Maxi Meat for Sport and Working dogs is a new product we are developing. It will be a true working dog food made here in North Queensland to suit the high physical demands for hunting dogs and working dogs.
It is not like anything else on the market. It is a pelleted dog food so it looks very different. But the main difference is the analysis. As the name suggests Maxi Meat will be meat based. The first trial batch was 75% animal products and we concluded it was too rich and not enough fibre and caused scouring in some of the dogs that we trialed it on. We made a second batch after enlisting the help of a vet who specialised in dog food nutrition and the product is now 50% animal products and 34% protein and 12% fat. Dogs love the taste and can work all day on less feed because of the super high analysis.
It is a complete feed with all the minerals and vitamins required for the athletic dog.
So how is it performing?
I started feeding my 2 dogs on the the 12th of September. My dogs are not hunting or working dogs but I decided to start them on our new dog food to see how they went before expanding our feeding trial to other dog owners. They took to the new pellets very well, despite the high level of fines in the first production run. They would normally get about 2 to 3 cups per day of dry dog food with a small amount of food scraps on top, fed once a day. I started by blending it 50/50 with their old feed until the old bag ran out. This took about a week.
They had more trouble adjusting to the new feed than I expected and I guess it was because it is so different to what they were used to and in hindsight I was probably overfeeding them. For the first week they were quite loose and their stools were very dark. One of my dogs, a Kelpie cross has always been a good doer (little over weight) and the other a Weimaraner a little underweight despite getting the same feed. Once on our new Maxi Meat I cut the feeding rate back to 2 cups a day each. They loved the taste of the Maxi Meat and licked the bowls clean to the point that I was sometimes tempted to give them some more. After about 4 weeks the skinny Weimaraner had put on weight to the point that her ribs were no longer prominent and even my wife said she was looking good. I cut the feeding rate back to a cup and a half each day as they continued to gain weight. After another month, I have cut the feeding rate back to 1 cup a day each (about 180g per day) and they are both going well.
The other thing I have noticed is a significant improvement in the Weimaraner’s skin condition. Being a pure bred she was always prone to getting a reaction to insect bites and her ears would need treatment for mites that made them crusty at times. Since being on the Maxi Meat her skin condition has improved and she has had no treatment for ear mites and her ears are perfect. I suspect this may be due to an improved immune system stopping the mites from aggravating her ears or that she may have had a mild allergy to the previous feed she was eating.
In conclusion I am very pleased with the results, my kelpie cross is still a big boy and the Weimaraner is looking better than she ever has.
We are planning to make a Maxi Meat for Pets and Puppies, which will be a high protein feed with a lower fat level. I think this will be a better option for my non-working dogs, and I look forward to updating the blog with the results.