Does your dog need a high protein diet?

High protein, purely meat-based food sounds like the most appropriate type of diet for dogs. It is understandable that we think this way, since we’ve been made to believe that dogs are closely-related to wolves, which are carnivores by nature.

However, veterinarians have recently warned that a high meat-based diet isn’t particularly ideal for your dog.

While it is true that protein is a very important nutrient that dogs need, pet owners need to understand that dogs can benefit more from a high-quality protein combination of meat and plant sources as part of a balanced diet than a meat-based one that is solely focused on high amounts of proteins.

Understanding proteins

Protein is one of the three macronutrients that your dog needs in his diet (the other two are carbohydrates and fats). Protein plays several roles that help keep your dog healthy and energetic:

  • Aids in creating and repairing cells
  • Serves as building blocks of the skin, muscles, cartilage, bones, and blood
  • Promotes growth and development
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Provides a good source of energy

As the proteins are digested by your pet’s body, they are broken down into basic components called amino acids.

For proteins to do their work, your dog needs a total of 22 amino acids. Dogs can synthesize half of these amino acids, while the other half can only be derived from the food they eat. And because dogs cannot store proteins in their body, amino acids must be continuously supplied in his every day diet.

Quality over quantity

Depending on your dog’s body size, age, and lifestyle, the amount of protein he needs may vary.

Giving high-protein food to your dog does not necessarily mean that his body gets all of it. Protein absorption depends entirely on how digestible your dog food is. To ensure the digestibility of your dog’s food, you will need to check the pet food’s main ingredients and the source of these ingredients. Your dog food must list the protein as first on its ingredients list.

Here’s a short summary on pet food digestibility.

Likewise, look for free-range protein sources that have been raised in stressed-free, clean environments like New Zealand, and are ideally free from harmful chemicals like growth hormones, steroids, and antibiotics.

Lastly, take note that proteins cooked in high temperatures become more difficult for dogs to digest, thus allowing them to absorb fewer proteins and nutrients. Choose a pet food brand that cooks pet food at temperatures that are high enough to kill all harmful bacteria, but low enough to keep the essential nutrients intact.

Variety is the key

When it comes to food, animals need variety the same way that we humans do. To be sure that your dog gets enough proteins and nutrients that his body needs, rotate a variety of dog food every few months. Allow him to experience different types of proteins and nutrients from other sources like fruits and vegetables.

Addiction Pet Foods provides pet owners with various choices of dog and cat food, including raw dehydrated food, dry kibbles, and dog treats. With over 10 different protein choices sourced from one of the cleanest places on Earth, New Zealand, Addiction Pet Foods can be your partner in nourishing your pet in every stage of life.

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