There are certain questions most dog parents have grappled with at some point: how do we ensure we’re feeding our dog a high-protein diet, for instance? What exactly are the dietary requirements for a growing puppy? And what protein works best for them?
The answers to these questions vary from case to case. The size of a dog, its age, and even how much energy it expends in a day can greatly impact how much protein it needs. Some online calculators can help you determine the ideal nutrition levels for your dog’s diet.
But before you go balancing ingredients, you’ll need some of these tips to choose the best protein for dogs and the benefits that come with it.
Let’s start by making an important differentiation.
Good Protein vs. Bad Protein
Not all protein is good for dogs. Even though it’s an essential part of their diet, the source of the protein has a huge impact on their health. Meat products provide the best protein for dogs. Proteins found in plant sources like beans aren’t too bad, either.
High-protein dog foods should have labels that list a meat or plant source as the primary ingredient.
However, the problem is proteins from by-products and fillers, such as wheat and soy. These should never be the primary source of nutrients in dog food, as they aren’t as good as those from whole fresh meats.
High protein dog foods should have labels that list a meat or plant source as the primary ingredient.
Benefits of Good Protein
Now that the distinction between good and bad proteins is clear, we should understand some of the benefits that good protein provides:
Proteins are the building blocks of muscle. Feeding your dog a high protein diet is one of the best ways to build and maintain muscle growth and keep your dog active at all times.
It’s also important for aging dogs to get the right amount of amino acids in their diet to maintain their muscle composition.
A shiny coat is one of the clearest signs that your dog is healthy and happy. High-protein puppy food contains plenty of amino acids and essential fats, such as omega 3 and omega 6, that can keep your dog’s skin and coat in perfect condition.
Dogs, like humans, are always at risk of falling ill. Even the most innocuous diseases can be very dangerous to dogs, so it’s important to make sure that their immune systems are strong.
While there are several benefits to a high protein diet, don’t substitute all the ingredients in your dog food for protein just yet.
Have you noticed that some dogs are more active than others? When your dog exercises, its muscles build and break down muscle protein much faster. Opting for high protein dog foods can give your dog the fuel to stay active and energetic.
More Lean Mass
It’s a known fact that protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates. A diet that’s high in protein will help your dog feel full for longer periods without the need for too much fat. This can help with weight management.
Don’t Overdo It!
While there are many benefits to a high protein diet, don’t substitute all the ingredients in your dog food for protein just yet. As mentioned earlier, not all forms of protein are good for dogs. At the same time, some risks are associated with feeding your dog too much good protein.
So, what happens when a dog has too much protein? Considering the amount of water it takes to break down excess protein, there’s a significant risk of dehydration associated with a high-protein diet.
Too much protein could also cause kidney issues, digestive issues (especially in smaller dogs), and excessive weight gain (when your dog doesn’t get enough exercise). Some experts also say too much protein can lead to anxiety, aggression, restlessness, light sleep, and depression.
The amount of protein your dog can handle depends on size and age, so finding the right balance is crucial. For instance, a Great Dane will always need more protein than a little chihuahua.
Some dog food companies, such as Wild Earth dog food, can help you calculate precisely how much protein your dog needs based on these factors. Is Wild Earth dog food good? Read the trusted reviews, or learn more about the product’s benefits.
There are many benefits to putting your dog on a high-protein diet. However, it’s essential to check with a veterinarian before significantly changing what you feed your dog. Overdoing the amount of protein can be as harmful as picking the wrong protein.
When you find the perfect balance, you can improve your dog’s strength and overall health.