Dogs require plenty of quality protein to maintain canine nutrition. Protein is one of the six vital nutrients your dog needs, along with water, fat, carbs, minerals, and vitamins. When you look at the label of dog food products, crude protein is often the highest nutrient listed. Happy Go Healthy explains why protein is vital for dog health.
The key to protein is how digestible it is for your dog. Digestible protein means your dog’s digestive tract can break down the food into amino acids capable of being absorbed into your dog’s bloodstream. If your dog can’t absorb protein from his food, it’s useless. Canine nutrition experts believe egg white protein is the most digestible form of protein for your dog. Muscle meats, such as chicken, beef, and lamb, are second. Organ meats, milk and cheese, and then fish round out the top five in terms of the best digestible protein for your dog.
Proteins break down into amino acids in your dog’s body. Amino acids form the basis for several important biological processes for your furry friend, and your dog needs 22 amino acids to make their body work correctly. In general, protein from foods contains 10 essential amino acids that your dog can’t make on his own. That’s why proper canine nutrition is critical in providing the right nutrients for your pup.
Protein and Dog Health
Protein builds and repairs muscles, maintains healthy skin, and gives your dog the energy he needs to maintain his level of activity. Active dogs, such as puppies, hunting dogs, retrievers, and outdoor dogs, need more protein compared to other dogs. Larger dogs generally need more protein than smaller breeds merely because they have more overall muscle mass. Lactating and pregnant dogs need more protein to meet the nutritional needs of their babies. Senior dogs need protein because their body relies on stores of the nutrient to maintain muscle, skin, and joint health. Regardless of age or size, protein is an essential part of canine nutrition.