Feed Like a Pro

Dog trainers use common sense when selecting a performance formula

A duck dog in a canoe looks at the camera as a duck hunter gets gear from the vessel floating in the flooded pines.

By Bill Miller

Call me lazy, but I don’t want to get a degree in chemical engineering to put gasoline in my truck. I don’t even want to read a book on it. Honestly? I don’t want to put that investment into feeding my dog, either.

As a writer, I’ve done the factory tours. I’ve interviewed the scientists and nutritionists. I’ve tried to decipher which ingredient is vital to what component of my dog’s health, well-being, and performance. But as a regular guy, it’s not where I go to for most advice. I put value in what my vet tells me, but even he often leaves me with questions. I most value advice from people who work hard with lots of dogs every day—the pros!

The Duck Dog stage at the Delta Duck Hunters Expo featured two of the hottest pros going today—Webb Footed Kennels’ Chris Aiken from Jonesboro, Arkansas, and River Stone Kennels’ Josh Miller of New Richmond, Wisconsin.

A young black lab leaps from a platform, fueled and ready to perform his duties as a duck dog!

Yes, they’re both on Eukanuba’s pro staff, but both made it clear that they don’t have to be—they choose to be. Aiken said, “I’ve fed every dog food there is … even helped formulate one years ago. Some were good in the past, but not now; they gave up quality for profits. Eukanuba is the food that makes my life easiest taking care of a large number of dogs. There’s exactly 100 at the kennel right now.”

He continued. “These dogs are physically and mentally tested to the max every day. Before I fed Eukanuba, the biggest complaints I had were when sending dogs home after training, because I couldn’t keep weight on them, their coats were dingy, their muscle tone was bad—all of that. Feeding Eukanuba is a selfish deal on my part, because it makes me look so much better to my clients.”

Miller agrees. He said, “Dog food is one of those things you don’t know what you don’t know until you see it. Without actually seeing it, it’s hard to put into words how nutrition plays such a vital role in your dog’s day-to-day life, health, longevity, and performance.”

“When I switched over (to Eukanuba), a few things really stood out,” Miller recalled. “The things you can actually see, like the coat. The coat was extremely shiny. The number of comments I get on my dogs’ coats now is incredible! On the performance side, I saw the energy level I wanted, but even more important, I saw recovery time I’d not seen in the past. I hunt a tremendous amount—right at 100 days a year actually waterfowling with my dogs—and some big shoots they’re having to pick up 60 honkers a day. That’s a ton of physical exertion. In the past, those dogs would need two or three days to be ready to give 100 percent again. With Eukanuba it’s different. Now the recovery is overnight. Boom. They’re back the next day, ready to hunt.”

Both Aiken and Miller feed Eukanuba Premium Performance 30/20 in training and during hunting. In long periods of downtime, Aiken adjusts the amount, and Miller sometimes goes to the 26/16 formula. In either case, when you go online to order up Eukanuba Premium Performance, you may experience sticker shock, but both pros agree that in the long run, it’s more economical to feed Eukanuba.

They switched from other brands at about the same time and soon found they were able to reduce the amount they feed by two- to three-fold—with superior results—compared to the non-Eukanuba brands. And, they said, that doesn’t even factor in the likely reduction in vet bills or loss of training and hunting time.

That’s “regular guy” advice even I can understand!