How much protein does a dog need

How much protein does a dog need

A common question on the topic of a dog’s diet is and the dog food they eat is - how much protein does an adult dog need?

As per the requirements set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), adult dogs need to have a minimum of 18% - 25% of protein on a dry matter basis. ‘Dry matter basis’ is the term for the amount of protein in food after all the moisture is removed.

Dry matter basis is used as a way of a standardised easy comparison of nutrient levels across different types of foods and formats. 

There are different factors that could affect the amount of protein a dog needs.

How much protein does a dog need

Depending on your dog's lifestyle and health conditions, the amount of dietary protein needed could also vary.

For example, high-performance or critically ill dogs could require higher than normal protein levels.

In addition to factors such as activity level and age determining the amount of protein needed, the quality and source of protein also play an important role in how much protein to feed.

Ingredient choice can have an effect on total protein and amino acids in the food.

Amino acids are the building blocks for the growth and maintenance of almost all of the body’s tissues.

Dogs require 22 essential amino acids. Of these essential amino acids, a dog’s body is able to produce almost half of them and for the rest, they will need to get them from their food source as their body is not able to produce them.

If a protein contains 9 essential amino acids that are required in a dog's diet, this protein then has a high biological value, and the dog may not need as much to meet their needs.

Some examples of common proteins that contain 9 essential amino acids are beef, poultry, fish, and eggs, these are also sometimes called ‘perfect proteins’.

While another protein such as soy meal only contains a few of the essential amino acids, making this a poorer quality protein choice for dogs. Proteins can also be combined to meet the requirement of all essential amino acids for dogs, this is also called ‘complementary proteins’. 

 Protein is also a vital energy source for dogs. A diet high in protein will provide dogs with the necessary energy needed to play, run, and jump for long periods of time.

Protein also helps your dog maintain a healthy weight as most excess protein is filtered out of the body through the kidneys.

According to board-certified veterinary nutritionist Dr. Deborah Linder of Tufts University: “Healthy adult dogs need a minimum of 4.5 grams of protein for every 100 calories they consume.”

For most dogs, the general rule with dogs and protein is they should consume one gram of protein per 453 grams of body weight.

If your dog weighs 13kg, then they should eat 29 grams of protein each day. When calculating the amount of protein, make sure it is based on the ideal body weight, not their actual body weight.

There is also no maximum amount of protein a dog can consume, however, some dogs might have limitations on which protein they can safely consume due to certain medical conditions.

Quality is more important than quality, so make sure that the protein is minimally processed and that the ingredients and source are easily understood. 

How much protein is in the dog food your dog eats?

There's a lot of dog food out there - and all of them say 'natural' 'real' 'healthy" etc and it is hard to know if it is good or not. 🤔

I always go to their online sites and eventually find the ingredients in the dog food and the nutritional details about the dog food and this is where I have realised the 'natural' 'real' 'healthy" jargon is good marketing as all the dog food brands I look at contain carbs like rice, potato, corn or potato (aka filler) and this is just not what dogs need in their dog food plus there are a lot of additives and preservatives knocking around too!

What you need to know about dog food

Firstly, don't let anyone tell you dogs need starchy carbs - they don't and they have ZERO nutritional need for them. 

Plus having a high carbohydrate content means the protein content will be much less - and when you start looking at dog food labels you will notice that most commercial dog food is upwards of 50% carbs.

You can read more about carbs in dog food here.

It is a REALLY good idea to start reading the labels of your dog food

What's the protein levels in Healthy Active Pet dog food?

So for the purpose of making it EASY for you to see what is in our food - we have broken down the 3 main complete dog food meals below so you can see ingredients and nutritional info and don't have to go searching. 

👉And P.P.S we only use premium human grade meat and organic ingredients and have no grains in our dog food.

👉Oh and P.P.P.S, yes our raw air and freeze dried food is expensive as it is using premium human grade protein which is $$ but you can either use as a topper to make it go further or better still feed a raw food diet and you don't need to use it at all. You can also see our website for over 70+ AAFCO standard raw feeding recipes

🦃Our turkey and sardine air dried recipe is 67.5% protein
The ingredients in our turkey & sardine complete meal are;
👉Turkey breast, duck gizzards, sardines, duck liver, sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini, strawberries, calcium, wheatgerm oil, organic turmeric powder, organic wheatgrass powder, organic kelp powder

🐓Our chicken, lamb and turkey air dried recipe is 71.3% protein
The ingredients in our chicken, lamb and turkey complete meal are;
👉Turkey breast, chicken hearts, lamb liver, sardines, mussels, pumpkin, psyllium hulks, calcium, wheatgerm oil, nutritional yeast organic wheatgrass powder, organic kelp powder

air dried dog food

🐄Our beef, salmon and chicken freeze dried recipe is 50.7% protein
The ingredients in our beef, salmon and chicken freeze complete meal are;
👉Chicken (meat, crushed bone), salmon (meat, crushed bone), beef heart, beef liver, carrot, pumpkin, peas, apple, berries, hemp seed, turmeric, kelp powder and wheatgrass.

freeze dried dog food

Please note with our complete dog food meal, the air dried food is crunchier and the freeze dried is softer depending on what your dog likes and there are ZERO artificial ingredients at all in any of our food - you can see the shop here 

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