Some research here in North American indicated that higher levels of protein in your dog’s diet would lead to kidney failure. (Which baffled me, as an European-born person)
However, the studies that showed a relationship to high protein levels and kidney failure that sparked concerns about protein levels in dog’s diets were not sound. The research was performed on rats, not dogs. Rats primarily eat plants as their natural diet. Naturally, rats biological makeup would indicate trouble digesting diets containing high levels of protein. The rats have difficulty excreting protein due to their specific dietary needs, not because the high protein diet causes kidney failure.
Still, where do we stand on protein and your dog’s diet? According to Canadian Vets/sites (and most likely Americans as well) – dogs are “omnivorous”. (Easier to market cheaper dog food, right?) According to the rest of the world – namely Europe, they are Carnivorous.
In the wild, dog’s hunt or scavenge. You know you are on the right track when you turn to nature for advice. Do you ever recall seeing a wild or a stray dog happily grazing through the cornfield or a grass field at mealtime? Or, put a piece of beef and a carrot in front of a dog – guess which one will he pick? 😉
(I am not talking about those poor emaciated stray doggy creatures running hungry in many parts of the world – Those guys eat Anything they find, in order not to starve to death, wouldn’t you?)
When protein intake is reduced in a dog’s diet, renal function does not improve. Renal lesions are not less likely to form when a dog is fed with a high-protein diet. It is not until a blood urea nitrogen, or BUN test, indicates a level of 75, that a reduction in protein intake to be considered for your dog’s diet.
It is a myth that dogs cannot properly digest high levels of protein in their diet. Kidney troubles do not result from high levels of protein in your dog’s food. Large amounts of protein can be safely digested by your dog, especially when they come primarily from animal origins.
There are ten amino acids which must be provided in your dog’s food through protein. Only twelve of 22 amino acids can be manufactured in your dog’s liver. For this reason, meat such as heart, spleen, and meat by-products all have a place in your dog’s diet.
A high-quality dog food contains meat as the first ingredient. This will provide the proper amount of protein for your dog’s diet. However, it is also true, that the dog’s diet should consist of both animals and plants sources. As in the wild, dogs will eat the insides of the prey as well, and most pet dogs happily munch on some fruit or veggies, especially the cooked ones. (or, when they see You eating them, right? 😉 🙂 )
If you have concerns about the amount of protein in your dog’s diet, schedule an appointment to speak with a professional on the subject. Your vet can advise you on the specifics in regards to your own pet-dog’s diet. Although I doubt it will be the correct advice in you live in North America – as it happened to me personally, when a Canadian born vet was telling me with a straight face that the dogs are omnivores, so I should buy the food he was selling in his ambulance. (Interestingly enough none of my Indian-born vets ever alleged so.)
Also senior dogs should not be automatically placed on lower protein diets exclusively based on age. In fact, some older pets require a diet higher in protein than during their younger adult stage. Unless medically indicated, provide your pet the benefit of quality protein in your dog’s diet even in his/her later years.
Feeding your dog protein should not cause you concern. You want what is best for your dog and nature tells you that protein will help your dog to thrive.
If you have questions about the myth of protein and kidney failure in your pet, speak to your vet about your dog’s diet, and also check on the Internet from All the Verified serious sources Around the world, not only your own country.