There is a lot of misconceptions concerning protein and dogs. So let’s start with the basics and learn exactly what protein is and what foods contain the necessary proteins for a healthy dog’s diet.
A common concern for dog owners who are feeding a home prepared diet is whether or not it is ‘complete’. People worry that it won’t be nutritionally balanced and that their dog will miss essential nutrients that can only be found in commercial dog food.
Protein is found in most foods, including carbohydrates. But dogs are carnivores and the best source of protein for them is found in animal products. This would include meat (pork, beef, poultry, lamb, rabbit, fish, dairy and eggs, just to mention a few). Animal based proteins contain a complete amino acid profile needed by carnivores. Plant based proteins are missing important amino acids, including taurine and carnitine. Both of these are important for heart and organ health.
The anatomy and digestive process of dogs are designed to most easily digest animal fat and protein. Dogs perform best on animal based products. Studies have shown you cannot feed a dog too much protein.
Some health conditions may call for changes in the diet for your dog. While there are many commercial prescription diets for some health conditions, you can prepare fresh food diets at home. A fresh food diet can provide a variety of foods that can be helpful in insuring the best nutrition and help keep the fussiest dog’s appetite up so he will continue eating.
Protein in the Diet By Lew Olson • November 2005 Newsletter This month is covering the third session of the Nutrition Course. Protein is an important topic, as protein is needed for organ integrity, skin and coat, the immune system and energy. We will cover what foods contain protein, what protein consists of and what … Read more
By Lew Olson • January 2004 Newsletter The issue of protein in puppies and growing dogs has become very controversial and various sources often give conflicting advice. Protein is often blamed for many orthopedic problems in growing puppies, including hip and elbow dysplasia, OCD and Panosteitis. As a result of excessive protein being blamed for … Read more
Proteins, Kidneys and Senior Dogs By Lew Olson • April 2003 Newsletter There seems to be a lot of confusion on the topic of protein amounts for dogs and the effects it has on kidney function. Several years ago, the common rule of thumb was to reduce the amount of protein in senior dogs and … Read more