The long life of cohabitation with humans led, among other things, to alter the dog’s behavioural behaviour. The dog can now be considered an omnivorous animal that has developed anatomical and physiological characteristics that allow it to use and digest various sources of food.
However, the primary source of protein in the dog’s diet should be that of animal origin, capable of providing all essential amino acids with optimal amounts and proportions. Protein sources of plant origin can only supplement the animal’s daily protein requirements. Read more.
Feeding the dog exclusively with vegetable sources of vegetable origin is compatible with its survival but does not ensure optimal development and maintenance of the body. The dog supplied predominantly with ingredients of plant origin is often debilitating, energy-free, apathetic, more massive and with a weak immune system, and the life expectancy is much diminished compared to the fodder fed with protein sources of animal origin.
The most common sources of animal protein used are:
- chicken or poultry meat, beef, lamb, fish,
- Internal organs: liver, lungs, spleen, etc.
Of the most commonly used vegetable sources of plant origin, one can mention:
- Cereals: wheat, corn, rice, oats,
- Legumes: soy, peas, carrots, potatoes, etc.,
- derived products of vegetable origin: corn gluten meal, soybean flour, pea flour.
All of the ingredients mentioned are found frequently in the composition of most of the commercial dry or wet food products intended for canine nutrition. With Kibble Coupons, you can get the best food for your dog.
Since none of the mentioned sources can provide the dog’s unique protein needs, they are combined in a wide variety of possibilities. Various protein sources are coupled based on their essential amino acid content: quantitative (deficit or excess) and qualitative (continuous amino acid types), to improve the overall quality of the food product by providing all essential amino acids and increasing their availability for the dog.
Methods of preparing food
Methods of preparing food can cause a deficiency in certain essential amino acids. For this reason, it is necessary to add additional amounts of these substances (methionine, lysine, and tryptophan, mainly).
As stated in the “Dog Protein Requirement” post, the absolute minimum protein requirement, with only high-quality protein sources, is 6% for adult dogs and 9.5% for junior dogs. Given the average quality of the protein sources used, the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) recommends for dog food a minimum protein content of 18% for adult specimens and 22% for dogs in growing and development.
Most dog food products have a protein content of 3 to 5 times the absolute minimum. However, the bioavailability of these sources for canine should also be taken into account. In the case of superpremium or premium assortments, the digestibility percentage of the proteins contained is 70-80% of the total specified in the analytical composition of the product. For commercial products in the economic category, this percentage falls below 60% of the total protein value.
Protein deficiency is manifested by decreases in body growth and development, anaemia, infertility, hair loss, mature hair, decreased muscle mass and immune defence of the body. Deficiency restricted to a particular type of essential amino acid may be similar to signs of general protein deficiency.
Protein excess is not a problem for animal health, except for diseased individuals with kidney or liver problems and those with hypersensitivity to a particular type of protein.
In the case of healthy canine specimens, excess protein is either metabolized by transforming it into glycogen or used as an energy source.
Whether food for the dog is prepared in the home or a commercial assortment is used, it must ensure the optimum intake of all the essential nutrients.
The bioavailability of proteins in food varieties varies. Clinically healthy dogs, who are not in growth and development, moderate physical activity and who are in optimal environmental conditions generally need only one meal a day, during which they will consume the entire amount of food representing the daily ration. On average, the dog needs a time interval of 10 to 15 minutes for the daily diet. Non-pregnant and non-lactating females will also be fed a meal per day