Why Your Pet Should Be On A High Protein Diet.
In order for our cats and dogs to live their best lives happy and healthy, what they eat is important. The types of food they receive makes a big impact on their overall health, and one of the best methods of keeping your pet healthy is through a high protein diet.
Studies have shown that adult dogs require between 15-23% of dry matter protein per day in order to remain healthy. Cats on the other hand, require a much larger amount of daily dry matter protein intake, having a minimum requirement of 26%, the ideal range is 30-50% of dry matter protein for a healthy adult cat.
You can find the protein content of your pet food on the back or side of the packaging, often indicating the percentage of protein that is present within the ingredients. The best sources of protein in pet foods come from Salmon, Turkey, Beef, Chicken, Duck, Venison & Bison, but only if they’re listed as the main ingredients and not as a by-product. If you’re unsure as to how much protein your dog or cat should be receiving, the best thing to do is consult with your veterinarian.
Why is protein important?
Protein plays a crucial role in your pet’s development as they age. It aids in building up your cat or dogs’ strength & muscle mass, produces energy, keeps your pet’s fur and nails healthy, helps their immune system function correctly as well as aids in regulating their hormones.
High protein foods are animal based. Ingredients consist of meat, eggs, beef, fish, or even plant based proteins. Some diets, such as Taste Of The Wild Prey, consist of single source protein which is ideal for some pets who tend to suffer from allergies, allowing them to consume food that is not only high in protein, but also won't cause them any negative reactions from their pet food. Cats and dogs that are more active also benefit from high protein diets, as the protein generates energy and enhances their muscle strength.
What are the negative effects of giving your pet too much protein?
Their ancestors may have been carnivores, but domesticated cats and dogs are actually omnivores. This means they require both meat and plant matter for a healthy diet. Many high protein diets incorporate both types of ingredients. Wild dogs, for example, are able to survive on a pure protein diet, due to the amount of water content present in the meat they hunt, balancing it out, whereas a domesticated dogs’ diet consists of mostly dry kibble, meaning that the protein content would have to be at a lower level and also include some plant based ingredients, such as peas & lentils to balance it out, however, these plant based proteins are not as easily digestible as meat based proteins are. A lot of specialized diets have benefits & drawbacks, and while high protein diets are a wonderful way to keep your pet healthy, what are the negative effects of exceeding the maximum amount of protein intake for your pets?
Giving your elderly pets more than the maximum amount of daily protein in their diet can cause some health complications, since due to their age, their organs are less adaptable and more susceptible and prone to disease. An excess amount of protein, or not enough at all can affect the internal organs of senior pets and may eventually cause kidney or liver damage. Once pets reach their senior life stage, high protein diets, and high protein levels in general, should be avoided as they are more likely prone to renal failure. Pets who have diabetes are also advised to avoid high protein diets. Thankfully there are special types of foods that cater to pets struggling with renal complications that contain a much lower protein content. This is an issue that mostly older pets will face though, for young/adult pets, high protein diets are actually one of the best diets for their growth and development.
What are the benefits of high protein diets?
In order for your pets to maintain a healthy and active lifestyles, it is beneficial for them to be on a high protein diet. There are a variety of high protein pet food brands, but the key to choosing the best pet food brand is ensuring that it also contains ingredients that are of high quality.
High protein dog food offers a variety of benefits for your dog. Their skin will become a lot healthier, which will reduce any dryness or dandruff, and their coat will be a lot shinier. High protein dog foods contain all the necessary amino acids that your dog needs in order to maintain a healthy immune system. Protein helps increase muscle mass, and high protein dog food will help young puppies develop that muscle mass and bone strength, and help adult dogs maintain their strength. As far as dry dog food goes, there are many cheap dog food brands that are favored, but a lot of dog parents are unaware of what types of ingredients are in those certain foods, whereas high protein diets offer a more natural version of dry dog kibble that is the healthier alternative to most mixed ingredients brands. Protein is a source of energy, and when you replace carbohydrates with protein within your dog's diet, they will end up losing weight. High protein diets are an excellent way to avoid canine obesity and maintain a healthy weight for your dog.
High protein food also has a variety of benefits for cats. Like it does for dogs, high protein cat foods also improve your cat’s skin and coat, leaving your cat's skin healthy and fur shiny. High protein food for cats also benefits their claws, by growing and repairing damaged claws and keeping them healthy. Most cats are active, they love to run and jump, which is why muscle growth and development is essential for them, high protein diets aid in maintaining that muscle strength and development for cats. Many high protein cat food brands contain 11 of the essential amino acids required to keep your cat healthy, as well as the necessary hormones, neurotransmitters & enzymes needed to build up and protect their immune system. Like dogs, cats also convert protein into energy, which is why high protein cat food diets are ideal for avoiding feline obesity and diabetes and maintaining a healthy weight for your cat.
If your cat or dog is not receiving enough protein, they will end up losing muscle mass and become very fatigued, this is due to their body not receiving enough protein and compensating for it by consuming protein in their own body.
Make sure to ask your vet at your cat or dogs’ next appointment whether or not they are getting their required protein intake. If you’re looking for a high protein diet to switch your pet to, the brands we recommend most are Taste Of The Wild, Orijen, Ziwi Peak, Carnilove & Kit Cat. Browse for which one would suit your cat or dog the best.