Purina Pro Plan Dog Food Is Made for Performance Dogs

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Performance factors typically tip the scale when it comes to choosing the best food to feed an individual dog. Does the food in your dog’s bowl provide the nutrition and energy needed to power up an elite show dog or top sporting dog?

“There will never be a universal food that works for all dogs,” says Purina Research Nutritionist Christina Petzinger Germain, PhD. “It’s different when you are feeding an athlete or a show dog. It’s best to determine a dog’s energy needs. Other than water, energy is the most critical part of a dog’s diet.”

Energy fuels a dog’s performance at field trials and athletic competitions. When a dog food provides the right levels of energy nutrients — carbohydrate, fat and protein — a dog is more likely to achieve a high VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake. When maximal oxygen uptake combines with maximal fat oxidation, it produces the best performance during hard work.

“The higher the VO2 max, the more intense a dog can exercise and the longer it can maintain a higher running speed,” Dr. Petzinger Germain explains. “This is due to the supply of energy from fat to the muscles, sparing the liver and muscle glycogen stores, and the body’s use of amino acids, or protein, to provide glucose and delay fatigue. The longer you can spare glycogen, the better.”

Glycogen, the storage form of glucose in muscles and liver, is needed during intense work. However, it is limited in the body, and its depletion may affect a dog’s performance or capacity to work optimally. When glycogen stores are fully depleted, this leads to exhaustion.

A diet that is high in protein promotes high-circulating red blood cells, which have a crucial role in carrying oxygen to the cells, including muscle cells where oxygen is used to burn fat to produce the energy needed by a dog during work. Increased oxygen in muscle cells results in the increased capacity of the muscles to use fat as an energy source.

Fat is an important concentrated source of energy. The gross energy of fat equals 9 kilocalories compared to 4 kilocalories for both protein and carbohydrates. The digestibility of fat is generally higher than protein or carbohydrates, and fat is highly palatable and impacts the texture of dog food.

Ever wonder how kilocalories compare to Calories in human food? They are the same, except on human nutritional labels, kilocalories are shorted to Calories. Both represent the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius.

“During recovery, particularly at a field event where a dog may run multiple times in one day, glycogen stores are replenished via carbohydrates in the diet,” says Dr. Petzinger Germain. “Dietary carbohydrates are important, because they help maintain glycogen stores, enabling repeated episodes of exercise and work on a long-term basis.”

Understanding energy balance and determining whether your dog receives the nutrition he or she needs can be as simple as evaluating the dog’s performance. Does your dog perform optimally with energy, drive and enthusiasm?

To help you understand what to look for in a dog food, here is a review of three Purina Pro Plan formulas rated highly among show and sporting competitors. Experts share their points of view about what makes them ideal foods in their dogs’ bowls.

Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Salmon & Rice Formula

At a Glance 

Made for All Life Stages

496 Kilocalories Per Cup

Real Salmon Is the No. 1 Ingredient

30 Percent Protein/20 Percent Fat

Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Salmon & Rice Formula is made with salmon as the No. 1 ingredient. Protein is a key source of energy and also important for growth and development. With 30 percent protein, this performance formula helps build and maintain lean muscle mass, including during the crucial time immediately after exercise. The concentrated nutrition of this formula helps to optimize oxygen metabolism, VO2 max, for increased endurance. This performance food for hardworking dogs contains EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and glucosamine to help support joint health and mobility. Omega-6 linoleic acid promotes healthy skin and coat. The antioxidant-rich nutrition of this formula nourishes a dog’s immune system and helps defend against free radicals.

Looking For A Small Edge

In the highly competitive sport of retriever field trials, a small edge could make a sizeable difference. Mike Lardy, owner and head trainer of Handjem Retrievers in Montello, Wisconsin, was seeking a small edge when he switched his entire kennel to Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Salmon & Rice Formula in 2014.

“Because I have performance dogs, I am always looking for little things that might help them compete better and be healthy for a long time,” says the record-setting seven-time winner of the National Retriever Championship. “The benefits of this food that sold me are its omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and high digestibility.”

Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula

At A Glance  

Made for All Life Stages

475 Kilocalories Per Cup

Real Chicken Is the No. 1 Ingredient

30 Percent Protein/20 Percent Fat

Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Salmon & Rice Formula is made with salmon as the No. 1 ingredient. Protein is a key source of energy and also important for growth and development. With 30 percent protein, this performance formula helps build and maintain lean muscle mass, including during the crucial time immediately after exercise. The concentrated nutrition of this formula helps to optimize oxygen metabolism, VO2 max, for increased endurance. This performance food for hardworking dogs contains EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and glucosamine to help support joint health and mobility. Omega-6 linoleic acid promotes healthy skin and coat. The antioxidant-rich nutrition of this formula nourishes a dog’s immune system and helps defend against free radicals.

A Top-Notch Performance Food

Flyball competitor Mary Fuller of Catawissa, Missouri, has raised six generations of Border Collies on Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula. “Purina Pro Plan has always worked for me,” she says. “My dogs have ideal muscle condition, endurance, hair coat, and stool. They are incredible athletes.”

Fuller and her Sneak Attack flyball team has won a U-FLI (United Flyball League International) National Champion­ship and earned more than 300 titles. The retired Purina Pro Plan nutritionist who worked for Purina for 39 years says, “The intense running and jumping in this sport requires a top-notch performance food to sustain the dogs’ energy. This is why Purina Pro Plan works so well for me.”

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula*

At a Glance

Made for Adult Dogs

429 Kilocalories Per Cup

Real Salmon Is the No. 1 Ingredient

26 Percent Protein/16 Percent Fat

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula is rich in linoleic omega-6 fatty acid and zinc, which nourish a dog’s skin and promote a healthy coat. This formula contains a natural prebiotic fiber that promotes digestive health. Antioxidants help support immune system health, and omega-3 fatty acids help support healthy joints and mobility. This formula has oat meal, which is easily
digestible and gentle on the digestive system. It contains no corn, wheat or soy, no artificial colors or flavors, and no poultry by-product meal.

* Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula does not provide the protein, fat or carbohydrate levels needed for a dog to reach VO2 max. Although this is not a performance dog food, it does provide benefits that are important to show dogs and sporting dogs.

Promoting Healthy Skin & Coat

Professional terrier handler Gabriel Rangel* of Rialto, California, works hard to condition the coats of his terrier Specials. As part of the regimen, he feeds them Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula, because the food helps his dogs have a healthy skin and coat and ideal body condition.

“This Purina Pro Plan formula has the right combination,” says the two-time Westminster Kennel Club Best in Show winner. “Some dog foods are too rich, but this food provides balanced nutrition and the right nutrients that do not dry out the coats. Our dogs love the food.”

*As a Purina ambassador, Rangel receives Purina Pro Plan dog food.

Purina Pro Plan is sold exclusively at pet specialty and through online retailers. For information, call 800-776-7526.

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