Feeding day of tournaments?

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!

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Sophie,- FDCH-G,- TF-III,- CL1-R

lets run!
Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 1:03pm PST 
I have heard many different things in regards to feeding your dog the day of the tournament and the day before.

I have teammates who only feed half their dog's regular meal the morning before we have a flyball tournament and the rest of the meal later. They say its easier for their dog to compete if they aren't full from eating?

I have had teammates that feed normal meals and others that feed more the night before a tournament.

Any advice from other sports enthusiasts? I currently feed the normal meal a few hours before our first race and then a normal meal at the end of the day.

The Monster
Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 1:42pm PST 
It sort of depends on when the dog is competing. I won't allow my dog to compete while hungry since I find that it's bad for focus and a bit cruel. If she's doing heavy duty running within a few hours of her normal breakfast time I'll feed her a little earlier, and a little less. I'll sometimes just give her a handful of kibble at the start of the day and feed her continuously for her work -- she prefers food rewards to toys and play.

The day before I like to feed a bit more, and a high quality food like raw or something similar. I try to avoid novel meats or ones that I suspect don't fully agree with her (like chicken).

When we're out competing I'm normally using a fair deal of food to keep Cohen with me and engaged, so I'll sometimes cut back a bit on her evening meal, but that depends on how active she was that day and how much she's already eaten.

Awesome Dog
Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 4:21pm PST 
I don't alter my feeding schedule at all when we compete. smile

MACH4 PACH2- Aslan

Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 4:59pm PST 
I just read about a recent study done that shows dogs focus better if they have been fed breakfast. This, of course, makes sense. How much breakfast seems to be the question.

For me, it will depend on when my dogs are going to run. I do agility, and almost always my dogs run first thing in the morning. Because of this, I feed 1/2 rations for breakfast, but they also get healthy treats during the day. Then at night I give them a bit more dinner than usual.

If my dogs are running later in the day, they get the normal amount for breakfast.

I don't do anything different the day or night before. I am careful not to try out new treats or food before and during a trial. If someone is selling treats at the show that I want to try, I will take them home and use them rather than try them out at the show. There's nothing worse than a dog with a sick tummy when you're at a show!! smile

I think as long as you are careful about bloat (ie. feeding your dogs and running them before it digests) and you're also aware of the need for the dog to have some food to focus well in competition, you can work out a schedule that is good for you and your dogs.
Maggie,- Tika, &- Porter

Aussie-tastic- Trio
Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 5:34pm PST 
Typically my dogs eat once a day (raw), but on agility days they get a small kibble snack depending on when they run and when I am leaving the house. On rally or obedience days I usually make a mental note to set out a snack for them in the am (a little ground meat and a chicken foot or something). My dogs get plenty of snacks and treats throughout a trial day, so I don't worry too much about lack of calories to keep them going for multiple days.

Take That!
Barked: Wed Feb 27, '13 11:09am PST 
I usually feed the morning of a flyball tournament, the amount depends on the dog, and also i always feed alot earlier than i usually would to give the stomach time to settle. At least 2-3 hours before racing starts.
Sophie,- FDCH-G,- TF-III,- CL1-R

lets run!
Barked: Wed Feb 27, '13 3:47pm PST 
Thank you everyone for your responses! I appreciate it.
Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 6:23pm PST 
I've found the opposite - Ember loses focus and slows down if she's eaten prior to playing flyball. Holds true even on practice days. I'll give her something early in the day since we typically don't get home until after 9pm, but it's more of a large treat than a meal.

I don't feed her at all morning of tournaments, since racing usually starts early and is staggered throughout the day. She does work for food, though, and I spike her water with broth or electrolyte mix. When I can, I feed whole fish (mackerel or sardines) the night before and during tournaments. Easy to digest, lotsa good fats and vitamins.
Addie CL1- CL2 CL3 CL4- OAJ

if it moves,- I'll chase it!
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 6:29am PST 
I feed Addie breakfast ( half her normal food for the day), then dont feed her another actual meal until we get home ( usually 6-7pm). She also gets lots of treats throughout the day for various things at trials.

I also make sure to do lots of potty breaks.. I neglected to do so at appropriate intervals my first trial and had.. hmm a little accident!

Edited by author Mon Mar 25, '13 6:31am PST

Rusty *~Rock- n Roll K9*~

Mr. Handsome Guy- ♥
Barked: Sat Jan 4, '14 4:54am PST 
For Rusty whenever we run agility with our performance team, I usually give him about a 1/4 of his breakfast (he's about 13 and has a finicky stomach at times) and then after his run he gets a healthy treat once he's done with the show and resting. After the show he gets more dinner than normal (kind of an awesome reward for doing so wonderfully all day!). Now if he doesn't run at all the next day then I feed on his normal amount/normal schedule.
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