How Often Should I Feed My Dog
The biological evolution of dogs as hunters has given them specialized digestive and gastrointestinal adaptations that allow them to ingest a large meal followed by up to days of not eating. However, for most pet dogs, feeding once or twice per day is recommended. Many dogs will benefit from eating equally divided meals two to three times per day. See the handout Feeding Times and Frequency for Your Dog for more information on feeding schedules and mealtimes.
Regardless of the feeding schedule you choose, avoid allowing your dog to exercise vigorously after consuming a large meal, especially if your dog eats its food rapidly. This will help minimize problems with bloat, intestinal obstruction, or other serious digestive disorders.
Be sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times.
Your Dog Has Brittle Nails
Just like brittle hair, if your dog has brittle nails this is a strong sign that their diet is lacking in protein.
Nails need protein to grow and strong, healthy nails are a sign that there is enough protein in your dogs diet. Check your dogs nails on a regular basis and if they are brittle, diet is likely the problem.
Try using vitamin supplements as well to see if this improves the health of your dogs nails.
High Protein For Puppies
You can also feed puppies high protein diets as long as long as you are feeding a good puppy food or all life stage food. You do need to pay close attention to the calcium percentages when dealing with high protein foods and puppies.
The calcium percentage needs to be 2 percent or less for large breed puppies under six months of age. Large breed puppies, in particular, can grow very fast. They can be susceptible to skeletal and joint problems if they have too much calcium at a young age.
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How Much Protein Does My Pet Need
This simple question arise in every Dog owners mind. Protein is needed for all Dogs, but the amount of protein depends on the breed, size , life stage and activity level of your Doggy. If a proper protein dietary is not maintained your canine cant have lean muscles, they may even put on weight.
Puppies, pregnant and lactating doggies need more protein than adult Dogs.
Puppies generally need about 22 percent protein.
Average adult Dogs require about 18 percent of their calories to be from protein
As it is the growing age your puppy need extra care. You have to be very concerned about their diet, try to keep a balanced and complete diet. Now, when it comes to protein they need an extra dietary protein for their growth and development.Try to feed your puppy food formulated for puppies only.
Gestating and Lactating dogs
During pregnancy and nursing female Dogs needs high level of protein to grow new tissues and produce milk.
Active or Athlete Dog
This Dogs need more protein compared to other Canines.At a quicker pace exercising Dogs muscles build-up and breakdown, so they need high protein Dog food to maintain their lean muscles.
Once your Dog reaches their golden years, in order to maintain their perfect body condition, they need more protein in their diet. They need high level proteins.
What Should You Look For On The Label Of High
Remember, a label may say high-protein but theres a deeper method to the madnessand youll need to pay attention to the fine print. According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials , there are four classifications that labels must follow if they are to claim a certain percentage of protein. They are:
The 100% Rule:
Its just as it sounds. For example, to make the claim of all-chicken treats, the food must be just that, with trace amounts of water, coloring, or preservatives.
The 95% Rule:
A dog food can name it in its productBuffys Chicken Meals, for examplebut only if the ingredient named constitutes 95% of the product by weight, excluding water.
The 25% Rule:
When you see labels like Matties Lamb Entree or Poultry Platter for Puppies for example, where words like entreedinner or platter are present, that means the named ingredients must make up at least 25% of the product by weight, not including added water, and at least 10% of the total product by weight.
The With Rule:
Anytime you see with on a labelCountry Cowboy Meal with Chicken and Beefmeans each named ingredient, in this case, chicken and beef, constitute 3% of the total.
The Flavor Rule:
Whenever you see, for example, lamb-flavored dog food, that means one of the listed ingredients is providing the flavor.
Are High Pet Food Protein Levels Sustainable
During her presentation, Adolphe emphasized that, while protein is one of the main macronutrients needed by pets actually, the amino acids in protein ingredients are required by dogs and cats it is not an ideal source of energy, unlike the other two macronutrients, carbohydrates and fats. Excess protein is stored in the body as fat, so todays high-protein, dense pet foods could be contributing to rising pet obesity if pet owners overfeed them.
Or, excess protein or again, the amino acids in it is excreted as nitrogen, which can be harmful to the environment. Not to mention your lawn Shoveller commented during a presentation at the American Feed Industry Association conference in January 2018 that this extra nitrogen in dogs urine turns beautiful green grass to yellow.
Another sustainability issue with the high levels of protein in pet foods, many of which are from animal sources, is that our industry is competing with the human food industry for such protein sources. As the global population of people and pets continues to increase, along with rising incomes that allow more people to eat meat-based proteins and, often, also feed them to their pets, some of those proteins may become scarce. And producing more livestock animals can lead to additional environmental problems.
The Dangers Of High Protein Dog Foods
Choosing what to feed your dog can be an overwhelming decision. Pet food stores are packed with row after row of different brands of food all containing clever marketing slogans to convince you they are the best for your dog. Many of these dog foods boast about containing extremely high levels of protein that claim to satisfy your dogs instinctual need for meat as well as make them healthier and live longer.
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Digestion Aid: This is the most common advantage to a high fiber diet and the one that everyone is aware of. Fiber offers the regulation of digestion function through a variety of functions it can draw water into the intestine if your dog is constipated or draw water from the intestine if your canine has diarrhea. It also provides additional bulk to your dogs poop, ensuring smooth digestive function.
Improved Blood Sugar Levels: This is also linked to the next two points blood sugar levels are important for both weight and canine diabetes. Adding proper amounts of fiber into your dogs diet ensures their blood sugar stays within a healthy and consistent range, which helps fight obesity and avoid a diabetes diagnosis. The same applies to humans as well!
Weight Management: With obesity being a recognized problem with many domesticated dogs, ensuring your furry friend stays within a healthy weight range is very important. Fiber is a great addition to your dogs diet as it takes up room in their stomach and isn’t digested, meaning it stays in their system for longer periods. This ensures they won’t feel hungry, allowing them to feel full without adding calories.
Reduce the chance of diabetes: Fiber is suggested to be consumed by humans that are at a high risk of developing diabetes, and the same approach applies to dogs. As diabetes causes the malfunctioning of the pancreas, this means that insufficient amounts of insulin are created by the body.
Since Dogs Are Carnivores Doesnt This Mean That They Need To Eat A Diet That Is Meat Based
As a species, the dog is a member of the scientific order Carnivora, a large group of mammalian animals that share a similar tooth structure. The dietary needs of animals belonging to this order vary. Some members of this group have an absolute requirement for meat in their diet , while others can meet their nutrient requirements through eating plant material or a combination of meat and plants . Cats are an example of an obligate carnivore, cows are an example of an herbivore, and dogs and humans are two examples of omnivores.
Because of the dietary needs of dogs, both their tooth structure and intestinal tract have become adapted to an omnivorous diet. This means that, under normal circumstances, dogs can meet their nutritional needs by eating a combination of plant and animal foods. The source of the proteins and fats is less important than the quality and digestibility of these essential components of the dog’s diet. Dogs can thrive if they are fed a properly balanced vegetarian diet. However, an all-meat diet would be unbalanced and would not meet all of a dog’s nutritional requirements.
“Under normal circumstances, dogs can meet their nutritional needs by eating a combination of plant and animal foods.”
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Meat Zola: Using Dog Food Math To Unravel Protein Needs
- 5 min read
We are starting Zolas official Get Back to 100% training program, so we thought it would be prudent to determine if she has enough protein in her diet. Little did we know that we were taking on such a complex topic. There is a ton of information out there about high-protein diets, protein for athletes, protein for dogs, animal nutrition, dog food, and more. Wading through it to answer a few simple questions turned out to be a lot of work, heres what we learned .
Why focus on protein?
We made an assumption that because she was largely immobile for 3 months, she inevitably suffered muscle loss. It was an educated guess, but a good one. According to Michael OLeary, a doctoral student in Yorks School of Kinesiology and Health Science, a week of total muscular inactivity can cause 24 percent muscle loss. His research was on humans, but we suspect that something similar happens with dogs.
Our next assumption was in order to regain her muscle mass she required two things: 1) increased exercise and 2) the proper amount of protein in her diet. Right again. Studies show that a high protein diet, without exercise, won’t significantly build muscle. Training on a diet lacking in protein won’t either.
While we had a pretty good idea of how to set up an exercise program for our dog, determining her protein needs was completely foreign territory.
How much protein does this doggy need?
55 lbs * 2 grams = 50 grams of protein / day
Do canine athletes require extra protein?
What Does Protein Do
All dogs need a certain percentage of protein in their diets, and it is not possible to feed a very low or zero protein diet to your dog and expect them to thrive. Protein is one of the essential elements and building blocks of the healthy diet, and it helps to support good muscle tone, strong healthy bones, the appropriate body mass, and correct nerve function. It is also elemental in the regeneration of cells, and the proper healing of wounds.
If a dog does not get enough protein within their diet, they will find it very hard to maintain a healthy body weight, and will generally be rather thin and generally look in poor condition, with a lacklustre coat and various other obvious indications of malnutrition. However, exactly how much protein your dog ultimately needs to thrive will depend on factors such as their age, breeding, size, wellbeing and health, and how active they are. It is a good idea to talk to your vet about your dogs diet during their annual checkups, and find out your vets opinion on your dogs nutritional requirements and protein needs.
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Best Protein Sources For Dogs
Cooked eggs are highly digestible and packed with vital amino acids. They provide a good source of iron, vitamin A and several B vitamins, as well as high levels of essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, great for the skin.
Animal protein sources like chicken, lamb and pork all have similar levels of digestibility. Some plant-based sources provide a high-quality protein source. Soybean is the highest. Followed by rice, wheat and corn.
Dog Food Myth No : Dogs Dont Like Variety
Whatever dog food company first promoted this may have honestly thought so. Its true that dogs raised on a non-varied diet prefer to stay on it and dont accept new foods readily. But dogs raised on a varied diet prefer variety. From a nutritional standpoint, it makes sense for an animal to crave nutrients its current diet lacks.
While the Internet can be a great source of information, remember to use always look for trustworthy sources and seek scientific research backing up any claims your social media friends may be making before hitting that share button.
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Todays Dogs Are Not Wolves
Pet food brands and raw food advocates love to talk about a dogs primal hunting instincts as a way of justifying a need for high-protein dog food. The idea is that dogs have evolved from wolves and so they should eat a diet resembling what their wolf ancestors ate.
Its true that dogs did evolve from wolves and survived on meat diets hundreds of years ago. The same is not true of the present day. We are thousands of years into the future and todays dogs have evolved to process a range of food sources.
Dogs have lived alongside humans for over 10,000 years and in that time have become accustomed to eating our leftovers. This process helped their guts to evolve and cope with a range of different foods including grains.
Scientific research has been carried out looking into the genetic differences between dogs and wolves. A dogs digestive system is different to that of a wolf as dogs have genes that enable them able to digest carbohydrates whereas wolves did not.
The modern-day dog lives a very different lifestyle to its wolf ancestors. The wolf survived in harsh environments and spent days hunting for prey whereas pet dogs spend much of the day curled up on a nice warm sofa and are usually offered 2 meals a day.
Todays dog is a domesticated and sophisticated creature that can digest grains, vegetables, and fruit. In fact, they thrive on these ingredients and dont need to gnaw on endless bones and steaks.
Protein Fact #: There Is No Direct Link That Protein Contributes To Musculoskeletal Growth Disorders In Large Breed Dogs
Studies have shown that differences in protein intake with levels of 15%, 23% and 32% protein did not affect the occurrence of skeletal development in Great Danes. The bigger culprits that directly correlate with orthopedic problems in large breed puppies are excess calorie intake or increased calcium levels due to over-supplementation.
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Best Sources For Fiber
- Carrots: A common choice when it comes to ingredients full of fiber is carrots not only are they a high fiber and low-calorie vegetable, they are also packed with vitamins K, A, and B6 . They are a great choice as they offer more than just fiber, including positively benefiting heart health and helping with digestive issues.
- Apples: Apples are another low calorie, high fiber option for your furry friend. They are full of vitamins and have great overall health benefits for all types of dog breeds. Always remember to remove the core though, as apple seeds in large amounts can be quite toxic to dogs!
- Flaxseed: When you see flaxseed as an addition in dog food, it is usually milled . This is because when it is whole, its’ tough outer shell makes its fiber insoluble. Once it is milled, and the outer shell is removed, it becomes soluble dietary fiber. Flaxseed joins with different things, such as fat, cholesterol, and bile, which ensures your dog’s digestive system stays in top condition and they have continuing digestive health.
- Pumpkin: Another vegetable choice is some canned or steamed pumpkin pumpkin isnt just high in fiber, it is also low in calories and high in potassium. And, if you choose the canned variety, there is also an added level of ease when adding it to your dogs daily meal.
There are also oats, psyllium husk, barley, peaches, tomatoes the list goes on!
Protein Requirements In Senior Dogs
As a dog trainer, enthusiast and dog-mom, I try to keep up on the latest developments in canine behavior and health. In fact, Im a bit of a geek when it comes to researching the latest findings. So imagine my surprise when I learned that what I and so many others had believed about older dogs needing less protein in their diets is untrue.
One concern in feeding older dogs a high-protein diet has always been the potential effect on kidney function. It has long been believed that feeding a food with a lower protein content would protect the dogs aging kidneys by lessening the workload. Recent research, however, proves that the right type of protein does not damage the kidneys, and feeding a lower protein diet does not protect them. In fact, even senior dogs who only had one kidney and were fed a high protein diet outlived seniors who were fed a low protein diet. A similar finding was made regarding long-held concerns about high protein and liver disease. Some doubted the benefits of the low-protein diet for seniors long ago: back in 1994, in an article in Veterinary Forum , Dr. Delmar Finco stated that “benefits from a reduced protein diet typical of existing canine geriatric products have never been proven, and the possibility exists that reduced protein diets are not in the best interest of the geriatric patient.”
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