Article by Chris Redhead
The majority of dog owners treasure their dogs primarily for the fun and companionship they provide. However, some owners need their dogs to actually perform important work like rounding up sheep or pulling sleds. These working dogs need more looking after than most, because their lifestyle demands such a high level of energy and stamina.
This article is aimed at owners of working dogs, and offers advice on how best to care for them. It will look at a number of herbal medicines that can prolong the working life of these animals, as well as dietary supplements that will help maintain their activity levels.
Working dogs come in more varieties than you might expect. As well as farm dogs (the original working dogs) some of the most common dogs with jobs are guide dogs, police dogs, rescue dogs, and sled dogs. They work tremendously hard for their owners, so the least they deserve is to be well fed and looked after, particularly in their later years when health problems start to become more acute.
Considering how much energy they use, it is no surprise that working dogs have significantly greater dietary requirements than the average domestic dog. They need as much protein as they can get, so good quality red meat should be a key feature of any working dog’s diet. A good all-round supplement like Keeper’s Mix should also be given to ensure all their vitamin and mineral needs are met.
During the winter months, cod liver oil capsules can be another useful supplement for dogs that work. These capsules provide a slow release of energy, giving a little extra stamina to help dogs keep going through the colder weather. Equally importantly, cod liver oil also serves to keep joints supple and healthy, which is another major concern for working dogs in winter.
Another way of increasing stamina and alertness in working dogs is to give them Damiana and Kola tablets two hours before any activity. Damiana and Kola is a popular combination which comes in an uncoated formula. It can be given as a tablet or crushed if required for easy administration. This mixture of herbs is great for giving a dog a ‘pep-up’ just before a period of working, either on a regular basis or just as an occasional one-off.
It’s interesting that despite the massive advances in technology since working dogs were first introduced, we still rely on them today more than ever for a whole range of crucial jobs, and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. They really are incredible animals, with an amazing ability to tirelessly do the tasks assigned to them. With the proper training, a working dog can easily become completely invaluable to its owner.
All these loyal and dependable beasts require for their many years of service is that they are given a suitable varied diet with plenty of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to keep them fit, healthy and active enough to continue working right through to their old age.
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