The High Protein Myth Regarding Dog Food

The High Protein Myth Regarding Dog Food

The High Protein Myth Dog Foods

Old dogs and the high protein myth?
Old dogs and the high protein myth?

Old Wives Tales: I cannot tell you how many times I have been told by my clients that they had changed the food they were feeding their dogs, to lower protein food. 

This was because of concerns that it caused hyperactivity and other problems as dogs got older. 

Most of these scare stories are propounded by forums and probably some of the dog food manufacturers who use poor quality protein and fillers in their ingredients/

Other concerns were the belief that high protein could be a major factor in liver and kidney disorders, 

This was believed to be the case, especially in older dogs, as some proteins are more difficult to metabolise as a dog ages.

These beliefs could not be further from the truth, in fact, the exact opposite is true. The negative effect of proteins is based on quality, not quantity.  The words “Old Wives Tales” comes to mind. Though why old wives are supposedly always wrong was a mystery to me. So I looked it up. “Old wives’ tales originate in the oral tradition of storytelling. They were generally propagated by illiterate women, telling stories to each other or to children. These stories were used to scare children so they did as they were told” Anyway, back to the myth of the naughty high proteins.

Protein and Organs: Protein comes in many forms, even shoe leather, corn, gluten, wheat, chicken beaks or eyeballs. All have a  high crude protein content. However, the dog is only able to process part of this low-grade protein, at the cost of a lot of hard work by the kidneys and liver.

Proteins are processed through the liver;  any waste materials are then filtered and excreted through the kidneys. Plant protein diets are hard on your pet’s liver and kidneys. They have to work far harder to get any goodness out of what are just cheap fillers, such as wheat, corn, rice,  gluten, and low-quality animal derivatives.

High muscle meat and fish-based protein diets aren’t just healthy for your ageing pet, they are essential. Yet “The Old Wives Tales” still abounds, sometimes promulgated by the pet food manufacturers that fill their pet food with the worst and cheapest type of protein on the market. These stories and rumours are for financial gain are often suggesting that low levels of protein are better?

Protein is an essential ingredient in the healthiest dog foods, and for the older dog, dog food that is higher in quality protein is essential to help maintain bone, joint, and tissue health. Protein also helps maintain a healthy coat as your dog ages.

Some like Bakers Complete, Pedigree Complete, Science Plan, and Royal Canin do not always mention the type of plant protein in their food. Why? Simple, they buy whatever is cheapest at the time of manufacture. The packing has contents that include un-named cereals, meat derivatives, sugars, fats, vegetable derivatives, colourants, antioxidants, and preservatives.  The meat content in some instances may be the very legal minimum required by legislation.

Is your dog pulling on the Lead, Unruly, Bad Recall, Aggressive on Lead, Jumping Up? 
See my article and Video Clips on how to stop this.

The Jingler

Check the Labels: A great way of checking on your favourite pet food is to look at the packet. Does it have cereal, corn, gluten or any grain type filler including rice? Then check how much is real meat content there is in that brand?  Not meat or vegetable “derivatives”.  

If it has this sort of information on the label,  Cereals, Wheat, Corn,  Maize,  Meat and Animal Derivatives, Vegetable Protein Extracts, Derivatives of Vegetable Origin, Oils, and Fats, Various Sugars, Colourants, Artificial Preservatives, and Antioxidants.

Then you may wish to look into that brand a little deeper  A great way of doing this is log on to (1) Which Dog Food or (2)  Dog Food Analysis. See bottom of the page.

Faeces: One of the real tell-tale signs to look for is your dog’s faeces. Are they large, soft and does your dog do lots of them on a walk? If so then the liver and kidneys have had to work overtime to process the food you are putting into them.

Poor quality, mass-produced pet foods are packed with protein from various sources including gluten, soy, and corn. These types of fillers can also cause allergies and intolerances that affect the skin and overall well-being of the dog.

Gunner who is 20 months old I bred him from two of my dogs and he is amazingly healthy

Conclusion: If the source of the protein is quality meat or fish-based, Then you can feed your dog 100% protein and it will not cause any problems regarding hyperactivity.  

No stress on the liver or kidneys,  as the waste products would be far less. You would also need far less of the food, to fulfil the dog’s nutritional requirements.

Think of your dog’s body as a car engine, put in premium petrol and it will run great. Put in a low-grade fuel and it gets all sooted and clogged up.

With quality protein, the stools would be smaller less smelly and have what I can only describe as a kick-ability factor.  Kick a stool that has come from a dog that is been fed on food with poor protein and cereal fillers, and it will be stuck on your shoe for weeks. 

Kick the one on a quality protein diet, and it will bounce off your boots and score a goal worthy of Pele. If you want to see what I feed my dogs then click on (3) Dog Food and Behaviour.

Are you also aware that some well-known dog treats have more calories than a Big Mac (4) Are Some Dog Treats Causing Obesity

I have also started my own Doglistener range of air-dried all-natural dog treats that are from guaranteed to be free of all additives and totally grain-free.

These treats are from free-range animals, all grown as nature intended with no growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics and non-halal and from EU regulated livestock.  

They also had to be totally natural without any additives colourants or even spices.    and from human-grade animals, not the so-called 4-D meat that gets its name from diseased, dying, disabled and dead livestock, deemed unfit for human consumption. 

Some of them are also very low in fat for dogs that need to be careful about weight gain this is especially the case in neutered dogs. These low fat treats include Air Dried Lung, Buffalo Jerky, Beef Jerky Sticks, Rabbits Ears, Beef Gullet, Bulls Pizzles etc (5) Doglistener Natural Air Dried Treats and  (6) Fish4dogs Dental and Fish Treats

© Stan Rawlinson April 2014
Last updated 2020 ​
(1) All About Dog Food
(2) Dog Food Analysis
(3) Dog Food and Behaviour
(4) Are Some Dog Treats Causing Obesity
(5) Doglistener Natural Air Dried Treats
(6) Fish4dogs Dental and Fish Treats

Worth Reading
Bakers and Pedigree Dog Food Review
Royal Canin, Hills Science Plan and Burns Dog Food Review

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