Best Dog Food For English Setters
The English Setter is a dog breed that is also classified under sporting dogs because this breed used to hunt birds with their owners.
They have a relatively high energy level and thus need appropriate diets. We will now discuss some points that need to be kept in mind while buying dog food products for an English Setter.
That includes activity level, stress level, and nutritional value.
Quick Look at Our Top Five Picks:
- Special Dietary Needs of English Setters
- How to Choose the Best Dog Food for English Setters
- Best Rated Dog Food For English Setters Reviewed
- Do English Setters Have Specific Dietary Needs?
- How Much Should You Feed Your English Setter by Age
- English Setter Food Allergies and Food Related Health Issues
- Final Thoughts
Special Dietary Needs of English Setters
All dogs have the same basic nutritional needs for protein, fat, and nutrients. What you may not realize, however, is that dogs of different sizes have different needs when it comes to the ratio of those nutrients. Larger dogs like English Setters also need more calories than smaller dogs, but fewer per pound of body weight.
Here are some of the top things to look for English Setters:
- High-Quality Protein. Protein is the most important nutrient for any dog, but it is particularly important for English Setters dogs to maintain lean muscle mass. Look for premium animal sources for protein.
- Moderate Fat. Fat provides your dog with a concentrated source of energy as well as essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, but you want to keep the content moderate to avoid feeding your dog so many calories that he becomes obese.
- Joint Support. Large breed dogs have a higher risk for bone and joint problems than smaller breeds, so look for a recipe that contains joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Digestibility. Many large breed dogs have sensitive stomachs, so you want to make sure that the recipe you choose is made with digestible ingredients and free from low-quality fillers and artificial additives that could upset its stomach.
Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best dog food for large breeds. Here’s what you need to know:
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for English Setters
The best place to start when looking for the best dog food for large breeds is a high-quality diet formulated for large-breed dogs. This will help ensure that your dog gets the protein it needs to build healthy muscle without so much fat that it becomes overweight or obese.
In terms of specific nutritional needs, your English Setter requires at least 18% crude protein, 5% crude fat, and no more than 5% fiber in its diet. That is the bare minimum, however, so keep that in mind.
When it comes to protein and fat, your dog will be able to digest animal-based ingredients better than plant-based ingredients.
Meat, poultry, and fish are excellent sources of protein for dogs, and healthy fats include things like chicken fat and salmon oil. Your dog can digest certain carbohydrates as well like whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes, but protein should be the star of its diet.
In addition to protein, fat, and digestible carbohydrates, your large breed dog can benefit from certain supplements.
Probiotics, for example, help to ensure smooth and regular digestion while chelated minerals provide a biologically valuable source of key nutrients. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also important for large-breed dogs to support their bone and joint health.
Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best dog food for English Setters.
Best Rated Dog Food For English Setters Reviewed
English Setters can easily consume a large meal, especially if they are incredibly active dogs. Depending on your dog’s lifestyle and health condition, your dog may find the below-listed dog foods suitable.
These dog food products are what we find to be the most suitable for this dog breed. Each product has a unique formula, which is why you should take time to read before you buy them.
Do English Setters Have Specific Dietary Needs?
Most English Setters should be able to eat a normal diet for dogs. Most dogs require similar nutrients in their diet.
While dogs are not obligate carnivores, like cats, they still require plenty of protein in their daily diet, and meat protein is preferable to plant protein.
Your adult dog needs a minimum of 18 percent protein for daily maintenance.
Pregnant/nursing dogs and puppies need a minimum of 22 percent protein. Most dog foods today have higher protein percentages than these figures. This doesn’t mean that your dog needs enormous protein percentages.
Many grain free dog foods have huge protein percentages but much of the protein comes from plant sources such as peas, legumes, and lentils – the ingredients that the FDA is investigating because they may be linked to dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs.
We recommend, instead, that you feed your English Setters a food with a more moderate protein percentage that relies mostly on meat protein. Most dogs, such as English Setters, will do well eating a food with a protein percentage between 22 and 26 percent.
Fat is essential to your dog’s diet. It provides energy; fatty acids that are essential for your dog’s skin, coat, and for the development of organs; and they make food taste more appealing to your dog.
If you’re not sure about the taste, try feeding your dog a food with reduced fat and you’ll likely find out how much he appreciates the taste of fat in his food.
Adult dogs need a minimum of 5 percent fat in their diet. Pregnant/nursing dogs and puppies need at least 8 percent fat per day. Practically all dog foods have much higher fat percentages than these figures.
We suggest a fat percentage of about 12-16 percent for most dogs such as English Setters. If your dog is overweight and needs to lose weight, you can aim for the lower end of this spectrum but don’t cut fat out of your dog’s diet drastically or try to make him lose weight quickly.
Your dog will notice the difference and he won’t be happy about it. Any weight loss should be done slowly, along with exercise.
If your dog is extremely active and the two of you engage in activities such as agility or sports like hunting, you can feed a food with a slightly higher fat percentage. Many performance dog foods have a fat percentage of up to 20 percent.
Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not filler ingredients or empty calories. Carbs often get a bad reputation because humans try to avoid them but they are good for your dog.
They provide your dog with energy, fiber, and nutrients. Simple sugars and starches keep your dog’s brain functioning.
Fiber helps regulate your dog’s gastrointestinal system. And complex carbohydrates help keep your dog’s glucose levels steady and avoid blood sugar spikes.
They keep your dog from feeling hungry all the time.
Fiber can be soluble or insoluble and your English Setters needs both.
Soluble fiber can be found in chicory, inulin, and beet pulp, which are common dog food ingredients.
This kind of fiber will attract water and help turn your dog’s stomach contents to a gel, usually slowing the digestive process.
Insoluble fiber isn’t digested. Instead, it adds bulk to your dog’s digestive matter and speeds digestion.
Most kibbles have between 3 and 6 percent fiber. If your English Setters is having loose stools, it’s possible that the food may have too much fiber for his digestive system.
You can try switching to a food that has less fiber.
Probiotics and prebiotics
Your English Setters usually needs probiotics and prebiotics for good digestion. Prebiotics are “good” bacteria that help your dog’s gastrointestinal system develop the kind of organisms necessary to digest food. Prebiotics are a dietary fiber.
You will often see them added to dog foods in the form of chicory or inulin. Probiotics are living microorganisms are are added to dog foods (sometimes after cooking) so they can “colonize” your dog’s digestive system with millions of good bacteria.
When they are established in your dog’s intestinal tract, they can improve your dog’s digestion.
It’s estimated that 70 percent of your dog’s immune system is located in his gastrointestinal system so prebiotics and probiotics can play an important role in your dog’s health.
Vitamins and minerals
Dog foods are cooked at tremendously high temperatures. Some of the food’s vitamins and minerals are lost at these temperatures.
For this reason, dog food companies usually add vitamins and minerals back into the food later to make sure the food meets all of the nutritional requirements.
How Much Should You Feed Your English Setter by Age
An English Setter has a fairly low requirement in proportion to their activities in the field. Unlike muscular dog breeds, their slim stature requires them to eat less to help keep them at top speed. Dogs of this breed are similar to medium dogs who have a lower caloric requirement. However, unlike other dogs, they utilize their daily calories to its fullest and sometimes may need to be fed more.
- Puppy – Growing puppies need about 1800 calories per day to cope up with their developing bodies. They will also have a higher energy level than adults, which means that they need to be fed more. Since this breed is not predisposed to allergies, they can feed on grains, but in moderation. Puppies of this breed greatly benefit from flaxseeds and other superfoods that can boost a dog’s immunity.
- Adult – A regular English Setter needs about 1300 calories per day, and would have to be fed twice a day. This means that they need to be served an average of 650 calories per meal. Unlike other dogs, they greatly benefit from a low-calorie diet regardless of their weight disposition. A low-calorie diet helps them keep themselves energetic without having to put on extra pounds.
- Senior – Unlike adults and puppies, they only require about 1100 calories to eat per day. This is because most dogs have lower energy levels as they reach seniority. Just like adults, they have to be fed twice a day and would benefit from a low-calorie diet. Depending on the dog food’s instruction and nutrient label, you may have to feed your dog less to maintain your dog’s weight.
English Setter Food Allergies and Food Related Health Issues
Unlike other dog breeds, English Setters do not frequently get allergies. Also, they are more tolerant of grains as long as they are fed moderate amounts. However, there are some disorders that still plague English Setters. Here are some diseases that English Setters can get regardless of age.
- Kidney Disease – Excess protein may also lead them to develop kidney stones if they do not metabolize it well. This is the reason why they are recommended to feed on a low-calorie diet. This is incredibly common among senior English Setters who feed on a high-calorie diet rich in protein. If a dog develops a kidney stone, the only way to remove it is by surgery.
- Chronic Allergies – Dogs get chronic allergies if they are exposed too much to a certain food product. English Setters are also prone to chronic allergies, some of which are caused by foods such as soy. If left untreated, it will develop hot spots and cause excess shedding. In some cases, it also leads to other skin complications which cannot be treated easily.
- Heart Disease – They are also prone to heart diseases if they are not fed with food that is rich in taurine. Though a lot of senior dogs commonly suffer from this as they age, it can still be prevented. Taurine can be found in meats such as red meats or chicken. English Setters who are allergic to chicken can feed on non-fried cooked scallops as an alternative.
English Setters can become dependent on lifetime medications so they become unhealthy, especially when they age. In order to avoid this kind of a hassle, you should feed your dog with the best dog food possible. However, not all of these dog food products may apply to your dog. This is because not all dogs are made the same, and as such your pet’s conditions should be considered before buying.