Fuel Up Your German Pointer and Go

How to feed your high-energy dog.

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The Main Course
Protein content may be derived from beef, chicken or other animal products--or solely from plant sources, if its a vegetarian food. Some ingredients, such as meat by-products, meat-and-bone meal, or animal fat, probably won't sound too appetizing to you, but they're nutritious and safe for your German Pointer. Finally, keep in mind that nutritionally balanced dog foods always contain some plant products. Dogs love meat, but they're actually omnivores--they can use the nutrients found in both plant and animal foods.

Dry food is the least expensive commercially available dog food. Its bulky and takes longer to eat than other foods, so your German Pointer may feel fuller after a meal. The crunchiness of unmoistened dry food promotes dental health by reducing plaque accumulation and massaging the gums.

Canned food is more expensive than dry food, which makes it more costly if used as a sole diet for German Pointers (feeding only canned food could cost $600 to $800 per year, compared to $200 to $400 for dry food). Its palatability and concentrated energy make it a good supplement to a dry-food ration for underweight dogs or those recovering from illness.

The advantages of frozen food are similar to those of canned products. Frozen food is usually more expensive than canned. Unlike other forms of dog food, frozen food is available in both cooked and raw forms.

Dr. Blackbourn points out that theres no such thing as a one-size-fits-all dog food. I feed several different foods, each for a specific purpose, he says. I am a believer in premium-quality foods versus grocery store varieties mostly because they are more digestible and you need to feed less.

Dr. Blackbourn explains that he feeds a high-energy performance diet (20 percent fat and 30 percent protein) to his working dogs, for example, dogs that are being conditioned for field trial, agility or flyball competitions (running for 30 minutes--about 5 to 6 miles--two to three times a week); dogs competing in those events; or dogs that are hunted on a regular basis for three to four hours at a time. Dogs that tend to gain weight on the performance food are fed a less calorie-dense food. He feeds a third light food to his older dogs and easy keepers (dogs that gain weight easily).

Is it okay to jazz up your German Pointers commercial dog food with a little people food? Yes, as long as your tasty additions don't exceed 10 percent of your buddys daily caloric intake. Its also a good idea to include a balance of food groups, not just meat treats.

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