Feeding High Protein Kibble
We are going to talk a bit about protein and try to keep it brief and to the point. Protein is the number one key body building block in the guaranteed analysis panel of your pet food label for a reason. As a key macro nutrient dietary protein is essential for the growth and maintenance of almost all tissues in your dog’s body. Protein supplies the amino acids necessary for the dog’s body to build hair, skin, muscles, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. Protein makes up the enzymes that drive all metabolic reactions, the hormones that act as the body’s chemical messengers and antibodies that comprise the immune system. It helps ensure a soft and shiny coat, lean strong muscles and a strong immune system. The quality of the protein fed to your dog also helps ensure a healthy appetite. We have selected the brands we carry at Wholesome Pet Essentials in great part because we have confidence in our manufacturers to deliver a quality protein product. However, within our walls we have products that vary widely in the crude protein level as well as the source. Rest well assured that the source of the protein we offer in our pet foods is appropriate for you dog and/or cat.
But what protein level does your dog need? An organization called AAFCO (Association of American Feed Controls Officials) determine the minimum requirements for nutritional adequacy and have said the adult maintenance minimum requirement is 18% Crude Protein (CP) for survival and 22.5% CP for dogs that are growing and reproducing. But we want dogs to thrive, not just survive so we frequently feed higher levels of crude protein from high quality sources. (AAFCO) does not define quality. We trust our companies to provide what is needed providing we match an appropriate food to your dog’s age, activity level and other factors. And we must remember that the dog’s actual protein requirement is in grams not percentages. So it is important you feed the proper amount of food! Most quality diets for the “typical” dog very from 22-28%. However, high protein offerings can increase to 30-37% or more. Why would you feed a high protein food?
*Senior dogs… tend to eat less
*Gestating and lactating dogs…. Need both high protein and high calorie diets
*Overweight dogs… research shows higher protein diets help dogs burn fat and calories and helps them feel satisfied longer. Of course, you must manage how much you feed and remember that 54% of dogs are considered obese!
*Performance dogs… muscular protein is built and broken down at a faster rate when exercising
Are there dogs that should not be fed a “high protein” diet? Of course. However, there are a few myths/facts to keep in mind:
- There is no direct link that protein contributes to musculoskeletal growth disorders in large breed dogs. Excess caloric intake is directly correlated with orthopedic problems.
- Higher protein diets promote superior weight loss and body condition maintenance.
- Older dogs benefit from high protein dog food with no risk to their kidney health as long as they are not already suffering from chronic kidney failure.
We will have more specifics on high protein foods as we move forward but we currently have 4 quality lines of “high protein foods” in kibble form for your consideration:
- Nulo Challenger
- NutriSource Element
- Natures Logic
These lines offer products from 30-40% crude protein and more than 80% of the protein in these diets come from quality animal origin! Options include complete grain free or inclusion of some ancient grains.
More on the individual products later along with some special offers on these premium high protein products.