Today, I would like to discuss Nutrition.
I understand many mushers have different methods of dealing with this subject. I want to relay to you the way we deal with Nutrition here at Miortuk.
Please understand, the following is the way we deal with this subject here.
One thing, we can all agree with, nutrition is very important for health of these Canine Athletes.
Here, we use a predominately a raw meat diet!
Due to accessibility of high quality meat at a very reasonable price raw meat (beef & chicken), our primary diet is meat based with about 10% dry food.
The reason for beef is for muscles and chicken for the fat for energy.
We have found that the beef doesn't have enough fat content to meet the training/racing requirements of our athletes and chicken fat is absorbed by the dogs more quickly.
Here we have very severe Winters with an abundance of snow and extremely cold temperatures. It is for this reason, we need to have chicken as part of our daily diet to maintain the dogs weight and energy to perform to their utmost.
Currently our meat ratio here is 60% chicken, 40% beef 10 % dry food and water for hydration. The mixture makes a thick soup.
We maintain the same mixture all year long only varying the quantity during the different seasons. Obviously more in the training periods and the Winter to meet the dogs requirements.
We try to maintain the same diet throughout the year not to upset the the dogs digestive system with changes of their diet.
Although the dogs will put on a little more weight during the offseason, they enter the start of training carrying a little more weight which they can work off during training. It is much easier this way than to have them start the season underweight which is then very hard to put weight on them.
Mind you the meat used here is "raw" not cooked!
Cooked meat takes away some the natural properties of the meat.
Never cooked meat with bones as the bones can splinter and cause serious health hazards for the dogs.
We feed here at the same time every day to keep them on a regular schedule.
Dogs like routines!
The amount of food will vary with each dog depending on their requirements and ability to process their diet.
Here, I strive for an absorption of 75% to 80%.
This means the dogs are getting the most out of their diet.
If you are getting more stool than that, they might be fed too much or poor quality diet.
It is understandable that everybody does not have access to the quality of meat we have here so you need to adjust your diet with what is available to you locally.
If you have to use dry food as your base diet, we have found that you should be looking for a food with 30 % protein and 20% fat as minimum.
The primary ingredient in the dry food should be meat!
Read the label of ingredients, this is very important.
Cheaper priced food doesn't necessarily save money, as the dogs will need more volume of food and produce more stool.
If you want your Canine Athletes to perform to their optimum , you must feed them good!
Until next week......