By Molly Haines
GRV’s video series on training tips with Robert Britton continues, this time focusing on the diet of a racing greyhound.
Britton believes a balanced and consistent approach to feeding is essential, and he insists that continuously changing a greyhound’s feeding program to incorporate every “new fad” is a common trap that inexperienced trainers fall into.
“I feed at about 9.30am in the morning and then I give them a snack at night, whether it be a dog biscuit or a bun,” Britton said. “This doesn’t mean you can’t feed them twice a day by dividing the feeds up to morning and night – there are a lot of ways to do it.”
Britton individualises his feeds based on a number of factors; whether they are male or female, whether a greyhound holds their weight well or if a greyhound needs more food in instances where they have a higher-than-normal energy consumption.
“Regarding the meat component of a greyhound’s meal, as a general rule the males are fed about 600 grams of meat and females about 500 grams,” Britton said. “That can vary as well – you have got to know your own dog. I have individual male greyhounds who I give a female feed to and then there are greyhounds who work a lot harder and you need to adjust your feed accordingly.”
“You will work it out as you go. As long as your greyhounds eat a balanced diet that is similar every day, he or she will find its own weight.”
Clean meat is a must
For many years, Britton has fed human consumption meat due to the positive swabs that come out of feeding knackery meat. Britton feeds 50 per cent of his greyhound’s meat intake kangaroo and the remaining 50 per cent chicken.
“You have to look for clean meat and I would say that anyone who is feeding knackery meat these days is taking a huge risk,” he said.
What to look for in a kibble
Britton relies on a premium dry food or kibble to help maintain a balanced diet, and in order to find a quality product, he advises to read the ingredients.
“Kibbles used to have a lot of rubbish in them, but now they are scientifically formulated, and by using a premium product you shouldn’t have to put additives in them,” Britton said. “I look for a product that has about 20 per cent protein and 30 per cent fat. I believe that anything under those per centages is lacking in quality.”
Britton feeds around one cup of kibble in addition to 500-600 grams of meat and two slices of brown bread, which makes up the bulk of his greyhounds’ daily feeds, along with fresh vegetable soup and other additives.
“I use around one cup of kibble in my greyhound’s diet, in addition to meat and two slices of brown bread. If you are feeding a premium dry food solely (no meat), it’s around three cups for males and two and a half cups for females,” he said.
Some time ago, a leading pet food company asked Britton to feed six greyhounds for six months on pure premium food with water. Each week a vet came out and tested the dogs and monitored their performance. They found there was very little to no change in the greyhound’s performance or looks.
“This proved to me that you could feed a premium dry food only, which would make life a lot easier,” Britton said.
So why then does Britton not feed purely a dry premium kibble? “I’m an old-timer and its hard to break old habits,” he grinned.
WHAT BRITTON LOOKS FOR IN A PREMIUM KIBBLE
- At least 20 per cent protein or meat.
- At least 30 per cent fat.
- Main ingredient being a “real food” like chicken, rather than wheat.
BRITTON’S MEAT AND KIBBLE BREAK DOWN
- 1 Cup of Premium kibble
- 300 grams human consumption kangaroo
- 300 grams human consumption chicken
600-gram meat total
- Just under 1 Cup of Premium kibble
- 250 grams human consumption kangaroo
- 250 grams human consumption chicken
500-gram meat total