With the protein in dogs foods varying from 18% to 30%, do you know how much protein your dog should actually get? Is too much protein bad or does your fur baby need more? How do you tell?
Besides asking your Vet it is always good to do the research and find out for yourself. Here is some more information to get you started so you can make the best decision when feeding your dog:
Protein is a nutrient that provides four calories of energy per gram. It’s a building block for muscles, organs, bones and connective tissue. It makes up blood cells, antibodies, hair and enzymes. The body that oversees pet nutrition, the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), requires that all dog foods have a minimum of 18 percent protein in adult dog food and 22 percent protein in puppy food when all water is removed from the food. But is this what your dog needs? The answer is, it depends.
Active dogs (sled dogs, police dogs, field or hunting dogs, herding dogs) need more protein. These super fit dogs are physically working for several hours each day. They usually require 25 percent or more protein in their diet to build muscle and repair injuries. Puppies too, need higher protein because they’re growing.
But isn’t too much protein bad for a dog? Again, it depends. Thousands of sled dogs are routinely fed high-protein diets without a problem, but these dogs metabolize all that protein in their work. They’re lean and healthy and lead long lives; sometimes 15 years and older. When considering your dog’s protein needs, consider his physical condition and activity level.
Too much protein can be hard for older dogs with Kidney problems but if their kidney’s are healthy then they may actually need more to counter the loss of muscle mass that comes with aging. Again this is also based off of the amount of activity they get in their daily lives. If you are still not 100% sure how much protein is best for your specific dog, always talk to a vet before making any uncertain changes to your dogs diet.
Can you share your opinion on protein with our readers to get them pointed in the right direction before making this decision for their pup?