Amount Of Protein Fat Carbs Fiber And Ash
If you already have a good understanding of the minimums, maximums, and recommended amounts of protein, fat, carbs, fiber and ash, feel free to move down the page to the Calorie Profiles section.
Lets review the minimum recommendations and amounts of protein, fat, carbs, fiber and ash. Note that the amounts of nutrients by weight are not the same as the “Guaranteed Analysis” %. I will show you a simple way to determine the amounts in a food, since the amounts are not listed on the label. Dont let all the numbers overwhelm you. The Making Sense of it All section below will provide you simple and easy to use guidance.
Pet Food Protein Data
Given the popularity of the internet and the ability for people to easily publish their opinions, I once again encourage pet food manufacturers to provide the appropriate information to pet parents. I have seen blogs where the solution to high-protein, high-quality diets is to teach their dog how to go only in one section of the yard. Now thats some sound nutritional advice!
If we, as nutritionists and manufacturers, want to follow the consumer trends, then we need to provide proper information to pet parents and the people advising them . For instance, providing basic information like protein digestibility and protein-to-calorie ratios can ensure that animals consume the proper amount of protein per day , and this simple information can help combat obesity . Additionally, excess protein adds unnecessary costs to foods, which ultimately gets passed onto the pet parent.
Read The Entire Package
Pet food labeling is regulated on two levels: federal guidelines from the United States Food and Drug Administration , which establishes standards for proper identification of ingredients and net quantity statements, as well as other basic rules and the Association of American Feed Control Officials , which has specific rules that pet food manufacturers must follow.
The term natural is often used on pet food labels, although the term does not have an official definition. According to AAFCO, natural can be construed as equivalent to a lack of artificial flavors, artificial colors or artificial preservatives in the product. Natural is not the same as organic, which refers to food produced through approved farming methods that prohibit the use of pesticides, genetic engineering, added hormones and antibiotics.
But beyond these terms, its important to read the entire package, not just the front of the bag or can, to really understand whats in the food. Almost everythingthe text, the pictureson the front is for marketing purposes. Other than the name, quantity and the brand, there is not necessarily useful information on the front, says Dr. Coger.
To really figure out whats in a pet food, you have to flip over the bag and read the list of ingredients and nutritional analysis, says Dr. Coger. Thats the useful information.
Don’t Miss: Gnc Protein Powder For Weight Loss
Pet Food Labelingcrude Protein
So what is crude protein? How much crude protein does my dog or cat need in their diet?
Crude protein is a calculated value based on a laboratory evaluation of the nitrogen level in the food ingredients. Protein can be derived from any number of animal and/or non-animal sources. A pet food containing many animal and non-animal by-products can contain more crude protein than one containing pure animal food products. So the crude protein level alone can be very deceiving. Protein is of course the single most expensive major ingredient in any food. Many big box manufacturers will utilize least cost formulation programs and grains and grain by-products to meet the crude protein requirements they have established for their foods. These will cheapen the cost. But they will not necessarily provide the appropriate amino acid mix for your pets best health. Pets require amino acids in the right amounts and proportions.not crude protein per se. Corn gluten meal is 60% protein and heavy use in pet food will raise the crude protein label. But the amino acid profile is not favorable for growing pets. So while the crude protein guarantee is an important piece of information to have for your pets diet we have to go beyond that % number and look at the ingredient panel to get a better handle on the quality of the food.
More on product labeling later along with specific ingredients to be wary of. It can be a swamp with some deep holes in it to navigate!
Here is a typical Fromm label:
Dog Food Labels And Dog Nutrition
Your dog is your best friend, and thats why you should want to feed them the very best. Although you may have good intentions when choosing your pets food, labels on pet food can be confusing, and its hard to know if youre providing optimal dog nutrition.
Pet food labels can make everyones head spin! says Dr. Laurie Coger, DVM, CVCP and owner of HealthyDogWorkshop.com. It is challenging to separate science from marketing, so becoming label-savvy is crucial if you want a healthy dog.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Protein Out Of Urine
You Can Still Check The Crude Protein Level On Dog Foods
I thought we just discredited the crude protein in not too few words? Well, yeah, we did. Nonetheless, even with the shortcomings of the crude protein method, there is still some small merit to it, as long as its not considered in isolation.
The best way to use crude protein levels as an indicator is to consider it alongside all the points we listed above.
Generally, shady manufacturers try to drive down production costs by trying not to include enough protein even when its obvious thats theres a shortage of amino acids. This will show up in crude protein levels.
But as we said, you must not consider it in isolation because weve seen that some manufacturers would do anything to increase their crude protein. However, if crude protein is outright low, then you are definitely dealing with a food thats lacking in protein.
So, as long as you use it right, checking crude protein levels can help you pick out good dog food.
Pet Food Math Cheat Sheet
Cheat sheet food tabs 1-8 are for pet quality foods. Pet foods are considered less digestible than human-quality foods so calories for pet foods are calculated at:
Protein 3.5 calories per gram
Fat 8.5 calories per gram
Carbs 3.5 calories per gram
Cheat sheet food tabs 9-10 are for human-grade pet foods. Very few companies meet this standard so use tabs 1-8 unless unless youve verified with the pet food company they are calculating calories on the human food standard. Human-quality foods are generally more digestible than pet quality foods so calories for human foods are calculated at:
Protein 4 calories per gram
Fat 9 calories per gram
Carbs 4 calories per gram
If only Rhyme and Reason were here, Im sure things would improve.
You May Like: Where Are Proteins Made In The Cell
How Much Protein Dogs Need
The quality of the protein is just as important as the amount of protein: it needs to be easily digestible to be absorbed and utilized correctly in your dogs intestines.
The minimum dietary protein requirement for a growing dog is 18% dry matter, or DM, and 8% DM for an adult dog. It is important to remember that this is based on high-quality proteins and is a minimum amount. The AAFCO recommends that growing dogs should have a diet with at least 22% DM protein and 18% DM protein for maintenance. The maximum amount of protein for any life stage should not exceed 30% DM.
However, the quality of the protein is just as important as the amount of protein the food contains. The protein needs to be easily digestible to be absorbed and utilized correctly in your dogs intestines.
Faqs Regarding General Dog Nutrition
- What is the best vet recommended dog food? The truth is, there is no real consensus among vets on which food is the best. This is because all dogs are different and unique. There is no one catch-all formula that would be perfect for any dog. We would, therefore, recommend searching for a well-regarded food that is high in protein and fat, and that your dog likes the taste of!
- What foods should dogs avoid? There are more foods that dogs should avoid than could ever be listed here. Some common human foods that are poisonous to dogs are chocolate, caffeine, onions, garlic, and sweetcorn. Check with a veterinary website before you feed your dog anything that isnt marketed as canine food.
- Is Grain Free Dog Food Really Better? Dogs have been found to have trouble digesting grains and therefore grain-free foods can help aid digestion. A grain-free diet for your dog will also mean that you are likely buying formulas with higher levels of vegetables, fiber, and proteins. This will help the development of your dogs coat and skin, as well as provide your dog with more energy. A grain-free diet has however recently been linked to a small increase in canine heart disease.
- What dog foods are causing heart problems? The FDA has recently begun to investigate how grain-free canine formulas might increase the risk of canine heart disease. Its still too early to come to any major conclusions, but we will keep an eye out on this story as it develops.
You May Like: Dymatize Iso 100 Whey Protein Powder
Why Is Protein Important For Dogs
Protein should be part of a dogs well-balanced diet because it, along with other minerals and vitamins, is necessary to both build and maintain the tissue that helps carry out a dogs biological reactions1 and to sustain joint health. Dogs have also evolved to turn to proteins and fats in particular as primary energy sources.
The Importance Of High
Protein is one nutrient that should be present in dog food. This nutrient is composed of amino acids known to be building blocks designed to create strong muscles, while helping in the repair of body tissues. Dogs are only capable of naturally creating half their bodys daily amino acid requirement, which is the why the other amino acids need to be derived from their diet.
Due to the importance of protein in a dogs diet, it is no longer surprising that trusted dog food brands make it a point to use ingredients known to give a good supply of high-quality protein. These include chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, egg, fish, and soybeans. All these are helpful in giving your dog a good supply of protein. Also, note that adult dogs, who are healthy, usually require around 18-25% protein, which can be derived from various sources.
Even if dogs are omnivores, they still heavily rely on protein to thrive and survive. The essential amino acids present in protein are vital in cell production. Protein deficiency in dogs might cause them to encounter a lot of health issues. They will be at risk of losing energy and lowering the ability of their immune system to fight diseases. There is also a great possibility for their coats to become lifeless and dull. It should be noted that the best type of protein for dogs is that which has a high biological value, as it means they can easily digest and absorb it.
Some of the best sources of protein for commercial dog foods are:
You May Like: Is Premier Protein Gluten Free
Protein In Dogs Diets
There are many kinds of proteins, which are made of complex, organic compounds. Each type of protein consists of a varying mix of amino acids attached to each other with peptide bonds. Dogs can manufacture some of the 22 amino acids found in their bodies, but need a dietary source for others. Amino acids build body proteins, which in turn function as components of enzymes, hormones, a variety of body secretions, and structural and protective tissues.
Proteins are in a constant state of flux, always undergoing degradation and synthesis. Some constituent amino acids get recycled, some are excreted, and some are used for energy. In the case of growing or gestating animals, new tissue is created from protein, among other things.
Protein is a good energy source, providing 3.5 kilocalories of energy per gram of weight. However, not all proteins contain the complete array of amino acids needed by dogs. For this reason, it is important to balance out these deficiencies and/or excesses of amino acids when selecting ingredients for use in pet food diets. Neither corn nor soybean meal is an ideal protein, for example, but, fed in combination, soybean meal and corn complement each other perfectly, because the amino acids which are deficient in one are present in the other.
The requirements for different amino acids also change as the dog grows and ages. For example, a dog needs only a quarter as much arginine for adult maintenance as he needs when he is a growing puppy.
What Is Considered A High Protein Dog Food
There is no hard and fast number when it comes to classifying products as being high protein nutrition but there are a couple points to consider. Firstly, always compare diets by the guaranteed analysis, this is the chart on the back of the pack that tells you what levels are in the finished product. This chart is the best way to compare apples to apples and avoid the confusing marketing claims on the front of the packs. Most premium diets contain around 22-28% Crude Protein. As a high protein offering, this amount in the guaranteed analysis can increase between 30-37% Crude Protein.
Recommended Reading: Does Protein Give You Energy
Wellness Core Natural Best Grain Free
First Five Ingredients:
This quality dog food is designed from a fantastic combination of ingredients. Right at the top of this recipe is a deboned turkey as a whole protein, followed by chicken and turkey meal. These are excellent supplemental nutrients.
The grain-free formula also contains sweet potatoes, potatoes, and peas which provide carbohydrate content. The minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants featured in this recipe will boost the immune system of your pets. We also need to mention that it is fortified with 4 different probiotics to ensure normal digestion, and chondroitin and glucosamine to help promote joint health.
If you have more than one pet, these best high protein meals are a great option for them. The formula doesnt contain artificial colors, preservatives or flavors, no meat-by-products, soy, corn or wheat.
Read Also: Is Iams Dog Food Any Good
Which Was Used To Make Your Dogs Food
Its hard to believe.
Yet on a pet food label
Each of the ingredients above can LEGALLY be called meat.
One is cut from fresh, lean beef while the other consists of fatty trimmings sourced from slaughterhouse waste.
How can you tell which one was used to make YOUR dogs food?
The fat-to-protein ratio may help reveal the answer.
You May Like: The Best Protein Powder For Weight Loss
The Top 10 Worst Dog Food Brands Of 2021
All pet foods are not created equal but most of the low-quality dog food brands have a few things in common. Some of the worst brands on the market load up their products with inexpensive fillers like corn and wheat products their products also tend to be carb-heavy instead of meat-based.
Low-quality pet formulas make heavy use of by-products and plant proteins, plus they often use artificial colors and flavors to make their products more palatable for pets and the people who care for them.
Something else many of these foods have in common is a history of product recalls by their manufacturing company.
Below is an overview of the Top 10 worst dog foods of 2021. We started our list with recipes that contain dubious and low-quality ingredients and worked our way down to the worst offenders with recent recalls under their belt.
Monitor Your Dogs Nutrition And Health
Even after following all these steps, its still important to monitor how your dog thrives on any diet hes currently on. If your dog appears to be doing better, great. If he appears to be deteriorating, poor skin and fur health, poor muscle development, then thats indicator enough that that food isnt good for your dog.
Also, dont be shy to ask other dog parents with obviously healthy dogs what they fed their pups as well. You might actually get a recommendation that works.
In all, you must consult your vet before changing your pups diet willy-nilly. Experimenting with your dogs food, oftentimes, does more harm than good to your dog.
Recommended Reading: What Are Some Protein Foods
Is Too Much Protein Bad For Dogs
Some claim it is possible to give your dog too much protein as it would lead to sickness, but this is not true. When dogs eat a lot of protein, which is meant to be stored as fat, the body excretes it in the form of urine.
The reason is dogs have a much higher tolerance for protein than they do for carbohydrates and fibre. There is potential for a problem, though, should the dogs diet not be balanced. For example, if the meat does not come with crude fat, bone, or a side of fibre, it can be hard for the dogs body to balance calcium and phosphorous.
If this is the case, it can lead to several disruptions in the development of the bones or even damage body organs. Healthy dogs require a high protein diet to gain weight though this could be the same as giving them more of their current diet. There is a difference, though, between healthy and unadvisable weight gain.
Overfeeding your dog carbs or sugar to increase their weight will only result in obesity and diabetes, and heart conditions. On the other hand, feeding them a balanced mix of high-quality proteins, fibre, and small amounts of starch in that order is the best way to do this. That means more high-quality protein compared to the fat content would be the best way to go about this.