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sporting dog running

Getting sporting & working dog food right

The average sporting or working dog has a pretty demanding lifestyle – and with that comes enhanced nutritional needs. 

But where do you begin? Whether you’ve got a new pup and are looking for sporting puppy food, or you feel your canine isn’t on the right working dog food, Hug’s here to help. 

Dogs swimming

Life as a canine athlete

Olympic medallists don’t eat like the average person. Instead, they follow strict diets typically structured by sports nutritionists: these are designed to help them reach their full potential – and win – while protecting their mental and physical health. 

Likewise, a sporting or working dog needs a diet that’s formulated with their lifestyle in mind. High-intensity workouts are part of a canine athlete’s routine, and, if they’re not supported by excellent nutrition, this can take its toll on both performance and long-term health. 

Sporting & working dog food: the prey model diet

The best sporting and working dog food closely mirrors the prey model diet they evolved to thrive on. 

Pre-domestication, dogs would have lived on whole foods found in their natural environment: raw animal proteins and vegetation, along with diverse species of good bacteria that, to this day, form the foundation for a thriving microbiome – the route to great immune health. 

Prey model diets are deemed species-appropriate as they provide dogs with optimal nutrition in the most bioavailable form – the way nature intended. They are complete, balanced, and easily digested.

In comparison, standard dog food diets are non-species-specific. They contain high levels of carbs, artificial preservatives, and low-grade protein, all of which obstruct the absorption of vital nutrients. Just as a poor diet factors into many human health conditions, a non-species-specific diet has been linked to various nutritional diseases in dogs.


sporting dog - running

Cultivating a strong performer

Day-to-day, long-distance endurance is required of the working and sporting dog: this has a knock-on effect on their musculature, joints, and cognitive function. To stay at the height of their game, they need the perfect balance of protein, nourishing fats, fibre, the right carbs, and good bacteria.

The superior source of energy for dogs is animal fats: while carbohydrates have a limit on the energy they can supply for distance running or working, animal fats are the ideal fuel for endurance. 

What else does a sporty hound require? Plenty of hydration (dogs lose a lot of fluid during long-distance runs). Hydration is the single most important aspect of nutrition, as it promotes optimal cell functioning and helps combat certain health conditions. Active dogs also need plenty of rest, which is critical for replenishing amino acids and electrolytes, as well as combatting oxidative pressure on the body.  

We based our traditional raw working dog food on the prey model diet. In other words, we designed recipes that make for maximum energy, performance, and long-term health in canine athletes. 

You’ll only find fresh whole foods that are species-appropriate in our working dog food: premium cuts of ethically sourced muscle meat, bone, offal, herbs, krill, and veggies. 

Hug raw dog food

What else…

  • It’s naturally rich in the correct ratio of goodies such as omega-3, choline, glucosamine, and antioxidants 
  • It’s around 70% water, so it’s ultra hydrating and excellent for healthy cell functioning
  • Its high protein percentage helps form strong muscles, boosting strength and stamina while decreasing downtime
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties thanks to ingredients such as krill, herbs, and botanicals, promoting good joint health 
  • Powerhouse krill provides superb cognitive support, helping to shield the nervous system and improve brain health

Sporting & working dog food advice

Perhaps you want advice on the suitability of your canine’s current working dog food. Perhaps you’re getting ready to choose sporting puppy food for your new star. Perhaps you simply want to switch to Hug. Either way, our lovely team can offer expert guidance, so get in touch

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