Known for its rolling countryside and strong agriculture sector, Gloucestershire is home to many active dogs and working breeds that are suited to country living and farm work.
Being constantly on the go, it's important to keep the county's active and working dogs healthy with a good diet — as SoGlos finds out from Cotswold RAW, which caters specifically for these breeds with its nutritionally-complete raw food recipes.
About the expert – Cotswold RAW
Cotswold RAW is an independent, family-run business that produces raw food for dogs, delivered straight to your door as part of its fuss-free subscription service. Its BARF-approved formula features raw meat, bones, herbs and seasonal vegetables to replicate a dog’s natural diet, with no nasty additives.
As well as catering for puppies and senior dogs, Cotswold RAW's 80/20 active range has been created especially for active and working dogs and includes all the nutrients they need to keep them happy and healthy.
Do active dogs and working breeds need a different diet to older or more sedentary dogs?
The amount of food a dog needs will depend on how much energy they need to function in a day, which can vary depending on their breed, age and, of course, activity levels.
Raw feeding guidelines recommend feeding your dog around two-to-three per cent of their ideal body weight per day. Owners may then need to adjust the amount they feed based on their dog's lifestyle.
We recommend starting on the lower end of the spectrum, feeding around two per cent of their ideal body weight a day, and increasing the amount as necessary. The goal is to achieve an ideal body condition — so you should be able to see the dog's natural waist when looking at them from above, and be able to feel the shape of their individual ribs with just a little bit of pressure when running your hands over their chest.
How does Cotswold RAW cater for active or working dogs?
Our 80/20 active range is scientifically formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of active, working dogs — it's made up of 80 per cent raw meat and bone and 20 per cent fresh vegetables and natural, herbal supplements.
We follow FEDIAF guidelines to ensure all of our recipes contain the right levels of nutrients for active dogs and we test our batches in laboratories to keep our recipes complete and consistent.
We have a variety of flavours and active and working breeds may benefit from the higher calorie flavours in our 80/20 active range, like lamb and turkey, which are higher in kilocalories than our beef and tripe flavour.
Do you have any top feeding tips for active dogs?
Full tummies aren’t ideal before exercise. You might want to try feeding our beef and tripe recipe before heading out, though, as it's very lean and a good option for a complete meal before exercise.
We also recommend supplements for active dogs and working breeds. Herbs and plants have been used to support biological functions since the beginning of time and our Butcher's Blend is a natural, herbal mix full of vitamins, minerals and trace elements — which will all help maintain equilibrium in the body for a healthy dog.
What’s the best way to introduce an active or working dog to raw food, with minimal risk of upsetting their stomach?
Transitioning is usually straightforward — you can alternate meals for a period, but most dogs will transition to raw with relative ease.
What are the main health and behavioural benefits of feeding your active dog a raw food diet?
There are lots of health benefits to raw feeding. We receive so many reviews on trustpilot.com/cotswoldraw from customers who have switched to a raw diet and have noticed an improvement in their dog’s overall health.
For the most part, this is simply an improvement in the condition of their coat, increased energy levels or a greater appreciation of their food — but we have had some more extreme cases where owners have found that their dog's life is radically transformed by a change of diet from a commercial processed food to a natural raw diet with no additives, fillers like grain, or preservatives.