When Is A Dog Considered A Senior
Not all dogs get grey hair around their muzzles. In fact, many are as playful as a puppy for their entire lives.
You may have noticed that small dogs seem to age more slowly than large dogs. Its true. A small dog can live to be as old as 20 years. But a large dog can reach maturity much sooner.
So, how do you know when your dog has entered her golden years?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association2
small dogs are generally considered senior at 7 years of age. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans and are often considered senior when they are 5 to 6 years of age.
Of course, all dogs are different. A healthy diet, regular exercise and good dental care can help extend your dogs middle age phase.
Things To Look For When Picking A Good Dog Food
Although we primarily looked at the protein content when putting together our recommendations below, we also considered a number of other important factors. In fact, you should always look for foods that have a couple of key features.
Specifically, youll want to look for foods that:
- Are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help support skin health and keep your dogs coat shiny. They also help reduce joint inflammation and promote proper brain development in puppies. Typically, omega-3 fatty acids derived from animal-based products are preferable to those derived from plants.
- Contain probiotics. Probiotics help to promote proper digestion and elimination habits, and theyre often helpful in easing your dogs transition from his old food to his new one.
- Are made without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. All of these items are unnecessary and potentially problematic: Foods made with high-quality ingredients taste good without artificial flavors, your dog doesnt care what color his food is, and natural preservatives can be used in lieu of artificial ones.
- Are made in a country with high quality and safety standards. This typically means sticking to foods manufactured in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Western Europe.
Transition: Before You Switch To A High
Before you put your dog on a high protein diet, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.
As each dog is different, they have different nutritional needs, and your vet will be able to advise on the best food for your dogs specific activity level and health.
Before you make the transition to a high protein diet, remember that these dog foods are going to be more expensive than regular kibble.
Because of the higher meat content and fewer carbs and vegetables, it makes sense that a high protein diet is on the pricey side.
Once youre ready to purchase high-protein dog food, be selective in your choice. Opt for a brand that uses high-quality ingredients that will provide the best nutrition for your pet.
There are a variety of dog food brands that we havent mentioned above that also offer excellent high protein dry and wet dog foods, such as Diamond Naturals, Orijen, Holistic and more.
Do you feed your pooch high-protein dog food? We would love to know more about which brand you use and if your pup loves it in the comments below.
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What Makes A Dog Food High
AAFCO has published guidelines for low fat or low-calorie diets, but they dont discuss high protein food. On the other hand, they have also published nutrient requirements for dogs. These state that reproductively active female pets and puppies require foods that have at least 22.5 percent protein while the adult canine food should include at least 18 percent.
Foods high in protein and low in fat makes your pets meal great with high level of nutrients. It will have at least 30 percent of this nutrient in its recipe. So, always check the label before you choose your pets meal, because not all food has a high protein level.
Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Herring Meal, 2. Peas, 3. Canola Oil , 4. Pea Protein, 5. Tapioca
Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-free is a good option for underweight dogs that prefer seafood over poultry and red meat. This grain-free formula is high in protein and is made from herring meal, which makes it perfect for sensitive tummies.
Aside from fish protein, this formula is also rich in vegetable-based proteins from sources such as peas. Not to mention, this is indeed a holistic formula that contains compounds such as L-carnitine and glucosamine. So, with this one, you can rest assured that youre feeding your pet a complete meal that will take care of its nose to tail health.
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Protein For Dogs #: Venison
If you’re a hunter, you might be able to provide your dog with some fresh venison.
Venisons are a type of meat made from the flesh of animals such as deer and elk. Due to its leaner and no fat texture, it also contains richer protein content than other red meats.
Besides, it also includes calcium, phosphorus, iron, niacin, and potassium, among other vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, since it’s hormone-free, it’s an excellent choice for at-home meals and snacks. You may even make jerky meat out of it.
Although it may be challenging to find one in the market, it is truly a healthier alternative but more susceptible to protein allergies.
High Protein Diet For Dogs
Do dogs really need a high protein diet to begin with? Despite some modern ideas, dogs are still considered carnivores. This means that they get the majority of their nutrients and energy needs from meat and animal products. However, meat and animal products is a vague term. It really doesnt tell us how much protein a dog truly needs. Luckily, this has been a hot spot for research.
In fact, there have been a number of studies done to find out what, exactly, the optimum diet for a dog is. One of these studies, published in 2013, allowed dogs to have complete control over their diet. When given this kind of control, most animals will consume the foods that most closely match the nutrients and energy needs they require. Therefore, this is actually a very good way to determine what optimum nutrition actually looks like for a dog.
This study found that dogs consumed a protein:fat:carbohydrate ratio of 30:63:7. In other words, dogs consumed mostly fat and protein, with very little carbohydrates. In other words, it was discovered that the bulk of a dogs energy needs actually comes from fat. This means that dogs might not necessarily thrive on a high protein diet, especially if the fat content is particularly low. You can read more about low fat diets and dogs here.
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Crave Grain Free High Protein Dry Dog Food
Protein Content – 34.0%
Inspired by a dog’s natural diet, CRAVE introduces a rich high protein dog food that’s first ingredient is Salmon. Packed with 34% protein CRAVE adult high protein dog food is designed to provide your dog with rich nutrients and taste. Specifically, formulated with absolutely no soy, grains, corn, or wheat fillers.
With such a rich high protein dog food it will lead to giving your dog a lean, healthy body with energy to exercise and hunt. You won’t find any preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, just like the Taste of the Wild high protein dog food.
- 22 lb. Bag
Does Your Dog Need To Gain Weight
Most dogs in North America today need to maintain or lose weight. However, there are dogs who may need to gain weight. Some dogs are picky eaters.
Dogs can be nervous and not interested in food. Or some dogs can have health issues that make it hard for them to gain weight. This is often true for dogs with gastrointestinal problems or cancer.
Dogs with lymphoma often dont necessarily need to gain weight but its often recommended that they have a diet with plenty of protein and fat.
Some older dogs can start to lose weight as they age. They can lose muscle tone, too. They can benefit from more protein as well as calories.
If you have a dog that needs to gain weight, there are many good dog foods that are high in calories. Before choosing a food its a good idea to have your veterinarian check your dog to see if theres a health issue that is keeping your dog from gaining weight.
Internal parasites, dental problems, and many diseases have weight loss as a symptom. Your vet may be able to help your dog so s/he can eat a normal diet and gain weight.
If your dog is very skinny and needs some extra help gaining weight many people use PetAg Dyne High Calorie Liquid Dog Supplement. This is a liquid nutritional supplement that you can add to your dogs food for extra calories.
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Solid Gold Barking At The Moon With Beef Review
Solid Golds High Protein range is also very blunt about its protein content. Their range used to be more extensive than Natures Variety Instinct.
However, Solid Gold Discontinued some of these products and now has two High Protein recipes, which are Barking At The Moon With Beef and Barking At The Moon With Duck.
While not quite as unique as previous recipes, these do differ from others by not focusing on Chicken.
Ingredients in Barking At The Moon With beef include Beef, Eggs, and Ocean Fish Meal. These combine to provide a very high protein proportion.
Eggs, in particular, are another noteworthy ingredient as they are one of the most complete sources of protein available for both humans and dogs alike.
Unfortunately, Solid Golds High Protein recipes do use a Potato-By product, which is Potato Protein. This by-product contributes plant-based protein, which is considered inferior to animal protein. Sadly, Potato Protein is the third listed ingredient, so this portion is not small.
While Farminas adult formulas might not have quite the dazzling levels of protein as some of the formulas mentioned above, the proportion of protein in their puppy formulas is absurd.
It is important to note that they have two puppy formulas within this specific range, one designed for mini and medium breed puppies and another designed for large breed puppies, both of which we have listed above.
Nature’s Variety Instinct High Protein Dog Food
Protein Content – 47.0%
Nature’s Instinct is the number one high protein dog food if you are looking at the percentage of protein along. Packed with 47% protein, made of cage-free chicken. This dog food is one of the only ones that is packed with real pure meat in every bite. It does come at a higher price point, however, if a high protein diet is what you are seeking in your dog’s food, this is your top choice.
Compared to other brands Instinct is some of the most digestible high protein dog food on the market. Made entirely with no grain, potato, wheat, soy, corn, or any by-products, flavors, or preservatives. Instinct is one of the best dog foods if you are looking for optimal nutrient absorption for your dog.
- 20 lb. Bag
- #1 Protein is Cage-Free Chicken
- Grain Free
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Wellness Complete Health Dog Food
Wellness Complete Health Adult Lamb and Rice is one of 14 dry recipes included in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, oatmeal, ground barley, menhaden fish meal
- Type: With grain
- Other recipes: Puppy, senior, small breed, large breed, toy breed, turkey, whitefish and more
- Price: $$
- See all 14 available recipes
This Wellness Complete Health adult formula derives the bulk of its animal protein from lamb and lamb meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 13% fat and 52% estimated carbs with a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
A fully-balanced, grain-inclusive dog food. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewSo far so good, as both of my dogs love their new Wellness Complete Health Lamb & Barley. They have been on Wellness Original Grain Free for many years, but because of the recent scare on grain free food, I decided to change. So glad I did because their stools are firmer and both my rescued 12 yr old German Shepard/Malmute & 8 yr old Schipperke are very happy and energetic.
Stella & Chewys Perfectly Puppy Beef & Salmon Dinner Patties Freeze
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Salmon With Ground Bone, 3. Beef Liver, 4. Beef Kidney, 5. Beef Tripe
Stella & Chewy is a regular on my top dog food lists, and for more than one reasons. It is an excellent option for starting your babys raw food journey. It has probiotics and is free of all the known allergens, which means it wont cause any tummy troubles for your little one.
These freeze-dried patties are delicious enough to tempt the picky pups out there. With beef as the main source of protein, your puppy will healthily gain weight.
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Buyers Guide: How To Choose The Best Low Protein Dog Food
Looking for good low-protein dog food can be extremely tough. Most pet parents don’t think pet food should be low in protein. To provide a better understanding of the nutritional requirements of some dogs, our blog has devoted this section to talk about the most common concerns of pet owners when finding a dog food that has low protein content.
Protein Digestibility And Dogs
Some proteins are easier than others for dogs to digest. The sources with the highest digestibility are eggs and chicken, beef and lamb , which are all meats taken from muscle. Proteins derived from organs, such as kidney, heart, and liver, are next with a digestibility of 90%. Fish, while still a good source of protein, has a digestibility of 75%. The lowest digestible protein sources are plant-based, ranging from 54 to 75%.
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Improving Your Dog’s Diet
In addition to feeding a kibble derived from high-quality protein sources, you can add more protein to your dog’s diet by supplementing his meals.
- Add a raw or scrambled egg to his meals. If you scramble the eggs, add a very minimal amount of butter or cooking spray. You can also provide them soft or hard-boiled.
- Canned fish such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel mixed in with your dog’s kibble are also good sources of protein and an extra treat.
- Fresh meat, such as some cooked chicken or organ meats, are also excellent protein sources.
Crave Perfect For Adult Dogs
First Five Ingredients:
Salmon and chicken meal are the two most important ingredients in this great formula. Crave Grain free High protein Dry Dog Food has carbohydrates that come from high-quality sources such as chickpeas. It is high very high in protein at 34 percent which will keep your pet full for a more extended period.
This recipe will provide your furry friend with essential nutrients he needs for a strong immune system, bags of energy lean body and healthy skin and coat. It doesnt contain artificial preservatives, flavors or coloring, no by-products, wheat, or soy.
The great thing about this recipe is that it is suitable for adult canines of any breed. It is very affordable compared to other high-quality foods with good protein, and an excellent option for owners with a limited budget.
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Benefits Of Low Protein Dog Diet
Many dogs benefit from consuming low protein diets. Lower levels of protein allow for better functioning of metabolism-associated organs. Some dog owners may notice the relief of symptoms from impairment of organ function.
The accumulation of waste in protein metabolism may cause other health problems such as encephalopathy. In addition, excessive protein may cause urine crystal growth in the urinary bladder causing a blockage. Low protein diets can reduce toxin production and help prevent these disorders.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Grain
This grain-free high-protein mix by Rachel Ray comes in three different flavors: northern woodlands with turkey, duck, and quail open range with beef, venison, and lamb wetlands with chicken, duck, and pheasant. These are sure to satisfy even the pickiest eater.
This dry dog food is offered in 4, 12, and 23 pound bags with no grain, gluten, or filler ingredients. It is cooked, made, and processed all in the USA with fresh and natural ingredients. The protein count is 30% which is an excellent amount for a high-protein dog food.
Dogs adore this dog food, the taste and smell attract nearly every kind of pooch to try. Owners have also been pleased about how it has helped mobility issues and minimized joint pain. However, some owners have commented that their dogs have lost weight while on this product.
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Purina Pro Plan Focus Dog Food
Pro Plan Large Breed Adult is one of 18 kibbles featured in our review of the Purina Pro Plan Focus product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Puppy, small breed, sensitive skin and stomach, senior, weight management and more
- Price: $
Focus Large Breed Adult derives the majority of its animal protein from fresh chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 14% fat and 49% estimated carbs creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.
Pro Plan is one of the dog food brands most frequently mentioned by breeders and veterinary professionals.
Each recipe has been expertly formulated by a team of board certified veterinary nutritionists.
In addition, the entire Pro Plan product line is designed and manufactured according to rigorous guidelines recommended by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.
Purina Pro Plan is one of the very best brands youll find on this or any list. And its easy on the budget, too. Highly recommended.
Actual buyer reviewMy black lab loves this food. Her coat is beautiful, her energy is high, and she digests it easily. My vet recommended this food and I couldnt be happier. I saw a noticeable difference within days of feeding this to her. My dog eats the dry food with a little bit of the PPP wet focus for large breeds. Do not hesitate to feed this to your pups.. its a game-changer!