How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Irish Setters
The elegant Irish Setter is the picture of sophistication, charm, and fun. With its distinctive, flowing red locks, the Irish Setter captures both the eye and the heart of nearly all that it meets. A breed with an athletic build and energy to spare, the Irish Setter is a dog that is renowned for its sweet, sociable nature, making it an excellent companion both in the field on a hunt and in a home by the fire.
The Irish Setter’s original purpose was to serve as a bird dog, accompanying its owners on hunts for fowl. However, this sporting dog is up for any adventure with its family. It is important to note that the Irish Setter was intended to function as a working breed, and thus, has a lot of energy which must be positively expended every day. Experienced breeders relate that this charming dog breed needs at least one hour of vigorous exercise every day.
A breed that enjoys the company of its family best, the Irish Setter does not do well if left alone for long periods of time. Because the breed is highly active and has a high prey drive, the Irish Setter is best suited to living in a home that has an accompanying securely fenced yard.
The Irish Setter is an extremely versatile dog, successfully competing in many different activities. Among the most popular events the Irish Setter excels at are obedience, Rally, agility, conformation, and tracking. Because the Irish Setter is gentle natured and friendly, they also do well as therapy dogs.
A breed that is naturally quite intelligent, the Irish Setter has a penchant for mischief and is a dog with a mind of its own. Because of this, training this breed can be challenging. In addition to this, the Irish Setter enjoys a slow path to full adulthood, meaning its owners get to enjoy a lengthier puppyhood with this delightful, happy breed.
Because the Irish Setter is an athletic and active breed, this dog type is not predisposed to weight gain. Still, free feeding this breed is still strongly discouraged.
Though most often a very healthy breed, the Irish Setter can be prone to certain health conditions. These include such problems as progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism. The best dog foods for Irish Setters contain helpful supplements to support optimal eye and joint health such as glucosamine, chondroitin, DHA and ARA.
As a general rule of thumb, the Irish Setter does best on a diet that contains a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Irish Setters
The Irish Setter is a natural born athlete, eagerly enjoying the active lifestyle. Because of this, this breed requires a diet that is well-balanced and crafted from only the finest ingredients to attain and sustain exceptional health.
Trying to determine how much of a food to feed a dog is often a process that involves some trial and error. To provide a helpful starting point, the best dog foods for Irish Setters list suggested serving sizes on their packaging. Owners can use these suggestions as a starting point, making adjustments to reflect their own dog’s age, weight, activity level, and appetite until the correct portion is found.
Though the Irish Setter is an active dog and is not predisposed to becoming overweight, it is still best that this dog type not be free fed. To help maintain the ideal body condition for this slender and graceful breed, it is best to measure all food and monitor all intake.
Dietary Requirements for Irish Setter Dog Foods
The best dog foods for Irish Setters make a lean, meat-based protein the basis of their recipe. The ideal foundation for this type of diet is a whole meat or meat meal. By-products are typically comprised of pieces of an animal that are more difficult to digest, and thus, are best avoided. Likewise, the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat can be common allergens for many dogs, and thus, are not the best choice for a diet for the Irish Setter.
Some commercially prepared dog foods make use of ingredients designed to improve taste and appearance or to help increase the shelf life of the food. These ingredients offer no nutritional benefit to the Irish Setter, and thus, it is recommended that diets containing them be left on the shelf. Some of the ingredients best avoided include chemicals, fillers, additives, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
From carbohydrates, the Irish Setter gains the necessary nutrients to achieve fluid digestion and a strong immune system. These carbohydrates can come from antioxidant and fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, or a combination of the three. Dogs that have previously expressed allergies to grains may do best on a grain-free diet.
Healthy fats assist the Irish Setter with fuel for its energy levels and support for optimal coat and skin health. These fats are best obtained from animal-based foods such as chicken fat and oily fish.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Irish Setters
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for an Irish Setter:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The Irish Setter requires a diet based on a lean meat to achieve optimal health and wellness. Whole meats and meat meals are the best option to provide the nutrients this dog breed needs.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
Chemicals, fillers, artificial flavorings and colorings, and mystery ingredients provide no nutritional benefit to the Irish Setter. Foods containing these items are not suited for the needs of this breed.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Supplements help a food to work its most effectively. The ideal supplements to look for in a food for the Irish Setter are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Irish Setter should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.