of a high-calorie, high-energy formula, help increase stamina and are helpful for training, conditioning, hunting, and trials.

K9 Restart Energy Bars by Tech Mix are another choice for canine athletes and are supposed to be fed before, during, and after hunting. Gander Mountain also produces a line of energy bars called Retrieve Tri- Energy All Natural Nutrition Bars which provide immediate and time-released energy for working dogs.

If you like to make your dog your own energy bars, you are welcome to.

High Energy Snack for High Energy Dogs

Here's an energy bar recipe.


  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar or raw sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups oatmeal (quick or old fashioned)
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts


  1. Mix shortening, brown sugar (or raw sugar) with two eggs.
  2. Then add to the mixture whole wheat flour, baking soda, teaspoon salt, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, oatmeal (quick or old fashioned), and chopped peanuts.
  3. Drop the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Turn the oven off and let the energy bars dry in the oven overnight. Keep refrigerated to prevent the build up of mold.

Owners of hunting dogs should also always carry with them a half-pint of corn syrup in their pockets just in case they are to deal with hypoglycemia, recommends veterinarian Charles A. Hjerpe. A couple of ounces of corn syrup should be given immediately in case the dog appears weak or starts to stagger.

So, basically three rules of thumb to follow for owners of hunting dogs: experimenting nutritional supplements at home well before hunting season begins, conditioning to exercise well in advance, and finally, feeding your dog right throughout the season, making sure to give him time to rest and digest before heading back to work.

How to Maintain Proper Nutrition for Hunting Dogs

If you own a hunting dog and want to bring the best out of him while keeping him healthy, you cannot go wrong with providing healthy dog food. A good food for hunting dogs must provide nutritional support while also helping your dog maintain good health during the hunt or under any stressful conditions.

How Much and How Often to Feed a Hunting Dog

In the past, hunters were usually feeding their dogs every twenty-four hours and then over loading them with work. This often resulted in exhausted dogs that lost weight and looked gaunt, explains Jim Reiser, veterinarian and upland gamebird hunter from Franksville, Wisconsin. Today there is new recognition that feeding a dog more during hunting season will not hurt. If your dog is hunting every day and working hard, doubling, or even tripling the rations and adding more highly digestible protein, more calorie-laden fat, and some energetic carbohydrates may help.

What if my dog won't eat?

Some dogs may be so excited or worn out during hunting season they will refuse to eat their daily meals. In these cases, it may help to pour on top of the dry kibble some meat based canned dog food along with cooked vegetables. To make it even more tempting, pouring some hot water will help release meaty odors and entice the dog to eat.

Introducing Supplements

If you are considering adding supplements, it is important not to start them cold turkey. Rather, Reiser suggests to experiment with some nutritional supplements at home before briging them along to the field. This way, you will know how your dog responds to them. Each dog has a different metabolism and palate and, therefore, may respond differently.

For instance, you can experimentally try feeding some meat and potatoes or eggs and cheese perhaps a couple hours before or thirty minutes after running in the fields or swimming in a pond. If the dog responds well and likes the food, it is important to allow the dog to cool down before feeding anything once in the field. After feeding, it is also important to give time for the dog to digest before continuing working. Dr. Rieser believes that by following such guidelines, the risks for bloat or stomach tension are minimized for those concerned about those conditions.

Bee on September 29, 2013:

Good information and I liked the info on home made energy bars too! Thanks!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 20, 2012:

Thanks Deborah! I am happy you found my hub on what to feed a hunting dog helpful!

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on April 20, 2012:

great and interesting hub.. I do not have hunting dogs. but this would be great information if I did


Dawn A. Harden from CT-USA on January 27, 2012:

Good points! Thanks! Picture of the dog is great.

An important link: exercise and nutrition

The majority of hunting dogs are within the weight range called medium-large (greyhound, pointer, retriever, etc.), except the cocker, spaniel, and tickets, which are medium weight, and the bloodhound of San Hubert or the Wolfhound who are considered great-giants.

These considerations are of great relevance since the exercise of the work to which they can be dedicated depends not only on the feeding of hunting dogs but also on genetic factors and training. The latter is essential to achieve good performance and avoid injuries.

There are three types of exercises that dogs can perform to maintain an optimal state of health and weight: speed tests (of great intensity, but for only a few minutes) intermediate activities (short days of small game or tracking) and endurance tests (special hunting tests in championships stand out).

Redbone Coonhound Temperament

Redbone Coonhounds are even-tempered, kind, friendly, gentle, affectionate, and eager to please.

They make great companions and love to be around people.

Redbones also get along well with children, but toddlers should always be supervised around them.

They also have a reputation for being mellower and more manageable than their Coonhound cousins.

But make no mistake, these dogs were bred to tree raccoons and can be relentless when in pursuit. They have a natural inclination to chase small, furry animals.

4 Best Dog Food for High Energy Dogs

Having a high energy dog can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand you have a lively creature keeping you active. Your companion will provide you with tons of happy memories and love you unconditionally. But then, on the flip side, your incredibly energetic dog will also be quite a lot of responsibility. They’ll need a lot of exercise on a daily basis, and you’ll need to ensure you will be able to make the time to take them out for their walks. Plus, at times, you’ll likely have to provide them with a special diet. In most cases, a certain kind of dog food will suffice. But what is the best dog food for high energy dogs?

High Performance Dog Food by Bully Max Check Price
Canned Natural Grain-Free Dog Food by Wellness Core Check Price
Natural Dog Food by AvoDerm Check Price
High Prairie High Protein Kibble, Grain Free by Taste of The Wild Check Price

In today’s article, we delve deeply into finding the right kind of dog food for your needs. We’ll be exploring what you need to look for, and how you can be sure if the kibble you buy is good quality. After that, we’ve also made sure to include some of our recommendations. We’ve also reviewed them so that you can more easily begin your search.

Feeding your dog properly and ensuring they have the necessary nutrients is paramount to keeping them in good health. It is exactly for this reason that it’s so important to find the right kibble as soon as possible. And so, without further ado, let’s start talking about everything you need to know to find the best dog food for high energy dogs!


The average litter size for the Tenterfield Terrier is around 5 puppies. Because this breed is so small, puppies reach their maximum size quickly – this is why it is important to feed your puppy a high-quality small-breed puppy formula, to ensure that he gets the nutrients he needs. Once your puppy reaches full size, switch him over to a small-breed adult formula to ensure that he gets the protein and energy he needs to sustain his fast metabolism. Tenterfield Terrier puppies also require early socialization and training to control their prey drive and to make them better house pets.

Watch the video: Hunting Dog Health - Feeding Your Dog On The Road (July 2021).