How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Plott Hounds
The Plott Hound is a relatively rare breed that traces its roots to a group of five different hounds known as the Hanoverian Schweisshunds. These dogs travelled to North Carolina in the mid-18th century with a German man named Johannes Georg Plott. The original Plott Hound’s job was to hunt boars; however, since boar were not as plentiful in America, this versatile dog breed was put to work hunting bear. The breed takes its name from the man responsible for introducing them to the United States.
At the turn of the century, the Plott Hound was further developed through thoughtful breedings to black and tan hounds, bringing in even stronger scent detection capabilities and a new color pattern: black brindle through the saddle area. The Plott Hound is the only coonhound that does not trace its roots back to foxhounds.
A breed renowned for its immense power and innate intelligence, the Plott Hound is also a natural born people pleaser that enjoys the presence of family, friends, and other animals. Since the Plott Hound was originally intended to hunt large game, the breed is extremely tenacious, brave, and strong.
A unique trait of the Plott Hound is their piercing bark. Resonating at an exceptionally high pitch, it is impossible to ignore the sound of a Plott Hound, particularly if they are on a hunt trailing prey. This dog type can be headstrong and requires an owner that is committed to establishing and reinforcing boundaries.
A breed with lots of energy to expend, the Plott Hound requires a minimum of 60 minutes of vigorous exercise each day. Because of its high activity requirements, this breed is not well-suited to apartment living. Though not typically predisposed to weight gain, the Plott Hound still should not be free fed.
The Plott Hound, like all breeds, can be prone to developing certain health problems. However, on the whole, the Plott Hound is an exceptionally healthy dog, predisposed only to hip dysplasia, ear infections, and bloat. To help support ideal wellness in this breed, the best dog foods for Plott Hounds should contain supplements to support joint health such as glucosamine and chondroitin.
Though to date it is not known what factors must combine to result in bloat, it is believed that eating too rapidly and too much may play a contributing role. Feeding the Plott Hound a diet designed for large breed dogs can help to prevent the development of bloat.
The ideal food for the Plott Hound contains approximately 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Plott Hounds
Determining how much of a food to feed a dog can be as challenging as selecting the right diet itself. The best dog foods for Plott Hounds offer helpful suggestions through servings sizes based on age and weight that are listed on the side of the diet’s packaging. These can utilized as a starting point with adjustments made incrementally until the appropriate meal size for the dog is found.
Though the Plott Hound is not predisposed to becoming overweight, it is still not recommended that this breed be free fed. For best results, all food should be carefully measured, and all intake, including treats, should be monitored.
Dietary Requirements for Plott Hound Dog Foods
The Plott Hound is an active breed, and thus, requires a diet based on a lean, meat-based protein to thrive. The best dog foods for Plott Hounds list a whole meat or meat meal as the foundation of their recipe. By-products are commonly used in commercial dog foods as a protein source. These ingredients can be difficult for dogs to digest, and thus, are not the ideal basis of a diet for this athletic dog.
The plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are common allergens for many dogs and can also be hard on the Plott Hound’s digestive system. Because of this, diets containing these ingredients are best left on the shelf. Many commercially prepared dog diets include ingredients such as chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives for the purpose of lengthening shelf life and improving a food’s appearance. These ingredients offer no nutritional benefit to the Plott Hound.
Carbohydrates provide the Plott Hound with the fuel it needs for proper digestion and a healthy immune system. These carbohydrates can come from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains with the primary emphasis of any included ingredient being its abundance of antioxidants and dietary fiber.
Healthy fats are the building blocks of any healthy diet for the Plott Hound. From these fats, the Plott Hound gains the fuel it needs for strong energy reserves and support for coat and skin health. The ideal sources for these fats are foods such as chicken fat and oily fish. Some plant-based oils such as safflower, sunflower, and canola offer sufficient quantities of these important nutrients.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Foods for Plott Hounds
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Plott Hound:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The Plott Hound is a carnivore, and thus, does best on a diet that is based on a lean meat-based protein. The best dog foods for the Plott Hound list a whole meat or meat meal as their primary ingredients.
By-products and plant-based proteins lack the nutritional quality this active breed needs for optimal health and wellness.
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 Plott Hound’s diet. Many of these items can trigger an allergic reaction in dogs with food sensitivities.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
The ideal supplements for the Plott Hound are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Plott Hound should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.