Tuesday, August 14, 2018

How Much Protein Is In Your Cat Or Dog's Diet?

Is your pet always ravenous? Begging for treats all day long? Is your pet overweight? One reason could be that the protein percentage in your pet’s diet is too low. Pets need ample amounts of real protein from real food. Many pet foods amp up the protein percentage on the label sourcing with protein from potatoes, peas and soy. Animals (especially cats) require natural protein from meat, poultry or fish. If one of these sources isn’t the very first ingredient on your pet’s food, then the diet might be lacking. Protein builds a healthy immune system, muscoloskeletal system and regulates blood sugar. Protein is an essential building block for bones, muscles, blood and hormones. Diets low in protein are often high in carbohydrates which can cause insulin to spike leaving pets feeling hungrier just a few hours after eating. What’s a pet owner to do? Invest in a higher quality food and keep dry kibble to a minimum (most dry food is high in carbs). If possible, feed your pet a raw frozen diet or include some raw frozen nuggets as a portion of your pet’s meal. Give your pet freeze dried protein treats (e.g. salmon pieces) vs biscuits or cookies made from grains. Look for grain-free foods (remember grain-free could be sourcing the protein from peas, legumes or potatoes) but more importantly look for pet food where the first ingredient is meat, poultry or fish.

Note: Pets with kidney or liver disease need a controlled protein diet and some elderly pets as well.