How Important Is Protein For Dogs
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.
The With And Flavor Rules
Foods with labels that include the word with are required to be made up of only 3 percent of the named ingredient. For example, Fluffys Delicious Dinner with Chicken needs to contain only 3 percent chicken in the ingredients. A food labeled Fluffys Delicious Dinner with Chicken and Rice needs to consist of 3 percent chicken and 3 percent rice.
Foods that say they contain a specific flavor do not need to contain much of the flavor ingredient at all. AAFCO requires that a listed ingredient provides the flavor and the flavor descriptor is printed in the same font and as conspicuously as the name of the designated flavor. This essentially means that a Beef Flavored Dog Food needs to contain something like beef fat and one other ingredient that provides beef flavor.
Once again, choosing the right dog food can prove to be quite draining. With hundreds-to-thousands of options available, it can be overwhelming just deciding what several foods you want to try with your dog. Although this article discusses the rules that apply to protein in dog food, the same rules actually apply to ingredients across the board for AAFCO. So if youre looking for high protein, high fat, or high carbohydrates, you can use these guidelines to narrow down your search. And, of course, consult your veterinarian if you have any questions.
Meat Zola: Using Dog Food Math To Unravel Protein Needs
- 5 min read
We are starting Zolas official Get Back to 100% training program, so we thought it would be prudent to determine if she has enough protein in her diet. Little did we know that we were taking on such a complex topic. There is a ton of information out there about high-protein diets, protein for athletes, protein for dogs, animal nutrition, dog food, and more. Wading through it to answer a few simple questions turned out to be a lot of work, heres what we learned .
Why focus on protein?
We made an assumption that because she was largely immobile for 3 months, she inevitably suffered muscle loss. It was an educated guess, but a good one. According to Michael OLeary, a doctoral student in Yorks School of Kinesiology and Health Science, a week of total muscular inactivity can cause 24 percent muscle loss. His research was on humans, but we suspect that something similar happens with dogs.
Our next assumption was in order to regain her muscle mass she required two things: 1) increased exercise and 2) the proper amount of protein in her diet. Right again. Studies show that a high protein diet, without exercise, won’t significantly build muscle. Training on a diet lacking in protein won’t either.
While we had a pretty good idea of how to set up an exercise program for our dog, determining her protein needs was completely foreign territory.
How much protein does this doggy need?
55 lbs * 2 grams = 50 grams of protein / day
Do canine athletes require extra protein?
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Best Protein Sources For Dogs
Cooked eggs are highly digestible and packed with vital amino acids. They provide a good source of iron, vitamin A and several B vitamins, as well as high levels of essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, great for the skin.
Animal protein sources like chicken, lamb and pork all have similar levels of digestibility. Some plant-based sources provide a high-quality protein source. Soybean is the highest. Followed by rice, wheat and corn.
Diamond Care Adult Weight Management Formula
Diamond CARE Adult Weight Management Formula has a high fiber content with the crude fiber content of not more than 10%.
It also has an average protein quantity for dogs who would not benefit from a high protein diet.
Diamond Care Adult Weight Management is a perfect choice for those looking for a grain-free hypoallergenic recipe.
The primary high fiber ingredients include sweet potatoes, powdered cellulose, flaxseed, kale, chia seeds, pumpkin, blueberries, kelp, and spinach.
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Merrick Whole Earth Farms Fit For All Breeds
First Five Ingredients:
Merrick Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Canned Dog Food is an excellent choice for a puppy who is just starting to wean or elderly dogs with sensitive stomachs. It contains beef as its first ingredients and the primary nutrient source.
This formula is grain-free, and it doesnt contain soy, wheat, corn or artificial flavors, preservatives and colors. Those are excellent news for pet owners worried about their canines allergies or his grain intake. Thanks to the vegetables and fruits that are featured in this formula, your dog will be provided with the essential nutrients he needs.
Overall, you cannot go wrong with this fantastic dog food. It contains natural ingredients that provide well-balanced nutrition at an affordable price.
Quantity Of Protein In Dog Food Faq
Have any questions about the percentage of protein in dog food? Feel free to browse our Frequently Asked Questions for more information. If in doubt about your dogs diet, always ask your veterinary nutritionist for advice!
What can happen to my dog if he takes in too much protein?
Protein is dense in calories, and as such, many high-protein dog foods are high in calories. This can lead to weight gain if your dog is not active or working, which goes on to cause obesity. Eating too much protein repeatedly can also strain the kidneys, leading to problems with dehydration.Your vet will work with you to choose the best food for your dog whilst treating liver disease. You may notice that your dogs food is lower in protein, but that its digestibility and quality are much higher. This is because the body needs enough protein to support liver healing. At the same time, excessive protein metabolic waste must be avoided. Through protein metabolism, nitrogenous wastes are produced these are ammonia, urea, uric acid, and creatinine. Because the liver is damaged, these waste products cannot be removed effectively from your dogs body. These waste products eventually travel to the brain, where they cause swelling and go on to affect the nervous system.
What are the negative effects of too little protein?Apart from protein, what other macros does my dog need and how much?What are the best sources of protein apart from dog food?
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Active And Working Dogs
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Dogs that are actively exercised for several hours a day naturally burn a huge amount of calories, and their diet needs to represent this. There is a wide choice of working dog foods available, the majority of which are cheap, low grade feeds that, instead of providing extra energy, rely on the owner feeding a lot more to get enough calories in to the dog. There are exceptions, however, but since the best source of calories for dogs is meat, and since meat is expensive, good quality, working dog foods can be fairly expensive. Take a look at our our Dog Food Directory and filter for working dog foods to see what options are available.
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Choose Alpha The Food Of Champions
Here at Alpha, we have a highly dedicated and skilled team of people who care about the quality of the products they make and the service that they provide. Alpha products are now more in demand than ever, with scientifically formulated recipes to suit all breeds.
Your animals health and vitality is our passion and we are committed to providing exceptional service and outstanding value.
Nutritional excellence is at the heart of everything we do and we expect your pet to thrive on our food, as much as we thrive on making it.
From our range, Alpha Worker Maintenance has the lowest percentage of protein, at 19%, as its a maintenance diet, so its ideal for dogs in off season, or for those who are retired.
For those busy working dogs however, Alpha High Performance has 32% protein, to ensure they can maintain their activity levels all day long. Most of our Dog food averages at 25% protein, offering your dog a quality feed that will keep them working for longer please visit our website to view our full range.
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What Is Crude Protein
Crude Protein is a mixture of protein molecules that are already divided into smaller units called peptides. The most common source of crude protein is a protein that is produced by the animals fed.
Crude protein molecules are usually released when the animals digest carbohydrates, lipids and fats.
In dogs, proteins are broken down into different amino acids. Most of the dogs amino acids come from animal sources, but the average dog will also eat other protein sources, such as milk, eggs, beans and nuts.
Dog Food: Why Looking At Protein Percentages Alone Doesnt Tell You Much
Every day I get many questions about protein in dog food. In the majority of these messages people cite various protein percentages. 40% in a kibble must surely be dangerously high for a pet who doesnt work very hard, even a piece of fresh meat like for example a steak only has about 20% protein! But then theres canned food, and if it only has 8% protein, its not going to give the dog enough to stay healthy!
Where to begin? First things first: stop comparing apples and oranges. You cant fairly compare different types of foods that have entirely different moisture contents. Percentages are always relative, and the main factor interfering with correct comparison is the amount of moisture diluting the solid components of a food.
Dry kibble is highly processed and very concentrated, with a low moisture content of typically around 8-10% and a solid portion of 90-92%. In some ways this is an advantage, since because its so dry kibble has a long shelf life and you get a lot of product in a relatively small package. The disadvantage is that its unnaturally low moisture content requires that the dog compensates sufficiently by drinking extra water , and the concentrated, nutrient dense product makes for disproportionately small feeding portions, often causing owners to overfeed.
Lets have a closer look at the nutritional composition:
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Homemade Dog Food Sources
- Meats: chicken, turkey, beef, bison, pork, lamb, venison
- Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, thawed frozen peas
- Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, lentils, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, winter squash
Recommended Serving Amounts
- 2 pounds of food per day for a 100-pound dog
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of food per day for a 50-pound dog
- 1/2 to 3/4 pound of food per day for a 25-pound dog
- 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of food per day for a 10-pound dog
This information is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Every dog’s dietary needs are different. Please consult with your veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your own dog’s diet.
Choosing The Best Protein For Your Dog
You already know that protein is essential for your dog wellbeing. But thats not enough do you know what kind of protein works best with your pooch and how much protein you should feed him? Lets break down all of these questions and take a good look at choosing the right protein for you dog.
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Raw Boost Best For Senior Dogs
First Five Ingredients:
This boosted nutrition, the high animal protein includes bites of freeze-dried raw meat. The formula is specially made for senior dogs to increase their immune system and energy level. The first ingredient is real chicken which is used as the primary nutrient source.
The recipe includes all the nutrients an older canine needs for lean and strong muscles. Also, it contains natural DHA that is excellent for eye and brain health, plus guaranteed levels of phosphorus and calcium for strong bones and teeth. Naturally occurring chondroitin and glucosamine support joints and hips, and L-Carnitine supports a healthy metabolism.
We need to mention that this recipe doesnt contain artificial preservatives or colors, no by-product meal, soy, wheat, corn, potato, or grain. You will not regret purchasing this fantastic product.
Tuffys Nutri Source Weight Management Chicken Formula
Nutri Source Weight Management with grains is the food we feed Ginger in the winter because she is less active.
Nutri Source Weight Management has a very high crude fiber content of 16.2%.
The fiber in this recipe comes from grains, beet pulp, and flaxseed. Plus, this formula contains several probiotics, chondroitin, and glucosamine.
Though this food does not contain many fruit and vegetables, we add those as toppers and treats.
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Find Puppy Food With Dha
Make sure the ingredients include DHA . The long-chain omega-3 fatty acid is probably one of the most critical ingredients Dr. Perea looks for in a diet for puppies. Its important for brain and retinal development.
DHA is best found in marine sources such as fish or fish oil. The pet food can or bag may brag that the food includes DHA. Its a fairly popular supplement for pregnant women, baby formulas and baby foods.
A study by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A& M University, published in 2006 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, found DHA may improve memory or learning in young dogs. Puppies were also found to have improved neurological development if their mothers ate DHA-enriched foods during pregnancy and the pups weaning.
Additional studies looking at trainability found that pups who ate foods higher in DHA performed better when going through a maze.
Transitioning To Homemade Dog Food
Most dogs dont have a problem making the switch to homemade food. If yours is prone to digestive issues, start slowly by mixing a little bit of the homemade food with the commercial food.
Over the course of a week or two, gradually increase the amount of homemade food while decreasing the commercial food.
If your dog vomits or has diarrhea, try introducing only a couple of new ingredients at a time until their systems are well adjusted to the fresh diet.
For dogs with health issues, please consult with a veterinarian if you arent sure what kind of supplements are needed. Use your best judgment, the way you would when feeding yourself or your family.
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What Does The Meat Content In Dog Food Actually Refer To
Did you know that there is no scientific definition for the term meat content? Because of this, packaging can contain widely differing information. How has this come about? A decisive factor in describing the percentage of meat content is, in addition to the basic amount , is whether fresh meat or dried raw ingredients are used. Fresh meat and offal contain on average 70% water. In the heating process during the production of dried meat, most of the water is extracted. Around 30% dried meat remains. This can be transported and stored using more environmentally friendly and more sustainable methods. Fresh meat is processed without the preceding drying process. The water content in the meat is only extracted during the production processes for dehydrated food. A reputable statement on foodstuffs will define the meat content as the proportion of animal protein in relation to the total protein in the dog food.
How Much Meat Does My Dog Actually Need
Dogs need meat! youve probably heard other dog owners say. It is true that dogs are descended from wolves, and that wolves mainly eat meat. But it is also true that todays domestic dogs are quite different to wolves. This is because wolves have developed into dogs over many tens of thousands of years, and in that time their systems have adjusted to different conditions and needs. This is particularly true with respect to energy requirements, where the lives of most dogs today are very different to that of their common ancestors. Your dog probably doesnt have to cover 50 km every day to patrol its territory or hunt its prey. A typical domestic dog will rarely run more than seven or eight km daily. For that reason, your dog will generally need a moderate energy supply with less fat and more protein. Most importantly, they need a balanced ratio of meat, carbohydrates and fibre.
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Since Dogs Are Carnivores Doesnt This Mean That They Need To Eat A Diet That Is Meat Based
As a species, the dog is a member of the scientific order Carnivora, a large group of mammalian animals that share a similar tooth structure. The dietary needs of animals belonging to this order vary. Some members of this group have an absolute requirement for meat in their diet , while others can meet their nutrient requirements through eating plant material or a combination of meat and plants . Cats are an example of an obligate carnivore, cows are an example of an herbivore, and dogs and humans are two examples of omnivores.
Because of the dietary needs of dogs, both their tooth structure and intestinal tract have become adapted to an omnivorous diet. This means that, under normal circumstances, dogs can meet their nutritional needs by eating a combination of plant and animal foods. The source of the proteins and fats is less important than the quality and digestibility of these essential components of the dog’s diet. Dogs can thrive if they are fed a properly balanced vegetarian diet. However, an all-meat diet would be unbalanced and would not meet all of a dog’s nutritional requirements.
“Under normal circumstances, dogs can meet their nutritional needs by eating a combination of plant and animal foods.”