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Nutrition for Agility & Flyball Dogs

Flyball requires speed, agility and endurance.
Dogs competing in flyball tournaments should be in top physical condition so they can perform at their best and an important aspect of their performance is their diet and nutritional requirements.

Flyball demands explosive bursts of speed and stamina making it important for participating dogs to be in excellent physical shape. A well balanced diet is fundamental in supporting their energy requirements, muscle development and overall wellbeing.

Key Nutritional Requirements

  1. Protein & Amino Acids
    Protein and amino acids are the building blocks for muscle development and repair. Active dogs, especially dogs competing in Flyball require a high protein intake than their sedentary counterparts. Look for high quality animal based proteins such as beef, chicken or fish in your dogs food and ensure you check the label and find food with high meat content rather than meat derivatives. Aim for a minimum of 20-30% protein content.

  2. Fats and Fatty Acids
    Healthy fats provide a source of energy for active dogs. They play an important role in endurance and maintaining body weight. An active dogs diet should contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which support the skin and coat (Salmon Oil is a good way to enrich a dogs diet with fatty acids), and aim for a food with 10-15% fat content, although this differs from dog-to-dog.

  3. Carbohydrates
    High quality carbohydrates are essential for both quick bursts of energy as well as longer lasting stamina. Carbs such as sweet potato and brown rice can provide the necessary fuel for Flyball competitors.

  4. Vitamins & Minerals
    A well rounded diet should include a variety of fruit & veg to provide the necessary vitamins & minerals. Certain vitamins such as B-Complex are important for energy metabolism, while minerals such as calcium are important for bone strength and health.

  5. Hydration
    Proper hydration is crucial for all dogs, but more-so for active dogs. Make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times, including during training and competitions. Dehydration leads to decreased performance and health issues.

Feeding Guidelines

Our dogs are all unique and their nutritional requirements can vary to a large degree based on factors such as breed, age, size and activity level, however there are some general guidelines that are suitable for all.

  • Consult with your vet or nutritionist to determine the ideal diet and portion sizes for your dog. They can help you create a customised feeding plan unique to your dogs specific needs.
  • Divide your dogs daily food intake into multiple smaller meals to support their energy levels and digestion throughout the day. Feeding a meal before training or competition can cause discomfort and your dog wont be able to perform at its best.
  • Monitor your dogs weight and condition and adjust their diet as needed to maintain ideal body weight and condition.
  • Try and avoid feeding table scraps as these can disrupt your dogs diet.
  • Gradually introduce changes to your dogs diet and monitor how they respond to them, to avoid upset tummies.

Proper nutrition is fundamental in the success of dogs competing in Flyball competitions. To ensure your dog is always in top form, provide a well balanced and rounded diet that meets their energy needs. Suitable treats can be given after a hard day competing and we recommend bully sticks which are low fat, contain 22 amino acids, numerous vitamins, minerals and trace elements, and help your dog to wind town after a tournament while feeling rewarded for their hard work and not disturbing their balanced diet. Consulting with a Vet or nutritionist can help you tailor a nutrition plan to optimise your dogs performance but do be aware that many vets are partnered with expensive/specialist dog food brands and will often try and steer you towards these specific brands.

Top Tip!
If you get a nutrition plan from a vet or nutritionist and they guide you towards a specific brand of food, Google the brand and look at the ingredients and composition on the label. A large number of independent retailers can get you exactly the same food with exactly the same composition without the fancy packaging and for a much lower cost!

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