The hardest working members of any hunting party are the dogs. They run when we walk, cover three or four times the distance we do and bust head-long into nasty cover we skirt.
In the off-season, while they may spend more time napping than we do, they also work through retrieving drills and obedience lessons with vigor. Throughout all this, a dogâ€™s body demands the right nutrition and essentials for proper recovery.
Itâ€™s up to you to give them what they need because it not only allows them to perform at their peak, but also because itâ€™s the right thing to do.
Got a full- or flat-coated bird dog? Then you might need to pick up a bottle of Crown Royale #12. Designed for specific breeds of hunting dogs, there is also a formula for hard/wiry coats as well. In addition to their shampoos, this company also produces two formulas of brushing spray, which, if youâ€™ve ever had a long-haired dog get into the cockleburs or beggarâ€™s lice, you understand why itâ€™s such a necessity.
$11 | crownroyaleltd.net
Canine Orthopedic Solution pellets can treat a pile of your dogâ€™s issues, from arthritis to degenerative joint disease and bone fractures. If youâ€™ve got a young dog that works hard, or an old dog that is still active, COS can make a big quality-of-life difference through all natural and organic ingredients like chondroitin, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and a host of others. Choose from three different sizes ranging from 60 doses to 360 doses.
$30-$162 | docsproductsinc.com
Happy Jack has been around for over seven decades creating great products dog owners rely on. Exhibit A is Flexenhance Plus+, which is a food supplement that is chock-full of glucosamine and creatine. These function to help reverse bone, joint and cartilage damage while enhancing strength and flexibility in muscle fiber. In other words, if youâ€™ve got a hard-charging upland dog, Flexenhance Plus+ is a good way to help him stay healthy and seriously active.
$32 | happyjackinc.com
If youâ€™re the kind of person who really hates ticks, Iâ€™ve got bad news for you â€” the problem seems to be getting worse. The good news is that you can treat your dog so that heâ€™ll avoid all of the nasty diseases the little bloodsuckers might introduce into his bloodstream. All you need to do is give your dog a dose of Bravecto and heâ€™ll be good for up to 12 weeks, which is so much more convenient than most collars or topical tick treatments.
$39 (start) | merck-animal-health.com
Wilderness Athlete has helped an awful lot of big game hunters conquer the mountains, and now the company has introduced a line of supplements to help your sporting dog take on the gnarliest bird habitats. K9Athlete New Dog is a daily supplement that is full of glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, botanicals, and a host of other ingredients to aid in joint health and recovery. New Dog works just as well for senior dogs as it does for growing pups, and is a great way to give your dog a performance and quality-of-life boost.
$35 | wildernessathlete.com
Kinetic has developed a loyal following among sporting dog owners, and now theyâ€™ve released a line of supplements. Three options â€” Hydration, Digestion, and Weight Gain â€” provide extremely active dogs with lifestyle boosts they need. Hydration, for example, is formulated with a proprietary blend of digestible proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes, which all aid in recovery and nutrient replenishment after a hard dayâ€™s work.
$40 | kineticdogfood.com
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 join support, while biotin helps support pad health and integrity as well as a healthy coat. Whether itâ€™s through the fields or in the woods and water, use Cosequin ASU Sport to help keep your dog moving!
$27 | cosequin.com
Grain-free, Pro Plan is 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat. The protein is sourced from high-quality chicken and eggs. Each feeding youâ€™ll be giving your dog the right amount of concentrated nutrition and amino acids, while not giving them any grains, soy, poultry by-product meal, or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It also contains antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and glucosamine to support joint health.
$58 (24-Lb) | proplansport.com
Formulated for working dogs, Eukanuba Premium is a 30/20 blend of protein to fat, providing long-lasting energy through customized carbohydrates and high fat content. Expect to see your bird dog build muscle while staying lean and recover more quickly. The nutrients in 30/20 promote optimal scenting abilities as well, so your pup will miss fewer points and be able to track down cripples with ease.
$38-$45 (29-lb) | eukanuba.com
Most dogs arenâ€™t all that picky. That doesnâ€™t mean they donâ€™t deserve high-quality food, or in this case, treats. Realtreeâ€™s Naturals are created from one ingredient that is either sourced here in the U.S. or from our neighbors to the north. Choose from Beef Jerky, Beef Taffy, Cod Skin Bites, or Sooie Strips (pig ears) to reward your pup after running down a wing-shot rooster or throughout a day of off-season training.
$5 | realtree.com
When I watch my dog bust through cattails, I wonder how she does it without getting poked in the eye. One way to prevent eye injuries on your prized pup is to pick up a pair of Dog Goggles from Rex Specs. They are impact resistant, feature a fully-adjustable strap system, and block 99.9 percent of UVA and UVB rays. They are also breathable, allow full jaw motion, and fasten with a simple buckle system. Each goggle has one clear lens and one of your color choice.
$80 | rexspecs.com
You might not have ever heard of flax oil and what it can do for you four-legged hunting partner, which is a lot. Fortunately, the folks at Stengel Oils have and theyâ€™ve used it to create Sammyâ€™s Shiny Coat. Cold-pressed flax oil, which is extremely healthy in large part due to the fact that it contains omega-3s, will not only make your dogâ€™s coat look better but can also improve the condition of his skin.
$15 | stengeloils.com
Couch dogs need not apply when it comes to Hi Pro Plus, considering it contains 450 kCals per cup. It is just right for working dogsâ€”especially in the heart of the hunting season. This high-quality dog food is formulated with 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat, and also contains trace nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Free of gluten, soy, wheat and corn, Hi Pro Plus is offered in four sizes and is also an excellent choice for growing puppies and lactating females.
$45 (40-lb) | victorpetfood.com
Have you noticed that at certain times of the year your dog will spend more time scratching himself? Or maybe you have a dog that has been diagnosed with allergies, and the red eyes and itching are incessant. Consider Itchy Dog from Zoom Dog. These chewable tablets contain vitamins, antioxidants, and polyphenols, which work in concert to keep your dogâ€™s coat and skin healthy and are instrumental in cutting down on the itchiness.
$15 | zoomdogsupplements.com