A new study indicates that highly active dogs, such as hunting or sled dogs, could benefit from an antioxidant-rich performance diet.
While the direct performance of the dogs did not directly improve on the diet, certain biological markers of fatigue were found more frequently in the unassisted diets.
The researchers concluded that dogs that remain active for several months every year would benefit from an enhanced diet to help with long-term endurance and recovery.
In other words, changing to the tested diet would not make a dog run faster or longer in one season, but facilitates less stress on the dog’s body and better endurance over time.
Researchers from the University of Illinois tested their theory on American foxhounds at a kennel in Alabama. They organized the dogs into two groups: one with a typical performance diet and the other with performance diets supplemented with antioxidants such as vitamin E and taurine, an organic compound used in metabolism of fats. The dogs were then brought on 2 or 3 hunts a week for the length of a hunting season.
Although one dog did come close to a critically low level of taurine during the study, all dogs fed the commercial diet stayed within the normal range during check-ins.
The researchers conducted the study over 17 months, for more info on the study check out Science Daily.
Source: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences