There is a misconception that a high protein diet could be bad for dogs and a major factor in liver and kidney disorders in dogs. Some even believe that it causes hyperactivity!
Firstly, there’s no scientific evidence to prove a direct correlation between renal illness and protein packed diets, nor that it causes hyperactivity!
What it comes down to, is the quality of the protein in the food.
To take you back to biology class, proteins are processed through the liver and then the waste is filtered and excreted through the kidneys.
- Plant protein diets or diets with poor quality protein are hard on your pet’s liver and kidneys as they have to work far harder to get any goodness out of what are just cheap fillers – for example; wheat, corn, cereals or rice.
- Protein sources with high biological value, on the other hand, produce fewer waste products and so put little stress on the liver and kidneys. They are in fact much better, healthier choices.
Our recipes contain freshly prepared meats that are gently cooked at 90 degrees Celsius.
This gentle cooking process protects the nutrients, therefore, allowing the dog to have optimal nutrient bioavailability. Gently cooking the food means nutrients, such as proteins, stay intact rather than them being denatured when subject to extremely high cooking temperatures.
In turn, this means more proteins are readily available and can be easily digested resulting in less waste.
Why is protein important?
Protein is needed for many reasons. To form new skin cells, grow hair, to build and repair muscle tissue and to assist in creating hormones and enzymes that are needed for functions within the body.
Plus, it also provides energy and ensures the immune system stays strong.
Dogs cannot store protein like they can with fat and other nutrients. Subsequently, it must be supplied in their daily diet.
The level of protein needed by your dog can vary, especially depending on their age. Puppies, for example, require a high protein diet to meet their body’s demands during growth and development.
Always check the label
The best advice is to always check the label.
Some dry foods don’t always mention the type of plant protein in their food as they buy whatever is cheapest at the time of manufacture!
And with meat being an expensive ingredient, many lower grade dog foods cut costs by substituting meat with cheaper protein sources like soya meal, maize gluten, potato protein and vegetable protein.
And, as mentioned above these are harder for the dog’s body to digest and use and have a higher chance of causing dietary intolerance.
Traditionally, most adult dry foods have contained 20-30% protein (about 5-8% in wet foods).
As long as it comes from good, animal sources, dogs are more than capable of handling high amounts of protein. As with most things, quality is much more important than quantity.
If you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s diet, talk to your vet in the first instance.