Good nutrition for dogs: proteins

Good nutrition for dogs: proteins

Written by: Anastasia Spevakina
Protein is a structural component of all living things. Dogs require proteins for the basic functions of cells, including their regeneration and recovery, life support and the regulation of tissues, hormones and enzymes. Moreover, proteins will help your dog to maintain the water balance and provide the needed energy for training.

Proteins are divided into two categories: animal and vegetable origin. Animal proteins are more valuable for dogs, as they are easier to digest.

Lack of protein in the diet of dogs

If the dog’s diet doesn’t contain enough proteins, the body starts to use its own tissue proteins. And the problem is that the dog’s body will break down its own protein structure.

Dogs, which have a lack of protein, also have the delay in growth and development, low immunity and poor growth of claws and wool.

Excess of protein in the dog’s diet

Excess of protein can occur, when you overfeed the meat and meat products to your dog.

External signs of excess protein:

  • nervousness, aggression, excessive mobility;
  • constipation;
  • bald areas on the head, back and withers;
  • dogs eat a lot, but they are still too thin;
  • constant tears;
  • red watery lumps on the chin;
  • dogs gnaw toes and claws, wool between toes becomes reddish – brown color;
  • ears smell bad;
  • wool becomes rigid, fragile and dull.

When dogs have too much protein in their feeding, veterinarians usually prescribe a low protein diet.

Low-protein diet includes stewed vegetables (green beans, carrots, zucchini, cabbage), yogurt,  boiled rice in equal proportions and 150-200 grams of cooked chicken meat.

Protein requirements

Puppies need 28% of proteins in their diet, adult dogs – 18%, dogs for exhibitions –  25% and feeding dogs – 28%.

To pregnant and feeding dogs you can give food for puppies, as it contains required amount of protein. Sick and debilitated dogs also need increased protein amount in their diet.

How to decrypt the label on feedings

Choosing a fodder for your dog, you can use 2 ways. The first way is to buy fodder with good reputation and hope that it’s suitable for the dog. That’s exactly what most owners do. But if your dog has specific needs for protein or you want to find the best feeding for appropriate money, you have to check the fodder’s labels.

Checking the list of ingredients in the fodder, note their order, so that you will be able to determine digestibility of the product. Ingredients are usually listed by weight. If the first in the list is chicken or lamb, it is a good source of protein. Offals are not very good, but acceptable. If the list contains crops, they are used as carbohydrates, not proteins.

Some companies indicate meat and 3 different types of grains, hiding the fact that the main ingredient is corn, just in three different forms.

! Expensive fodders are not necessarily high-quality. Moreover, it’s almost impossible to find cheap feeding with good quality. It’s better to buy fodders above average prices.

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