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jwhawkridge

Feed before a hunt or after?

7 posts in this topic

I have a quick question about feeding a hunting dog. Should I feed my dog (a year and half old lab) before I go out waterfowling or for pheasants? I know that you shouldn't push them hard with a bunch of food in them. I've been hunting for just a few years and had my lab out for the first time last year with a good meal and he was ok. Is it better to for them to have a full belly or wait until the hunt it over?

Any advice would be appreciated!

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Wait until you are done hunting. I think if you feed them a lot before hand they can have some medical problems like twisted intestines.

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I feed the dogs in the evening all year. That seems to be recommened often by vets

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For those guys that feed morning and evening year round, what do you do?

I typically feed in the AM and PM and I have struggled with this especially when on hunting trips. Some days we hunt from sunrise until sunset. Easy to do when you do the duck / pheasant combo hunts. I can hardly wait until the hunting is complete to feed the dog. My strategy has always been to feed in small quantities at various times. If we know we are going to be driving for awhile or switching to ducks for the afternoon, I will feed him some food to boost the energy levels.

Are there better ways to deal with all day hunting situations? I do not want to be hurting my dog, but he needs the food for energy as well.

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I feed my dogs before, during and after. The before meal is lighter than what they usually get. I also buy a tube of Natures Balance (it looks like a summer sausage). I cut chunks and give them a chunk from time to time during the day, not much though. Just a little something so they aren't running on fumes.

I also cary a bottle of water with me with the squirt cap so they can drink clean water while we are hunting. If we are walking a lot or they are swimming a lot and/or it is fairly hot I offer them water often.

That evening I usually give them a little something special like half of the usual amount of dog food with a can of green beans (split between the two of them) and/or tuna or egg. The green beans are to give them some good vegetables that are watery and then the tuna or egg for some protien. There breath isn't so fresh after the tuna though so if you are going to sleep in a tent with them like I do from time to time you may also want to bring a Greenie or something of that nature. grin.gif

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I feed them about 1.5 hours before I go out in the am and them again in the evening. I try to give them time to digest their meal -- kinda like not going swimming on a full stomach.

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You should not feed your dog before hunting!!! Food in the stomach will not metabalize fast enough to do them any good...In fact it will raise their body temp while the body is trying to digest the food......Water water water and more water.....feed them at night and feed them well, esp. if you plan to hunt the next day.......Flush'em and crush'em.......but leave some for me

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