Protein for dogs, in their diet, is essential for optimal health…
Why are proteins necessary for dogs?
- the body needs protein to function
- protein is necessary for all growth, maintenance and repair of the body’s cells
- muscles, organs and tissues comprise protein
- it is important for digestion
- essential for regulating metabolism
- maintains healthy skin, hair and nails
- transports oxygen, vitamins and nutrients around the body in the blood
- essential in the production of antibodies that fight disease
Why do dogs need protein in particular?
Protein is the main category of food that is consumed by wolves in the wild and our domestic dogs only differ, by a mere 2%, genetically, from their wild ancestors; their digestive systems are just the same.
In the wild a wolf will mainly live off the prey they have caught. From this, they will eat various parts including muscle meat, organ meat (kidney, heart, liver etc) and the stomach. In eating the stomach, the contents are also consumed, which can include semi-digested grains and vegetation…
So, with that in mind, would it not make sense that to thrive, a domesticated dog’s food should simulate, as much as possible, the natural diet?
The answer is, of course – yes!
However, the majority of commercial dog food today falls way short of providing your dog with the essential health foundation of protein that he or she will need in order to thrive. And I mean ‘thrive’ not just ‘survive’…
But what if my dog food says it meets the minimum required amount of protein?
You must be aware that the minimum amount of protein that must be in commercial dog food is ONLY 9% of the entire food! As long as the food meets this standard, then they can claim it is ‘balanced’ and meets all requirements…
But those requirements are not ‘to keep your dog healthy’, those requirements are only a legal obligation, and in many cases, the companies do not have any interest in depleting their profits any more than they have to – so will provide the minimum, or only just above it.
This is not enough – as I have mentioned above, protein for dogs is essential, and in LARGE amounts. This should equate to at least 70-80% of their diet.
What exactly is a good source of protein for dogs?
Good quality protein for dogs can be found from many sources, including:
- chicken breast
- turkey thigh
- beef steak
- lamb steak
- calf or lamb liver
- chicken, lamb or calf kidney
- salmon fillet
- cottage cheese
As well as low protein levels, a lot of commercial dog food has LOW QUALITY protein which comes from undesirable sources such as soy, wheat and corn. These are all extremely hard for your dog to digest and provide no nutritional value.
Why do they use these forms of protein? Quite simply…because it’s cheaper.
If you feed your dog commercial dog food, then please look at the label – for more help deciphering it, you can visit my posting here
Make sure your dog is getting a good quality protein, as without it, your dog could be facing the future with a multitude of health problems such as cancer, diabetes, allergies, heart failure and even death at an early age, as the body wears out from lack of proper nutrition.
Keep your dog safe and healthy by making the right choices
To your dogs health!
By Michelle Liew