Understanding How Much Protein is in Dog Food
Most pet owners are aware of the importance of a balanced diet for their four-legged friend, but may be a bit unsure about just how much protein is in dog food. Protein is an essential nutrient for sustaining a healthy canine body and should play an important role in their nutrition plan. Here are the answers to how much protein is in dog food that will help you make the right choice for your pup.
What is Protein?
Protein is a macronutrient found in most foods, and it helps to build and maintain strong muscles. As you may expect, proteins tend to be higher in meats and animal products than in plant-based foods. For dogs, protein is an indispensable building block for many vital body functions, including creating and maintaining cells, healthy skin and coat, and muscle mass.
Know Your Dog’s Needs for Protein
The amount of protein your pup needs depends on their life stage and lifestyle. For example, puppies and active dogs need more protein than less active or senior dogs. Generally, active adult dogs should get 18% to 25% of their daily calories from animal-based proteins and puppies need up 22% to 32%.
Read the Label to Calculate Protein in Dog Food
Dry dog food usually offers the most protein but you need to do your research and read the labels to learn the specifics of all the kibbles and canned food you’re considering. Ingredients are usually listed in order of concentration, with the first item being the most concentrated. If the first ingredient is a type of meat, grain, fish, or other protein source, this likely means the food contains more protein than other options.
Types of Protein Sources
You can also look for food that contains a variety of protein sources. Here are a few examples of popular canine proteins:
- Beef: Beef is considered an excellent source of protein for canines because of its rich flavor and high-quality protein. It is a great choice for active dogs and those in need of additional energy.
- Lamb: Lamb is another great choice that is rich in protein as well as certain vitamins and minerals. It is especially suited to adult and senior dogs that require fewer calories and lower fat levels.
- Chicken: Chicken is a good source of protein for your pup that is usually easy to digest. However, some dogs may be allergic to poultry, so watch your pup for any signs of an allergic reaction if you switch foods.
- Fish: Fish is a good option for pups that need additional omega-3 fatty acids. This extra component will help to keep their coats shiny and healthy. However, some fish are higher in heavy metals, so check the label for contaminant levels.
- Pork: Pork can be a great source of calorie-rich protein and is especially suited to bigger-breed dogs. Certain cut of pork, such as bacon, may be too fatty for some pups, so check the label and speak to your vet.
- Eggs and other proteins: Eggs are another excellent source of protein that can easily be added to a pup’s diet. Dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, are also a good choice, but some dogs can be lactose intolerant. Plant-based proteins, such as peas, can also supplement their diet.
Nutrition is Key to a Healthy Canine
Knowing how much protein is in dog food can go a long way in providing your four-legged friend with a balanced diet. High-quality pet food can provide your pup with the essential proteins and other essential nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. Reading the label is the best way to ensure your pup is getting the protein they need.
Thank you for reading this article. If you have any questions about what your pup needs, please contact your vet.