How Much Protein Does Your Dog Need On a Daily Basis?

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Proteins are essential components in a dog’s diet. But too much of it can be a bad thing and the exact quantity of protein depends on a number of factors. Moreover, the protein source can vary from one dog food to another, with the

better quality diets

sourcing most of their protein from whole meat, while the inferior ones contain meat substitutes of plant matter rich in protein. So, how do you make sure that you get the balance right?

Average protein content in dog food

Since dogs are carnivorous, it is fair to assume that they need a higher percentage of protein. In reality, the protein content should be around 30 percent. You would be hard put to find a mainstream diet that contains more than 30 percent protein, and if you do see one on the shelves, don’t automatically assume that it is better. Some

specially formulated diets

contain less than 20 percent protein as these are meant for dogs that need low protein levels due to some health condition.

What role do proteins play in development?

Proteins help in supporting good muscle tone, formation of healthy bones, ensuring good nerve function and maintaining the appropriate body mass. They also play an elemental role in cell regeneration and wound healing. If your dog does not get enough protein, he will find it very difficult to maintain the right body weight. The most obvious indications of malnutrition include a thin body and a lackluster coat. However, the exact amount of protein he needs depends on various factors like breeding, age, size, health, wellbeing and the amount of activity he gets on a daily basis.

Are all forms of protein good?

Make sure that the ingredient header in the pet food is beef, chicken, fish or lamb, instead of meat by-products. The labels don’t always give you a percentage breakdown of all the ingredients, but the ingredients are usually listed in the descending order by weight, and the meat product must be at the top. Soya, meat by-products, corn and wheat don’t provide good quality protein. So, make sure that you steer clear of these.

Does your dog need more protein?

Puppies need more protein to support development and growth. Pregnant and nursing dogs also need more protein as do dogs that are very active, get lots of exercise, or take part in competitive sports.

Does your dog need a low protein diet?

The older your dog gets, the less active he becomes. Senior dogs usually need a low protein diet. Certain health conditions are also indicators of a low protein diet, especially diabetes, and kidney or liver impairment. Make sure you talk to the vet before you make changes to the diet.

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