Just like humans, a well-balanced diet is vital for a dog’s overall health and well-being; in fact, according to animal nutritionists and veterinarians, offering a high quality, nutritionally balanced dog food is one of the most important things that a pet parent can do for their canine companions. There are lots of nutrients that canines need to thrive, and protein is one of the most important.
Protein contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of strong, healthy bones; protein is also a source of energy. Offering your pet a protein-rich food will help to strengthen his bones and joints and can even prevent the development of joint health issues, like hip and elbow dysplasia; plus, protein fuels your pup’s energy levels – hence the reason why it’s so important.
How much protein should your furry friend be getting? It really depends on the breed, size, and life stage of your pet. For example, a puppies need more of this vital nutrient, as it helps to support the development of their bones and joints; in fact, vets often recommend high protein dog food for growing pooches. Older canines, on the other hand – especially those who have poor functioning kidneys – need significantly less protein. With that said, the general recommended protein amount for dogs is as follows:
- Puppies – 28 percent
- Adult dogs – 18 percent
- Highly active canines – 25 percent
- Nursing mothers – 28 percent
To find out exactly how much protein your pet should be eating, speak to your veterinarian. You want to make sure that your furry friend is getting the optimal amount; however, keep in mind that there is such a thing as too much protein. Eating too much protein can cause kidney problems and can be potentially deadly for dogs that are suffering from kidney issues.
Sources of Protein
After speaking with your vet to find out how much protein your dog should be eating, make sure that you are selecting the highest quality sources of protein possible. There are many reputable commercial dog food brands that pack great sources of pure animal protein in their formulas, such as Blue Buffalo dog food, Wellness dog food, Taste of the Wild dog food, and I and Love and You dog food. Make sure you read over the labels to find out what type of protein – and how much – a dog food contains before offering it to your pooch. Real animal proteins, such as turkey, salmon, bison, venison, chicken, and beef, should be listed as the first ingredient.
If you prefer to feed your pet human food, make sure that you are feeding him lean sources of protein, such as ground turkey, lean ground beef, and lean cuts of steak. You can also offer him non-meat sources of protein, such as eggs, cheese, and yogurt.
Protein is one of the most important nutrients a dog needs, so make sure that you are offering him optimal levels on a daily basis to ensure that he thrives.
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