Finding the best diet for your dog can be tricky, after all, you want them to be happy and healthy. But it’s impossible to have them try every food available until you find the perfect match.
As trends in dog feeding change, more and more people are reverting to a more traditional high protein diet for their furry friends.
What does a high protein diet for dogs mean?
A high protein diet for dogs essentially means a higher quantity of protein in the food. This can be done through increased meat intake or in some cases feeding them a purely raw meat diet.
Dogs are by nature carnivorous animals that thrive on a diet with a high percentage of meat and animal products.
This type of diet reflects that of the animal’s ancestors and has been proven to have many nutritional benefits.
Does a high protein for dogs have to be raw meat?
While raw meat is a popular choice of diet, it’s important to note that having balance is what’s most healthy.
Raw meat provides lots of protein-rich nutrients, but you should also make sure vegetables and carbohydrates are included as a staple portion of your dog’s diet. There are benefits to raw due to the high protein content, however, too much of the wrong protein can be harmful.
Dogs can struggle to digest large amounts of protein, so it’s important to seek your vet’s advice if you think a change in diet is negatively affecting them.
If not raw – what else?
If you chose to stay away from a purely raw diet, remember that labels can be deceiving. Due to the lax rules on what food producers can say about their ingredients, it makes sense to know your stuff when choosing what goes into your dog’s bowl.
There are no laws in the UK that force companies from disclosing specific ingredients in their food, so if you see phrases like “meat derivative’ or ‘oils and fats’ that can be anything from bone to blood or tissue.
You may think you are feeding your furry friend a healthy balanced natural diet, but there might be parts of the food that are not only not beneficial but potentially harmful. Research from All About Dog Food also describes how if a food is labelled as organic it only has to have 95% organic ingredients.
It also pays to look at the “definitive meat content” in your doggie’s food.
Did you know?
In order to be labelled chicken the food only has to include 4% chicken, the rest can be offcuts!
Reet Good’s ingredients and percentages of these are listed fully on every packet, and for every flavour, so you know exactly what your dog is being fed.
Some other branded dog food doesn’t list the type of proteins in their food merely because they are the cheapest possible options. This is so they can spend the very least to meet the minimum legal requirements.
Many owners have been put off the idea of dry dog food for fear of unknown ingredients as well as low nutritional value in some cheaper brands.
In some cases, when making dry dog food, heating the meat up to extreme temperatures can break down the proteins and mean they provide much less nutritional value for the animal.
The proteins/meat content in these cheaper brands is so overprocessed and denatured that it takes its toll on the dog’s immune system. This can then lead to inflammation in the stomach or skin as well as the risk of obesity.
To provide the right level of nutrition, using over-processed food means you will have to feed your dog a much higher volume. Think about it like this:
While they both receive the same weight of food, the calorie content is much lower, meaning Oscar will require extra feeding in comparison to Bluebell.
Not only can that put your dog at risk of getting fat, but it also hurts your pocket as you have to buy twice as much food.
Reet Good steam the fresh meat that goes into our food at a lower temperature, meaning none of those vital nutrients are lost in the cooking process. We then add the all-important veggies and sweet potato to balance it all out.
Giving your dog a high protein diet doesn’t have to mean buying an extra freezer for the garage and stacking it full of animal parts. Reet good is a high protein non-raw alternative!
What are the benefits of a high protein diet for dogs?
Improves skin and coat
A high protein diet for dogs encourages a healthy shiny coat thanks to being rich in nutrients. When a dog’s diet is bulked up with grains, it can cause them to have problems such as itchy and irritated skin all of which dulls your doggies shine.
These are often external signs of internal problems. If your dog has itchy skin or a lacklustre coat, it may be time to look at what you’re feeding it!
Remember even if a food says it has a high meat content, this could be chemically denatured offcuts that aren’t providing the right amount of nutrition.
Just as we humans like to use protein to build muscle, dogs can do this too; the protein powers dogs back up after exercise and increase muscle mass.
This makes for a healthier stronger dog who can run further for longer — get ready to be taking some long walks!
In the same way protein is good for muscle building, it’s also beneficial for boosting your dog’s energy levels. Nutrient-rich, high protein foods keep your dog full enough to run around the park for hours the same way protein works for humans.
You wouldn’t do a huge workout and then refuel with just a bowl of cereal, and neither should your dog!
Aids Weight loss
Higher protein levels are actually better for weight loss, the higher the protein. The more energy reserves the dog has, therefore fuller for longer, meaning less feed each meal.
Plus because of Reet Goods steaming process and grain-free formula dogs get a high absorption of protein allowing for maximum goodness from each meal.
With any diet it’s vital you stick to feeding guidelines or even less if you see significant weight gain.
What are the disadvantages of a high protein diet for dogs?
There are little to no disadvantages to upping your dog’s protein intake as long as that protein comes from whole meat sources.
There are some things such as corn wheat and gluten that have a high protein content but don’t actually provide any nutritional value, and are difficult for your dog to digest.
Do all dogs need a high protein diet?
It’s important to remember that every dog is different. Think about giving your dog a balanced diet that has an equal amount of protein to vegetable/carb ratio. Also, take into consideration your dogs lifestyle and age when choosing what food you think will work for them.
A working farm dog is going to have different needs to a small dog that’s mostly indoors.
The benefits of having a protein-rich diet are that it’s simple to feed your dog the right amount because the slow releasing nutrients keep them fuller for longer. This means that as long as you use a portion guide (Reet Good have our own), you won’t ever be over feeding.