Nutrition & Punking Purina

A few notes on gundog nutrition, plus the sketch Purina doesn't want you to see.

As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I toured Purina's Kansas City facility last month. I learned a lot, including:

Purina is thorough. The company tests how its food affects dogs’ health and endurance, what tastes dogs prefer and even whether its food gives dogs gas. I saw a Lab wearing a suit that collects and measures the smell of its dog farts—if only I had one for my web editor.

Purina did a 14-year study on 24 pairs of Labrador retriever littermates (48 dogs). Half the dogs were allowed to eat as much food as they wanted, while the other half were given 25-percent of whatever their respective littermates chose to eat. The dogs fed the caloric-restriction diet lived an average of two years longer and also experienced a later onset of various age-related diseases. What can hunters take away from this? If you allow your dog to start resembling Rosie O'Donnell, you're not only curtailing its hunting career, you're shortening its life.

Working dogs should eat a high-protein food like Pro Plan Performance Formula throughout the year rather than switch to a maintenance formula in the off-season. A high protein diet (I like 30-percent protein, 20-percent fat, 50-percent carbs) enables easier mobilization of nutrients during endurance exercise and therefore allows dogs to hunt harder over longer periods of time. If you switch to a high carb/low protein food in the off-season (i.e., 26-percent protein, 12-percent fat, 62-percent carbs), then switch back, it can take three months or more for the dog to readjust. That means if you switch back when hunting season begins in October, the dog may not reach peak capacity until January. If you want to keep your dog trim in the off-season, feed less food, but keep feeding one that’s high in protein.

Dogs burn fat rather than carbohydrates for energy until they’re utilizing more than 80 percent of their aerobic capabilities. That’s another reason hunting dogs benefit from a diet with a high protein/fat to carbohydrates ratio. Working dogs should be fed once daily, 12-24 hours before work and at least 30-60 minutes afterward.

Purina probably does more for sporting dogs and conservation than any other pet food supplier. Read about Purina’s contributions and more about gundog nutrition here.

Now, about that sketch Purina doesn't want you to see. The corporate PR team wouldn't let me take photos inside the facility, but they couldn't stop me from drawing it. So, for an accurate, detailed, sneak peek inside Purina, click here.

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5 Responses to Nutrition & Punking Purina

LMH wrote:
August 19, 2009

Do you know the macro nutrient breakdown of your own diet? Or just your pups?

Manda's Mom wrote:
July 13, 2009

Soooo Love the illustration!!!

Kyle W. wrote:
July 13, 2009

Either P. Bundy is actually my mother or somebody has been googling me ...

Missy G wrote:
July 13, 2009

Kyle, I have no dog and no shotgun and still I think your blog is great. Thanks!

P. Bundy wrote:
July 13, 2009

I am so excited to learn Kyle can be followed on Twitter! This will enable me to follow his every move even more closely than I have since he finished 4th in the Big Ten javelin competition!