Good diet is essential in the success and sustainability of working dogs.
That was message given to the 2018 IMPACT Working Dogs Conference in Birmingham by its headline sponsor Fish4Dogs.
Sales director Sarah Fowler took to the podium for the presentation on “Switch to Fish and See the Difference” which outlined the role that diet plays in effecting canine behaviour and health.
‘Dog distraction’ – a key performance inhibitor in working dogs – can be influenced by a number of factors, she outlined. These include: feeling hungry or too full, pain or discomfort, feeling stressed or scare or not properly stimulated – problems which can manifest from food-related issues.
“We frequently hear that poor nutrition, intolerances and allergies to food can lead to a whole array of problems and create distractions or under-performance in a training or working environment.
“Some of these intolerances are triggered by over-use of some ingredients in modern pet food manufacturing, such as meat, poultry, dairy and grain. A change of diet which excludes certain food groups can help,” she said.
Sarah went on to outline why fish and marine sources are considered to be the “perfect protein”. It is highly digestible, with essential amino acids and great palpability which incorporates good fats, vitamins and minerals.
The presentation examined the food science – highlighting the difference between how foodstuffs with Omega 6 (such as grain and poultry) and Omega 3 (found in fish) are broken down by the body and how they can result inflammatory or anti-inflammatory responses.
It also featured case study examples of working dogs that had excelled on a fish-based diet – from farm dogs to Dark Speeders’ World Champion Siberian Husky racers.
Said Fish4Dogs Head of Marketing Jo Little: “We wanted to dispel the myth that feeding fish is purely a reactive response to assist poorly dogs recuperate. It can also be a positive choice, selecting food that will put the ‘grr’ into ‘great working dogs’.
“Our work with the IMPACT Working Dogs Conference has underlined how expensive it can be to train a working dog, particularly those that undertake specialist searches or provide support to people with physical impairment. It is essential that we feed them a good diet and help them to be the best that they can be.”
IMPACT Working Dog Conference organiser Dave Hibbert said: “It was great to have Fish4Dogs on board for our conference this year. The Impact Working Dog Conference is growing year-on-year. I know how difficult it is for people to get funding from their employers to attend events like ours and they are so important in helping professionals develop their knowledge and share ideas. Having Fish4Dogs as our headline sponsor has helped keep our conference affordable for many delegates.”