What you feed your Otterhound, will directly affect his longevity and good health. Today there is much hype about canned dog food especially since the Purina pet care recall. Critics say that commercial pet foods are laced with chemicals and preservatives. A healthy diet will not only promote a longer life but will also curtail digestive problems. With a healthier diet you can expect to see good muscle tone, good eyesight and brighter eyes, high energy, strong bones, strong teeth and gums, good skin and coat, firmer and fewer bowel movements, offensive body odors, and of course less health problems and visits to the veterinarian.
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Another option for your Otterhound which is growing in popularity among dog owners of all breeds is the raw dog food diet. The argument in favor of giving your dog raw food, including raw meat and vegetables is that it is nature's way of feeding canines since the beginning of time and therefore completely natural and most of all healthy. The downside is that your pet can still acquire salmonella poisoning and E Coli as well as other viruses just like humans. It is best to research this option before trying it.
Some Otterhound owners feed their pets a combination of canned or dry dog food and homemade food; which can be raw and cooked. Make sure if you use this option that you consult with a veterinarian to make sure your dog is getting enough of the nutrients that is requires. You may also do a net search for healthy dog food recipes.
You will need to exercise your Otterhound to promote good health. These scent hounds were bred for the purpose of hunting otters in England during the middle ages. Though the exact origin of the Otterhound remains unknown, they were first recorded to belong to King John in 1212. Though hunting otters is illegal in the British Isles, the Otterhounds continue to hunt mink. Once they came to this side of the Atlantic Ocean, they continued to hunt. Otterhounds are used to hunt pesky raccoons that destroy farm land and kill livestock. They have also been used to hunt bear and mountain lion, in order to prevent the threats to stock and humans alike.
As a pet owner you may not have the occasion on the inclination to take your Otterhound hunting. However, you must bear in mind that these large dogs still need plenty of exercise. At the bear minimum you must take your Otterhound on a brisk walk each day. Otterhounds can live indoors, but need outdoor exercise in any kind of weather. Their waterproof thick undercoat protects them from cold water (rain on a cold day, or swimming in a lake) and thus they are flexible steady animals.
If you can take them to a lake to have a swim they will thoroughly enjoy it. Nevertheless if all you have available is the walk around the park make sure the Otterhound is on a leash as it will have the tendency to chase small animals. If the park or wooded area is secluded it is better for dog to have free reign and run around at his own tempo.
You can also consider agility training and tracking activities where you Otterhound gets to have fun, running through things like tunnels and searching for designated objects such as a scented glove, ball, stick etc.