Tuesday, June 25, 2024

How Much Protein Should Dog Food Have

Switching To Adult Dog Food Diets

How Much Protein Should You Feed Your Dog? (Part One) — Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma

When the puppy reaches his mature body size for most breeds around his first birthday its time to go on adult food. Larger breeds take longer to reach full body size, so switch at about 18 months. For giant breeds, such as Great Danes, consider keeping them on puppy food for two years. But these are only rules of thumb. Your veterinarian will know whats best for your dog, particularly if a medical problem arises and dictates a special food.

How Much Protein Is Too Much

While there are many dog foods that are marketed specifically as being high protein, others may appear to be very broad-based products but still actually contain dangerous amounts. For this reason, it is important to check food labels carefully so that you can be sure you pick a brand that has moderate protein levels. For your information:

  • Food with more than 30% protein is considered high
  • Food containing between 21% 29% are considered moderate
  • Food with less than 20% protein is low and is usually only available by prescription for those dogs who have medical issues that dictate that they need a particularly low protein diet.

Getting your dogs nutrition right is essential if he is to enjoy a long, healthy, and active life. If you arent sure which is the best food to feed your dog, or if you have further questions about high protein diets, please do not hesitate to seek the advice of our friendly veterinary team today at 951-676-4690.

Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food


Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken and Oatmeal is one of 14 dry recipes included in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley, peas
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Other recipes: Senior, puppy, large breed, small breed, whitefish and sweet potato, lamb and barley, turkey and oatmeal and more
  • Price: $$
  • See all 14 available recipes

This Wellness Complete Health formula derives the bulk of its meat protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the product contains 27% protein, 13% fat and 52% estimated carbs creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

One of the best grain-inclusive kibbles on the market. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer reviewI have three dogs, all different breeds and sizes. They all love this food it has caused absolutely no stomach issues After discussing this with our awesome Veterinarian she recommended Wellness and our Goldendoodle hasnt had any stomach issues in 5 years. The stomach issues brought us to Wellness, but the quality ingredients kept us loyal.

This Instinct example derives the majority of its animal protein from beef and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 40% protein, 23% fat and 29% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

With multiple flavor options, Instinct makes an ideal choice for feeding picky eaters. Highly recommended.

Also Check: Iams Veterinary Formula Renal Plus Dry Dog Food

I Was Told That Dogs Cannot Digest Carbohydrates Is This True

To meet their energy needs, dogs have evolved to use proteins and fats as their primary energy sources, but they can also use carbohydrates for energy. The fact that the dog’s digestive system produces enzymes that are specific for digesting starches and sugars shows that they are capable of digesting carbohydrates. However, complex carbohydrates such as grains are more digestible when they are cooked.

Purina Pro Plan Sport Formula Dry Dog Food

Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Low Protein)

With a crude protein of 30%, Purinas sport formula is ideal for dogs looking to increase their muscle mass. This dry food mix comes in a 37.5 pound mix full of arrow shape biscuits good for any breed size. Be aware if your dog has a chicken allergen as this is a key ingredient.

Eicosapentaenoic acid and glucosamine are also supplied in this mix to help with your dogs mobility and joints. This is a great add on for elderly dogs or breeds that suffer from milder forms of hip dysplasia. The amino acids in this dog food also help to nourish muscles, especially after exercise.

Owners have bragged about the energy boost of their dogs have gained after consuming this food for a few days. Furthermore, many owners have mentioned how picky eaters adore this good tasting mix. However, multiple users have complained of a smell from the food and packaging.

Read Also: Where To Buy Darwin’s Dog Food

Are High Pet Food Protein Levels Sustainable

During her presentation, Adolphe emphasized that, while protein is one of the main macronutrients needed by pets actually, the amino acids in protein ingredients are required by dogs and cats it is not an ideal source of energy, unlike the other two macronutrients, carbohydrates and fats. Excess protein is stored in the body as fat, so todays high-protein, dense pet foods could be contributing to rising pet obesity if pet owners overfeed them.

Or, excess protein or again, the amino acids in it is excreted as nitrogen, which can be harmful to the environment. Not to mention your lawn Shoveller commented during a presentation at the American Feed Industry Association conference in January 2018 that this extra nitrogen in dogs urine turns beautiful green grass to yellow.

Another sustainability issue with the high levels of protein in pet foods, many of which are from animal sources, is that our industry is competing with the human food industry for such protein sources. As the global population of people and pets continues to increase, along with rising incomes that allow more people to eat meat-based proteins and, often, also feed them to their pets, some of those proteins may become scarce. And producing more livestock animals can lead to additional environmental problems.

Puppy Diets Need More Protein And Fat

Diet for puppies must be higher in protein and fat than adult dog diet plans for strong bones and muscle support.

From Tufts April 2012 Issue

Because puppies go through a remarkable growth spurt that can last as long as two years, their nutrition can make a life-long difference in their health. Consider this: A growing pup needs about twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult dog, according to the National Research Council of the National Academies. During this time, theyre building strong bones and muscles, and need extra energy and nutrients.

The challenge for owners is navigating the maze of choices. Should they feed a food for small or large breeds? Or one intended for all sizes, ages and breeds? All the different options can make it very confusing, says nutritionist Sally Perea, DVM, MS. And then there are different brands and different philosophies.

Dr. Perea, a member of Your Dogs advisory board, shares this advice on choosing food wisely.


Read Also: Iams Grain Free Naturals Chicken And Garden Pea

Differences Between Senior Dog Food Vs Regular

Is there a difference between senior dog food, regular adult dog food, and food labeled “all life stages” or “multi-stage”? Not necessarily. In fact, some food products might be identical and only market differently that is, only the packaging changes. According to our experts, there’s no regulation of dog foods claiming to cater to seniors, which is why there’s so much confusion on the topic.

There certainly are, however, some dietary factors that can help manage the physical and medical changes dogs experience as they age. Here are some of the ways a senior dog diet might differ from a regular adult dog diet:

  • Nutrient adjustments
  • Added MCTs, omega-3s, and antioxidants

Best Protein For Dogs With Allergies:

Should You Feed Your Dog High Protein?

If your dog has allergies, these protein sources are less likely to cause allergic reactions that are common with proteins such as chicken

  • Pork
  • Bison
  • Lamb

Dogs with allergies do better with game meats. Thanks to Limited Ingredient types of dog foods, elk and bison recipes are now readily available at most pet stores.

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How Much Protein Should Dog Food Have

With all the different ingredients in dog food, trying to figure out how much of each nutrient your dog needs for a balanced diet can be overwhelming. How much protein does a dog need?

In general, healthy adult dogs require a minimum of 4.5 grams of protein for every 100 calories they consume.

According to board-certified veterinary nutritionist Deborah Linder of Tufts University: So long as diets are nutritionally complete and balanced for your pet and include an appropriate AAFCO statement, they are formulated to be balanced for healthy pets.

An AAFCO statement on pet food packaging explains whether the food contains the essential nutrients as outlined by the organizations guidelines, as well as what life stage the food is designated for .

Dog foods that include an AAFCO statement are deemed completed and balanced with just the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. This way you know youre getting the good stuff that provides biological value like enzymes and antioxidants for healthy immune system.

What Is The Right Amount Of Protein For A Large Breed Dog Food To Have

All pups require animal-based protein in their diets. These proteins contain the amino acids they need to sustain their health. While it was once believed that too much protein could cause skeletal issues in large and giant dog breed puppies, this was proven untrue through scientific research. Instead, it’s actually too many calories that can negatively affect the development of large breed pups and cause them to become obese as adults.

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Check The Ingredient List

The Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends that dry food for puppies contain a minimum of 22 percent protein, compared to 18 percent protein for adult dogs. The recommended level of fat also is higher 8 percent for puppies, 5 percent for adults.

Now compare the calcium. Dry food for puppies should contain 1 percent calcium, as opposed to the 0.6 percent required in adult dog food almost twice the amount. These requirements are easiest to achieve with a commercial puppy food.

Fresh Meats Versus Meat Meals And The Alternatives

Raw feeding Dogs

Everyone knows to look for fresh meats in your pets food. But this advice in itself can be misleading, as only around 35% of a kibbles weight can be fresh meats for a smooth manufacturing process . This could make the overall protein-from-meat ratio on dry dog foods pretty low if a pet food only contained fresh meats.

However, meat meals are rendered, which means they are cooked at extreme temperatures. As stated before, this in question. While they are denser in protein than fresh meats, meat meals are not as high quality protein.

There is an alternative that you can find in some high-quality pet foods today. Dehydrated or freeze-dried ingredients are now added to some high-quality kibble diets after kibble extrusion to enhance the bioavailability of the food. Their minimal heat processing makes them healthier than meat meals and fresh ingredient inclusion.

Also Check: Rachael Ray Dog Food Petsmart

What Does Crude Protein Mean

Crude is just a word to encompass all the ways that protein is calculated and determined in the diet. It does not provide information about the protein quality or the nutritional value of the protein source in your dogs diet.

One of many methods used to determine protein quality is the Biological Value . It measures the mass of nitrogen incorporated into the body divided by the mass of nitrogen from protein in the food multiplied by 100.

A value of 100% means all of the dietary protein eaten and absorbed becomes protein in the body.

Protein Quality

Protein quality is how much of the protein source is converted into essential amino acids that can be used by the bodys tissue. It is dependent on the:

  • Protein source

  • Number of amino acids in the food

  • Availability

Proteins that provide large portions of all essential amino acids are considered high-quality proteins.

If that protein source is lacking essential amino acids or they cannot be absorbed by the body, then it is considered a low-quality protein.

In many cases, to avoid this, multiple protein sources may be fed in one diet to prevent the absence of certain amino acids.

What Are The Nutritional Requirements For Dogs

The six basic nutrients are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. These essential nutrients are required as part of the dogs regular diet and are involved in all of the basic functions of the body. The minimum dietary requirement has been established for many nutrients. The maximum tolerable amounts of some nutrients are known, and results of toxicity have been established. What is less understood is what may happen over time with marginal deficiencies or excesses.

Nutritional guidelines have been developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . AAFCO guidelines are the general basis for the nutritional content of commercial pet foods. Make sure that your dogs food meets the AAFCO standards. Keep in mind that these are guidelines and your dog may need more or less depending on his health status. Speak to your veterinarian for more information on specific nutrients that your particular dog may need.

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Is Too Much Meat Bad For Dogs

All dogs need to eat some protein, so they should be getting it from their food. However, you do not want them to overeat protein. If they eat too much protein, theyll end up gaining weight and getting type 2 diabetes. Opt for a dog food that is around 30 percent protein. Dont be afraid to check the ingredient list for specifics on protein levels.

How Important Is Protein For Dogs

Nutrition Part 2 – Protein in Pet Diets

Perhaps the most well-known function is the growth and maintenance of the bodys cells, allowing for the muscle to grow and for injuries to repair themselves.

Secondly, enzymes are proteins that cause chemical reactions to happen in the body without dietary proteins, enzymes cannot function properly. Bodily functions that rely on enzymes include energy production, blood clotting, and muscle contraction.

Lastly, proteins are essential for transporting other nutrients around the body. For example, lipoproteins transport cholesterol and other fats through the blood, while hemoglobin, another protein, carries oxygen in the bloodstream. Protein can also have a storage role ferritin, for example, stores iron. Overall, protein is absolutely essential for all dogs.

Research suggests that dogs are not carnivores, but are actually omnivores. Despite this, dogs still require a lot of protein in order to get enough amino acids.

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How Much Crude Protein Should Be In Dog Food


Finding the best dog food for your beloved pet makes it essential for you to understand its overall nutrition content. Dogs, like humans, need a daily supply of essential nutrients to thrive and stay as healthy as possible. With that in mind, you must figure out which dog food in the market can give your dog the highest level of nutrition.

Check the label before buying, so you will get a clearer idea of its overall nutrition content. When checking the label, one thing you might see is crude protein. Once you see crude on the label, rest assured it does not necessarily mean the food is either vulgar or immature. Crude protein, as well as other nutrients with crude in them, like crude fiber and crude fat, indicates the specific amount of each nutrient present in the dog food. It does not talk about the quality.

Now the question is, how much crude protein should be in dog food? Everyone knows how important protein is in a dogs overall health, so you must figure out how much of this nutrient should be present in his food. Fortunately, this article is now around to shed some light on the topic.

What Percentage Of Protein Should Be In Dog Food

The average adult dogs diet should contain at least 18% protein on a dry matter basis. On the other hand, your puppys food should contain between 22.5% to 32% protein alongside other essential macronutrients. This is because puppies need a lot more protein to support their rapid muscle development and overall growth.

Without this protein intake, puppies are slow to grow and may struggle with skin lesions and a brittle coat. Pregnant and lactating dogs will also need this amount of protein to maintain their own bodies as well as to provide for their puppies.

Dogs who work or race will need more protein and fats to sustain their bodies. Your working dog needs more fat to increase its endurance, and more protein to reduce exercise-induced injuries. After vigorous exercise, a working dog should be fed within two hours to replenish its muscle stores, promoting endurance. Indeed, highly active breeds like the Border Collie may benefit from a diet containing 20% protein or more. Some premium working dog food ranges bump this amount up to 30% or more.

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How Often Should I Feed My Dog

The biological evolution of dogs as hunters has given them specialized digestive and gastrointestinal adaptations that allow them to ingest a large meal followed by up to days of not eating. However, for most pet dogs, feeding once or twice per day is recommended. Many dogs will benefit from eating equally divided meals two to three times per day. See the handout Feeding Times and Frequency for Your Dog for more information on feeding schedules and mealtimes.

Regardless of the feeding schedule you choose, avoid allowing your dog to exercise vigorously after consuming a large meal, especially if your dog eats its food rapidly. This will help minimize problems with bloat, intestinal obstruction, or other serious digestive disorders.

Be sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times.

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