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Tag: Performance

Extreme Animal Nutrition

Kinetic in Southern California

Great news for performance dog lovers in Southern California! We just added a new distributor for Kinetic and we wanted to spread the word. We welcome Extreme Animal Nutrition who proudly service independent pet food and feed retailers throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties.

 

Here are their contact details. Extreme Animal Nutrition Southern California

Extreme Animal Nutrition 

1548 S Archibald Ave

Ontario, CA 91761

Phone: (909) 937-7007

Fax: (909) 937-7006

Product available March 14, 2016

 

If you’re looking for Kinetic in Southern California, there’s a pretty good chance your local store can now get it!

Dog Food Done Right

The original version of this article by Tony J. Peterson appeared in the October 2015 issue of Gundog Magazine.

Kinetic at NAHRA event in Alaska

Kinetic’s John Howard has made it his mission to give sporting dogs exactly what they need nutrition-wise

At 46 years old, and having grown up in Eastern Iowa, it would be safe to assume that Kinetic’s John Howard, would have a history of pheasant hunting. And you’d be correct, but if you also assumed that he grew up with bird dogs, you’d be wrong. As he puts it, “When it came to the rough stuff, I was the bird dog. My dad and I loved to hunt and fish together, and we always had dogs on the farm, but we never had real bird dogs.”

It wasn’t until later in life when Howard would become friends with Steve Ries who owns Top Gun Kennels, that he would start to catch a serious case of bird dog fever. “I started working pointing dogs with Steve and realized that I had to get a dog. Seeing how much energy those dogs expended, it was amazing.” Howard ended up getting a Lab, and now owns two.

At the time when he picked up his first pup, Howard also happened to be working for Kent Feeds, and was instrumental in the launch of their Native brand of dog food. He also worked closely with the hunting dog world, and got to see what worked for the dogs and what didn’t. And it’s what didn’t that led him to go out on his own as he recalls, “We saw how different aspects of business would drive formula decisions and that was always in the back of my mind when I decided to leave and start my marketing firm.” After forming Frontera Marketing Group, which would take him in several new directions, Howard realized that he missed the dog business. He started having conversations with current business partner, Dave Dourson, about what they’d do if they started a dog food company.

John Howard Kinetic Dog FoodHoward and Dourson, along with the help of Ries (who was working with Hubbard Feeds at the time) started to develop a plan to launch their own brand. As Howard explains, it wasn’t an overnight process by any means, “We worked through some of the dietary issues with our formulas and started testing them out at a number of kennels. It took almost three years of refining them before we were confident that we had it right. Ries then connected us to some of the folks at Hubbard Feeds who were interested in distributing our line and we launched.

“I’m a marketing guy by trade. I ended up in the dog food business by accident,” Howard explains before continuing, “After I got out of college, I didn’t really know what to do. Ending up in the dog food world just happened, and I had no idea how much I’d enjoy the people in the industry, and hunting dog owners specifically. They are literally some of the best people out there, and we’ve found that to be even more true now that we are involved as sponsors in NAHRA and UGA. It’s amazing, but there is so little ego in the bird dog world, everyone just loves dogs. It really is all about the dogs.”

The Details

Feeding bird dogs isn’t quite like feeding house dogs, or other canines with different purposes. Our dogs should only be fed at certain times, with a once-per-day feeding oftentimes the best option. This is what Howard aimed for with Kinetic, and as he explains, it’s not all they did to help out our dogs, “Our goal from the beginning was to pack enough nutrition into our formulas to ensure that a once-daily feeding would be enough to keep dogs healthy.

“For the hunting crowd, our 30k and 32k formulas are ideal. We also have a 26k and Puppy formula that can work for both hunting dogs, and less-active companion animals. Throughout our entire lineup, there are aspects that are good for any kind of dog, like the vitamins and trace mineral packages we include. Our trace mineral package is expensive, maybe the most expensive on the market, but we wanted something all dogs could truly benefit from.” While sales are increasing every year, Howard admitted that there is a bit of an education challenge to selling high-end dog food to the masses, and not always for the reasons one would expect.

“In the last two decades, a trend has developed among dog owners to try to feed dogs the way they themselves would want to eat. This is why you see some dog foods advertising ingredients that are good for people, but don’t necessarily do much for canines because they aren’t really digestible to dogs. Including vegetable or plant elements into the food like sweet potatoes, blueberries and whatever else appeals to us, but offers the dogs only starches and sugars at best.”

Amongst the hunting crowd it’s no secret that non- and especially anti-hunters spend a lot of time anthropomorphizing animals to be, in their eyes, as human as possible. What those folks tend to overlook is that animals are different than us, with different dietary needs. Fortunately for gun dog owners, there are folks like Howard and Dourson who remain focused on the nutritional, rather than the emotional, foundations so our dogs get the right stuff at each feeding.

To elaborate on this further, Howard explains, “We basically ignored the give-people-food-to-dogs trend and stuck to core nutrition principles. This is why our formulas contain multiple animal protein sources, plenty of digestive fibers, and good fat sources. Of those, the protein sources are extremely important to understand, especially when you start dealing with meat by-products. By-products get a bad reputation because we don’t want them in our food, but a lot of by-products are highly digestible and contain essential amino acids. Wild dogs or wolves don’t eat deer backstraps and leave the intestines for the crows, they eat it all and they start in the guts first because it’s what they need. Our dogs need a wider variety of animal proteins than we do, which is why we have put so much into our formulas.”

Present & Future

Howard spends his days working with his marketing company, with Kinetic, and working with his dogs. He admits to being an upland hunter at heart, but is eyeing up some of the waterfowl opportunities available on the nearby Mississippi. He readily admits, “We are happy with our formulas and our primary focus is on bird dogs and right now, our biggest problem is keeping up with demand through distribution. We’ve gotten requests from sled-dog owners, and even police stations’ K9 units for our food, which is really cool.”

When asked if the Kinetic line will witness any expansion in the near future, Howard alluded to the possibility of looking into the supplement side of things, but quickly followed with this simple statement, “We created this business because we love bird dogs, and bird dog owners. This company is my retirement plan and I intend to run it until I’m old because I enjoy it too much to quit.”

That dedication to the sporting dog world is pretty cool to witness in a company’s owner, and portends well for the future of Kinetic. It’s also not a bad thing to hear as a bird dog owner looking to keep his dog healthy and full of the energy necessary to roust pheasants, grouse, woodcock and whatever else into the air within the reach of an arm-cradled shotgun.

 

The Season Diet: Feeding our Gun Dog During Hunting Season

This article was originally published in the November 2015 issue of The Iowa Sportsman magazine.

In most cases, our dogs are most active during the months of our respective hunting seasons.  Even dogs that train regularly during the offseason can be more active during the hunting months because they are guide dogs, or simply hunt hard a few days per week resulting in more calories burnt and more wear and tear on the body.

For maximum performance, as well as a speedy recovery it is crucial to feed our dogs properly.  I am asked frequently “What do you feed your dogs during the hunting season”?  The truth is that my dogs eat the same food year round.  With rigorous training year round, as well as hunting during the season, I feed my dogs something with a high enough protein content, as well as fat.  This way, not only do my dogs have a great energy source, but enough protein to repair and recover after a hard day afield.

My particular food of choice is the POWER Formula from Kinetic Performance Dog Food.  This blend contains 30% crude protein, and 20% crude fat, which is ideal for dogs that have high activity levels in their day to day routines (1-2 hour increments).  Let’s take a look at some key focus points when evaluating a food to feed your hunting dog during the season.

Multiple Protein Sources Upland Hunting Dog Food

Protein is what fuels muscle activity, so during the season when our dogs are most active it is important to have easily digestible sources of protein.  The food I feed has chicken, fish and egg (the fish adds other benefits I will touch on soon).

Multiple Fat Sources

For energy, a dog’s body (just like human bodies) will metabolize fat.  For that reason, adequate fat content is critical in maximizing the nutritional value of your dog’s food.  The POWER Formula that I feed my dogs includes chicken fat, fish oil and sunflower oil.  Fish oil is also rich in omega 3 fatty acid which creates healthy and durable skin, coat and paw pads to endure the hunting season.  So many issues in dogs can stem from a lack of proper fats; energy level, itchiness and dry pads.

Common Ingredient Profile

One benefit to the Kinetic POWER Formula that I feed that I think we should all consider when selecting our dog food is the common ingredient formula.  What this means is that a brand of dog food typically offers different varieties (for example “Adult”, “Sport”, etc.) but they all include the same basic ingredients.  The benefit here is that if you were to switch to the different blend (maybe switch to the higher protein/higher fat content food during the hunting months) it would be stress free on your dog’s digestive system.

Vitamins and Trace Minerals

It is not only protein that helps a dog’s body recover from vigorous activity.  Vitamins, chelated trace minerals, prebiotics and electrolytes all play a vital role in the process as well.  You will want to make sure that your food contains an adequate vitamin and trace mineral package, as I believe these components are what can really set one food apart from another.  For example, the food that I feed contains Betaine, which breaks down proteins and fats into more digestible form.  This is fairly unique in dog food, so I really appreciate this “feature”.  I also recommend looking at the ingredients list and seeing where potassium shows up.  Is it early in the list?  If so, that is great!  We as humans are told to eat bananas to reduce muscle aches, soreness, stiffness and cramping.  The potassium is what helps these symptoms and it is no different for our dogs.  Typically potassium is far down the list of ingredients, so the sooner, the better.  Another rare vitamin the food I feed contains is L-Carnitine which largely contributes to converting fat to energy.

Feeding a dog food that accounts for some of the items described above will ensure that your dog is receiving appropriate nutrition during the hunting season.  Because of the high nutritional value from these factors, you will not need to increase their food intake (something several sporting dog owners do) to offset their increased activity.  This is the benefit to feeding a food blend that is geared towards a true sporting dog.  With the right amount of protein, fat, vitamins and so forth, your dog will receive the proper amount of nutritional value without having to overfeed (the body can only digest so much of these items before they essentially go to waste).  Of course the other benefit here is the economics.  Good food is not cheap, so being able to properly feed your dog with superior nutrition and make your bag last as long as possible is a great benefit to feeding premium food.   There may be situations where higher caloric intake is necessary (pregnant female, working dog that burns very high calories on a daily basis, etc.), but overall a normal daily serving (I feed twice per day) will suffice.

There are several great dog foods on the market, but in using my choice of food as an example I hope I am able to point out key factors you should look for when managing your hunting dog’s nutrition during the season.  Hunting dogs are athletes, and like all athletes, nutrition is one of, if not the important element in consistent performance and overall health.

Ryan Eder About Ryan Eder

Ryan is the President of the Upland Gundog Association and a longtime trainer of hunting Retrievers. You can learn more about Ryan and his training methods at the UGA website, www.uplandgundog.com.

Feeding Working Stock Dogs

Fuel for Working Kelpies

This is a pretty cool video of some stock dogs fueled by Kinetic at work in the field. These dogs burn a lot of energy and definitely benefit from a high energy, high performance diet.

Thanks to our friends from the Lazy Y Cattle Company in southwest Nebraska for the video. We love to see working dogs doing what they were born to do!

Why Performance Dogs Need Performance Food

Food for the Performance Dog

We love our dogs. Sometimes we love our dogs as much, or more, as some of the people in our lives. They’re our loyal companions in the house, in the field and on the trail. We even treat them like family members and that’s OK. Except when it comes to nutrition.

Performance Dogs Are Different

Our working and sporting dogs aren’t like people when it comes to their dietary needs. They’re not even really like other dogs. Their bodies perform differently and they need to be fueled differently because they’re not normal dogs. They’re performance dogs. They’re the athletes of the canine world and their nutrition program needs to reflect that.

Performance Food Must Be Different

There are a number of significant differences in the dietary needs of performance dogs but most of them really fall into to two major categories. First, they burn a lot of energy so they need a lot of calories. Second, they’re under a lot of stress, both mental and physical, so they need food that accommodates that.

Providing the Energy

Performance Dog Food NutrientsTo provide the appropriate energy, it’s important to create the proper balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates to deliver energy over an appropriate duration. This means using the right kinds of ingredients in addition to the right amounts.

  • Higher levels of protein in bio-available forms are necessary to support muscle building and recovery but need to be delivered in a way that’s digestible without excess volume. Without a doubt, the best bio-available forms of protein for a dog are animal based proteins and that means meat, fish and egg sources.
  • Dogs that are extremely active for hours at a time benefit from increased levels of fat in their diets because it metabolizes slower and provides energy for endurance. Fat works for performance dogs similar to the way carbs work for human endurance athletes.
  • Carbohydrates must be provided in such a way to provide energy without burning too quickly and without adding too much or the wrong kind of fiber. Carbs are a nice way to put some body cover on a dog or provide a quick burst of energy. For extended activity, though, carbohydrates should not be a primary source of calories your performance dog.

Managing the Stress

This refers to both mental and physical stress because, in dogs, even the mental stress manifests itself as obvious physical effects. Stress in a canine athlete is compounded by the fact that the effects of stress on digestion make it difficult to replenish nutrients lost during extreme activity. This means a performance dog food must provide essential nutrients to replenish and recover while at the same time support optimal digestive health to enable nutrient absorption.

  • Vitamins and trace minerals must be delivered in concentrated forms and at higher levels on certain nutrients than are generally recommended or required for less active animals.
  • Prebiotics and probiotics can be introduced to support the growth of good bacteria and provide a healthy and productive gut environment.
  • Fiber sources must be limited to only those of suitable solubility and with fermentation rates that won’t disrupt proper digestion and nutrient absorption or loosen stools.

Put Away the Nuts and Berries

Many current trends in dog food include the introduction of non-traditional ingredients resulting from the “humanization” of our views on our dogs. While these ingredients often provide very limited value to the typical companion dog, they also don’t cause any apparent harm due to low activity and stress levels. For the performance dog, though, the introduction of non-traditional protein, fat, carbohydrate and fiber sources can have an adverse and counter-productive effect on both the performance and the overall health of the dog. Remember that, while dogs aren’t true carnivores, they don’t gain nearly the same nutritional benefits from many fruits, vegetables and grains as their human counterparts. Feed them like the canine athletes they are and they’ll respond in ways that make it obvious you made the right decision.

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