Why Your Dog Needs Protein
Why Your Dog Needs Protein

adp_description_block298
Why Your Dog Needs Protein

Protein is best known for supplying amino acids to build hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It also plays a main role in hormone production.

 

 

Animal-Based Proteins Versus Plant-Based Proteins

The protein in dog foods can be supplied by animal sources, plant sources or a combination of the two. High-quality animal-source proteins contain all of the essential amino acids dogs need, while a single plant-based protein might not contain adequate amounts of some essential amino acids.
 

Common animal-based protein sources used in pet food include chicken, lamb, fish, and beef.
 

Even though they are often fed plant-based diets, dogs are not herbivores. While dogs are technically considered to be omnivores—animals that eat both animal- and plant-based foods—they should be treated primarily as carnivores to better fulfill their specific nutritional requirements.
 

Dogs are members of the Canidae family. This family also includes the wolf, coyote, fox, and jackal. The ancestors and relatives of today's common dog hunted animals and ate them as a means of survival.
 

The body structure of domestic dogs is similar to that of their ancestors and relatives and is ideal for eating prey. Dogs have the enlarged carnassial teeth after which carnivores are named. Their gastrointestinal tract is simple and does not have the capacity to digest large amounts of plant products.
 

Animal-based proteins help dogs achieve optimal health.

  • Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On
    Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On

    adp_description_block379
    Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On

    Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy and Active

    It depends on the breed of dog, but your pet's senior years generally begin at age 7. Louise Murray, DVM, director of the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City and author of Vet Confidential (Ballantine, 2008), tells you what you need to know to keep your older dog spry and happy.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Preventive Health

    At this stage, Murray recommends taking your dog to the vet twice a year. "So much can happen to an elderly dog," she says. Your veterinarian can take blood annually to test liver and kidney functions. "Discovering problems early is extremely important," she says. Your vet can be on the lookout for conditions that often affect older dogs, such as anemia and arthritis.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Urination, Bowel Movements, and Appetite

    Pay attention to what might be subtle changes in your dog's habits: Is she drinking more water or urinating larger amounts? These behaviors might indicate a liver or kidney problem. Have your dog's bowel movements shifted? This could indicate a digestive issue. Diabetes or digestive problems might cause your dog to eat more but still lose weight. Knowing the dog's patterns can help the veterinarian determine a course of treatment.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medicines

    Continue to use preventive medicines.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Dental Health

    Clean your dog's teeth daily. If she has tartar buildup, you might need to have her teeth professionally cleaned at your vet's office, which requires sedating your pet.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Exercise

    Your dog is probably less active, so steady, moderate exercise is best for her now. Don't turn her into a "weekend warrior" who, after lying around on weekdays, accompanies you on a 10-mile hike on Saturdays. This is especially hard on an older dog's joints.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Diet

    Your veterinarian might wish to put your dog on a senior diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Senior Plus. These formulations contain nutrients specifically geared toward older-dog health.

both email signup

STAY INFORMED

Enter your email for customized pet advice, product updates, brand news and more!

SIGN UP FOR OUR E-NEWSLETTER

Shop Dogs

Shop Cats

Why IAMS™

© 2021 Mars or Affiliates. US Patents Pending. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
chat icon

CHAT WITH AN EXPERT