natural balance low calorie dog food low-protein
What are the special features of low-protein dog food? Why should it be reduced in a pet’s diet when protein is the basic material of muscles, cells, and enzymes? Few people know that a lack as well as an excess of protein provokes health problems in a dog.
As we know, the basic building material for muscles, tissues and enzymes is protein. The most effective and needed protein for a dog is of animal origin. Lack of protein in a dog’s diet is fraught with impaired growth and emaciation of the animal, deterioration of skin and fur.
However, an excess of protein is also dangerous for the health of the animal. First of all, it affects the joints – arthritis and arthrosis appear. Excessive load is also received by the liver and kidneys, which entails the appearance of edema.
In recent years the equivalent of the term “protein” is the concept “protein”, which in principle is acceptable. Protein is high quality pure protein. Therefore, in this article, these 2 concepts will be used as equivalent.
A healthy adult requires 4.5 grams of pure protein per kilogram of weight. For puppies during the growing period, this figure increases twofold and amounts to 9 g per kg of weight. The average amount of protein in a healthy dog’s daily menu is up to 35-40% of the daily requirement.
Hunting, sled dogs and working dogs need more protein – you need to increase the rate by another 30%. During pregnancy and lactation, the body of females also requires an increased amount of protein – it should be increased by 10-20%. A similar increase is required for an animal during recovery from illness.
In some cases, however, it is necessary not to increase but to decrease the amount of protein in the dog’s diet, especially in cases of kidney disease.
It is also worth reducing the amount of protein consumed for older dogs – their bones and joints already require a lot of attention. Protein on their menus may cause even more problems with their bones and joints.
Finally, a low-protein, low-calorie diet is for animals who are allergic to animal protein. It is necessary not only to reduce its consumption, but also to use hypoallergenic types of meat – rabbit, lamb, duck.
For the category of dogs described here the so-called low-protein foods are good. Their protein content should not exceed 18-22%. There are some versions, in which the index of this ingredient is reduced to 8%.
Important: Low-protein foods should not be used for lactating dogs or puppies. During this period, on the contrary, it is necessary to increase the amount of protein they consume. However, if for health reasons this is unacceptable, it is necessary to pick up a therapeutic product, but only after consulting the veterinarian.
Pros and cons
The main advantage of low-protein food is the ability to maintain the health of the pet. In most cases, the consumption of a standard portion of protein in animals with health limitations is fraught with seizures, shortening the duration of life.
If we talk about therapeutic low-protein versions, their composition is enriched with vitamins, trace elements and other useful components. This is an additional support for the dog’s body.
The disadvantage of low-protein products is obvious – it is not suitable for every group of animals. For example, when feeding such products to puppies, pregnant and lactating females, there may be a protein deficit in their body, as a consequence – weakness, retardation in growth and development (puppies). However, if a pet is ill, you can’t do without low-protein products, but the veterinarian should select them and monitor the health of the pet.
It’s important not to confuse low-protein varieties with economy foods. Protein even at low-protein content should be complete (of animal origin) and of high quality (from meat or fish, plant ingredients).
The disadvantage of low-protein therapeutic foods can also be called a higher cost, and they are not always easy to find readily available.
Depending on the composition and nutritional value, all foods can be divided into several types.
The most affordable types of feed. Their main ingredient is vegetable protein. A small amount of animal protein is obtained from veins, scraps, bone meal and carcasses of dead animals. In economy class products, the amount of protein is low, but the nutritional value of such feed is not observed.
In addition, they contain high levels of allergenic wheat, corn, soy and a high percentage of animal fat.
By eating such food, the animal will either overeat or be constantly hungry. This is due to the fact that economy class products do not have a suitable nutritional value.
Of the disadvantages, we can note the presence of flavorings, preservatives and flavor enhancers in the composition. Veterinarians are unanimous that these foods are not suitable for dogs and they are not intended for permanent feeding.
This quality product has a protein content of 30-33%, but it includes animal proteins and some vegetable proteins. The composition is supplemented with oats and wheat, and vegetable oils and sometimes animal fat are used as sources of fat. The level of preservatives in these compositions is also within the norm, in most cases no flavorings are used. Some formulas are fortified with vitamins and minerals.
In such compositions, the amount of protein of animal origin in the range of 40-45%, plant protein is absent. The manufacturer uses high-quality protein and the source of carbohydrates is rice, oats and buckwheat, which are recommended by veterinarians. The composition includes fats, vegetables, herbs, as well as vitamins and minerals. There are no dyes or flavorings. Naturally, high quality products have a rather high cost, but they provide the pet with energy and demonstrate a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Emerging recently, but considered the most beneficial for the pet, types of food. They are characterized by maximum quality and natural composition (according to the manufacturers, the raw materials for these foods can be safely used for human nutrition).
However, for animals whose diet should reduce the amount of protein intake, holistic foods are not often found. This is due to their high protein content, because up to 90% of their composition is quality meat or fish. However, holistic foods are the leader among other foods in terms of their balance, health benefits and environmental friendliness.
Therapeutic ranges can be found in almost every food group. Depending on their purpose, their protein level ranges from 5-75%. You may also consider products for older dogs – the amount of protein in them is reduced, and the food itself is enriched with vitamins and trace elements necessary for animals of age.
All the groups described can be available in dry and wet form. Dry food is dense pellets, wet food is jellies, pates, canned food. They can be more mashed (puree) or be meat pieces filled with broth or meat jelly.
Wet food is recommended for puppies, animals that have undergone surgery, animals recovering from illnesses. However, you should not feed wet food to your dog for a long time. The fact is that for the health of their nervous system, jaws and teeth cleaning, the dog must eat solid food. Periodically, an adult pet can be spoiled with wet food, but the basis of their diet is pellets.
Growing puppies should also be switched to dry pellets from 2-3 months of age, but to begin with they can be soaked in water.
The size of the pellets depends on what breed of dog the product is made for. For decorative pets, the food is usually smaller, their jaw system requires it.