Protein seems to be a foggy issue when it comes to our pet’s diets. There are vegetarian dog food diets, and there are some diets that are heavily meat-based. So, what kind of protein does your dog need?
And how much protein should they have in their daily diet? Here are a few facts about your pet and protein, so you can make the best decision about your pet’s daily diet.
First of all, here is a thought of interest: felines are classified carnivores, and dogs are classified omnivores. This means that cats must have meat in their diet to survive, and dogs must have meat and vegetables in their diet to prosper. Because dogs are omnivores, they can survive on either plant or animal diets; however, for your pet to achieve their ultimate health, a combination of the two is necessary.
So what are some signs of a poor diet in dogs? Obesity or excess weight, dull or coarse coat, itchy or flaky skin, and low energy and sometimes low resistance to infection are often common signs of a poor diet. If your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, change their diet; if any symptoms still continue, take your pet to the vet immediately.
So, here is the key to your dog’s diet. Dogs thrive on meat-based diets. This means dog foods that are based in meat are healthier for your pet than those that are composed of primarily grains or only-meat diets that have no grains or vegetables. A balanced diet is the best diet for your pet.
Why are whole grain diets harmful for your pet? Grains such as corn, barley, wheat, oats and soybean meal primarily supply carbohydrates. While carbohydrates are good for your pet (and necessary), if grain is their primary source of food consumption, excess carbohydrate intake often leads to the storage of extra carbs, which simply turns into fat. If you then add protein to your pet’s diet, it takes the carbohydrates through the kidneys and out of the body! Basically, this creates instant weight loss. If you’re wondering about kidney damage to your pet…don’t. Dogs are specifically built to tolerate lots of protein in their diet, because they need it. Unless your dog is getting excess amount of protein in their diet, then their kidneys should remain safe from protein damage.
Also, if you have a young puppy or an elderly dog, an increase in protein in their diet can be beneficial to them. Puppies are rapidly growing into full-grown adult dogs. Therefore, they need protein to build their muscles, strength, and to simply grow like they are supposed to! Older dogs need higher levels of protein in their diet to help retain their muscle mass and to keep it strong.
So, what is in your pet’s diet? Is your pet demonstrating symptoms of a poor diet? Consider changing your pet’s diet if you are concerned. Though this article is a general guideline to dogs’ diets, conducting your own research is always helpful. Feel free to contact your vet or a pet nutritional specialist if you have any other concerns. Remember, an excellent diet makes for a happy dog!