How much protein should I give to my dog?

As descendants of wolves, domestic dogs retain their carnivorous physiology. Although dogs can consume plant material and metabolize protein from vegetables and grains, animal protein from meat byproducts and meat is the best source of amino acids to a dog. A dog will eat until it has consumed enough protein to meet its needs for amino acids and nitrogen. The amount varies with the age, size and activity.

The fastest growth period occurs during the first six months of life. Large breeds reach maturity approximately between 12 and 16 months, the smaller breeds reach adulthood a little earlier. When they reach maturity, most will have increased birth weight between forty and fifty times. This enormous growth and development takes place in a relatively short period of time. For this to be a correct development is essential to provide our pet with a balanced diet.

 

During the growth phase, its organism has a greater demand for energy and nutrients. Therefore it is important to know that these needs are, during the growth phase about twice of those of an adult dog of the same size. After six months these needs begin to decline as the growth rate slows. Reflected in numbers, this means that the energy intake of a young dog should be about twice as much, until it has reached 40% of its adult weight. At that time, the amount of feed should be reduced to approximately 1.6 times to decrease even further, to 1.2 times when the dog has reached 80% of its adult weight.

A general rule is that dogs require 2 grams of high quality animal protein per kilogram of body weight per day. How much protein your dog needs is not the right question, dog owners should ask the proteins a particular dog needs. Dogs manufacture many of the amino acids necessary to maintain a healthy body and provide the energy for the vital functions but many more must be obtained from external food. In nature, dogs seek meat as a food source because it contains many more essential proteins in a smaller portion than in vegetation.

Protein in food is processed during digestion and amino acid components are used as building materials for bones, muscles, nerves, and other body tissues. Puppies need a higher percentage of protein in their diet than adult dogs because of their growing bodies. Puppies’ diet should contain 22-28 % protein. Adult dogs’ diet should contain from 10 to 18 % protein. Older dogs and dogs with compromised renal function, may be placed on restricted protein diets, as long as the proteins that they do ingest are of high biological value. Large and working breeds, such as cattle dogs and sled dogs need a higher percentage of protein in their diet than adult domestic dog because the tension in their muscles, 25 percent for sheep dogs and up to 35 percent protein for racing sled dogs. The pregnant and lactating females require high protein diets for their growing puppies. Veterinarians often recommend owners to let the puppies feed from their mother until weaning.

When a dog owner looking for an alternative to a meat-based diet for their dog, perhaps to accommodate a vegetarian diet choice, they need to know which is the minimum amount of animal protein necessary to maintain their dog's health . The Merck Veterinary Manual states that the amount of protein required in the diet of a dog varies depending on the percentage of amino acids that are usable within this protein source. For example, egg has a larger number of usable amino acids and therefore, has a higher biological value for a dog than vegetable proteins.

Protein digestibility.

Specialists in canine nutrition brands have proposed that these feed nutritional values include an index of digestibility of the proteins included in the meal. "A higher digestibility indicates a better source of necessary protein."

Protein is needed for growth, muscle tissue and bone development and the maintenance of metabolic processes. Essential fatty acids give their fur a lustrous appearance and provide energy and healthy skin.

Carbohydrates provide energy and help stabilize bowel movements giving consistency to their diet.

The domestic dog should get all the vitamins and minerals needed for a balanced diet. However, it may require vitamin supplements. This case usually occurs during pregnancy, lactation or pup development, and when the animal is recovering from an illness. You should only provide these supplements under the supervision of the veterinarian, too much can be as harmful as lack.

 CONSIDERATIONS ON GROWTH

The fastest growth period occurs during the first six months of life. Large breeds reach maturity approximately between 12 and 16 months, the smaller breeds reach adulthood a little earlier. When they reach maturity, most will have increased birth weight between forty and fifty times. This enormous growth and development takes place in a relatively short period of time. For this to be a correct development is essential to provide our pet with a balanced diet.

During the growth phase, its organism has a greater demand for energy and nutrients. Therefore it is important to know that these needs are, during the growth phase about twice of those of an adult dog of the same size. After six months these needs begin to decline as the growth rate slows. Reflected in numbers, this means that the energy intake of a young dog should be about twice as much, until it has reached 40% of its adult weight. At that time, the amount of feed should be reduced to approximately 1.6 times to decrease even further, to 1.2 times when the dog has reached 80% of its adult weight.

This mayseem complicated, but it is not. All feed containers include tables that are reflected in the amounts of food that every dog needs according to their age and weight. These instructions typically provide an estimate of the amount of food to manage for different body sizes, although sometimes it will be necessary to make adjustments to these estimates based on your knowledge of the dog's response to food. The only important that you must do is follow these tables.

 

Food list from highest to lowest amount of protein.

Nuts:

Description - Nuts (100 gr.) 

Grams of Protein

Peanuts

22

Almonds

18

Pistachios

18

Hazelnuts

13

Chestnuts

5

Prunes

3

Dry dates

3

Dried figs

4

Nuts

16

Sprockets

30

Raisins

2

 

Fruits:

Fruits contain little protein. Most fail to exceed a gram of protein per 100. Just the avocado and banana get closer without reaching 2 grams per 100.

 

Legumes:

Description – (100 gr.) 

Grams of Protein

Beans

23

Chickpeas

22

Dried peas

22

Dry beans

27

Lentils

25

 

Vegetables:

Description – (100 gr.)

Grams of Protein

Brussels sprouts

4

Fresh beans

4

Edible Mushrooms

5

Truffles

6

Broccoli

3

Cauliflower

3

Asparagus

4

Spinach

3

Fresh Peas

7

Celery

2

Watercress

2

Potato

2

Leek

2

Cabbage

2

Artichoke

1

Garlic

6

Aubergine

1

Courgette

1

Pumpkin

1

Onion

1

Cauliflower

2

Lettuce

2

Turnip

1

Cucumber

1

Beet root

2

Tomato

1

Carrot

1

 

Cereal:

Description – (100 gr.)

Grams of Protein

Barley

10

Rye

10

Flour

11

Toast

11

Pasta with egg

19

Semolina Pasta 

13

Grits

12

Wheat

13

Rice

7

Cornflakes

8

Biscuits

7

White bread

8

Corn

9

Bread

9

Chocolate

9

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