How much protein dogs need?

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Dogs are known as man’s best friends. These loyal animals require different amounts of protein depending on their breed, age, size, and energy needs. A sedentary puppy will require a different amount of protein from an active adult dog. The amount of protein required will also depend on the quality of protein that goes in.

Protein requirement for growing puppies

Normally, puppies require a minimum of 28% percent of protein per dry weight in their food. Small-breed puppies have tiny stomachs and are at greater risk of hypoglycemia. So, they need a greater percentage of protein per cup than large-breed puppies. 

If large-breed puppies are given more than required quantities, protein may grow them too fast, and they may suffer bone and joint problems as they grow old.

Adult dogs

Normally, adult dogs have only moderate energy requirements. Because they are not growing anymore, and they don’t need to perform a lot of muscular development or repair within their bodies. However, adult dogs require at least 18% protein to maintain themselves in good health.  Lower amounts than 18% protein are only recommended for dogs with an illness that stop them from metabolizing normal amounts of the proteins.

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Dogs with special needs

Performance dogs, also known as canine athletes, as well as working dogs, need higher amounts of protein for proper maintenance of their muscles. These dogs need between 25 to 35 percent of protein in their food. Female performance dogs will need 28% percent or more protein in their food. Aged performance dogs may need a lower amount of protein percentage, especially if they have liver or kidney damages. However, older dogs in good health may otherwise require a higher amount of protein in their food because their bodies must work harder to digest food.

Protein facts

All the proteins are not created equal. Protein source and protein’s digestibility also affect a dog’s ability to use that protein. Ingredients are normally listed in descending order of weight on the food labels. Manufacturers don’t specify food’s digestibility, but a food that has high meat content on its ingredients list, will contain more digestible protein. Carbohydrate-based proteins are not easily digestible. A meat meal from which liquid has been removed has more protein content than a liquid-based meat meal.

Protein myths

It’s believed that feedings dogs with too much protein can result in kidney damages. This belief has been proven untrue by many experts. Excess protein actually gets excreted by the dogs. A large amount of protein content in dogs has also been said to make dogs more active; however, there’s no evidence that supports this claim.

Final words

So, the amount of protein a dog requires majorly depends on the dog’s age and activity level. Puppies require a minimum of 28% protein, whereas adult dogs require just 18%. And performance dogs need anything between 25-35% protein in their food. This was all that you need to know about how much protein dogs need.

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