Diet and Nutrition for Healthy, Future Guide Dogs
Guide Dog training certainly works up a healthy appetite! Did you know that nationally, our pups in-training eat 95 tonnes of ADVANCE™ food every year?
“We feed our young puppies-in-training (16 weeks and older) two cups of ADVANCE™ Puppy Medium Breed both morning and night,” says Guide Dogs Trainer, Janice Aldred.
“It only takes a few hours for the pups to process the food, so feeding them twice a day helps to ensure they are absorbing nutrients from the food and supports growth and development needs. Our young Guide Dogs in-training are hard at work growing and exploring the new world around them so two meals a day also helps with their stamina and endurance and also gives our young recruits something to look forward to!”
Beyond portions, it’s essential that our pups’ in-training get Super Premium Food with the right balance of vitamins and minerals too.
“We choose to feed our dogs ADVANCE™,” says Janice.
“With ingredients such as Antioxidant Vitamin E, Omega 3 and 6 we can be sure they are receiving high quality nutrients to maintain good immune health. For the days when they take a well-earned rest from their training, the Colostrum and fermentable prebiotic fibre supports their digestive health and supports nutritional uptake and growth.
“Overall, our dogs love the taste and, as for us, we are love to see their shiny coats and zest for life.”
It’s no secret that Labradors are highly motivated by food rewards so our Guide Dog Trainers use ADVANCE™ kibble to reward dogs in-training during training activities to reinforce good behaviours and to let them know when they have done a particularly good job.
Janice’s top tips for doggie nutrition:
- Feed your dog a good quality, nutritionally balanced food like ADVANCE™ for good health and performance.
- Measure the amount you give them twice daily to help maintain ideal body weight. Your vet will always be able to provide advice in this area.
- For dogs in our recovery area we like to soak the ADVANCE™ kibble and freeze in a toy. This provides enrichment plus also a nice ice treat on a summer day.
- We don’t feed our pups ‘human food’ as we don’t want them to associate food treats with meal time for their Handlers. This ensures that they’re not interested with food on the table at home, or a café or restaurant; and instead lay quietly under the table and chair and are rewarded with kibble, pats and praise for their calm behaviour.
For more information about our dog training, head here: Frequently asked questions – Guide Dogs SA/NT