How to get it? With nutrition that thinks ahead.
Food For Thought™ Technical Bulletin No.23R
Innovative Research in Dog and Cat Nutrition™
Protein has many functions in the body, but is best known for supplying amino acids to build hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Protein also plays a main role in hormone and enzyme production.
The protein in dog foods can be supplied by animal sources, plant sources, or a combination of the two. Common animal-based protein sources used in pet food include chicken, lamb, fish meal, and beef. Common plant-based protein sources used in pet food include corn-gluten meal and soybean meal.Return To Top
Even though they are often fed plant-based diets, dogs are not herbivores. They are omnivores, animals that eat both animal- and plant-based foods.
The body structure of domestic dogs is similar to that of its carnivorous ancestors and relatives the wolf, coyote, fox, and jackal - ideal for eating animal flesh
In addition, high quality animal-source proteins contain all the essential amino acids dogs need, whereas some plant-based proteins may be deficient in some essential amino acids. So although dogs are classified as omnivores, they are best fed as carnivores.Return To Top
Recent studies by The Iams Company examined how the type of protein in a diet affected body composition of adult and senior dogs. 1
Adult and senior dogs were fed diets with varying amounts of protein from chicken and corn gluten meal, and their body composition (muscle versus fat tissue) was analyzed. In addition, levels of key blood and muscle proteins were measured.
Compared with dogs fed a diet with 100% chicken protein, dogs fed diets with decreasing levels of chicken and increasing levels of corn gluten meal had
This was independent of the overall dietary protein level (12 or 28%), which was also examined in each of the four test groups.
As dogs age, body composition and muscle-specific proteins decline. Therefore, another study looked at the differences between feeding senior dogs a 32%-protein chicken-based diet, a 32%-protein chicken and corn gluten meal diet, or a 16%-protein chicken-based diet.
Senior dogs fed the 32%-chicken protein, chicken-based diet had better body composition and a muscle-specific protein pattern identical to that in healthy young adult dogs. However, those results were not seen in either of the other two diets.Return To Top
Feeding diets with primarily animal-based protein sources